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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: "Mike Linksvayer" <ml AT>
  • To: cc-licenses AT
  • Subject: [cc-licenses] CC0 beta/discussion draft feedback and next step
  • Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 13:30:57 -0800

On January 15 we launched discussion
[] of two new tools in a
beta US version, both branded "CC0" -- a Waiver of all copyrights in a
work, and an Assertion that there are no copyrights in a work. After
taking account of your feedback (thank you!), a lot of internal
discussion has led us to plan some changes. We are now planning to
have the next iteration of the beta ready for discussion by March 31,
but will describe the overall changes below for early feedback as we
work toward that iteration.

* Many found the use of "CC0" for both the Waiver and Assertion tools
to be confusing. Going forward, we plan to separate the tools more
clearly. As a legal tool, the CC0 Waiver can be thought of as the "no
rights reserved" option within the CC licensing suite. The Assertion
is something different -- not a legal tool, but a method of enabling
statements of fact about the public domain.

* Thinking of the CC0 Waiver as part of the licensing suite is also in
keeping with the legal reality that in some situations the tool will
probably function as a license rather than a waiver. So we want to
begin with a "Universal" (not "Unported") version of the tool. We do
not want to give US legal code a special status here. This means we
need to address now some additional legal issues, such as moral rights
and the question of rights in databases. Much discussion of the moral
rights issue has already taken place within the CC community, and we
will make use of that input. Open Data
Commons[] has provided an example of
how database rights might be addressed. We would like to use this
opportunity to engage at the beginning of our process with CC
international jurisdiction
projects[] and other experts
to make sure CC0 is the most universal waiver/maximally thin license

* Avoiding confusion between the Waiver and the Assertion will also
help with efforts to educate about the existence of the "public
domain" in every jurisdiction, whether called by that name or not. The
Assertion tool should now include the ability to indicate reasons why
a work would be in the public domain under the law of jurisdictions
other than the US.

* We also want to be clear that there is no need to buy into CC0
branding in order to use CC-built metadata to communicate the rights
associated with any particular work. Our goal is interoperability --
it's the "Rights Expression Language" part of
ccREL[], not the "cc", that we
care about the most.

We hope these changes will help clarify messaging and make it easier
for us to build -- with your help -- the simplest and most effective
tools for global usage. Primary discussion of this work will continue
on this list (cc-licenses). Please join in!

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