Yesterday Creative Commons announced that their Attribution and Attribution Sharealike licenses will feature a seal of approval and link to Freedom Defined – the Definition of Free Cultural Works. We’ve been in touch with Freedom Defined since May 2006 (we blogged about the project last year) as their aims are so similar to that of and the Open Knowledge Definition.

While there was discussion last year of merging the two projects, it now looks as though they will remain complementary – with Freedom Defined focusing on cultural works, and with the Open Knowledge Definition retaining a broader conception of ‘knowledge’ that includes data (see e.g. Good news for open data).

Mike Linksvayer of Creative Commons comments:

This added signaling is part of an ongoing effort to distinguish among the range of Creative Commons licenses — never say the Creative Commons license, as there is no such thing. Our license deeds have always communicated the distinct properties of each license with icons and brief descriptions.

This is great news and will hopefully contribute to the strengthening of a more robust sense of free culture/open knowledge within the plethora of liberal licensing options that are now available!

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.