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Creative Commons Licenses Explained: Least Open

This guide is designed to walk you through the different types of CC Licenses and the benefits and drawbacks of each, so that when it comes to picking a license for your work, you can make an educated choice.

CC-BY-ND - Attribution-NoDerivs

CC-BY-ND or Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivs is a more restrictive license. It allows you to redistribute the material commercially or non-commercially but the user cannot make any changes whatsoever to the original, i.e. no derivatives of the original work. It must be shared without changes and in its entirety, while crediting the original creator.

While still considered an open license, CC-BY-ND only permits the user to share. It does not allow anyone to expand upon the original content or remix it, giving less freedom to the users. So it is on the restrictive end of open. 

To sum up, CC-BY-ND only allows the user to share the work.

For more information, visit CC-BY-ND.

CC-BY-NC-ND - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs

CC-BY-NC-ND or Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivs, is the most restrictive license offered by Creative Commons. With this license, the user (while attributing the original creator) can only share the work but not change it in any way or ever use it commercially.

This is technically still considered open since it does not have a commercial charge for sharing the work, but it does not offer any flexibility with the material should someone wish to remix and adapt it. 

To sum up, CC-BY-NC-ND only allows the user to share the work.

For more information, visit CC-BY-NC-ND.

C - All Rights Reserved

This is the traditional copyright symbol with which most are familiar. This symbol indicates "all rights reserved" to the original creator or publisher, and does not allow for any of the permissions expressed by the open licenses. On a sliding scale of open, this sits at the opposite end from CC-BY, which allows for all of the 5R permissions to retain, revise, reuse, remix, and redistribute. With a traditional copyright, none of this is possible unless direct permission is granted from the publisher/creator.


Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Licenses Explained by Jillian Maynard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Updated by Taylor St. Pierre 7/2021.

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