Is Creative Commons a legit legal copyright?
3 attorney answers
As my colleagues note, CC is a platform that will allow your work to be shared, tweaked, distributed, etc. under various licensing terms. As noted, while copyright protection affixes automatically you will want to register your work with the US Copyright Office and you may want to get some help with that if you are unfamiliar and then in the future perhaps handle the filings yourself.
I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
Attorney Taylor is correct. Creative Commons are a license but not provide copyright protection.
To obtain copyright protection you will need to register your work with the copyright office. The fees for most works are in the $35-$55 range. There is NO, repeat, NO other way to obtain Federal copyright protection other than by filing a copyright registration. All the methods you hear about (e.g. mail it to yourself, Screenwriter's Guild, etc.) DO NOT work.
Copyright is a bundle of rights that inhere in original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. When you create an original work of authorship, it is protected AUTOMATICALLY by the law of copyright. Since the United States came into compliance with the Berne Convention in 1990, the validity of copyright no longer turns on formalities.
You may obtain additional rights, including the right to bring suit for infringement, and the right to obtain "statutory damages" from infringers, by registering your work with the Register of Copyrights at the Library of Congress. There is a registration fee for doing this: more expensive if you do it with paper, much cheaper if you do it online. See second link below.
Creative commons provides a set of licenses among which copyright holders may choose, to determine what uses may be made of their works. You may read about creative commons licenses by following the first link below.