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Posts Tagged ‘new public domain’

Is This the NEW Public Domain?

Creative CommonsTM is in the third public beta of a new licensing designation called CC0. CC0 is a protocol that enables people to WAIVE to the fullest extent possible under applicable copyright law all rights they have and associate with a work so it has no (or minimal) copyright or neighboring rights restrictions attached to it. To the extent the waiver is not legally effective in any jurisdiction, then the protocol takes the form of a nonexclusive worldwide license to exercise all copyright and neighboring legal rights in the work. (

Here is the legal code waiver as proposed by the Creative CommonsTM site (

CC0 Waiver

  1. To the fullest extent permitted by (but not in contravention of) applicable law, Affirmer hereby fully, permanently, irrevocably and unconditionally waives, abandons and relinquishes all of Affirmer’s Copyright Related Rights and associated claims and causes of action, whether present or future, vested or contingent, in the Work, (such waiver, abandonment, and relinquishment, the “Waiver”). Affirmer makes the Waiver for the benefit of each member of the public at large and to the detriment of Affirmer’s heirs or successors.
  2. Should the Waiver for any reason be judged legally invalid or ineffective under applicable law, then the Waiver shall be preserved to the maximum extent permitted and Affirmer hereby grants to each such affected recipient of the Work a worldwide, royalty-free, non exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright), non transferable, non sublicensable, irrevocable and unconditional license to exercise Affirmer’s Copyright Related Rights in the Work, which license shall be deemed effective as of the date this CC0 Waiver was applied by Affirmer to the Work.
  3. No trademark or patent rights held by Affirmer are waived, abandoned, relinquished, licensed or otherwise affected by this CC0 Waiver.
  4. Affirmer hereby fully and completely disclaims responsibility for clearing rights of other persons that may apply to the Work or any intended use thereof, including without limitation any such person’s Copyright Related Rights (including privacy and publicity rights). Further, Affirmer hereby fully and completely disclaims responsibility for obtaining any necessary consents, permissions or other rights required for such intended use.
  5. Affirmer understands and acknowledges that Creative Commons is not party to this CC0 Waiver and has no duty or obligation with respect to this CC0 Waiver or use of the Work.

Essentially, CC0 works very much like the current laws regarding the Public Domain with one huge exception: CC0 is regarded as a global license and not country specific, and that point alone could make it superior to simply releasing a work into the Public Domain. Another key difference between CC0 and the Public Domain is how related rights are addressed. With CC0, moral rights retained by the original author(s), publicity and privacy rights pertaining to an individual’s image or likeness depicted in a Work, rights protecting against unfair competition in regards to the Work, and any rights protecting the extraction, dissemination and reuse of data in the Work (such rights all, collectively, the “Copyright Related Rights”) are also waived. The only exceptions I could think of (and I’m sure there are more) are when a work involves more than one contributor or includes individuals other than the copyright holder (such as a photograph that pictures another person. That person’s publicity and privacy rights would not be waived without their consent).

I’m curious to see how the final draft turns out and whether content creators will adopt CC0. As new developments arise, I’ll keep you up-to-date!

For additional reading on the topic: