Creative Commons

Creative Commons is an organization that serves as a gateway for persons to share their intellectual property with standardized levels of permission. It helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world.

Creative Common Licenses provide an easy way to manage the copyright terms that attach automatically to all creative material under copyright. Our licenses allow that material to be shared and reused under terms that are flexible and legally sound. Creative Commons offers a core suite of six copyright licenses. Because there is no single "Creative Commons license," it is important to identify which of the six licenses you are applying to your material, which of the six licenses has been applied to material that you intend to use, and in both cases the specific version.

There are varying licenses within Creative Commons that offer different usage rights:

  • CC0 or Public Domain - Items found with CC0 or Public Domain as the designation are "No Rights Reserved." You are free to use these objects within your course without restriction. You can even modify them to your needs if necessary.
  • Attribution CC BY - This designation on materials means that you can use them in your course, tweak, modify, or build upon, as long as you credit the original creation (cite with a link to the original).
  • Attribution ShareAlike CC BY-SA - This designation allows you to use the materials for your course, and even modify them, but you must provide attribution to the original creator (cite with a link to the original) and if you license your work that utilizes it, you must apply the same CC license.
  • Attribution NoDerivs CC BY-ND - This designation allows you to use the materials for your course (such as a photo or artwork) and you must provide attribution (citation with link to the original) but you may not modify the work in any way.
  • Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) - The most recent license. You are allowed to copy, redistribute, use it in your course, remix, transform, and build upon the work for any purpose. You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the 4.0 license, and indicate if changes were made to the original. You can do this in any manner you wish, but not in any way that suggest the licensor endorses you or your use.

There are many locations where you can search for materials shared in some manner for your use. Some of these include: