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Author Rights and Copyright: Creative Commons Licenses

What is a Creative Commons License?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that develops and supports legal and technical infrastructure to maximize digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. One resource that Creative Commons provides is licensing options to enable sharing of creative works.

A Creative Commons license allows for a standardized method of licensing creative works to grant users permission to share and use creative work with select conditions. There are six main types of licenses available--see the right side of the page for a description of each license.

Choose a License

Things to Know Before Licensing

Best Practices for Marking Content with CC Licenses

 

"Wana Work Together:" A three minute video that provides an overview of Creative Commons. Click the image to activate the video.

Creative Commons and Journals

Some journals and publishers offer authors the option of licensing their work using a Creative Commons (CC) license. Article publication fees may apply and depend on the type of CC license. Examples of journals/publishers include:

WU authors are entitled to discounts on article publication fees from select journals and publishers that offer Creative Commons (CC) licenses. See: Subsidized Open Access Fees for WU Authors.

Creative Commons Licenses

The following licenses are the main licenses offered by Creative Commons. The description of each license is from Creative Commons: About the Licenses page.

Attribution (CC BY)

The Attribution (CC BY) license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. It is recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

Attribution-Share Alike (CC BY-SA)

The Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND)

The Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND) license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

The Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

The Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)

The Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.