Creative Commons license

A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted "work".[note 1] A CC license is used when an author wants to give other people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that he or she (that author) has created. CC provides an author flexibility (for example, he or she might choose to allow only non-commercial uses of a given work) and protects the people who use or redistribute an author's work from concerns of copyright infringement as long as they abide by the conditions that are specified in the license by which the author distributes the work.[1][2][3][4][5]

There are several types of Creative Commons licenses. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001. There have also been five versions of the suite of licenses, numbered 1.0 through 4.0.[6] As of December 2018, the 4.0 license suite is the most current.

In October 2014 the Open Knowledge Foundation approved the Creative Commons CC BY, CC BY-SA and CC0 licenses as conformant with the "Open Definition" for content and data.[7][8][9]
Creative Commons logo
This video explains how Creative Commons licenses can be used in conjunction with commercial licensing arrangements

Applicable works

Work licensed under a Creative Commons license is governed by applicable copyright law.[10] This allows Creative Commons licenses to be applied to all work falling under copyright, including: books, plays, movies, music, articles, photographs, blogs, and websites.

While Software is also governed by copyright law and CC licenses are applicable, the Creative Commons recommends Free and open-source software software licenses instead of Creative Commons licenses.[11] Outside the FOSS licensing use case for software there are several usage examples to utilize CC licenses to specify a "Freeware" license model; examples are The White Chamber, Mari0 or Assault Cube.[12] Also the Free Software Foundation recommends the CC0[13] as the preferred method of releasing software into the public domain.[14]

There are over 35,000 works that are available in hardcopy and have a registered ISBN number. Creative Commons splits these works into two categories, one of which encompasses self-published books.[15]

However, application of a Creative Commons license may not modify the rights allowed by fair use or fair dealing or exert restrictions which violate copyright exceptions.[16] Furthermore, Creative Commons licenses are non-exclusive and non-revocable.[17] Any work or copies of the work obtained under a Creative Commons license may continue to be used under that license.[18]

In the case of works protected by multiple Creative Common licenses, the user may choose either.[19]

Types of licenses

Wanna Work Together? animation by Creative Commons
The second version of the Mayer and Bettle promotional animation explains what Creative Commons is
Creative commons license spectrum
Creative commons license spectrum between public domain (top) and all rights reserved (bottom). Left side indicates the use-cases allowed, right side the license components. The dark green area indicates Free Cultural Works compatible licenses, the two green areas compatibility with the Remix culture.
CC license usage in 2014 (top and middle), "Free cultural works" compatible license usage 2010 to 2014 (bottom)

The CC licenses all grant the "baseline rights", such as the right to distribute the copyrighted work worldwide for non-commercial purposes, and without modification.[20] The details of each of these licenses depend on the version, and comprises a selection out of four conditions:

Icon Right Description
Attribution Attribution (BY) Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works and remixes based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits (attribution) in the manner specified by these.
Share-alike Share-alike (SA) Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical ("not more restrictive") to the license that governs the original work. (See also copyleft.) Without share-alike, derivative works might be sublicensed with compatible but more restrictive license clauses, e.g. CC BY to CC BY-NC.)
Non-commercial Non-commercial (NC) Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works and remixes based on it only for non-commercial purposes.
Non-derivative No Derivative Works (ND) Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works and remixes based on it.

The last two clauses are not free content licenses, according to definitions such as DFSG or the Free Software Foundation's standards, and cannot be used in contexts that require these freedoms, such as Wikipedia. For software, Creative Commons includes three free licenses created by other institutions: the BSD License, the GNU LGPL, and the GNU GPL.[22]

Mixing and matching these conditions produces sixteen possible combinations, of which eleven are valid Creative Commons licenses and five are not. Of the five invalid combinations, four include both the "nd" and "sa" clauses, which are mutually exclusive; and one includes none of the clauses. Of the eleven valid combinations, the five that lack the "by" clause have been retired because 98% of licensors requested attribution, though they do remain available for reference on the website.[23][24][25] This leaves six regularly used licenses + the CC0 public domain waiver:

Seven regularly used licenses

Icon Description Acronym Attribution Required Allows Remix culture Allows commercial use Allows Free Cultural Works Meets the OKI 'Open Definition'
CC0 button Freeing content globally without restrictions CC0 No Yes Yes Yes Yes
CC-BY icon Attribution alone BY Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
CC-BY-SA icon Attribution + ShareAlike BY-SA Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cc-by-nc icon Attribution + Noncommercial BY-NC Yes Yes No No No
Cc-by-nc-sa icon Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike BY-NC-SA Yes Yes No No No
Cc-by-nd icon Attribution + NoDerivatives BY-ND Yes No Yes No No
Cc-by-nc-nd icon Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives BY-NC-ND Yes No No No No


For example, the Creative Commons Attribution (BY) license allows one to share and remix (create derivative works), even for commercial use, so long as attribution is given.[27]

Version 4.0 and international use

The original non-localized Creative Commons licenses were written with the U.S. legal system in mind, therefore the wording may be incompatible with local legislation in other jurisdictions, rendering the licenses unenforceable there. To address this issue, Creative Commons asked its affiliates to translate the various licenses to reflect local laws in a process called "porting."[28] As of July 2011, Creative Commons licenses have been ported to over 50 jurisdictions worldwide.[29]

The latest version 4.0 of the Creative Commons licenses, released on November 25, 2013, are generic licenses that are applicable to most jurisdictions and do not usually require ports.[30][31][32][33] No new ports have been implemented in version 4.0 of the license.[34] Version 4.0 discourages using ported versions and instead acts as a single global license.[35]



Since 2004, all current licenses other than the CC0 variant require attribution of the original author, as signified by the BY component.[24] The attribution must be given to "the best of [one's] ability using the information available".[36] Generally this implies the following:

  • Include any copyright notices (if applicable). If the work itself contains any copyright notices placed there by the copyright holder, those notices must be left intact, or reproduced in a way that is reasonable to the medium in which the work is being re-published.
  • Cite the author's name, screen name, or user ID, etc. If the work is being published on the Internet, it is nice to link that name to the person's profile page, if such a page exists.
  • Cite the work's title or name (if applicable), if such a thing exists. If the work is being published on the Internet, it is nice to link the name or title directly to the original work.
  • Cite the specific CC license the work is under. If the work is being published on the Internet, it is nice if the license citation links to the license on the CC website.
  • Mention if the work is a derivative work or adaptation. In addition to the above, one needs to identify that their work is a derivative work, e.g., "This is a Finnish translation of [original work] by [author]." or "Screenplay based on [original work] by [author]."

Non-commercial licenses

The "non-commercial" option included in some Creative Commons licenses is controversial in definition,[37] as it is sometimes unclear what can be considered a non-commercial setting, and application, since its restrictions differ from the principles of open content promoted by other permissive licenses.[38] In 2014 Wikimedia Deutschland published a guide to using Creative Commons licenses as wiki pages for translations and as PDF.[39]

Zero / public domain

CC zero waiver/license logo.[40]
Cc-public domain mark white
Creative Commons Public Domain Mark. Indicates works which have already fallen into (or were given to) the public domain.

Besides licenses, Creative Commons also offers through CC0 a way to release material worldwide into the public domain.[26] CC0 is a legal tool for waiving as many rights as legally possible.[41] Or, when not legally possible, CC0 acts as fallback as public domain equivalent license.[41] Development of CC0 began in 2007[42] and was released in 2009.[43][44] A major target of the license was the scientific data community.[45]

In 2010, Creative Commons announced its Public Domain Mark,[46] a tool for labeling works already in the public domain. Together, CC0 and the Public Domain Mark replace the Public Domain Dedication and Certification,[47] which took a U.S.-centric approach and co-mingled distinct operations.

