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{{divbox|blue|Unstable version|This is the openly  
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{{divbox|blue|Unstable version|This is the openly editable version of the definition. Please try to find a consensus for any significant changes you make on the [[Talk:Definition/Unstable|discussion page]]. If you want to work on a substantially different derivative, you can try [[creating a fork]]. See [[authoring process]] for more information.}}
editable version of the definition. Please try to find a consensus for  
 
any significant changes you make on the  
 
[[Talk:Definition/Unstable|discussion page]]. If you want to work on a  
 
substantially different derivative, you can try [[creating a fork]]. See
 
[[authoring process]] for more information.}}
 
  
 
----
 
----
This document provides a definition of "Free Cultural Works" [the  
+
This document provides a definition of "Free Cultural Works" [the Definition], which are roughly works or expressions that can be freely studied, applied, copied and modified, by anyone and for any purpose.  The Definition distinguishes between ''free works'' and ''[[licenses|free licenses]]'' which can be used to legally protect the status of a free work.  The definition itself is ''not'' a license; it is a tool to determine whether a work or license should be considered "free."  This document also describes restrictions that respect or protect the freedoms of Free Cultural Works.
Definition], which are roughly works or expressions that can be freely  
 
studied, applied, copied and modified, by anyone and for any purpose.   
 
The Definition distinguishes between ''free works'' and  
 
''[[licenses|free licenses]]'' which can be used to legally protect the  
 
status of a free work.  The definition itself is ''not'' a license; it  
 
is a tool to determine whether a work or license should be considered  
 
"free."  This document also describes restrictions that respect or  
 
protect the freedoms of Free Cultural Works.
 
  
 
== Summary ==
 
== Summary ==
Line 26: Line 13:
 
* '''Sell'''
 
* '''Sell'''
  
'''Free Culture Licenses''' are legal instruments by which copyright  
+
'''Free Culture Licenses''' are legal instruments by which copyright owners grant users these freedoms and make their works into Free Cultural Works.
owners grant users these freedoms and make their works into Free  
 
Cultural Works.
 
  
In addition to the 5 freedoms listed above '''Free Cultural licenses'''  
+
In addition to the 5 freedoms listed above '''Free Cultural licenses''' may also include certain restrictions. These can include:
may also include certain restrictions. These can include:
 
 
* '''Attribution''' - acknowledge other authors
 
* '''Attribution''' - acknowledge other authors
* '''Share-alike''' or '''Copyleft'''- derived works must be licensed  
+
* '''Share-alike''' or '''Copyleft'''- derived works must be licensed under the same or compatible license as the original
under the same or compatible license as the original
+
* '''Protection of Freedoms''' - the license may require additional permissions or information is distributed with the works (such as source code, design drawings, musical scores, access codes) where these are needed to create new versions of the work.
* '''Protection of Freedoms''' - the license may require additional  
+
* '''Due Credit''' Give credit where credit is due. If it's not your work do not claim it as yours.
permissions or information is distributed with the works (such as source
 
code, design drawings, musical scores, access codes) where these are  
 
needed to create new versions of the work.
 
* '''Due Credit''' Give credit where credit is due. If it's not your  
 
work do not claim it as yours.
 
  
 
== Preamble ==
 
== Preamble ==
  
Since the earliest humans appeared on planet earth they have drawn,  
+
Since the earliest humans appeared on planet earth they have drawn, painted, sang, carved, weaved, danced, recited, built, studied. These cultural works have been passed down from parent to child, from master to apprentice ever since, each taking the works of those that went before and passing it on to those who came after; each adding and improving and polishing and translating what they received so that human culture could grow and develop.
painted, sang, carved, weaved, danced, recited, built, studied. These  
 
cultural works have been passed down from parent to child, from master  
 
to apprentice ever since, each taking the works of those that went  
 
before and passing it on to those who came after; each adding and  
 
improving and polishing and translating what they received so that human
 
culture could grow and develop.
 
  
Since Science has been based on an explicit philosophy of sharing  
+
Since Science has been based on an explicit philosophy of sharing information, with all scientists expected to publish and any scientist free to repeat any experiment, we have seen an unprecedented explosion of scientific knowledge.
information, with all scientists expected to publish and any scientist  
 
free to repeat any experiment, we have seen an unprecedented explosion  
 
of scientific knowledge.
 
  
In recent years social and technological advances make it possible for a
+
In recent years social and technological advances make it possible for a growing part of humanity to share cultural works that can be represented in digital form with other people they have never met in person. These works include artworks, scientific and educational materials, software, stories, audio and video recordings.  Many communities have formed to exercise these new possibilities and create a wealth of collectively reusable works. As these collaboratively produced works grow in commercial value there is ever greater pressure to monetise these works, to erect toll gates so that the community who collaborated to create these works can be charged to access them.
growing part of humanity to share cultural works that can be  
 
represented in digital form with other people they have never met in  
 
person. These works include artworks, scientific and educational  
 
materials, software, stories, audio and video recordings.  Many  
 
communities have formed to exercise these new possibilities and create a
 
wealth of collectively reusable works. As these collaboratively  
 
produced works grow in commercial value there is ever greater pressure  
 
to monetise these works, to erect toll gates so that the community who  
 
collaborated to create these works can be charged to access them.
 
  
At different time over the years Copyright and Patent legislation has  
+
At different time over the years Copyright and Patent legislation has been introduced as a way of restricting and taxing that free flow of information - as a way of rewarding particularly innovative new contributions or favoured supporters of the government of the time. These laws have been used to create the tollgates mentioned above.
been introduced as a way of restricting and taxing that free flow of  
 
information - as a way of rewarding particularly innovative new  
 
contributions or favoured supporters of the government of the time.  
 
These laws have been used to create the tollgates mentioned above.
 
  
'''Free Culture licenses''' have been created to provide a legal  
+
'''Free Culture licenses''' have been created to provide a legal framework which reflects these collaborative working practices, providing a simple way for people to share with others the rights needed for such collaborations to happen, so that users can collaborate and work together  to create and improve '''Free Culture Works''' and ensure that these works stay free.
framework which reflects these collaborative working practices,  
 
providing a simple way for people to share with others the rights needed
 
for such collaborations to happen, so that users can collaborate and  
 
work together  to create and improve '''Free Culture Works''' and ensure
 
that these works stay free.
 
  
 
==Free Cultural Works==
 
==Free Cultural Works==
 
Free Cultural Works are works where
 
Free Cultural Works are works where
* '''anyone''', i.e. rich or poor, socialist or fascist, man, woman or  
+
* '''anyone''', i.e. rich or poor, socialist or fascist, man, woman or corporation;
corporation;
 
 
* '''anywhere''', i.e. worldwide;
 
* '''anywhere''', i.e. worldwide;
 
* '''anytime''', i.e. unlimited and irrevocable and forever.
 
* '''anytime''', i.e. unlimited and irrevocable and forever.
 
has each of the following freedoms
 
has each of the following freedoms
 
====The freedom to use and perform the work====
 
====The freedom to use and perform the work====
to make any use, private or public, of the work. For kinds of works  
+
to make any use, private or public, of the work. For kinds of works where it is relevant, this freedom should include all derived uses ("related rights") such as performing or interpreting the work. There must be no exception regarding, for example, political or religious or commercial considerations.
where it is relevant, this freedom should include all derived uses  
 
("related rights") such as performing or interpreting the work. There  
 
must be no exception regarding, for example, political or religious or  
 
commercial considerations.
 
  
 
====The freedom to study the work and apply the information====
 
====The freedom to study the work and apply the information====
to examine the work and to use the knowledge gained from the work in any
+
to examine the work and to use the knowledge gained from the work in any way. The license may not, for example, restrict "reverse engineering".
way. The license may not, for example, restrict "reverse engineering".
 
  
 
====The freedom to redistribute copies====
 
====The freedom to redistribute copies====
whether they are sold, swapped or given away for free, as part of a  
+
whether they are sold, swapped or given away for free, as part of a larger work, a collection, or independently. There must be no limit on the amount of information that can be copied. Neither may there be a limit on who can copy the information or on where the information can be copied. The license may not, for example, forbid "Commercial' exploitation of the work.
larger work, a collection, or independently. There must be no limit on  
 
the amount of information that can be copied. Neither may there be a  
 
limit on who can copy the information or on where the information can be
 
copied. The license may not, for example, forbid "Commercial'  
 
exploitation of the work.
 
