Difference Between Creative Commons and Public Domain (With Table)

For doing any authorized work, we need to have a license issued. License is a paper issued by the government to the people as a permission card or paper with the help of which they can do their work without any disturbance and interruption by the other organizations or people. Generally, license making takes time as it is a government process, and it needs to be signed by the officials as proof.

Creative Commons and Public Domain both are related to the work rights of a person. Where Creative Commons is a license issuing organization that issues licenses to people who want to make their creations or work safely without letting anyone stealing their work. While the Public Domain is a place where people can submit their work without issuing licenses.

Creative Commons vs Public Domain

The difference between Creative Commons and Public Domain is that Creative Commons secures the work of a person by generating a license, and if someone tries to use that work unethically, then the original person can claim copyright. On the other hand, Public Domain is free from copyright claims, and the works present there are free to use.

Creative Commons is created for users’ security and privacy as it does not allow the work to be accessible to the public without permission from the original content creator. All the rights of the owner are safe and protected in this organization. It is a non-profit organization that also issues licenses to the real creators of the work that helps them to make their work more secure from fraudulent usage.

Public Domain is just the opposite of Creative Commons as it allows people to use and modify the work forms of other people without any issues. In this organization, all the work present is copyright free which means there are no restrictions in using work forms on any platform. Public Domain is a very old organization in this field, and nobody owns it.

Comparison Table Between Creative Commons and Public Domain

Parameters of ComparisonCreative CommonsPublic Domain
DefinitionCreative Commons refers to a group that helps people protecting their art, craft, and other art forms from misuse by issuing licenses to them. Public Domain is an institute or organization that issues art forms or other works to the people for free and there is no copyright issue.
LimitationsThere are many restrictions like designation issues, copyright issues, non-commercial and share-alike. There are almost no limitations on using any type of work on any platform unless the original holder of the work preserves the rights back.
FounderThree people created the idea of making Creative Commons and are Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle, and Hal Abelson. No one holds the rights of the Public Domain organization it is only for the public and it is being used since the 17th century.
AlterationsThere is no chance of doing any alterations to the work in the Creative Commons only the original holder can do it. Anyone can make alterations to the work but sometimes permission is needed from the owner of the work.
ProtectionThere is full protection for the work, the license is generated and privacy is also maintained. No protection is needed as the work or the art form is free from any copyright issue.
Public usePeople may use it if they want but before that, they need to access the permission of the owner. All the rights of the work are free to use without any reclamation or restrictions.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons was first in the United States of America, but now it works all over the world. Firstly the main domain was the education field, but as the organization kept growing, the domains extended from education to many more fields like art, music, etc. Here all the works are legally accessed, and no modification can be done without the permission or the licenses.

This organization was found in 2001, and the founders are Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle, and Hal Abelson. Creative Commons has generated so many types of copyright licenses and copyright methods for its clients. And it the organization has named this method Creative Commons license. These licenses are created in a balanced way so that both owners and other users can get benefits without any illegal access.

Creative Commons have their main head office in California, and the chief executive officer of that headquarter is Catherine Stihler. The license issued to its client contains several symbols explaining their dos and don’t.

What is Public Domain?

Public Domain has been present in our society since the late 18th century. This is a not-for-profit organization that is free and accessible for almost anyone in the world. The work forms present in this organization are free from any copyright issue, or the copyright license is expired. Several big author works are present in this organization, for example, the work of Shakespeare, Leonardo the Vinci, etc.

The Public Domain system may differ in other countries as some restrictions may be present, and for accessing the work, people need to pursue permissions from the original author of the work. Modifying any of the reserved work can be done but with legal procedures only. Public Domain also contains films that never had a copyright license or expired license.

The symbol of Public Domain contains a copyright symbol ‘C’ with ‘no’ symbol, which shows that the work or the content present here is free from any copyright claim and can be reused or republished.

Main Differences Between Creative Commons and Public Domain

  1. Creative Commons refers to a group that helps people protecting their art, craft and other art forms from misuse by issuing licenses to them. Whereas Public Domain is an institute or organization that issues art forms or other works to the people for free, and there is no copyright issue.
  2. In Creative Commons, people may use the work if they want, but before that, they need to access the permission of the owner. While in Public Domain, all the rights of the work are free to use without any reclamation or restrictions.
  3. No one holds the rights of the Public Domain organization. It is only for the public, and it is being used since the 18th century. Whereas three people who initiated the idea of making Creative Commons and are Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle, and Hal Abelson.
  4. In Creative Commons, there is full protection for the work, the license is generated, and privacy is also maintained. On the other hand, no protection is needed in Public Domain as the work or the art form is free from any copyright issue.
  5. In Public Domain, there are almost no limitations on using any type of work on any platform unless the original holder of the work preserves the rights back. While there are many restrictions in Creative Commons like designation issues, copyright issues, non-commercial and share-alike.

Conclusion

Securing exceptional works is very common and important to conserve the uniqueness of a person. License issuing is the best way for securing your work from any illegal usages. And also, if anyone tries to imitate your work, you can reach court with the proofs and can legally claim charges for the unauthorized usage or access. And can own your work back.

Both the Public Domain and Creative Commons are created to helps common people in accessing limited work forms and other types of art forms easily, but there are some limitations when it comes to access work in Creative commons as all the rights are reserved in that, and the user needs to seek permission from the original author of the work. While Public Domain does not restrict the user, and there is no permission needed in accessing their work.

References

  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/montlr65&section=6
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/emlj39&section=42
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