This concise and well-organized document by Educause explains Creative Commons and its relationship to copyright. Creative Commons allows copyright owners to release some of those rights while retaining others, with the goal of increasing access to and sharing of intellectual property. It further discusses who’s using it and how; and the implications for teaching and learning.
What we do – What is Creative Commons? – Information about how Creative Commons works, its programs, platforms, and partners, as well as information about their expanding Global Affiliate Program
Here is a helpful webpage from Harvard which details the Creative Commons.