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== Summary ==
== Summary ==
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.
This document "Free " which can be freely studied, applied, copied andmodified, by anyonefor any purpose. [[|licenses]] which the of definition.
== Preamble ==
== Preamble ==
Social and technological advances make it possible for a growing part of humanity to ''access, create, modify, publish and distribute '' cultural works that can be represented in digital form. These works include artworks, scientific and educational materials, software, and articles. Many communities have formed to exercise these new possibilities and create a wealth of collectively reusable works.
of to access, , , publish and distribute works, scientific and educational materials, , and . and of .
Most authors, regardless of their field of activity or professional status, have an interest in favoring an ecosystem where works can be spread freely, and reused or derived in creative ways. The easier it is to reuse and derive works, the richer our cultures become.
, of , works be , and
ensure the graceful functioning of this ecosystem, works of authorship should be '''free''', where by ''freedom'' we mean:
To the , should be by the in the work
* the '''freedom to use''' the work and to enjoy the benefits of using it
* the '''freedom to study''' the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
* the '''freedom to make and redistribute copies''', in whole or in part, of the work
* the '''freedom to make changes and improvements''', and to distribute derivative works
These freedoms should be available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. They should not be restricted by the context in which the work is used. Creativity is the act of using an existing resource in a way that had not been envisioned before.
freedoms to , work the of .
In most countries, these freedoms are not enforced but suppressed by the laws commonly named ''copyright laws''. They consider authors as god-like creators and give them an exclusive monopoly as to how "their content" can be re-used. This monopoly impedes the flourishing of culture, and it helps the economic situation of authors less than it protects the business model of the most powerful publishing companies.
freedoms . the of , the of the of the .
In spite of those laws, authors can make their works free by choosing among a vast array of legal documents known as [[w:license|free licenses]]. For an author, choosing to put his work under a ''free license'' does not mean that he loses all his rights, but it gives to anyone the freedoms listed above.
, can free. under not that to .
It is important that any work that claims to be free provides, practically and without any risk, the aforementioned freedoms. This is why we hereafter give a precise '''definition of freedom''' for licenses and for works of authorship.
to be free, without . is definition licenses .
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|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.
to this definition as " , the Definition"the "Free , you "" or the [[you use]] for the .
Please be advised that such identification does ''not'' actually confer the rights described in this definition; for your work to be truly free, it must use one of the Free Culture [[Licenses]] or be in the public domain.
We discourage you to use other terms to identify Free Cultural Works which do not convey a clear definition of freedom, such as "Open Content" and "Open Access. " These terms are often used to refer to content which is available under "less restrictive" terms than those of existing copyright laws, or even for works that are just "available on the Web".
a , as . which of existing
, for that the .
Defining Free Culture Licenses ==
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 are always optional to accept, and if accepted, they grant freedoms which copyright law alone does not provide. When accepted, they never limit or reduce existing exemptions in copyright laws.
to , grant freedoms
=== Essential freedoms ===
In order to be recognized as "free" under this definition, a license must grant the following essential freedoms:
* '''The freedom to use and perform the work:''' The licensee must be allowed 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 considerations.
the use or of works not on the essential freedoms below.
* '''The freedom to study the work and apply the information:''' The licensee must be allowed 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:''' Copies may be 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 freedom to distribute derivative works:''' In order to give everyone the ability to improve upon a work, the license must not limit the freedom to distribute a modified version (or, for physical works, a work somehow derived from the original), regardless of the intent and purpose of such modifications. However, some restrictions may be applied to protect these essential freedoms or the attribution of authors (see below ).
Permissible restrictions ===
Not all restrictions on the use or distribution of works impede essential freedoms. In particular, requirements for attribution, for symmetric collaboration (i.e., "copyleft"), and for the protection of essential freedom are considered [[permissible restrictions]].
the of , for attribution , . , for the of .
Defining Free Cultural Works ==
In order to be considered free, a work '' must'' be covered by a Free Culture License, or its legal status '' must'' provide the same '' essential freedoms'' enumerated above. It is not, however, a sufficient condition. Indeed, a specific work may be non-free in other ways that restrict the essential freedoms . These are the additional conditions in order for a work to be considered free:
'''' be by
'''''' a work the freedoms
* ''' Availability of source data:' '' Where a final work has been obtained through the compilation or processing of a source file or multiple source files, all 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 source code of a computer application, or any other such information.
'''' the of the work, such
Use of a free format:''' For digital files, the format in which the work is made available should not be protected by patents, unless a world-wide, unlimited and irrevocable royalty-free grant is given to make use of the patented technology. While non-free formats may sometimes be used for practical reasons, a free format copy ''must'' be available for the work to be considered free.
* ''''''the which a and of the . , ''must '' limit use of the work.
* '''No technical restrictions:''' 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 work itself must not be covered by legal restrictions (patents, contracts, etc.) or limitations (such as privacy rights) which would impede the freedoms enumerated above. A work may make use of existing legal exemptions to copyright (in order to cite copyrighted works), though only the portions of it which are unambiguously free constitute a free work.
In other words, whenever the user of a work cannot legally or practically exercise his or her basic freedoms, the work cannot be considered and should not be called "free. "
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of a work, the workshouldnot .
== Further reading ==
== Further reading ==
* 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
* See [[Portal:Index]] for topic-specific pages about free and .
* See [http://communities.libre.org/ Libre Communities] and [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]
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.
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 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 list of licenses which meet the terms of freedom laid out in this definition.
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.
Works built by communities collaborating as volunteers, art created for the purpose of shared enjoyment, essential learning materials, scientific research funded through taxpayer money, and many other works do not benefit from artificial scarcity. They benefit from being used freely. We therefore believe that these works should be free, and by "freedom" we mean:
- the freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
- the freedom to redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression
- the freedom to make improvements or other changes, and to release modified copies
These freedoms should be universally available to absolutely anyone, anywhere. To the extent possible, they should not be restricted by the context in which the work is used.
Any original work of authorship is copyrighted. Under copyright law, authors are considered God-like "creators" and are given legal powers they can use against those who duplicate "their" content in altered or unaltered form. Only very limited freedoms are granted to others unless authors choose to explicitly relinquish some or all of these powers. To do so, authors can explicitly release their work into the public domain (no copyright)1, or can choose among a vast array of legal documents known as licenses to grant, retain or qualify their exclusive rights.
Not all licenses grant the freedoms enumerated above. For example, some popular licenses forbid the creation of derivative works, or the commercial use of a work. Some licenses are even more specific. They limit usage of the work to particular regions of the world, or to relative quantities of information.
However, no work can be truly called "free" unless it can be freely shared, freely modified, freely aggregated, freely combined, and freely provided through any channel. Works under licenses that prohibit these essential freedoms stand seperate from the body of works that is not impeded by these restrictions. They are philosophically and legally incompatible with the licensing options used by the growing movement that refers to its works as "free content" or "free expression."
Any license which requires the term "free" to be significantly qualified ("it is free, but you cannot ..") can only mean "free" in the sense of "gratis, without cost". It can never mean that every essential freedom is present. It is the goal of this definition to precisely define the essential freedoms, and to provide guidelines by which existing licenses can be certified as meeting this definition.
Naming and versioning
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.
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.
Recommended and required criteria
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.
In order to be recognized as "free" under this definition, a license must grant the following freedoms without limitation:
- The freedom to study and apply the information: The licensee must not be restricted by clauses which limit their right to examine, alter or apply the information. The license may not, for example, restrict "reverse engineering", and it may not limit the application of knowledge gained from the work in any way.
- The freedom to redistribute copies: Copies may be 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. There must also not be any limit on who can copy the information or on where the information can be copied.
- The freedom to distribute modified versions: In order to give everyone the ability to improve upon a work, the license must not limit the freedom to distribute a modified version, as above, regardless of the intent and purpose of such modifications. However, some restrictions may be applied to protect these essential freedoms, as well as the requirement of attribution (see below).
Allowed requirements and restrictions
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 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
The license may include clauses that strive to protect the 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
- copyleft or "share-alike": a clause requiring that derivative works are entirely made available under a license which meets this definition
- free from technical restrictions: a clause prohibiting the use of technical measures designed to prevent individuals to whom the work is distributed from exercising any of the freedoms described above
The license may not include clauses that strive to limit the essential freedoms of the work, such as:
- usage restrictions: the license must not limit the licensee's actions beyond those which may have a plausible and direct impact on the essential freedoms of the work or its derivatives. Explicitly, it must not limit commercial use of the work.
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.
When making copies of a work, the licensee should be allowed to refer to a resource pointer instead of being required to distribute the license text itself with each copy of the work. Similarly, the license should allow the author or authors to specify a resource pointer for the attribution of multiple authors of a work. This is to ensure that the attribution requirement for complex collaborative works does not become an impediment.
- 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 the FAQ for some questions and answers.
- See Portal:Index for topic-specific pages about free content and free expressions.
- Under some jurisdictions, notably some European countries, authors have inalienable moral rights and cannot completely release their works into the 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."