  
 
====The freedom to distribute derivative works====
 
====The freedom to distribute derivative works====
including modified versions (or, for physical works, a work somehow  
+
including modified versions (or, for physical works, a work somehow derived from the original), regardless of the intent and purpose of such modifications.
derived from the original), regardless of the intent and purpose of such
 
modifications.
 
  
 
== Permissible restrictions==
 
== Permissible restrictions==
There are certain requirements and restrictions on the use or  
+
There are certain requirements and restrictions on the use or interchange of works that we feel do not impede the essential freedom in our definition. These restrictions can therefore be included in Free Culture licenses. They are described below.
interchange of works that we feel do not impede the essential freedom in
 
our definition. These restrictions can therefore be included in Free  
 
Culture licenses. They are described below.
 
  
 
=== Attribution of authors ===
 
=== Attribution of authors ===
  
Attribution protects the integrity of an original work, and provides  
+
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.
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.
 
  
In addition to the requirement for attribution the license may include  
+
In addition to the requirement for attribution the license may include restrictions to ensure the original author is not seen to be responsible for changes to the work made by others. This may include restrictions on the use of trademarks.
restrictions to ensure the original author is not seen to be responsible
 
for changes to the work made by others. This may include restrictions  
 
on the use of trademarks.
 
  
 
=== Transmission of freedoms ===
 
=== Transmission of freedoms ===
  
  
The license may include a clause, often called ''copyleft'' or  
+
The license may include a clause, often called ''copyleft'' or ''share-alike'', which ensures that derivative works themselves remain free works. To this effect, it can for example require that derivative works are made available under the same free license as the original.
''share-alike'', which ensures that derivative works themselves remain  
 
free works. To this effect, it can for example require that derivative  
 
works are made available under the same free license as the original.
 
  
The license may restrict the redistribution of the work as part of a  
+
The license may restrict the redistribution of the work as part of a compilation with other works unless the other other works are under the same license or are under another free license.
compilation with other works unless the other other works are under the  
 
same license or are under another free license.
 
  
The license may require that where the work is used to provide a service
+
The license may require that where the work is used to provide a service over the internet then users of the service will have rights under the license, such as the right to access, copy, amend and redistribute the source code for software.
over the internet then users of the service will have rights under the  
 
license, such as the right to access, copy, amend and redistribute the  
 
source code for software.
 
  
 
=== Protection of freedoms ===
 
=== Protection of freedoms ===
  
The license may include clauses that strive to further ensure that the  
+
The license may include clauses that strive to further ensure that the ability to exercise the freedoms listed above is not restricted by technical or other means. These can include:
ability to exercise the freedoms listed above is not restricted by  
+
* '''Availability of source data:''' Where a final work has been obtained through the compilation or processing of design information or a source file or multiple source files, the license may require that underlying source data should be available alongside the work itself under the same conditions. This can be the score of a musical composition, the models used in a 3D scene, the data of a scientific publication, the drawings and parts list of a machine, or any other such information.
technical or other means. These can include:
+
* '''Use of a free format:''' For digital files, the license may require that the format in which the work is made available should not be one that can only be read using a particular manufacturers program. Formats should be documented and should not be restricted by patents, unless these patents are licensed for use in free works. While non-free formats may sometimes be used for practical reasons, a free format copy means that the information will be accessible to everyone, for ever.
* '''Availability of source data:''' Where a final work has been  
+
* '''No technical restrictions:''' The license may require that the work must be available in a form where no technical measures are used to limit the freedoms enumerated above.
obtained through the compilation or processing of design information or a
+
* '''No other restrictions or limitations:''' The license may specify that it may not be used to distribute works which are covered by legal restrictions (patents, contracts, etc.) or limitations (such as privacy rights or being for non-commercial use only) which would impede the freedoms enumerated above. This can mean that if you agree to pay a patent holder for the right to use a program then you can lose the right to distribute that program (since you have acknowledged that you think the patent applies to the programme). This is sometimes known as a '''Liberty or Death''' clause and makes it more dificult for owners of weak patents to divide the users by offering deals to some users under the threat of a costly lawsuit.
source file or multiple source files, the license may require that  
 
underlying source data should be available alongside the work itself  
 
under the same conditions. This can be the score of a musical  
 
composition, the models used in a 3D scene, the data of a scientific  
 
publication, the drawings and parts list of a machine, or any other such
 
information.
 
