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Intro to Media Technology: MSP 1701

Research help for Cindy Burstein's course, MSP 1701: Intro to Media Technology.

A Spectrum of Rights

When we talk about Creative Commons, we're talking about a spectrum rights and permissions.

Symbols for copyright, creative commons, and public domain on a spectrum

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a set of licenses that gives public permission to use and share creative works, based on the creator’s stated conditions.

Creative Commons is also an organization and a movement that allows creators to determine exactly how they want their work to be used by others by selecting a license comprised of at least one of four conditions.

View the video below for additional details.

What are the Creative Commons License Conditions?

attribution icon   Attribution (BY): You must give credit to the creator of the work; this includes linking back to their work or artist page.

   Share-alike (SA): If you use something with this license, you must use the same license for your work as the original work.

non-commercial icon   Non-commercial (NC): You can’t make money with this work.

no derivatives icon   No derivatives (ND): You can’t modify, adapt, or build upon this work for your own project.

What are Creative Commons Licenses? What do they Mean?

Types of licensesUsing the four different license conditions (attribution, share-alike, non-commercial, no-derivatives), you can build a Creative Commons license for your work, based on how you want others to use it.

  • Public Domain mark- “no known copyright”: Used for works that are in the public domain and therefore not restricted by copyright. This includes works in the U.S. published before 1925.
  • CC0- “no rights reserved”: Given when the creator waives all rights to their work so that anyone can use it and build upon it without any restrictions under copyright or database law.
  • CC-BY: You must provide credit to the creator; this includes linking to their work or artist page within the attribution.
  • CC-BY-SA: You must provide credit and use the same license as the original on your own work.
  • CC-BY-NC: You must provide credit and you cannot make money using this work.
  • CC-BY-NC-SA: You must provide credit, you can’t make money with it, and you must use the same license on your own work.
  • CC-BY-ND: You must provide credit and you can't change the original work at all.
  • CC-BY-NC-ND: You must provide credit, you can’t make money with it, and you can’t change the original work at all.

What is Public Domain?

Public domain is a a status given to works that are no longer protected by copyright or never were.

This status means that anyone can use the works -- they can copy, distribute, perform, display and create derivatives -- without seeking permission or paying fees.

View the video below for additional details.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection (for a fixed amount of time) that gives creators exclusive rights to do things to their creative works -- things like copying, distributing, performing, displaying, and creating derivatives.

To qualify for copyright protection, a work must be “fixed in a tangible medium of expression” -- like a book, a sound recording, a photograph, a musical score, and screenplay, etc.

How long does a copyright last? That depends upon the nation in which the work was created because copyright is different from nation to nation.

In the United States, for works published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, if the work is a work for hire (that is, the work is done in the course of employment or has been specifically commissioned) or is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts between 95 and 120 years, depending on different factors.

View the videos below for additional details.