Creative Commons: a clarification

Creative Commons symbols — or an infringement of the Olympic logo? Last Monday the IPKat posted this piece by Maxine Horn, CEO of Creative Barcode, which sought to explain the difference between Creative Commons and Creative Barcode. This feature attracted a considerable amount of interest and some responses. Needless to say, Maxine's piece also attracted the attention of Creative Commons. The following has been penned by Aurelia J. Schultz (Counsel, Creative Commons) in order to clarify some of the points made regarding Creative Commons. Aurelia writes: "We caught your post about Creative Barcode and want to clarify a very important point about Creative Commons' legal tools. It's not actually true that CC's tools are predominantly used in "supporting usage rights and file sharing for works in the public domain." Creative Commons does indeed provide free legal tools that support and expand the public domain (specifically CC0, which makes it easy for an author to effectively release her work as public domain, and the Public Domain Mark, which allows any member of the public to mark and tag a work that is free of known copyright restrictions). But Creative Commons' most-used tools, CC licences, are meant for works that are not in the public domain (and should not be used for works that are indeed in the public domain). CC licences are free, easy-to-use copyright licences that give copyright holders a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use creative work – on conditions of the copyright holder's choosing. CC licences let a copyright holder easily change her copyright terms from the default of "all rights reserved" to "some rights reserved." CC licences make it easy, for example, to grant noncommercial rights to the public, while exclusively reserving commercial rights and the right to be attributed. The vast majority of works shared via Creative Commons' tools are offered under CC's copyright licences and are not in the public domain. More than 400 million works (which we believe is a conservative estimate) have been made available by copyright holders under CC's copyright licences. Thanks!" The IPKat has very much enjoyed learning more about the respective creative tools, thanks Maxine, Aurelia and his readers for their respective comments and contributions. He also hopes that this little exercise has had the effect of clarifying exactly what it is that Creative Commons and Creative Barcode can achieve for their respective users and for third parties. Merpel's a little disappointed, though. She just found a website for Creative Transformation and discovered that it was nothing to do with flagging transformative use of copyright-protected works at all …

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