I was recently involved in the process of porting the version 3.0 of the Creative Commons licences for use in Costa Rica, which has resulted in the launch of the licences at the beginning of the year. The Costa Rican licences are the latest in what I consider to be an unprecedented exercise in licence drafting. Creative Commons boasts affiliate projects in 73 jurisdictions, a large majority of which have produced localised versions of the licences. This network brings together hundreds of legal experts from around the world who have put their brain power to the common good in order to produce enforceable and valid legal instruments to share cultural works.

This has got me thinking about the potential for a study in this area. The accumulated knowledge of such undertaking must have produced some interesting results of how licences work around the world. Are we witnessing the rise of some sort of lex mercatoria for licensing? With CC being the standard solution in open content and open access, there is an incentive to take all of the accumulated experience and produce a wide-ranging report of how this process has worked. Similarly, CC is fast becoming the standard for the release of public sector information to the public. Public entities tend to be conservative with regards to rights, so the accumulated experience in so many jurisdictions could be used to encourage public institutions to share more works.

1 Comment


Michelle Thorne · January 12, 2011 at 6:49 am

Andres, congrats again on the launch of the Costa Rican licenses!

Yes, I agree with you completely that there's a wealth of experience accumulated over the years of license porting. There's one resource we've invested a lot of time into, in the hopes that further study and use can be made of comparing the various license versions and ports across time, topic, and jurisdictions. http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Jurisdiction_Data

There's also an effort headed by John Weitzmann from CC Germany to develop legal commentary for the licenses. This ultimately will be integrated into the Jurisdiction Database as well: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Grants/CC_Comment

It'd be great to continue growing these resources and better highlight the invaluable work affiliates like you have contributed. We'd love to learn about research opportunities or other ways to expand this documentation and make it more useful. Please feel free to send any ideas our way!

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