Creative Commons:
What kind of content is available?

Introduction

What's the point?

How to licence your content

How to use Creative Commons content

What determines 'commercial use'?

What does 'sharealike' mean?

What kind of content is available?

Why worry about copyright in the first palce?

Sources of Creative Commons-licenced content

The final word

The kind of content that can be covered by Creative Commons licenses, and therefore be made available for potential reuse in one way or another, is just about anything that could be covered by normal copyright laws.

In practise it tends to be content that can be published online that is licensed up in this new manner, although there are notable real-world exceptions such as murals and other physical artworks that have had the appropriate circle icons applied to indicate their level of reuse permissions. Writers such as Cory Doctorow (author of Eastern Standard Tribe and others) have made some of their work available under various Creative Commons licenses and posted them for download in various digital formats. It isn't just individuals that are embracing this way of publishing, either. The BBC recently announced that it will make its archive of factual programmes available for non-commercial use and further sharing, in part to help make the BBC's archives more accessible. Paul Gerhardt, Joint Director of the BBC Creative Archive, said that the BBC wanted to "establish a model for others to follow, providing material for the new generation of digital creatives and stimulating the growth of the creative culture in the UK". This went live in late 2004, and it may be applied to other areas of the BBC's archives.

One excellent way to see the breadth of content that's being made available in these ways is to browse the Common Content index, a growing reference library of links to Creative Commons-licensed media which covers still and moving image, audio and written content, as well as whole web sites. This is a good first port of call, as everything directly linked from its pages is published with one of the Creative Commons licenses.

The place to start when looking for Creative Commons-licensed content is the search page on the Creative Commons site itself. Browse the links or try the search form to see what you can turn up. www.creativecommons.org/getcontent

The Common Content site is a useful general port of call if you're looking for licenses content of all forms. www.commoncontent.org

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