Creative Commons Launches Public Domain Mark

Oct 14, 2010

Creative Commons released the Public Domain Mark, a tool that enables works free of known copyright restrictions to be labeled in a way that clearly communicates that status to the public. The Mark is designed to make it clear to teachers, students, artists, and scientists that they are free to re-use indicated material.

Europeana, Europe's digital library, museum, and archive is the first major adopter of the Public Domain Mark. The tool will become the standard mark for works free of known copyright that are shared via the Europeana portal. Europeana, whose partners include the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Bibliothèque nationale de France and Germany's Bundesarchiv federal archives, estimates that the millions of out-of-copyright works made accessible via its searchable database will be labeled with the Public Domain Mark by Spring 2011.

Creative Commons worked closely with Europeana and several of its members throughout the development of the Public Domain Mark. The process also included a public consultation period and review by CC's worldwide affiliate network comprised of legal experts from more than 70 jurisdictions.