Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Overview
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

 headquartered in Mountain View, California
Mountain View, California
-Downtown:Mountain View has a pedestrian-friendly downtown centered on Castro Street. The downtown area consists of the seven blocks of Castro Street from the Downtown Mountain View Station transit center in the north to the intersection with El Camino Real in the south...

, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative
Creativity
Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new that has some kind of value. What counts as "new" may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs...

 works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

-license
License
The verb license or grant licence means to give permission. The noun license or licence refers to that permission as well as to the document recording that permission.A license may be granted by a party to another party as an element of an agreement...

s known as Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S...

 free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.
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Quotations

"It can be that easy when you skip the intermediaries."

"Enter one of the internet's most famous citizens. A face familiar the world over. A public identity rivaled by only a handful of corporate giants and global superstars... the big copyright C."

"We interrupt this brainstorm to call the lawyers."

Encyclopedia
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

 headquartered in Mountain View, California
Mountain View, California
-Downtown:Mountain View has a pedestrian-friendly downtown centered on Castro Street. The downtown area consists of the seven blocks of Castro Street from the Downtown Mountain View Station transit center in the north to the intersection with El Camino Real in the south...

, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative
Creativity
Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new that has some kind of value. What counts as "new" may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs...

 works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

-license
License
The verb license or grant licence means to give permission. The noun license or licence refers to that permission as well as to the document recording that permission.A license may be granted by a party to another party as an element of an agreement...

s known as Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S...

 free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. An easy to understand one-page explanation of rights, with associated visual symbols, explains the specifics of each Creative Commons license. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright, but are based upon it. They replace individual negotiations for specific rights between copyright owner (licensor) and licensee
Licensee
A licensee is someone who has been granted a licence.- Tort law :The term is used in the USA law of torts to describe a person who is on the property of another, despite the fact that the property is not open to the general public, because the owner of the property has allowed the licensee to enter...

, which are necessary under an "all rights reserved" copyright management with a "some rights reserved" management employing standardized licenses for re-use cases where no commercial compensation is sought by the copyright owner. The result is an agile, low overhead and cost copyright management regime, profiting both copyright owners and licensees. Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

 is using one of its licenses.

The organization was founded in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence "Larry" Lessig is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications, and he has called for state-based activism to promote substantive...

, Hal Abelson
Hal Abelson
Harold Abelson is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, a fellow of the IEEE, and is a founding director of both Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation....

, and Eric Eldred
Eric Eldred
Eric Eldred, born 1943, is an American literacy advocate and the proprietor of the unincorporated Eldritch Press, a website which republished the works of others which are in the public domain . Eldritch Press for some years ran on a Linux server from Eldred's home and is now hosted by Ibiblio and...

 with support of the Center for the Public Domain
Center for the Public Domain
The Center for the Public Domain was a charitable foundation founded in 1999 by Bob Young as the Red Hat Center. It provided free online legal resources, sponsored public domain spaces on the internet, and campaigned for copyright reforms....

. The first article in a general interest publication about Creative Commons, written by Hal Plotkin
Hal Plotkin
Hal Plotkin is the Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of Education, United States Department of Education, which has responsibility for all federal U.S. higher education policies and programs...

, was published in February 2002. The first set of copyright licenses was released in December 2002. In 2008, there were an estimated 130 million works licensed under Creative Commons. As of October 2011, Flickr
Flickr
Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community that was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to...

 alone hosts over 200 million Creative Commons licensed photos. Creative Commons is governed by a board of directors and a technical advisory board. Their licenses have been embraced by many as a way for creators to take control of how they choose to share their intellectual property. There has also been criticism that it does not go far enough, or discourages regional cultural production.

Aim and influence



Creative Commons has been described as beings at the forefront of the copyleft
Copyleft
Copyleft is a play on the word copyright to describe the practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work...

 movement, which seeks to support the building of a richer public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 by providing an alternative to the automatic "all rights reserved" copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

, dubbed "some rights reserved." David Berry and Giles Moss have credited Creative Commons with generating interest in the issue of intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 and contributing to the re-thinking of the role of the "commons" in the "information age
Information Age
The Information Age, also commonly known as the Computer Age or Digital Age, is an idea that the current age will be characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously...

". Beyond that, Creative Commons has provided "institutional, practical and legal support for individuals and groups wishing to experiment and communicate with culture more freely."

