Privacy Policy

1. Preamble

This 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.

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 https://creativecommons.org, https://wiki.creativecommons.org, https://network.creativecommons.org, https://search.creativecommons.org, https://labs.creativecommons.org, http://openpolicynetwork.org, http://open4us.org, https://rightsback.org, http://teamopen.cc, and http://thepowerofopen.org, together with all other subdomains thereof, (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 (together with the Websites, the “Services”).

Please note that Creative Commons does not operate the website at http://ccmixter.org.

In addition, supplemental Privacy Policy terms (“Supplemental Privacy Policy Terms”) may apply to a particular Service, such as 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.

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 has designed this policy to be consistent with the following principles:

  • Privacy policies should be human readable and easy to find.
  • Data collection, storage, and processing should be simplified as much as possible to enhance security, ensure consistency, and make the practices easy for users to understand.
  • Data practices should always meet the reasonable expectations of users.

3. Personal Information CC Collects and How it is Used

As used in this policy, “personal information” means information that would allow someone to identify you, including your name, email address, IP address, or other information from which someone could deduce your identity.

CC collects and uses personal information in the following ways:

Website and Fundraising Analytics: When you visit our Websites and use our Services, CC collects some information about your activities through tools such as Google Analytics. The type of information that we collect focuses on general information such as country or city where you are located, pages visited, time spent on pages, heat-map of visitors’ activity on the site, information about the browser you are using, etc. CC collects and uses this information pursuant to our legitimate interest in enhancing the security and utility of our Services. The information we gather and process is used in the aggregate to spot trends without deliberately identifying individuals, except in cases where you engage in a transaction with Creative Commons by donating money, purchasing merchandise, or buying a ticket for an event or program. In those cases, CC retains certain information about your visit to the Services pursuant to its legitimate interest in understanding its community of supporters for fundraising purposes, and this information is stored in connection with other personal information you provide to CC.

Note that you can learn about Google’s practices in connection with its analytics services 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. If you would like to opt out of CC’s fundraising analytics, please contact legal@creativecommons.org with your request.

Information from Cookies: We and our service providers (for example, Google Analytics as described 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).

Log-In Services: When you register to obtain a user account on any of the Services (any such person, a “Registered User”), including but not limited to the CCID service available at https://login.creativecommons.org/login, you will be asked to provide personal information to create your account and establish a password and profile. CC collects and uses this personal information pursuant to its legitimate interest in establishing and maintaining your account providing you with the features we provide Registered Users. We may use your email address to contact you regarding changes to this policy or other applicable policies. 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. In addition, whenever you use a CC Login Service to log into a Website or use the Services, our servers keep a plain text log of the Websites you visit and when you visit them.

Events: When you sign up for an event hosted or supported by Creative Commons, you will be asked to provide some personal information, including your name, email address, and other information as needed. CC collects and uses this personal information pursuant to its legitimate interest in organizing and running the relevant event. We may share your personal information with vendors, third party contractors, partner organizations, and volunteers for the purpose of organizing and running the event and related activities.

Emails and Newsletters: When you sign up to receive updates from Creative Commons or otherwise subscribe to one of our mailing lists, you will be asked to provide some personal information. CC collects and uses this personal information pursuant to its legitimate interest in providing news and updates to, and collaborating with, its supporters and volunteers.

Email Analytics: When you receive communications from CC after signing up for the CC newsletter, campaign updates, or other ongoing email communications from CC, we use analytics to track whether you open the mail, click on the links, and otherwise interact with what we send. You may opt out of this tracking by choosing to get plain-text emails from CC. CC collects and uses this personal information pursuant to its legitimate interest in understanding the interests of its community of supporters and volunteers in order to provide more relevant news and updates.

Donations: When you donate money to Creative Commons, purchase merchandise at https://store.creativecommons.org/, or pay for attendance at an event or participation in the CC Certificate program, you will be asked to provide personal information, including payment information. CC collects and uses this personal information pursuant to its legitimate interest in raising funds to ensure the sustainability of our nonprofit organization and, where applicable, to provide you with the merchandise, event, or program you purchased.

