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Creative Commons Licensing

This guide is a basic primer to Creative Commons Licensing.

Creative Commons and Copyright

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.

Creative Commons copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work. 

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs. (Creative Commons website, which is licensed as CC-BY).

When you create something, you already have the copyright, but you can add the Creative Commons license layer to that work. You are not giving up your copyright, but specifically modifying your copyright to indicate how that content can be used by others. As Educause states:

Higher education is rooted in the belief that the free exchange of knowledge is fundamental to the common good, and faculty and researchers in large numbers have begun using Creative Commons licenses to facilitate a climate of openness and sharing. 


This LibGuide provides information on:



All original content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All linked-to content adheres to its respective license.

Creative Commons License