Difference between revisions of "Platform Integration Guide"

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Revision as of 02:24, 14 October 2014

This guide provides a non-exhaustive list of policies, guidelines, and recommendations for platforms planning to integrate Creative Commons licensing. Technological integration recommendations are being developed separately and linked to from this page.


  • If you make a change to the text of any CC license, you may no longer refer to it as a Creative Commons or CC license, and you may not use any CC trademarks (including the Creative Commons name) or branding in connection with the license. This includes website terms of service or other resources that impose on reusers of CC-licensed material additional conditions or that narrow the permissions granted by the CC license. See the CC License Modification Policy for more information.
  • All uses of CC trademarks and logos must adhere to CC’s Trademark Policy, unless otherwise agreed by CC.


There are many considerations relevant to terms of use for websites integrating CC licensing to their platform. CC has published a website terms of service guide.


  • Use the most current version of our legal tools (currently, version 4.0 for licenses and version 1.0 for CC0), and ideally provide that content may be used under that version or any later version (more on this below).
  • Clearly and properly mark all CC-licensed content on the website with appropriate metadata so that it is machine-readable.
  • Reasonably communicate to users what Creative Commons is and how CC licenses work, either on the website or by linking back to CC’s website. Here are some examples:
  • Enable users to apply a CC license to their works easily at point of upload, and to indicate third party content under separate terms. See CC’s [Web Integration|Website Integration Guide]].
  • Enable users to change the license on any individual work at any point and make other users aware of that change. (Keep in mind, however, that CC licenses are irrevocable, so anyone who received the work under the original license has permission under that license perpetually unless they breach its terms.)
  • Enable website users to search and filter by reuse rights (e.g., commercial uses allowed) or by type of CC license. For example, Flickr allows website visitors to search for content by license type.
  • Enable downloading of content in editable format, preferably in non-proprietary, non-DRM, open formats.

Additional considerations

  • Consider limiting the available CC license options for uploaders. For example:
    • An Open Educational Resources (OER) aggregation website may want to limit license choices to those that allow adaptations, so that the OER may be translated and otherwise localized.
    • If you seek compatibility with YouTube, use CC BY 4.0.
    • If you seek compatibility with Wikipedia, use CC BY 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, or the CC0 Public Domain Dedication.
  • In addition to allowing uploads of original content created by the uploader, consider allowing users to upload content owned by others (“third-party content”), content that incorporates third-party content, and content derived from third-party content. When doing so, consider the following recommendations:
    • to properly allow the upload of third-party CC-licensed content, your website terms of service should not require a direct license from the uploader (CC licenses do not allow sublicensing without express consent of the licensor), and your platform cannot impose Effective Technological Measures without the consent of the licensor. See our website terms of service guide for more information.
    • make it clear what type of third party content may be uploaded – for example, CC-licensed content? content used under fair use? etc;
    • provide an easy-to-use mechanism for marking third-party content at the point of upload;
    • make that marking viewable, with relevant links for third-party attribution and the original sources where possible; and
    • integrate easy-to-use functionality for downstream users to carry through that information upon re-sharing; e.g., a feature that auto-generates a plaintext or HTML attribution statement.