Last weekend I spent Saturday morning writing the Creative Commons License Application for Facebook. The premise is simple: installing the application allows Facebook users choose and place a CC license badge on their profile page indicating which license they want their content to be available under. Alongside the badge is text that explains what content (Photos, Videos and Status & Profile text are currently available as options) is licensed.
This surrounding text also contains RDFa, though this is of limited utility to search engines since Facebook profiles are not yet publicly indexed.
Users also have the option to allow the application to update their status so that news of their license choice will appear in their friends’ feed. Selecting this option will help grow our application’s audience exponentially, so we would encourage you to choose it.
There are some limitations to this application and you should consider it in beta, so apologies in advance if things break or don’t work properly. Perhaps the largest limitation is that works can only be licensed on a per-profile basis. This means that you must make the decision to license all of your work of a given media type (e.g., all of your photos) under a particular CC license or none at all. Unless Facebook integrates CC license choices into their Photo application, licensing works on a per-photo basis (as users have the freedom to do on sites like Flickr and Wikimedia Commons) is not possible. Thus, this implementation of a CC licenses on Facebook is a stop-gap solution to true integration into the service. If you’ve got other ideas or find other bugs for our application, please head over to our wiki and post them.
Otherwise, go now and install the Creative Commons License Application and let your friends know that you’ve chosen a CC license for your content on Facebook!
Thanks to everyone who helped me conceptualize and test this application, and especially to the “Creative Commons on Facebook” group of 5,000+ users who kept encouraging us to move forward.Posted 18 May 2009