Use Case Creative Commons

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Proposed by Paul Groth

(Curator: Simon Miles)

Provenance Dimensions

Primary: Accountability (licensing)

Secondary: Interoperability, Understanding

Background (optional)

There are a massive amount of images on the web. These images come with a variety of licenses including Creative Commons licenses. Often times images come with no license or the license is not clear. In addition, these licenses often place different requirements on any derivative works. For example, a Creative Commons license may require that all derivative works have the correct attribution, or may require that the original work (e.g. image) can only be used in non-commercial works. Thus, using a particular image can impact what license a derivative work can have.

Determining whether a derivative work (e.g. mashup or set of slides) is compliant with all of its contents license is time consuming. Additionally, if those contents are also produced from other content, then determining compliance is even more difficult and sometimes may be impossible.


Given a document, determine whether that document is compatible with the licenses of all of its constituent parts and find a license for that document that is compatible

Current Practice Scenario (optional)

Current practice is for a user to by hand verify compatibility with all known licenses.

Use Case Scenario

Bob is creating a new powerpoint presentation for a meeting.

  1. Bob starts with a Powerpoint presentation he received from Carol.
  2. He modifies, adds, and deletes slides. During these modifications he uses images that were already on his hard drive and those that he just got from the web.
  3. Bob wants to post the new slides on the Web. But before doing this, he needs to determine whether his usage of other material prevents him from posting.
  4. If he can post his slides, Bob wants to assign a license to them that is compatible with the licenses of the material used within.

Problems and Limitations

Many licenses do not have a computer representable form. Many documents do not have an explicit license associated with it.

Unanticipated Uses (optional)

This applies to any document not only images.

Existing Work (optional)