Upgraded to Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0) license

Creative Commons 4.0 is hereYou may have heard already about the new version of the Creative Commons family of licenses, released as 4.0. It contains a lot of improvements and there has been a tremendous effort towards standardisation. There will be translations but the license is the same for everyone and it is international (instead of many licenses for specific countries as with the previous 3.0 version).

What changed? Previously obscure areas (such as sui generis database rights) have been cleared and explicitly included in the licensing conditions. This is a major step towards reconciliation between licenses that have been developed specifically to address those sui generis rights (e.g. ODbL, now adopted by OpenStreetMap) and Creative Commons licenses with the corresponding “rights reserved” (e.g. CC-BY-SA matches the ODbL in their share-alike nature). Requirements for attribution have been adapted to the widespread usage of links in place of verbose lists. There are more changes of course, explained in various places on the Creative Commons website and wiki, but I found this page comparing license versions to be the best summary.

Perhaps little known is that if you are using Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (used by Wikipedia among others) you can immediately upgrade your existing content to the newer version of the license, because the “or any later version” clause (very familiar for adopters of the GNU GPL) is natively part of Creative Commons licenses since version 2.0.

I have upgraded the license of this blog and website to the new version and updated the sidebar widget to reflect the new license. As always, don’t try to write your own hand-crafted copyright statement, use the Creative Commons license chooser! Happy sharing.


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