CC Legal’s top priority is to responsibly steward our licenses and public domain tools, ensuring that CC’s existing licenses and legal tools remain relevant, user-friendly, and as effective as possible in service of creators and re-users.

Our core activities in support of this priority are: maintaining and updating communication materials explaining how our legal tools operate, enhancing the suite of tools we offer when demand and need exist, translating our tools and core communication materials to ensure that as many people as possible can understand them, and strategically involving CC in legal and policy developments that affect the way our legal tools work.

Current Projects

  • Enabling Open Access Publishing — With generous funding from the Arcadia Fund, CC is developing a new suite of legal tools for authors wanting to retain and regain their ability to publish their scholarship under OA terms.
    • Our Termination of Transfer tool has been updated and is now released in beta (v2) on CC Labs. Once finalized, this tool will help authors learn if and when they have the right to terminate agreements under U.S. law, and regain their right their right to use CC tools to publish under OA terms. [We will announce a public discussion and testing period in September, and will begin internationalization efforts in 2017.]
    • The CC Scholars Copyright Addendum Engine (SCAE) is now re-launched and updated in beta on CC Labs, including the form addenda. When attached to a standard publication agreement and accepted by a publisher, an author retains rights to self-archive and share their articles on certain conditions.
    • CC is exploring legal and technology mechanisms that enable authors to share their works on more open terms in the future. We will be publishing a working paper describing these mechanisms for public comment shortly.
  • Legal training materials – CC is planning to develop a continuing education course designed to teach lawyers about Creative Commons legal tools and help create a new cadre of legal experts on open licensing.
  • Language translations of our legal tools- CC is actively working to publish official translations of its licenses and public domain dedication in as many languages possible. Together with our affiliate network, we engage in a community-driven translation process that involves several rounds of editing and public review. Once a translation is approved, it is designed to have the same full legal effect as the original English. In addition to those already published, there are more than a dozen language translations currently underway.