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Thursday, February 14, 2008


CC0 - Creative Commons' new solution for the public domain

Creative Commons have come up with a better way for people to mark works as copyright-free, or part of the public domain. It's called CC0 (CC Zero). The page for using it is here:

There are two options here. The first is a waiver, where you can "waive all copyrights and related or neighboring interests that you have over a work". The second is an assertion, where you can "assert that a work is free of copyright as a matter of fact, for example, because the work is old enough to be in the public domain, or because the work is in a class not protected by copyright such as U.S. government works."

It's pretty neat. I've thought the idea of asserting a work's copyright status, as a matter of fact, was a good idea, and not just limited to the public domain, but also for other classes of usage rights.

Okay, so that's basically the CC0 story. I've tried it out with a trivial web page I think I would otherwise have copyright in - the result is at the bottom of this post. But I must say I'm slightly disappointed in the lack of embedded metadata. Where's the RDF? As I've talked about before, when you do things with RDF, you allow sufficiently cool search engines to understand your new technology (or licence) simply by seeing it, without first having to be told about it.

Here's my example waiver:


To the extent possible under law,
Ben Bildstein
has waived all copyright, moral rights, database rights, and any other rights that might be asserted over Sensei's Library: Bildstein/Votes.

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