Creative Commons Expands to Germany with the Institute for Information Law at the University of Karlsruhe (TH)

Matt Haughey, April 6th, 2004

The Institute for Information Law at the University of Karlsruhe (TH) will lead the license translation and work to expand global access to Germany’s culture.

Palo Alto, USA, and Berlin, GERMANY – April 5 – Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to building a body of creative works free for copying and re-use, announced today that it would expand its International Commons (iCommons) project to Germany.

The Institute for Information Law at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), Germany, will lead the effort.

First announced in March 2003, iCommons is Creative Commons’ project to disseminate its machine-readable copyright licenses worldwide and make them useful in a variety of legal systems.

As the lead institution, the Institute for Information Law at the University of Karlsruhe (TH) will coordinate a public effort to translate the Creative Commons licenses literally and legally for use in Germany.

“We are very pleased to be able to work with the excellent Institute at Karlsruhe,” said Lawrence Lessig, Chairman of Creative Commons and professor of law at Stanford University, where the organization is headquartered. “Germany will play an important role in bringing the International Commons to fruition in Europe.”

“We are tremendously excited to be involved in bringing the Creative Commons movement to Germany,” explained Professor Dr. Thomas Dreier, the iCommons Germany project lead and an acclaimed authority on German copyright law.

“There is already strong demand within the German community for a legal means for facilitating the distribution of Open Content as an innovative alternative to traditional forms of distribution based on payment of royalties. Creative Commons will be a great platform on which to build these protocols and agreements. Thanks are due to Dr. Till Jaeger, who provided the first draft of the license.”

The Institute for Information Law at the University of Karlsruhe (TH) will field comments on an archived email discussion at the Creative Commons website,

Germany joins Australia, Brazil, China, Croatia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom in the iCommons effort.

More about Creative Commons

A nonprofit corporation, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual works, whether owned or in the 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

For more information about iCommons, see

More about the Insitute for Information Law at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), Germany

The Insitute for Information Law at the University of Karlsruhe (TH) within the Center for Applied Legal Studies (Zentrum fuer Angewandte Rechtswissenschaft, ZAR) was founded in 1999. Its task is to provide teaching and research focusing on legal issues at the intersection of law, technology, and economics. Together with the departments of computer science and economics, the Institute for Information Law supports a unique diploma course in the field. Furthermore, the Institute participates in a research project on ‘Information Management and Market Engineering’, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG). The Institute also houses the secretariat of the German Computer Law Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Recht und Informatik, DGRI). Publications of the Members of the Institute concentrate on issues in intellectual property law, internet law and corporate law.



Christiane Asschenfeldt (Berlin)
iCommons Coordinator, Creative Commons
[email protected]

Prof. Dr. Thomas Dreier (Karlsruhe)
Director, Institute for Information Law
[email protected]

Oliver Meyer (Karlsruhe)
Research Assistant, Institute for Information Law
[email protected]

Ellen Euler (Karlsruhe)
Research Assistant, Institute for Information Law
[email protected]

Glenn Otis Brown (Palo Alto)
Executive Director, Creative Commons
[email protected]

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