Creative Commons

What Is Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that works to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in “the commons” — the body of work 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 that give everyone from individual creators to major companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to pre-clear copyrights to their creative work. CC licenses let people easily change their copyright terms from the default of "all rights reserved" to "some rights reserved."

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They apply on top of copyright, so you can modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs. We’ve collaborated with intellectual property experts all around the world to ensure that our licenses work globally.

What Can Creative Commons Do for Me?

If you’ve created something and want people to know that you’re happy to have them share, use, and build upon your work, you should consider publishing under a Creative Commons license. CC’s legal infrastructure gives you flexibility (for example, you can choose to only pre-clear non- commercial uses) and protects the people who use your work (so that they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the terms you have specified).

If you’re an artist, student, educator, scientist, or other creator looking for content that you can freely and legally use, there is a giant pool of CC-licensed creativity available to you. There are many millions of works — from songs and videos to scientific and academic content — that you can use under the terms of our copyright licenses.

Above content reproduced under Creative Commons license.

How Can I Find Works Licensed Under Creative Commons Licenses?

Many Internet services allow for searching by Creative Commons licenses including Google, Flickr, blip.tv, and Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons maintains a Search Page that provides links to these services.

Creative Commons also supports DiscoverEd, an experimental project from ccLearn which attempts to provide scalable search and discovery for educational resources on the web. Metadata, including the license and subject information available, are exposed in the result set.