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Copyright: Creative Commons

This work is a derivative of Berries Collage, by Maklay62, licenced under Public Domain (CC0 1.0) Universal.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons (CC) is a voluntary licence placed on a work by the copyright owner. It allows others the ability to share, reuse and remix the material (e.g text, image, video) legally, for free. This makes is clear for others what they can or cannot do with the material.

There are six standardised CC licences that allow material to be used in different ways. The original creator decides which licence to place on their work.


More information:

Smartcopy - What is Creative Commons?

Creative Common licences explained

There are six different creative commons licence types. They will contain 1 or more of the following components:

BY - attribution required. 
NC - no commercial use. 
ND - no derivative works. 
SA - Share Alike - the licence must be the same on any derivative works.


The Six Licences


This work is a derivative of The Ultimate Guide by Adapted, copied and communicated under (CC BY 4.0)


More information:

Creative Commons Australia - About the licences

Know your rights: Understanding Creative Commons licences

CC0 vs Public Domain

CC0 "No rights reserved"
Public Domain "No Known Copyright"

The creator who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Attribution is still required under moral rights.

Works enter the public domain when they are no longer restricted by copyright. 

This is generally 70 years after the death of the original creator or if the creator is unknown, 70 years after the work was created.

Museums, libraries and other cultural heritage institutions are often knowledgeable about the copyright status of paintings, books and manuscripts, photographs and other works in their collections, many of which are old and no longer under copyright. Many make Public Domain items available online.

YouTube video

This video was made by Creative Commons New Zealand, but is still relevant for Australia.

Creative Commons Kiwi by Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY) license.

How to attribute creative commons material

When using creative commons material you will need to include an attribution or in text citation directly below the resource you use.

To attribute you need to include the following details:

  • Author: The name of the creator
  • Title: provide the title of the work
  • Source: provide the URL where the work is hosted
  • Licence: indicate the type of Creative Commons licence it is available under and provide a link to the licence (so others can find out the licence terms)
  • keep intact any copyright notice associated with the work


At the end of your assignment, powerpoint or webpage you will need to include a full reference list in either APA or Harvard style. 

See the ERNI Easy Referencing Guide for help.


*You do not need to attribute images you have created yourself.


More information about attributing:

Smartcopying - specifically designed for Australian schools and TAFEs.

Creative Commons Australia

Australian Creative Commons

CC Image Attribution - Harvard

Example of Creative Commons Image Attribution


Full bibliographic reference with attribution


​Couler, 2017, Japanese Cherry Tree, photograph, Pixabay, viewed 28 April 2017. Copied and communicated under licence (CC0 1.0).


Couler, 2017, Japanese Cherry Tree, photograph, Pixabay, viewed 28 April 2017, Copied and communicated under licence (CC0 1.0).


​​​​In-text reference


Couler 2017, (CC0 1.0)


Couler 2017, (CC0 1.0)