What is Creative Commons?

What is Creative Commons?
Just because a work is released under the Creative Commons doesn’t mean that it’s free to take, reuse without crediting the original creator, or sell. Even though Creative Commons licenses are less restrictive than standard copyright law, these works are still very much protected by copyright.
If you happen to breach the terms of a Creative Commons license agreement, then you will fall back into the standard rules governing use without permission (Fair use).
Always read the Creative Commons license of a work to see what you’re legally allowed to do with it. At the minimum, every license requires you to attribute the author of the work in your own final work. 
Some licenses prohibit you from commercially releasing your works derived from that original Creative Commons work. For example, if you used a song released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) on your podcast and then you wanted to sell a “best of” CD of your podcast, you could not do that under the terms of the license. You would be required to get additional permission from the author of the song, or edit your podcast to use another song. 
All Creative Commons licenses require that you to credit the original author; some require that you release any modifications of the document under the same license. 
More resources
How to find Creative Commons images on Flickr (video)
This guide is Creative Commons too
In fact, this whole guide is distributed under creative commons; you can feel free to reproduce this work in whole or in part, online or in print. Since it is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License, all you need to do is attribute New Media Rights as the author of this work and maybe give us a link to our site if that’s reasonable.
If you have questions about how to adhere to a specific Creative Commons license, how to attribute the author of an original CC work correctly, or places to find great Creative Commons works to support or reuse, feel free to contact New Media Rights via our contact form to find out whether you qualify for free or reduced fee legal services. We also offer competitive full fee legal services on a selective basis. For more information on the services we provide click here.
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