* '''Use of a free format:''' For digital files, the license may require
 
that the format in which the work is made available should not be one  
 
that can only be read using a particular manufacturers program. Formats  
 
should be documented and should not be restricted by patents, unless  
 
these patents are licensed for use in free works. While non-free formats
 
may sometimes be used for practical reasons, a free format copy means  
 
that the information will be accessible to everyone, for ever.
 
* '''No technical restrictions:''' The license may require that the work
 
must be available in a form where no technical measures are used to  
 
limit the freedoms enumerated above.
 
* '''No other restrictions or limitations:''' The license may specify  
 
that it may not be used to distribute works which are covered by legal  
 
restrictions (patents, contracts, etc.) or limitations (such as privacy  
 
rights or being for non-commercial use only) which would impede the  
 
freedoms enumerated above. This can mean that if you agree to pay a  
 
patent holder for the right to use a program then you can lose the right
 
to distribute that program (since you have acknowledged that you think  
 
the patent applies to the programme). This is sometimes known as a  
 
'''Liberty or Death''' clause and makes it more dificult for owners of  
 
weak patents to divide the users by offering deals to some users under  
 
the threat of a costly lawsuit.
 
  
 
===No other restrictions ===
 
===No other restrictions ===
  
Apart from these allowed restrictions, the license ''must not'' include  
+
Apart from these allowed restrictions, the license ''must not'' include clauses that limit essential freedoms. See [[Permissible restrictions]]
clauses that limit essential freedoms. See [[Permissible restrictions]]
 
  
 
== Free Culture Licenses ==
 
== Free Culture Licenses ==
It is important that any work that claims to be free provides,  
+
It is important that any work that claims to be free provides, practically and without any risk, the aforementioned freedoms.
practically and without any risk, the aforementioned freedoms.
 
  
All new works are automatically covered by existing copyright laws which
+
All new works are automatically covered by existing copyright laws which default to All Rights Reserved. All Rights Reserved considerably limit what others can and cannot do with the work. Authors can make their works free by choosing among a number of legal documents known as licenses which grant users the 4 freedoms listed above.   
default to All Rights Reserved. All Rights Reserved considerably limit  
 
what others can and cannot do with the work. Authors can make their  
 
works free by choosing among a number of legal documents known as  
 
licenses which grant users the 4 freedoms listed above.   
 
  
Licenses are legal instruments through which the owner of certain legal  
+
Licenses are legal instruments through which the owner of certain legal rights may transfer these rights to third parties.  Free Culture Licenses do not take rights away — they specify freedoms that are not included in a default copyright license such as All Rights Reserved. When accepted, they never limit or reduce existing user rights and exemptions under copyright law. Because the grant  rights which are additional to the rights users have under copyright therefore users  are not required to accept the license unless they want to exercise those additional rights.
rights may transfer these rights to third parties.  Free Culture  
 
Licenses do not take rights away — they specify freedoms that are not  
 
included in a default copyright license such as All Rights Reserved.  
 
When accepted, they never limit or reduce existing user rights and  
 
exemptions under copyright law. Because the grant  rights which are  
 
additional to the rights users have under copyright therefore users  are
 
not required to accept the license unless they want to exercise those  
 
additional rights.
 
  
 
== Identifying Free Cultural Works ==
 
== Identifying Free Cultural Works ==
This is the ''Definition of Free Cultural Works'', and when describing  
+
This is the ''Definition of Free Cultural Works'', and when describing your work, we encourage you to make reference to this definition, as in, "This is a freely licensed work, as explained in the ''[http://freedomdefined.org Definition of Free Cultural Works]''."  If you do not like the term "Free Cultural Work," you can use the generic term "Free Content," or refer instead to one of the [[Existing Movements|existing movements]] that express similar freedoms in more specific contexts. We also encourage you to use the [[logos and buttons|Free Cultural Works logos and buttons]], which are in the public domain.
your work, we encourage you to make reference to this definition, as in,
 
"This is a freely licensed work, as explained in the  
 
''[http://freedomdefined.org Definition of Free Cultural Works]''."  If  
 
you do not like the term "Free Cultural Work," you can use the generic  
 
term "Free Content," or refer instead to one of the [[Existing  
 
Movements|existing movements]] that express similar freedoms in more  
 
specific contexts. We also encourage you to use the [[logos and  
 
buttons|Free Cultural Works logos and buttons]], which are in the public
 
domain.
 
