Privacy Policy

Master Privacy Policy and Express Consent

1. Preamble

This Master Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) explains the collection, use, processing, transferring and disclosure of “personal information” by Creative Commons Corporation (“CC” or “Creative Commons”), a Massachusetts charitable organization, and also contains an Express Consent that applies to those who use our Websites and Services (as defined below). This Privacy Policy is incorporated into and made part of Creative Commons Master Terms of Use (“Master Terms”) located at https://creativecommons.org/terms.

Unless otherwise noted on a particular website or service hosted by Creative Commons, this Privacy Policy applies to your use of all websites that Creative Commons operates. These include http://creativecommons.org, http://wiki.creativecommons.org, http://openpolicynetwork.org, http://open4us.org, https://rightsback.org, https://ccsearch.creativecommons.org/, http://teamopen.cc, http://donate.creativecommons.org, http://thepowerofopen.org, https://network.creativecommons.org and http://creativecommons.net, together with all other subdomains thereof (the “ccNet Website”), (collectively, the “Websites”). This Privacy Policy also applies to all products, information, and services provided through the Websites, including without limitation the license chooser, legal tools, the CC Login Services (defined below), and the CC Global Network community website (the “CCGN website (together with the Websites, the “Services”). Creative Commons does not operate the website at http://ccmixter.org. Furthermore, this Privacy Policy does not apply to any of the websites operated by affiliates or chapters of Creative Commons unless expressly provided on those websites or any subdomains of the Websites. For purposes of this Privacy Policy, “CC Login Services” refers to CC’s implementation of the OpenID standard used on the ccNet Website, and the Central Authentication Service (CAS protocol) used on https://login.creativecommons.org.

In addition, supplemental Privacy Policy terms (“Supplemental Privacy Policy Terms”) may apply to a particular Service, such as the Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine ( http://sciencecommons.org/resources/supplemental-privacy-policy/) and rightsback.org (https://rightsback.org/privacy-policy/). All such Supplemental Privacy Policy Terms will be accessible for you to read either within, or through your use of, that particular Service.

This Privacy Policy also explains our commitment to you with respect to our use, processing, transfer and disclosure of non personal browsing and site usage data that Creative Commons collects as the provider of the Services. “Non personal browsing and site usage data” refers to information that CC collects indirectly and automatically about your activities while visiting the Websites and using the Services through tools such as Google Analytics. The type of information that we collect focuses on general information such as general location such as country or city where you are located (not intentionally fine-grained location information), pages visited, heat-map of visitors’ activity on the site, information about the browser you are using, etc. In addition, whenever you use a CC Login Service to log into a Website or use the Services, our servers (which, again, may be hosted by a third party service provider) keep a plain text log of the websites you visit and when you visit them. CC does not deliberately track people over the Internet. See section 11, below for more information about this.

As used in this policy, “personal information” means information that would allow a party to identify you such as, for example, your name, address or location, telephone number, or email address or information from which a person could deduce your identity.

By accessing or using any of the Services, you are accepting and agreeing to the practices described in this Privacy Policy.

2. Our Principles

Creative Commons is committed to handling responsibly the personal information and data we collect and process about you through our Services, whether personal information or non personal browsing and site usage data. We have designed our Privacy Policy consistent with the following principles (the “Principles”):

  • Privacy policies including provisions regarding data collection, processing and use, should be human readable, comprehensive, and easy to locate;

  • Only the minimum amount of personal information reasonably necessary to provide you with services should be processed, collected and maintained, and only for so long as reasonably needed or required, consistent with the principles of proportionality; and

  • Personal information you provide through our Services, or that we gather as a result of your use of our Services, should not be used for marketing or advertising purposes, nor should it be provided voluntarily (without your permission) to anyone else unless required.

3. Personal Information CC Collects

We may collect and process personal information through our Services, including without limitation:

  • in connection with your selection of one of our licenses or legal tools including CC0 or the Public Domain Mark;

  • when you provide us with your personal information such as by sending an email to us or signing up to receive updates from Creative Commons, including the CCGN;

  • when you subscribe to one of our email discussion lists;

  • when you donate money to us or purchase merchandise;

  • when you create a CC Login Service account;

  • when you apply for membership in the CC Global Network (the “CCGN”) or use the CCGN website;

  • if you respond to a membership applicant’s request that you be a voucher for his, her or its membership application; and

  • when you provide personal information in connection with your participation in any of the forums we make available through our Services.

