In Japan, a project called the “Intellectual Property Outline” started in July 2002 and includes some provisions that seek to accomplish many of the same goals as the Creative Commons. While it is clear they were not influenced by us directly, it’s interesting to watch the convergence of alternate forms of copyright come from governments world-wide. From section 3.(3) 3):
3) Protection of creative activities and promotion of distribution of media contents
The GOJ will take the following actions in this regard.
1. For promotion of smooth distribution of media contents, in FY 2002 the GOJ will start to support efforts to establish a new distribution system that combines new technology and the copyright contract system and to develop and disseminate various systems such as the contact system for copyright licenses on computer networks (to be implemented by FY 2004) and the system for right holders’ declaration of intention concerning the scope of contents to be available (e.g. “free use mark”). (The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
They even mention a “free use mark” that sounds a lot like the CC icons.