Definition of different Creative Commons licences



When this licence has been used you are free to:

  • share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • remix — to adapt the work
  • make commercial use of the work

under the condition that you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work.)



This licence has the same properties as that described above except that the user cannot use the content in a commercial way. The NC stands for non-commercial. There is some uncertainty over the definition of non-commercial in this context (a commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation). Some publishers have created their own definition of ‘NC'. You should be careful to check whether this is the case as definitions may vary from organisation to organisation.



The SA stands for ShareAlike. This means that any future work based on content published under this licence must be published under the same licence. Therefore the user can reuse the content and create a derivative work provided they publish the result under the same conditions and attribute the source. This is common in open-source computer coding, for example.

All of the licences (including CC BY) are also subject to the following conditions


Any of the licence conditions can be waived (disapplied) by the copyright holder.

Public Domain

Where the work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the licence, because it is not protected by copyright. Please note, however, that public domain is not the same as ‘freely available' or ‘free to view'.

Other Rights

In no way are any of the following rights affected by the licence:

  • Fair dealing (UK) or fair use (USA) rights, or other applicable copyright exceptions and limitations;
  • The author's moral rights (these offer useful, if limited, protection to the author);
  • Rights other persons may have either to the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.


For any reuse or distribution, users must make clear to others the licence terms of the work and provide a link to the material the content was reused from.


* see for more information.