Privacy Policy

Preamble

This Master Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) explains the collection, use, and disclosure of “personal information” by Creative Commons Corporation (“CC” or “Creative Commons”), a Massachusetts Corporation. Unless otherwise noted on a particular site or service, this Privacy Policy applies to your use of all websites that Creative Commons operates, including http://creativecommons.org, http://wiki.creativecommons.org, http://openpolicynetwork.org, http://open4us.org, http://teamopen.cc, http://donate.creativecommons.org, http://thepowerofopen.org, and http://creativecommons.net (the “ccNet Website”), (collectively, the “Websites”), as well as the products, information, and services provided through the Websites, including the license chooser, legal tools, the CCID account system, and the CC OpenID service (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 of
Creative Commons.

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/). 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 and disclosure of non personal browsing and site usage data that Creative Commons collects as the provider of the Services. That commitment is contained in a “Data Usage Policy,” below.

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.

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

Our Principles

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

  1. Privacy policies and data collection and use policies should be human readable, comprehensive, and easy to locate;
  2. Only the minimum amount of information reasonably necessary to provide you with services should be collected and maintained, and only for so long as reasonably needed or required;
  3. 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; and
  4. If Creative Commons is required to provide a third party with your personal information (whether by subpoena or otherwise), then provided we have collected and retained an email address for you, Creative Commons will use reasonable means to notify you promptly of that event, unless prohibited by law or CC is otherwise advised
    not to notify you on the advice of legal counsel.

Personal Information CC Collects

We may collect 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;
  • when you subscribe to one of our email discussion lists;
  • when you donate money to us or purchase merchandise;
  • when you create a CCID account (a universal log-in for all Services);
  • when you join and use the Creative Commons network through our ccNet Website, and/or establish a Creative Commons OpenID; and
  • when you provide personal information in connection with your participation in any of the forums we make available through our Services.

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 successfully sent. We may use all of this information to maintain license 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 CiviCRM database hosted on Creative Commons’ servers that can only be accessed by Creative Commons staff and contractors. 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/), 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, or (3) another service with which Creative Commons has engaged to provide email support. 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 will typically 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.

Donations. When you donate money to us or purchase merchandise via our support page, your personal information will be handled depending on which option you choose.

  1. 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.
  2. You may donate money to Creative Commons directly or through a variety of on-line payment sites, 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, handled 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 money to Creative Commons directly, we use your personal information to process your donation. When you donate money 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.

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 upload, is posted by you at your discretion (although subject to ccNet’s Master Terms of Use). 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 information 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 and the ccNet Website.

Participating in Our Community

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 CCID (a universal log-in for all Creative Commons services), you may be asked to provide personal information to create your account and establish a password and profile. We 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 and used in accordance with the Principles.

Disclosures of Personal Information

In general, it is not Creative Commons’ practice to disclose personal information to third parties. Other than providing you with attribution using your CCID nickname in connection with your CC-licensed works, we may share your personal information in two instances:

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.

Second, 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 of Use and Privacy Policy; (c) comply with legal process, such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order; or (d) protect our rights, reputation, and property, or that of our users, affiliates, or the public.

If Creative Commons is required to provide a third party with your personal information (whether by subpoena or otherwise), then provided we have collected and retained an email address for you, Creative Commons will use reasonable means to notify you promptly of that event, unless prohibited by law or CC is otherwise advised not to
notify you on the advice of legal counsel.

Security of Personal Information Collected via the Services

Creative Commons has implemented reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to and unlawful interception or processing of personal information that Creative Commons stores and controls. However, no website can fully eliminate security risks. Third parties may circumvent our security measures to unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications. We will post a reasonably prominent notice to the Websites if any such security breach occurs.

OpenID, including Creative Commons OpenID services, and the CCID account system have security risks in addition to those described above. Among other things, OpenID and CCID are vulnerable to DNS attacks, and using OpenID and CCID may increase the risk of phishing. See About OpenID for more information about the types and levels of risks associated with OpenID.

Data Usage Policy: Non Personal Browsing and Site Usage Information

Our Data Usage Policy covers how we maintain and use information about you that is collected by our Services, including when you log into a website using your Creative Commons OpenID or CCID.

Non Personal Browsing Information We Collect

When you use the Services, our servers (which may be hosted by a third party service provider) may collect information indirectly and automatically (through, for example, the use of your “IP address”) about your activities while visiting the Websites and information about the browser you are using. In addition, whenever you use your
Creative Commons OpenID or CCID to log into a website, 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.

No Linking

We do not intentionally link browsing information or information from our OpenID or CCID 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 to help us collect and analyze non personal browsing information through operation of our Services for those same purposes.

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 about you or your website usage to third parties.

No Access

As an OpenID and CCID service provider, CC could technically access your web-based account tied to our OpenID or CCID service, and could log in on behalf of any of its OpenID or CCID users to any of the accounts they have accessed using their Creative Commons OpenID or CCID. Creative Commons will never use this technical login ability for any purpose unless otherwise required by law.

No Retention

CC discards non personal browsing information from our OpenID and CCID server logs once we have used the information for the limited purposes noted above, under “No Linking.”

Notice

If Creative Commons is required to provide a third party with your non personal browsing information or to log in on behalf of an OpenID or CCID user (whether by subpoena or otherwise), then CC will use reasonable means to notify you promptly of that event, unless CC is prohibited by law from doing so or is otherwise advised not to notify
you on the advice of legal counsel.

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

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.

Children

The Services are not directed at children under the age of 13. Consistent with the 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 of Use 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.

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.

Special Note to International Users

The Services are hosted in the United States and the United Kingdom. Please note that your personal data may be  located on servers in the United States and/or the United Kingdom. By providing your personal data you consent to the use of your personal data for the uses identified above in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

Changes and Updates to this Privacy Policy

We may occasionally update this Privacy Policy. When we do, we will also revise the Effective Date below. We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Policy to stay informed about how we are protecting the personal information we collect. Your continued use of the Services constitutes your agreement to this Privacy Policy and any
updates.

Using this Privacy Policy for Your Own Purposes

The Creative Commons 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. However, please keep in mind that this Privacy Policy may not be completely
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.

Questions?

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

Effective Date: 2015-3-9 (March 9th 2015). For an archive of previous CC privacy policies, see here.