by S. Housley
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that allows artists, authors, publishers and musicians the option of creating and defining a flexible copyright for their creative works. Creative Commons was officially launched in 2001 by a group of intellectual property experts, lawyers and web publishers. Creative Commons licenses cover art, music, and writing, but is not designed for software.
A Creative Commons license allows creators to place conditions on their copyrights. Traditionally, copyrights restrict the rights of others from modifying or distributing copywritten works. Creative Commons licenses offer flexibility by allowing the creator (copyright holder) the ability to choose what limitations they want in place with respect to specific copywritten works.