License Deeds (Metadata)

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Revision as of 00:36, 16 February 2011 by John Doig (talk | contribs) (Standard Licenses)
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Creative Commons license deeds will display information about the referring work if available. This page documents what information is displayed by the deeds.

How it Works

When you visit a CC legal deed by clicking on a link from a licensed work, CC looks at the page you came from (the referrer) to see if it contains information about the licensed work. This information can include how the creator wants to be attributed, who identified a work as in the public domain, etc. If present, this information is displayed for the user, and used to generate copy and paste attribution/citation HTML.


Works that require a password to access them can not be checked by the server software.

If the referring page contains multiple works under the same license (even with properly scoped metadata), we can not determine which link was clicked on. In that situation, we err on the side of certainty and do not display the information.

If the software can not unambiguously determine the title or attribution information, we err on the side of certainty and do not display the information.


The Creative Commons License Deeds will provide extra information about the referrer in three general categories:

  • How to attribute/cite the work
  • Work registration details
  • Where to read more permissions assigned to the work

Work Attribution / Citation

The standard Creative Commons License Class Deeds(all non-Public Domain licenses) will display a notice instructing how the referrer must be attributed and generate an HTML+RDFa marking that can be used to attribute the work when sufficient metadata is available on the referring page. The Public Domain Deed's provide similar functionality; an HTML+RDFa string that can be used as a citation for the referring work in the Public Domain when sufficient metadata is available. The tables below describe which metadata triples must be available, and how each triple can affect the output seen on the deeds.

Standard Licenses

cc:attributionName, foaf:name of dct:creator cc:attributionURL dct:title
Example Testing
Example Testing Testing


We are currently developing comprehensive examples which will supersede these; these examples are likely to go away, break, or be otherwise changed at some point in the future.

<div xmlns:cc=""> <a rel="license" href=""> <img src="" /> </a> <br /> This page, by <a property="cc:attributionName" rel="cc:attributionURL" href="">Lawrence Lessig</a>, is licensed under a <a rel="license" href=""> Creative Commons Attribution License</a>. </div>

To see the examples, visit the work pages (listed here) and click through to the deed.

Consumed Metadata


  • xhtml
  • cc
  • dct
  • dc
  • sioc