Skip to content

Japanese Creative Commons Licenses Available Now

About CC

Creative Commons and GLOCOM release official Japanese copyright licenses for iCommons Japan, the first country-specific adaptation of the open content system.

Palo Alto, USA, and Tokyo, Japan – Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to building a body of creative works free for copying and re-use, and GLOCOM, its Japanese affiliate, today announced the official roll out of their iCommons Japan licenses.

“The launch of the Japanese iCommons licenses is a major milestone for both Creative Commons and the global free culture movement, generally,” said Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons’ chairman and professor of law at Stanford University. “We would like to give special recognition to GLOCOM, and to Yuko Noguchi and Emi Wakatsuki, the lawyers whose dedication helped make this possible.” Lessig also acknowledged the contributions and comments of Machina,, a technology commentator and Japan-based blogger.

“We are pleased to be among the first international Commons (iCommons) participants,” said Motohiro Tsuchiya, project lead iCommons Japan and assistant professor and senior research fellow at GLOCOM, International University of Japan. “This launch is a joint effort of many ‘commoners’ here in Japan. It has always been part of our age-old culture to share creative works such as drawings, poetry, music and more. iCommons Japan is a natural extension of this practice.”

The licenses, translated into the Japanese language and adapted to Japanese law, allow copyright holders easily to inform others that their works are free for copying and other uses, under specific conditions – to declare “some rights reserved.” These self-help tools, which are free of charge, offer new ways to distribute creative works on generous terms along the rich spectrum between full copyright and public domain. Authors and artists in Japan can now express a preference for sharing their work on their own terms.

Japanese-speaking visitors to the Creative Commons Web site now automatically view a full Japanese translation of the license choice process as the site detects the users’ web browser settings.

See for the license selection page in Japanese, and for an example of a Japan-specific license.

Japan is the first country to launch iCommons licenses.

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 Glocom

GLOCOM was established in 1991 as a social science research institute specializing in the study of information society as well as Japanese society. From the outset it was thought that the collection and dissemination of information through the utilization of computer networks was important, and this goal was realized in 1993 when the center established an Internet connection. Ever since, by utilizing the most up-to-date information and communication technologies, GLOCOM has been able to engage in various research activities, including generation of policy proposals and involvement in education-related projects. GLOCOM has set out to be a modern information “intelprise,” an institution promoting the distribution and sharing of “wisdom.”

For more information about GLOCOM, visit


Christiane Asschenfeldt (Berlin)
International Commons Coordinator, Creative Commons

Motohiro Tsuchiya, (Tokyo)
Project Lead, iCommons Japan
Assistant Professor, Senior Research Fellow, GLOCOM

Glenn Otis Brown (Palo Alto)
Executive Director, Creative Commons

Posted 03 March 2004