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Dahlgren Memorial Library

Copyright for Online or Virtual Classroom

Creative Commons licenses

While an image may not be part of a library subscription, it may still have a license from Creative Commons attached to it. Using a Creative Commons license is an alternative way to alert users to what they can or cannot do with the image. 

There are six different Creative Commons licenses available to users. It is good to be familiar with what the different licenses mean and what they look like. Each license will be discussed below. 

All licenses are appropriate for using images in the classroom.

 

 

  • Attribution is the first Creative Commons license, which is the most broad and allows for the most use, may also be called CC BY. The Attribution license allows users to remix, build upon, and redistribute even commercially as long as the original owner is attributed. The attribution license logo contains a CC denoting Creative Commons and the human denoting the need for attribution. 

 image of attribution creative commons license 

 

 

  • Attribution ShareAlike is the second Creative Commons license and may also be called CC BY-SA. This license allows users to remix and build upon the original work even for commercial purposes as long as the original work is attributed and new creations are licensed under identical terms. New works based off of the original will have the same license so derivatives will allow for commercial use. The Attribution ShareAlike logo contains a CC denoting Creative Commons, the Human denoting the need for attribution, and the copyleft denoting the need to license new work under identical terms.

 image of the share-alike creative commons license

 

 

  • Attribution NoDerivs is the third Creative Commons license and may also be called CC BY-ND. The Attribution NoDerivs license allows users to distribute, download, or share the original work even commercially. However the owner must be attributed and users are not able to modify or create derivatives of the original work. If derivatives are made, they may not be distributed. The Attribution NoDerivs license logo contains a CC denoting Creative Commons, the Human denoting the need for attribution, and the equal sign denoting no derivatives.

 example of the no-derivs creative commons license

 

 

  • Attribution Non-Commercial is the fourth Creative Commons license and may also be called CC BY-NC. The Attribution Non-Commercial license allows users to modify or build upon original work, distribute, or download but not for commercial purposes. Although new works must also acknowledge original user and be non-commercial, users don't have to license their derivative works on the same terms. The Attribution Non-Commercial logo contains a CC denoting Creative Commons, the human denoting the need for attribution, and the crossed out dollar sign denoting non-commercial.  

 image of the non-commercial creative commons license

 

 

  • Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike is the fifth Creative Commons license and may also be called CC BY-NC-SA. This license allows users to modify and build upon the original work however not commercially and must attribute the original owner. The derivative works must be licensed on the same terms. The Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike logo contains a CC denoting Creative Commons, the human denoting the need for attribution, the crossed out dollar sign denoting non-commercial, and the copyleft symbol denoting the need to license new work under identical terms. 

 image of the non-commercial share-alike creative commons license

 

 

  • Attribution Non-Commercial NoDerivs is the sixth Creative Commons license and may also be called CC BY-NC-ND. This license allows users to download and distribute work but not commercially, must attribute the original work, and may not create derivatives. If derivatives are made, they are not allowed to be distributed.The Attribution Non-Commercial NoDerivs logo contains a CC denoting Creative Commons, the human denoting Creative Commons, the crossed out dollar sign denoting non-commercial, and the equal sign denoting no derivatives. 

image of the Non-Commercial, No-Derivs Creative Commons license

How to Attribute a CC license?

In all of the CC licenses listed, it is best practice to attribute the original creator. 

Best practices of attribution are: 

  • include the title of the image
  • include the author, and his/her/their contact pages if it exists
  • source with a link to the origin
  • license deed, with a link to it

Disclaimer

The purpose of this guide is to provide resource and information for resolving image use questions. This research guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.