about Creative Commons
The Internet and associated digital technologies provide us with an enormous potential to access and build information and knowledge networks. Information and knowledge can be communicated in an instant across the globe, cheaply and with good quality, by even the most basic Internet user. However copyright law, which takes definition from international conventions and is similar in most countries, provides that you cannot reproduce or communicate copyright material (literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, films and sound recordings) without the permission of the copyright owner, subject to limited exceptions. Therefore, while the technology has the capacity, the legal restrictions on the reuse of copyright material hamper its negotiability in the digital environment.
Professor Lawrence Lessig of Stanford University in the USA and a number of his colleagues, frustrated by the fact that technology offered so much but that negotiability of copyright material in law was so cumbersome, came up with the idea of the Creative Commons. Lessig’s vision was for a space in the Internet world where people could share and reuse copyright material without fear of being sued – a creative commons. To do this, copyright owners would use a generic licence to give permission in advance for certain uses of their material. Rather than the ‘all rights reserved’ of traditional copyright law, Lessig aimed to create a voluntary ‘some rights reserved’ system.
Creative Commons is now a world wide project that aims to build a distributed information commons by encouraging copyright owners to licence use of their material through open content licensing protocols and thereby promote better identification, negotiation and reutilization of content for the purposes of creativity and innovation.
Our Mayer and Bettle Video (above) gives you a good basic introduction to Creative Commons, its licences and how it works.
Or for something a bit more detailed, see the following fact sheets:
* [What is Creative Commons?](/materials/whatiscc.pdf)
* [Quick Guide to the Creative Commons Licences](/factsheets/cc-licences)
* [Creative Commons Licensing Flowchart](/factsheets/licensing-flowchart)
* [Finding Creative Commons Material](/materials/findingmaterial.pdf)
* [Quick Guide to Creative Commons Resources](/materials/CC_Web_Resources.pdf)
For a more fact sheets see our [infopacks page](/infopacks).
Or try these external links:
* [Creative Commons licences explained](http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/)
* [Introductory videos and comics](http://creativecommons.org/videos/)
* [Introductory fact sheets and flyers](http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Documentation)
* [The history of Creative Commons](http://creativecommons.org/about/history/)
* [Licence Chooser](http://creativecommons.org/choose) – helps you select the licence that is right for you
* [Licence Marking](http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Marking) – best examples for marking and attributing CC licences and material
about Creative Commons Australia
After more information on Creative Commons Australia or what we do? [Here it is](about)
info for content creators
Looking for more information on using Creative Commons licences as a content creator? Download the CCau [licences explained for content creators info.pack](/materials/licencesexplainedcontentcreatorsinfopack.pdf).
For more information specific to your content type, click below:
* [audio](audio) (music, sounds + speeches)
* [images](image) (photos, illustrations + design)
* [video](video) (movies, animations + footage)
* [text](text) (books, blogs + essays)
* [education](education) (lesson plans, course packets + textbooks)
info on Australian copyright law
Looking for information on Australian copyright law? Download the CCau [Australian copyright law overview info.pack](/materials/copyrightlawoverviewinfopack.pdf).
Or try these external links:
- Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department
- Australia Copyright Council
- Arts Law Centre of Australia
- Copyright Agency Limited
- Smartcopying: The Official Guide to Copyright Issues for Australian Schools and TAFE
For more information, fact sheets, guides, books and videos see our [materials](/materials) page.