April 13, 2003 · Lessig
Doc has an interesting post about CC licenses and the public domain. As he rightly notes, we have no direct license that you can link to so as to place your material in the public domain. This is not because we wouldn’t like to offer such a license. It is instead because the law does not make such simplicity possible. While for most of our history, there were a thousand ways to move creative material into the public domain, most lawyers today are puzzled about whether there is any way to move work into the public domain.
We have tried to build a way, but it is not automatic. If you follow this link, there are a number of steps you can take to put material into the public domain. We believe that if you follow these steps, then your work is in the public domain. Again, there’s no way to be certain about this. But this is our best guess, given the murky state of the law.
Again, this can’t be automatic. But you can automatically license your content under an Attribution only license. The only requirement that an Attribution licenses imposes is that a subsequent adopters give credit. This is an important, but slight burden. And because our licenses are perpetual, this is quite close to a public domain dedication.