[cc-community] Announcing the Public Domain Mark

Diane Peters diane at creativecommons.org
Tue Oct 12 17:45:54 EDT 2010

Hi everyone,

We're pleased to announce <http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/23830> the
launch of the Public
Domain <http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/>
Mark <http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/>.  Please see the
press release attached, and pasted below.  We are delighted to have
Europeana as a major, early adopter of the mark.  Their adoption is expected
to result in millions of out-of-copyright works being tagged with the Public
 Domain Mark by mid- 2011.

Europeana and CC (through our CTO, Nathan Yergler) will be announcing the
adoption at the *Europeana Open Culture**2010 **Conference*, being held this
week in Amsterdam, as well as publication of the public domain Usage

This newest CC tool has required the efforts by many, including all of you.
 We owe you all a sincere thanks for offering comments during the
development cycle.  Its progression has been the subject of many policy,
design and technical discussions at multiple levels.  One of the most
important outcomes of those discussion relates to its current, recommended
use.  The complication that territory presents -- that a work may be in the
public domain in one jurisdiction but not in others -- is an issue on which
there is still more to do.  The relevant take away now is that the Public
Domain Mark at this juncture is recommended only for use with works that are
free of known copyright restrictions worldwide.  We have also crafted
important user-oriented notifications for the face of the deed, including an
alert that the work marked may not actually be free of copyright

We have already started planning for next phases of work in this area and
others -- look for more announcements soon.

A final note about CC0.  As you may know from the public discussion threads,
we took this opportunity to revise the CC0
deed<http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/> to
align it more closely with our new Public Domain Deed. This helps everyone
recognize the difference between our licenses, which apply to works
restricted by copyright, and our public domain tools.  One of the new
features that both the CC0 and PDM deeds have in common is easy copy/paste
html that allows for ready citation of the marked work.  We look forward to
seeing that feature used with frequency to give authors of works in the
public domain the credit they are due.

Don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.  Thanks again for
your ongoing support on this important work.



*San Francisco, California, USA; The Hague, Netherlands — 11 October 2010*

Today, Creative Commons announces the release of the Public Domain
a tool that enables works free of known copyright restrictions to be labeled
in a way that clearly communicates that status to the public, and allows the
works to be easily discovered over the Internet.  The Public Domain
Mark effectively
increases the value of the public domainby making works that are already
free of copyright readily accessible to the public. TheMark makes it clear
to teachers and students, artists and scientists, that they are free to
re-use material. Its release benefits everyone who wishes to build upon the
rich and vast resources that are part of the shared public domain.

Europeana – Europe’s digital library, museum and archive – is the first
major adopter of thePublic Domain Mark. The tool will become the standard
mark for works free of known copyright that are shared via the Europeana
portal <http://www.europeana.eu/portal/>, playing an important infrastructur
al role in the EU’s efforts to ensure that all works shared online are
marked with rights information.  Europeana, whose partners include the
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, theBibliothèque nationale de France and Germany’s
Bundesarchiv (Federal archives),estimates that the millions of
out-of-copyright works made accessible via its searchable database will be
labelled with the Public Domain Mark by Spring 2011. Europeana will
announce the
adoption of the Public Domain Mark at the upcoming *Europeana Open Culture**
2010 **Conference*, to be held 14-15 October in Amsterdam.

"The Public Domain Mark is a further step on the path towards making the
promise of a digital public domain a reality," said Michael Carroll, a
founding board member of Creative Commons and a law professor at American
University.  "Marking and tagging works with information about their
copyright status is essential. Computers must be able to parse thepublic
domain status of works to communicate its usefulness to the public.  The
metadata standard underpinning the Public Domain Mark and all of CC's
licensing and legal tools arewhat makes this possible."

"An important part of our mandate is to ensure that digitized works made
available through Europeana are properly labelled with rights information,
including when a work is free of known copyright restrictions so that
teachers, students and others can freely use it in their work, changing it
and remixing it as they wish," noted Jill Cousins, Executive Director of
Europeana. "The legal and technical rigour applied by Creative Commons
throughout the development process makes the Public Domain Mark the natural
choice for Europeana's infrastructure.  We have also worked with Creative
Commons and our content providers to develop a Usage
public domain works to help users of cultural content use it responsibly –
by crediting the provider, among other things."

The Public Domain Mark in its current form is intended for use with works
that are free of known copyright around the world, primarily old works that
are beyond the reach of copyright in all jurisdictions.  Creative Commons is
mapping the next phases of its publicdomain work, which will look at ways to
identify and mark works that are in the publicdomain in a limited number of

Creative Commons worked closely with Europeana and several of its members
throughout the development of the Public Domain Mark.  That process also
included a publicconsultation period and review by CC’s worldwide affiliate
network comprised of legal experts from more than 70 jurisdictions. The
Public Domain Mark, to be used for marking works already free of copyright,
complements Creative Commons’ CC0 public
which provides an easy and reliable way for adding new works to the public
domain prior to the expiry of copyright.

More information about the Public Domain Mark can be found on the Creative
Commons website <http://creativecommons.org/public_domain>.
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