Best Practices for Creative Commons attributions - how to attribute works you reuse under a Creative Commons license

To attribute works that you reuse under a Creative Commons license you generally must at least include

1. the title,

2. name of the author, and

3. the specific license the work is under.

For example, the work may be licensed under an Attribution - Noncommercial license, which grants any user of the content certain rights and places certain restrictions.  In the work where you have reused the licensed work, you want to clearly state the title, author's name and that the work is “used under Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial 3.0 license.”  Also, whenever possible, include links to the license terms so others can easily access the information.

Take these specific steps:

  1. Keep intact any copyright notices for the work”: If a work you’re using has a notice that says “© 2008 Molly Kleinman”, reproduce that notice when you credit the work. If such a notice does not appear, don’t worry about it.
  2. Credit the author, licensor and/or other parties (such as a wiki or journal) in the manner they specify”: If a creator has a note attached to her work that says, “Please attribute Molly Kleinman as the creator of this work,” then attribute Molly Kleinman. If there is no note, but there is a copyright notice (see above), attribute the copyright holder named in the copyright notice. If there is no note or copyright notice but there is a user name, check the creator’s profile to see if it specifies how to attribute the creator’s work. If it doesn’t, attribute the user name. If there is no creator or author name of any kind, but there is a website (like wikiHow), attribute the website by name.
  3. The title of the Work”: If the work has a title, call it by name. If it doesn’t, you can just say “This work by Molly Kleinman…” or just “Untitled, by Molly Kleinman…” Whatever seems appropriate.
  4. “The URL for the work if applicable”: Link back to the original source of the work. It can be argued that this is the most important part of the attribution notice. It can help creators keep track of places where their work appears by seeing what links are driving traffic to their websites. It also gives users of your work an easy way to track down the original source. If you are reproducing a CC-licensed work in a print format, you might prefer not to include a long and ugly URL, and there might be situations where leaving out a URL is appropriate. But in general, the link is the most valuable part of the attribution.
  5. “The URL for the Creative Commons license”: Link to the license. The original work should have a link to the license under which it was released; link to the same place. You do not need to include the full text of the license when you reproduce a CC-licensed work.

5 steps are from "How to Attribute a Creative Commons Licensed Work" by WikiHow available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Generic License

Follow these examples to learn how to attribute various works:

  • Webpage/Blog - Title (with link to original work), author (or username) (with link to author's website, channel, photostream, or otherwise), and license (with link).


"Share your projects and ideas" by Vital Signs available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 3.0 License

 

  • Movie - Title, author, license written into credits at the end of the film.

This is a great video that describes the idea behind science commons, click on the below link to see how creative commons work is attributed in the video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mtH0ZheRAc#t=1m52s

 

  • Book – Title, author, license written somewhere near the title and author if it’s a hard copy or if it’s an online book you should include a link to the licensed terms.

Code version 2.0 by Lawrence Lessig used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
 

 

  • Online Video - Title, author, license written into credits at end of video.  Ideally make the text clickable to the original work.  Put links to the original work and the license terms in the information section for the particular work (i.e. on the right in YouTube).

 See how New Media Rights does CC attributions at the end of our videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDbbdeIXO0w#t=3m0s

 

  •  Podcast/Audio - Title, author, license read at the end of the entire work.

This is a video adaptation of the novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. Copyright © 2003 Cory Doctorow.

 

  • Photo/Drawing/Illustration – Title, author, license (with link online) or in close proximity to the tangible work (either in the border or directly on the work, if applicable).

Comcast protest” by Flikr user Steve Rhodes used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license 

For more information on Creative Commons and how to attribute photos under different licenses, check out our article on "Creative Commons Attribution For Photos" which features a helpful infographic from Foter.com.

 

Additional Best Practices

  • Make sure you go to the site you got the work from and say that you have used their work.  This is not only good karma, but creators often share their work under Creative Commons for precisely this reason, that it will be picked up and gain a broader audience through reuse and sharing.

 

The different kinds of attributions available:

 

Attribution-NoDerivs (You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.)  

Attribution-ShareAlike (If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.)

Attribution-NonCommercial (You may not use this work for commercial purposes.)  

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (You may not use this work for commercial purposes; You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.)  

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (You may not use this work for commercial purposes; If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.)

 

Other resources:


Resources to find Creative Commons work you can use: http://search.creativecommons.org/

Creative Commons music making: http://www.indabamusic.com/
 

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