Creative Commons maintains and publishes policies that apply to the use of our websites, content and software that we publish, our trademarks, our affiliates, and those participating in the Creative Commons Global Network, including Individual Members and Institutional Members. Note that some of these policies are maintained on other website pages but can be viewed by clicking on the relevant link below.
- Copyright Licensing Policy for Content and Software Code
- Creative Commons Trademark Policy
- Copyright Infringement Notification Policy
- Affiliate Policies (see “Agreements and Policies”)
- Creative Commons Global Network Policies
Note: Creative Commons is replacing its affiliate program with the Creative Commons Global Network (“CCGN”). The CCGN policies noted below apply to anyone who becomes an Individual Member or Institutional Member of the CCGN and, where determined by CC, to any CC-supported forum such as a country Chapter, platform or workgroup. Creative Commons will update this page periodically to account for these changes.
Copyright Licensing Policy for Content and Software Code
Other than the Creative Commons trademarks (licensed subject to the Trademark Policy below) and the text of Creative Commons legal tools and human-readable Commons deeds (dedicated to the public domain as specified below), all content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license unless otherwise marked.
- Software: All of the software code we create is free software. Please check our code repository for the specific license that applies to software code you wish to use.
- Legal text (we call this legal code) and Commons deeds: Creative Commons makes the legal code of its licenses and the CC0 Public Domain Dedication available under the CC0 Public Domain Dedication. CC also makes the Commons deeds associated with its licenses, the CC0 Public Domain Dedication, and the Public Domain Mark available under the CC0 Public Domain Dedication. This allows anyone to reuse those texts for any purpose; however, CC reserves fully and unconditionally all trademark and branding rights associated with the licenses, the CC0 Public Domain Dedication, and the Commons deeds. See the Trademark Policy below for more detail.
Creative Commons Trademark Policy
Trademarks are words, graphic designs, or other indicia that identify the source of a product or service. Creative Commons uses a variety of trademarks. Some Creative Commons trademarks serve the purpose of (i) communicating the type of legal tool chosen by the rights holder and/or (ii) indicating that the creator has applied a Creative Commons license to her work. Our registered trademarks and other trademarks include CREATIVE COMMONS (regardless of stylization, capitalization, translation, or other presentation), CC (including the CC in a circle logo (the “CC Logo”) and CC standing alone), CC+ (within a circle or standing alone) and CCPlus, CC0, all of the Creative Commons license and public domain buttons and icons, and any combination of the foregoing, whether integrated into a larger whole or standing alone. This also includes all of the CC trademarks incorporated into Unicode and any other similar standard.
You are authorized to use our trademarks subject to this Trademark Policy, and only on the further condition that you download images of the trademarks directly from our website or apply them through an authorized provider, including software that incorporates the trademarks in Unicode. You are not authorized to use any modified versions of our trademarks, except that you may use a different color for the CC logo and its background so long as the two colors chosen have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1.
Creative Commons retains the right to revoke any trademark license for any reason or for no specified reason. Creative Commons is particularly likely to revoke a license if, in its sole discretion, it finds that your use of the trademark is likely to bring disrepute to Creative Commons or any of its trademarks, or confuses the public. For the avoidance of doubt, you do not need our permission to use our corporate logo for referential use (e.g., to refer to Creative Commons as an organization), provided that such use does not imply endorsement by or association with Creative Commons.
For the avoidance of doubt, no member of the CC affiliate network or of the CC Global Network, including chapters, is authorized to use CC’s trademarks except in compliance with this policy. This includes, without limitation, that no use of CC trademarks may be used for projects or activities that are not expressly approved in advance by Creative Commons (via firstname.lastname@example.org). Creative Commons intends to update these policies in advance of the CC Global Summit 2018, and once updated will apply to all members of the CC Global Network.
Creative Commons Public Copyright License Marks: Creative Commons licenses the use of its public copyright license marks, which include the CC Logo, on the conditions that you use the marks solely to describe the Creative Commons license that applies to a particular work and, in a manner reasonable to the medium and context, include the URI or a hyperlink to the corresponding Commons deed on the Creative Commons server.
Public Domain Dedication Marks: Creative Commons licenses the use of its public domain dedication marks, on the conditions that you use the mark solely to describe that the CC0 Public Domain Dedication applies to a particular work and, in a manner reasonable to the medium and context, include the URI or a hyperlink to the Commons deed on the Creative Commons server.
Public Domain Mark: Creative Commons licenses the use of its trademarked Public Domain Mark badge on the conditions that you use the mark solely to describe that the Creative Commons Public Domain Mark applies to a particular work and, in a manner reasonable to the medium and context, include the URI or hyperlink to the Public Domain Mark on the Creative Commons server.
Creative Commons License Buttons and Icons: Creative Commons licenses the use of its button marks that describe a particular legal tool and its icon marks that describe a key license element, such as BY, NC, ND, and SA, on the conditions that you use the mark solely to describe the Creative Commons legal tool that applies to a particular work and, in a manner reasonable to the medium and context, include the URI or hyperlink to the relevant Commons deed on the Creative Commons server.
Legacy marks: Creative Commons has retired some of its prior legal tools, all of which have associated trademarks, such as the Developing Nations License, the Sampling License, and Founder’s Copyright. Although these tools have been retired and are no longer recommended for use, they are still legally effective as to works to which they are applied. Therefore, those trademarks may only be used under the terms and conditions of this Trademark Policy. Creative Commons licenses the use of its legacy marks on the conditions that you use the mark solely to describe the Creative Commons legal tool that applies to the particular work and, in a manner reasonable to the medium and context, include the URI or hyperlink to the relevant Commons deed on the Creative Commons server. Note that legacy marks are not available for download on our website.
Additional permissions: In addition to the permissions granted in advance to the public as set forth above, Creative Commons may agree to grant additional permissions upon request. Please submit any such request to email@example.com. Except as specifically stated above or otherwise set forth in a written agreement with you, no additional permissions are granted.
Copyright Infringement Notification Policy
PLEASE NOTE: Creative Commons provides public copyright licenses and legal tools that anyone may use. We do not, however, control the use of Creative Commons licenses and legal tools, or have knowledge of whether the use of our licenses or legal tools is authorized by the copyright owner. Additionally, Creative Commons has no control over third-party websites, or over content belonging to persons or organizations other than Creative Commons. Any content hosted on a third-party website is the responsibility of those sites, and not of Creative Commons, even if the content bears a Creative Commons license or is otherwise marked with one of CC’s logos or other trademarks. If you are the copyright owner of content hosted on a third party site in an unauthorized manner, please contact the administrator of that website directly to have the content removed.
Creative Commons Global Network Policies
As noted above, Creative Commons is replacing its affiliate network with the CCGN, starting in January 2018. CC will be establishing policies that apply to Individual and Institutional Members of the CCGN prior to the 2018 Global Summit, to be held in April 2018. In addition to the Charter, Chapter guidelines, and the other policies set forth above and referenced herein, prior to the 2018 Global Summit members of the CCGN must also comply with the affiliate policies, which include the Internet Services Policy, the Merchandising Policy, and general policies applicable to affiliates as set forth in the standard Affiliate Agreement. These policies will be replaced with similarly-spirited CCGN policies at or before the 2018 Global Summit, and will be applicable to all members of the CCGN once published and made effective by Creative Commons.
Page last updated: 16 January 2018