Creative Commons is a form of licensing that bridges all rights reserved copyright and public domain copyright. Creative Commons (CC) is a standardized system for licensing the use of copyright materials. It is a copyright-based system of licenses or “permissions.” It offers creators and authors a system by which others can use their work with stipulations and specific conditions while retaining copyright and credit. When you are considering using works that are not expressly marked Creative Commons, you must follow the legal requirements of the Canadian Copyright Act or if using materials accessed through the TRU Library, the licenses agreed upon between your library and vendors.
When items that you are considering for use have the Creative Commons licensing icon and accompanying tags, you must follow the specifics of the license. These are called “deeds”.
Depending on the permissions the licenser allows, the licensee can copy, publish in digital form, publicly perform all or a substantial part, on specified baseline rights:
- Attribute (acknowledge) the authorship
- Not alter terms of license unless you obtain permission from the creator to override any restrictions
- Link to license from copies of work
- Not use technology (digital rights management), to restrict other licensees’ uses of work.
When working with Creative Commons materials, the same principles apply to providing attribution across all CC licenses. You should:
- Credit the creator
- State the title of work
- Provide the url where the work is hosted
- State the type of license it is available under and provide a link to the license so others can find the license terms
- Keep intact any copyright notice associated with the work.
Improve your understanding of Creative Commons Licenses by reviewing the websites linked below:
Six Creative Commons Licenses
The six different Creative Commons licenses, each with varying levels of freedom and conditions for use of various material, explained.
Choose a License
Assistance with choosing a license for your work and get HTML code to place a button stating the type of license on your website.
Creative Commons FAQ
The full version of the Creative Commons FAQ. An abbreviated version is also available.
Creative Commons Search
Links to search services where you can find Creative Commons licensed works.
30+ Places to Find Creative Commons Media
Includes links to resources for CC licensed audio, images and texts. Includes screencaptures for easy identification.
How to Attribute Creative Commons Licensed Work
Here’s how to properly give credit to the creators who use Creative Commons licenses on their work.