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Creative Commons is a nonpmit organization that works to increase the amount of aeaWy (cultural, educational, and scientiiic content) availabk in 'the commons" the body of wok that i available to the public for free and legal sharing, s use, repurposing, and remmng
don't have to wony about W g h t infringethey abide by the terms you have spedfied).
as bng as
I you're an artist. student, educator, echtkt, or other creator f looking for content that you can freely and legany use, there is a giant pool of CClicensed creativity availabk to you. There are many millions of works -from songs and videos to scientific and academic content t a you can use under the ht t e r n of our copyright licenses
How Does Creative Commons Work?
WIVB Commons provides free, easy-touse legal tools t a ht give everyone from individual 'user genetated content"
creators to major companies and institutions a simple, standardiied way to pre-clear usage rights to creative work they own the copyright to. CC licenses let people easily change their copyright terms fmm the default of 'all rights reserved' to "some rights reserved.' Cmative Commons licenses are not an altematk~ve to copyright They apply on top of copyight, so you can modify your copyight terms to best suit your needs. We've collaborated with copyight experts all amund the world to ensure that our licenses work globally. Getting a Cmtive Commons r i s e is easy. Visit our Web site at creatEvecommons.org and click 'License Your Work" Based on your answers to a few quick questions, we'll give you a license that clearly communicates to people what you will and won't allow them to do with your creativity. It only takes a few minutes and it's totally free. Our Web site also contains an FAQ that answers many of the most common questions about how CC licenses work
Who Uses Creative Commons Licenses?
Major media and technology companies, leading universilies, top scientists, and world-renowned artists all take advantage of the Creative Commons approach to coWrigM Most importantly, there are millions of 'regular" people around the world who use CC licenses to help increase the depth, breadth, and quality of creativity that i available to everyone s for free and legal use.
How Is Creative Commons Funded?
Financial support for Creative Commons comes from organizations induding the John 0. and Catherine T . MacArthur Foundation, Omidyar NatwDrk, the Hewlett Foundatan, and the Rockefeller Fwndatii. CC also receives contributions from members of the public people just like you who value the open, cdlaborative exchange of culture and knowledge.
What Can Creative Commons Do for Me?
If you've created something and want people to b o w t a ht you're happy to have them share, use, and build upon your work, you shoukl consider p u b l i i i under a (Xeative Commons license. CC's legal infrastructure g-rves you t h i b i l i i (for example, you can choose to only predear nonwmmenzd uses) and protects the people who use your work (so that they
Where Can I Find Out More About Creative Commons?
There is much more information, including a number of helpful videos about Creative Commons, on our Web site. Please n'sl us at creativecommons.org to learn more about what we do and how we do it.
Creative Commons (CC) provides free copyright licenses which empower authors and creators to mark their creativii with the freedoms they intend i to carry. In this t document we describe conceptually a technology we've developed to enable a simple click-throughto rights or opportunities beyond those offered in the standard CC licenses. With this capability, it is simple for rights holders to marry standard CC licenses with other options beyond those provided w n a CC license. For example, ti ih a licensor offering wntent under a CC BY-NC license (requiring atkibution, but restricting use to noncommercial use only) could specify a broker (like a third party service on awebsite) that would handle commercial rights associated with the wntent Because CC licenses are non-exclusive, there is no Creative Commons-based limit to such multi-licensing.
These choices are then represented through a CC license icon on the web that: (1) Displaysthe M o m s offered,
(2)Links to a "Commons Deed" that explains the
freedoms in a human-readableway,
(3) Links to a license that enforces the freedoms, and
(4) Llnks to metadata that describes the freedoms in a machine-readable way. So for example, an artist might license a song on his web page. That webpage would display the CC license icon
Creative Commons is a Massachusetts non-profit corporation that offers free copyright licenses to creators who want to clearly mark their content with certain freedoms. These licenses release some of the exclusive rights granted automatically by copyright law to the general public, while reserving other rights to the copyright holder - thus its slogan, "Some Rights Resewed." Using the CC infrastructure, copyright holders may grant others the freedom to: (1) Share their work, or
(2) Remix their work, or
'Mil Song' is I icansed under i a r a l = ' l irmse' lhiei='ilrtp /icreaciveconnDns org,/l icenses!t~:d-ni55/3 O / ~ > < i , r ~ j
sic-'h~z://$ .craativec,inmnns o i g / l iby-ncs a / ? 0/8@<31prig' /,<!a,
with code that is linked to aUCommonsDeed":
u u e me:
d . , *
a , . -
These freedoms may be conditioned, or limited, by: (4) Limiting such uses to noncommercialactivitk, or
(5) Requiring adopters share-alike - meaning derivates of the originalwork must be licensed in a similar way, or
In the four years since its launch, Creative Commons has become the preeminent 'user-generated content" licensing en%. The project has sister projects in over 70 jurisdictions around the wodd, each working to port its core licenses to local law; 40 of those countries have completed their work to date. License uptake has in turn grown dramatically in smpe and quantity. CC licences are now being used by everyone from bloggers to major label artists.