Creative Commons attempts to counter what Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence "Larry" Lessig is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications, and he has called for state-based activism to promote substantive...

, founder of Creative Commons, considers to be a dominant and increasingly restrictive permission culture
Permission culture
Permission culture is a term often employed by Lawrence Lessig and other copyright activists to describe a society in which copyright restrictions are pervasive and enforced to the extent that any and all uses of copyrighted works need to be explicitly leased...

. Lessig describes this as "a culture in which creators get to create only with the permission of the powerful, or of creators from the past". Lessig maintains that modern culture is dominated by traditional content distributors in order to maintain and strengthen their monopolies on cultural products such as popular music and popular cinema, and that Creative Commons can provide alternatives to these restrictions.

Governance


Catherine Casserly is the CEO of Creative Commons. Mike Linksvayer
Mike Linksvayer
Mike Linksvayer is vice president of Creative Commons.Linksvayer holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has experience as a software developer and consultant. He joined Creative Commons as Chief technical officer in April 2003, and held that position until...

 is Vice President and Diane Peters is the General Counsel.

The board of Creative Commons is currently chaired by Joi Ito
Joi Ito
is a Japanese activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Director of the MIT Media Lab.Ito has received recognition for his role as an entrepreneur focused on Internet and technology companies and has founded, among other companies, PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan. He maintains...

. The Board further includes: Hal Abelson
Hal Abelson
Harold Abelson is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, a fellow of the IEEE, and is a founding director of both Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation....

, Glenn Otis Brown, Michael W. Carroll
Michael W. Carroll
Michael W. Carroll is a Professor of Law and Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University's Washington College of Law. Carroll is one of the founding Board Members of Creative Commons, a not-for-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of...

, Catherine Casserly, Caterina Fake
Caterina Fake
Caterina Fake is an American businesswoman and internet entrepreneur.Fake was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall, attended Smith College, and graduated from Vassar College in 1991....

, Davis Guggenheim
Davis Guggenheim
Philip Davis Guggenheim is an Academy Award-winning American film director and producer. His credits as a producer and director include Training Day, The Shield, Alias, 24, NYPD Blue, ER, Deadwood, and Party of Five and the documentaries An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for 'Superman...

, Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence "Larry" Lessig is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications, and he has called for state-based activism to promote substantive...

, Laurie Racine, Eric Saltzman, Annette Thomas, Molly Suffer Van Houweling, Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur best known as a co-founder and promoter of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the Wikia company....

, and Esther Wojcicki
Esther Wojcicki
Esther Hochman 'Woj' Wojcicki is an American journalist, educator, and vice chair of the Creative Commons board of directors. Wojcicki has been a pioneer in exploring the interface between education and technology.- Education and career :...

 (Vice Chair).

The Technical Advisory Board includes five members: Hal Abelson
Hal Abelson
Harold Abelson is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, a fellow of the IEEE, and is a founding director of both Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation....

, Ben Adida, Barbara Fox, Don McGovern and Eric Miller
Eric Miller
Eric Miller may refer to:* Eric Miller , American DJ* Eric Miller , Irish rugby player* Eric Miller , English businessman, Chairman of Peachey Properties...

. Hal Abelson also serves on the Creative Commons Board.

Creative Commons also has an Audit Committee, with two members: Molly Shaffer Van Houweling and Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence "Larry" Lessig is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications, and he has called for state-based activism to promote substantive...

. Both also serve on the Creative Commons Board.

Affiliate Network


In 2011, there are more than 100 affiliates working in over 70 jurisdictions to support and promote CC activities around the world.

South Korea


Creative Commons Korea (CC Korea) is the affiliated network of Creative Commons in South Korea. In March 2005, CC Korea was initiated by Jongsoo Yoon (in Korean: 윤종수), a Presiding Judge of Incheon District Court, as a project of Korea Association for Infomedia Law (KAFIL). The major Korean portal sites, including Daum and Naver, have been participating in the use of Creative Commons licences. In January 2009, the Creative Commons Korea Association was consequently founded as a non-profit incorporated association. Since then, CC Korea has been actively promoting the liberal and open culture of creation as well as leading the diffusion of Creative Commons in the country.
  • Creative Commons Korea
  • Creative Commons Asia Conference 2010

Corporate Support


Sustainer Level (Committed for 5 years)
  • The Beal Fund of Triangle Community Foundation, on behalf of Lulu.com
  • Google
  • Mozilla Foundation
  • Red Hat


Investor Level ($25,000 and up)
  • Best Buy
  • Digital Garage
  • Duke University
  • eBay
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Mountain Equipment Co-op
  • Nike

Types of Creative Commons licenses


Creative Commons licenses consist of four major condition modules: Attribution (BY), requiring attribution to the original author; Share Alike (SA), allowing derivative
Derivative work
In United States copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work .-Definition:...

 works under the same or a similar license (later or jurisdiction version); Non-Commercial (NC), requiring the work is not used for commercial purposes; and No Derivative Works (ND), allowing only the original work, without derivatives. These modules are combined to currently form six major licenses of the Creative Commons:
  • Attribution (CC BY)
  • Attribution Share Alike (CC BY-SA)
  • Attribution No Derivatives (CC BY-ND)
  • Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC)
  • Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA)
  • Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)


As of the current versions, all Creative Commons licenses allow the "core right" to redistribute a work for non-commercial purposes without modification. The NC and ND options will make a work non-free
Free content
Free content, or free information, is any kind of functional work, artwork, or other creative content that meets the definition of a free cultural work...

 according to the Definition of Free Cultural Works
Definition of Free Cultural Works
The Definition of Free Cultural Works is the definition of free content put forth by Erik Möller and published on the website .The first draft of the Definition of Free Cultural Works was published 3 April 2006 . Richard Stallman, Lawrence Lessig, Angela Beesley and others helped the project...

.

An additional special license-like contract is the CC0 option, or "No Rights Reserved." For software, Creative Commons endorses three free licenses created by other institutions: the BSD License, the CC GNU
GNU
GNU is a Unix-like computer operating system developed by the GNU project, ultimately aiming to be a "complete Unix-compatible software system"...

 LGPL license, and the CC GNU
GNU
GNU is a Unix-like computer operating system developed by the GNU project, ultimately aiming to be a "complete Unix-compatible software system"...

 GPL
GNU General Public License
The GNU General Public License is the most widely used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU Project....

. This licenses dedicates a work to the public domain (or an equivalent status in jurisdictions where a dedication to public domain is not possible). Compared with a "public domain" statement added to the work, a CC0 statement is less ambiguous and achieves the desired effect on a global scale, rather than limited to some jurisdictions.

Usage and list of projects that release contents under Creative Commons licenses


Creative Commons maintains a content directory wiki
Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

 of organizations and projects using Creative Commons licenses. On its website CC also provides case studies of projects using CC licenses across the world. CC licensed content can also be accessed through a number of content directories and search engines (see CC licensed content directories
CC licensed content directories
Creative Commons is maintaining a content directory wiki of organizations and projects using Creative Commons licenses. On its website CC also provides case studies of projects using CC licenses across the world...

).

On January 13, 2009, some broadcasting content from Al Jazeera on the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
The Gaza War, known as Operation Cast Lead in Israel and as the Gaza Massacre in the Arab world, was a three-week bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israel, and hundreds of rocket attacks on south of Israel which...

 was released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
  • Wikipedia
    Wikipedia
    Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

     (CC BY-SA, since June 2009)
  • Wikimedia Commons
    Wikimedia Commons
    Wikimedia Commons is an online repository of free-use images, sound and other media files. It is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation....

     (CC licenses among other options)
  • Wikia
    Wikia
    Wikia is a free web hosting service for wikis . It is normally free of charge for readers and editors, deriving most of its income from advertising, and publishes all user-provided text under copyleft licenses. Wikia hosts several hundred thousand wikis using the open-source wiki software MediaWiki...

     (CC BY-SA, since June 2009)
  • Citizendium
    Citizendium
    Citizendium is an English-language wiki-based free encyclopedia project launched by Larry Sanger, who co-founded Wikipedia in 2001....

     (CC BY-SA)
  • knol
    Knol
    Knol is a Google project that aims to include user-written articles on a range of topics. The project was led by Udi Manber of Google, announced December 13, 2007, and was opened in beta to the public on July 23, 2008 with a few hundred articles mostly in the health and medical field.Knol has no...

     (mostly CC BY-SA or CC BY-NC-SA)
  • Arduino
    Arduino
    Arduino is an open-source single-board microcontroller, descendant of the open-source Wiring platform, designed to make the process of using electronics in multidisciplinary projects more accessible. The hardware consists of a simple open hardware design for the Arduino board with an Atmel AVR...

