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Most Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Creative Commons give legal advice about its licenses or other tools, or help with CC license enforcement?
  2. Who gives permission to use works offered under Creative Commons licenses?
  3. How do I properly attribute a work offered under a Creative Commons license?
  4. What if CC licenses have not been ported to my jurisdiction (country)?
  5. Does my use constitute an adaptation?
  6. Does my use violate the NonCommercial clause of the licenses?
  7. Can I apply a Creative Commons license to software?
  8. How can I change or remove the Creative Commons search option built into the Firefox browser?
  9. Can I change the license terms or conditions?

Who gives permission to use works offered under Creative Commons licenses?

Our licenses and legal tools are intended for use by anyone who holds copyright to the work. This is often, but not always, the creator or author. Creative Commons has no authority to grant permission on behalf of those persons, nor does CC manage those rights on behalf of others. CC offers licenses and tools to the public free of charge and does not require that creators or other rightsholders register with CC in order to apply a CC license to a work. This means that CC does not have special knowledge of who uses the licenses and for what purposes, nor does CC have a way to contact authors beyond means generally available to the public.

If you would like to obtain additional permissions to use the work beyond those granted by the license that has been applied, you should

What is Creative Commons and what do you do?

Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools. CC has affiliatesall over the world who help ensure our licenses work internationally and who raise awareness about our work. Our legal tools help those who want to encourage reuse of their works by offering them for use under generous, standardized terms, those who want to make creative uses of works, and those who want to benefit from this symbiosis. Our vision is to help others realize the full potential of the internet.

Although Creative Commons is best known for licenses, our work extends beyond just providing copyright licenses. CC offers a number of other legal and technical tools that also facilitate sharing and discovery of creative works. Unlike other public legal tools, a public domain dedication for rightsholders who wish to put their work into the public domain in advance of the expiration of applicable copyright, and the, a tool for marking a work that is in the worldwide public domain. Additionally, Creative Commons makes available tools used by scientific communities, such as standard materials transfer agreements.

Can Creative Commons give legal advice about its licenses or other tools, or help with CC license enforcement?

No. Creative Commons is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice or legal services. CC is similar to a self-help service that offers free, form-based legal documents for others to use. CC also provides a jurisdiction database where you can compare the international licenses (formerly known at the "unported licenses") and ports (adaptations of the international licenses for particular jurisdictions), and a=license versions page where you can compare the differences between license versions.

The CC wiki has a list of lawyers and organizations who have identified themselves as willing to provide information to others about CC licensing issues. However, please note that CC does not provide referral services, and does not endorse or recommend any person on that list. CC's may also be a good resource for information about the licenses in a particular jurisdiction, though they should not be contacted for legal advice, at least in their capacity as a member of our CC Affiliate Network.