Free content, or free information, is any kind of functional work, artwork, or other creative content having no significant legal restriction relative to people's freedom to use, redistribute, and produce modified versions of and works derived from the content.Template:Specify
Free content encompasses all works in the public domain and also those copyrighted works whose licenses honor and uphold the freedoms mentioned above. Because the law by default grants copyright holders monopolistic control over their creations, copyrighted content must be explicitly declared free, usually by the referencing or inclusion of licensing statements from within the work.
Though a work which is in the public domain because its copyright has expired is considered free, it can easily become non-free again with all its derivatives becoming non-free or illegal,Template:Fact if the copyright law changes.
A work released as public domain by its author is free and non-copyleft.
Free content licenses[edit | edit source]
Free content licenses may be copyleft – in which case modifications of the work must themselves be distributed only under the terms of the original free license – or else they are non-copyleft, which means that the licensed work may be modified and then distributed under a different license, even one that is less free.
Most free content licenses contain provisions specifying that derivative works must attribute or give credit to the authors of the original, a requirement which promotes intellectual honesty and discourages plagiarism without imposing so great a burden as to weaken the claim of such licenses to being truly free.
The Design Science License (DSL), and GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) are copyleft licenses for free content. The FreeBSD Documentation License is an example of a non-copyleft license. The GNU General Public License (GPL) can also be used as a free content license. Against DRM license is a free copyleft license for artworks published by Free Creations.
Other examples of free content licenses are some of those published by Creative Commons when commercial use and derivative works are not restricted, although they do not require a source copy of the license be provided. Note that not all Creative Commons licenses are free content as defined here. The Libre Society project also has some free content licenses and a critique of the Creative Commons philosophy.
It is questioned whether the IANG license complies with the definition of free content given here, since it puts responsibilities on redistribution the product, notably by requiring access to financial accounting.
Example[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
- Creative Commons
- Free Culture Movement
- Free software and open source software
- Freedom of information
- Libre knowledge
- Open access
- Open content
- Open publishing
- Public domain
- Project Gutenberg
- Open Content Alliance
References[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Open Knowledge Definition – project under the aegis of the Open Knowledge Foundation which provides a definition of 'open' suitable for content and data.
- Definition of Free Cultural Works – a definition of "free content" or "free cultural works" similar to the free software definition
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