Creative Commons Licenses Explained

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization that provides free licenses for creators to use when making their work available to the public. These licenses help the creator to give permission for others to use the work in advance under certain conditions.

Every time a work is created, such as when a journal article is written or a photograph taken, that work is automatically protected by copyright. Copyright protection prevents others from using the work in certain ways, such as copying the work or putting the work online.

CC licenses allow the creator of the work to select how they want others to use the work. When a creator releases their work under a CC license, members of the public know what they can and can’t do with the work. This means that they only need to seek the creator’s permission when they want to use the work in a way not permitted by the licensee.

The great thing is that all CC licenses allow works to be used for educational purposes. As a result, teachers and students can freely copy, share and sometimes modify and remix a CC work without seeking the permission of the creator as long as the student/teacher gives credit for the work in the way the creator requested.
Each element has its own icon and abbreviation, making them easy to identify. There are four standard license elements:

Attribution (BY)
You must credit the creator, the title and the license the work is under. This is compulsory for all Creative Commons licenses..

Non-commercial (NC)
Any use of the work must be for noncommercial purposes only. For example, file sharing, educational use and film festivals are all allowed, but advertising and for- profit uses are not.

No Derivative Works (ND)
The work can only be used exactly how it is. The work cannot be adapted or modified in any way.
This means you will need to get extra permission if you want to remix the work, crop a photo, edit down text or use a song in a film.

Share Alike (SA)
Any new work produced using this material must be made available under the same license as the original work. So, for example, if you remix a work under an Attribution- Share Alike license, you have to release the new work you create under an Attribution- Share Alike licence.