Creative Commons licenses
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001.
These licenses all grant certain baseline rights, such as the right to distribute the copyrighted work on file sharing networks. The rest of the license depends on the version, and is comprised of a selection of four conditions:
- Attribution (by): Permit others to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and derivative works based upon it only if they give you credit.
- Noncommercial or NonCommercial (nc): Permit others to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and derivative works based upon it only for noncommercial purposes.
- No Derivative Works or NoDerivs (nd): Permit others to copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based upon it.
- ShareAlike (sa): Permit others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work. (See also copyleft.)
Mixing and matching these conditions produces sixteen possible combinations, of which eleven are valid Creative Commons licenses. Of the five invalid combinations, four include both the "nd" and "sa" clauses, which are mutually exclusive; and one includes none of the clauses, which is equivalent to releasing one's work into the public domain. The five of the eleven valid licenses that lack the Attribution element have been phased out because 98% of licensors requested Attribution, but are still available for viewing on the website . There are thus six regularly used licenses:
- Attribution alone (by)
- Attribution + Noncommercial (by-nc)
- Attribution + NoDerivs (by-nd)
- Attribution + ShareAlike (by-sa)
- Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivs (by-nc-nd)
- Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike (by-nc-sa)
Creative Commons licenses are currently available in 34 different jurisdictions worldwide, with nine others under development. 
Creative Commons also offers a number of "special" licenses, as well as an easy way to deposit material into the public domain. The special licenses are:
- Sampling licenses, with three options:
- Sampling - pieces of the work can be used for any purpose other than advertising.
- Sampling Plus - people can take and transform pieces of the work for any purpose other than advertising; noncommercial copying of the entire work is also allowed.
- Noncommercial Sampling Plus - people can take and transform pieces of the work for noncommercial purposes only. Noncommercial copying and distribution (like file-sharing) of the entire work are also allowed.
- A developing nations License, which only applies to countries deemed by the World Bank as a "non-high-income economy".
None of the Creative Commons licenses have been certified by the Open Source Initiative. The maintainers of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution do not believe that even the Creative Commons Attribution License, the least restrictive of the licenses, adheres to the Debian Free Software Guidelines due to the license's anti-DRM provisions and its requirement in section 4a that downstream users remove an author's credit upon request from the author. As the other licenses are identical to the Creative Commons Attribution License with further restrictions, Debian considers them non-free for the same reasons. The Free Software Foundation (and other organizations, such as the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which use the GFDL it created) accepts the licenses for creative works other than software and software documentation, provided the "nc" and "nd" options are not used, but recommends the Free Art license over any form of Creative Commons Licenses, citing the commonly used but overly vague statement "I use a Creative Commons license" , without noting the actual license.
- Wikipedia:Image_copyright_tags#Creative_Commons_Licenses - Wikipedia's policy on using CC licensed material
- Portions of this article are taken from the Creative Commons website, published under the Creative Commons Attribution License v1.0.
- ^ debian-legal Summary of Creative Commons 2.0 Licenses by Evan Prodromou
- ^ GNU.org
- Full selection of licenses
- Creative Commons web site
- debian-legal Summary of Creative Commons 2.0 Licenses