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Creative Commons

Creative Commons is an open licensing scheme in which creators retain the rights to their own work, but grant a licence to others to copy and distribute it in a certain manner and without the need to seek permission or pay royalties.

There are several types of licences. Some only allow material to be used as-is, while others allow users to modify the material for their own needs or to use it commercially.

Creative Commons:

  • provides user-friendly open licences for digital content
  • takes into consideration the various copyright laws in different countries
  • provides licences which include basic author rights
  • enables authors to grant permission to make copies or make changes to their work
  • enables authors to apply restrictions on permissions.

The six main licences:

 The six main creative commons licences

Understanding Creative Commons licences conditions


  • You must attribute the material in the way the author requests.
  • If you want to use the work without attributing the author/creator, or for endorsement purposes, you must get permission first.


  • You can copy, distribute, display, perform and modify the work for any purpose, except commercially, unless you get permission first.


  • You can copy, distribute, display, perform and modify the work, as long as you distribute any modified work under the same terms/licence.
  • If you want to distribute modified works under other terms, then you must get permission first.


  • You can copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of the work.
  • You cannot modify the work, unless you get permission first.


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