UK Creative Commons licence announced
Wilbert Kraan, CETIS staff
October 15, 2004

From November 1st, the UK will have its own version of the popular Creative Commons licences. The basic idea of making sharing work easy without getting ripped off is the same, but the legalese behind these licences are expressed in UK, rather than US terms.

Stanford Law Professor and intellectual property rights guru had the honours of announcing this latest national version of the Creative Commmons licences in London. The work on the UK version has been done by the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. They are gathering the last comments now for the release on November first.

The Creative Commmons's aim of making sharing work easy without getting ripped off, is based on a much deeper recognition that the advance of human art and knowledge is based on a continuous, centuries old exchange of ideas. The tension in that fundamental process is between rewarding those individuals that contribute new ideas, without blocking the wider process by using onerous licencing conditions.

The Creative Commmons's trick is to let the person with the idea decide which balance they are most comfortable with. Since most people have neither the resources, nor the inclination to go visit a lawyer everytime they create something that they want to share, the Creative Commmons licences have four easily understandable conditions to choose from: the condition of attribution (use my work, but credit me), the condition of non-commercial use (do what you like, but don't try to sell it), and share-alike (I give you the right to do with my work what you like, provided you do the same with any work that you derive from my work).

Resources

There's a page on the UK version of the licences on the Creative Commons website.

More information on the UK project around the iCommons initiative around the Creative Commons work is available from the people who wrote the UK version, the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford