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Creative Commons Launches Web and Desktop License Integration Approach with LicenseChooser.js and liblicense Projects

About CC


Creative Commons announced today the release of liblicense and LicenseChooser.js, content licensing tools which make integration of Creative Commons license functionality easy for developers building modern desktop and web applications. These tools enable reading and writing Creative Commons licensing information to a variety of media formats. Many projects already support the ability to read and write content license information through add-ons, including, Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office. Other programs, such as the open source vector graphics drawing tool Inkscape, include a default capability to read and write CC license information.

For the desktop, Creative Commons has updated the C language-based software library called liblicense. This Free Software (licensed under GNU LGPL) library provides functionality to read and write license information into many supported media files. Along with access to license information, the library offers a standard set of icons for graphical representation of selected or discovered licenses. As Creative Commons’ international team refreshes the licenses or adds a new jurisdiction, software developers can simply update liblicense to receive these changes. Currently, liblicense is distributed with development versions of the Debian, Ubuntu, and Fedora Linux operating systems. The LGPL license permits adding it to both open source and proprietary software.

“LicenseChooser.js and liblicense will make open content licensing more valuable for developers, publishers, and users, by making such content more discoverable and manageable” said Mike Linksvayer, Vice President of Creative Commons.

One prominent project incorporating the use of liblicense in an upcoming release is One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). While the OLPC project wiki already uses Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licenses for contributions, Creative Commons has introduced licensing functionality for the XO laptops through the development of liblicense and a series of patches to be integrated. Once it is installed, it allows software interfacing with media on the device to be content license aware. Also, to explain Creative Commons licensing and the basics of copyright law, Creative Commons has created an educational licensing activity that anyone may install onto an OLPC XO laptop. This activity uses the previously released “Sharing Creative Works” comics.

For web applications, Creative Commons has developed LicenseChooser.js, which allows developers to add similar functionality into any web-based project. Creative Commons already provided an XML-based web services API. LicenseChooser.js provides an additional, lightweight method for integrating license selection into web applications. The widget is used by SixApart’s TypePad as well as the WordPress plugin WpLicense.

Today, liblicense will be demonstrated at this year’s Open Source Conference (OSCON) in Portland, OR. Integration with two Open Source applications will be showcased: the file viewer Eye of GNOME and media player Rhythmbox. The presentation will be given by Nathan Yergler, CTO of Creative Commons, and Asheesh Laroia, Software Engineer, on Thursday July 24th in room F150.


Desktop Integration Software: liblicense

OSCON “Rights on the Desktop with liblicense” Presentation

Web Integration Software: LicenseChooser.js

OLPC Creative Commons Page

Creative Commons Sharing Creative Works Public Domain Released Comics

About Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works, whether owned or in the public domain. Through its free copyright licenses, Creative Commons offers authors, artists, scientists, and educators the choice of a flexible range of protections and freedoms that build upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to enable a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. Creative Commons was built with and is sustained by the generous support of organizations including the Center for the Public Domain, Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, as well as members of the public. For more information about Creative Commons, visit


Jon Phillips
Community and Business
Development Manager
Creative Commons

Press Kit

Posted 23 July 2008