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Copyright and Creative Commons are friends

Understand the connection between CC and copyright law.


Copyright law gives creators certain kinds of control over their creative work. If people want to use copyrighted work, they often have to ask for permission from the creator. Creative Commons works within copyright law. It allows creators to grant permission to everyone in the world to use their work in certain ways.


Watch the Get Creative video on the origins of Creative Commons licenses. It describes the CC licenses build on traditional copyright law, and captures the power of the licenses to facilitate collaboration across the web.

Share any questions you have about the video below.

Special sidebar: A lot of the public conversation about copyright focuses on “unauthorized” use or copying of creative works. People apply the word unauthorized to imply that the use is also illegal. Under fair use, fair dealing, and other provisions, many uses are simultaneously legal and unauthorized. This course is not going to discuss those uses, but it’s important to know they exist. Some resources to learn more about them: