Earth Trends, a project of the World Resources Initiative, has just announced that it has opted to license much of the content at its site under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Earth Trends “is a comprehensive online database, maintained by the World Resources Institute, that focuses on the environmental, social, and economic trends that shape our world.”
Earth Trends explains that it made the decision to adopt CC-licensing because “we have always encouraged the replication, modification, and dissemination of the information that you find on EarthTrends. But perhaps that has not been explicit.” Of course, the data that is found at Earth Trends that is not copyrightable can still be freely used and reused (although they, of course, appreciate the recognition).
This is a great decision that should assist in enabling us all to learn more about the state of our planet, which will hopefully motivate us all to do something about improving it. For more information about how Creative Commons licensing interacts with databases and data, check out the Science Commons Database FAQ.