Copyright law can be confusing. While infographics like this can help us to grasp it better, Creative Commons has been on a crusade to make it much easier for the average user to understand. And with the release of v4.0, licenses are becoming more internationally robust and user-friendly.
“The 4.0 licenses—more than two years in the making—are the most global, legally robust licenses produced by CC to date. We have incorporated dozens of improvements that make sharing and reusing CC-licensed materials easier and more dependable than ever before,” Diane Peters of Creative Commons said in a blog post.
Working with hundreds of volunteers around the world, the new licenses are the most internationally enforceable set to date, ready to use around the world without porting. The terminology has been improved to be better understood worldwide, and CC has also released official translations in 23 languages with more to come. More importantly, it has been made easier to read and understand, as well as shortened and organised better, making it much more accessible to common users. Such ease should hopefully sprout more of these amazing Creative Commons projects.
Version 4.0 is an open-ended but carefully tailored license grant that identifies categories of rights that could (if not licensed) interfere with reuse of the material. In particular, it focuses on the sui generis database rights, which recognise non-creative investments made in a creative copyright.
In an important update, the v4.0 license waives “moral rights held by the licensor where possible to the limited extent necessary to enable reuse of the content in the manner intended by the license”. But on the upside, copyright owners can now choose to have their attribution removed from any work that they object to, whether it was modified or not. Of course, if you need to find CC-licensed works, then Creative Commons Search is still the best place to go to.
CC v4.0 also reinstates licensees who have breached contractual terms if they correct in within 30 days of discovering the flaw.