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Copyright guide

This is a companion guide to the RMIT Copyright webpages for staff and students.

Creative Commons - Using and sharing content

A must watch for understanding Creative Commons and using content under Creative Commons licenses.

Creative Commons Licences

Creative Commons are licence themes that are used to licence works (music, artistic, literary, and video works), under the terms of each license. Creative Commons works are free to use as long as the licence terms are followed.

Creative Commons offers the following licenses with each theme having a specific icon.

 Attribution (BY) - this licence requires the work to be attributed

 No Derivatives (ND) - no adaptations, modifications, or alterations allowed, the work must be used as is.

 Non-commercial (NC) - the work can only be used for non-commercial purposes

 Share Alike (SA) - if you adapt or modify the work you must release the new work under a creative commons licence.

If you require any assistance with Creative Commons licenses contact

Search for Creative Commons Works

creative commons search logo

Searching for Creative Commons Works on Flickr and YouTube

There is a large range of images on Flickr are made available under Creative Commons licenses and each license has differing terms of use. A Creative Commons image on Flickr must be used according to the terms of the Creative Commons licence. Before using a Creative Commons licensed image ensure you read and understand the licence terms.

There are also images on Flickr that could be considered a breach of copyright ensure the image(s) you wish to use are legal copies.

 What you need to consider before using Flickr images:

  • If the image is of a copyright work such as a famous painting or artistic work make sure the photographer has obtained permission from the copyright owner of the original work [painting etc] to photograph the work and to distribute the photograph to others.
  • You may need to contact the rights holder to gain permission to use the work.

Galleries and museums sometimes allow photography of the works within the gallery for personal purposes this means for your own home library of photographs. Galleries and museums don't usually hold copyright on works they exhibit.

Searching for creative commons licensed material (1:49 mins) by missmelodysmelodies (YouTube)

Creative Commons Attribution

Attribution is a core condition in all six Creative Commons licences. Consult the following to assist in referencing creative commons works.