Difference Between Creative Commons and Public Domain

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Creative Commons and Public Domain

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We must obtain a license before we may undertake any approved work. A license is a legal document given by the constitution to persons as an authorization card or document that allows them to accomplish their business without being disturbed or interrupted by other organizations or people. In general, obtaining a license takes time because it is a federal procedure that must be verified by officials as evidence.

Both Creative Commons and Public Domain are associated with a person's life rights. Whereas Creative Commons is a license-issuing organization that grants licenses to those who wish to develop their inventions or work without allowing others to take it. The Public Domain, on the other hand, is a location where anyone can contribute their work without having to obtain a permit.

CC licencing marks are visible markings that inform people that their work can be shared without the need for direct contact or authorization from the originator. When implemented correctly to vector illustrations, a CC licence provides a link to a human-readable explanation of the licence, as well as a link to the legal agreement underlying the licence.

Creative Commons vs Public Domain

The primary distinction between Creative Commons and Public Domain is that Creative Commons safeguards a person's work by issuing a license, but if someone attempts to exploit that material unethically, the original person can assert copyright. On the other extreme, the publications in the Public Domain are available to use and are not subject to legal claims.

Creative Commons was designed for the protection and privacy of its users, as it does not enable the work to be publicly revealed even without the agreement of the initial content provider. All of the manager's rights are safe and secure in this organization. It is a non-profit organization that also grants licenses to the true inventors of the work, allowing them to protect the work from unauthorized use.

Public Domain is the complete antithesis of Open-Source licenses in that it permits anyone to freely use and change the work of others. All of the work in this organization is public property, which indicates there are no limits on utilizing expression on any site. Nobody owns the Public Domain, which is a very ancient organization in this subject.

Difference Between Creative Commons and Public Domain in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Creative Commons Public Domain
Definition Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that provides licenses to assist individuals to safeguard the creativity, handicraft, and other forms of expression from exploitation. A public domain is indeed an organization or organization that distributes forms of art and perhaps other items to the public for free and without regard for copyright.
Limitations There are several constraints, such as identification concerns, copyright claims, and non-commercial and try sharing licenses. Unless such original owner of the work retains the rights, there are essentially no restrictions for utilizing any kind of project on most any platform.
Founder Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle, and Hal Abelson are the three persons that came up with the idea for Creative Commons. Anyone who owns the rights the Public Domain the the organization; it exists solely for the benefit of the public and has been in use since the 17th century.
Alterations There really is no reason to adjust the work under the Creative Commons; only the originating possessor may do so. Others can make changes to the work, although approval from the work's owner is occasionally required.
Protection The content is fully protected, a licence is created, and confidentiality is safeguarded. There is little need for protection because the piece or art form is devoid of any copyrighted material.
Public use Anybody might do this if they like, but they must first obtain the permission from the copyright owner. Every one of the job's rights are free to do anything without any reclaim or limits.

What are Creative Commons?

Creative Commons was established in the United States of America, but it currently operates globally. Initially, the major domain was teaching, but as the organisation grew, the domains expanded from academic achievement to many other disciplines such as art, music, and so on. All works can be lawfully viewed here, and no changes can be made absent permission or licencing.

The founders of this group are Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle, and Hal Abelson, and it was created in 2001. Creative Commons has created a plethora of copyright licences and strategies for its customers. And the organisation has given this strategy the term Creative Commons licence. These licences are structured in a way that benefits both landowners and other users while preventing unauthorised access.

Catherine Stihler serves as the chief executive officer of Creative Commons' main headquarters in California. The licence provided to its client includes various symbols that clarify what they should and should not do.

What is Public Domain?

Since before late 18th century, the public domain has existed in our culture. This is a non-profit organisation that is public and available to practically everyone on the planet. This organization's work forms are free of any copyright issues, or the copyright licence has expired. This organisation houses the writings of several famous authors, including Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, and others.

The Public Domain system can differ in different nations since some restrictions may exist, and in order to obtain the work, users must get authorization from the original author. Any of the protected material can be modified, but only through legal means. Films in the public domain may haven't had a copyright licence or may have had an expired licence.

The Public Domain mark combines a copyright symbol 'C' with a 'no' symbol, indicating that the work or information shown here is exempt of any copyright violation and may be reused or reprinted.

More about Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that was created in 2001 with the primary purpose of developing and disseminating generic licences. The licences control how individuals and inventors may use their work, as well as the conditions during it that can be reproduced and dispersed and reused.

Creative Commons employs a variety of licences. In exchange, they modify the limits on the reuse of the specific work. The Creative Commons notion is based on the reality that the population has increased possibility to the objects in question.

Creative Commons License

A Creative Commons (abbreviated as CC) licence is one of many public copyright licences that allow for the free dissemination of otherwise protected works. The licence is shown when a writer, for example, wants to grant their audience freedom to distribute, reuse, and expand upon their work.

Creative Commons Tenets

All Creative Commons licences demand that any reuse of materials or works include acknowledgment to the author, originator, or holder. Some licences additionally require that derivative works have the same licencing. They may also restrict the usage of these kind of works to non-commercial purposes solely or prohibit any user from making derivative works at all.

More about Public Domain

The notion of public domains dates back to the 18th century. It has its origins in ancient Roman law and is influenced by a variety of elements. In its completeness, it implies that any work placed under it may be freely utilised by anybody and for any reason with limitation due to copyright constraints.

Tenets of Public Domain

When works are in the public domain, they are accessible if no one can assert possession over them. Any work that is in the public domain in one country does not have to be in the global public domain. This is due to the fact that copyright regulations change from one nation to the next.

When the author of a work has residual rights, the phrase "public domain" is not used. In such cases, the work is released "with authorization" or "under licence."

Main Differences Between Creative Commons and Public Domain in Points

  1. Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that provides licences to assist individuals safeguard their work, craftsmanship, and other forms of expression from exploitation. In contrast, the Public Domain is an institute or group that distributes forms of art or other items to the general for free, with no copyright issues.
  2. People can use the work under Creative Commons if they desire, but they must first obtain permission from the owner. All rights to the material are accessible to use while it is in the Public Domain, with no recovery or limitations.
  3. Nobody owns the Public Domain firm's rights. It is solely for the general public and has been in use since the 18th century. Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle, and Hal Abelson are the three persons that came up with the idea for Creative Commons.
  4. The work is fully protected under Creative Commons, a licence is created, and privacy is safeguarded. In contrast, no protection should be provided in the Public Realm since the product or artistic work is free of any copyright issues.
  5. Except if the original proprietor of the work maintains the rights back, there are essentially no restrictions on utilising any sort of material on any platform in the Public Domain. While Creative Commons has several constraints such as categorization concerns, copyright difficulties, non-commercial and share-alike.

Meaning related

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing licences for anyone to use with their creations. The licences restrict how users reproduce or disseminate the works covered by the licence, and they must follow by the rules outlined in them. The term "Creative Commons" can also apply to the organization's licences.

In contrast, public domain means that any object put in it can be utilised by everybody and for any purpose. The licence also removes all copyright limitations, unless specific circumstances apply, such as when the owner maintains residual rights.

Restrictions related

Creative Commons licences have four limits; however Public Domain licences will only be prohibited when the work's owner has residual rights.

Among the Creative Commons limitations are:

  1. Ownership
  2. Non-commercial
  3. There are no derivatives.
  4. Distribute Consistently

Attribution related

Any work licenced on under Creative Commons licences needs the owner's recognition, but any work licenced under the Public Domain licences does not involve any acknowledgment or royalties to the owner.

Any project licenced under the Creative Commons licences needs the owner's acknowledgement, but any work licenced under the Public Domain licences does not demand any acknowledgment or credits to the owner.


Safeguarding remarkable works is quite frequent and vital in order to preserve a person's distinctiveness. The best approach to protect your work from unauthorised use is to obtain a licence. Furthermore, if someone attempts to copy your work, you may go to court with documentation and lawfully penalise them for the unlawful usage or access. And you may reclaim ownership of your work.

Both the Public Domain and Creative Commons were created to make it easier for ordinary citizens to obtain limited work forms as well as other types of art forms. However, there are restrictions when it comes to attempting to access work in Creative Commons because all claims are restricted, and the user must ask approval from the previous author of the work. While the Public Domain does not limit the user and no authorization is required to view their work.

Whenever a document is in the public sphere, it is free for anyone to use for any purpose under copyright law. Because no one possesses or controls the information in any manner, the public sphere is the greatest version of open/free.

Publications that are in the digital realm in one court's powers are not always in the public eye in all legal jurisdictions. Copyright laws vary by jurisdiction, both in terms of period of protection and what determines copyrightable subject matter.

A work obviously in the public domain in the United States, for example, may or may not be free of copyright limitations and in the digital realm in other jurisdictions. At the moment, one of the only measures to ensure that a specific work.

Since the licences only pertain to materials that are copyrighted, Creative Commons licences have no effect on the standing of a material that is in the public sphere under relevant law.




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"Difference Between Creative Commons and Public Domain." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 15 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-creative-commons-and-public-domain-104>.

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