Copyright protects an author's or creator's right over any original work they have created. This means that anyone else needs the author's permission in order to user do things like make copies, distribute or perform the work publicly. Even if you are just referencing someone else's copyrighted work you need to give them credit. Don't forget to cite your sources!
"When do you cite" and "What needs to be cited" by libraries.ucsd.edu available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License
Creative Commons works differently than copyright. Rather than requiring people to get your permission to use your work you automatically give permission for public use. You can limit what type of permission you give.
Types of Creative Commons Licenses
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