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Creative Commons

An overview of Creative Commons history and use, licensing, and resources for authors/creators.

Creative Commons

"Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation." -Creative Commons, Mission Statement

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization and a movement that promotes the sharing of creativity and knowledge by providing easy-to-use copyright licenses. Creative Commons licenses work alongside traditional copyright to suit your needs.

Advantages of Creative Commons

There are many advantages associated with using Creative Commons licenses. Below are a few highlighted advantages via For additional benefits, see benefits of CC.

  • CC provides global recognition
    • An increasing amount of digital content sites, such as Flickr, Youtube, and Vimeo, allow contributors to apply CC licenses during the upload process. These generic licenses and jurisdiction-tailored licenses are applicable internationally. See more at, CC Affiliate Network.
  • CC licenses are easy to understand
    • Creative Commons makes it easy to maintain copyright, while allowing others to reuse content. Creators can select the CC licenses that best fits their need through the license generator.
  • CC offers flexibility
    • Creative Commons offers a variety of licensing options and allows creators to select an appropriate license, instead of a one-size-fits-all terms of use agreement.
  • CC supports a culture of sharing
    • Using CC licenses can be an effective way of encouraging norms of sharing and reuse within an online community.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Feel free to reuse, remix, or republish but please credit the authors for their work.

Created by: Emma Molls

Abbey Elder's picture
Abbey Elder
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University

These links provide additional information on the Creative Commons movement and licenses.