When using work from somebody else

Reuse of documents or multimedia

When you are going to use documents or multimedia with a Creative Commons license, you have to give them a good attribution. 

For a good attribution you need to include the following information:

  • Title of the work
  • The name of the creator of the work
  • The URL where the work is hosted
  • The type of license under which the work is available; and a link to the details of the license

A good rule of thumb is to use the acronym TASL, which stands for Title, Author, Source, License.


Container ship by Frans Berkelaar CC BY

Sometimes you want to use an image from Wikipedia


Photo by Wikipedia

"Photo by Wikipedia" is not the correct attribution because:

Title? Title is not noted.
Author? wikipedia is not the author of the photo.
Source? No link to the original photo
License? There is not mention of the license, much less a link to the license. "Creative Commons" is an organization.

For examples of other works (e.g. books, webpages, blogs) go to  https://www.newmediarights.org/guide/how_to/creative_commons/best_practices_creative_commons_attributions

For making a good attribution go to: Open Attribution Builder

Derivative work

When you want to modify an image and add your own details, the image will become a derivative work.

Below you see a good attribution for material from which you created a derivative work.

"This work, "campus TUDelft", is a derivative of "Delft Applied Sciences Department" by Przemyslaw used under CC BY. "campus TUDelft" is licensed under CC BY by TUDelft."

Material from multiple sources

Below is a good attribution for material from multiple sources:

"Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (with hyperlink). It is attributed to ..... and ....., and the original version can be found here (with hyperlinks)" 

Public domain

When a work is in the public domain, it can be freely used by anyone for any purpose without restriction under copyright law. Public domain is the purest form of open/free, since no one owns or controls the material in any way.

When does something fall into the public domain?

  • The term of copyright for the work has expired. Most content in Europe comes in the public domain on the first of January of the 71 st year after the death of the creator.
  • It never had copyright protection.
  • The work was explicitly donated to the public domain.