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December 18, 2008

Creative Commons Explained

We've mentioned the Creative Commons a few times on this blog, so we thought we'd take a little bit of time to explain what it is incase you weren't already familiar with it. The Creative Commons was founded to help those in the image making business in order to make it easier to grant copyright on images and also to find and share those images. The two part function means that you can protect your work and use the Creative Commons engine as a search tool.

Let's start by looking at the image licensing. At first glance many of the licenses might sound a bit odd: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs, Attribution-ShareAlike? The Creative Commons uses a system of gradated copyright licenses. This way there's a little more lee way between a full all rights reserved copyright and a completely public image. You can check the Creative Commons license page for a full explanation.

Here's a brief description of what the symbols mean:
Attribution: All licenses require that you cite the source of the image.
No Derivative: You may not alter the image in your own work.
Non-Commerical: You can't use the image for any project that will make money.
Share Alike: If you alter or transform the image, you must relicense the image in the same way.

The search box at the Creative Commons allows you to check whether you want to find an image you can publish or alter. The image above was found using a Creative Commons search and is licensed as Attribution-Share Alike. This means that I must attribute the image to Al Abut's flickr page, and if I were to alter it in some way, I would have to alter the image as Attribution-Share Alike as well.

Posted by hthrlowe at December 18, 2008 05:00 PM


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