Creative Commons welcomes progress on official language translations of both 4.0 and CC0 due to our dedicated network of volunteers and a commitment by the European Commission (EC) to ensure the legal code for each is available in all official languages of the European Union. We expect a significant increase in the number of official translations to 36 languages total and the number of users who can read them to more than 3 billion in the next 3-5 months. With the European Commission’s decision to adopt CC BY 4.0 International and CC0 for all content and data it produces comes a firm commitment to collaborate with Creative Commons and its community to complete the remaining official translations of 4.0 and CC0 so that all 24 official languages of the EU are completed.
As of 2019, CC’s community has produced official translations of 4.0 in 23 languages (including English), and as of June 2019 has published CC0 in 13 languages (also including English). These numbers on their own own reflect an impressive and sizeable effort by our community, thanks also in part to travel grants from the Ford Foundation to bring together volunteer translators, and funding by others. As of June 2019, the total number of users able to access and understand the 4.0 licenses and CC0 in their first language totaled approximately 2.25 billion.
The assistance of the EC in developing first drafts of these legal documents is made possible through its impressive translation team. That team is working with CC’s translation processes to ensure drafts are reviewed publicly and that all interested members of the CC community in countries where those languages are officially recognized have the opportunity and are encouraged to contribute to the review and editing of drafts.
Additionally, CC is seeing a number of other complicated and sometimes multi-jurisdictional translations cross the finish line through the hard work of our community. Just last week, the official translation of CC0 into Spanish was completed and published, and shortly we will push live 4.0 translations of Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Czech, Korean and Slovene.
This push doesn’t end with these excellent efforts by our community, however. CC remains committed to ensuring that everyone understands the 4.0 licenses and CC0 in their language of choice, however widespread (or not) the language. So it was with delight that only a few weeks ago, UNESCO adopted its 2019 UNESCO OER Recommendation that, as amended at its recent meeting with the support and input of Creative Commons, recommends member states support the linguistic translation of open licenses, which includes CC BY and CC0. While not yet formally adopted, it is expected to be accepted later this year by the UNESCO General Conference. Once in place, Creative Commons will work to secure funding to expand its translation work for 4.0 and CC0 into languages that may not be as predominantly used as those already translated, but that are equally important to ensuring that users of Open Educational Resources (OER) and CC-licensed works everywhere, especially in remote, rural, migratory and other similarly underserved communities, are able to understand the license terms in their language of choice.
We thank the CC community and the European Commission for its dedication of resources, especially the efforts of Pedro Malaquias. We look forward to ongoing work with our community and funders to make full access to CC licenses and legal tools for everyone a reality.
Please contribute your input on pending translation drafts of 4.0 licenses and CC0, which are available for public comment through June 21, 2019.