Then What is Creative Commons?

Most people believe that it is illegal to download music and video files from
the Internet, and in most scenarios they are right. Still it can be legal to
download files – all you have to do is to look out for the Creative Commons mark  ‘CC’.

Creative Commons, also known as ‘CC’, is a non-profit organization that allows artists, authors, publishers and musicians the opportunity of creating a flexible copyright law for their works. That means that others are available to legally build upon and to share.

The CC organization has released many copyright licenses known as ‘Creative Commons licenses’. The licenses allow the artists to determine which rights they reserve, and which rights they dispense with for the benefit of other artists.

The Copyleft Movement

Creative Commons has been described as being at the forefront of the ‘Copyleft’ movement. The Copyleft which, in contrast to the copyright law, allows every person who receives a copy of the work permission to reproduce, vary or spread the work as long as any copies or variations are also bound by the same Copyleft license law.

Creative Commons seeks to support the building of a larger and richer public area by providing an alternative to the normal ‘all rights reserved’ copyright; the ‘some rights reserved’ law.

A free to use image of a camera- creative commons
Free to use images

The artists can login to the ‘Creative Commons System’ and select what
restrictions, attributes or modifications they wish to assign to their works,
and then the Creative Commons site will produce three CC licenses for the work.

The Licensing Rights

Creative Commons will provide a commons deed in the licensing rights written in English. They will also then provide a legal code for the license as well as a digital license code. For verification on a website search, it is required that the user insert this digital code. Search engines will then install the same code to identify and recognize any license condition. Searches are then set to determine the different types of licenses attached to shared content.

The Creative Commons site also features a website icon that can mark the work as ‘Some Rights Reserved’ or ‘No Rights Reserved’. There are a variety of license options for the artist so that they can grant some rights to the public and retain some other rights.

Artist caligraphy-creative commons

Photo by OVAN from Pexels

As web designers we have to make sure we are respecting the creative license with images. We include a clause in our contracts that ensures clients are aware of the severity of misuse. With so many resources available these days for free use it is not necessary to use any without permission. Many artists and photographers offer their images free. The idea is that we give them credit as in the picture above so their work reaches a wider audience.

Different types of Creative Commons licenses:

  1. Non-commercial. A non-commercial license lets others copy, distribute, perform works, but only for noncommercial purposes, which also means that anyone using the work cannot profit from it.
  2. ShareAlike. A ShareAlike license allows others to distribute works under a license completely identical to the one held by the original copyright holder.
  3. No-derivative Works. A No-derivative Works allows others to copy, distribute and display the exact copy of written works. However, derivative works are not permitted.
  4. Attribution. An Attribution license means creative works are available for copy, distributed and/or display. Derivative works must also provide appropriate credit to the original copyright holder.

Creative Commons offers a free tool that let authors, artists, publishers,
musicians and even scientists, easily mark their work with the freedoms they want. Use CC to change your copyright terms from ‘All Rights Reserved’ to ‘Some Rights Reserved’ allowing people to share the files.

Most people believe it is illegal to download music and video files from the Internet, and generally they are right. To find legal to download files – all you have to do is to look after the Creative Commons mark ‘CC’. CC allows you to download and share files on the Internet. There are a variety of license options for the artist to grant some rights and retain others.