Share, Remix, Reuse — Legally

Creative Commons

Logo-creativecommons-org.gif is the home of the Creative Commons (CC), a non-profit dedicated to helping copyright holders be able to distribute and share their work on the web. Creative Commons provides a series of licenses that allow artists, educators, authors, scientists and others to designate which rights to their work they wish to keep (if any) and which allows for common definitions of what rights others have to use, disseminate or modify their work.

The licenses provided by Creative Commons thusly provide an alternative to full copyrights without necessarily giving up certain copyrights that the creator of the works desire to keep. This helps the works' originators as well as the public by providing avenues for the sharing and proliferation of information, knowledge and creativity.

read the baseline rights and restrictions for all CC licenses


Creative Commons licenses allow users to mix and match core licensing types to restrict or accommodate rights on work.

  • CreativeCommonsPD.gif
    Public Domain -- Lets authors free works from copyright completely.
  • CreativeCommonsBy.gif
    By Attribution (by) -- Lets other distribute, modify, change and build upon your work as long as you are credited for the original creation. This includes the ability for other to sell the work commercially and allows them (providing they credit you) to change the licensing for the work they generate.
  • CreativeCommonsSA.gif
    Share-alike (sa) -- Allows for the licensing attributes to be required to carried into derivative works. So that a work provided as (by-sa) would allow users to distribute, modify, change and build upon your work (even for commercial gain), so long as the derivative product also carried the by-sa license.
  • CreativeCommonsND.gif
    No Derivatives (nd) -- Restricts the work to not allow derivatives of the work. This means others CANNOT modify or change your work. Used often as a "By Attribution, No Derivatives (by-nd)" to allow for work to be redistributed as long as you are credited and no changes are made to the work.
  • CreativeCommonsNC.gif
    Non-commercial (nc) -- Allows for distribution of the work as long as the use is for non-commercial gain.

These core types can then be compiled into various groups, allowing authors to describe completely what the licensing for their copyrighted works can carry. By example, a by-nc-nd license would be the most restrictive allowing for redistribution of works provided that the creator is credited, no derivatives are made and that they aren't used commercially.

read more about the license types, or use the Choose a License Form to help you get started.

Worldwide Licensing

While the original Creative Commons licensing was written with U.S. copyright laws in mind, the organization has been making headway into creating and drafting jurisdiction-specific licensing for other countries. Creative Commons International has completed and developed licenses for: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, mainland China, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, South Aftica, South Kora, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK: England and Wales; UK: Scotland, and the United States.

Developing licenses and discussing them is in progress for: Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Macedonia, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Serbia, and the Ukraine.

read more


When users choose to enact a Creative Commons license for their website, provides tools and tutorials on adding the license information to your website or links to free hosting services that have incorporated their licensing. Among the tools are information on including RDF/XML metadata with the works that will describe the license and the work, making it easier to automatically process and locate licensed works.

Creative Commons Licenses and AboutUs

Like several other wikis, most notably Wikipedia, AboutUs provides it's content under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), which allows users to copy, distribute, modifyand used commercially or non-commercially our content.

Unlike Wikipedia, we also operate our content under the Creative Commons By-Sa (By attribution, Share-alike) license which allows for content to be modified, changed, built upon and distributed so long as a) the work's creator(s) and AboutUs are credited for the work and b) that these licensing attributes be also carried onto derivative works.

What this means -- Generally, we believe that the only restrictions we present are in ways to protect our community of readers and writers and their freedoms to use and reuse content. Feel free to copy, redistribute and modify for commercial and non-commercial purposes, so long as AboutUs and any other creators continue to be attributed. As a nice aside, by complying with the GFDL, we believe that content from other sites like Wikipedia can be used on AboutUs (although due to the differences in the two wikis, generating original content or only using snippets of Wikipedia articles is preferred). For more information see AboutUs:Copyrights and Thoughts On Licensing.

Finding Creative Commons Licensed Material

There are several resources on the internet to help people find work that is licensed under Creative Commons.




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