Specifically, the following personal information at a minimum will be collected, processed and transferred as set forth below when you apply for membership in the CCGN:

  • Name;

  • Email address;

  • Brief bio (including links and references);

  • Brief summary of why you want to be a member of CCGN;

  • Areas of interest;

  • Languages;

  • Country in which you are located and/or with which you have voluntarily chosen to be associated;

  • URLs and links to social media;

  • A personal photo for your profile (if that feature is enabled and you voluntarily supply a photo);

  • Whether you are currently or have previously been associated with a CC affiliate institution or are or have previously been an individual CC affiliate;

  • Personal qualities that relate to your candidacy for membership; and

  • Any other information that you elect to provide or that CC may request.

Some of this personal information (along with your new user ID) will be used to create your CCGN member profile if your application is approved. Some of that information will be public (user ID, name and photo (if the feature is enabled and you have voluntarily supplied it), and some of that information will only be accessible by other CCGN members (email address, brief biography, languages, country in which you are located and/or with which you have voluntarily chosen to be associated, URLs and social media, and similar)).

If you are designated as a voucher by an individual or an institution applying for membership in the CCGN, the following personal information may be collected about you as a voucher:

  • Name;

  • Email address;

  • Information on how you know the candidate and your opinion (deciding in favor of vouching, as to why your favor the candidate);

  • Country in which you are located and/or with which you have voluntarily chosen to be associated;

  • URLs and links to social media; and

  • Any other information that the voucher elects to provide or that CC may request.

4. What CC Does with Personal Information

License/Tool Selection . We use the personal information you provide to us as part of your selection of one of our licenses/tools to provide you the RDF, html and the uniform resource locator that correspond to the license/tool you selected. Some older versions of the license chooser enable Creative Commons to send you this information via email. In those cases, your email address is expunged after this email has been sent. We may use all of this information to maintain license/tools usage data.

Emails and Newsletters . We use the personal information you provide to us when you send us emails or sign up to receive updates from Creative Commons in order to respond to your request – for example, to reply to your email or to send you communications about Creative Commons news and campaigns.

When you subscribe to updates from us, your email address is sent to and stored in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database (such as MailChimp, or CiviCRM) hosted on servers that can only be accessed by Creative Commons staff and contractors. CC may change CRM system(s) from time to time. When you subscribe to one of our email discussion lists, your name and email address is sent to and stored by (1) ibiblio.org ( http://www.ibiblio.org/), currently a collaboration between the Center for the Public Domain ( http://www.centerforthepublicdomain.org/) and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill  ( http://www.unc.edu/), (2) Creative Commons, and/or (3) another service with which Creative Commons has engaged to provide email support (such as a CRM system as mentioned above). Personal information submitted as part of our email discussion lists is used for the purpose of managing the discussion lists. Your name and email address typically will be visible to other list participants when you correspond on the list and to the general public in the discussion archives. All emails sent to the discussions lists are publicly archived.

Events: If you sign up for an event hosted or supported by Creative Commons, we may share your personal information with vendors and third party contractors solely for the purpose of organizing and running the event. Additionally, if you sign up to participate in a CC-sponsored event, including without limitation a CC Global Summit, you may be asked to enter your name, address, and account information in connection with your payment for attendance. Currently, CC uses Stripe for payment, but CC may use additional methods for payment. You affirmatively consent and agree that CC may use and process your information in connection with the use and processing of your attendance with any such third party payment processors for purposes of processing your payment. Your information is subject to the privacy policies of such third party websites, and you affirmatively consent to the transfer of your information to those websites and service providers. CC is not be responsible for their handling, processing and use of your information.

Donations . When you donate money, goods or services to us, purchase merchandise via our support page, or pay for attendance at an event (including the CC Global Summits), your personal information will be handled depending on which option you choose.

