Position statement: Creative Commons


Libraries play a pivotal role in the communities they serve, providing free access to information to support lifelong learning, research and study, preserving cultural heritage and championing freedom of expression and ideas. NSLA is fully committed, through ongoing initiatives, to expand access to our collections and to support the efforts of those who seek to make access to information more open to stimulate creativity and innovation.


Libraries also work to balance the intellectual property rights of creators, including copyright, with the right of the public to access and re-use information. NSLA acknowledges and supports creators’ rights and will continue to inform and educate users about the importance of copyright law. However, NSLA also believes that copyright law, with its 'one size fits all' approach, creates obstacles for those creators who wish to take full advantage of the opportunities created by the digital revolution and the Internet and make their works available online, for easy use and re-use by others.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit corporation founded in 2001 'dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.'

Creative Commons provides a set of licences to help creators easily identify how others may use their work legally, releasing some rights, while retaining others. Creative Commons bridges the gap between the 'all rights reserved' function of copyright and the 'no rights reserved' function of the public domain by creating a 'some rights reserved' environment. Creative Commons licences empower creators to positively express how their creative works may be used by others and facilitate long term access and re-use of creative works.

Creative Commons licences have been adopted by individuals, private sector organisations, universities and governments, and millions of works worldwide are now licensed using Creative Commons licenses. The Australian and New Zealand governments have shown leadership in their support of Creative Commons licensing for public sector information in the Government Information Licensing Framework (GILF) and the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing Framework (NZGOAL).

From 2011 NSLA will release the material it creates as part of Re-imagining Libraries projects using Creative Commons licences and, where possible, individual NSLA libraries will release their material using Creative Commons licences, to foster a positive, permissions based environment for researchers, library professionals, educators, and anyone who wants to make use of our material.