An organization that has defined an alternative to copyrights by filling in the gap between full copyright, in which no use is permitted without permission, and public domain, where permission is not required at all. Creative Commons' licenses let people copy and distribute the work under specific conditions, and general descriptions, legal clauses and HTML tags for search engines are provided for several license options.
Founded in 2001 by James Boyle, Michael Carroll, Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, Eric Saltzman and Eric Eldred, Creative Commons was started at Harvard Law School and later moved to Stanford Law School. For more information, visit www.creativecommons.org.
One of the primary uses of a Creative Commons license is to allow people to copy the material as long as it is not made a part of any commercial venture.
Creative Commons also offers a Founder's Copyright for those who prefer a full copyright for a shorter period than 70 years after their death (see copyright
). Authors sell their rights to Creative Commons for $1, which grants full rights back to them for either 14 or 28 years, the duration of copyrights in the first copyright law in the U.S. in 1790. At the end of the period, Creative Commons places the work in the public domain. See copyright