Chapter 3: The Anatomy of a Creative Commons License

Three Layers of the CC Licenses

Select the purple hot spots on the right side of the above image to learn more about each layer of a CC license.


Four License Elements and the Icons That Represent Them

The four license elements are BY, NC, SA, and ND.

  • BY is attribution. This element requires giving credit to the creator.
  • NC is Non-Commercial. This element, when on a license, means the work cannot be used to earn money.
  • SA is ShareAlike. The ShareAlike element requires the new work to be shared with at least the same license. It is similar to the golden rule: Share unto others as others have shared unto you.
  • ND means NoDerivatives. This element means the content is free to use but cannot be modified (with the exception of changing format (like Word to PDF or spelling errors, or modifying to meet the needs of the visually impaired.) and publicly shared. You can modify the work and not share it publicly, however!


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

An OER Workshop by Andrea Bearman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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