     (CC BY-SA)
  • NINJAM
    Ninjam
    NINJAM stands for Novel Intervallic Network Jamming Architecture for Music.Creating music naturally relies on players' ability to keep time with each other. Latency between players causes natural time keeping to be thrown awry...

     (CC BY-SA)

Jurisdiction ports


The original non-localized Creative Commons licenses were written with the U.S. legal system in mind, so the wording could be incompatible within different local legislations and render the licenses unenforceable in various jurisdictions. To address this issue, Creative Commons has started to port the various licenses to accommodate local copyright and private law. As of May 2010, there are 52 jurisdiction-specific licenses, with 9 other jurisdictions in drafting process, and more countries joining the worldwide project.

For the upcoming version 4 of the CC licenses a re-integration of the ports into single licenses is being considered.

General criticism


Péter Benjamin Tóth asserts that Creative Commons' objectives are already well served by the current copyright regime, and that Creative Commons' "some rights reserved" slogan, as against Copyright's "all rights reserved", creates a false dichotomy. "Copyright provides a list of exclusive rights to the rightholder, from which he decides which ones he wishes to "sell" or grant and which to retain. The "Some rights reserved" concept is therefore not an alternative to, but rather the very nature of classical copyright." Other critics fear that Creative Commons could erode the copyright system over time. or allow "some of our most precious resources — the creativity of individuals — to be simply tossed into the commons to be exploited by whomever has spare time and a magic marker." Some critics question whether Creative Commons licenses are useful for artists, and suggest that Creative Commons primarily serves a "remix culture" and fails to meet the real needs of financial compensation and recognition of artists. or worry that the lack of rewards for content producers will dissuade artists from publishing their work.

Generally, many critics erroneously view Creative Commons as a replacement of Copyright, whereas in reality it is a standardized, copyright based solution for those cases where re-use and re-mixing is desired under specific conditions.

Some critics contend that the Creative Commons licensing system dissuades content producers from coordinating efforts to revise the Copyright Act.

Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence "Larry" Lessig is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications, and he has called for state-based activism to promote substantive...

 counters that copyright laws have not always offered the strong and seemingly indefinite protection that today's law provides. Rather, the duration of copyright used to be limited to much shorter terms of years, and some works never gained protection because they did not follow the now-abandoned compulsory format.

Another critic questions whether Creative Commons is the commons that it purports to be, given that at least some restrictions apply to people's ability to use the resources within the common field. This is restricted entirely within the private rights of others and has nothing to do with rights shared by all. Creative Commons also does not define "creativity
Creativity
Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new that has some kind of value. What counts as "new" may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs...

" or what aspects a work requires in order to become part of the commons.

Critics such as David Berry
David Berry
David Berry is the name of:* David Carson Berry , American music theorist and historian* David Berry , American inventor, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist* David Berry , Australian politician...

and Giles Moss argue that the founding of Creative Commons is not the proper mechanism for creating a commons of original content. Rather, a commons should be created, and its presence preserved, through the political process and political activism, not through lawyers writing down new rules.

Many criticize that four out of the six Creative Commons licenses are neither "free" nor truly "open" because of the restrictions they place on reuse. With the definition of open being "A piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike."

License proliferation and incompatibility


Critics have also argued that Creative Commons worsens license proliferation
License proliferation
License proliferation refers to the problems created when additional software licenses are written for software packages. License proliferation affects the free software community. Often when a software developer would like to merge portions of different software programs they are unable to do so...

, by providing multiple licenses that are incompatible
License compatibility
License compatibility refers to the problem with licenses applied to works subject to copyright, particularly licenses of software packages, which can contain contradictory requirements, rendering it impossible to combine source code from such packages or content from such works in order to create...

. The Creative Commons website states, "Since each of the six CC licenses functions differently, resources placed under different licenses may not necessarily be combined with one another without violating the license terms." Works licensed under incompatible licenses may not be recombined in a derivative work
Derivative work
In United States copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work .-Definition:...

 without obtaining permission from the license-holder. Some worry that "without a common legal framework, works which inadvertently mix licenses may become unshareable."

The compatibility issue is especially relevant because the most frequently used licenses, the non-free "non-commercial" licenses (CC BY-NC-SA or CC BY-NC-ND) and the open attribution-share-alike license (CC BY-SA, used, e. g., by Wikipedia) cannot be combined.

