This guide will enable you to:
1) Understand the basics of Creative Commons licenses.
2) Choose appropriate content for legal use in your work.
3) Understand how to share your future work appropriately with others.
Ownership of work
People automatically gain copyright over work they create, for example writing, recordings or artistic work. This stops other people from being legally able to copy, use, perform or claim ownership of your work.
Organisations automatically gain copyright to their employees’ work, presuming the work was completed in time for which they were paid (normally their working hours). This means Isca holds the copyright for work created by staff during paid working hours. Students are not employees so this doesn’t apply. Isca is instead allowed to use and modify student work as a result of agreements when students join the school, but students retain the copyright to the material they create.
At school and professionally, it's important to observe copyright restrictions correctly. Understanding how and when you have permission to use content in your work will help to avoid wasted time, disagreements, or potential legal cases.
Creative Commons (CC) Licenses
The Creative Commons License was created by Creative Commons, an American non-profit organisation, to make sharing work easier. It is an alternative to traditional copyright which allows people to more flexibility choose how their work is used.
There are 7 commonly used CC licenses:
1) Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or public domain
: others can use the work freely, without any restrictions.
2) Creative Commons Attribution (BY)
: others can use the work freely but must acknowledge the creator.
3) Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (BY-SA)
: others can use the work freely but must acknowledge the creator and share their own work under the same license.
4) Creative Commons Attribution + NonCommercial (BY-NC)
: others can only use the work or non-commercial purposes (cannot make money from the work), and must acknowledge the creator.
5) Creative Commons Attribution + NoDerivatives (BY-ND)
: others can use the work but cannot change it or use any part of it within their own work, and must acknowledge the creator.
6) Creative Commons Attribution + NonCommercial + ShareAlike (By-NC-SA)
: others can only use the work for non-commercial purposes (cannot make money from the work), must acknowledge the creator, and should only share their work under the same license.
7) Creative Commons Attribution + NonCommercial + NoDerivatives (By-NC-ND)
: others can only use the work for non-commercial purposes (cannot make money from the work), but cannot change it or use any part of it within their own work, and must acknowledge the creator.
Using content in your work
You can only use copyrighted content with the permission of the copyright holder. This is typically tricky to obtain. You can use content under a Creative Commons license without seeking permission first. We recommend you avoid using content under licenses 3, 5, 6, and 7, above.
This is because:
1) You would typically want to change or use parts of the content in your work. This would breach the “NoDerivatives” clause.
2) You may not wish to share your content in the same way, and if you’re using content with different licenses, this may not be possible. This would breach the “ShareAlike” clause.
We therefore recommend you do use content with licenses 1 (CC0), 2 (BY) and 4 (BY-NC), above.
Finding legal content
We recommend using the following services to find Creative Commons licensed content to use in your work:
Google Advanced Search
- set the “usage rights” to “free to use, share or modify, even commercially”.
Creative Commons search
- a good portal to other sites with content.
- the content used within Wikipedia and other sites.
- browse for all types of content.
- another search engine for CC0 content.
- to browse photos.
- to search for photos (advanced search options need to be set to "commercial use and modifications allowed”).
- free stock photos.
- artwork contributed by users.
- specifically for photos of animals.
- photographs of places. Check the link beside each image for specific license terms.
- photos of the UK. Check the link below each image for the specific license terms.
Open Clip Art
- Public domain clipart.
- the video sharing site for professionals. Usually higher quality and production standards than YouTube.
- videos from Pexels.
- the advanced search options allow you to find tracks “to modify commercially”. Only these tracks can be used.
YouTube Audio Library
- free music with attribution / no attribution licenses.
- full tracks and samples.
- a variety of different types of audio.
CCPlus at CCMixter
- click the track title to check the license.
Dig at CCMixter
- the content from the site above sorted for film/video, games, and commercial projects.