Brendan What Is Creative Commons?


Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been featuring SoundCloud creators who use Creative Commons to expand the distribution of their music. But what is Creative Commons? Simply put: it’s a series of standard licenses that you can apply to your original work. Through this action, you grant other people permission to use your work, but on the conditions that you choose. Creative Commons is not an alternative to copyright – you always retain the copyright to your original work.

When you upload a recording to which you hold all the rights to your SoundCloud profile, you can combine four different Creative Commons modules to create one of six licenses. The modules are:

  • Attribution – This means that you let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work but only if they give credit the way you request. Many people ask for a link back to their SoundCloud profile.

  • Noncommercial – This means that you let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work – and derivative works based upon it – but for noncommercial purposes only.

  • No Derivative Works – This lets others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

  • Share Alike – This allows others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

We’ve made it very easy for you to select a Creative Commons license when you upload your work. Click on the “More options” button:


By then clicking on the Creative Commons button, you will get the option to choose which license(s) you’d like to use. Pretty simple!


For more detailed information, visit the Creative Commons website.

(Creative Commons Logo image courtesy of: Creative Commons)



  • Naoyuki Sasanami

    Please consider of a feature to link the derivation chain in related list for respecting the source materials. i wrote the link in description but nothing related. if SC does repost as retweet, reply with in_reply_to might work out. cf ccmixter is possible to link to CC materials on freesound and jamendo others. thanks