Creative Commons

Creative Commons front imagebySource: it.wikisource.org 

Ever wondered if you should use the work of others in your own presentations, such as images? How do you attribute, or reference, these resources? Have you ever found yourself searching for images…finding the perfect one, copying it or saving it, and then using it in your presentation? Then think: “Oops, better reference that”?

Most people tend to think that if an image is on the Internet it is fine to copy/save it and then use it, as long as it is referenced. Is referencing sufficient?

Unfortunately, merely referencing the image still infringes on copyright laws. So what is the solution? Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation located in the States, which focuses on the “expansion of ‘reasonable’, flexible copyright”. Essentially this organisation created a set of standards, or rather licenses that allow the author or creator a way in which to communicate which rights they reserve and which are waived. This does not replace copyright laws, it merely allows the author/creator to provide an exception or extension of the law.

These Creative Commons licenses are associated with visual symbols, explaining the specifics of each of these licenses. These licenses do not replace copyright, but are rather based on this law whereby the author waives certain rights.

There are currently four main conditions, which when combined form six major licenses. The four conditions are:



Attribution (BY); allowing the use of the work by referencing the author

 cc by

Share Alike (SA); allowing derivative work under the same or similar license

 cc sa.large

Non-Commercial (NC); permitting licensee to use it as long as it is not for commercial purposes

 cc nc

No Derivative Works (ND); permitting only the original work to be used

 cc nd.largeCreative commons.org











The combined options will give you the following:

cc-licenses-termsCreative Commons.org, n.d.

Below is a summary of the pro’s and con’s of the various licenses available:

cc types-pros-cons1Fisk, S. 2009


There are a variety of resources available, where you can find images that may be freely used.

Click here for some of these resources.

Still confused? Well here is a short video clip that will explain this further:

Source: Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand


And here is a nice one explaining how to go about finding creative commons images:

Lloyd, G. 2009.

On that note, this blog falls under the BY license. Feel free to use it, reuse, modify or share.


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