Work licensed under a Creative Commons license is governed by applicable copyright law. This allows Creative Commons licenses to be applied to all work falling under copyright, including: books, plays, movies, music, articles, photographs, blogs, and websites.
While Software is also governed by copyright law and CC licenses are applicable, the Creative Commons recommends Free and open-source software software licenses instead of Creative Commons licenses. Outside the FOSS licensing use case for software there are several usage examples to utilize CC licenses to specify a "Freeware" license model; examples are The White Chamber, Mari0 or Assault Cube. Also the Free Software Foundation recommends the CC0 as the preferred method of releasing software into the public domain.
However, application of a Creative Commons license may not modify the rights allowed by fair use or fair dealing or exert restrictions which violate copyright exceptions. Furthermore, Creative Commons licenses are non-exclusive and non-revocable. Any work or copies of the work obtained under a Creative Commons license may continue to be used under that license.
In the case of works protected by multiple Creative Commons licenses, the user may choose either.
Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works and remixes based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits (attribution) in the manner specified by these. Since version 2.0, all Creative Commons licences require attribution to the creator and include the BY element.
Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical ("not more restrictive") to the license that governs the original work. (See also copyleft.) Without share-alike, derivative works might be sublicensed with compatible but more restrictive license clauses, e.g. CC BY to CC BY-NC.)
Seven regularly used licenses
|Icon||Description||Shortening||Attribution Required||Allows Remix culture||Allows commercial use||Allows Free Cultural Works||Meets the OKF 'Open Definition'|
|Freeing content globally without restrictions||CC0||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Attribution + ShareAlike||BY-SA||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Attribution + Noncommercial||BY-NC||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike||BY-NC-SA||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Attribution + NoDerivatives||BY-ND||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives||BY-NC-ND||Yes||No||No||No||No|