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Creative Commons Begins Work On Finnish Versions Of Copyright Licenses

About CC

The Helsinki Institute for Information Technology Will Drive Public Discussion from the Silicon Valley Nonprofit’s Website

Palo Alto, California, USA – Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to building a layer of reasonable copyright, announced today that it would begin development of Finnish versions of its copyright licenses as part of its ongoing International Commons (iCommons) project. The Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT), an authority on law and technology in Finland, will lead the effort.

Announced in March 2003, iCommons is Creative Commons’ project to make its machine-readable copyright licenses useful worldwide.

“With iCommons, we are building a system for promoting creativity across borders,” said Lawrence Lessig, Chairman of Creative Commons and professor of law at Stanford. “If you imagine different countries as legal operating systems,’ iCommons will port our licenses for use across the world.”

As project lead, HIIT will coordinate a public effort to literally and legally translate Creative Commons’ licenses for use in Finland. HIIT will field public comments on an archived email discussion at the Creative Commons website,

“HIIT is enthusiastic to host iCommons in Finland,” said Martti Mäntylä, research director of HIIT and a professor at Helsinki University of Technology. “Creative Commons could do the same for the entertainment and publishing industries that free software and open source did for the software business.”

Christiane Asschenfeldt, the iCommons Coordinator at Creative Commons, commented: “It is great to get the iCommons drafting process underway with a project lead of HIIT’s experience and expertise. Finland will set an excellent precedent for many other iCommons countries, which in the near future will include Brazil, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.”

“Finnish copyright law doesn’t differ much from the U.S. system,” said HIIT project lead Herkko Hietanen. “But by translating the licenses to Finnish, we’ll make it even easier for Finnish artists and authors to adopt Creative Commons licenses and share their works with the world.”

More about Creative Commons

A nonprofit corporation, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual works — whether owned or public domain. It is sustained by the generous support of The Center for the Public Domain and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Creative Commons is based at Stanford Law School, where it shares staff, space, and inspiration with the school’s Center for Internet and Society.

For general information, visit

For more information about iCommons, see

More about HIIT

Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, founded in 1999, is a joint research institute of the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology. HIIT represents high expertise both in computer science and law and has close institutional bonds with academic legal science, law-courts, and The Finnish Bar Association.

HIIT conducts internationally high-level strategic research in information technology, especially in areas where Finnish IT industry has or may reach a significant global role. HIIT works in close co-operation with universities and industry, aiming to improve the contents, visibility, and impact of Finnish IT research to benefit the competitiveness of Finnish IT industry and the development of the Finnish information society.

For more information about HIIT, visit


Christiane Asschenfeldt (Berlin)
iCommons Coordinator, Creative Commons
christiane -AT-

Herkko Hietanen (Helsinki)
Helsinki Institute for Information Technology
herkko.hietanen -AT-

Glenn Otis Brown Executive Director (Palo Alto)
1.650.723.7572 (tel)
1.415.336.1433 (cell)
glenn -AT-

Posted 03 June 2003