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Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that provides copyright owners with a number of free copyright licenses, which help copyright owners manage their rights and communicate to others how their works may be used. Creative Commons (CC) licenses provide a “some rights reserved” option for copyright owners who want to let others use their works under certain conditions. These licenses grant copyright permissions to allow others to copy, distribute, and make use of CC works. CC items are teaching, learning, and research materials that are either (a) in the public domain or (b) licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities (retain, reuse, revise, remix, redistribute).
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Creative Commons licenses provide copyright owners with different options to allow others to make use of their
works without asking for permission. Each bolded acronym below stands for a license requirement set by the
copyright owner/author. The license symbol is not always included in the citation. The license is usually listed at
the bottom of the resource associated with it.
BY Attribution. All Creative Commons licenses require attribution. A user may copy and distribute the work but the copyright holder (licensor) must receive credit for the original work. In addition to providingcredit, a user must indicate any changes they made to the original work.
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Creative Commons and Public Domain Licensing
In addition to the license options, Creative Commons provides a public domain waiver tool (CC0) and a Public
Domain Mark tool. Copyright owners may use the CC0 tool to waive all rights to their work, placing the work
within the public domain.