Creative Commons: An overview

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On October 12th 1988 the DMCA was passed by the United States Congress. This act established a new set of rules for using Copyrighted material digitally. It was very limited on what you could do with content on the Internet, without prior permission the owner. Fair Use could be used to use Images, and short snippets of text, and required attribution. However derivatives, and redistribution were acts that required consent of the copyright holder. In 2001 a non-profit organization called Creative Commons was established; its goal was to find a solution to many freedoms that had been taken away by DMCA, a tool for ease for many Copyright holders.

Creative Commons licences were therefore established. These licences provided many more freedoms, while following DMCA. All the licenses contained short abbreviations for each standard that was to be used. All licences names begun with cc standing for Creative Commons. Afterwards many other short snippets would exist. A copyright holder chooses how they want their content shared, if they want attributed and under what terms was it to be attributed. This provided a way for Copyright holders to be grant permission to users in advance on how they can redistribute their content.


This book will cover all of the licences ([CC stands for Creative Commons, BY stands for attribution, NC stands for non commercial, ND stands for no derivatives]CC-BY-SA, CC-NC-SA, CC-BY-NC-SA, CC-BY-NC, CC-BY, CC-ND-SA, CC-BY-ND, CC-BY-ND-SA, CC-NC-ND, CC-BY-NC-ND-SA, CC-NC-ND-SA) and will explain in depth what each license grants, exceptions, how it can be changed or altered, how it is used, and it complies with Copyright Law:


Table of Contents[edit]

  • Attribution
  • Sharealike
    • What is Sharealike?
    • Limits, and advantages of ShareAlike
  • commercial
    • What does non-commercial mean?
    • What can and can't be done with my work
  • No derivatives
    • What is a derivative?
    • What kinds of derivatives are there?