In 2011, the Free Software Foundation added CC0 to its free software licenses,[13] and currently recommends CC0 as the preferred method of releasing software into the public domain.[14]

In February 2012 CC0 was submitted to Open Source Initiative (OSI) for their approval.[48] However, controversy arose over its clause which excluded from the scope of the license any relevant patents held by the copyright holder. This clause was added with scientific data in mind rather than software, but some members of the OSI believed it could weaken users' defenses against software patents. As a result, Creative Commons withdrew their submission, and the license is not currently approved by the OSI.[45][49]

In 2013, Unsplash began using the CC0 license to distribute free stock photography.[50][51] It now distributes several million photos a month[52] and has inspired a host of similar sites, including CC0 photography companies and CC0 blogging companies.[53] Lawrence Lessig, the founder of Creative Commons, has contributed to the site.[54] Unsplash moved from using the CC0 licence to their own similar licence in June 2017, but with a restriction added on using the photos to make a competing service which makes it incompatible with the CC0 licence.[55]

In October 2014 the Open Knowledge Foundation approved the Creative Commons CC0 as conformant with the "Open Definition" and recommend the license to dedicate content to the public domain.[8][9]


Derivative of medical imaging
An example of a permitted combination of two works, one being CC BY-SA and the other being Public Domain.

Rights in an adaptation can be expressed by a CC license that is compatible with the status or licensing of the original work or works on which the adaptation is based.[56]

License compatibility chart for combining or mixing two CC licensed works[57][58]
Public Domain Mark button
CC0 button
CC-BY icon CC-BY-SA icon Cc-by-nc icon
Cc-by-nc-sa icon
Cc-by-nc-nd icon
Cc-by-nd icon
Public Domain Mark button
CC0 button
Yes Yes Yes Yes No
CC-BY icon Yes Yes Yes Yes No
CC-BY-SA icon Yes Yes Yes No No
Cc-by-nc icon
Cc-by-nc-sa icon
Yes Yes No Yes No
Cc-by-nc-nd icon
Cc-by-nd icon
No No No No No

Legal aspects

The legal implications of large numbers of works having Creative Commons licensing are difficult to predict, and there is speculation that media creators often lack insight to be able to choose the license which best meets their intent in applying it.[59]

Some works licensed using Creative Commons licenses have been involved in several court cases.[60] Creative Commons itself was not a party to any of these cases; they only involved licensors or licensees of Creative Commons licenses. When the cases went as far as decisions by judges (that is, they were not dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or were not settled privately out of court), they have all validated the legal robustness of Creative Commons public licenses. Here are some notable cases:

Dutch tabloid

In early 2006, podcaster Adam Curry sued a Dutch tabloid who published photos from Curry's Flickr page without Curry's permission. The photos were licensed under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial license. While the verdict was in favor of Curry, the tabloid avoided having to pay restitution to him as long as they did not repeat the offense. Professor Bernt Hugenholtz, main creator of the Dutch CC license and director of the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam, commented, "The Dutch Court's decision is especially noteworthy because it confirms that the conditions of a Creative Commons license automatically apply to the content licensed under it, and binds users of such content even without expressly agreeing to, or having knowledge of, the conditions of the license."[61][62][63][64]

Virgin Mobile

In 2007, Virgin Mobile Australia launched an advertising campaign promoting their cellphone text messaging service using the work of amateur photographers who uploaded their work to Flickr using a Creative Commons-BY (Attribution) license. Users licensing their images this way freed their work for use by any other entity, as long as the original creator was attributed credit, without any other compensation required. Virgin upheld this single restriction by printing a URL leading to the photographer's Flickr page on each of their ads. However, one picture, depicting 15-year-old Alison Chang at a fund-raising carwash for her church,[65] caused some controversy when she sued Virgin Mobile. The photo was taken by Alison's church youth counselor, Justin Ho-Wee Wong, who uploaded the image to Flickr under the Creative Commons license.[65] In 2008, the case (concerning personality rights rather than copyright as such) was thrown out of a Texas court for lack of jurisdiction.[66][67]

