Judith Swan best practice , ,

How can I use an image labelled CC BY? What about CC BY-ND?

Which one should I apply to my work?

What do these acronyms mean?

Creative Commons (CC) licences are assigned by creators (authors, artists etc) to their work. The CC licence makes it easier to share copyrighted work by defining the conditions of use for that work.

The conditions of use are described by the four CC elements:

  • BY – Attribution.
  • NC – Noncommercial.
  • ND – No derivatives.
  • SA – Sharealike.

These four elements are combined to make six different CC licences:

  • CC BY
  • CC BY-SA
  • CC BY-ND
  • CC BY-NC

The elements and licences are clearly described by Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand on their website:

How to use CC licenced works.

JISC has the clearest diagram of how you can use works carrying a CC licence.

Image attribution: Creative Commons licenses explained ©Foter (adapted by Jisc) via Foter blog CC BY-SA


Creative Commons in New Zealand

A short history and contemporary applications are well described by McGuire (2015).


Licences explained. Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand Web site. Accessed April 4, 2018.

Hamilton M. Kernohan D. Jacobs N. Open by default? Jisc Web site. Updated August 10 2017. Accessed April 4, 2018.

McGuire M. Copyright and Creative commons in New Zealand. MEDIANZ Media Stud J Aotearoa NZ. 2015;14(2). Accessed March 10, 2015.


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