Choose a license
Publishing under a Creative Commons license is easy. First, choose the conditions that you want to apply to your work.
|Attribution (BY): All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.|
|NonCommercial (NC): You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen NoDerivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than commercially unless they get your permission first.|
|ShareAlike (SA): You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first.|
|NoDerivatives (ND): You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first.|
With a Creative Commons license, you keep your copyright but allow people to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit — and only on the conditions you specify here.
Six Creative Commons licenses
Based on your choices, you will get a license that clearly indicates how other people may use your creative work.
|Attribution (BY): This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.|
|Attribution-ShareAlike (BY-SA): This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.|
|Attribution-NonCommercial (BY-NC): This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.|
|Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA): This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.|
|Attribution-NoDerivatives (BY-ND): This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.|
|Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (BY-NC-ND): This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.|
The Creative Commons licenses have three layers, as does the CC0 public domain dedication: the human-readable deed, the lawyer-readable legal code, and the machine-readable metadata. Taken together, these three layers of licenses ensure that the spectrum of rights isn’t just a legal concept. It’s something that the creators of works can understand, their users can understand, and even the Web itself can understand.
Public Domain Tools
Our licenses help authors keep and manage their copyright on terms they choose. Our public domain tools, on the other hand, enable authors and copyright owners who want to dedicate their works to the worldwide public domain to do so, and facilitate the labeling and discovery of works that are already free of known copyright restrictions.
|CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright- or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law. In contrast to CC’s licenses that allow copyright holders to choose from a range of permissions while retaining their copyright, CC0 empowers yet another choice altogether – the choice to opt out of copyright and database protection, and the exclusive rights automatically granted to creators – the “no rights reserved” alternative to our licenses.|
|The Public Domain Mark enables works that are no longer restricted by copyright to be marked as such in a standard and simple way, making them easily discoverable and available to others. Many cultural heritage institutions including museums, libraries and other curators are knowledgeable about the copyright status of paintings, books and manuscripts, photographs and other works in their collections, many of which are old and no longer under copyright. The Public Domain Mark operates as a tag or a label, allowing institutions like those as well as others with such knowledge to communicate that a work is no longer restricted by copyright and can be freely used by others. The mark can also be an important source of information, allowing others to verify a work’s copyright status and learn more about the work.|