Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Ask A Librarian

Creative Commons and the CC licenses

Exceptions and limitations to copyright

It's important to remember that Creative Commons licenses work in conjunction with copyright.  So if the issue of copyright is resolved via fair use or the item is in the public domain, then CC licenses are unnecessary

Do Creative Commons licenses affect exceptions and limitations to copyright, such as fair dealing and fair use?     
By design, CC licenses do not reduce, limit, or restrict any rights under exceptions and limitations to copyright, such as fair use or fair dealing.  If your use of CC-licensed material would otherwise be allowed because of an applicable exception or limitation, you do not need to rely on the CC license or comply with its terms and conditions. This is a fundamental principle of CC licensing.

Creative Commons License"Creative Commons FAQs" by Creative Commons

Copyright Licenses

Because works can be governed by more than copyright law, it's important to completely understand the laws that govern a work or item.  Patents and trademarks do not fall under copyright law and so Creative Commons licenses would not apply.  If there are other rights that need to be considered, such as privacy rights, those would fall outside of CC licenses and would need to be considered separately.  Creative Commons licenses are designed to work with/ along side copyright only.