License Properties

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In addition to the human readable license deeds and legal code, Creative Commons provides machine readable metadata for licenses. This page describes how to begin with a license URI and map it to license properties.

Properties Overview

License Properties describe the permissions, prohibitions and requirements of a license. Permissions declare a permission given by the license, above and beyond what default copyright law allows. Prohibitions prohibit a particular use of the work, specifically affecting the scope of the permissions provided by a permission. Requirements describe actions required of user when making use of the permissions.

Inspecting the URL

Creative Commons license deed URLs have the following format:{license-properties}/{version}/[jurisdiction/]

For example:

Is the URL for the Attribution 3.0 (Unported) license. The license is Unported as there is no jurisdiction element present. The Attribution 2.0 (France) license has the following URL:

Mapping Individual Properties

The license properties portion of the URL is a sequence a two letter codes separated by dashes ("-").

Using RDFa

RDFa is an editor's draft at W3 which describes a way to serialize [RDF] triples in HTML. Creative Commons includes the appropriate RDFa When selecting a license from to indicate that a page is licensed. For example:

 <a href="" rel="license">Attribution 3.0</a>

The rel="license" attribute indicates that the link specified (the license URL in this case) has special semantic meaning.

With the license URI, an RDFa parser may be used to extract license attributes from the human readable deed.

Additional Resources

"Simple" Mapping

If parsing the deed is not feasible, it is possible to infer attributes from the license URI.