Today the European Commission released licensing recommendations to support the reuse of public sector information in Europe. In addition to providing guidance on baseline license principles for public sector content and data, the guidelines suggest that Member States should adopt standardized open licenses – such as Creative Commons licenses:
Several licences that comply with the principles of ‘openness’ described by the Open Knowledge Foundation to promote unrestricted re-use of online content, are available on the web. They have been translated into many languages, centrally updated and already used extensively worldwide. Open standard licences, for example the most recent Creative Commons (CC) licences (version 4.0), could allow the re-use of PSI without the need to develop and update custom-made licences at national or sub-national level. Of these, the CC0 public domain dedication is of particular interest. As a legal tool that allows waiving copyright and database rights on PSI, it ensures full flexibility for re-users and reduces the complications associated with handling numerous licences, with possibly conflicting provisions.
The Commission’s recommendations warn against the the development of customized licenses, which could break interoperability of public sector information across the EU. The guidelines clearly state that license conditions should be standardized and contain minimal requirements (such as attribution-only).
In order to proactively promote the re-use of the licenced material, it is advisable that the licensor grants worldwide (to the extent allowed under national law), perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable (to the extent allowed under national law) and non-exclusive rights to use the information covered by the licence… it is advisable that [licenses] cover attribution requirements only, as any other obligations may limit licensees’ creativity or economic activity, thereby affecting the re-use potential of the documents in question.
This is a welcome outcome that will hopefully provide a clear path for data providers and re-users. It’s great to see this endorsement after our efforts alongside our affiliate network to advocate for clear best practices in sharing of content and data. The recommendation benefits from CC’s free international 4.0 licenses, saving governments time and money, and maximizing compatibility and reuse.Comments Off
Congratulations to Mozilla on the release of the Mozilla Public License 2.0 after a two year versioning process. As Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker writes “Version 2.0 is similar in spirit to the previous versions, but shorter, better, and more compatible with other Free Software and Open Source Licenses.”
MPL 1.1 is one of the more popular free and open source software licenses, most famously used for Mozilla’s own Firefox browser. That MPL 2.0 is now compatible with the GPL, the most popular free and open source software license, is a big step forward for software. Why? Read Make Your Open Source Software GPL-Compatible. Or Else. which we link to in our FAQ explaining why CC licenses shouldn’t be used for software (except CC0). But the principle of lessening incompatibility among licenses is a general one, and applies to licenses used for cultural and scientific works, public sector information, databases, and more, as well as software. Thus one of our highlighted goals for version 4.0 of the CC license suite:
Interoperability – maximize interoperability between CC licenses and other licenses to reduce friction within the commons, promote standards and stem license proliferation;
This is a difficult goal, requiring long-term thinking and collaboration with other license stewards. We have a number of other goals for version 4.0 of the CC license suite as all; we hope the cumulative effect will make for a much better license suite than 3.0. Of course each license (e.g., BY-SA) will also remain similar in spirit. Shorter? We’ll see, balanced with everything else.
As the MPL 2.0 announcement notes, numerous people made valuable contributions to the development of that license. Possibly a first for a software license, even making the license look nice was addressed — something CC thinks is important, and another opportunity for people with different skills to help make licenses more useful. With a far greater diversity of projects using CC licenses, our need for community-wide feedback is even greater. We urge you to get involved in the CC 4.0 process.2 Comments »
The newest license draft adapted to Irish law is ready for public discussion. A previous version of this license was published and opened for discussion and we are now seeking comments on the latest revised version.
To contribute a review or question regarding the license draft adapted to Irish law, please visit the BY-NC-SA 3.0 license draft page and click on the wiki’s discussion page to share your thoughts. You are also welcome to join and write to the CC Ireland mailing list, which will run in parallel to the wiki.
The public discussion is an open forum where everyone – from lawyers to active license users, from linguists to translators — is invited to contribute and improve the license texts. Comments should be submitted as soon as possible to allow enough time for review, so we encourage you to post to the list before the end of March 2011, when the discussion is scheduled to close.
Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Project Leads Darius Whelan and Louise Crowley with the support of University College Cork. We look forward to the discussion!
While CC is winding down porting as we prepare for version 4.0, we’re excited to see this work come to fruition given CC Ireland’s extensive work on the licenses. A huge thank you to the entire CC Ireland team for all their hard work.Comments Off
Legal experts working with Creative Commons have crafted license suites adapted to the languages and laws of over 50 jurisdictions. These localized legal tools have seen major adoption, from governments at all levels to galleries, libraries, museums, and archives, as well as innumerable artists, scientists, and educators.
Over the last few weeks, we are pleased to announce three new 3.0 license localizations: Estonia, Costa Rica, and Chile. Following our recent language harmonization initiative, the Costa Rican and Chilean licenses deploy unified translations that match most other Spanish-speaking jurisdictions. We see this as an important step to making our legal tools even more user-friendly.
