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Creative Commons for Religious Professionals: Sharing with Creative Commons

Sharing with Creative Commons as a Religious Professional

Creative Commons is a powerful tool for religious professionals. Sermons, newsletters, religious education curriculum, photographs, videos, and even music can all be licensed with Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows creators to retain copyright and provide reasonable limitations on usage while also providing the space for the materials to be shared and used widely. 

Who can use Creative Commons?

Anyone creating copyrighted material can use Creative Commons. This can be both individuals and organizations. In work for hire situations, in which someone created copyrighted material as part of their job, the employer owns the copyright and the employer must decide to use a Creative Commons license. For religious professionals, who retains what copyright can sometimes be quite complicated and is often negotiated as part of your employment. Broadly speaking, for material such as such as sermons and articles, copyright remains with the religious professional for creations. Other types of material, like newsletters (excluding any article written by religious professionals), copyright often remains with the congregation. 

What can I share with Creative Commons?

Anything eligible for copyright can be licensed with Creative Commons licenses. To be eligible, the work must be

  • Original
  • Created by an author
  • Possess a degree of creativity
  • Captured in fixed expression (such as written down or recorded)

Facts and ideas in and of themselves are not eligible for copyright. For for information, see the "Copyright" tab above. 

If your work qualifies for copyright, the next step is to select a license. 

Selecting a License

To decide what Creative Commons license to use, the Creative Commons license chooser will walk you through the process. 

Applying the license

When using the license chooser, the chooser will generate an automatic attribution you can apply to your work. 


Image: "Marking your work with a CC license" Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


For applying a license in other mediums, such as print, video, audio, or presentations, see the guide "Marking your work with a CC license.

Creative Common License Elements

All Creative Commons licenses build upon these four elements. A creator uses these elements to create licenses that fits their needs

License Element Logos” by Creative Commons. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Creative Commons License Spectrum

Not all Creative Commons licenses are the same. As you decide what license to select, the infographic below can help you see how different licenses are related to each other and how their openness can vary substantially. 

Image: Creative Commons License SpectrumCreative Commons Attribution 4.0

Creative Commons License

Except where otherwise noted, content on this Library Guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

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