“Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.”
The Creative Commons website provides free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use non-commercially, commercially, or any combination thereof - (adapted from: http://creativecommons.org/about/)
So if you want to share your own work with other students or anyone else, the Creative Commons website enables you to choose a licence (which is explained in easy to understand language and symbols) appropriate to how you want to make it available and attach to your work. Choosing a Creative Commons licence only means you have chosen to make your work available in a particular (non-exclusive) way and does not assign copyright to any user, who must abide by the terms and conditions of the licence you have chosen. See http://creativecommons.org/choose/
Similarly if you come across any works on the internet with a Creative Commons Licence attached, you will be able to share this work with others in accordance with the licence and conditions attached.
However a word of caution – occasionally, you may find works with a Creative Commons licence attached (in-copyright artwork for example) which right to licence would not wholly rest with the photographer who may have taken the picture of the image. So keep a watchful eye and if something strikes you as not quite right, then probably best not to share and keep for use for your own personal use only, if appropriate.
Licence symbols and conditions
Creative Commons licensing terms are constructed so that they are easily understood and users do not get hampered by long drawn out ‘ ‘legal’ language which leaves people baffled and scared to interpret.
These licensing terms are explained at http://creativecommons.org/choose/.
So if you decide to make your work available on the basis that it may be used for non-commercial purposes, and may not be adapted, then you would choose http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/ and attach this URL to your work online. Ensure you name is on your work as the author and you have the © symbol beside your name also.
If you have a particular acknowledgement you would like people to see when they use your work under the Creative Commons Licence, then place that on your work also: eg, (title of your work (2010) by John Brown, © John Brown, made available under Creative Commons Licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/. That makes it easier for others to credit appropriately and also links directly to the licence terms. If you use works under Creative Commons licensing terms, please ensure you credit appropriately also. All uses of Creative Commons licensed works require attribution.
Please visit the Creative Commons website for further information: http://creativecommons.org/