Creative Commons, a “global nonprofit organization dedicated to the sharing and reusing of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools,” has published the second draft of its Creative Commons licenses (the “CC Suite”), dubbed “4.0.” The CC Suite is a set of free copyright licenses granting permission to licensees to use and adapt content, including for commercial purposes, in ways that would typically violate a copyright holder’s rights.

Several major institutions incorporate a CC Suite license into at least some of their practices. For example, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) published data on more than 13,500 compounds that have shown activity against the malaria parasite using a license within the CC Suite. GSK has said that it will not seek any rights over these compounds if researchers discover a new treatment for malaria.

The 4.0 process was initially launched at the Creative Commons Global Summit in September 2011, with the multi-pronged goals of improving the CC Suite’s internationalization, interoperability, longevity, relevance to governments and intuitions in the field of data, public sector information, science and education, and supporting existing adoption models and frameworks. See Creative Commons Nov. 3, 2011 News.

On August 1, 2012, after a roughly five month discussion period, which drew comments and input from more than 50 countries, draft two of 4.0 was released for further evaluation and comment. According to Creative Commons, several provisions from the CC Suite 3.0 remain unchanged including, for example, the scope of the definition of “NonCommercial.” See suite comparisons.

One of the many interesting discussions surrounding 4.0 relates to CC Suite’s attribution rules, which Creative Commons hopes to improve upon. Up for discussion is whether reference to a URL where the original work may be accessed should satisfy the Suite’s attribution rules. See comparison of attribution changes.

The discussion and comment period for draft two of 4.0 is scheduled to expire on or about September 15, 2012. The third draft of 4.0 is expected to be published in October 2012. The final version of 4.0 is expected to be released in November or December 2012. Participate in the discussion.

Resources: GlaxoSmithKline’s Sep. 2010 Interim Update;

This article was prepared by Jessica S. Parise ( / 212.318.3397) in Fulbright’s Intellectual Property and Technology Group.