Creative Commons licenses make it easy to locate images, videos, audio recordings, and other materials that are free to use and that do not require permission from the copyright holder.
Prior to the Creative Commons licensing system, people who wanted to insert illustrations, images, media, or any materials created by others into their own work (presentations, articles, webpages, etc.) had to either find works in the public domain or use what they wanted and risk copyright infringement.
The current copyright system is complicated and confusing. Basic facts about copyright are:
For more information about copyright, visit the Copyright Research Guide.
Creative Commons is a set of licensing tools that allow creators to specify how others can use their work. The licenses, which work alongside copyright, are easy to understand and available free of charge.
Watch Creative Commons' "Get Creative!" video to learn more about how and why the licenses were developed.