SGAE vs Fernández

In the fall of 2006, the collecting society Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) in Spain sued Ricardo Andrés Utrera Fernández, owner of a disco bar located in Badajoz who played CC-licensed music. SGAE argued that Fernández should pay royalties for public performance of the music between November 2002 and August 2005. The Lower Court rejected the collecting society's claims because the owner of the bar proved that the music he was using was not managed by the society.[68]

In February 2006, the Cultural Association Ladinamo (based in Madrid, and represented by Javier de la Cueva) was granted the use of copyleft music in their public activities. The sentence said: "Admitting the existence of music equipment, a joint evaluation of the evidence practiced, this court is convinced that the defendant prevents communication of works whose management is entrusted to the plaintiff [SGAE], using a repertoire of authors who have not assigned the exploitation of their rights to the SGAE, having at its disposal a database for that purpose and so it is manifested both by the legal representative of the Association and by Manuela Villa Acosta, in charge of the cultural programming of the association, which is compatible with the alternative character of the Association and its integration in the movement called 'copy left'".[69]

GateHouse Media, Inc. v. That's Great News, LLC

On June 30, 2010 GateHouse Media filed a lawsuit against That's Great News. GateHouse Media owns a number of local newspapers, including Rockford Register Star, which is based in Rockford, Illinois. That's Great News makes plaques out of newspaper articles and sells them to the people featured in the articles.[70] GateHouse sued That's Great News for copyright infringement and breach of contract. GateHouse claimed that TGN violated the non-commercial and no-derivative works restrictions on GateHouse Creative Commons licensed work when TGN published the material on its website. The case was settled on August 17, 2010, though the settlement was not made public.[70][71]

Drauglis v. Kappa Map Group, LLC

The plaintiff was photographer Art Drauglis, who uploaded several pictures to the photo-sharing website Flickr using Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License (CC BY-SA), including one entitled "Swain's Lock, Montgomery Co., MD.". The defendant was Kappa Map Group, a map-making company, which downloaded the image and used it in a compilation entitled "Montgomery Co. Maryland Street Atlas". Though there was nothing on the cover that indicated the origin of the picture, the text "Photo: Swain's Lock, Montgomery Co., MD Photographer: Carly Lesser & Art Drauglis, Creative Commoms [sic], CC-BY-SA-2.0" appeared at the bottom of the back cover.

The validity of the CC BY-SA 2.0 as a license was not in dispute. The CC BY-SA 2.0 requires that the licensee to use nothing less restrictive than the CC BY-SA 2.0 terms. The atlas was sold commercially and not for free reuse by others. The dispute was whether Drauglis' license terms that would apply to "derivative works" applied to the entire atlas. Drauglis sued the defendants in June 2014 for copyright infringement and license breach, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, fees, and costs. Drauglis asserted, among other things, that Kappa Map Group "exceeded the scope of the License because defendant did not publish the Atlas under a license with the same or similar terms as those under which the Photograph was originally licensed."[72] The judge dismissed the case on that count, ruling that the atlas was not a derivative work of the photograph in the sense of the license, but rather a collective work. Since the atlas was not a derivative work of the photograph, Kappa Map Group did not need to license the entire atlas under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license. The judge also determined that the work had been properly attributed.[73]

In particular, the judge determined that it was sufficient to credit the author of the photo as prominently as authors of similar authorship (such as the authors of individual maps contained in the book) and that the name "CC-BY-SA-2.0" is sufficiently precise to locate the correct license on the internet and can be considered a valid URI of the license.[74]

Verband zum Schutz geistigen Eigentums im Internet (VGSE)

This incident has not been tested in court, but it highlights a potentially disturbing practice. In July 2016, German computer magazine LinuxUser reports that a German blogger Christoph Langner used two CC-BY licensed photographs from Berlin photographer Dennis Skley on his private blog Langner duly mentioned the author and the license and added a link to the original. Langner was later contacted by the Verband zum Schutz geistigen Eigentums im Internet (VGSE) (Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property in the Internet) with a demand for €2300 for failing to provide the full name of the work, the full name of the author, the license text, and a source link, as is apparently required by the fine print in the license. Of this sum, €40 goes to the photographer, and the remainder is retained by VGSE.[75][76]

Works with a Creative Commons license

Number of Creative Commons licensed works as of 2017, per State of the Commons report

Creative Commons maintains a content directory wiki of organizations and projects using Creative Commons licenses.[77] On its website CC also provides case studies of projects using CC licenses across the world.[78] CC licensed content can also be accessed through a number of content directories and search engines (see CC licensed content directories).

