external image somerights20.pngWhat's this "Creative Commons" thing I keep seeing everywhere?

Creative Commons is a way of maintaining a copyright, but giving permission for certain uses. People who chose to put their content under a Creative Commons License have a menu of options to select as to what can and cannot be done with their creation, but the most basic of these is Attribution.


The bottom line is that if you see the Creative Commons symbol, you don't need to ask permission before you borrow that content. (Provided you pay attention to the rights that have been reserved.)


Anything you use that was placed under a Creative Commons License must be attributed to the copyright holder, but there's more than one way to do that. If you're placing the copyrighted work online, the easiest thing to do is link back to the page where you found the original. If the work is being shown offline, you can still list the URL or the name of the site combined with the name of the copyright holder. Some people cite the work by giving just the name of the site (Ex: The image was found on Flickr.com), but you're encouraged to be more specific if possible.


For more on Creative Commons and its different versions, check out this page from CreativeCommons.org.