By the definition, commons is a kind of resource that belongs to the whole community - it is used and improved by all. Cultural commons stand for physical or virtual cultural property which is shared within community. It can also represent an intellectual property (such as library) available to community on a certain physical or cyber space.
Creative Commons is nowadays a well known US based community platform, that is structurally a non-profit organization, devoted to make artwork available for sharing and define legal boundaries of creative products which are used for commercial purposes. Their licenses are enabling users to download and use their content free of charge. However, there is a set of rules and variety of Creative Commons licenses you should know about.
CCO is the type of license that gives you all the freedom with the content. This means that the work is open for public, the author does not require any credit and you are not restricted to the personal use of the content only. This is the most carefree type of license you should look for, if you want your experience to go smooth and never thing about plagiarism set of laws.
CC BY 4.0 is also known as an attribution license. Within this type of license, you are obliged to give credit to the content author, specify if you made any changes to the content and also insert a link to the license itself. For better knowing how to give credit, you can find the information you need on the wiki website of Creative Commons. Although, this license requires more work from you and it's not particularly handy if you are using it for commerce or your own marketing campaign.
This license has the same rules and restrictions as the CC BY 4.0 attribution license, although on top of it, if you make any changes to the work, you are required to distribute your own work with the same license as the original. This license reminds you that in a community, except from taking resources for free, it is expected from you to give something back in return. SA in the title stands for "share-alike".
Following the restrictions of the attribution license, you may download and use the content for free, although this particular license doesn't allow you to use the credited content in a commercial purpose. These images and videos aren't your choice for a marketing video or poster. NC clearly stands for "non-commercial".
ND in this license title stands for "no-derivatives", meaning that the original content is free of charge to use however you choose, even commercially, under the restrictions of the attribution license (credit, link), but only under the condition that you do not make any changes to the original work. If you do change the content, you are not allowed to publicly expose and distribute it. This is a tricky license and also very demanding and complicated if you are looking for stock photos/videos for your own project.
In our previous articles, we have listed several websites where you can find free stock videos, as well as photography. Most of the titles from our list use their own policy regarding giving credits and hyper linking the shared content, while several use the set of rules by Creative Commons for their distributions.
If you have any doubts about your freedom of use of certain content, you can either contact the website owner or the content creator, or simply move on to the content with clear licensing. Before moving on to downloading the images from stock websites, it is recommended that you read the guidelines on the Creative Commons website, as well as to consider what is that you can do to give back to the community.
The world of free stock footage wouldn't exist if there weren't for selfless creators willing to share and contribute to the creative worldwide community. Think about your role in this global commune and find a way to improve and enrich this cyber space with your participation and contribution.
Even if the license does not require giving credit to the author, it would be a matter of respect to show in any way that we appreciate the work of our colleagues and how much their sharing helped us with our projects.
Another important notice on the topic of stock footage is that most of the websites have a disclaimer that the content must not be used in the process of creating a work that promotes violence, discrimination or any other offensive marketing campaign. We would like to remind you that the creative industry is not here to be led by these types of values and we strongly support the disclaimers of these websites.
Good luck with creating your next project and pay attention to the copyright of the stock content you use!
About the author:
Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.