Creative Commons makes sharing easy Public domain works are valuable because anyone What is the difference between
can freely build upon, enhance, and reuse them for CC0 and the Public Domain Mark?
any purposes without restriction under copyright
or database law.
CC0 (“CC Zero”) is intended for use only
That’s why it’s important for creators to have a clear and
by authors or holders of copyright and
legally robust way to place their works in the public domain as
related rights (including database rights), in connection
completely as possible, and it’s also important for publishers
with works that are still subject to those rights in one or
and archives to have a standardized way to identify works that
are already in the public domain. more countries.
Creative Commons supports two distinct public domain tools, When CC0 is applied to a work, copyright and related
rights are relinquished worldwide, making the work free
the CC0 Public Domain Dedication and the Public Domain
Mark. Creative Commons copyright licenses help authors from those restrictions to the greatest extent possible.
manage their copyright on terms they choose. Conversely, CC0
enables authors and copyright owners who want to dedicate The Public Domain Mark (PDM) is used
their works to the worldwide public domain to do so, and PDM to label works that are already free of
facilitates the labeling and discovery of works that are already known copyright restrictions. Unlike CC0, PDM doesn’t
free of known copyright restrictions. change the copyright status of a work.
Where public domain tools fit in the copyright spectrum PDM can be used by anyone, and is intended for use
with works that are already free of known copyright
Public restrictions throughout the world.
domain Some rights All rights
What Is Creative Commons? The CC0 Public Domain Dedication Public Domain Mark
Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization Use this universal tool if you are a holder of copyright or database Use this tool if you have identified a work that is free of known
rights, and wish to waive all your rights to the work worldwide. copyright restrictions.
dedicated to supporting an open and accessible Internet
that is enriched with free knowledge and creative resources
for people around the world to use, share, and cultivate.
Our easy-to-use licenses provide a simple, standardized way
to give the public permission to share and use your creative
work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you By using CC0, you waive all copyright and related rights Works marked with the Public Domain Mark have been
change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights together with all associated claims and causes of action with identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright
reserved” to “some rights reserved.” respect to this work to the extent possible under the law. law, including all related and neighboring rights. Anyone can
Millions of people use CC licenses on some of the world’s copy, modify, distribute, and perform such works, even for
Applying CC0 to your work is easy. Simply visit the CC0 chooser
most popular platforms for user-generated content. When commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
(http://creativecommons.org/choose/zero) which will lead you
you use a CC license to share your photos, videos, or blog, through the process. When completed, you will be provided Applying the PDM to a work is easy. Simply visit the PDM
your creation joins a globally accessible pool of resources with HTML code that you can copy and paste into your website. chooser (http://creativecommons.org/choose/mark) which
that includes the work of artists, educators, scientists, and will lead you through the proces. When completed, you will be
governments. You let others copy, modify, distribute, and perform the work,
provided with the HTML code that you can copy and paste into
even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
Creative Commons has waived all copyright and Creative Commons does not recommend this tool for works that
related or neighboring rights to this guide using the
CC0 Public Domain Dedication. are restricted by copyright laws in one or more jurisdictions.
Consult with your legal advisor if you are unsure whether you
should use the PDM for a certain work.