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What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons (CC)

Creative Commons (CC) is an internationally active non-profit organisation that works to make it easier to share, reuse, re-purpose and remix creative material. It does this by providing free licences that let creators give permission in advance for certain uses of their material.

Every time a work is created, such as when a journal article is written or a photograph taken, that work is automatically protected by copyright. Copyright prevents others from using the work in certain ways, such as copying the work or putting the work online.

With CC licences, creators can tell the world that they’re happy for their work to be copied, shared or even remixed. When a creator releases their work under a CC licence, you know what you can and can’t do with the work.

As a result, you can freely copy, share and sometimes modify and remix CC material without having to worry about copyright, as long as you follow the licence.

Reference: Creative Commons Australia. What is Creative Commons? Retrieved from


For more information please see the following link:

Video - Creative Commons Kiwi

Creative Commons licenceCreative Commons Kiwi by Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY) licence. The video was made with support from InternetNZ and is a project of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Produced by Mohawk Media. Retrieved from:

Using a CC licence or licenced material

Creative Commons licences provide a standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licences let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”


Which licence is right for me?

Start at the green question box and, following the arrows that correspond with your answer, make your way through the pink remixing and blue commercial questions until you reach a purple licence box. That will be the right licence for you. For the full details of each of the licences, see the link under the box.

Creative Commons Licence flowchart image
Retrieved from:

Creative Commons Interactive Licence Chooser

Alternatively, please have a look at the Interactive Licence Chooser on the Creative Commons website:

Intellectual Property and Creative Commons Licensing

Please see the Intellectual Property Policy for more information on the rights of University Staff and Students:

Finding Creative Commons licensed materials

There are a number of content repositories that allow you to search their website for CC licenced content. You can do this using many popular search engine and search tools.

Click on the link below to be taken to this section of the Copyright Guide: