Creative Commons is a nonprofit organisation created with the aim to enable the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.
Creative Commons has developed copyright licenses that are intended to provide a simple and standardised way for authors to give the public permission to share and use their creative work, on the conditions of their choice. These licenses allow authors to change their copyright terms from the default of 'all rights ( reproduction, distribution, display, and adaptations) reserved' to 'some rights reserved'. They are aimed to offer a way for authors to share their work freely on the Internet, while retaining the control they consider necessary. It supports open source and an alternative to traditional copyright regimes.
The Creative Commons licensing is particularly suited to online publishing. It is not designed to replace traditional copyright, but to work with copyright, empowering authors to choose the conditions of sharing.