The non-profit organization Creative Commons
was started in 2001 to help authors to expand access to their creative works for others
to share and build upon. Creative works are often limited by copyright’s All Rights Reserved.
With Creative Commons licenses, creators can apply a license to their work for some rights
reserved or even no rights are reserved. Students can use Creative Commons licensed works to
help them create presentations, reports, videos, and audio. There are many sites on the Web
that have works licensed under Creative Commons like Wikipedia, YouTube, Flickr, the Internet
Archive, and CCMixter. When visiting these sites, looks for works that have these symbols
a license. If your image, audio file, or video has one…great, you just found a Creative
Commons licensed work! All those different symbols and letters tell you how you can or
cannot the work. A symbol with a person means attribution. You must give credit to the author
for using the works. A symbol with a Yen, Euro, or dollar sign currency crossed out
means that it cannot be used for commercial purposes. An equal symbol means no derivatives.
You can use the work, but cannot change or modify it. The share alike symbol has a backwards
C with an arrow on the end indicating that you must share the new work you create with
the same Creative Commons license. Finally, the least restrictive licenses are for public
domain and no known copyright. This means you can use these works in anyway you’d like
without attribution. Although giving credit is always nice. And speaking of giving credit,
did you know there is a proper way to give attribution? Just remember the acronym T A
L L – TALL. T stands for title, A is for author, L is for license, and the second L is for
links. Here’s attribution in action. First you add the title in quotations, then you
add the author which might be a real name, a screen name, or a company’s name. The add
the license. You can write it out, or use acronyms. Finally, provide a link to the author,
title, and license so someone else can find the work and read how to use it.