 
   
 
   
Please be advised that such identification does ''not'' actually confer  
+
Please be advised that such identification does ''not'' actually confer the rights described in this definition; for your work to be actually free, it must use one of the Free Culture [[Licenses]] or be in the public domain, or equivalent of.
the rights described in this definition; for your work to be actually  
+
Please don't use other terms to identify Cultural Works; terms which do not convey a clear definition of freedom; terms such as "Open Content" and "Open Access." These terms are often used to refer to content which is available under "less restrictive" terms than All Rights Reserved, or for works that are just "available on the Web", but they don't necessarily carry with them the freedoms referred to in this document.
free, it must use one of the Free Culture [[Licenses]] or be in the  
 
public domain, or equivalent of.
 
Please don't use other terms to identify Cultural Works; terms which do  
 
not convey a clear definition of freedom; terms such as "Open Content"  
 
and "Open Access." These terms are often used to refer to content which  
 
is available under "less restrictive" terms than All Rights Reserved, or
 
for works that are just "available on the Web", but they don't  
 
necessarily carry with them the freedoms referred to in this document.
 
  
 
== Availability of legal instruments ==
 
== Availability of legal instruments ==
''Can'' in ''anyone can use, study, copy, change and improve''  
+
''Can'' in ''anyone can use, study, copy, change and improve'' ([[Definition/Unstable#Summary|summary]]) means anyone can realistically make his case in court that such freedom was granted. It implies that where a work is made free by way of a free cultural license, the legal instrument, by which the copyright or other right owner grants the license, must also be available to anyone in the legal form that is legally binding in the relevant legal context. The legal instrument should not be jealously and secretly kept by the first licensee.
([[Definition/Unstable#Summary|summary]]) means anyone can realistically
 
make his case in court that such freedom was granted. It implies that  
 
where a work is made free by way of a free cultural license, the legal  
 
instrument, by which the copyright or other right owner grants the  
 
license, must also be available to anyone in the legal form that is  
 
legally binding in the relevant legal context. The legal instrument  
 
should not be jealously and secretly kept by the first licensee.
 
  
 
== Further reading ==
 
== Further reading ==
  
* See [[Licenses]] for discussion of individual licenses, and whether  
+
* See [[Licenses]] for discussion of individual licenses, and whether they meet this definition or not.
they meet this definition or not.
 
 
* See [[History]] for acknowledgments and background on this definition.
 
* See [[History]] for acknowledgments and background on this definition.
 
* See the [[FAQ]] for some questions and answers.
 
* See the [[FAQ]] for some questions and answers.
* See [[Portal:Index]] for topic-specific pages about free cultural  
+
* See [[Portal:Index]] for topic-specific pages about free cultural works.
works.
+
* See [http://communities.libre.org/ Libre Communities] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libre_knowledge Wikipedia on Free/Libre Knowledge]
* See [http://communities.libre.org/ Libre Communities] and  
+
* See [http://ictlogy.net/?p=12#fourkinds The Four Kinds of Freedom of Free Knowledge]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libre_knowledge Wikipedia on Free/Libre  
 
Knowledge]
 
* See [http://ictlogy.net/?p=12#fourkinds The Four Kinds of Freedom of  
 
Free Knowledge]
 
  
 
== Versioning ==
 
== Versioning ==
  
New versions of this definition shall be released as soon as a consensus
+
New versions of this definition shall be released as soon as a consensus (achieved directly or through a vote, as per the [[authoring process]]) has developed around suggested changes. Numbering shall be 0.x for initial draft releases, 1.x, 2.x .. for major releases, x.1, x.2 .. for minor releases. A minor release is made when the text is modified in ways which do not have an impact on the scope of existing or hypothetical licenses covered by this definition.
(achieved directly or through a vote, as per the [[authoring process]])
 
has developed around suggested changes. Numbering shall be 0.x for  
 
initial draft releases, 1.x, 2.x .. for major releases, x.1, x.2 .. for  
 
minor releases. A minor release is made when the text is modified in  
 
ways which do not have an impact on the scope of existing or  
 
hypothetical licenses covered by this definition.
 