If you purchase merchandise from the Creative Commons store ( http://store.creativecommons.org/), your personal information will be used for the purpose of sending you the items you purchased. If you sign up to receive updates from Creative Commons when you check out from the store, we will use your personal information to send you communications about Creative Commons news and campaigns.

You may donate money to Creative Commons directly or through a variety of on-line payment sites, currently including PayPal, JustGive.org, Good Search, Network for Good, and Mission Fish, among others. When you use any of those websites and services to donate to CC, your personal information is sent to, processed by and stored by those websites in accordance with their respective privacy policies and terms of use. You should read and understand the privacy policy and terms of use of any website you use to donate to Creative Commons. When you donate to Creative Commons directly, we use your personal information to process your donation. When you donate as part of one of CC’s fundraising campaigns, your name will be published on our “supporters page” unless you request otherwise. If you sign up to receive updates from Creative Commons when you provide your donation, we will use your personal information to send you communications about Creative Commons news and campaigns.

5. ccNet Website

This service is no longer accepting new accounts, but if you previously created a ccNet account, you may still access and use it. When you joined ccNet, you provided personal information to create your account and establish a password and profile, and to create an OpenID. We use that personal information to establish and maintain your accounts, provide you with the features we provide for account holders, to act as your OpenID service provider, and for the purpose of contacting you about upcoming news and events relevant to Creative Commons.

By joining ccNet, you were also given a public profile page where you can voluntarily post personal information for public viewing. The information that you submit on your public profile page, including but not limited to information you provide in the field “Your CC Story” and any photograph or image of yourself you choose to upload, is posted by you at your discretion (although subject to ccNet’s Master Terms of Use). You should not post photos or images of other persons without their express consent. The information you publish on your public profile page, including your personal information, may be used by anyone who views that information for any lawful purpose, with the exception of the text you insert in the “Your CC Story” field and any photograph or image of yourself that you upload, which if you choose to provide in either case must be licensed under and becomes subject to the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, as stated on the Edit Profile page. CC may use the personal and non personal browsing and site usage date (as described above) you provide in your public profile, including the text in the “Your CC Story” field (subject to the terms of that license), to promote the mission of Creative Commons.

6. CC Global Network (CCGN)

In connection with your application to the CCGN or use of the CCGN website, you will be required to provide certain personal information. We use and process that personal information to evaluate your application, establish and maintain your account, provide you with the features we provide for account holders, and for the purpose of contacting you about upcoming news and events relevant to Creative Commons and the CCGN. In connection with your application you will be required to have one or more members of the CCGN provide information about you in order to vouch for you as a potential member of the CCGN. You hereby consent to those individuals providing such information about you that we reasonably request. The personal information provided in connection with your application to the CCGN, whether by you or a member of the CCGN vouching as you voluntarily request on your behalf, will be used by the CCGN including its Membership Council (interim and/or permanent) and Creative Commons to evaluate your application.

If you are admitted to the CCGN you will be given a public profile page where you can voluntarily post personal information for public viewing. Certain personal information that you submit to or make available on your profile page, including your name, areas of interest, images and other content you upload may be used by anyone who views that information for any lawful purpose. Additional personal information that you submit to your profile page, including your biographical information, languages spoken, country of residence or country with which you wish to be associated or similar, social media account information or URL details may be viewed and used by other members of the CCGN. Further, if you are admitted, your information will be transferred to and from the various fora that further the CC mission and enable the CCGN, including chapters, the CCGN, platforms and working groups, HQ and the Membership Council for purposes of governance participation, activity interaction, and other purposes related to the mission, vision and activities of CC.

Whether your CCGN membership application is rejected or accepted, the personal information that was collected from you and from the voucher will be deleted after 21 days of CC’s sending out the decision, with the exception of the voucher’s decision (e.g., vouch for applicant / does not vouch for applicant) and your then-existing or prior affiliation(s) as or with a CC affiliate.

Information provided by vouchers related to your identity and decision (i.e., whether or not you (the voucher) vouched for the applicant) will be retained.

See sections 15 and 22 below for additional information.

