Creative Commons is something that I talk about at a high level when I deliver social media training. Here is the long version of this story.
- Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd)
This license is the most restrictive, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
- Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (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. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.
- Attribution Non-commercial (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 No Derivatives (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 Share Alike (by-sa)
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.
- 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. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.
There is a lot more to CC than these six categories. There is an organization called CreativeCommons.org, it’s a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.
They provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.
They are based in the U.S.A therefore it’s unclear if all their licensing rules apply globally.
There is another category called CCO that applies to your own work that you can waive your rights and make it completely available to the public without restriction to copyright and database law. This category applies to scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright- or database-protected content.
We all need to earn a living, so who would be crazy enough to use these licenses?
The best known example of course is Flickr, they have incorporated these licensing into their offerings.
Wikipedia, Google and Open course ware. The most interesting one is a band called Nine Inch Nails, who released some of their songs for FREE as well as a limited tired step version of other products, services etc…This had an amazing effect whereby they had a sold out tour and sold their other products as well.
If you are thinking of incorporating CC into your business or otherwise, there are great guidelines on how to go about this. Since we are here in Canada, then how do we know if all this is relevant to the laws here. I am happy to say that we do indeed have a CC Canada.