Retired licenses

Due to either disuse or criticism, a number of previously offered Creative Commons licenses have since been retired,[23][79] and are no longer recommended for new works. The retired licenses include all licenses lacking the Attribution element other than CC0, as well as the following four licenses:

  • Developing Nations License: a license which only applies to developing countries deemed to be "non-high-income economies" by the World Bank. Full copyright restrictions apply to people in other countries.[80]
  • Sampling: parts of the work can be used for any purpose other than advertising, but the whole work cannot be copied or modified[81]
  • Sampling Plus: parts of the work can be copied and modified for any purpose other than advertising, and the entire work can be copied for noncommercial purposes[82]
  • NonCommercial Sampling Plus: the whole work or parts of the work can be copied and modified for non-commercial purposes[83]

See also


  1. ^ A "work" is any creative material made by a person. A painting, a graphic, a book, a song/ the lyrics to a song, or a photograph of almost anything are all examples of "works".


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  77. ^ "Case Studies". Creative Commons. Archived from the original on December 24, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  78. ^ Lessig, Lawrence (June 4, 2007). "Retiring standalone DevNations and one Sampling license". Creative Commons. Archived from the original on July 7, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2007.
  79. ^ "Developing Nations License". Creative Commons. Archived from the original on April 12, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  80. ^ "Sampling 1.0". Creative Commons. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  81. ^ "Sampling Plus 1.0". Creative Commons. November 13, 2009. Archived from the original on April 11, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  82. ^ "NonCommercial Sampling Plus 1.0". Creative Commons. November 13, 2009. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.

External links


8in8 is a supergroup comprising Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and Damian Kulash of OK Go. In 2011 they gathered together with the intention of writing and recording eight songs in eight hours, hence the name "8in8". Aside from being friends, members of the group have various connections with each other: Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are married, and Ben Folds appeared on and produced Palmer's solo debut Who Killed Amanda Palmer. The band have been referred to as a supergroup, acknowledging that moniker by describing themselves as "tomorrow's supergroup today". The musical members of 8in8 each have different styles and the EP Nighty Night was created to reflect each one, with main lyricist Gaiman adapting to suit.The Berklee College of Music hosted the Rethink Music conference in April 2011, inviting musicians and representatives of the music industry to attend. During the discussions Amanda Palmer raised the question of how fast an artist could complete the process of creating an album, from writing new material to releasing the work. Shortly afterwards she joined with the other members of 8in8, forming the group to write and record an album as quickly as possible. On 25 April 2011 they went into Mad Oak Studios with producer Sean Slade. They had the intention of creating an album of eight songs in eight hours, but fell short of that target, completing six songs in 12 hours. The album, available under a Creative Commons license, went on sale on Bandcamp, raising over $21,000 for the Berklee City Music Network.The session was broadcast live on, and the band members used Twitter to communicate with fans, encouraging them to put forward ideas for the lyrics. Further involving the creative input of their fans, the Creative Commons license allowed people to create their own music videos for each track, with the best ones being reposted by members of the group.The band have played one concert, returning to the Rethink Music conference just hours after completing the record. They played the set at the Berklee Performance Centre.

AP Computer Science Principles

Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (also called AP CSP or AP CS Principles) is an AP Computer Science course and examination offered by the College Board to high school students as an opportunity to earn college credit for a college-level computer science course. AP Computer Science Principles is meant to be the equivalent of a first-semester course in computer science. Assessment for AP Computer Science Principles is divided into two parts, both an end of course exam as well as the creation of artifacts throughout the course.The AP Computer Science Principles Exam was administered for the first time on May 5, 2017.

