Creative Commons (CC) recently announced the release of version 4.0 of their license suite making it available for adoption worldwide. CC drafted version 4.0 in order to create a more international, adoptable, and long-lasting license. The 4.0 licenses — more than two years in the making — are the most global, legally robust licenses produced by CC to date. Dozens of improvements have been incorporated that make sharing and reusing CC-licensed materials easier and more dependable than ever before.
As a long-time supporter and user of Creative Commons, Physiopedia congratulates CC on the release and the improved legal tools that these licenses give to open projects.
From the perspective of the Wikimedia Foundation (that runs Wikipedia) the biggest changes to version 4.0 include:
- Easier to understand: 4.0 has twenty percent fewer words than 3.0, and is more clear and readable in a variety of ways. Perhaps most importantly, the language of the license is better organised, making it more clear what conditions apply when reproducing and sharing licensed content.
- Clearer attribution: Attribution requirements in the license are easier to understand.
- Global operation: A key goal for 4.0 was to help the licenses “operate globally, ensuring they are robust, enforceable and easily adopted worldwide.” This includes drafting the licenses so that they can be translated without requiring legal changes for every jurisdiction. This will hopefully allow CC BY-SA 4.0 to be one license, available and enforceable in many languages, rather than a family of similar licenses with changes for different languages and jurisdictions.
- Database rights: Perhaps the biggest substantive change in CC 4.0 is the extension of the license to create obligations related to the so-called “database rights” created by the European Union and some other jurisdictions.
Physiopedia will be adopting the new license in due course with the hope that it will encourage knowledge sharing and remixing.