(from the Creative Commons blog)
Today the European Commission released licensing recommendations to support the reuse of public sector information in Europe. In addition to providing guidance on baseline license principles for public sector content and data, the guidelines suggest that Member States should adopt standardized open licenses – such as Creative Commons licenses:
Several licences that comply with the principles of ‘openness’ described by the Open Knowledge Foundation to promote unrestricted re-use of online content, are available on the web. They have been translated into many languages, centrally updated and already used extensively worldwide. Open standard licences, for example the most recent Creative Commons (CC) licences (version 4.0), could allow the re-use of PSI without the need to develop and update custom-made licences at national or sub-national level. Of these, the CC0 public domain dedication is of particular interest. As a legal tool that allows waiving copyright and database rights on PSI, it ensures full flexibility for re-users and reduces the complications associated with handling numerous licences, with possibly conflicting provisions.
The Commission’s recommendations warn against the the development of customized licenses, which could break interoperability of public sector information across the EU. The guidelines clearly state that license conditions should be standardized and contain minimal requirements (such as attribution-only).
In order to proactively promote the re-use of the licenced material, it is advisable that the licensor grants worldwide (to the extent allowed under national law), perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable (to the extent allowed under national law) and non-exclusive rights to use the information covered by the licence… it is advisable that [licenses] cover attribution requirements only, as any other obligations may limit licensees’ creativity or economic activity, thereby affecting the re-use potential of the documents in question.
This is a welcome outcome that will hopefully provide a clear path for data providers and re-users. It’s great to see this endorsement after our efforts alongside our affiliate network to advocate for clear best practices in sharing of content and data. The recommendation benefits from CC’s free international 4.0 licenses, saving governments time and money, and maximizing compatibility and reuse.
REGISTER HERE for the conference
- 17:00 – Registration
- 17:45 – Presentation of the program (Conference & Workshop) | by Rodolfo Baïz
- 18:00 – Creative Commons 4.0 | by Patrick Peiffer (luxcommons)
Patrick is a founder and current project lead of Creative Commons Luxembourg. He is the head of the digital library consortium at the National Library of Luxembourg (findit.lu) and is active in the Europeana.eu licensing and copyright teams.
His presentation will explain the key elements and changes of the new Creative Commons version 4.0 licences with examples of how they can be used in Open Design projects.
In Luxembourg, Creative Commons version 3.0 licences have been available since 2007. The 4.0 licences were launched in late 2013 with several key improvements, notably their internationalisation. The new version should boost the success of Creative Commons licenses which are already used for several hundred million works on the open web. Join the event and find out more at creativecommons.org!
We made dozens of improvements to the licenses. Most will go unnoticed by many CC licensors and licensees, but some of them deserve particular attention.For a much more in-depth rundown of the decisions reflected in 4.0, visit the 4.0 page on the Creative Commons wiki.
A more global license
In the past six years, Creative Commons has worked with hundreds of volunteers around the world – literally, some of the best minds in copyright law and open licensing on the planet – to translate and adapt the 3.0 and earlier licenses to local laws in over 60 jurisdictions (what we call “porting”). In the process, we’ve learned a lot about how our licenses work internationally and how they’re impacted by the nuances of copyright law in various jurisdictions.
We drew on this experience in the process of developing 4.0. We’ve worked closely with our wide international network of affiliates and countless other experts and stakeholders to make 4.0 the most internationally enforceable set of CC licenses to date. The 4.0 licenses are ready-to-use around the world, without porting.
The new licenses have improved terminology that’s better understood worldwide. With the release of 4.0, we’re also introducing official translations of the CC licenses, so that users of CC-licensed material around the world can read and understand the complete licenses in their local languages.
Rights outside the scope of copyright
Other rights beyond copyright can complicate the reuse of CC-licensed material. To the extent that those rights are not addressed directly in a copyright license, the situation for users of works can be even more confusing. Version 4.0 addresses this challenge through an open-ended but carefully tailored license grant that identifies categories of rights that could (if not licensed) interfere with reuse of the material. Accounting for these and other unenumerated rights will more fully enable users of CC-licensed works to use the work as they expect and as intended by licensors.
