Policies

Creative Commons maintains and publishes policies that apply to the use of our websites, content and software that we publish, our trademarks, and to those participating in the Creative Commons Global Network, including Individual and Institutional Members, as well as non-Members who participate in CC projects around the world. 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

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 legal@creativecommons.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.

Modification of CC Licenses: To prevent confusion and maintain consistency, you are not allowed to use CREATIVE COMMONS, CC, the CC Logo, or any other Creative Commons trademarks with modified versions of any of our legal tools or Commons deeds, including modifications that do not modify the legal code directly but that further restrict or condition the rights granted by the particular legal tool. These modifications are often contained in a website’s terms of use, and where they are present you may not suggest that you are offering works under a Creative Commons legal tool. For the avoidance of doubt, you may not use any CC trademarks with unofficial language translations of CC licenses. See this page for more information.

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 legal@creativecommons.org. Except as specifically stated above or otherwise set forth in a written agreement with you, no additional permissions are granted.

Merchandising Policy: If you would like to use the Creative Commons or other CC trademarks on clothing or other merchandise, you must first receive permission from Creative Commons. Please submit your request to legal@creativecommons.org.

Copyright Infringement Notification Policy

If you have reason to believe that any material or activity on a site controlled or operated by Creative Commons (such as creativecommons.org, wiki.creativecommons.org, open4us.org and others noted in our Master Terms of Use and Master Privacy Policy) is infringing the rights owned by you or someone else for whom you have authority to act, please follow our DMCA Notice & Takedown Procedure.

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 has replaced its affiliate network with the Creative Commons Global Network (“CCGN”), starting in January 2018. In addition to the Charter, Chapter guidelines, and the other policies set forth above and referenced herein, participants of the CCGN must also comply with the  Internet Services Policy and the Chapter Logo Policy below.

Chapter Logo Policy

Every CC Chapter around the world, once established in accordance with the Charter, rules and policies identified below, may create a single logo to designate their particular country chapter (“Chapter Logo”). The Chapter Logo must include our “Creative Commons” name and/or our CC in a circle logo in their original font and style.

Logo Approval: The Chapter Lead must submit the Chapter Logo to legal@creativecommons.org for approval. For the avoidance of doubt, this approval requirement applies even in cases where a Chapter selects a logo that was previously used in connection with a CC affiliate team under the prior network governance model.

Use of the Chapter Logo: We give you permission to use the approved Chapter Logo of the CC Chapter in which you are a participant, solely in order to promote and further the CC-related work done by your CC Chapter consistent with the Charter [https://creativecommons.org/network/charter/], the rules established by the CC Global Network Council, and the policies and positions established by Creative Commons. We recognize that you and the other individuals and institutions involved in your CC Chapter are also engaged in jobs, projects, and activities that are tangentially or unrelated to CC.  For the avoidance of doubt, you and others involved in the CC Chapter are not entitled to use the Chapter Logo for any purposes other than those stated above.

We will continue to work with you to ensure that you and others involved in the CC Chapter use the Chapter Logo in a manner consistent with the principles and policies of CC.  You agree to fully cooperate with and take any actions requested by CC relating to all usage of the Chapter Logo by anyone involved in your CC Chapter. It is understood that CC can end this permission at any time in its sole discretion, including if at any time your status as a participant ends, the CC Chapter becomes inactive, or if you or others involved in the CC Chapter fail to cooperate with or adhere to the policies of CC.  

You further agree to comply with any policies set forth by your Chapter as to how the Chapter Logo may or may not be used. In the event of a conflict between a guideline set forth by your Chapter and a policy of Creative Commons, the Creative Commons policy will govern.

Ownership of the Chapter Logo: All uses of the Chapter Logo will inure solely to Creative Commons. You and the others involved in your CC Chapter will obtain no ownership or other rights to the Chapter Logo.  You agree not to contest, oppose, impair, or challenge CC’s ownership of the Chapter Logos or any of its other trademarks. You will not register or attempt to register the Chapter Logo as a trademark in any jurisdiction and will not oppose CC’s registration or use of the Chapter Logo.

Page last updated: 5 April 2018