Creative Commons and Whether You Can Use Certain Images
What is Creative Commons?
Their story is best told by them:
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.
But this is not copyright! Instead, the concept exists to work with copyright, in order to help you refine the rights in your work. Also, it can work to help you understand the nuances of rights in others’ works. But which others? Cover artists and songwriters, to name two.
Can I use all of the images I find online?
Absolutely not. Just because you can right-click an image or take a screenshot does not mean you have the right to just take it. And do not get me started on wiping off someone else’s photographic watermark.
Just don’t do it. Don’t be a jerk.
Currently, CC specifies six separate types of licenses. So be sure to click and read the specifics!
- Attribution CC BY – this is the most open of the licenses. It allows others to do nearly anything to a creative work.
- Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA – this one is similar to CC BY. Except, it requires you attribute to the original artist. Wikipedia uses this one!
- Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND – you can pass along the work. However, you can’t alter it. And you must credit the creator.
- Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC – you can alter the original work, but you must credit the original artist. Furthermore, you can’t make any money from the work.
- Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA – this one is the same as CC BY-NC. Except, you must license any new creations under identical terms.
- Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND – this is the most restrictive license, allowing for sharing. But attribution is required. Also, you cannot make any changes. Further, the sharer can’t make any money off the creative work.