Creative Commons licenses are useful for authors wishing to make their works or services available to the public in a (more or less) open system.
They represent a mid-point between the "all rights reserved" of copyright and the "no right reserved" of the public domain, entailing instead "some rights reserved". All rights not expressly granted by the license are reserved.
Despite the extent of the terms of the license, the licensor (who may be the author or a third-party rights holder) reserves the right to disseminate the work under different conditions than those of the general license, or they may withdraw it at any time. The Creative Commons movement seeks to return sovereignty over their work to the author.
The conditions that may be applied to a work are as shown below, and they may be combined as is most convenient:
Attribution: this allows the work to be copied, distributed and communicated to the public with the condition of naming the author in the credits. It must feature in all Creative Commons licenses as it is in line with the moral right of recognition of authorship of the work.
Non-commercial: this allows the work to be copied, distributed and communicated to the public, providing no commercial uses are made of it. For commercial uses, the express authorization of the rights holder is required.
No derivative works: this allows only exact (unaltered) copies of the work to be copied, distributed and communicated to the public. It does not authorize derivative works.
- Share alike: this allows derivative works (transformation) to be made and their distribution or subsequent communication to the public, as long as this is done under an identical license to the one held by the original work.
It should be borne in mind that there is one combination that is not possible: a Creative Commons license cannot be created with the "No derivative works" and "Share alike" conditions, as the latter condition was designed to communicate derivative works.
The least restrictive license, the Creative Commons BY (Attribution), authorizes the reproduction, distribution, transformation and public communication of the work, for any purpose and for all usage types, free of charge and for the entire period of protection. From here, the more conditions that are added, the more restrictive the license, as fewer uses may be made of the work. The fewer the conditions, the freer the work is, as the capacity to act on the work will be more extensive.
The UOC is committed to returning to society the knowledge that this society possesses and has obtained thanks to the University. For this reason, all teaching materials commissioned by the UOC are finally published with Creative Commons licenses, version 3.0.
In November 2013, Creative Commons published version 4.0, which is different from the previous versions in that it is international in nature, ie this version has not been adapted to the internal legislations of each country. Consequently, and to avoid possible legal implications, the license used by the UOC will continue to be version 3.0.