What Is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that works toincrease the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, andscientific content) available in “the commons” — the body ofwork that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use,repurposing, and remixing.

How Does Creative Commons Work?

Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use legal tools thatgive everyone from individual “user generated content” creatorsto major companies and institutions a simple, standardized way topre-clear usage rights to creative work they own the copyright to.CC licenses let people easily change their copyright terms fromthe default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. Theyapply on top of copyright, so you can modify your copyright termsto best suit your needs. We’ve collaborated with copyright expertsall around the world to ensure that our licenses work globally.

Getting a Creative Commons license is easy.

Visit the Website at creativecommons.org and click “License Your Work.”Based on your answers to a few quick questions, we’ll give youa license that clearly communicates to people what you will andwon’t allow them to do with your creativity. It only takes a fewminutes and it’s totally free.

The Web site also contains an FAQthat answers many of the most common questions about howCC licenses work.

What Can Creative Commons Do for Me?

If you’ve created something and want people to know that you’rehappy to have them share, use, and build upon your work, youshould consider publishing under a Creative Commons license.CC’s legal infrastructure gives you flexibility (for example, youcan choose to only pre-clear noncommercial uses) and protectsthe people who use your work (so that they don’t have to worryabout copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the termsyou have specified).If you’re an artist, student, educator, scientist, or other creatorlooking for content that you can freely and legally use, there is agiant pool of CC-licensed creativity available to you. There aremany millions of works — from songs and videos to scientificand academic content — that you can use under the terms of our copyright licenses.


Who Uses Creative Commons Licenses?

Major media and technology companies, leading universities,top scientists, and world-renowned artists all take advantage ofthe Creative Commons approach to copyright. Most importantly,there are millions of “regular” people around the world who useCC licenses to help increase the depth, breadth, and quality ofcreativity that is available to everyone for free and legal use.How Is Creative Commons Funded?Financial support for Creative Commons comes fromorganizations including the Center for the Public Domain, theOmidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, The John D.and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The William andFlora Hewlett Foundation. CC also receives contributions frommembers of the public — people just like you who value the open,collaborative exchange of culture and knowledge.

Where Can I Find Out More AboutCreative Commons?

There is much more information, including a number of helpfulvideos about Creative Commons, on the Web site.

Please visitus at creativecommons.org to learn more about what we do andhow we do it. creativecommons.org


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