CC0 Official Translation Process and Policy
Creative Commons has established the following Official CC0 Translation Process and Policy (“CC0 Policy”) to facilitate adoption and understanding of CC0 as a universal tool for dedicating works to the worldwide public domain. This CC0 Policy is established as of December 10, 2012, and may be updated and revised by Creative Commons in its discretion. Any non trivial revisions will be logged and dated at the bottom of this page.
- 1 Plain English Summary
- 2 Overview
- 3 The Translation Process – New Teams
- 4 Language; Translation Project Proposals and Selection
- 5 Preparing the First Translation Draft
- 6 Public Comment Period
- 7 Preparing the Official Translation
- 8 Translating Informational Materials
- 9 Translations in Progress (as of policy effective date)
Plain English Summary
- The CC0 translation process consists of 5 steps:
- Preparing a draft translation of the CC0 legal code
- Public comment period
- Preparing the final, official translation
- Translating supplemental materials
- Launching the official translation and updating the CC0 Chooser
- Affiliates are the preferred translation team leaders, although other interested community members may propose a translation project or participate as a team member. Third parties may be hired to translate but must be paid for and supervised by the affiliates.
- Translation teams coordinate with and encourage participation by other jurisdictions where the target translation language is used.
- Proposals for leading a translation project should be submitted to the appropriate Regional Coordinator and contain:
- Language for translation
- Other active CC jurisdictions that use the same language
- Plan for coordinating with those other jurisdictions
- Proposed timeline
- Official translations may be selected through the CC0 Chooser in lieu of the English original; however, in the event of a dispute over the meaning of a translated term or phrase, the English controls.
CC0 is designed for use worldwide, without any need for adapting the legal code to local laws. For CC0 to reach its fullest potential, CC encourages linguistic translations of the legal code and deed into as many languages as possible. This wiki page describes the policies and processes for preparing and publishing official translations of the CC0 legal code.
CC0 translation projects are coordinated and overseen by CC’s legal team in collaboration with the global network team.
Creative Commons reserves the exclusive right to approve and host official translations of CC0, as well as to modify this process and adjust translation projects at any time. Each official translation is hosted at a specified uniform resource indicator on CC’s website, consistent with the protocol used for our licenses and other legal tools.
Affirmers (those who are choosing to dedicate works to the worldwide public domain using CC0) have the option to select the original English legal code or an official translation through the CC0 Chooser. The original English legal text controls, however, in the event of a dispute about the meaning of an official translation. The CC0 Chooser, official translations and deeds all contain prominent statements and notices to this effect.
The Translation Process – New Teams
The process for developing new CC0 translations (each is called a “translation project”) is described below. For translation projects already in progress as of the effective date of this CC0 Policy, please refer to the guidelines below. Creative Commons prefers that each translation project be led by active affiliates under a current MOU with Creative Commons. For this reason, the process described below anticipates new translation project proposals to come from affiliates. However, interested community members are also welcome to propose a translation project or participate as part of a translation team.
Language; Translation Project Proposals and Selection
Creative Commons accepts proposals from affiliates to coordinate the linguistic translation of the CC0 legal code, deed and related information materials into the jurisdiction’s official language(s), or other language(s) in which the team members are proficient. Languages transcend national boundaries, and CC acknowledges that several affiliate teams around the world share an official or primary language. CC’s policy is to publish a single, official translation for any given language unless an important reason exists to allow more that one. This mirrors CC’s policy for translations of deeds. Affiliate teams wanting to coordinate translation projects are expected to accommodate and encourage participation of affiliate teams from those other jurisdictions.
Proposals to coordinate a translation project should be directed to the affiliate team’s Regional Coordinator(s). Proposals should (i) identify the language(s) into which the affiliate is offering to coordinate, (ii) identify other current CC affiliate jurisdictions where the language(s) are officially or primarily used, (iii) summarize plans for coordinating with and encouraging the participation of other affiliate teams as well as the broader communities within jurisdictions having the same official or primary language, and (iv) propose a timeline for completing the translation project. Proposals may be posted by CC for comment or to encourage participation by those in jurisdictions sharing an official or primary language.