Shere, reuse, and remix - legally
CC and CC+ Overview for the World Wide Web
As CC has grown, it has developed closer relationships with important content and application companies. S u Apart integrated Creative Commons licenses into their blogging software early on. Flickr has included CC licensing options in its photo service from the start. Online video sites blip.tv and Rewer have bath integrated CC licenses into video uploads while YouTube has integrated a system called 'audioswap" to enable YouTube users to draw upon Creat'we Commons licensed content to produce their own video content and 'swap" out audio files found to be used illegally. And the list goes on, as Creative Commons has worked with Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, Apple and many other companies working to lower the transaction cost associated with sharing and reuse of content in the new world.
In its initial development, Creative Commons focused upon the "sharing economy." Its objective has h a y s been to provide a legal framework to protect content intended by its copyright holder to be shared or remixed freely. The objective so far has not been to facilitate the crossover fmm the "sharing economy' to the "commercial economy." Nothing in the CC charter opposed such a crossover; indeed, the messaging around Creative Commons encouraged it. But nothing in the architecture of the CC infrastructure enabled a simple way for artists to signal and embed the ability to link the "sharing economy' to a "commercial economy." In December, 2006, this limit bqan to change. Creative Commons announced a beta pmtocol that would enable CC licensed content to be directly linked to commercial uses of that content. Using this protocol, CC licensed content could include links to rights or uses beyond those provided by the Creative Commons license. And, while CC will never itself provide those commercial links, it will enable others to use this CC+ infrastructure to leverage commercial value out of otherwise freely distributed content. With this new protocol, for example, a musician might license a song under a CC BY-NCND license encouraging people to nonwmmercially share the song, but not to remix it, or otherwise make derivatives of the w o k Using this new infrastructure, however, the artist may indicate a simple way that people could link back to a commercial site to secure rights beyond those granted automatically. The 'Commons Deed" signals that ability through a new icon, and a link from that icon to the appropriate site.
Thus, the Commons Deed now looks like this:
Q i i n g on the 'pennis&mns beyond" icon wwld then take you to a awnmercial site again, not mn by Cmatk Camwns where the tenns for the rights beyond those p n t e d by CC l i i could be negotiated. In thii Eosmple, the Pump Audio l i i looks like this:
There is no limit to the commercial opportunitiesthet might be specified beyond those in the CC h m e . The CC+ link could be to a site that o h one the ability to purchase ht a CD M t-shirt with a specific photo t a is l i d Mder a W i e Commons license. Or, thii CCt link addfiionally could be to an agency that sells unnmerdal rights to that photo. The protocd is a general facirito link CC licensed work with mmardal opportunitk Anyone may use thii protocd to enable hybrid creaMy (See W - Technical 2t Implementation" docmrent).
T i new protocol offers an obvious opportunw for h s Crearire Commons rlcensad content to provide competition to propreby commercial content Because the bmasbudure permits any rights o g a n h h o agent r to be named to handle rights beyond those granted by the CC license, CCt enmurages cornpethion ammg these . . o w agencies Since CCt gives asatas a way to monetize uses beyond the noncanmial sharing enabled by the lntemet, CCC encourages arbbts to make their WMk available using this infrastnrdure. findb, becarrse the CC licenses have become pewas.= stamlards with h g e s d e adoption for user-gemmted mntent licenses, organhatans trying to build businesses m n d such content will have an obvious incentive to use the standards set by Creatii Commons rather than reinventingthe wheel by building their own.
CC+ Technical Implementation for the World Wide Web
aeative Commons provides free copyight licenses which empowers authors and creators to mark their M with the freedom they intend it to cany. In this i document, we describe the implementation of a technology we've developed to enable a simple clickthrough to rights or opportunities beyond those offered in the CC license. See this document's non-technical companion, ' C and CCt for the World Wide Web" for C a wnceptual description of this approach.
' M y Song I s I censsd under <a rel='license' hreP-'hrrp://craarivac~mnonsorg/Ilcenses/byBY-SAc/a>. For other perrnlss!ons <a rmlns:cc-'htrp//craatIvecmns.org/ns#
h r a ~ = ' h t t p / / e x a r n p I e . ~ u r n / ~ f o r e / m yick~ ~ ~ c l ~~
The round-tripimplementation consists of two operations:
1. Publishing a creative work along with a Creative Commons license plus (+) a 'more permissions" link on a web page. 2. Readlng the more permissons link
Using RDFal, the cc: namespace definition could be included in any parent e l e m Together the namespace and re1 atbibute of the second link denote the predicate of M t p J I ~ m o n s & ~ P e r m i with i the current doament as the subject and ~ J I e x a m p l e . w m l s t o r e l ~as the object g Simply put, more permissions for the web page ai hand may be found at M l p J I e x a m p l e d s t o r e l ~ .
The first operation will be implemented by a publisher, typically with sofhvare running on a web server. The second operation will be implemented by a client, typically a web browser or web service, like one that does web mashups. An application developer only needs to implement the operations in scope of the a f o m t i o n e d client andlor server a p p l i i n developed.