A Story of Healing

A Story of Healing is a short documentary film in which Donna Dewey follows a team of five nurses, four anesthesiologists, and three plastic surgeons from Interplast in the United States for two weeks of volunteer work in the Mekong delta of Vietnam. The film shows not only how this changes the lives of the 110 patients who undergo surgery, but also the lives of the volunteers themselves. The epilogue, which runs after the credits, follows-up on two patients helped by Interplast, 16 months after their surgery.

In 1998, "A Story of Healing" won the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). In 2007, it became the first Oscar-winning film to be licensed under a Creative Commons license when it was opened under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License.


Biomass is plant or animal material used for energy production, heat production, or in various industrial processes as raw material for a range of products. It can be purposely grown energy crops (e.g. miscanthus, switchgrass), wood or forest residues, waste from food crops (wheat straw, bagasse), horticulture (yard waste), food processing (corn cobs), animal farming (manure, rich in nitrogen and phosphorus), or human waste from sewage plants.Burning plant-derived biomass releases CO2, but it has still been classified as a renewable energy source in the EU and UN legal frameworks because photosynthesis cycles the CO2 back into new crops. In some cases, this recycling of CO2 from plants to atmosphere and back into plants can even be CO2 negative, as a relatively large portion of the CO2 is moved to the soil during each cycle.

Cofiring with biomass has increased in coal power plants, because it makes it possible to release less CO2 without the cost assosicated with building new infrastructure. Co-firing is not without issues however, often an upgrade of the biomass is beneficiary. Upgrading to higher grade fuels can be achieved by different methods, broadly classified as thermal, chemical, or biochemical (see below).


CiteSeerx (originally called CiteSeer) is a public search engine and digital library for scientific and academic papers, primarily in the fields of computer and information science. CiteSeer holds a United States patent # 6289342, titled "Autonomous citation indexing and literature browsing using citation context," granted on September 11, 2001. Stephen R. Lawrence, C. Lee Giles, Kurt D. Bollacker are the inventors of this patent assigned to NEC Laboratories America, Inc. This patent was filed on May 20, 1998, which has its roots (Priority) to January 5, 1998. A continuation patent was also granted to the same inventors and also assigned to NEC Labs on this invention i.e. US Patent # 6738780 granted on May 18, 2004 and was filed on May 16, 2001. CiteSeer is considered as a predecessor of academic search tools such as Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search. CiteSeer-like engines and archives usually only harvest documents from publicly available websites and do not crawl publisher websites. For this reason, authors whose documents are freely available are more likely to be represented in the index.

CiteSeer's goal is to improve the dissemination and access of academic and scientific literature. As a non-profit service that can be freely used by anyone, it has been considered as part of the open access movement that is attempting to change academic and scientific publishing to allow greater access to scientific literature. CiteSeer freely provided Open Archives Initiative metadata of all indexed documents and links indexed documents when possible to other sources of metadata such as DBLP and the ACM Portal. To promote open data, CiteSeerx shares its data for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons license.The name can be construed to have at least two explanations. As a pun, a 'sightseer' is a tourist who looks at the sights, so a 'cite seer' would be a researcher who looks at cited papers. Another is a 'seer' is a prophet and a 'cite seer' is a prophet of citations. CiteSeer changed its name to ResearchIndex at one point and then changed it back.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) is an American non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses, known as Creative Commons licenses, free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. An easy-to-understand one-page explanation of rights, with associated visual symbols, explains the specifics of each Creative Commons license. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright but are based upon it. They replace individual negotiations for specific rights between copyright owner (licensor) and licensee, which are necessary under an "all rights reserved" copyright management, with a "some rights reserved" management employing standardized licenses for re-use cases where no commercial compensation is sought by the copyright owner. The result is an agile, low-overhead and low-cost copyright-management regime, benefiting both copyright owners and licensees.

