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What You Need to Know About Creative Commons Media

December 21, 2013 IADT General, Internet Marketing 0 Comments

What You Need to Know About Creative Commons MediaGood news: Your website is practically finished! Bad news: All the images are placeholders and you can't go live with a site that only has pictures of kittens. If you need to get your website up and running, complete with eye-catching graphics, but you don't have the time or the budget to get professional images, what can you do? Enter Creative Commons. Creative Commons (CC) is a way to have access to free works for certain purposes. It encourages creators to share work, knowing that the work will only be distributed under certain conditions. For consumers of media, it expedites the identification of works you can use.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is an organization that facilitates the sharing, use and mixing of media. It is a global nonprofit that offers an alternative to traditional copyright. Under copyright laws in the United States (copyright varies from country to country, but the idea is generally similar), works such as pictures, videos and writing cannot be shared, distributed or altered by anyone other than the owner; these limitations are indicated by the phrase all rights reserved.

Creative Commons offers an alternative to the strict all rights reserved label. Creators may want to freely distribute work (and let everyone know that they may use it), or they may want to designate some works to be used in certain ways. CC have several licenses that stipulate different levels of use.

Types of Licenses

Attribution (CC BY): The most permissive of CC licenses, this attribution license indicates that a work may be distributed, remixed, tweaked or otherwise built upon by others — even for commercial use — so long as the original creator is credited. This means you can create media mashups, or use the images along with articles or in slide shows, just be sure to make a note of who made it. It is also considerate (though not required) to link to the author's website.

Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA): This license is similar to the attribution license in that it allows others to remix and build upon a work; however, derivative works that were based on works licensed as CC BY-SA must be licensed with the same license type. This ensures that derivative works can be further remixed and altered by other people. Wikipedia uses this type of license for all content, and Creative Commons recommends that this license be used for projects that use content from Wikipedia.

Attribution-NoDervis (CC BY-ND): Under this license, works can be redistributed for commercial or noncommercial purposes, but they may not be altered. Works must be credited to the original author.

Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC): Works with this license may be distributed, remixed or otherwise altered as long as it is for noncommercial purposes. Credit must be given to the work creator, but derivative works do not have to be licensed under the same license type.

Attirbution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): This license works like the CC BY-NC license, but derivative works must be licensed with the same license type. Credit must be given to the creator.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): This is the most restrictive of CC licenses. Works registered with this license can only be downloaded and shared for noncommercial purposes. The creator must receive credit, and the works cannot be altered in any way.

Sharing on the Web

Creative Commons is a great way to work with media creators of all types who want to see their work distributed on the Web. Most creators are happy to work with website builders and marketers who want to use their work. Be sure to review the license carefully to make sure you are using the media appropriately, and support creators everywhere.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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