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What is the Creative Commons?

A copyright holder may explicitly grant permissions (particularly, online) for use of his or her work under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools. These tools help those who want to encourage reuse of their works by offering them for use under generous, standardized terms; those who want to make creative uses of works; and those who want to benefit from this symbiosis.  Examples of CC licenses include:

  • CC BY:  This license lets you distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the copyright holder's work, even commercially, as long as you credit the copyright holder for the original creation
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  • CC BY-NC:  This license lets you remix, tweak, and build upon the copyright holder's work non-commercially.  Although your new works must also acknowledge them and be non-commercial, you don’t have to license your derivative works on the same terms.
    CC-BY-NC license icon
  • CC BY-ND:  This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the copyright holder.
    CC-BY-ND license icon
  • Read more detail on the various CC licenses and their icons.
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