  
 
__NOTOC__
 
__NOTOC__

Revision as of 04:28, 23 March 2015

Unstable version
This is the openly editable version of the definition. Please try to find a consensus for any significant changes you make on the discussion page. If you want to work on a substantially different derivative, you can try creating a fork. See authoring process for more information.

This document provides a definition of "Free Cultural Works" [the Definition], which are roughly works or expressions that can be freely studied, applied, copied and modified, by anyone and for any purpose. The Definition distinguishes between free works and free licenses which can be used to legally protect the status of a free work. The definition itself is not a license; it is a tool to determine whether a work or license should be considered "free." This document also describes restrictions that respect or protect the freedoms of Free Cultural Works.

Summary

Free Cultural Works are works which anyone can

  • Use
  • Study
  • Copy
  • Change and Improve
  • Sell

Free Culture Licenses are legal instruments by which copyright owners grant users these freedoms and make their works into Free Cultural Works.

In addition to the 5 freedoms listed above Free Cultural licenses may also include certain restrictions. These can include:

  • Attribution - acknowledge other authors
  • Share-alike or Copyleft- derived works must be licensed under the same or compatible license as the original
  • Protection of Freedoms - the license may require additional permissions or information is distributed with the works (such as source code, design drawings, musical scores, access codes) where these are needed to create new versions of the work.
  • Due Credit Give credit where credit is due. If it's not your work do not claim it as yours.

Preamble

Since the earliest humans appeared on planet earth they have drawn, painted, sang, carved, weaved, danced, recited, built, studied. These cultural works have been passed down from parent to child, from master to apprentice ever since, each taking the works of those that went before and passing it on to those who came after; each adding and improving and polishing and translating what they received so that human culture could grow and develop.

Since Science has been based on an explicit philosophy of sharing information, with all scientists expected to publish and any scientist free to repeat any experiment, we have seen an unprecedented explosion of scientific knowledge.

In recent years social and technological advances make it possible for a growing part of humanity to share cultural works that can be represented in digital form with other people they have never met in person. These works include artworks, scientific and educational materials, software, stories, audio and video recordings. Many communities have formed to exercise these new possibilities and create a wealth of collectively reusable works. As these collaboratively produced works grow in commercial value there is ever greater pressure to monetise these works, to erect toll gates so that the community who collaborated to create these works can be charged to access them.

At different time over the years Copyright and Patent legislation has been introduced as a way of restricting and taxing that free flow of information - as a way of rewarding particularly innovative new contributions or favoured supporters of the government of the time. These laws have been used to create the tollgates mentioned above.

Free Culture licenses have been created to provide a legal framework which reflects these collaborative working practices, providing a simple way for people to share with others the rights needed for such collaborations to happen, so that users can collaborate and work together to create and improve Free Culture Works and ensure that these works stay free.

Free Cultural Works

Free Cultural Works are works where

  • anyone, i.e. rich or poor, socialist or fascist, man, woman or corporation;
  • anywhere, i.e. worldwide;
  • anytime, i.e. unlimited and irrevocable and forever.

has each of the following freedoms

The freedom to use and perform the work

to make any use, private or public, of the work. For kinds of works where it is relevant, this freedom should include all derived uses ("related rights") such as performing or interpreting the work. There must be no exception regarding, for example, political or religious or commercial considerations.

The freedom to study the work and apply the information

to examine the work and to use the knowledge gained from the work in any way. The license may not, for example, restrict "reverse engineering".

The freedom to redistribute copies

whether they are sold, swapped or given away for free, as part of a larger work, a collection, or independently. There must be no limit on the amount of information that can be copied. Neither may there be a limit on who can copy the information or on where the information can be copied. The license may not, for example, forbid "Commercial' exploitation of the work.

The freedom to distribute derivative works

including modified versions (or, for physical works, a work somehow derived from the original), regardless of the intent and purpose of such modifications.

Permissible restrictions

There are certain requirements and restrictions on the use or interchange of works that we feel do not impede the essential freedom in our definition. These restrictions can therefore be included in Free Culture licenses. They are described below.

Attribution of authors

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.

In addition to the requirement for attribution the license may include restrictions to ensure the original author is not seen to be responsible for changes to the work made by others. This may include restrictions on the use of trademarks.

Transmission of freedoms

The license may include a clause, often called copyleft or share-alike, which ensures that derivative works themselves remain free works. To this effect, it can for example require that derivative works are made available under the same free license as the original.

