Creative Commons:
How to licence your content


What's the point?

How to licence your content

How to use Creative Commons content

What determines 'commercial use'?

What does 'sharealike' mean?

What kind of content is available?

Why worry about copyright in the first palce?

Sources of Creative Commons-licenced content

The final word

To obtain and use a Creative Commons license, go to, click Choose License, and select the options that best suit your intentions.

Your chosen license will be presented in what's called human-readable, lawyer-readable, and machine-readable form. You place the machine-readable code in an appropriate place on your web pages, and that presents the viewer with the right Creative Commons logo, linked to the appropriate human-readable license page which contains a clear, comprehensible summary of the rights the license allows. This page also contains a link to the complete lawyer-readable license, so there's no chance for misunderstanding in either real-world or finicky legal terms.

You don't have to register or sign up for anything to use a Creative Commons license. If you like, however, you can add a link to your work to one of the indexes listed in the Creative Commons 'Get Content' page. The Common Content directory, found in that page, is an open catalogue of licensed content covering images, text, movies, audio, and even web sites themselves. Some of the entries are indexes in their own right, so the amount of content that can be found through the Common Content index is huge, but this catalogue is as much a demonstration of the concept in action as it is a core concern in itself. You do have to register in order to submit links to your work, naturally, in order to prevent abuse of the system. The benefits include getting your work out to a broad audience, not to mention a certain boost in ranking for your site among some search engine indexes.

This reference directory and the other catalogues and libraries that are listed in the Get Content page are not maintained by the Creative Commons organisation. In its own words, the organisation is "not in the business of collecting content, or building databases of content". The aim, rather, is to establish the means by which work can be licensed and shared in reliable, flexible ways.

Have you found the information on this site useful? If you like, you can make a small donation directly to my hosting bills! It would be deeply appreciated.