Creative Commons Global Network (“CCGN”) Membership: In connection with your application for CCGN membership, you will be required to provide certain personal information. CC collects and uses that personal information pursuant to its legitimate interest in evaluating applications for CCGN membership and for helping to manage the CCGN once you are admitted.

In connection with your application you will be required to have two CCGN members provide information about you in order to vouch for you as a potential member of the CCGN. The personal information you provide with your application will be shared with the individuals you select to vouch for you, and with those reviewing your application, including the Membership Council whose members include people not employed by Creative Commons and who are located in various countries around the world.

If you vouch for someone’s application to the CCGN, your personal information will be shared with those reviewing the application, including the Membership Council, and if you provide a positive vouching statement, that statement will be shared with the applicant if and when they are admitted for membership.

If you are admitted to membership in the CCGN, you will be given a public profile page, editable by you, which will be pre-populated with certain information you provide with your application. Your name, areas of interest, images and other content you upload will be publicly displayed to anyone who visits the site while logged in with their CCID. All other personal information that you submit to your profile page, including your biographical information, email address, languages spoken, country of residence, social media account information or URL details will be displayed only to CC and CCGN members. 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 country chapters, platforms, working groups, and the Membership Council, for purposes of governance participation, activity interaction, and other purposes related to the mission, vision, and activities of CC.

If your CCGN membership application is rejected, the personal information that was collected from you and from the voucher will be deleted 21 days after CC sends out the decision, with the exception of the voucher’s vote or abstention (e.g., vouch for applicant / does not vouch for applicant).

Funding and Participation Opportunities: When you apply for a scholarship, grant, or fellowship from Creative Commons, or when you apply to be selected to participate in one of our other programs, CC will collect certain personal information from you in order to evaluate your application and process your funding as necessary. CC collects and uses this personal information pursuant to its legitimate interest in providing funding and participation opportunities to its supporters and volunteers and in order to comply with its legal obligations under applicable law. We will share that information with the people who are designated to select participants in, and help manage, those programs, which may include people not employed by Creative Commons.

Other Voluntarily Provided Information: When you provide feedback to Creative Commons, sign a petition distributed by CC, or otherwise submit personal information to Creative Commons, CC collects and uses this personal information pursuant to its legitimate interest in better understanding our community of supporters and volunteers and in furtherance of the particular program or activity to which you provided feedback or other input.

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 usage data about our licenses/tools.

4. Retention of Personal Information

The majority of the personal information collected and used as explained in Section 3 above is aggregated and stored in a central database provided by a third party service provider. CC aggregates this data pursuant to its legitimate interest in having information stored in a single location to minimize complexity, increase consistency in internal practices, better understand its community of supporters and volunteers, and enhance the security of the data.  

CC erases the web browser logs described above on a regular, rolling basis.

5. Access to Your Personal Information

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 wish to exercise any of these rights, please write to legal@creativecommons.org explaining your request.

6. Disclosure of Your Personal Information

CC does not disclose personal information to third parties except as specified elsewhere in this policy and in the following instances:

  1. Creative Commons may share personal information with our contractors and service providers in order to undertake the activities described in Section 3.  
  2. 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, including the Code of Conduct and policies contained and incorporated therein, or (d) comply with legal process, such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order.

7. Security of Your Personal Information

Creative Commons has implemented reasonable physical, technical, and organizational security measures for personal information that Creative Commons processes 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.

8. 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.

9. Third Party Service Providers

Creative Commons uses many third party service providers in connection with the Services, including website hosting services, database management, credit card processing, and many more. Some of these service providers may place session cookies on your computer, and they may collect and store your personal information on our behalf in accordance with the data practices and purposes explained above in Section 3.

10. Third Party Sites

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

11. Transferring Data to Other Countries

If you are accessing or using the Services in regions with laws governing data collection, processing, transfer and use, please note that when we use and share your data as specified in this policy, 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 currently hosted in the United States and the United Kingdom, which means your personal information may be located on servers in the United States and/or the United Kingdom. The majority of contractors that Creative Commons is using as of the effective date of this Privacy Policy are located in the United States and in Canada, but this may change from time to time.

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.

12. Changes 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.

Effective Date: 25 May 2018. For an archive of previous CC privacy policies, see here.

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