Written by Sébastien Lachaussée
& Rym Soussi
Creative Commons Lisenses were founded after the General Public Lisenses (GNU or GPL) originally written by Richard Stallman, researcher at MIT in Boston. Creative Commons Lisenses organise the free use of copyrights to all users of the work issued under that kind of lisense. The aim of Creative Commons Lisenses is to set rules to face the practices that arouse from the Internet revolution. As GPL, Creative Commons Lisenses have been a great success on the web, providing alternate legal frameworks to the traditionnal “all rights reserved” copyright, often seen as excessively hard to deal with on the Internet. We must admit that our legal systems are still not enough efficient to avoid copies of works on the Internet. What is the contribution of Creative Commons Lisenses to classical contractual relationships and how are these lisenses and Copyright complying with each other ?
The aim of Creative Commons Lisenses is to take into account the new practices on the web of freedom of exchange and try to present an alternate and usable legal tool which allows both free circulation of works and authors rights protection. The principal feature of these lisenses is their modular aspect. The translation and simplification work in particular by using pictogramms allows a easy use of the works by users which are allowed to exchange, copy, remix, build upon and distribute works provided that the lisensing conditions of these works are respected. These lisenses enable to easily share works and use them by the users without getting a prior authorization of the rightholder.
All kinds of works may be concerned provided that they are original. Authors can choose the most adapted contract among the differents lisenses issued by the Creative Commons non-profit organization according to their will of more or less wide free sharing of their work.
In France, the Author may choose between six main lisenses:
- Attribution NoDerivs
The Author allows copies of his work as duplicated work or allows or not changes, it can also allow or prohibe commercial use; these different options can be combined provided that the name of the author is always quoted. The access and the use of the works under Creative Commons Lisenses are simplified for internet users which can find a grafic version which contains the use conditions icons and a summary of their rights and obligations.