Creative Commons (CC) is a standardised system for licensing the use of copyright materials. It is a copyright-based system of licences or "permissions."
Depending on the permissions the licenser allows, the licensee can copy, publish in digital form, publicly perform whether all or a substantial part of it, on specified baseline rights:
CC Symbol by Jo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licence. Based on a work at www.flickr.com by Kalexanderson.
There is much content available that you can use:
You see a photograph, cartoon, video clip, textual document or other work under a Creative Commons licence and wish to use it. What can you do?
The most basic licence allows you to copy, distribute, display, perform, edit, remix and build upon the work for commercial or non commercial purposes, provided you attribute the creator, additional creators and link to the source
Often, however, a CC licence will have one or more additional elements which carry further licensing terms:
NC -Non Commercial
|For non-commercial purposes only|
|ND - No Derivatives||You can only redistribute verbatim (in whole and unchanged) copies of the work|
|SA - Share Alike||If you edit, remix or build upon the work, you need to license the new creation under the identical terms|
Example: Look at the Creative Commons Licence logo underneath the "CC Symbol" photograph in the "What is Creative Commons" box. The BY and SA symbols means you can copy, remix, adapt and build on the work as Jo has done, provided you distribute it under the same licence term like she has.
The same principles apply to providing attribution across all CC licences. You should:
Do I have to attribute the work in a particular style? No. There is flexibility in the way that you convey this information. There are plenty of examples throughout this Creative Commons guide on how to attribute CC material, for instance, the images on the left hand side.
What if I am attributing offline? Where your reuse is offline, such as in a printed assignment, book or as part of an exhibition, you should apply the same principles. Since you cannot link, spell out the licence type and any urls in full.
What if I cannot find all of the details? You do not have to include any information that you cannot find. However, you should try to locate the relevant information for the material you are planning on using. If you need help, contact a librarian.
How do I attribute a work I've adapted? If you remix the work in any way, for example, by cropping it, adjusting brightness or replacing words, you have created a 'derivative work' of the original. A simple way to attribute the original work is "This work is a derivative of..." and attribute the work as you normally would. If your derivative work involves more than one original works, you could state "This work includes material from the following..." and list each original work, preferably stating the order you are listing them in (such as sequentially).
This text is a derivative from Attributing Creative Commons Materials factsheet by Creative Commons Australia & the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation / CC BY 2.5.