License misuse


Creative Commons is only a service provider for standardized license text, not a party in any agreement. Abusive users could brand the copyrighted works of legitimate copyright holders with Creative Commons licenses and re-upload these works to the internet. No central database of Creative Commons works is controlling all licensed works and the responsibility of the Creative Commons system rests entirely with those using the licences.

While Copyright protection is automatic at the time of creation, registration has legal advantages. The United States Copyright Office keeps a data-base of all registered works, which provides ample evidence for proper litigation.

Although Creative Commons offers multiple licenses for different uses, some critics suggest that the licenses still do not address the differences among the media or among the various concerns that different authors have. For example, one critic points out that documentary
Documentary
A documentary is a creative work of non-fiction, including:* Documentary film, including television* Radio documentary* Documentary photographyRelated terms include:...

 filmmakers could have vastly different concerns from those held by a software designer or a law professor. Additionally, people wishing to use a Creative Commons-licensed work would have to determine if their particular use is allowed under the license or if they need additional permission.

Lessig wrote that the point of Creative Commons is to provide a middle ground between two extreme views of copyright protection—one demanding that all rights be controlled, and the other arguing that none should be controlled. Creative Commons provides a third option that allows authors to pick and choose which rights they want to control and which they want to relinquish. The multitude of licenses reflects the multitude of rights that can be passed on to subsequent creators.

The Free Software Foundation


Some of Creative Commons licenses have been denounced by FSF founder Richard Stallman
Richard Stallman
Richard Matthew Stallman , often shortened to rms,"'Richard Stallman' is just my mundane name; you can call me 'rms'"|last= Stallman|first= Richard|date= N.D.|work=Richard Stallman's homepage...

 because, he says, they "do not give everyone [...] minimum freedom" "to share, noncommercially, any published work".

Mako Hill asserts that Creative Commons fails to establish a "base level of freedom" that all Creative Commons licenses must meet, and with which all licensors and users must comply. "By failing to take any firm ethical position and draw any line in the sand, CC is a missed opportunity.... CC has replaced what could have been a call for a world where 'essential rights are unreservable' with the relatively hollow call for 'some rights reserved. Some critics fear that Creative Commons' popularity may detract from the more stringent goals of other free content organizations.

Other criticism of the non-commercial license


Other critics, such as Erik Möller, raise concerns about the use of Creative Commons' non-commercial license. Works distributed under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial license are not compatible with many open-content sites, including Wikipedia, which explicitly allow and encourage some commercial uses. Möller explains that "the people who are likely to be hurt by an -NC license are not large corporations, but small publications like weblogs, advertising-funded radio stations, or local newspapers."

Lessig responds that the current copyright regime also harms compatibility and that authors can lessen this incompatibility by choosing the least restrictive license. Additionally, the non-commercial license is useful for preventing someone else from capitalizing on an author's work when the author still plans to do so in the future.

Debian


The maintainers of Debian
Debian
Debian is a computer operating system composed of software packages released as free and open source software primarily under the GNU General Public License along with other free software licenses. Debian GNU/Linux, which includes the GNU OS tools and Linux kernel, is a popular and influential...

, a GNU
GNU
GNU is a Unix-like computer operating system developed by the GNU project, ultimately aiming to be a "complete Unix-compatible software system"...

 and Linux distribution
Linux distribution
A Linux distribution is a member of the family of Unix-like operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel. Such distributions are operating systems including a large collection of software applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, media players, and database applications...

 known for its rigid adherence to a particular definition of software freedom, rejected even the Creative Commons Attribution License prior to version 3 as incompatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines
Debian Free Software Guidelines
The Debian Free Software Guidelines is a set of guidelines that the Debian Project uses to determine whether a software license is a free software license, which in turn is used to determine whether a piece of software can be included in Debian...

 (DFSG) due to the license's anti-DRM
Digital rights management
Digital rights management is a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale. DRM is any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that...

 provisions and its requirement that downstream users remove an author's credit upon request from the author. However, version 3.0 of the Creative Commons licenses addressed these concerns and is considered to be compatible with the DFSG.

