Minds of Carolina as Leader: Intellectual Property Rights and the Creative Commons

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Minds of Carolina will also place UNC-Chapel Hill at the cutting edge of intellectual property rights activities. We will provide contributors with mechanisms by which they can easily offer Creative Commons (www.creativecommons.org) licenses to their content. Creative Commons “is a non-profit corporation founded on the notion that some people may not want to exercise all of the intellectual property rights the law affords them.” Creative Commons seeks to develop licenses and other means by which authors and more generally, creators of intellectual property of all types, can reserve some rights to their works but not strictly limit copying and use as does the US federal copyright laws. Use of a Creative Commons license allows creators to gain widespread exposure and distribution of their products and to be in the mainstream of scholarly exchange while ensuring some protection of their property.

Creative Commons, launched in the fall of 2002, offers four free licences that “help people tell the world that their copyrighted works are free for sharing -- but only on certain conditions” and which contributors may mix and match as their needs require. The four licenses described on the CC webiste are:

These licenses were created by legal professionals and legal scholars including Lawrence Lessig (Stanford), James Boyle (Duke), and Michael Carroll (Villanova) to allow for sharing of materials in the very spirit of the Minds of Carolina project, that is, bringing our common intellectual insights and inspirations to the others, especially the citizens of North Carolina.