Regional Coordinators evaluate proposals in consultation with the CC legal team. Translation project plans, translation leads and other team members are then formalized and officially announced through posting on the CC website or on appropriate email lists.
Translation teams offering to arrange for a third party to conduct the translation are responsible for all costs associated with the translation, supervising the translation process and, prior to posting the draft for public comment (below), conducting a final review.
If CC is unable to locate a current affiliate team willing to coordinate a translation project for a particular language where demonstrated demand for an official translation exists, CC may open the process to the public or arrange for third parties to undertake the translation responsibilities in this CC0 Policy. The person(s) responsible for drafting, or overseeing the drafting, of a translation of the CC0 legal code are referred to as “translation lead(s),” and those participating on the translation project, the “translation team.”
Preparing the First Translation Draft
Once finalized, the translation leads coordinate the work of the translation team in linguistically translating the CC0 legal code from English into the identified language. All translations must include an equivalent of the following, the final text of which is determined by CC: “This is an Official [language] Translation of CC0 1.0 Universal. In the event of any dispute involving interpretation of the legal code, the original English CC0 1.0 Universal legal code [link] controls.” When finalized, including any review and edits by the translation leads if the drafting involved a third party, the translation leads send the first draft to their Regional Coordinator, who will provide it to the CC legal team. At the same time, the translation leads should deliver a written summary (in English) containing a description of any translation challenges they experienced. The CC legal team reviews the translation of the legal code and the written explanation, all in collaboration with the translation leads and the Regional Coordinators. This may involve modifications to the draft and a request for additional information, and continues until CC provisionally approves the draft as ready for public comment.
Public Comment Period
The public comment period is designed to ensure the highest quality linguistic translations possible. Drafts are posted to the CC wiki at Legal Tools Translation for public comment and feedback for a reasonable period of time, typically about 30-45 days. The posting and public comment period is coordinated with the translation leads.
Preparing the Official Translation
At the conclusion of the public comment period, and following resolution of comments by the CC legal team and the translation leads, the translation leads coordinate preparation and submission of the final official translation to CC in the format requested by CC (currently XHTML). The official translation is posted by CC on the Creative Commons website.
All official translations include an equivalent of the following, the final placement and text of which is determined by CC: “This is an Official [language] Translation of CC0 1.0 Universal. In the event of any dispute involving interpretation of the legal code, the original English CC0 1.0 Universal legal code [link] controls.”
Translating Informational Materials
The translation leads are responsible for coordinating the translation of CC0-related information material. The materials to be translated will be coordinated with Creative commons, but typically will include the CC0 deed (if not already translated), and may include the CC0 FAQs and other website materials relating to CC’s public domain tools (including CC0).
Translations in Progress (as of policy effective date)
CC is aware that several affiliate teams are preparing or have concluded a linguistic translation of the CC0 legal code. Those affiliate teams wanting to have the translations approved as official under this CC0 Policy should notify their Regional Coordinators and provide the following information:
- Language of translation;
- Persons involved in the translation;
- Description of the translation process undertaken; and
- Description of any public comment process and involvement (or request for involvement) of other affiliate teams from jurisdictions with the same official or primary language.
The CC legal team will review the information with the Regional Coordinators and the requesting affiliate team, and will make a determination as to appropriate next steps consistent with the processes and principles described above.
 English is the original language in which CC0’s terms were drafted and vetted for robustness and broad use by both CC’s legal affiliates and the community. Translations by their nature inevitably introduce differences in meaning, even if unintended and nuanced. For these reasons and others, a controlling version (English) in the event of a dispute between the affirmer and someone relying on CC0 makes good legal and practical sense.