Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.
Under U.S. Law, a copyright is established when one creates a work in a “fixed and tangible form.” Another individual wanting to use that copyrighted work legally must contact the copyright owner and request permission.
Creative Commons (CC) licenses give permission for specific public uses
Creative Commons offers a suite of copyright licenses that allow the copyright holder to make the work available to the public for certain uses while maintaining copyright to that work. CC licenses encourage sharing and re-use of copyrighted works.
Creative Commons licenses provide the conditions for use of a work up front, so people who want to use your work do not have to contact the copyright holder for permission. They can legally use the work as long as they follow the conditions set in the work's CC license.
A CC license is a tool that will allow creators to further promote free public access and use of their work, which is a consideration often written into research grants today.
Why publish under CC license?
See the Creative Commons licenses page for the details on each license type.
For more information
Creative Commons: Information from the University of Minnesota Libraries.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.