Sharing Your Work with a CC License
Most of the time, you own the copyright in works you create, from the moment you create them. That means that you get to make the decisions about whether, when, and how you share your work with the world. Creative Commons licenses offer some options for doing that.
Benefits for Rightsholders
U.S. Copyright law does not usually care much about attribution or correct citation (citing a source correctly will not save you from infringement, nor does not citing make a legal use presumptively illegal) - but with a Creative Commons License, creators receive attribution as a condition of almost all of the licenses.
Visibility and Spread
Works that are widely available get wide use! By indicating that re-use is encouraged, Creative Commons licenses allow your work to spread farther.
Enabling "Good" Uses
Online distribution exposes works to a lot of potential users; but also necessarily involves giving up a little control over a work. Some users do not think carefully about copyright issues when they re-use - but many other users do think carefully about copyright, and avoid reusing works without permission. Creative Commons licenses let you indicate to those thoughtful, careful users (like teachers! and librarians!) that you do want your works to be used, and under what conditions.
Processing permissions requests can take time for a copyright holder, and definitely takes time on the side of the person requesting permissions. If there are many users to whom you'd always say "Yes," a Creative Commons license may save you, and your users, a great deal of time.
Unless otherwise noted, all content on the Copyright Information section of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
This web site presents information about copyright law. The University Libraries make every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but do not offer it as counsel or legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.