What is Creative Commons?

The Creative Commons is a global non-profit project that aims for the sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge. Creative Common Licences are free to use legal tools and symbols that allow content creators to easily dictate how their creations can be used by others.

There are millions of freely available items online under Creative Commons licenses. The aim of contributors and users is not necessarily to circumvent copyright, but to participate in a “copyleft” movement that seeks to create a richer body of public domain works.

To find Creative Common and Public Domain items check out our Open Educational Resources Page.

Creative Commons Symbols

To help you identify restrictions (or lack thereof) Creative Commons uses symbols. Below is a list of the most commonly used symbols.

attribution iconAttribution (BY)
Others can copy, distribute, display, perform, and remix your work if they credit your name
Non-Commercial IconNon-Commercial (NC)
Others can copy, distribute, display, perform, or remix your work, but for non-commercial purposes only
No Derivatives IconNo Derivatives (ND)
Others can only copy, distribute, display and perform verbatim copies of your work
Share Alike IconShare Alike (SA)
Others can distribute your work only under a license identical to the one you have chosen for your work
Public Domain IconPublic Domain (CC0)
You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
No Known Copyright IconNo Known Copyright (PDM)
This work has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighbouring rights.