Which Creative Commons license should I use?

CreativeCommonscupcakes
Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco” by Timothy Vollmer is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Creative Commons makes it easy to choose a license that will allow others to use your work in the way that you intend. There are four factors that can be used to limit the ways people may use your work. They are listed here along with their abbreviation and a brief description:

  • Attribution (BY): Licensees must give you credit in the manner you specify.
  • Share-alike (SA): Licensees may only distribute derivative works if they license the derivative work with a license that is not more restrictive than the original license.
  • Noncommercial (NC): Licensees may not copy or distribute the work or derivatives of it for commercial purposes.
  • No derivative works (ND): Licensees may copy or distribute the original work but may not make derivative works from it.

By combining the compatible attributes, there are six possible Creative Commons licenses, plus the CC0 designation, which is used to release works into the public domain:

  • Public domain (CC0)
  • Attribution (BY)
  • Attribution; Share-alike (BY-SA)
  • Attribution; Noncommercial (BY-NC)
  • Attribution; No derivatives (BY-ND)
  • Attribution; Noncommercial; Share-alike (BY-NC-SA)
  • Attribution; Noncommercial; No derivatives (BY-NC-ND)

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