Creative Commons licenses enable the free use, sharing, and re-mixing of original work. Creative Commons is both a non-profit organization and movement to simplify the reuse of original work protected by copyright law. Traditional ("All Rights Reserved") copyright creates restrictive terms for which a work may be used, shared, and adapted. Much of the digital content available online, like photographic images, video clips, audio recordings, and scholarly writing, was created in order to be shared, distributed, and built upon. Creative Commons licenses provide a simple tool for content creators to optimize the sharing and use of their work.
The elements of the Creative Commons licenses indicate what a user can and cannot do with a CC licensed image. Look for the license attached to the image itself or in the image's description. Usually, the license information will link back to information about the license on the Creative Commons website, which provides more detailed information about the terms of each CC license.
The following links provide more information on Creative Commons licensing.
Each Creative Commons license consists of three parts:
Creative Commons licensed works usually link to the Commons Deed (the human readable version), but the deed portion is not technically a license itself and does not part of the legal code.
In other words, anyone who makes use of Creative Commons licensed works is accountable for following the terms in the Legal Code.
Properly citing CC licensed work is required by the terms of the individual licenses. Additionally, the creator of the work has kindly shared their work without requiring a use to seek permission and without charging a fee, so giving credit is simply the right thing to do. The following credit line format can help create credit lines that follow best practices:
"title of work" by <insert author name> is licensed under <insert license>
Use the TASL acronym to help remember which elements to include and link.
See the following source for more information from Creative Commons about how to cite CC licensed works.