Creative Commons ("CC") licenses are important and powerful tools in the creation and sharing of language resources.

General issues and common misconceptions regarding CC and language resources

In May 2014, we published a White Paper on general issues and common misconceptions regarding CC and language resources. It covers:

  1. CC licenses are not intended for software
  2. Only some of the CC licenses meet the definition of "open," "open content," or "open license", and this has a different meaning from "open access"
  3. There is community-wide confusion regarding what types of use are "non-commercial" for the purposes of CC-NC
  4. Changing / updating the CC licenses of things already licensed under a CC
  5. Courts and institutions across Europe have shown widespread support for the general validity of CC licenses
  6. A word of caution about CC0 ("CC-zero") 7) CCPlus – a little known tool that may be useful for certain resources


What's New in Creative Commons 4.0

In addition, Creative Commons released its Version 4.0 in November 2013. This new version has important implications for language science, namely:

  1. CC 4.0 licenses are designed to be "universal"; there are no ported (national) versions of the CC 4.0 licenses
  2. CC 4.0, unlike its predecessors, assigns not only copyright, but also the sui generis database right
  3. Now that it addresses databases, CC 4.0 is better than other open licenses for language resources
  4. Moral rights are (still) not licensed under CC 4.0
  5. CC 4.0 includes a slight change to attribution under the BY module, designed to better reflect accepted practices


White Paper

For more on Creative Commons and language resources, see our White Paper:

Pawel Kamocki and Erik Ketzan, "Creative Commons and Language Resources: General Issues and What's New in CC 4.0"


Return to Legal information platform