In particular, the fact that sui generis database rights are not explicitly covered by the 3.0 unported licenses has led to confusion in jurisdictions that recognize those rights. Version 4.0 removes any doubt, pulling applicable sui generis rights squarely within the scope of the license unless explicitly excluded by the licensor. It also allows database providers to use the CC licenses to explicitly license those rights.
The 4.0 license suite uniformly and explicitly waives moral rights held by the licensor where possible to the limited extent necessary to enable reuse of the content in the manner intended by the license. Publicity, privacy, and personality rights held by the licensor are expressly waived to the same limited extent. While many understand these rights to be waived when held by the licensor in 3.0 and earlier versions, version 4.0’s treatment makes the intended outcome clear.
Version 4.0 includes a slight change to attribution requirements, designed to better reflect accepted practices. The licenses explicitly permit licensees to satisfy the attribution requirement with a link to a separate page for attribution information. This was already common practice on the internet and possible under earlier versions of the licenses, and Version 4.0 alleviates any uncertainty about its use.
Enabling more anonymity, when desired
Version 3.0 included a provision allowing a licensor to request that a licensee remove the attribution from an adaptation, if she did not want her name associated with it. Version 4.0 expands that provision to apply not only to adaptations but also to verbatim reproductions of a work. Licenses now account specifically for situations where licensors wish to disassociate themselves from uses of their works they object to, even if their work hasn’t been modified or published in a collection with other works.
30-day window to correct license violations
All CC licenses terminate when a licensee breaks their terms, but under 4.0, a licensee’s rights are reinstated automatically if she corrects a breach within 30 days of discovering it. The cure period in version 4.0 resembles similar provisions in a some other public licenses and better reflects how licensors and licensees resolve compliance issues in practice. It also assures users that provided they act promptly, they can continue using the CC-licensed work without worry that they may have lost their rights permanently.
The 4.0 license suite is decidedly easier to read and understand than prior versions, not to mention much shorter and better organized. The simplified license structure and use of plain language whenever possible increases the likelihood that licensors and reusers will understand their rights and obligations. This improves enforceability of the licenses and reduces confusion and disagreement about how the licenses operate.
Clarity about adaptations
The BY and BY-NC 4.0 licenses are clearer about how adaptations are to be licensed, a source of confusion for some under the earlier versions of those licenses. These licenses now clarify that you can apply any license to your contributions you want so long as your license doesn’t prevent users of the remix from complying with the original license. While this is how 3.0 and earlier versions are understood, the 4.0 licenses make it abundantly clear and will help remixers in understanding their licensing obligations.
The new version of the Creative Commons licences are launched today!
Diane Peters writes:
We had ambitious goals in mind when we embarked on the versioning process coming out of the 2011 CC Global Summit in Warsaw. The new licenses achieve all of these goals, and more. The 4.0 licenses are extremely well-suited for use by governments and publishers of public sector information and other data, especially for those in the European Union. This is due to the expansion in license scope, which now covers sui generis database rights that exist there and in a handful of other countries.
Among other exciting new features are improved readability and organization, common-sense attribution, and a new mechanism that allows those who violate the license inadvertently to regain their rights automatically if the violation is corrected in a timely manner.
You can find highlights of the most significant improvements on our website, track the course of the public discussion and evolution of the license drafts on the 4.0 wiki page, and view a recap of the central policy decisions made over the course of the versioning process.
The 4.0 versioning process has been a truly collaborative effort between the brilliant and dedicated network of legal and public licensing experts and the active, vocal open community. The 4.0 licenses, the public license development undertaking, and the Creative Commons organization are stronger because of the steadfast commitment of all participants.
With the 4.0 licenses published, we will be turning our attention to official translations of the legal code in partnership with our affiliate network and larger community. Translations of our new deeds are also underway, with a significant number already completed.
Thank you and congratulations to everyone who participated in making 4.0 a reality!