Creative Commons licenses have been created by the non-profit American organisation Creative Commons. CC licenses allow authors to make the distribution of their work easier, by giving other people the right to share, use, and build upon their work. There are several creative licenses, depending on the rights each author wishes to keep. Every license is represented by a simple pictogram.
Creative Commons licenses do not abolish copyright, they are built upon copyright. They just allow creators and rights holders to decide which usage rights they wish to give to the public, and which ones they wish to reserve.
CC licenses are built on a combination of 4 conditions:
There are 7 different licenses:
CC BY: The most accommodating license. Users can distribute, adapt, translate, build upon the work as long as they credit the author for the original creation.
CC BY-SA: Users can distribute, adapt, translate, build upon the work as long as they credit the author for the original creation and license their new creations under the identical terms.
CC BY-ND: Users can reuse the work for any purpose, including commercially, credit must be provided to the author, and it can not be shared with others in adapted form.
CC BY-NC: Users can reuse and adapt the work, as long as it is not for commercial purposes. They must give credit to the author. Derivative works do not have to be licensed on the same terms.
CC BY-NC-SA: Users can reuse and adapt the work, as long as it is not for commercial purposes. They must give credit to the author. Derivative works must be licensed under identical terms.
CC BY-NC-ND: The most restrictive CC license. Users can not use the work for commercial purposes, they can not share it in adapted form, they must give credit to the author.
CC 0: No copyright, the work is placed in the public domain. But in many countries, including Switzerland, the author can not waive his/her moral rights.