The organization was founded in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldred with the support of Center for the Public Domain. The first article in a general interest publication about Creative Commons, written by Hal Plotkin, was published in February 2002. The first set of copyright licenses was released in December 2002. The founding management team that developed the licenses and built the Creative Commons infrastructure as we know it today included Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, Glenn Otis Brown, Neeru Paharia, and Ben Adida.In 2002 the Open Content Project, a 1998 precursor project by David A. Wiley, announced the Creative Commons as successor project and Wiley joined as CC director. Aaron Swartz played a role in the early stages of Creative Commons, as did Matthew Haughey.As of May 2018 there were an estimated 1.4 billion works licensed under the various Creative Commons licenses. Wikipedia uses one of these licenses. As of May 2018, Flickr alone hosts over 415 million Creative Commons licensed photos.Creative Commons is governed by a board of directors. Their licenses have been embraced by many as a way for creators to take control of how they choose to share their copyrighted works.

Eclipse Phase

Eclipse Phase is a science fiction horror role-playing game with transhumanist themes. Originally published by Catalyst Game Labs, Eclipse Phase is now published by the game's creators, Posthuman Studios, and is released under a Creative Commons license. In 2010, it won the 36th Annual Origins award for Best Roleplaying Game. It also won three 2010 ENnie awards: Gold for Best Writing, Silver for Best Cover Art, and Silver for Product of the Year.

Internet Speculative Fiction Database

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) is a database of bibliographic information on genres considered speculative fiction, including science fiction and related genres such as fantasy fiction and horror fiction. The ISFDB is a volunteer effort, with both the database and wiki being open for editing and user contributions. The ISFDB database and code are available under Creative Commons licensing and there is support within both Wikipedia and ISFDB for interlinking. The data are reused by other organizations, such as Freebase, under the creative commons license.

List of major Creative Commons licensed works

This is a list of notable works available under a Creative Commons license. Works available under a Creative Commons license are becoming more common. Note that there are multiple Creative Commons licenses with important differences.

Matt Lee (artist)

Matt Lee (born July 21, 1981) is a British artist, comedian, director, software freedom activist, hacker, and writer. He is a free software developer previously at GitLab and was formerly technical lead of Creative Commons, from 2014-2016. He is a speaker and webmaster for the GNU Project. He also founded the GNU social and GNU FM projects.

Between 2008 and 2012, Lee was the main contact behind the Free Software Foundation Defective by Design and Play Ogg campaigns. He also served as the chief-webmaster for the GNU Project.In 2007, Lee wrote and produced Happy Birthday to GNU starring Stephen Fry, a short film to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the GNU Project. The final product was released under a Creative Commons license. In 2015, he co-wrote and directed his first feature, Orang-U: An Ape Goes To College.

Miscanthus giganteus

Miscanthus giganteus (miscanthus giganteus, giant miscanthus, elephant grass)

is a sterile hybrid of Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus.

It can grow to heights of more than 4 metres (13 ft) in one growing season (from the third season onwards). Just like Pennisetum purpureum and Saccharum ravennae it is also called elephant grass.

M. x giganteus' perennial nature,

its ability to grow on marginal land, its water efficiency, non-invasiveness, low fertilizer needs, significant carbon sequestration and high yield have sparked a lot of interest among researchers, with some arguing that it has «ideal» energy crop properties.

Some argue that it has the potential to be a GHG (greenhouse gas) negative fuel, while others highlight its water cleaning and soil enhancing qualities. There are practial and economic challenges related to its use in the existing, fossil based combustion infrastructure, however. Torrefaction and other fuel upgrading techniques are being explored as countermeasures to this problem.

Mushroom Observer

Mushroom Observer is a collaborative mycology website started by Nathan Wilson in 2006. Its purpose is to "record observations about mushrooms, help people identify mushrooms they aren’t familiar with, and expand the community around the scientific exploration of mushrooms".The community of about 10,000 registered users collaborates on identifying the submitted mushroom images, assigning their scientific names by means of a weighted voting process.

All photographs are subject to a Creative Commons license that allows their reuse by others without the need for remuneration or special permission, subject to the terms of the license. The software is open source and hosted on GitHub.

