Creative Commons Launched in Canada

November 2004

All Industry Areas

On September 30, 2004, the Canadian Creative Commons project was launched online. Led by the University of Ottawa’s Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, it is designed to allow Canadians who create digital works, such as web sites, texts, courseware, music, film and photography, to share their works and allow others to copy, modify and redistribute them. The project attempts to create a balance between a system of total creative control – the “all rights reserved” scenario and an unprotected public domain in which creators are vulnerable to exploitation “no rights reserved”. A creator using the Creative Commons licence will be able to publicise terms and conditions under which other creators may have access to the work’s source code. In other words, it’s a system of “some rights reserved”. The system has already been launched in the Netherlands and the US Creative Commons was established in 2002 and has provided licences to more than three million digital works. The conditions include the following: (a) attribution (others may copy, distribute, display and perform the work, and any derivative works based on it, if the creator is given credit); (b) non-commercial use (others may use the work for non-commercial purposes only); ((c) no derivative works (only verbatim copies of the work may be used); and d) ‘share-alike’ (derivative works may only be distributed by others under a licence identical to that governing the original work). The US Creative Commons was established in 2002 and, since then, has provided licences to more than three million digital works.
Not everyone is an unqualified supporter of the Creative Commons. A representative from the Canadian Recording Industry Association has said that this type of system won’t work for artists who want to make a living from their creativity. But those who support the project say that it allows for flexible copyright and that the sharing of creative works helps set the stage for continued innovation.

For more background and related news stories, visit the Creative Commons web site at:

Taken from the article ‘Some Rights Reserved’ by Clare McCurley and published by E-Tips Vol 3 No 9 October 13 2004

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