News

Brazilian Government First to Adopt New “CC-GPL”

Matt Haughey, December 2nd, 2003

The Brazilian Committee for the Implementation of Free Software will release code under the Free Software Foundation’s General Public License, with Creative Commons providing new human- and machine-readable packaging

Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL, and Tokyo, JAPAN — The government of Brazil today announced its adoption of the CC-GPL, an innovation on the Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) General Public License, for the release of publicly funded software. Brazil is the first adopter of the new CC-GPL, which combines the proven utility and popularity of the GPL with Creative Commons’ innovative user interface.

“Brazil’s adoption of the CC-GPL is extremely significant,” said Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons’ chairman and professor of law at Stanford University, from Tokyo, where Creative Commons is presenting its projects in Japan this week. “Brazil has recognized that code produced and funded by the people should be made available to the people, and it has pioneered a tool that provides the best of both the Free Software Foundation and Creative Commons.”

“Brazilian government adoption of the GPL is an enormous step forward in the cause of software freedom,” said Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia Law School and General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation. “We welcome the chance to work together with Creative Commons to make the GNU GPL even more attractive to governments, which are recognizing that the principle of ‘share and share alike’ is the most efficient, most equitable, and most pro-development licensing strategy for software the public pays to create or to acquire.”

The first piece of software Brazil will release under the CC-GPL is TerraCrime 1.0, which analyzes and creates statistical reports on criminal activity in a particular geographic area, cross-referencing the data with other variables such as population, time of the incident, etc. The software was developed by the Laboratorio de Estatistica Espacial (LESTE — Spacial Statistics Laboratory) of the the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and by the Divisao de Processamento de Imagens (DPI — Image Processing Division) of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE — National Institute of Space Research).

With the CC-GPL, Creative Commons has applied its three-layer user interface to the FSF’s classic software license. First is the Commons Deed, a plain-language summary of the GPL’s key terms. Next is the Legal Code, the full license in all its detail — in this case, the General Public License, provided in both English and a Portuguese translation by the Brazilian government. Third is Creative Commons’ metadata, a machine-readable expression of the license, so that users can search for and sort CC-GPL-licensed code by terms of use.

Lessig said Creative Commons and the FSF will begin offering the CC-GPL to the general public shortly.

About the Brazilian Committee for the Implementation of Free Source Software

The Information Technology Institute (ITI – Instituto de Tecnologia da Informacao) is an administrative entity connected directly with the Presidency of the Republic in Brazil. It has appointed a Committee for the Implementation of Free Software, and it is responsible for steering the free software policy in Brazil.

About the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

FSF is the principal organizational sponsor of the GNU Project, an effort launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software: the GNU system. (GNU is a recursive acronym for “GNU’s Not Unix”; it is pronounced “guh-noo.”) Variants of the GNU operating system which use the kernel Linux are now widely deployed; though these systems are often referred to as “Linux,” they are more accurately called GNU/Linux systems. The Foundation also develops, publishes, and secures compliance with the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) and GNU Lesser General Public License (GNU LGPL), which are the world’s most widely used free software licenses.

For more, see http://gnu.org/.

About Creative Commons

A nonprofit corporation, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of
intellectual works — whether owned or public domain. It is sustained by the generous support of The Center for the Public Domain, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation. Creative Commons is based at Stanford Law School, where it shares staff, space, and inspiration with the school’s Center for Internet and Society.

For general information, visit http://creativecommons.org/.

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