Legal cases


Creative Commons have been defended in several jurisdictions. Some notable cases are:

Dutch tabloid


A Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S...

 was first tested in court in early 2006, when podcaster Adam Curry
Adam Curry
Adam Clark Curry is a broadcasting and Internet personality well known for his stint from 1987 to 1994 as a video jockey on the music video channel MTV. In the mid-1990s, Curry was a World Wide Web entrepreneur and one of the first celebrities to personally create and administer a Web site...

 sued a Dutch tabloid who published photos without permission from his Flickr page. The photos were licensed under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial license. While the verdict was in favor of Curry, the tabloid avoided having to pay restitution to him as long as they did not repeat the offense. An analysis by Professor Bernt Hugenholtz, director of the Institute for Information Science of the University of Amsterdam and main creator of the Dutch CC license of the decision states, "The Dutch Court's decision is especially noteworthy because it confirms that the conditions of a Creative Commons license automatically apply to the content licensed under it, and bind users of such content even without expressly agreeing to, or having knowledge of, the conditions of the license."

Virgin Mobile


In 2007, Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile is a brand used by many mobile phone service providers across the globe; its headquarters are based in the United Kingdom. Virgin Mobile has local operations in Australia, Canada, France, India, South Africa, Greece, United Kingdom and the United States. It briefly also had operations...

 launched an Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n bus stop
Bus stop
A bus stop is a designated place where buses stop for passengers to board or leave a bus. These are normally positioned on the highway and are distinct from off-highway facilities such as bus stations. The construction of bus stops tends to reflect the level of usage...

 ad campaign
Advertising campaign
An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication...

 promoting their cellphone text messaging
Text messaging
Text messaging, or texting, refers to the exchange of brief written text messages between fixed-line phone or mobile phone and fixed or portable devices over a network...

 service using the work of amateur photographers who uploaded their work to Flickr
Flickr
Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community that was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to...

 using a Creative Commons-BY (Attribution) license. Users licensing their images this way freed their work for use by any other entity, as long as the original creator was attributed credit, without any other compensation required. Virgin upheld this single restriction by printing a URL leading to the photographer's Flickr page on each of their ads. However, one picture, depicting 15 year-old Alison Chang at a fund-raising carwash for her church, caused some controversy when she sued Virgin Mobile. The photo was taken by Alison's church youth counselor, Justin Ho-Wee Wong, who uploaded the image to Flickr under the Creative Commons license. In 2008, the case (concerning personality rights
Personality rights
"Personality rights" is a common or casual reference to the proper term of art "Right of Publicity". The Right of Publicity can be defined simply as the right of an individual to control the commercial use of his or her name, image, likeness or other unequivocal aspects of one's identity...

 rather than copyright as such) was thrown out of a Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 court for lack of jurisdiction.

CC-Music – Spanish Court (2006)


The issue in this case was not whether the CC license was enforceable, but instead whether the major collecting society
Copyright collective
A copyright collective is a body created by copyright law or private agreement which engages in collective rights management...

 in Spain could collect royalties from a bar that played CC-licensed music. In this case, the main Spanish collecting society—Sociedad General de Autores y Editores ("SGAE") sued a disco owner for the public performance of music supposedly managed by the collecting society. However, the Lower Court rejected the collecting society's claims because the owner of the bar proved that the music he was using was not managed by the society, since it was under CC licence.

See also


  • CC PDF Converter
    CC PDF Converter
    CC PDF Converter is a free open source program that allows users to convert documents into PDF files on Microsoft Windows operating systems, while embedding a Creative Commons license....

  • Comparison of wiki farms
  • Copyleft
    Copyleft
    Copyleft is a play on the word copyright to describe the practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work...

  • Copyright
    Copyright
    Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

  • Creative Commons licenses
    Creative Commons licenses
    Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S...

  • Free content
    Free content
    Free content, or free information, is any kind of functional work, artwork, or other creative content that meets the definition of a free cultural work...

  • Free Culture movement
    Free Culture movement
    The free culture movement is a social movement that promotes the freedom to distribute and modify creative works in the form of free content by using the Internet and other forms of media....

  • List of works available under a Creative Commons License
  • Open content
    Open content
    Open content or OpenContent is a neologism coined by David Wiley in 1998 which describes a creative work that others can copy or modify. The term evokes open source, which is a related concept in software....

  • Open source
    Open source
    The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology...

  • Public domain
    Public domain
    Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

  • Share-alike
    Share-alike
    Share-Alike is a descriptive term used in the Creative Commons project for copyright licenses which include certain copyleft provisions. The Share-Alike license comes in two varieties, CC-BY-SA and CC-BY-NC-SA.-Share-alike license types:...


External links