Creative Commons licenses are a way for copyright holders to let other people know how their work can be used. At the most basic level a creative commons license requires that whoever uses it to give credit to the creator. It also allows for the creator to places some restrictions or conditions for their work to be used. Can someone modifiy, or use the work to create something new? If they do, are they required to share that new work in the same way the original work was shared? Can the work be used for commercial purposes, or is it strictly for non-profit use only?
The Creative Commons have come up with a way for all these kinds of questions to be answered with fairly easy to understand licenses. These licenses do not negate things like fair use, which applies even if works carry full copyright restrictions. However, by making the wishes of the creator clearly known, these licenses are a valuable tool in navigating the digital world of information, images, videos, and sounds.
This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon a work, even commercially, as long as they credit the creator for the original work. This is the most accommodating of the licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.
This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the creator
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work work non-commercially, as long as they credit the creator and license their new creations under the identical terms.
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the creator and license their new creations under the identical terms.
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge the creator and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
This license is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, only allowing others to download a work and share them with others as long as they credit the creator, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.