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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Online Instruction

Overview

Copyright law offers protections for original and fixed works from the moment they are created. Those protections include several exclusive rights that belong only to the copyright owner. Some authors want to allow users to share, adapt, and display their work without needing to ask permission. Using a license provides clear conditions for what kind of uses the author wants to allow and which they do not.

Think about a driver's license. A driver's license indicates that you have permission to legally operate a motor vehicle. If you get caught driving without a license, then your use of the car is illegal. With the license, your use becomes permissible. However, the driver's license isn't all-encompassing. If you want to legally drive an 18-wheeler, you need a special license. Creative Commons licenses work similarly by providing authors several licenses to select from that convey different permissions to the user.

The Six Licenses

Creative Commons is a well-known, standardized method of communicating which rights an author wants to share with users. They provid six difference licenses that can be easily applied to your work.

Creative Commons Licenses

There are six different license types, listed from most to least:

CC BY: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

CC BY includes the following elements:

BY – Credit must be given to the creator

 

CC BY-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.

CC BY-SA includes the following elements:

BY – Credit must be given to the creator

SA – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms

 

CC BY-NC: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

CC-BY-NC includes the following elements:

BY – Credit must be given to the creator

NC – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted

 

CC BY-NC-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.

CC BY-NC-SA includes the following elements:

BY – Credit must be given to the creator

NC – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted

SA – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms

 

CC BY-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

CC BY-ND includes the following elements:

BY – Credit must be given to the creator

ND – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

 

CC BY-NC-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

CC BY-NC-ND includes the following elements:

BY – Credit must be given to the creator

NC – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted

ND – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

Finding CC Licensed Materials

General

Images

Music and Audio

The TASL Method of Attribution

The TASL Method was developed by the creators of the Creative Commons licenses as an easy way to provide attribution for Creative Commons licensed materials. This method ensures that all aspects of the license are being properly met.

TASL stands for Title, Author, Source, and License:

  • Title - If a title was provided for the material, include it. Sometimes a title is not provided; in that case, you can ignore this part.
  • Author - Include the name the author. It is also a best practice to link to the author's profile on the website you are using, if available.
  • Source - Provide the source of the material so others can find it. This is usually a URL or hyperlink where the material resides. The hyperlink can be included in the title to make the citation more visually appealing.
  • License - Remember that there are six different CC licenses; which one is the material under? Name and provide a link to it, eg. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ for CC BY.

The above text was borrowed from the Wikipedia page on this method, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Here is how the citation for this page looks:

"Best practices for attribution." Creativecommons.org. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.