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China and Taiwan are paving the way for Creative Commons

About CC and the Institute of Information Science at Academia Sinica are spearheading efforts to translate Creative Commons licenses for China and Taiwan to expand international access to their cultures.

Palo Alto, USA; Shanghai, China; Taipei, Taiwan; – Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a body of creative works free for copying and re-use, announced today that formal discussions have begun for expanding its International Commons (iCommons) project to China and Taiwan. (China) and the Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica (Taiwan) will lead the efforts in these jurisdictions.

“We’re very excited to have and the Institute of Information Science working with us to bring iCommons to China and Taiwan” said Lawrence Lessig, Chairman of Creative Commons and professor of law at Stanford. “As the project enables people around the world to access an expanding pool of ideas from these regions, the cultural commons we all share will become increasingly rich.”’s Isaac Mao, the project lead for iCommons China, notes that “Creative Commons has a well-defined architecture for copyright that encompasses both law and computer code, offering a spectrum of options for licensing digital works. This model envisions a great future for knowledge-sharing in the 21st century. espouses this vision and looks forward to introducing these revolutionary licenses to China, and to the whole Chinese world.”

Dr. Tyng-Ruey Chuang, the project lead of Taiwan states: “The Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, is glad to have this opportunity. We believe Creative Commons’ modular
design of licensing conditions is ideal for content creators
who like to freely distribute their works but at the same time
want to preserve certain rights. We have just completed a draft translation
of the licenses in traditional Chinese characters, and are working with local art, legal, and research communities to finalize the process of making the licenses workable in Taiwan.” His co-project lead, Shunling Chen, adds: “The sharing of knowledge is a noble act that has been practiced throughout all of human history. The Creative Commons license project provides a
convenient alternative for people who are not satisfied with the mindset of
the existing copyright system, which makes sharing “unnatural”. With the various indigenous and Chinese legal traditions in Taiwan,
the introduction of the CC licenses will induce a re-examination of the
culture of knowledge sharing.”

First announced in March 2003, iCommons is Creative Commons’ project to make its machine-readable copyright licenses useful worldwide.
As the lead institutions for their respective jurisdictions,, the Institute of Information Science at Academia Sinica will coordinate public efforts literally and legally to translate the Creative Commons licenses for use in China and Taiwan. These areas will thus be joining Brazil, Japan and Finland in the iCommons effort. and Taiwan’s Institute of Information Science will field comments relating to their specific initiatives in archived email discussions on the Creative Commons website: China, Taiwan.

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 and the Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica was founded in 2002 to deploy open collaborative research on the Internet, its technologies, and its impacts on society and business. Sponsored by several private funds, is extending itself from grassroots publishing research to a multidisciplinary Internet research and education center. Since its foundation, has devoted itself to creating a new kind of open community, and to following closely the emerging social and technological trends. Operating as a volunteering and visiting consortium, seeks to catalyze new collaborative projects (Social Software, Emergent Democracy and Grassroots Culture, etc.) to spread its ideas and methodologies to other individuals/organizations and to encourage the practical applications of its findings. also sponsors Open Education Project ( in China.

For more information about, visit

Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica

Academia Sinica is the highest government-sponsored academic research institution in Taiwan. The institution supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences to humanities and social sciences. The Institute of Information Science (IIS) was formally established in September 1982, and is one of the nine institutes within the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. IIS presently has 33 full-time research fellows, 16 postdoctoral fellows and over 160 full-time information technology engineers supporting research and development of information science and engineering.

The mission of IIS is to conduct quality, fundamental research in information science, to develop cutting edge technologies applicable to advanced information systems, and to improve Taiwan’s competitiveness in information technology and its international visibility. Being a member of the most prominent research institution in Taiwan, IIS is obligated to assuming the leadership role in the area of information science, and aiming to establish itself as one of the world’s top research institutions.

Currently, IIS is conducting the Open Source Software Foundry (OSSF) project, with the aim of establishing a vital open source community. OSSF is to serve as a public, virtual common ground where local open source developers are invited to contribute their creativity in software development.

For more information about the Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, visit


Christiane Asschenfeldt (Berlin)
iCommons Coordinator, Creative Commons

Isaac Mao (Mao Xianghui) (Shanghai)
Project Lead, iCommons China

Dr. Tyng-Ruey Chuang and Shunling Chen (Taipei)
Project Lead, iCommons Taiwan
Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica

Glenn Otis Brown (Palo Alto)
Executive Director, Creative Commons

Posted 12 November 2003