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CC License Adoption - Search Results
License by by-sa by-nd by-nc by-nc-sa by-nc-nd Total
Count 8,816,965 67,509,992 2,279,548 20,655,575 17,686,419 15,495,728 132,444,227
Percent 6.66 50.97 1.72 15.6 13.35 11.7 100

Note: These are estimates compiled from search engine results and therefore indicative only. See the help page for more information.

Freedom score

Source: Yahoo!   Date: 2010-05-22   Help



These are the quintessential CC licenses, termed 'unported' because they are not ported to any specific jurisdiction. As Creative Commons started the international porting process to create localized versions of the main 'unported' licenses, the usage of these jurisdiction-specific licenses started replacing in some occasions the unported licenses. Now local CC teams promote the ported licenses in their respective jurisdictions but the unported licenses still enjoy widespread use, if not for any other reason, then because they have been traditionally used in many high traffic websites, and are still a common choice for users in jurisdictions with no ported versions.

Geographical location

It is difficult to tell where users of the unported licenses reside, as the licenses themselves are not customized to any particular jurisdiction and are used throughout the world. That said, the licenses are mostly based on US law and they were the first CC licenses to be used by many US-based online communities and data repositories, such as Flickr and the Internet Archive, so a fair share of the volume is most likely generated by US-based and in any case English-speaking users. However, the fact that these online websites have international appeal, combined with the observation that for several years many countries have lacked ported (jurisdiction-specific) CC licenses, must lead us to assume that there are also many international users of 'Unported', even if we may not know how many these are in relation to their US-based counterparts.

The future of 'unported'

As more and more individual users and online communities switch to ported licenses, it would be reasonable to expect that the use of the unported licenses will decline, or at least grow at a slower rate. However, there may always be a use for an unported CC license, i.e. one that is generic enough so that it may apply to any jurisdiction. International projects for example may wish to use such a license rather than a jurisdiction-specific one, although the merits of doing so are doubtful. If anything, using the unported license may appear attractive to highly mobile users and international teams who do not know which jurisdiction to license a particular work under, even if choosing the unported over a jurisdiction-specific license would not necessarily make any difference in practice.

Questions regarding user preferences

Interestingly, the freedom score for the unported licenses is higher than the CC average (see World page). This may be due to several reasons and a more detailed exposition combining more data sources would be needed to provide adequate explanation for this.

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