Creative Commons.Org (a group of intellectual property experts – lawyers and librarians) created a set of copyright licenses free for public use that define the “middle way” between copyright and the public domain – or between all rights reserved and no rights reserved.
Creative Commons have defined a set of licenses so that authors and artists can clearly define what rights they are keeping, and what they are sharing – for free or for fee.
These Creative Commons licenses, six variations in total, allow for creators to keep their copyright while inviting other uses of their work – or a “some rights reserved” copyright.
Using these creative commons licenses, creators can choose a set of conditions they wish to apply to their work.The basic four conditions are:
Attribution : You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.
Noncommercial : You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.
No Derivative Works : You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
Share Alike : You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.
These conditions can be combined to produce six licenses (all licenses include attribution):
Your license choice will be expressed in three ways:
Go to http://creativecommons.org for more information.
For open source music: http://ccmixter.org
For open source images: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons
*Adapted from the Creative Commons website (creativecommons.org)