Creative Commons is an international project, with a wide range of ready-to-use licenses established, leading to an easier process of accessing data. There is a list of CC licenses in 4.0 version, which are in use currently, with a short description. It must be remembered that they were created for different items, not only for datasets, that is why you must be sure if a chosen license fits into your dataset.
The four basic license conditions:
Attribution – You may copy, distribute, perform, and perform any copyrighted work and derivative works based on it, provided that the original author’s name is referenced.
Non-commercial use – You may copy, distribute, present and perform a copyrighted work and derivative works based on it only for non-commercial purposes.
Under the same conditions – You may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to that under which the original work was made available.
The six available CC licenses combine the four basic terms in different ways, with the “Attribution” disclaimer repeated in each of them.
Creative Commons license version:
Attribution – CC BY
It allows others to disseminate, change and create new items or sets based on licenced resources also commercially. Determining the authorship of such a dataset is the requirement.
Attribution-ShareAlike – CC BY SA
Allows to copy, modify and disseminate a set under the condition that the authorship must be determined and dependent data dissemination on the same conditions.
Attribution-NoDerivatives – CC BY ND
Enables others to reuse data in any way under the condition that the authorship is recognised. However, the license does not allow to modify the set.
Attribution-NonCommercial – CC BY NC
Allows other to copy, modify and disseminate the dataset for as long as the authorship is recognised and is used for non-commercial purposes.
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike – CC BY NC SA
Allows others to copy, modify and disseminate data under the condition that both original and modified datasets can be used non-commercially and can be disseminated with the same license.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives – CC BY NC ND
This CC license is the most restrictive one. It allows only to download a dataset and to share with others, under the condition that the authorship is recognised. The dataset cannot be modified or used commercially.
Yet another variant of the CC license is the CC0 public domain publishing mechanism, whereby an author can waive his copyright to the maximum extent permitted in a given country. Since in Poland the moral right never expires, this declaration means that the creator grants a very broad license that allows the work to be freely used without the requirement to provide authorship. Thus, it is the creator’s declaration not to exercise moral rights to his work. This mechanism can be helpful in sharing research data
The tool at creativecommons.org can help you customize and select the appropriate licenses for your work. It can help website owners to tag shared content.
Sources and important links:
- Creative Commons – basic information
- Creative Commons licenses – basic information
- Copyright and free licenses
- Open science: copyright and free licenses