Both the CC license and more permiasinns links may be airacted from a web page with an RDFa par^^. is highly What a diem does with the links (once apprkation-specific Typn,kaily, CC CC and more the permissions options will be bmught to the attention of the
user. tiramples ofthis nclnclude:
1. Creatk Commons' MozCO Extension for W l l a Firefox d i i y s indicator icons i the browser's n status bar.
2. A boobnarklet could highlight relevent links on a Pas=.
W n g a notice that a aeative work on the web has been Creative Commons licensed is done with a W andlor @aphidnoti= visible on a web p w with a l to the i d l i used markedup in the undewng html For emple:
'My ycng' is license= under ca rel-'license' hrrf='http:i/crsativecumns.org/Ilcenses/by sai3.O/';.CC W;-SAc/s>.
3 Creative C o m m a l i ideeds3 add notice of . more permissions availabaii based on annotations found on the referring page.
4. An industry or eitsspecific d i n t could autodiscover additional services available at the more permissions link.
More permissions link
Adding a mare permissions link simply consists of linking to a page where more permissions for a work are available and annotating that link For example:
111 hUpJIrdfainfo 121 hUpJ~ll.creatiMmmmons.~~M& 181See h U p : / / l & . c r e a t i ~ m o ~ r g I m t a d s l a for he emn$ss
More Intormation Please vieit MtpJlc/creativec~rmona09/pm~~ffiplus
Or please contact us at ~Jlcreativecommonsaglwntact
XMP (extensible Metadata Platform) Facilitates embeddimg metadata in files using a subset of RDF. Most notably, XMP supports embedding metadata in PDF and many image formats. though it is designed to support neatly any file type.
(Replace URL following 'verifyat' with URL containing metadata about the XMP-embedded file; this ia typically the URL specified by anpRigM8:WebStatsment.)
We also defme a h a t i v e Commons schema ~JIcxea~mons.orgIn& whose common prefix is cc. It currently has the following properties:
l i -The license URL; for example, hUp://creativewmmons.orgllicenses/by~
Creative Commons reconunemls XMP as the preferred
format for embedded rnetadata, given b suppart for numerous file formats and the balkanid state of embedded metadata standards. Others are coming to a similar conclusion; Microsoft has announced support for XMP in V I appliilcatms[lland Jon Udell not- "Them's slso good support in .NET Framework 3.0 for reading and writing XMP metadatan[21 Note that even when embedded with XMP metadata, Creative Commons recommends a licensed document include a visible copyright notice. Format-specific recommendations for visible notices are available in the ('Aeafive Commons wikif31.
moraPermicuions - A URL where additional permissions (commercial licensing, etc) are adable. This URL should typically be exposed in a "dickable' fashion, providing publishers with an opporlunw to dme M back to the originating site. i attributionURL -The URL to use when attributing this work athibutionhme -The cmator's pretened name to use when attributing this work.
The Creatii Commons licensing process offers an XMP template as part of the licens selection process which may be used to mark files within XMP-supporting Adobe applications.
Specifying License Information
XMP defines a rights management schema IXMP Spec 421. Creative Commons sets the following properties: xmpRightt:Marksd - Indicates this is a protected resource; Fake ifPublic Domain. True otherwise. xmpRight%WebStatement -The location of a web page describing the owner and/or rights statement for this resource; for example, MtpJIexampkcom/pdfmetadatahtml. Creative Commons recommendsthis resource contain embedded, machine-readable metadata.
Verification Links and XMP
A publisher can add boost wmidence in embedded rnetadata by providing a verifying web statement. A verifying web statement is a URL which contains metadata with assertions matching those embedded in the file. The diirence is that instead of making the assertions about a URL, the assertions are made in reference to the SHA-1 hash of the file.
For example, the example web statement MtpJIexample.wd~metadatahtmlwould include metadata encoded as RDFa.
cp>The documem evample.pdP i s licensed lower a
T h i s w r k i s IicellSSO tO t h e public under m e Creacvs
<a about-'urn:shal M S M B C S M U D L T C 2 6 U T 5 W 7 G ~ ~
Creative Gmmw A r t r l b u t i o n 3 . k / e > Ii-s.
verify a t
When processing a file ccntaining an embedded web statement, an appliiion can retrieve the statement and parse it for addiiional mtadata. If matching assert.m are found which apply to the calculated SHA-1 hash of the file, the application can d p y an indicator noting increased i l sa confidence m the metadata This approach has the added benefit of taking advantage of an existing mechanism (copy~ighttakedown procedures) in order to break the confidence in the case of inappropriately licensed material, thereby limiting liabilii.
EMP Spec1 "XMP Specification (September 2006)". httpfIw..adobe.com/devneffapl
This document i licensed under the Creative Commons s
A t t n i o n 3.0 license; license infonnatksn is available at
More Information Please visa MtpJhviki.creativewmmonaorgMMP
Or please contact m at MtpJIaeativecanmons.orglcontact
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