Licensing Portal for Educators/Choosing a License

From Creative Commons
Jump to: navigation, search

Licensing Portal for Educators Home

Offering your educational work under a Creative Commons license does not mean giving up your copyright. You still own the copyright in your work even if you license it more openly. When you offer your work under a CC license, you are simply choosing to open up some of those rights previously constrained under “all rights reserved” copyright law and you are offering to share these rights with any member of the public, but only under certain conditions.

What are these conditions? Well, there are four. One condition that all of our licenses require is that you give attribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor.


By.large.png You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.

Example: Jane, a 6th grade science teacher, takes her kids out into the field to explore the different kinds of mushrooms. She takes photographs of the different species of mushrooms and writes up a description about each one for her students. She then publishes these photographs with their blurbs online under an Attribution license, because she wants other teachers (and anyone else interested) to use her pictures as long as they give her credit. Bob, an 8th grade science teacher, finds her photographs online and wants to post them on his site for his students to study as part of an upcoming quiz on “the fungus among us”. Bob posts Jane’s pictures on his site, clearly indicating Jane’s authorship.

Our core licensing suite will also let you mix and match conditions from the list of options below. There are a total of six Creative Commons licenses to choose from our core licensing suite.


Nc.large.png You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only

Example: Jane actually decides to publish her fungi photographs under a Noncommercial license. Bob prints Jane’s photographs off her website. Bob is not allowed to sell the print photographs without Jane’s permission. Similarly, a science magazine wants to include Jane’s photographs in a special fungus issue. The magazine cannot publish the photographs in this issue and then sell the issues for a profit without Jane’s permission.

No Derivative Works

Nd.large.png You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

Example: Jane licenses her set of photographs with a No Derivative Works license. Bob would like to use Jane’s photographs to make a quiz for his students, but he wants to change the text accompanying them and tweak the color of the photographs a little. Bob cannot do this without Jane’s permission (unless his song amounts to fair use).

Share Alike

Sa.large.png You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

Note: A license cannot feature both the Share Alike and No Derivative Works options. The Share Alike requirement applies only to derivative works.

Example: Jane’s fungus photos are licensed under the Noncommercial and Share Alike terms. Camille is an art teacher who wants to make an example collage to show her students how to make one. She takes Jane’s photos and puts them into her collage and then publishes it online so her students can refer to it at home. The Share Alike language requires Camille to make her collage available on a Noncommercial plus Share Alike license. It makes her offer her work back to the world on the same terms Jane gave her.

More examples are available on our examples page. Also note that every license carries with it a full set of other rights (baseline rights link) in addition to the allowances specifically made here.