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Rights-Free and Rights-Implied Media & Content: Choosing a License

A guide to using and finding rights-free and rights-implied media and content for non-commercial purposes.

The Six Types of Creative Commons Licenses

There are six types of licenses available from Creative Commons, each with different terms of use. The licenses are hierarchical, building off the terms specified in the most basic CC BY license. The graphic below illustrates the license hierarchy, beginning with the least restrictive, and ending with the most restrictive.

Visit the Creative Commons website to learn more about each type of license, review examples of works using each type of license, and obtain specific icon and verbiage to use a particular license.

Listing Creative Commons licenses in the order of least to most restrictive terms of use.

Dedicating Your Work to the Public Domain

Creative Commons Public Domain LicenseYou might consider releasing your work into the public domain, which allows anyone to use that work, any way they want, without requiring attribution to you.

To help facilitate that process, and to make it easier for content users to easily identify that work as in the public domain, Creative Commons offers a public domain mark (CC0 1.0) that can be applied to any work you want to dedicated to the public domain. They also offer a public domain dedication tool web form wizard that will generate the necessary mark image and language if you want to embed this into a website, blog, or LibGuide.

The Creative Commons public domain mark with associated terms.