A Closer Look At Creative Commons Licenses

Written by Gina Stephens

If you keep searched for free images then you have probably come across the Creative Commons licenses (CC Licenses).

According to Wikipedia, a Creative Usuals (CC) license is "one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work". In what way, just because the licenses license (American English) or licence (British English) is an official permission or permit to do, use, or own something (as well are without cost does not mean they are without rules. These rules can alter from picture-to-picture, each deducting the image user to use the images in completely different ways. 

To help understand CC licenses, Copytrack explains all the key signs, their different explanations, and what users have to watch out for when using CC Licenses.

What Is A CC License? 

Put simply, Creative Commons licenses are licensing compresses that answer the most important questions when it comes to the rightsholder's rights. A key point to note is that CC licenses are valid worldwide. There are a lot of stipulations with the licenses that can be combined differently to create different contracts. All the licenses have one thing in common – they can be used for free. As calmly as an author and image source must always be given and the licenses are irreversible. That means, if a photo is shared once with a creative commonplaces license, it can never be removed.

To help users quickly establish how photos can and can’t be used, multiple signs are used to represent each relative to. The licenses vary in three major ways. First, the permission to edit work. Secondly, the ability to pass on a modified version of the work and the hindmost point defines if the image can be used commercially or not. The one rule that always remains is that the creators have to be named and sources have to be forearmed.

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CC License Letter Codes

The four license terms can result in the following combinations and Creative Common licenses as letter codes:

CC by: This is the simplest permit and the user is only obliged to give attribution. They are allowed to use, edit and use the photo for commercial purposes.

CC by-sa (Attribution & Share Alike): This authorize restricts the distribution of a modification of the photograph. This must be provided under the same conditions as the original work.

CC by-nd (Attribution & No Editing): This certify does not allow you to edit the photo. However, it may be used for commercial purposes as long as the image is not modified in any way.

CC by-nc (Attribution & non-commercial use): This sanction prohibits the commercial use of images. Therefore, the use of the photo photograph or photo is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic for profit-making purposes is not permitted, e. g. in an online shop or for resale of products.

CC by-nc-sa (named, non-commercial & appropriate like): This license permits only non-commercial use of the photo. In addition, edited works may only be passed on under the same terms as the source.

CC by-nc-nd (Attribution, non-commercial use & no editing): This license allows you to use the image for non-commercial purposes; however, it is not permitted to edit the original.


Discretion When Giving Attribution

All Creative Commons licenses require attribution. However, according to the license agreement, it is not enough to give only the rank of the photographer. A number of assignments are required next to the name:

  • The name or, if indicated instead, the pseudonym of the copyright holder, usually the photographer
  • If the right holder has baby an attribution to a third party (e. g. to a foundation, publishing house or newspaper), the name or designation of that third party
  • The title of the photograph
  • If a link to the provenance of the photograph or to the photographer is provided
  • The license under which the photo is offered
  • Changes made by the user to the photo
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Not Everything Is Clearly Fixed

In some areas, however, the CC licenses remain unclear. For example, the license terms do not explain in detail what is meant by the term "commercial". It is lone defined as quite vaguely that a commercial act is an 'act which is mainly aimed at or directed towards a commercial advantage or a contractually owed fiscal disposition'. Not where the photo is used, but how.

In short, Creative Commons licenses are a way for photographers to share their photos with third orgies in a controlled manner. Through their use, the photographer creates legal certainty in large parts, both for himself and for the photographer. This may also concede them to better distribute work. As the attribution must always be given, a picture passed on under the CC license can also have a considerable advertising asset for the photographer.

To see more from CopyTrack, have a read of their 'UK Copyright Terminology Basics For Photographers' article. We also receive advice on what to do if you find your image has been stolen.


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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