The Photos and the Creative Commons License

For this blog post, I will focus on the lighter side of things, which is the Creative Commons license. The last time, it was kinda heavy talking about copyright laws. I shared the legal implications of the unauthorized use of photos you see online. You can learn more about it if you click this link.

Back to the topic, what is a Creative Commons license? It is one of many public copyright licenses. Basically, it allows free use, access, and distribution of any work. Whether it is a photo, music, or a video, a CC license grants anyone to add their own twist to existing published works.

What sets CC apart?

It provides flexibility. The author has the power to grant (or not to grant) rights. He or she can personalize it depending on his or her preference. For example, the author can grant downloads personal use, but you cannot use it commercially.

 The Licenses

There are 6 types so far:

  1. CC BY (or the Attribution) – This one is the most lenient of all the 6 types. The users can distribute, edit, and modify your work whether it is for personal or commercial use. Just as long as the user mentions / cites you as the author of the original work. This is the recommended option if you want your work to spread like wildfire.
  2. CC BY-SA (or the Attribution-ShareAlike) – The second option is similar the one above. Users can still distribute, edit, and modify your work whether it is for personal or commercial use. All new works will be under the same license. This is recommended websites that would integrate /consolidate information from different sources. Wikipedia is the most popular example of this type of license.
  3. CC BY-ND (or the Attribution-NoDerivs ) – The third type users edit an artwork for personal or commercial use, but it should NOT be shared in its revised form, and credit must be provided to you.
  4. CC BY-NC (or the Attribution-NonCommercial) – This emphasizes on the non-commercial clause, meaning users can edit, and modify your work non-commercially. If they wish to use it commercially, it needs you approval first.
  5. CC BY-NC-SA (or the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike) – This license lets users distribute, edit, and modify your work non-commercially. They should credit you and license their new revisions under the same terms.
  6. CC BY-NC-ND (or the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs ) – This last type is the the most tough and meticulous out of the all the main licenses. It only allows users to download your works for personal use. Moreover, they can share it if they credit you. Lastly, they cannot modify your work in any way. Commercial use is also prohibited.

The Latest Version

The people behind Creative Commons released a version 4.0 Creative Commons license in November 2013. This set of licenses are the most current licenses presented by CC, and to know more about it, please visit the FAQ page of the Creative Commons.

See, there are also flexible and legal terms available online. Thanks to Creative Commons you can freely collaborate and create using the works of other people. For the next post, I will elaborate on the proper way of citing original sources. Stay tuned!