Sharing Creativity Through Creative Commons


Creative commons is a non-profit organization that permits creative people to share their creativity, while at the same time keeping it protected from being copied. Obtaining a Creative Commons license is not the same as getting a copyright.  When an artist gets his or her work copyrighted, it prohibits others from using their artwork without the artist’s permission.  Creative Commons allows other people to redistribute an artist’s work without permission, yet still gives the artist credit for his work.   Copyright is strictly “all rights reserved”; creative commons is a customizable licensing tool that allows the artist to choose whether or not he wants his work shared or used for commercial purposes.



While speaking with a musician friend about Creative Commons, I indicated how I couldn’t think of any examples for this assignment.  Without hesitation, he told me that he uses a website called SoundCloud, which offers free, downloadable music.  He is able to obtain beats and background music from this site.  With this information, I researched and discovered that not all songs are available for free download on SoundCloud. However, I did find that artists are able to customize if they would like to share their music through downloading or streaming. I also discovered that SoundCloud has built the Creative Commons license into its uploading process.  After uploading a sound or set onto SoundCloud, the user can select the license on which he would like to release the audio piece.  He can then change the license at will, using the settings on SoundCloud’s website.  There is also a feature built into SoundCloud that allows users to search for music specifically licensed by Creative Commons.

My friend continues to use SoundCloud to make music, and indicates that it’s a great resource for inspiration.  There are a lot of artists out there and it’s nice to give them credit for what they upload and give out for free.



  1. Annie, I would have to agree with Sid that I love how you described CC as a “customizable licensing tool”– a short-and-sweet way to describe exactly what it is! I also like your example of SoundCloud and how you note that it’s a “great resource for inspiration.” After all, that’s what Creative Commons is all about!


  2. “Creative commons is a customizable licensing tool” is my favorite quote. I like that you brought up the fact that unlike a Copyright, CC is able to be shaped however the owner wants it to be. It is important to share your creativity, so this protects it on your terms. I like the way you also broke down the Soundcloud site and realized they basically use the same concepts. Maybe your friend can use a CC for their music.


  3. Annie,
    Love your use of graphics. Whatever your source for graphics, they are very sharp and adds to your post.

    You did a good job of summing up the difference between copyrighting and creative commons in one simple paragraph:

    “Copyright is strictly “all rights reserved” where, creative commons is a customizable licensing tool, allowing an artist to choose whether or not they want their work shared or used for commercial purposes”

    Also, the research you did with Sound Cloud is awesome. The fact that Sound Cloud includes the selection of which Creative License you want to use in the uploading of your sound files really takes the burden off the musician of possibly forgetting to go and obtain the license before or after uploading their music.

    Nice job.


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