Government use of Creative Commons

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Featured Government Case Studies

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Currently this is a scratchpad for referencing known government and intergovernmental uses of CC licensing and public domain tools (and government recommendations of same). Please add to the list and turn compelling uses into Case Studies.

Examples are needed for national/federal, state/provincial and local/city/county governments (or their equivalents) as well as intergovernmental organizations and bodies such as the European Union and United Nations.

Government adoption strategies

Jurisdiction-Specific Case Studies



Australian government reports recommending CC usage


Open Government Data Portal by the City of Vienna under CC BY




  • Canada has developed the Government of Canada Open Data License Agreement for their open data portal website While not a Creative Commons license it would seem that this is heavily inspired by the Creative Commons philosophy and has many similar aspects. The license includes sections on 1.0 Definitions; 2.0 Intellectual Property Rights; 3.0 License Grant; 4.0 Acknowledgement of Source; 5.0 No Warranty and no Liability; and 6.0 Effective Date and Termination.
  • The license permits individuals or commercial interests to use, reproduce, or add value to government data provided they use the required attribution and that they do not imply any warranty to, nor make any claim of exclusive rights to the data.
  • This has similarities to the Open Government Licence for public sector information used in the United Kingdom as seen farther down this list.




  • - Centar za otvoreni kod, Nacionalna i sveučilišna knjižnica u Zagrebu / Center for Open Source, National and University Library in Zagreb, licensed under CC BY SA 3.0 Croatia.

Czech Republic











New Zealand

NZ Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework standardises the licensing of government copyright works for re-use using Creative Commons licences and recommends the use of ‘no-known rights’ statements for non-copyright material. It is widely recognised that re-use of this material by individuals and organisations may have significant creative and economic benefit for New Zealand. It was released for public discussion on August 27, 2009 and approved by Cabinet on July 5, 2010. The framework will enable greater access to many public sector works by encouraging State Services agencies to license material for reuse on liberal terms, and recommends Creative Commons as an important tool in this process.

In 2011 The Ministers of Finance and Internal Affairs adopted a statement detailing a new Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. The Declaration has been approved by Cabinet, and directs all Public Service departments, the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service; encouraged other State Services agencies; and invited State Sector agencies to commit to releasing high value public data actively for re-use, in accordance with the Declaration and Principles, and in accordance with the NZGOAL Review and Release process.



Russian Federation

Serbia, Republic of





United Kingdom


  • The "Canaima project" whichs goals is giving one laptop computer to every pupil in Venezuela (300.000 computers has been distributed so far) is preloaded with educational content (about 400 content) all of it is licensed with CC - SA - NC - 3.0

United States



Local government

See Intergovernmental Organizations page for information about CC license use by Intergovernmental Organizations such as the World Bank, United Nations, and the Commonwealth of Learning.