Creative Commons

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Creative Commons is a non-profit organization which provides free open content licenses to the world.

Creative Commons licensing will be integrated throughout the OLPC project:

  • Contributions to the OLPC project wiki are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5
  • Creative Commons licensing functionality for the XO laptops is currently under development:
    • Liblicense, a new software library developed by Creative Commons, allows users of the laptops to attach Creative Commons licenses to the media produced on the XO.
    • Sugar Licensing Activity, an interactive licensing module (currently in beta) that allows laptop users to decide upon a license for the content they create.
    • Sharing Creative Works, comic book style documentation designed to educate children and parents about Creative Commons' licensing options
  • In the future, Creative Commons and OLPC will continue to work together on open content as part of CC’s LiveContent project

The OLPC XO laptop encourages children to freely reuse, remix, and create content. By default, children's creations will not contain a specified license. However, CC-licensing will give children--along with a parent--the freedom to decide the correct license for the content they create. Creative Commons licensing clearly signals how content may be used by others.

License for the OLPC Wiki

The text of this wiki is published under a Creative Commons Attribution license:

Images, media, and uploaded files are each available under their own license; all compatible with our goals for sharing and reuse. See OLPC:License for details.


liblicense-sugar Integration

Creative Commons developed liblicense as a general c-based library for adding license support to OLPC, OpenMoko, Gnome, KDE, and other desktops. We also have built some integration code and have submitted this patch and the latest RPM of liblicense to for adding liblicense to OLPC and also to the Journal to set both a default content license and also to set a per-journal-entry CC license.

We are also tracking Sugar and Journal changes and maintaining git branches that can be pulled into Sugar and Journal respectively. See:

These are a technical proof of concept implementation, and the UI could admittedly use some work. We need testers to try it and then we can have a conversation.

How to try it

You will see license icons next to everything that appears in the Journal now, and in the detailed view of any Journal item you will be able to click the license icon and select a different one.


Here are some screenshots of a slightly older version of the patch/branch:

  • Choosing the license of an activity's entry in the Journal:

Journal entry.png

  • Overview of recent journal entries, with CC licenses displaying:

Journal start.png

Tracked Enhancements

  • <trac>3529 Adding liblicense support to OLPC Sugar Journal</trac>
  • (HIGH PRIORITY blocking 3529) <trac>7551 Mockups for how cc licensing should work in journal</trac>
  • (LOW PRIORITY) <trac>3531 Add license search to the journal</trac>
  • <trac>6523 Add licensing activity to OLPC</trac>

Tracked Bugs

  • None yet! Cool!

liblicense-sugar Customizations

Here is where customization of liblicense and OLPC integration will be discussed, and eventually possibly moved to its own page. liblicense-sugar is extensible. There will be a need in the future for possible customizations per jurisdiction, so what to keep that in mind and document as the need arises.

Licensing Activity

See License.

An interactive licensing module that allows laptop users to decide upon a license for the content they create. Using iconic, comic book style documentation (see Sharing Creative Works below), the activity is designed to educate children and parents about Creative Commons' licensing options. After viewing the comics, there is an option of selecting a default license for the creative works one creates on the XO. The license chooser is clear and easy-to-use, allowing the license permissions to be explored by all users of an XO.

Sharing Creative Works

Sharing Creative Works is a new public-domain comic about Creative Commons. It aims to explain the basics of CC licensing as simply as possible to a general audience, including children. To make remixes and translations as easy as possible, the artwork is in SVG format and the script is plain text. Please contribute!

This comic serves as the foundation of the documentation for the Sugar Licensing Activity, Creative Commons' collaboration with One Laptop Per Child. The final documentation and activity will be customized for each country's distribution, so please let us know if you have suggestions for making this document as culturally accessible as possible.

Read the comic and leave your feedback on the Creative Commons Wiki.

License Setting in Control Panel

Initially OLPC was not going to have a control panel, but there is the possibility this will be needed in future versions of the device, so liblicense-sugar will possibly need to be integrated into this.

This requires further discussion with the maintainers of the control panel.

Licensing Curriculum

This is much more down the road, but hopefully an outcome from the Licensing Activity is to develop some curricula. This is a lower priority than integration.

External Links