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What is a Creative Commons License?

Creative Commons Logo

Creative Commons helps you share your knowledge & creativity with the world.

Creative Commons licenses are a simple, standardized way to give others permission to share and use your work -- on conditions of your choice. You retain copyright of your work while allowing others to make limited uses.

Video Introduction to CC Licenses

A short video from Wikimedia introducing users to Creative Commons:

When you take a photo, make music or shoot a video it’s yours, you own it. You also own the copyright. Which means you decide how it is used and who can use it and if it can be copied and shared (or remixed). Creative Commons is a set of licenses that enable lawful collaboration to do things like copy, share and remix. Creative Commons is a way to give permission to everyone to freely reuse your creative works. Hundreds of sites use these licenses: Wikipedia, YouTube,, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Flickr, Bandcamp, Boundless, Jamendo, TED, Musopen, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Free Music Archive, Freesound. Creative Commons makes us all more free to create.

Types of CC Licenses

There are six different CC licenses to choose from, ranging from least to most restrictive. Under each license, you retain copyright over your creation but allow others to use it under certain conditions.

Summary of uses allowed by each Creative Commons License
CC License Types
Others must credit you
Others can distribute your work
Others can modify and build on your work
Others must license derivative work under identical conditions
Others can use work for commercial purposes 



Creative Commons Attribution License

Yes Yes Yes   Yes



Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes



Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivatives

Yes Yes     Yes



Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercia

Yes Yes Yes    



Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike

Yes Yes Yes Yes  



Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives

Yes Yes      


Choosing a CC License

Creative Commons' license choosing tool can help you select the right license:

Choose a License

Guide Attribution

The information presented in this guide is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. The content in this guide was adapted from the Copyright guide from NYU Libraries

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License

Umpqua Community College Library, 1140 Umpqua College Rd., Roseburg, OR 97470, 541-440-4640
Except where otherwise noted, content in these research guides is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Creative Commons Attribution License