CC’s Next Generation Licenses — Welcome Version 4.0!

Diane Peters

We proudly introduce our 4.0 licenses, now available for adoption worldwide. The 4.0 licenses — more than two years in the making — are the most global, legally robust licenses produced by CC to date. We have incorporated dozens of improvements that make sharing and reusing CC-licensed materials easier and more dependable than ever before.

We had ambitious goals in mind when we embarked on the versioning process coming out of the 2011 CC Global Summit in Warsaw. The new licenses achieve all of these goals, and more. The 4.0 licenses are extremely well-suited for use by governments and publishers of public sector information and other data, especially for those in the European Union. This is due to the expansion in license scope, which now covers sui generis database rights that exist there and in a handful of other countries.

Among other exciting new features are improved readability and organization, common-sense attribution, and a new mechanism that allows those who violate the license inadvertently to regain their rights automatically if the violation is corrected in a timely manner.

You can find highlights of the most significant improvements on our website, track the course of the public discussion and evolution of the license drafts on the 4.0 wiki page, and view a recap of the central policy decisions made over the course of the versioning process.

The 4.0 versioning process has been a truly collaborative effort between the brilliant and dedicated network of legal and public licensing experts and the active, vocal open community. The 4.0 licenses, the public license development undertaking, and the Creative Commons organization are stronger because of the steadfast commitment of all participants.

With the 4.0 licenses published, we will be turning our attention to official translations of the legal code in partnership with our affiliate network and larger community. Translations of our new deeds are also underway, with a significant number already completed.

Thank you and congratulations to everyone who participated in making 4.0 a reality!

26 thoughts on “CC’s Next Generation Licenses — Welcome Version 4.0!”

  1. Great, congrats!

    But I want to give you a heads up that the license deeds for BY and BY-SA has a bug: The end of the text “…as long as you follow the license terms.” is hidden behind the Free cultural works image, so it looks like “…as long as you follow the license te”.

  2. IANAL, but to me it seems that work licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0 cannot be used in collection without licensing collection under CC-BY-SA 4.0. The license text doesn’t even contain the word “collection” anymore.

    Does that mean that I can’t use CC-BY-SA 4.0 -licensed art in my game without licensing my game under CC-BY-SA 4.0 ?

    I really hope I’m wrong. Am I wrong?

  3. Thank you and congrats! We’ve been using Creative Commons licenses for our work ever since Trent Reznor started using them for Nine Inch Nails. Check us out! Black Milk for Dead Virginz:

  4. Very cherishing! Huge thank you to each person involved. Now if we can just manage to import it straightforwardly even on the level of national “copyright” legislature in order to establish stronger foundation for the 21st Century creators and makers. Greetings from Slovakia.

  5. Gefeliciteerd, Auguri, Congratulations with this great step forward to make sharing creative works of all kinds easier, smoother and more effective. You guys (and dolls as well of course) are improving life online and IRL a lot for all of us. Keep up the good work.

    Thank y’all very much indeed.
    Happy Holidays & a prosperous 2014 and beyond

    Klaas V aka ZeaForUs, CIO of

  6. That`s great news, can I ask how will it affect me from version 3? I`m a web designer and sometimes I release my work (templates) for free.

  7. @William: as you hoped, you’re wrong! Nothing has changed for collections in 4.0.

    The mention was removed in the license because it was unnecessary–it wasn’t giving you additional rights to create collections beyond what you would have already had. You may still distribute CC-licensed works alongside works of any other license, so long as those works are not derivatives.

    See the FAQ entry:

    and the License Versions page:

  8. “allows those who violate the license inadvertently to regain their rights automatically if the violation is corrected in a timely manner.”

    Not sure how this would really be enforced, countries such as India, China & Eastern European countries regularly flought copyright laws and we feel powerless to contest.

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