Creative Commons is a Massachusetts-based organization that works to combine the protection offered by copyright with the freedom and distribution potential of the Internet. The group started in 2001 with funding from the Center for the Public Domain.

Creative Commons licenses create an alternative to the full copyright that is currently the standard.

It is not an alternative to copyright, but is an addition that allows the user more freedom.

Licenses are available to fit a variety of needs and works. They are applicable to text, audio, images, video, and educational materials. They work similarly to copyright, except that the creator can decide how a work will be used by the public. It can be shared, attributed, remixed or copied, depending on the style of license chosen by the creator.

The licenses can be applied to on- or offline work, all you have to do is put it where the user can see it. Once an artist has applied a Creative Commons license to a work, it cannot be revoked.

While the Creative Commons license is meant to be enforceable in a court of law, Creative Commons is unable to provide assistance in legal matters.

In addition to the numerous Creative Commons licenses, CC has also established the Founder's License, the Creative Commons Music Sharing License, the Developing Nations license software licenses, sampling licenses, and the Science Commons, which aims to promote scientific research by getting rid of legal barriers to collaboration.

There are a number of ways to contribute to the work Creative Commons is doing, including donations, feedback and participating in discussion groups. To find out more visit