Choose and apply a CC licence

Before you use a Creative Commons licence

Before you licence a work, you need to be sure that you either own the copyright in the work or have all relevant rights from the copyright owner. For most works, the copyright owner will be the creator, though this is not always the case. For those new to Creative Commons licensing, Creative Commons international has prepared a list of things to think about before licensing.

Which Creative Commons licence should I use?

It is entirely up to you which Creative Commons licence you use. The six Creative Commons licences provide a range of freedoms and restrictions, enabling you to decide how your work is distributed.

Creative Commons licences are irrevocable, so you will need to think carefully about how you want others to share, adapt and reuse your work before applying a licence.

To help you decide which licence to use, Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand has published over forty case studies of licence users. These include photographer Meena Kadri, architects Wikihouse, musician Jon Lemmon, Te Papa, Land Information New Zealand, Albany Senior High School and many more. You can read case studies specific to your area of interest via our projects pages, which you can find at International case studies can be found at Team Open.

Getting your licence

Applying a Creative Commons licence is easy. All you have to do is visit the Creative Commons Licence Chooser and follow the instructions. This website is not a registration page: it simply provides you with standardised HTML code and licence statements.

The most important thing you will need to do is select the restrictions you wish to apply.

Choose 1

You are also given the option of filling out a metadata form, to help others provide attribution. It is entirely up to you whether you fill out this form. If you are licensing print works, change the ‘License Mark’ option at the bottom to ‘Offline.’

Choose 2

Then, cut and paste the HTML code or licensing statement into your work. If you use the HTML code, the Creative Commons licence button and licensing statement will pop up.

Choose 3

If you are releasing a print work, your statement to cut and paste will look like this:

Choose 4

Marking Your Work

If you decide not to cut and paste the HTML or licence statement using the CC Licence Chooser, explained above, you should always try to include:

  • Author: tell users who to give credit to.
  • Licence: tell users what licence you are using.
  • Machine-Readability: use the HTML from the licence chooser to tell search engines that your work has a Creative Commons licence.

You may also choose to include:

  • Title: tell users which work you are licensing. This is especially important for web pages with multiple works.
  • Copyright notice: tell users who owns the copyright.
  • Link: tell users where the work can be found.

Check out Marking Your Work With a CC Licence for more detailed information about how to mark your work as Creative Commons licensed.

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