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CC0 beta/discussion draft launch


CC0 is a Creative Commons project designed to promote and protect the public domain by 1) enabling authors to easily waive their copyrights in particular works and to communicate that waiver to others, and 2) providing a means by which any person can assert that there are no copyrights in a particular work, in a way that allows others to judge the reliability of that assertion.

As announced on CC’s 5th anniversary, today we are announcing a beta of the CC0 user interface and technical specification and discussion drafts of the CC0 legal tools:

The CC0 Waiver will enable the author or owner of a work to affirm the copyright and related or neighboring legal rights that he or she has in a work, and then to fully, permanently and irrevocably waive those rights. By making this waiver, the Affirmer effectively dedicates all copyright or related legal interests he or she held in the work to the public domain – “no rights reserved”. The CC0 Waiver (United States) will be an effective legal tool within the US and any other jurisdictions with equivalent law. It will also be offered as a template indicating the scope of most of the rights that must be covered in other jurisdictions in order to effect an equivalent dedication to the public domain. Some jurisdictions may need to address additional rights, for example “sui generis” database rights and specific rights to data.

The CC0 Assertion will provide a means by which any person may assert that there are no copyrights in a work, within a system that permits others to judge the reliability of the assertion, based on the Asserter’s identity and other information the Asserter may provide. The CC0 Assertion (United States) is intended to address copyright status under US law. The Assertion may not be appropriate for Works created in or whose copyright status is governed by the law of other jurisdictions.


As with our existing core legal tools (six licenses ranging from Attribution to Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives), we want the CC0 waiver and assertion legal tools to be valid worldwide and eventually ported to many jurisdictions worldwide to take into account the nuances of copyright law in those jurisdictions. Our strategy and schedule for accomplishing these goals will be based on feedback from our international project jurisdiction leads, who are responsible for the same process for our existing tools.


One of the use cases for CC0 is the Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data, also announced in conjunction with CC’s 5th birthday. In addition to fulfilling the protocol’s legal requirements, the CC0 technical infrastructure will also support the assertion of non-legal community norms in conjunction with a work, beginning with the norm of citation in the context of science.


Feedback on the legal tools should be directed to the cc-licenses mailing list. Only subscribers may post and the list is moderated so that off-topic posts do not burden subscribers. To join go to

Similarly, technology feedback should be directed to

General comments may be directed to

These discussions will be summarized at


The CC0 beta and drafts referenced above are only intended to be used for testing and feedback. The beta/discussion period will last a minimum of one month and most likely include several incremental betas and drafts, depending on community feedback.

If your organization plans significant support for CC0 upon its release for production use, please contact concerning potential coordination.

Posted 15 January 2008