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Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world
Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world

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4.3 Creative Commons (CC) licences

Copyright laws are all about protecting the (mostly) economic rights of the individual creator and preventing unauthorised use. They provide a legal framework for copyright owners to pursue those who copy or use their material without credit, which is known as plagiarism.

Copyright laws have been in existence for many years and can be slow to change. Digital technology, such as the internet, provides the means for rightsholders to share their works more easily. However, many rightsholders wanted to share their works (and at the same time benefit from others sharing) but were concerned about protection of their works and needed assurance that they were only going to be used in ways that they agreed with.

Creative Commons (CC) was founded in 2001 and provides a set of licences which are guaranteed by the rightsholder to be non-revokable providing the user abides by the licence terms.

Rights owners can make their works freely-available under an appropriate CC licence and any rights not granted still rest with the copyright holder (rights owners). In this way their copyright is protected as well as being shared. A rightsholder may withdraw their work from a CC licence at any time. However, those works already accessed and being used still enjoy the non-revokable licence.

The video below was made by Common Craft and illustrates the benefits of the licences.

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Video 4: Benefits of licences
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