The license may restrict the redistribution of the work as part of a compilation with other works unless the other other works are under the same license or are under another free license.

The license may require that where the work is used to provide a service over the internet then users of the service will have rights under the license, such as the right to access, copy, amend and redistribute the source code for software.

Protection of freedoms

The license may include clauses that strive to further ensure that the ability to exercise the freedoms listed above is not restricted by technical or other means. These can include:

  • Availability of source data: Where a final work has been obtained through the compilation or processing of design information or a source file or multiple source files, the license may require that underlying source data should be available alongside the work itself under the same conditions. This can be the score of a musical composition, the models used in a 3D scene, the data of a scientific publication, the drawings and parts list of a machine, or any other such information.
  • Use of a free format: For digital files, the license may require that the format in which the work is made available should not be one that can only be read using a particular manufacturers program. Formats should be documented and should not be restricted by patents, unless these patents are licensed for use in free works. While non-free formats may sometimes be used for practical reasons, a free format copy means that the information will be accessible to everyone, for ever.
  • No technical restrictions: The license may require that the work must be available in a form where no technical measures are used to limit the freedoms enumerated above.
  • No other restrictions or limitations: The license may specify that it may not be used to distribute works which are covered by legal restrictions (patents, contracts, etc.) or limitations (such as privacy rights or being for non-commercial use only) which would impede the freedoms enumerated above. This can mean that if you agree to pay a patent holder for the right to use a program then you can lose the right to distribute that program (since you have acknowledged that you think the patent applies to the programme). This is sometimes known as a Liberty or Death clause and makes it more dificult for owners of weak patents to divide the users by offering deals to some users under the threat of a costly lawsuit.

No other restrictions

Apart from these allowed restrictions, the license must not include clauses that limit essential freedoms. See Permissible restrictions

Free Culture Licenses

It is important that any work that claims to be free provides, practically and without any risk, the aforementioned freedoms.

All new works are automatically covered by existing copyright laws which default to All Rights Reserved. All Rights Reserved considerably limit what others can and cannot do with the work. Authors can make their works free by choosing among a number of legal documents known as licenses which grant users the 4 freedoms listed above.

Licenses are legal instruments through which the owner of certain legal rights may transfer these rights to third parties. Free Culture Licenses do not take rights away — they specify freedoms that are not included in a default copyright license such as All Rights Reserved. When accepted, they never limit or reduce existing user rights and exemptions under copyright law. Because the grant rights which are additional to the rights users have under copyright therefore users are not required to accept the license unless they want to exercise those additional rights.

Identifying Free Cultural Works

This is the Definition of Free Cultural Works, and when describing your work, we encourage you to make reference to this definition, as in, "This is a freely licensed work, as explained in the Definition of Free Cultural Works." If you do not like the term "Free Cultural Work," you can use the generic term "Free Content," or refer instead to one of the existing movements that express similar freedoms in more specific contexts. We also encourage you to use the Free Cultural Works logos and buttons, which are in the public domain.

Please be advised that such identification does not actually confer the rights described in this definition; for your work to be actually free, it must use one of the Free Culture Licenses or be in the public domain, or equivalent of. Please don't use other terms to identify Cultural Works; terms which do not convey a clear definition of freedom; terms such as "Open Content" and "Open Access." These terms are often used to refer to content which is available under "less restrictive" terms than All Rights Reserved, or for works that are just "available on the Web", but they don't necessarily carry with them the freedoms referred to in this document.

Availability of legal instruments

Can in anyone can use, study, copy, change and improve (summary) means anyone can realistically make his case in court that such freedom was granted. It implies that where a work is made free by way of a free cultural license, the legal instrument, by which the copyright or other right owner grants the license, must also be available to anyone in the legal form that is legally binding in the relevant legal context. The legal instrument should not be jealously and secretly kept by the first licensee.

Further reading

Versioning

New versions of this definition shall be released as soon as a consensus (achieved directly or through a vote, as per the authoring process) has developed around suggested changes. Numbering shall be 0.x for initial draft releases, 1.x, 2.x .. for major releases, x.1, x.2 .. for minor releases. A minor release is made when the text is modified in ways which do not have an impact on the scope of existing or hypothetical licenses covered by this definition.