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Creative Commons: What is Creative Commons?

Compiled by Medical Research Library of Brooklyn


Copyright is an area of law that regulates the way the products of human creativity are used – like books, academic research articles, music, and art. Copyright grants a set of exclusive rights to a creator, so that the creator has the ability to prevent others from copying and adapting her work for a limited time. In other words, copyright law strictly regulates who is allowed to copy and share with whom. The internet has given us the opportunity to access, share, and collaborate on human creations (all governed by copyright) at an unprecedented scale. The sharing capabilities made possible by digital technology are in tension with the sharing restrictions embedded within copyright laws around the world. Creative Commons was created to help address the tension between creator’s ability to share digital works globally and copyright regulation. (Creative Commons)

Copyright and Creative Commons

Copyright and Creative Commons

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works. 

Copyright law gives creators certain kinds of control over their creative work. If people want to use copyrighted work, they often have to ask for permission from the creator. Most authors don't want to spend all their time answering requests or granting permissions to use their work. Creative Commons helps with this. Creative Common works in conjunction with copyright law. It is not an enemy but, a sidekick. It allows creators to grant permission to everyone in the world to use their work in the ways they want without giving up total control of their work. If the licensee does not abide by the restrictions placed on the Creative Commons license, their license is revoked and the use is deemed copyright infringement. 

Creative Commons - Video - Creative Commons Licenses Explained

Creative Common Licenses

Creative Commons Licenses

What are Creative Commons Licenses?

Creative Commons licenses give everyone from individual creators to large institutions a standardized way to grant the public permission to use their creative work under copyright law (Creative Commons).

The Creative Commons licenses are a set of tools that enable individual creators to large educational institutions or company a simple standardized way to enable copyright permissions to their creative work. Every Creative Commons license allows the creator to retain copyright whilst allowing others to copy and distribute and make use of their work non-commercially. The Creative Commons license also ensures creators get the recognition and credit for the work they produce and share. All of the Creative Commons licenses can be utilized worldwide and last as long as the applicable copyright lasts (University of Glasgow).

Types of Creative Common Licenses

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