Creative Commons (CC) Licensing

February 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

One of the most confusing things about photography is when an image is released by the photographer, what can be done with the image? The photographer may feel.. "The image is mine, look but don't touch".  A person receiving the image may feel that the image was given to them to "Do anything they want" as long as they don't say that they took the image.

Before I go any further, this post is NOT talking about Copyright, which most understand that the photographer still owns the image unless he/she signs away the rights to the image. The intent of this post is "Hey, I am giving you a copy of my property, this is what you may do with it."


  • You may use it commercially
  • You may alter the image

BUT.. You must give me credit for taking the photograph. IF you alter the image, you are STILL required to give me credit for taking the photograph (also known as share-alike, same conditions as the original image).

Attribution- No derivatives

  • You may use it commercially or non-commercially
  • You may NOT make any changes to the images (must remain whole) (If changes are made, you may not share image)
  • You must credit me for taking the image

Attribution - Non Commercial

  • You may make changes to the images
  • The work may NOT be used Commercially
  • The photographer must be given credit for the images
  • In the case of a Share-A-like clause, IF you make changes, the photographer must still be given credit for the image.

Attribution - Non Commercial, Non Derivative

  • You may NOT make changes to the image (If you do make changes, you may not share the image)
  • You may not use the image commercially
  • You must give the photographer credit for the image


Of course, any images placed in public domain (Commonly social media), the rights of attribution are waved. Creative commons licensing does not replace any other law, but attempts to make usage clear and simple to all involved. When distributing images professionally or otherwise, it is a great idea to let individuals know EXACTLY what they may do with the image. Of course, more formal licensing commercial licensing agreements exists which include details not specified in CC standards.




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