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Copyright & Creative Commons

​​​By design, Creative Commons licenses have three layers 


Common Deeds

Plain Language Summary

The most widely-known version of each license is the common deed or plain language summary.  Common deeds for each license can be found on the Creative Commons site and provide a human-readable description of the license scope for creators considering it for their work and for others wanting to reuse the work.  


Legal Code

At base, the common deed is founded on the legally binding code for that license. The legal code is linked from each common deed like so:



Machine Readable Code

Beyond the common deed and legal code for each license, machine readable code enables the license terms to be read by search engines and other applications.  To see this in action, narrow an advanced Google search by usage rights.  The usage right options on Google's Advanced Search correspond to the Creative Commons license terms.