Creative Commons Licenses

Overview of Creative Commons licenses.

The 6 Creative Commons Licenses

The four license elements make up the six Creative Commons licenses, providing the author with more or less control over the re-use of their works and providing the user with more or less leeway over their own re-use of a work.

License Elements

The four license elements are mixed and matched on each license in order to clearly signal to potential users how and in what capacities and settings the work can be used.


Attribution or "BY": All licenses have this element. It requires attributing the author of the original work and linking back to the original work.





Non-commercial: Not to be used for commercial purposes.  Three CC licenses have this attribute.




No Derivatives: No sharing of derivative works. Two of the CC Licenses have this element.





Share-Alike: Derivatives must have the same license.  Two of the CC licenses have this element.

Public Domain

CC0 is a public domain dedication tool that, while also a copyright tool like the CC licenses, also covers additional rights such as non-competition laws. CC0 allows creators to release copyright entirely; while CC0 frees up copyright infringement, other rights, such as trademark and patent, may still need to be adhered to and followed in order to prevent other violations of author rights.

Attributions & License

Creative Commons License
This work "Creative Commons Licenses" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License and is a derivative of the September 2020 Creative Commons Certificate Course by Creative Commons, also licensed CC BY 4.0. DeeAnn Ivie adapted content from the Creative Commons Certificate Course adding it to the "Creative Commons Licenses" Libguide.