7. Participating in the CCGN

Registered Users . When you register to obtain a user account on any of the Services (any such person, a “Registered User”), including but not limited to a CC Login Service or the CCGN website, you may be asked to provide personal information to create your account and establish a password and profile. We generally encourage you to use an alias or nickname if you are not comfortable providing your legal name. The name or nickname you provide in connection with your account may be used to attribute you in connection with any content you submit to any Service. We also use that personal information to establish and maintain your account, to provide you with the features we provide Registered Users, and to email you regarding changes to this policy or other applicable policies. If you sign up to receive updates from Creative Commons when you create your account, we will use your personal information to send you communications about Creative Commons news and campaigns.

Any other personal information that we may collect which is not described specifically in this Privacy Policy will only be collected, processed, transferred and used in accordance with the Principles and as stated herein.

8. Disclosures of Personal Information

In general, it is not Creative Commons’ practice to disclose personal information to third parties other than as made available on the Services. Except as otherwise set forth herein or for providing you with attribution using your CC Login Service name or nickname (as you have elected) in connection with your CC-licensed works, we may share your personal information in the following instances:

  1. First, Creative Commons may share personal information with our contractors and service providers in order to maintain, enhance, or add to the functionality of the Services, or to organize and run an event you signed up to attend.

  2. Second, we may disclose your personal information you provide in connection with your application to the CCGN or use of the CCGN website, including to those individuals who you select to vouch for your acceptance as a member of the CCGN and those reviewing your application, and the Membership Counsel (interim and/or permanent) whose members are located in various countries (such as Colombia, El Salvador, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Argentina, South Korea, Poland, Ghana, Brazil, United States, Japan, Netherlands, Chile, and Guatemala), for the purpose of making a decision about your application.

  3. Third, if you are a voucher, we may disclose your personal information to (a) the Membership Council (interim and/or permanent), for the purpose of confirming the voucher’s identity and for making a decision about the applicant, and (b) the applicant should the applicant decide to invoke his or her right of access and correction as discussed below in sections 21 and 22.

  4. Fourth, we may disclose your personal information to third parties in a good faith belief that such disclosure is reasonably necessary to (a) take action regarding suspected illegal activities; (b) enforce or apply our Master Terms and this Privacy Policy; (c) enforce our Charter [link] including the Code of Conduct and policies contained and incorporated therein, (d) comply with legal process, such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order; or (e) address legitimate interests pursued by Creative Commons or by a third party (except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child) and ensure our compliance with applicable laws.

For the purposes listed in section 3 above, Creative Commons may transfer your personal information to Creative Commons affiliates, members, chapters, and third parties that provide products or services to Creative Commons. The majority of consultants that Creative Commons is using as of the effective date of this Privacy Policy were located in the United States and in Canada, but this may change from time to time. For example, Creative Commons has engaged a third-party Internet service to provide hosting services for some of our Websites based in the United Kingdom.

When personal information is directly transferred to an affiliate, member, Chapter or a third party provider located in a country including those listed above, that may not provide a level of protection equivalent to the laws in your jurisdiction, Creative Commons will exercise appropriate due diligence in the selection of such recipients, and require that these recipients maintain adequate technical and organizational security measures to safeguard the personal information and process the personal information only as instructed by Creative Commons and for no other purposes. See also section 20 below.

9. Security of Personal Information Collected via the Services

Creative Commons has implemented reasonable physical, technical, and organizational security measures for personal information that Creative Commons processes, transfers, stores and controls against accidental or unlawful destruction, or accidental loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure or access, in compliance with applicable law. However, no website can fully eliminate security risks. Third parties may circumvent our security measures to unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications. If any data breach occurs, we will post a reasonably prominent notice to the Websites and comply with all other applicable data privacy requirements including, when required, personal notice to you if you have provided and we have maintained an email address for you.

The CC Login Services account systems have security risks in addition to those described above. Among other things, they are vulnerable to DNS attacks, and using any CC Login Service may increase the risk of phishing. See “More about CC Login Services” below and other information about those services throughout this Privacy Policy.

10. Information from Cookies and Similar Technologies

We and our service providers (for example, Google Analytics as described in section 1 above) may collect information using cookies or similar technologies for the purposes described above and below. Cookies are pieces of information that are stored by your browser on the hard drive or memory of your computer or other Internet access device.  Cookies may enable us to personalize your experience on the Services, maintain a persistent session, passively collect demographic information about your computer, and monitor advertisements and other activities.  The Websites may use different kinds of cookies and other types of local storage (such as browser-based or plugin-based local storage).

