Category: license

Creative Commons Metadata

This site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License, and I wanted to mark each page to somehow indicate that fact. recommends that we mark our pages using RDF data embedded in our HTML (commented out). However, embedding the RDF in each page has a few downsides:
  1. It increases the size of each page by a several hundred bytes.
  2. In xhtml pages, it potentially hides the copyright information from xml parsers.
As an alternative (which I didn't invent, I'm just describing), I link to the copyright information with metadata attributes to indicate its role. The pages on this site use 2 methods of specifying the copyright. In the <head> section, I included a <link> to the copyright URL with a rel="copyright" attribute. The copyright link type is defined in HTML4. For example:

<link rel="copyright" href="" />

The second method can be used within the body of the document. My footer section includes a link to the CC license. I added a rel="license" attribute to that link. The license relation is a common microformat.

To guarantee that search engines understand the licensing of my site, I ran a few of my URLs through Creative Commons License Validator tool. Everything checks out!

Finally, I also wanted my RSS feed to be covered by the CC license. There is a Creative Commons RSS Module defined for this purpose: you insert a


line into the <channel> section of your feed. I use XML::RSS to generate my feeds (this is a mod_perl/HTML::Mason site) to generate my feed, so I added code like this (new code is bolded):

my $rss = new XML::RSS (version => '1.0'); 

# add the creative commons namespace
$rss->add_module(prefix=>'cc', uri=>'');

       title        => "littleredbat/mk: blog",
       link         => "",
       description  => "Matt Keller's Blog",
       dc           => { language => 'en-us', },
       cc           => { license => '', },

There you have it - my site has been CreativeCommonsIfied.

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Lessig Strikes Again

Larry Lessig is revising his phenomenal book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace -- but he's not doing it alone. Instead, we posted the book to a wiki where anyone can contribute!

From the site:

Lawrence Lessig first published Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace in 1999. After five years in print and five years of changes in law, technology, and the context in which they reside, Code needs an update. But rather than do this alone, Professor Lessig is using this wiki to open the editing process to all, to draw upon the creativity and knowledge of the community. This is an online, collaborative book update; a first of its kind.

Once the the project nears completion, Professor Lessig will take the contents of this wiki and ready it for publication. The resulting book, Code v.2, will be published in late 2005 by Basic Books. All royalties, including the book advance, will be donated to Creative Commons.

Way cool, Larry!

Link to story

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