Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

We've got the answers

Please note that Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand does not provide legal advice, so while this FAQ is designed to be helpful in raising awareness about the use of CC’s licences, it is by nature not a complete discussion nor a substitute for legal advice. It may not cover important issues that affect you and, depending on your situation, you may wish to consult with a lawyer.
Below is a long list of commonly asked questions about Creative Commons. There is also an official Creative Commons FAQ, which covers some issues not addressed here.

I. Creative Commons in New Zealand:

  1. What is Creative Commons, and what is Creative Commons in New Zealand?
  2. Why use a Creative Commons licence?
  3. What problem does Creative Commons help solve?
  4. So what, exactly, does Creative Commons plan to do?
  5. What are the different copyright options available through Creative Commons in New Zealand?
  6. What are the steps to adopting/using a Creative Commons licence?
  7. Whom does Creative Commons serve or represent?
  8. Is Creative Commons against copyright?
  9. Who started Creative Commons?

II. The Creative Commons Licences:

  1. Why should I turn my work over to the public domain, or make it available under a Creative Commons Custom licence, if copyright provides more legal protection?
  2. Does it cost me anything to use your licences?
  3. Will works that use Creative Commons licences be in the ‘public domain’?
  4. If I choose the noncommercial licence option, can I still make money from my licensed works?
  5. I am registered with a royalty collection organisation. Does this mean that I cannot use Creative Commons to publish my work?
  6. What legal standing will Creative Commons licences have in other countries?
  7. Are some combinations of the custom licence options incompatible?
  8. I am using a generic Creative Commons licence; should I switch and use a New Zealand licence?

III. About copyright:

  1. What is copyright?
  2. Can anything be protected by copyright?
  3. Do I have to register my copyright in order to get protection?
  4. How long does copyright last?
  5. What is the ‘public domain’?
  6. What rights do copyright holders have?
  7. What are exclusive or monopoly rights?
  8. What are moral rights?

IV. Applying a New Zealand Creative Commons Licence:

  1. How do I apply a New Zealand Creative Commons licence to my work?
  2. How do I display my Creative Commons licence online once I have chosen it?
  3. I don’t know about html, or I don’t have access to the html of my webpage. Can I still licence my work online?
  4. How do I display a licence on a print publication, or something that is not on the web?
  5. What hosting sites can offer me Creative Commons licences automatically?
  6. I want to incorporate the Creative Commons logos into my site or work, can I?
  7. Can I change the Creative Commons logos so that they look better on my site or with my work??

V. Using a Creative Commons licensed work:

  1. Will Creative Commons give me permission to use a work?
  2. Does Creative Commons determine what content is released under its licences?
  3. What are the terms of a Creative Commons licence?
  4. So “Noncommercial” means that the work cannot be used commercially?
  5. What happens if I want to make a different use of the work?
  6. So I don’t have to pay to use Creative Commons licensed works if I comply with the licence terms?
  7. How do I properly attribute a Creative Commons licensed work?
  8. What is a derivative work?
  9. If I use a Creative Commons licensed work with other works, do I have to Creative Commons license everything else as well?
  10. Can I combine two different Creative Commons licensed works?
  11. Can I combine a Creative Commons licensed work with another non-CC licensed work?

Creative Commons - Aotearoa New Zealand.
Creative Commons - Aotearoa New Zealand.

Licences explained
The following describes each of the six main Creative Commons licences which are offered by Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand. They are listed starting with the most accommodating licence type you can choose with which to publish your work. You can also download a brochure which explains the New Zealand licences.

1. Attribution (BY):

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This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.
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Jess publishes her photograph with an Attribution licence, because she wants to share her pictures with people around the world as long as they give her credit. Rangi finds her photograph online and wants to display it on the front page of his website. He puts Jess’s picture on his site, and clearly indicates Jess’s authorship.

Attribution-Noncommercial (BY-NC):

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This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
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Dave publishes his photograph on his blog with a Noncommercial licence. Shanti prints Dave’s photograph. Shanti is not allowed to sell the print photograph without Dave’s permission.

Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (BY-NC-ND):

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This licence is the most restrictive of our six main licences, allowing redistribution. This licence is often called the “free advertising” licence because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
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Kate releases an original vocal recording on to the Internet Archive under an Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works licence. Nick wants to distribute some copies of her recording to his friends. He must Attribute Kate and not receive any money for these copies or change her recording in any way.

Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (BY-NC-SA)

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This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the BY-ND-SA licence, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.
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Gus's online photo is licensed under the Noncommercial and Share Alike terms. Camille is an amateur collage artist, and she takes Gus's photo and puts it into one of her collages. The Share Alike element requires Camille to make her collage available on a Noncommercial plus Share Alike licence. It makes her offer her work back to the world on the same terms Gus gave her.

Attribution-No Derivative Works (BY-ND)

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This licence allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
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Kiri licenses a recording of her song with a No Derivative Works licence. Joe would like to cut Kiri’s track and mix it with his own to produce an entirely new song. He cannot do this without Kiri’s permission.

Attribution-Share Alike (BY-SA)

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This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This licence is often compared to open source software licences. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.
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Tim creates some digital graphic designs and licenses them as Attribution-Share Alike. A class of students re-work Tim’s graphics as part of their individual assignments. Some of the students want to release their new designs online, but they must release them as Attribution-Share Alike also.