11. Non Personal Browsing and Site Usage Information We Process and Collect

When you use the Services, our servers (which may be hosted by a third party service provider) may process and collect information indirectly and automatically (through, for example, the use of your “IP address”) about your activities while visiting the Websites and using our Services, and information about the country you are located in and the browser you are using. In addition, we use website and application analytics services provided by third parties that use cookies and other similar technologies to collect information about the use of the Websites and Services, and to report trends, without identifying individual visitors (this is all “non personal browsing and site usage information” for purposes of this Privacy Policy and as described in section 1, above). The third parties that provide us with these services may also collect information about your use of third-party websites. You can learn about Google’s practices in connection with this information collection and how to opt out of it by downloading the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on, available at https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. Whenever you use your CCGN website account or a CC Login Service, our servers (which, again, may be hosted by a third party service provider) keep a log of the websites you visit and when you visit them. We may share the non personal browsing information we collect with our third party service providers in connection with the services they provide.

12. No Linking

We do not intentionally link browsing information or information from our CC Login Services server logs to the personal information you submit to us. We use this information for internal purposes only, such as to help understand how the Services are being used, to improve our Services, and for systems administration purposes. CC may use a third party analytics provider (for example, Google Analytics as discussed in section 1 above) to help us collect and analyze non personal browsing and site usage information through operation of our Services for those same purposes.

In connection with your use of the Services, you may tag content, create lists of favorite content, and do other things to personalize your experience. You should not, however, tag other persons or post photographs or other images or likenesses without that other person’s express consent. This information will be retained by Creative Commons in connection with the relevant CC Login Service.

13. No Selling or Sharing

Except in the unique situations identified in this Privacy Policy, Creative Commons does not sell or otherwise voluntarily provide the non personal browsing information we collect and process about you or your website usage to third parties.

14. No Access; More about CC Login Services

As a provider of CC Login Services, CC could access your web-based account tied to such services, and could log in on behalf of any of Registered Users to any of the accounts they have accessed using the CC Login Services. Creative Commons will never use this technical login ability for any purpose except as required by law.

15. Data Retention

CC generally discards non personal browsing information from our CC Login Services and CCGN website once we have used the information for the limited purposes noted above under “No Linking” and described elsewhere in this Privacy Policy. Nevertheless, we may, but are not obligated to, retain certain data in connection with routine information technology backups and for archival purposes.

When a CCGN membership application is rejected or accepted, the personal information that was collected from the applicant and from the voucher will be deleted after 21 days of CC’s sending out the decision, with the exception of the voucher’ decision (e.g., vouch for applicant / does not vouch for applicant) and your then-existing or prior affiliation(s) as or with a CC affiliate. Personal information submitted by someone acting as a voucher and collected for the purpose of providing a voucher for an applicant that is rejected or accepted will be deleted after 21 days from the time CC sends out its decision, with the exception of the voucher’s actual decision (i.e., whether or not he or she vouched for the applicant, but none of the statement(s) that he or she may have provided).

16. Notice

Any other non-personal information that we collect which is not described specifically in this Privacy Policy will only be collected, processed, transferred and used in accordance with the Principles.

17. Reorganization or Spin-Offs

Creative Commons may transfer some or all of your personal and/or non personal browsing information to a third party as a result of a reorganization, spin-off, or similar transaction. Upon such transfer, the acquirer’s privacy policy will apply. In such event, Creative Commons will use reasonable efforts to notify you and to ensure that at the time of the transaction the acquirer’s privacy policy complies with the Principles and with all applicable laws.

18. Children

The Services are not directed at children under the age of 13. Consistent with the U.S. federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), we will never knowingly request personal information from anyone under the age of 13 without requiring parental consent. Our Master Terms specifically prohibit anyone using our Services from submitting any personally identifiable information about persons under 13 years of age. Any person who provides their personal information to CC through the Services represents that they are 13 years of age or older.

