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GE3401 Copyright for Student Filmmakers

This guide provides copyright basics and assists students in properly using copyrighted artistic works.

Protecting your own copyright

Creative Commons licenses are free legal tools provided by the Creative Commons global non-profit organization. They are a valid form of copyright license meant to provide a straightforward way of managing the copyright terms around a creative work.

If you plan to screen or share your film with the public, you might want to protect your work from being reproduced without your permission by choosing a Creative Commons License. 

There is a localized version of Creative Commons licences for Hong Kong that allows you to set the terms under which other people can use your work. There are generally 6 options (descriptions are from the Creative Commons website):

Type Description

Attribution
CC BY

This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licenced materials.

Attribution-ShareAlike
CC BY-SA

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and licence their new creations under the identical terms. This licence is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the licence used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licenced projects.

Attribution-NoDerivs
CC BY-ND

This licence allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution-NonCommercial
CC BY-NC

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to licence their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and licence their new creations under the identical terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
CC BY-NC-ND

This licence is the most restrictive of our six main licences, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.