Understanding Creative Commons


by I a Walsh via flickr.com

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that provides free licenses to you so that you can give others permission to use your work while retaining copyright.

What is copyright?

According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office:

In the simplest terms, “copyright” means “the right to copy.” In general, copyright means the sole right to produce or reproduce a work or a substantial part of it in any form. It includes the right to perform the work or any substantial part of it or, in the case of a lecture, to deliver it. If the work is unpublished, copyright includes the right to publish the work or any substantial part of it.

How do I know if my work has a copyright?

Copyright exists automatically when an original work or other subject-matter is created, provided the conditions set out in the Copyright Act have been met.

What do I do if someone is using my work without my permission?

If you want to have the legal right to ask someone to take down intellectual property that has been created by you (i.e. artwork, written work, recordings, etc.) you need to register with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

So what does a Creative Commons License do?

Creative Commons Licenses are a simple way of retaining copyright while allowing others to reuse your material if they want to. At it’s core, it works on the assumption that other people who want to use your material are moral upstanding citizens who will ask for your permission first. Having a Creative Commons License visible on your page for your work will:

  1. Enable you to set permissions of how others can use your work
  2. Keep your inbox free from clutter cause by having to provide permission to every person who wants to use your work

 How can I get a Creative Commons License?

We’re glad you asked, because it’s actually very simple! Visit this page and answer a few simple questions and it will choose the license that works best for your needs!

 How do I show that I have a Creative Commons License on the material in my ePortfolio?

It’s very simple!

  1. Select your license

Creative Commons License Chooser

In the last box, you’ll see “Have a web page?” This is where you will grab the code to put the Creative Commons License info into your webpage. Select all of the code in the text box (mine is highlighted green in the picture below) and hit ctrl+c or right click and select “copy”


Go to the WordPress Dashboard for your ePortfolio and choose the page you want to put the license on. Click “Edit Page”.

Outside of the upper right hand corner on your page editor you will see two tabs that say “Visual” and “Text”. Click on “Text”. This will show you the raw HTML code for your website

Don’t be scared! Scroll to the very last line of text and hit the enter key to begin a new line of text.


Paste the code you copied on the creative commons license chooser onto the new line of text.

Hit the “update” button.
Voila! You now have a Creative Commons License on this page of your ePortfolio.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The images and content on this page were developed and borrowed from the following sites:
Canadian Intellectual Property Office (2015) A Guide to Copyright. Retrieved Oct. 16, 2015.

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