INSTRUCTORS: Adopt an Open Textbook

7 Choosing a CC Licence

Licence terms

Creators or copyright holders who wish to apply a Creative Commons license to their work can choose to allow their work to be copied and reused with any one or more restrictions, or certain combinations of restrictions. The four restrictions are:[1]

  1. Attribution. You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  2. Non Commercial. The material cannot be used for commercial purposes.
  3. Share Alike. If you remix, transform or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  4. Non Derivative. If you remix, transform or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.

Attributing Creative Commons licences

All Creative Commons licenses require that users of the work attribute the creator. When providing attribution to a CC-licensed work, you should include:

  • The author’s name, screen name, or user ID, etc. If the work is being published on the Internet, it is best practice to link that name to the person’s profile page, if such a page exists.
  • The work’s title or name (if applicable), if such a thing exists. If the work is being published on the Internet, it is best practice to link the name or title directly to the original work.
  • The specific type of license the work is available under. Linking to the license will allow others to find the license terms
  • The URL where the work is hosted
  • Mention if the work is a derivative work or adaptation, in addition to the above, one needs to identify that their work is a derivative work i.e., “This is a Finnish translation of [original work] by [author].” or “Screenplay based on [original work] by [author].”

For a more detailed look at how to attribute CC resources, review Resources: Captions and Attributions from the Self-Publishing Guide and Creative Commons’ Best Practices for Attributing Content. This latter resource has examples of how to correctly attribute different types of CC licensed content.

The different Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons offers six different licenses that allow copyright holders to apply different restrictions to how their work may be reused. When using a specific CC-licensed work, it is important to pay attention to the CC license and its restrictions. All Creative Commons licenses require attribution. The different licenses are listed on the Creative Commons website.

Creative Commons offers a tool to help you choose a license. Aptly named Choose a License. This tool tool helps with both licensing and proper attribution. We have included a link to a tutorial video that helps guide you through the steps of using the tool.

License Chooser Demo– Video starts at 57 seconds. (Video length 4:55),


  • The National Copyright Unit and Creative Commons Australia have jointly developed the Creative Commons Information Pack for teachers and students on Creative Commons (CC). The pack explains what CC is, how to find CC material and the best way to attribute CC material


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Choosing a CC Licence by BCcampus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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