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Creative Commons: A Quick Overview

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This information sheet provides a short introduction to Creative Commons. For further infromation, including a detailed guide on how to find and attribute Creative Commons material, see the Creative Commons Information Pack

The Creative Commons provides an alternative licensing system so that authors, musicians and other creators can grant rights to the public to use their work without payment but still retain control over their copyright material. Schools can use Creative Commons resources such as music, film clips and photographs in their projects and teaching resources free of charge.

Conditions for using Creative Commons and other material

The licence terms under which items are available on these websites vary.   Generally, you are asked to attribute (acknowledge) the name of the original creator when you use a copy of their work.  Others require you to attribute the original creator and send them a copy of any resources you create which incorporate their material.  Check the licence terms on each item before use.

Creative Commons Licence Symbols

Creative Commons licensed material can be identified by the use of one of the following symbols.  Usually a notice with the words “Some Rights Reserved” will appear with one or more of these symbols.  More information about the symbols used in Creative Commons licences is available at:  http://creativecommons.org.au/licences

Licence

Symbol

Type of Use

You Can

Attribution Required

Attribution (by)

   

Commercial and non commercial

Copy and enhance (adapt or modify), redistribute (publish, display, exhibit, publicly perform or communicate eg by email or by placing on a website) and license to others on any terms.

Yes

Attribution Share Alike (by-sa)


  
   

Commercial and non commercial

Copy, enhance and redistribute but you must make the new work available on same licence terms as original

Yes

Attribution No Derivatives (by-nd)

 
 
   


Commercial and non commercial

Copy but not enhance. Redistribute only in original form.

Yes

Attribution Non-commercial (by-nc)


  
  

Non Commercial only

Copy, enhance and redistribute. License to others on any terms.

Yes

Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa)


   
   
  

Non Commercial only

Copy, enhance and redistribute but you must make the new work available on same licence terms as original

Yes

Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd)


   
   
  

Non commercial only

Copy but not enhance. Redistribute only in original form.

Yes

For a quick guide on finding Creative Commons material, see section 'Quick Reference Guide to Finding Creative Commons Material' .

Attribution Only Licences 

  “Attribution Only” licences (see for example, the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia licence at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/) are the easiest to use.  These licences allow you to copy and enhance (adapt or modify) the source material and make your version available to others (redistribute) as long as you attribute the creator of the original material.

How to attribute Creative Commons material 
You should always attribute the original work by adding a notice giving the following information.  These details can usually be found on the original item.

  • The name (or pseudonym) of the creator of the original work
  • The name of the item
  • The details of the licence it was provided under eg “Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia
  • The web address (URL) of the original item and the website it was found on (eg Flickr, Owl Music Search, etc.)

However, you are only expected to provide this information in a form which isreasonable in the circumstances.   This will depend on the information available about the original item, the way you are using the item and the space available.  On a film, for example, it would be reasonable to add the name of the creator of the item with the Creative Commons details as a “credit” at the end of the film.  If space is limited, for example, in the case of a photograph, list the name of the original photographer and the Creative Commons licence details under the photo.

Example:  Chart on Volcanos found on Flickr

Made available under Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution Licence: commercial and non-commercial use permitted; can be copied, enhanced and redistributed but attribution is required.

Suggested Attribution:

Original Chart: Cogdogblog (Flickr)

Made available under Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution

Licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Available at:http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/817669/



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