A collection (or compilation) combines two or more creative works that have individual copyrights. Collections may be “copyrightable if the materials are selected, coordinated, or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes a new work. (US Copyright Office Circ. 14).” However, the copyright applies only to the new content. The pre-existing works retain their original copyrights.
If you create a collection and add new content, perhaps introductory text or narrative, you may place a CC license on your content and clearly distinguish and attribute the individual pieces of the collection. Because a collection does not constitute a derivative, a remix, or an adaptation, you don’t need to put the entire work under one license that ensures all materials are compatible. Learn more about applying a CC license to a collection.
In contrast, a remix is a new copyrightable material or creative work that adapts or is derived from existing copyright protected works. Typically, the term signals that the new creation includes 2 or more pre-existing works, but it could also mean that that you’ve adapted one pre-existing work and added new copyrightable content. Usually, with a remix, you can’t tell where one piece of work begins and another ends.
“Collage Silhouette” is a derivative of “Female Head” by Open ClipArt Vectors on Pixabay CC0 1.0, “Blood red maple leaves” by Annie Spratt from Pixabay CC0 1.0, “Dogwood-tree-flower-macro” by Forest Wander on Flickr CC BY SA 2.0, “Lavender flower bed in the evening” by Daiga Ellaby on Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0.
Collage Silhouette by Caroline Sinkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
When you create a remix, you must consider license compatibility. License compatibility is the term used to address the issue of which types of licensed works can be adapted into a new work.
The chart below has CC licenses listed along the left column and top column. Select and place a check mark to indicate that licenses may be remixed. If elements of the license prohibit remixing, select and place an X in the box.
Need help: Take a look at the chart on CC website.
If you create a remix, adaptation, or derivative work, you may apply a CC license to your work. When selecting a license for a remixed work, it is best to choose the most restrictive of the licenses of the original works that comprise the remix. Learn more about adapters’ licenses.
Except where otherwise noted, Collections & Remixes by Caroline Sinkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.