What is Creative
November 15th 2005
Creative Commons is a nonprofit
organization that allows artists, authors, publishers and musicians the
option of creating and defining a flexible copyright for their creative
works. Creative Commons was officially launched in 2001 by a group of
intellectual property experts, lawyers and web publishers. Creative
Commons licenses cover art, music, and writing, but is not designed for
A Creative Commons license allows creators to place conditions on their
copyrights. Traditionally, copyrights restrict the rights of others from
modifying or distributing copy-written works. Creative Commons licenses
offer flexibility by allowing the creator (copyright holder) the ability
to choose what limitations they want in place with respect to specific
How Creative Commons Works
Creators login to the Creative Commons System and
select what restrictions, attributes or modifications they wish to
assign to their creative works.
The Creative Commons site will then produce a Creative Commons
license for the creative works expressed in three ways. Creative
Commons will provide: a commons deed clearly stating the licensing
rights in plain English, legal code for the license, and a digital
license code. The digital code can be embedded into websites and
search engines. Yahoo has a new Creative Commons search which
identifies works and recognizes any licensing conditions. Searches
can be conducted for different types of licenses. The Creative
Commons site also provides a website icon that clearly marks the
creative work as Some Rights Reserved or No Rights Reserved.
A variety of license options exist for the copyright holder.
Assigning a Creative Commons license does not mean that the
copyright holder is relinquishing rights to a piece of art, it
merely means some conditions could be placed on the use of creative
Examples of Creative Common License Options
A Creative Commons license enables copyright holders to grant some
of their rights to the public while retaining other rights.
NonCommercial - A non-commercial license lets others copy,
distribute, perform creative works and derivative works, but only
for noncommercial purposes (anyone using the creative works cannot
profit from it).
ShareAlike - A ShareAlike license allows others to distribute
derivative works under a license identical to the one held by the
original copyright holder.
NoDerivative Works - A NoDerivative Works clause allows others to
copy, distribute, display and perform the exact copywritten works
and no derivative works can be created.
Attribution - An Attribution license means creative works can be
copied, distributed, displayed, or performed and derivative works
can be created, provided that appropriate credit to the original
copyright holder is given.
Many artists feel that a Creative Commons license increases their
exposure but still allows them to retain their rights to the
creative works, striking a balance between ownership, credit and
use. Ultimately, a Creative Commons license enables copyright
holders to grant some of their rights to the public while retaining
others; with Creative Commons the copyright holder retains the
flexibility to control the rights to their creative works.
Sharon manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing,
publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing
for FeedForDev an RSS component
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