Notre Dame OpenCourseWare

Notre Dame OpenCourseWare was an initiative by the University of Notre Dame to make materials from various courses freely available on the web. Launched September 30, 2006, the site hosted materials from 45 courses in 7 subjects. The project was initially funded by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and, unless indicated otherwise, all materials are released with a Creative Commons license. The site is no longer available.

Notre Dame OCW was recognized along with other universities as part of Readers Digest's America's 100 Best Award in 2007.

Opte Project

The Opte Project, created in 2003 by Barrett Lyon, seeks to generate an accurate representation of the breadth of the Internet using visual graphics. Lyon believes that his network mapping can help teach students more about the Internet while also acting as a gauge illustrating both overall Internet growth and the specific areas where that growth occurs.The project has gathered notice worldwide having been featured by Time, Cornell University, New Scientist, and Kaspersky Lab. In addition, Opte Project maps have found homes in at least two art galleries and exhibits such as The Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Science's Mapping the World Around Us permanent exhibit. To this end, prints of various Opte Project maps are available for purchase online via the project website.At least 3 maps are shown on the Opte website each representing a visual snapshot of the Internet at that specific point in time. The first snapshot was taken in 2003 and the most recent (as of August 8, 2017) was taken in 2015.All content is licensed under a Creative Commons license and while use of The Opte Image is free for all non-commercial applications, a license fee is required for all others.

The Conversation (website)

The Conversation is an independent, not-for-profit media outlet. Articles are authored by academics, edited by professional journalists and freely available online, and for republication through creative commons license.

The Australian website launched in March 2011, and has expanded into editions in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2013, United States (U.S.) in 2014, Africa in 2015, France in 2015, Canada in 2017, Indonesia in 2017, Spain in 2018. The Conversation publishes all content under a Creative Commons license and, as of May 2018, reports a monthly online audience of 10.7 million users onsite, and a reach of 35 million people through creative commons republication.The operating company The Conversation Media Group is a not-for-profit educational charity owned by The Conversation Trust. The Conversation is funded by the university and research sector, government and business.

The Friday Project

The Friday Project was a London-based independent publishing house founded by Paul Carr and Clare Christian in June 2004. It evolved out of The Friday Thing, an Internet newsletter taking an offbeat look at the week's politics, media activities and general current events, originally written together with Charlie Skelton.

The Project was wholly concerned with finding material on the web and then turning it into traditional books, to the exclusion of normal publishing models. Additionally, they made a large amount of their output available free to download as part of the Creative Commons license.


In linguistics, a treebank is a parsed text corpus that annotates syntactic or semantic sentence structure. The construction of parsed corpora in the early 1990s revolutionized computational linguistics, which benefitted from large-scale empirical data. The exploitation of treebank data has been important ever since the first large-scale treebank, The Penn Treebank, was published. However, although originating in computational linguistics, the value of treebanks is becoming more widely appreciated in linguistics research as a whole. For example, annotated treebank data has been crucial in syntactic research to test linguistic theories of sentence structure against large quantities of naturally occurring examples.


Wikimapia is a privately owned internet company that provides an open-content collaborative mapping project. The project implements an interactive "clickable" web map with a geographically-referenced wiki system, with the aim to mark and describe all geographical objects in the world.

Wikimapia was created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev in May 2006. The data, a crowdsourced collection of places marked by registered users and guests, has grown to just under 28,000,000 objects as of November 2017, and is released under the Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA). Although the project's name is reminiscent of that of Wikipedia, and the creators share the "wiki" philosophy, it is not a part of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation family of wikis.

World Atlas of Language Structures

The World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS) is a database of structural (phonological, grammatical, lexical) properties of languages gathered from descriptive materials. It was first published by Oxford University Press as a book with CD-ROM in 2005, and was released as the second edition on the Internet in April 2008. It is maintained by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and by the Max Planck Digital Library. The editors are Martin Haspelmath, Matthew S. Dryer, David Gil and Bernard Comrie.The atlas provides information on the location, linguistic affiliation and basic typological features of a great number of the world's languages. It interacts with Google Maps. The information of the atlas is published under a Creative Commons license.

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