Creative commons licenses offer photographers, writers, musicians and others an alternative to a full copyright license that prohibits use of a work without express permission. They allow others to distribute work under specific conditions associated with each of the six main creative commons licenses.
Offering work under a creative commons license does not mean giving up copyright. An individual keeps his or her copyright but allows others to copy and distribute their work so long as owners are given credit.
Each license allows licensees, as long as they live up to the specific conditions of a license, to:
- Copy the work.
- Distribute it.
- Display or perform it publicly.
- Make digital public performances of it such as a webcast.
- Shift the work into another format as a verbatim copy.
Non-revocable and non-exclusive
Creative common licenses apply worldwide, last for the duration of the work’s copyright and are not revocable.
The licenses are all non-exclusive. You may permit the general public to use your work under a creative commons license and then enter into a separate and different non-exclusive license with someone else.
The licenses are also non-revocable. You cannot stop someone, who has obtained your work under a creative commons license, from using the work according to that license. However, you can stop distributing your work under a creative commons license at any time but this will not withdraw any copies of your work that already exist under a creative commons license from circulation.
Main types of creative commons licenses
- Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives
- Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike
- Attribution Non-commercial
- Attribution No Derivatives
- Attribution Share Alike
- Attribution License
Source: Creative Commons Organization