Why use Metadata

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Why we have Creative Commons Metadata

In addition to making it easy for people to find the copyright licenses best for them, Creative Commons is working to provide simple RDF descriptions of these licenses. These descriptions will put the important points of the license in a way that makes it easy for machines to process and work from. Unlike Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, which tries to restrict use of digital works, Creative Commons is providing ways to encourage permitted sharing and reuse of works.

If you run a search engine, you might use license metadata to highlight public domain and generously-licensed works. If you write a public file sharing server, you might offer to search the user's hard drive for works that allow distribution. If you write a magazine, you might use a CC-enabled search engine to find pictures of candy bars that you can legally include.

By standardizing a way to describe this information and providing large quantites of RDF to build on, we hope to encourage new and innovative ways to develop the commons. Of course, this metadata only provides a first approximation of the license, for information use. Users are encouraged to read the full license to make sure it meets their expectations.