19. Third-Party Sites

The Services may include links to other websites. You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party sites. This Privacy Policy does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other websites.

20. Special Note to International Users

If you are accessing or using the Services in regions with laws governing data collection, processing, transfer and use, please note that we may transfer your information to recipients in countries other than the country in which the information was originally collected. Those countries may not have the same data protection laws as the country in which you initially provided the information. The Services are hosted in the United States and the United Kingdom. Please note that your personal information may be located on servers in the United States and/or the United Kingdom. By providing your personal information and by checking all required boxes when you apply for membership in the CCGN or otherwise access and use our Services or Websites, you expressly consent to the use of your personal information for the uses identified above in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

The personal information you provide to Creative Commons when you apply for CCGN membership will be shared with the members of the Membership Council (interim and/or permanent) for the purpose of making a decision on your application. These members may be located in countries other than the country in which the information was originally collected, for instance Colombia, El Salvador, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Argentina, South Korea, Poland, Ghana, Brazil, United States, Japan, the Netherlands, Chile, and Guatemala. The data protection laws of such countries might not provide a level of protection equivalent to the laws in your jurisdiction. Creative Commons will exercise appropriate due diligence in the selection of such members, and require that these members maintain adequate technical and organizational security measures to safeguard the personal information and process the personal information only as instructed by Creative Commons and for no other purposes. Data transferred from the European Union to the United States or outside the European Union will be made on the grounds of a certification to the E.U./U.S. Privacy Shield regime and/or a data transfer agreement based on the Standard Contractual Clauses approved of by the European Commission respectively, consistent with applicable data privacy requirements.

21. Accuracy of Personal Information Collected

Creative Commons intends to keep personal information accurate and up-to-date. We also retain personal information no longer than is necessary to carry out the purposes described in section 3 above, or as required by law. If changes need to be made to your personal information, please notify us (as identified below, see the “Questions” section) right away. If you inform us of changes or we otherwise become aware of any factual inaccuracies in personal information, we will promptly make changes as appropriate. You also have the option to update some of your personal information yourself via your Creative Commons account or profile if you have one.

22. Access to Personal Information

Along with all other rights granted to you under applicable laws, you may at any time request to be informed of personal information that Creative Commons holds. If you wish to access such personal information, you should apply in writing to Creative Commons (as identified below, see the “Questions” section). You are generally entitled to access personal information that Creative Commons holds and to have inaccurate data corrected or removed to the extent CC still maintains it. In certain circumstances, you also may have the right to object for legitimate reasons to the processing or transfer of personal information.

If you applied for CCGN membership or acted as a voucher for an applicant, you are generally entitled to access the personal information that Creative Commons holds at the time of your request. However, with the exception of the voucher’ decision (e.g., vouch for applicant / does not vouch for applicant) and the applicant’s past affiliation(s) with a CC affiliate institution, please note that such data will only be retained by Creative Commons for 21 days of CC’s sending out the decision, as described in section 15 above. Thereafter, any other personal information related to the membership application process, including any vouchers’ personal statements or submissions, will be deleted.

23. Changes and Updates to this Privacy Policy

We may occasionally update this Privacy Policy. When we do, we will provide you with notice of such update through (at a minimum) a reasonably prominent notice on the Websites and Services, and will revise the Effective Date below. We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Policy to stay informed about how we are protecting, using, processing and transferring the personal information we collect.

24. Using this Privacy Policy for Your Own Purposes

The text (but not trademarks, including CC’s name, branding, and look-feel of this site) of this Privacy Policy is dedicated to the public domain under the Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain Dedication. You are free to use and adapt this Privacy Policy and any applicable Supplemental Privacy Policy Terms for your own purposes but not in connection with the Services of Websites. These terms are provided AS-IS and without any warranty of any type whatsoever (see the text of the CC0 for more). Keep in mind that this Privacy Policy may not be suitable for your situation. Creative Commons strongly encourages you to seek the advice of your own attorney before repurposing this Privacy Policy on your own site. CC is not your attorney, and this is not legal advice.

25. Questions?

If you have questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us by email at legal@creativecommons.org.

Effective Date: 7 November 2017. For an archive of previous CC privacy policies, see here.

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