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Creative Commons licenses, symbols, and their meanings


The infographic shows the six different types of Creative Commons licenses. Each license contains a series of symbols with different meanings to indicate the license’s level of openness. The infographic also explains what each of the symbols mean. 


The six different Creative Commons (CC) licenses are displayed vertically on the left-hand side of the infographic in the following order:

  1. CC-BY
  2. CC-BY SA
  3. CC-BY NC
  4. CC-BY ND
  5. CC-BY NC SA
  6. CC-BY NC ND

Displayed to the right of the licenses are the four different symbols used in the licenses and their meaning. They are listed in the following order:

  • Circle-shaped symbol containing the outline of a person (BY). 
    • Meaning: Attribution - Others can distribute, copy, display, perform and remix your work if they credit your name as requested by you.
  • Circle-shaped symbol containing an equal sign (ND).
    • Meaning: No Derivative Works - Others can only copy, distribute, display, or perform verbatim copies of your work.
  • Circle-shaped symbol containing a circular arrow (SA).
    • Meaning: Share Alike - Others can distribute your work only under a license identical to the one you have chosen for your work.
  • Circle-shaped symbol containing a dollar sign with a slash through it (NC).
    • Meaning: Non-Commercial - Others can copy, distribute, display, perform or remix your work, but for non-commercial purposes only.