411 for Creators

How not to get ripped off or to rip someone off


the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same


grant a license to (someone or something) to permit the use of something or to allow an activity to take place


take (the work or an idea of someone else) and pass it off as one's own

Creative Commons

A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created


the unauthorized use or reproduction of another's work

Public Domain

the state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, and therefore not subject to copyright

Creative Work

A creative work is a manifestation of creative effort such as artwork, literature, music, paintings, and software. Creative works have in common a degreeof arbitrariness, such that it is improbable that two people would independently create the same work. Creative works are part of property rights.

The term is frequently used in the context of copyright law.

Fair Use

Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of acreative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrightedmaterial without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary,search engines, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides forthe legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test.

The term fair use originated in the United States. A similar principle, fair dealing, exists in some othercommon law jurisdictions. Civil law jurisdictions have other limitations and exceptions to copyright.

Fair use is one of the traditional safety valves.