Standard YouTube license and “Creative commons”: the differences

If you’re starting to fiddle on YouTube you may have noticed that there are two types of licenses on the platform: Standard and Creative Commons. Let’s see what they are and what the differences are between the two.

Standard License

A standard license delegates permission to use or possess something that is issued by a competent authority.

On the web, we rely primarily on consent that allows you to use, copy, and distribute content that is present online.

In the case of YouTube being a platform in which videos are shared and views are generated on video-only content, the licensing policy of the site includes certain rules and regulations relating precisely to the use of content uploaded to the platform and much more.

When a user decides to upload a video to YouTube, the site offers the possibility to choose the type of license to associate with the content:

  • Standard: through which the rights of transmission are granted to the platform, without authorizing reproductions or distributions of content elsewhere.
  • Creative Commons: through which the use of the material is granted to third parties under specific conditions of use.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that operates worldwide providing free licenses that can also be used for types of work that can be exposed to the public.

In essence, thanks to this type of license, you can have permission from a third party to use the work of others, provided that certain conditions are met.

When a video, a photo, or an article is made, there are rights that protect that work and that allow others to use it only if they comply with certain conditions set out above.

This type of licence allows the owner of the work to decide how others can use his work.

In the case of YouTube, the platform applies Creative Commons licenses on its content and, thanks to these licenses, those who make the videos can allow others to use their work as if it were a standard license (the so-called
music without copyright/creative license).

In practice, active YouTube users are allowed to use the Creative Commons by applying a mark to their content.
When this license is used, the system automatically creates a stamp/signature that is applied to the video in question, so that it is clear that the content is using the CC and the titles of the source video will be displayed under the video player.

The owner can retain the copyright in this way, while third parties can reuse the content under the terms defined by the license.

The differences between the Standard License and Creative Commons

Basically, the difference between the two licenses is that when using the standard license, you are not allowed to use the content for your own work, unless you provide a link to the original content. However, with a standard license, the uploader of the original video has certain rights that allow him to prohibit the reuse of his own video especially when the significance and final aims are changed.

If you choose to use a Creative Commons license during an upload, the owner may use certain parts of the work that belongs to the original author of the work.

In principle, you are allowed to modify various parts of the work, with the exception of the copyright and the mention of the source of origin.

The author of the original work cannot be held responsible for any violations or damages caused by the modified work.

Where you can find Creative Commons licenses on videos?

If you need Creative Commons licenses for your work, know that you can find them not only on YouTube but also on other sites. But it is advisable to always be careful and verify that the site in question is reliable and shares only legal content.

Among the sites considered to be the most reliable for finding Creative Commons licenses are Vimeo and SpinXpress. The first provides numerous full licenses that also include explanations on the right side of the page and under each available license there is a link that allows you to browse all the videos that are under the license of your choice, while the second allows you to search for videos released under Creative Commons license using a single search term.

How can you use YouTube’s Creative Commons to make videos?

Thanks to Creative Commons you can use various works to improve your content. All you need to do is to use the YouTube video editor and CC’s library of videos on YouTube. You can then decide which content to edit and use in your work.

To search for videos to edit, simply search the YouTube Video editor bar.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Go to;
  • Select the Creative Commons folder;
  • Select CC Attribution Licence on the page where the video description is located.


The main difference between the two types of licenses (standard and CC) is that Creative Commons allows you to use certain content in your work even by partially modifying it, as long as the conditions mentioned are respected, while the standard license is the most general and restrictive in some respects.

Veedoo advises you: if you just want to share a YouTube video on the same platform without making any kind of modification you can choose any license. But if the purpose is to create content for your projects and publish them, also using music or other video content already present online, it is advisable to choose videos that are under Creative Commons license and read the terms of use carefully in order to avoid violating the rights of the original author.

As for the sources where you can find videos that have a Creative Commons license, you can use both YouTube and other sites that contain material under this license, such as Vimeo and SpinXpress.

You have Successfully Subscribed!