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Creative Commons Copyright Tools Now Available in France

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The Silicon Valley nonprofit releases French versions of its innovative copyright licenses at the National Assembly in Paris.

San Francisco, USA and Paris, FRANCE, Nov. 22, 2004 — Creative Commons, a non-profit organization that offers free, flexible copyright tools to the general public, today unveiled a localized version of its innovative licensing system in France. The Creative Commons licenses afford authors and publishers an intermediate degree of protection over their photos, music, text, films, and educational materials under a “some rights reserved” copyright, in contrast to the traditional “all rights reserved.”

With the announcement, Creative Commons now offers free legal tools in a total of eleven country-specific versions. The organization already provides copyright licenses specific to Austrian, Brazilian, Dutch, Finnish, German, Japanese, U.S., Taiwanese, Canadian, and Spanish law, thanks to a global network of artists, lawyers, and technologists.

Staff at Creative Commons’s offices in San Francisco and Berlin worked with project lead Melanie Dulong de Rosnay of the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches de Science Administrative (CERSA) and the Université Panthéon Paris Assas II to adapt the standardized licenses for use under French law. Ms. Dulong de Rosnay, a researcher at CERSA, specializes in European technology and information society law.

“Our mission was to bring the great spirit of the Creative Commons licenses to France,” said Ms. Dulong de Rosnay. “In doing so, we sought to preserve the key elements of the original US licenses while paying due regard to the specifis of the French law, such as in the cases of contractual law and moral rights. A wide-ranging public discussion has enabled us to come up with some great solutions balancing legal requirements and our new approach.”

Creative Commons released the new legal tools, which are now available free of charge from the Creative Commons website, at a conference in the French National Assembly in Paris on Friday, November 19. The event featured speakers from the media, academia, and the large community of volunteers who coordinated the French legal porting process.

“The concise translation and the superb legal research at CERSA have made possible this important launch in Europe,” said Glenn Otis Brown, executive director of Creative Commons. “Many thanks to Ms. Dulong de Rosnay for her splendid work.”

The global expansion of the Creative Commons project, which is chaired by Lawrence Lessig of Stanford University Law School, is one of the main priorities of the San Francisco-based organization this year.

“After France, we look forward to adding two more big EU countries to the list of available licenses before the end of the year,” said Christiane Asschenfeldt, the International Commons Coordinator, based in Berlin. “Thanks are due to the friends of Creative Commons around the world.”

Posted 22 November 2004