The Official Unofficial Creative Commons Facebook Application

Fred Benenson, May 18th, 2009

Creative Commons License on FacebookLast weekend I spent Saturday morning writing the Creative Commons License Application for Facebook. The premise is simple: installing the application allows Facebook users choose and place a CC license badge on their profile page indicating which license they want their content to be available under. Alongside the badge is text that explains what content (Photos, Videos and Status & Profile text are currently available as options) is licensed.

This surrounding text also contains RDFa, though this is of limited utility to search engines since Facebook profiles are not yet publicly indexed.

Users also have the option to allow the application to update their status so that news of their license choice will appear in their friends’ feed. Selecting this option will help grow our application’s audience exponentially, so we would encourage you to choose it.

There are some limitations to this application and you should consider it in beta, so apologies in advance if things break or don’t work properly. Perhaps the largest limitation is that works can only be licensed on a per-profile basis. This means that you must make the decision to license all of your work of a given media type (e.g., all of your photos) under a particular CC license or none at all. Unless Facebook integrates CC license choices into their Photo application, licensing works on a per-photo basis (as users have the freedom to do on sites like Flickr and Wikimedia Commons) is not possible. Thus, this implementation of a CC licenses on Facebook is a stop-gap solution to true integration into the service. If you’ve got other ideas or find other bugs for our application, please head over to our wiki and post them.

Otherwise, go now and install the Creative Commons License Application and let your friends know that you’ve chosen a CC license for your content on Facebook!

Thanks to everyone who helped me conceptualize and test this application, and especially to the “Creative Commons on Facebook” group of 5,000+ users who kept encouraging us to move forward.

16 Responses to “The Official Unofficial Creative Commons Facebook Application”

  1. Seth Johnson says:

    Why don’t you include the CC0 / public domain option so I don’t have to start requiring people to put my name on things?

    I didn’t know that CC was including the attribution right in all their six core licenses until today.

    Then just include a link to to inform folks of how CC is approaching it.

  2. finally – thanks!!!

  3. Quinn says:

    CC integration is almost always a good thing BUT I wonder if users can even legally use this plugin. I was under the impression Facebook owns all your copyright for anything you publish. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  4. Alex says:

    See #2

    “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how we share your content through your privacy and application settings.”

  5. Notice that application’s link on Facebook update for fans is broken: it ends with /creativ instead of /creativecommons. I think it’s a Facebook platform issues with long URIs. BTW, great job guys!

  6. Grisell Rodriguez says:

    Yeah, thanks so much!!! I just added the app but I was wondering if there’s a way the CC logo can be added automatically to the photos area once you decide what CC license you want. It does appear in my status update and my Porfiel but on my photos page it would be very nice to have it hter as well…just a suggestion. Thanks again to all.

  7. Seth Johnson says:

    Small (?) problem — the app posted on my “Recent activity” that I had chosen a license even though I canceled before committing. It didn’t post a license notice like in the picture above, but it did announce that I had chosen a license when I hadn’t fully done so.

  8. I’d like (probably Facebook would like) to perhaps better address the pre-existence (and different scope) of the license users grant Facebook.

  9. […] in Facebook pages. Since this is such a good idea, I’m going to work on a new version of our Official Unofficial CC License Facebook application that will enable all Page administrators to add CC license policies to their pages. More on that […]

  10. Ramya says:

    It would be lovely to have CC licenses for Facebook pages! Eagerly awaiting!

  11. quin shakra says:

    Hey, I’m curious if anyone plans on updating this application for use with the new Facebook profiles… it seems like the application installs, but specific photos don’t list the user’s CC license any longer.

  12. Brian says:

    Its broken, it just doesn’t work at all anymore and lots of people are reporting it on the application for 2 years apparently according to some reports on the app but it hasn’t been fixed. Please fix or remove it so someone else can create a new one without confusing people.

  13. it would be lovely to have cc licenses for facebook page eagerly awaiting

  14. Gabriel says:

    I am Gabriel from Argentina and i am a photographer.
    I would be happy to see the application online again.
    Hope you can make this posible and have some protections of our content.
    Cheers y congrats for your outstanding job.

  15. Bill Ottman says:

    What happened here? Bring it back! ;)

  16. Mavish says:

    True, unless Facebook integrates CC license choices into their Photo application, theyre certainly gonna be licensing works on a per-photo basis. I just installed the app and it works great