Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation, best known for their publicly reusable licences, that promote the legal sharing and improvement on creative works. The licences used do not replace copyright, but rather place a series of "terms-and conditions" that the author may impose on their creative works, instead of using a generic "all rights reserved" policy, resulting in a low-overhead, simple to use licence that can be exported almost anywhere.
Terms and conditions
Various forms of the Creative Commons License are often used. The most common conditions that granting authors place on Creative Commons-licensed work include the following conditions, or combinations thereof:
- Attribution: users of the work must attribute it properly to the author.
- Non-commercial: No one may use a work licensed under this condition for commercial purposes without the author's permission.
- Share-Alike: Anyone who transforms the work must release the work so transformed to others under the same or similar license terms.
- No derivatives: No one may transform the work, or derive another work from it, without the express written permission of the author.
CC-BY-SA is a license of more than 3,100 words that exists in several different versions (e.g., "3.0"). It was adopted by Wikipedia in 2009 to replace the GFDL, the even more complicated license that Wikipedia was previously using.
In the time it takes you to figure out what this Wikipedia-preferred license means, you probably could have found something better in the public domain.
The Creative Commons site provides links to repositories of Creative Commons-licensed works. In addition, the multimedia sharing service Flickr advises its users on how to license their work under Creative Commons, if they so desire.