The author of a work, or whoever has the rights to exploit it, may choose to cede certain exploitation rights in favour of society, as a way of helping to disseminate culture and science.
Creative Commons came about for the purpose of managing authorizations to use a work. They allow the author or licence holder to specify which rights are reserved and which ones are ceded, based on four types of rights that combine to produce six types of Creative Commons licence. These rights are:
This involves simply acknowledging the authorship of the work.
Exploitation of the work is limited to non-commercial use.
No Derivative Works:
The authorization to exploit the work does not include transformation in order to create a derivative work.
Derivative works are authorized as long as the new ones maintain the same licence
See further information about Creative Commons Licences