What is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that has released a set of free and voluntary copyright licenses. With Creative Commons licenses, creators have the choice to give up certain exclusive rights normally associated with copyright, while retaining others. There are six different licenses that provide users with different levels of freedom. For more information about the different licenses and how they work, check out our Creative Commons landing page, the Creative Commons page on licenses, and our 101 article about Sharing using Creative Commons.
How can I select a Creative Commons license for my sound(s)?
After uploading a sound or set, you can select under which license you would like to release your piece of audio on SoundCloud. You can change the license via the sound settings (hover over your sound and click the pen icon below the waveform) at any time.
If you release all your sounds under a CC license, you'd want to look into the default settings for your licenses here: http://soundcloud.com/settings/extra. No matter how this setting is configured, you can still change the license on individual sounds.
How can I find sounds licensed under Creative Commons?
We recently released advanced search features that let you select to search under CC parameters. To search for Creative Commons tracks, perform a basic search on SoundCloud, and then filter the results by Sounds only. Then, filter the results again so that you can find sounds to use or modify commercially. Here's a screenshot to make sure you're on the right track: http://bit.ly/14tM4j3
How do I use sounds licensed under Creative Commons?
You can use sounds that you find on SoundCloud according to the terms provided in the license. All Creative Commons licenses require at least attribution, which means you must give credit to the original author. (A link to the sound page on SoundCloud is probably smart, also). Sounds that are licensed with a Non-Commercial term means that they can only be used in a non-commercial setting; a No-Derivatives term means that you can't create any work that is based on or incorporates the original work; and the Share-Alike term means that you must release any work that uses the original under exactly the same license.
If you follow the terms of the Creative Commons license, you do not have to ask for permission from the original creator – in fact, that's the whole point – but many creators like to see projects that use their work.