Community Building and Roadmaps
Importantly, we’re also recognizing the need to focus more on license adoption, user education, and community building. Without a vibrant and informed user base, the licenses will not have much impact.
For this reason, the role of the CC Affiliate Network has never been more vital. Teams in over 70 jurisdictions lead efforts in outreach, education, training, and major license adoption. With the CC Global Meeting on the horizon, we’ll be kicking off discussion about version 4.0, much of which will be guided and informed by CC Affiliates and key stakeholders from their jurisdictions.
Localization will remain an essential aspect of Creative Commons and our tools. Affiliates and other community members can contribute to translations of the human-readable layer of our licenses, the deeds, as well as important documentation and soon through linguistic translations of the Unported licenses.
If you’re interested in other activities planned in your area, visit our Jurisdiction Database and click through to see jurisdiction roadmaps outlining projects ahead. As more and more roadmaps go online each day, we welcome your input to improve and partake in these ambitious plans.
Localization in Estonia, Costa Rica, and Chile
For their recent contributions to license localization, we are indebted to the following individuals and institutions. Congratulations and thanks to:
- Estonia: Project Lead Ene Koitla from Estonian Information Technology Foundation (EITF) with Legal Team including Hele Karja, Heiki Pisuke, Priit Lätt, and Triin Tuulik ja Merit Lind of Glimstedt Straus & Partners, and Mario Rosentau from the University of Tartu, Peeter P. Mõtsküla and Kaido Kikkas from Estonian Information Technology College.
- Costa Rica: Project Leads Rolando Coto Solano and Carlos Saborío from the University of Costa Rica with Legal Leads Dr. Andrés Guadamuz and Lic. Denis Campos MBMC.
- Chile: Project Leads Prof. Alberto Cerda Silva, Claudio Ruiz, and Gabriela Ortuzar with Universidad de Chile, Information Services & Library System (SISIB), and the Corporación Derechos Digitales (CDD).
There are a number of important 3.0 ports and license upgrades still in the pipeline. Soon the teams in Egypt, China, Portugal, and a few other jurisdictions will also publish license suites adapted to their laws and languages. All across the CC Affiliate Network, we’ll see a renewed focus on supporting license users and continued ways to get involved the world over.Comments Off
And, you can be too! 2008 is half over. Seriously, this is a massively overdue in praise, adulation and support for Tim “TVOL” Vollmer and Rebecca “RRR” Rojer who started last summer 2007 at Creative Commons as interns along with the oustanding still-CC-blog-superstar Cameron Parkins tasked with specific projects all have seen through this blog.
Last summer I brought Tim on-board to work on developing the LiveContent project which he successfully masterminded through two iterations to date. Along the way he was responsible for massively cleaning up old content from the prior Creative Commons website (can you find on Wayback Machine and comment on this post with url?) and doing huge amounts of what we affectionately called “wikifarming.”
And, Rebecca, came on-board CC to work on the Marking project which focused on creating creative assets for marking works with CC licenses. Once I figured out how awesome Rebecca was at creating graphics with my beloved Inkscape and Gimp, Rebecca helped revolutionize how CC works with external projects to create mockups and other ways to make Creative Commons integration clear, and that helped relieve Alex Roberts (CC’s Real Design Guru).
Rebecca led the efforts to create the “Sharing Creative Works” comics
And, the Summer of Curry ended, and TVOL and Rebecca had done so much work, I couldn’t imagine working CC full-time without their help. I found a way to hire them as Business Development Assistants part-time while they were both in school. All along the way, they excelled at all tasks given, became great friends of all those working at CC, and helped develop amazing infrastructure like their combined efforts on the Documentation project, countless integration of CC projects (which you may or may not see), and raised the general level of community and business development for Creative Commons globally far beyond what I’m writing about in this blog post.
This first chapter of Tim and Rebecca’s work at CC has just recently come to a close. Tim recently graduated from University of Michigan’s School of Information and has taken a job as a technology policy analyst at American Library Assocation (ALA). Rebecca is heading back to Harvard to finish up after going offline for the summer (See what Jon Phillips can drive people to do!). And, just as I have returned from my Chinese base in Guangzhou for the Summer of Curry 2 (Summer Interns) in Creative Commons San Francisco office, I’m saddened to not have my comrades Tim and Rebecca here in all things CC. Thus, I wanted to express my deepest congratulations and respect to Tim Vollmer and Rebecca Rojer as they enter a new chapter. And, as Glenn Otis Brown, now at Youtube, has shown us: once CC, always CC ;).
Coming shortly in another post, welcome to the summer class of 2008 interns for Creative Commons doing Community and Business Development…