Founded by Lawrence Lessig in 2001 with the support of the Center for the Public Domain, Creative Commons is devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share by making available several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public that allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. These licenses are not meant to replace copyright, but are based upon it. Instead, they replace individual negotiations for specific rights between copyright owner (licensor) and licensee, which are necessary under an "all rights reserved" copyright management with a "some rights reserved" management employing standardized licenses for re-use cases where no commercial compensation is sought by the copyright owner. The result is an agile, low overhead and cost copyright management regime, profiting both copyright owners and licensees.
Creative Commons content has potential use as an alternative to public domain material. If you are seeking either textual or multimedia content to incorporate into your own work, you may want to consider investigating the collection of CC licensed work. Creative Commons has featured on its site a simplified search portal. From CC's website:
Please note that search.creativecommons.org is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations. CC has no control over the results that are returned. Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license. You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link. Since there is no registration to use a CC license, CC has no way to determine what has and hasn't been placed under the terms of a CC license. If you are in doubt you should contact the copyright holder directly, or try to contact the site where you found the content.
In addition, some content sharing sites make available Creative Commons licensed works and enable searching with relative ease.
Sources: Wikipedia; Creative Commons
This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.Attribution-ShareAlikeThis license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.Attribution-NoDerivsThis license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.Attribution-NonCommercialThis license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivsThis license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
Please note that the above information is for reference purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It is advisable to always conduct a Fair Use Analysis whenever there is a question regarding the lawful use of copyrighted material. If, after careful evaluation, it is determined that the use of particular material would violate copyright law, or if you need to purchase copyright permissions for such use, please contact Matthew Van Sleet at 781.891.2311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.