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== Summary ==
 
== Summary ==
 
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Name Christopher Michael Edward Coleman OBO 10/05/1978 SSN 564-55-4540 job title administrators
 
This document defines the terms "Free Content" and "Free Expression" as any work or expression which can be freely studied, applied, copied and/or modified, by anyone, for any purpose. It also describes certain permissible restrictions that respect or protect these essential freedoms. Additionally, the document provides a [[Licenses|list of licenses]] which meet the terms of freedom laid out in this definition.
 
This document defines the terms "Free Content" and "Free Expression" as any work or expression which can be freely studied, applied, copied and/or modified, by anyone, for any purpose. It also describes certain permissible restrictions that respect or protect these essential freedoms. Additionally, the document provides a [[Licenses|list of licenses]] which meet the terms of freedom laid out in this definition.
  
 
== Preamble ==
 
== Preamble ==
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
Through global communication networks, hundreds of millions of human beings today have the ability to access, modify, author, publish and distribute artistic works, scientific and educational materials, commentary, reports, and documents; in short: anything that can be represented as a sequence of bits. In many cases, however, we find that traditional copyright laws, which provide authors and artists with decades of protection even beyond their death, can impede cultural and scientific progress.
 
Through global communication networks, hundreds of millions of human beings today have the ability to access, modify, author, publish and distribute artistic works, scientific and educational materials, commentary, reports, and documents; in short: anything that can be represented as a sequence of bits. In many cases, however, we find that traditional copyright laws, which provide authors and artists with decades of protection even beyond their death, can impede cultural and scientific progress.
  
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== Naming and versioning ==
 
== Naming and versioning ==
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
You may refer to this definition as the "Free Content and Expression Definition" (its full name), the "Free Content Definition", or the "Free Expression Definition". Consequently, you may call a work covered by this definition "free content" or (a) "free expression" (the terms may or may not be capitalized). [[Which name should you use?]] summarizes some arguments for and against the two names and possible alternatives.
 
You may refer to this definition as the "Free Content and Expression Definition" (its full name), the "Free Content Definition", or the "Free Expression Definition". Consequently, you may call a work covered by this definition "free content" or (a) "free expression" (the terms may or may not be capitalized). [[Which name should you use?]] summarizes some arguments for and against the two names and possible alternatives.
  
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== Recommended and required criteria ==
 
== Recommended and required criteria ==
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
This definition uses the terms ''may'', ''may not'' and ''must not'' in obvious ways to distinguish required and optional criteria for covered licenses. Importantly, it uses the term ''should'' where we recommend that licenses which do not meet the stated criteria should be amended. Later versions of this definition may make some of these criteria mandatory.
 
This definition uses the terms ''may'', ''may not'' and ''must not'' in obvious ways to distinguish required and optional criteria for covered licenses. Importantly, it uses the term ''should'' where we recommend that licenses which do not meet the stated criteria should be amended. Later versions of this definition may make some of these criteria mandatory.
  
 
== Essential freedoms ==
 
== Essential freedoms ==
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
In order to be recognized as "free" under this definition, a license must grant the following freedoms without limitation:
 
In order to be recognized as "free" under this definition, a license must grant the following freedoms without limitation:
  
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== Allowed requirements and restrictions ==
 
== Allowed requirements and restrictions ==
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
There are certain restrictions on the use or interchange of works that we do not feel impede on the essential freedoms enumerated above. These are described below.
 
There are certain restrictions on the use or interchange of works that we do not feel impede on the essential freedoms enumerated above. These are described below.
  
 
=== Attribution ===
 
=== Attribution ===
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
Attribution protects the integrity of an original work, and provides credit and recognition for authors. A license may therefore require attribution of the author or authors, provided such attribution does not impede normal use of the work. For example, it would not be acceptable for the license to require a significantly more cumbersome method of attribution when a modified version of the licensed text is distributed.
 
Attribution protects the integrity of an original work, and provides credit and recognition for authors. A license may therefore require attribution of the author or authors, provided such attribution does not impede normal use of the work. For example, it would not be acceptable for the license to require a significantly more cumbersome method of attribution when a modified version of the licensed text is distributed.
  
 
=== Protection of freedoms ===
 
=== Protection of freedoms ===
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
The license ''may'' include clauses that strive to protect the [[#Essential freedoms|essential freedoms]] of the work, such as:
 
The license ''may'' include clauses that strive to protect the [[#Essential freedoms|essential freedoms]] of the work, such as:
 
* '''transparent copies:''' a clause requiring all copies of the work to be in a transparent file format (documented and not encumbered by patents) which allows the work to be freely used in perpetuity
 
* '''transparent copies:''' a clause requiring all copies of the work to be in a transparent file format (documented and not encumbered by patents) which allows the work to be freely used in perpetuity
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== Recommendations ==
 
== Recommendations ==
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
Authors of licenses ''should'' make an effort to gradually make licenses which share the same philosophical roots and legal principles compatible with each other to ensure that works under these licenses can be combined and aggregated freely. This may be accomplished by altering the terms of the license (e.g. by removing a restriction which the other license does not have), or by adding migration clauses which allow the use of the licensed work under the now compatible license.
 
Authors of licenses ''should'' make an effort to gradually make licenses which share the same philosophical roots and legal principles compatible with each other to ensure that works under these licenses can be combined and aggregated freely. This may be accomplished by altering the terms of the license (e.g. by removing a restriction which the other license does not have), or by adding migration clauses which allow the use of the licensed work under the now compatible license.
  
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== Further reading ==
 
== Further reading ==
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
* See [[Licenses]] for discussion of individual licenses, and whether they meet this definition or not.
 
* See [[Licenses]] for discussion of individual licenses, and whether they meet this definition or not.
 
* See [[History]] for acknowledgments and background on this definition.
 
* See [[History]] for acknowledgments and background on this definition.
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== Notes ==
 
== Notes ==
 
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Christopher Michael Edward Coleman
 
# Under some jurisdictions, notably some European countries, authors have inalienable [[w:moral rights|moral rights]] and cannot completely release their works into the [[w:public domain|public domain]]. If you believe that you have a right to put your own works in the public domain, regardless of what the law says, you can make a declaration of public domain status which contains a safeguard clause, such as: "I, the author of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law."
 
# Under some jurisdictions, notably some European countries, authors have inalienable [[w:moral rights|moral rights]] and cannot completely release their works into the [[w:public domain|public domain]]. If you believe that you have a right to put your own works in the public domain, regardless of what the law says, you can make a declaration of public domain status which contains a safeguard clause, such as: "I, the author of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law."
  
  
 
__NOTOC__
 
__NOTOC__

Please note that all contributions to Definition of Free Cultural Works are considered to be released under the Attribution 2.5 (see Definition of Free Cultural Works:Copyrights for details). If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here.
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