Creative Commons (CC) is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools. CC licenses are legal tools that creators and other rights holders can use to offer certain usage rights to the public, while reserving other rights. CC licenses don't take the place of copyright; rather, they build on existing copyright to provide the creator greater control over how their work is used (while promoting reuse of content). Learn more about Creative Commons at its website.
This guide is intended to help you determine what CC license is best for your work, as well as to provide guidance for finding and using CC-licensed content. Use the tabs across the top of this guide to learn more.
The following describes each of the six main licenses offered by Creative Commons. This list starts with the most accommodating license type and ends with the most restrictive license type.
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. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.
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. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.
This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
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.
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.
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.