Creative Commons for Not for Profit Organisations

As part of the 2014 Changemakers Festival, the Coalition of Community Boards were lucky to be team up with some brilliant minds in creativity and education to start a discussion on Creative Commons for Not for Profit organisations.

Our guest presenters were Elliot Bledsoe, freelance digital producer and advocate for creative commons in Australia, and Junita Lyons, Adult Educator and creative commons contributor for the adult literacy sector, kindly donated their time to share their knowledge with us. 

Following is the webinar, which is broken up into two parts:

Firstly, Elliott discuss what is creative commons, why it is important, and how to use the licencing and find and attribute material on the web.

Junita then discusses how the adult literacy sector have been using the concept of creative commons to build a network of resources for professional development, program delivery and collaboration around the globe, to show how the application of creative commons goes further than just using images from the web.  Unfortunately as Junita lives regionally, some of the audio is patchy, but you can find all of the resources in the links below.

If you are interested in joining a collaborative mailing group solely for sharing resources for the not for profit community sector, just send me a quick message

Links to websites used by Junita for sharing and to access free training and development


Use Flickr or Google images to select creative commons licensing (you can also select ‘usage rights’ from under the search box if you are in image search


How to grab a creative commons license to put on your own publications

Remember there are 6 licenses you can use

FAQ’s on Creative Commons licensing, including attribution when using or adapting works –

Additional questions from the webinar

So the licence is prepared by the creator of the work? Not the potential user of the work? 
Yes, the author of the work sets the level of restrictions using one of the 6 creative commons licenses

If the image is for a fundraiser is that classed as commercial?

Yes and No.  For the purposes of copyright, any use of another persons work is restricted.  If you are a not for profit, and use a licence that allows use for NFP’s under CC licensing, and the purpose of the funds is for NFP purposes, that would be allowed.

What if you are looking at creating content that such as Power point and hard copy this seems to be all web based?
Creative Commons licensing can be used for any publication whether online or offline.  Attribution and use is set out in each of the 6 licenses – all the images in my powerpoint were using creative commons and handbooks, information sheets or policy and governance documents could also use creative commons licensing

Another not for profit organisation put out some information that is useful for our clients.  They didn’t say it was shareable, but they are for social good.  I tried to contact them, but the email bounced back.  I don’t even know if the organisation still exists.  Can I use this work?
All work produced is by default under copyright legislation.  This means you can not legally use their work for any purpose without their express consent.  This is why not for profits should start using creative commons licensing on all their work – it means that other organisations can use helpful information to help more people, even after they have left their organisations or completed particular projects.

If I release a program or information out on creative commons licensing, does that mean I give up my rights to earn money off it?
Creative Commons licensing does not restrict your rights to sell or make money off your programs.  What it does mean is that others can also use your work in ways that you have set out through one of the 6 licenses.  However, you can not change your license agreement for works that you released under creative commons and start charging retrospectively.  As an example, you might charge to run a workshop in your community centre, but release the workshop material under creative commons so another community centre can also use or adapt the work to use in their centre.

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