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What is Creative Commons

Authors Creative Commons

License CC-BY-3.0

                                                                        What is Creative Commons

What Is Creative Commons?                                               Who Uses Creative Commons Licenses?
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that works to              Major media and technology companies, leading universities,
increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and           top scientists, and world-renowned artists all take advantage of
scientific content) available in “the commons” — the body of            the Creative Commons approach to copyright. Most importantly,
work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use,   there are millions of “regular” people around the world who use
repurposing, and remixing.                                              CC licenses to help increase the depth, breadth, and quality of
                                                                        creativity that is available to everyone for free and legal use.

How Does Creative Commons Work?
Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use legal tools that            How Is Creative Commons Funded?
give everyone from individual “user generated content” creators         Financial support for Creative Commons comes from
to major companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to       organizations including the Center for the Public Domain, the
pre-clear usage rights to creative work they own the copyright to.      Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, The John D.
CC licenses let people easily change their copyright terms from         and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The William and
the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”         Flora Hewlett Foundation. CC also receives contributions from
                                                                        members of the public ­­— people just like you who value the open,
Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They     collaborative exchange of culture and knowledge.
apply on top of copyright, so you can modify your copyright terms
to best suit your needs. We’ve collaborated with copyright experts
all around the world to ensure that our licenses work globally.         Where Can I Find Out More About
                                                                        Creative Commons?
Getting a Creative Commons license is easy. Visit our Web               There is much more information, including a number of helpful
site at and click “License Your Work.”              videos about Creative Commons, on our Web site. Please visit
Based on your answers to a few quick questions, we’ll give you          us at to learn more about what we do and
a license that clearly communicates to people what you will and         how we do it.
won’t allow them to do with your creativity. It only takes a few
minutes and it’s totally free. Our Web site also contains an FAQ
that answers many of the most common questions about how
CC licenses work.

What Can Creative Commons Do for Me?
If you’ve created something and want people to know that you’re
happy to have them share, use, and build upon your work, you
should consider publishing under a Creative Commons license.
CC’s legal infrastructure gives you flexibility (for example, you
can choose to only pre-clear noncommercial uses) and protects
the people who use your work (so that they don’t have to worry
about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the terms
you have specified).

If you’re an artist, student, educator, scientist, or other creator
looking for content that you can freely and legally use, there is a
giant pool of CC-licensed creativity available to you. There are
many millions of works — from songs and videos to scientific
and academic content — that you can use under the terms of our
copyright licenses.

                                                                        More Information
                                                                        Please visit
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       Share, reuse, and remix — legally.