The Creative Commons is a non-profit corporation that provides free licences for individuals who want to license their work in a way that allows for the work to be shared, remixed and/or used by others for either commercial or non-commercial purposes.
Creative Commons Licenses enable you, the author, to specific the conditions of re-use of your works by others while, at the same time ensuring that you are credited for your work. They provide built-in copyright and last for the same duration as the copyright in the work.
Creative Commons licences are used by all kinds of content creators including authors of academic books or journal articles, photographers, musicians, artists etc. Many monograph publishers do not yet offer a creative commons option for authors.
There are 6 licenses to choose from and all require attribution, signified by the ‘BY’ in each license name.
Creative Commons licenses - A short explanation, by Simon Mettler is licenses CC BY 2.0