The "commons" in Japan

Many of you might know what Creative Commons is. Japanese UGC-related companies looked at it and tweaked the license to create their own "commons" or licenses.

** Creative Commons**

First off, Creative Commons. Quote from Creative Commons website:
"Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. We provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof."

==4 parameters of Creative Commons==

1) Attribution
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.

2) Share Alike
You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.

4)No Derivative Works
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

==6 basic licenses of Creative Commons==

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.

2)Attribution Share Alike
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

3)Attribution No Derivatives
This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

4)Attribution Non-Commercial
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

5)Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.

6)Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

* Creative Commons basically will not make a database or hold contents, it only provides licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work. I get this question so many times but you don't need to ask Creative Commons to license your work under CC license, you just need to go for it.

* Once given, Creative Commons licenses are irrevocable.

** NicoNiCommons [ja] **

NicoNiCommons is a new set of copyright rules similar to Creative Commons, but is made by Niwango, a company that operates NicoNicoDouga [ja], the largest video sharing site in Japan. It is also an archive of contents that the creators are willing to provide to be reused and remixed by others. Contents include photos, illustrations, logos, music, sound, videos, etc.

Creators (or content owner) upload their contents to NicoNiCommons' server via Smilevideo (a server that NicoNicoDouga users use to upload their videos) so that other users can download those contents. Each content will get unique ID number (Commons ID), and the users who remixed those content will note the ID of the original content when they upload the remixed content. This is how the remix tree looks:

==Parameters of NicoNiCommons==

1)Commercial Use
A)You can use this content for commercial usage for free
B)You can use this content only for non-commercial usage
C)You need a separate permission in order to use it for commercial usage

2)Where this content can be used
A)Only for NicoNiCommons compliant sites
B)All over internet

* Content owners of NicoNiCommons can change the license of their contents after one week has passed since uploading the content. Change of license will not affect the remixed content that were published before the change of license.

* NicoNiCommons is directly connected with the content database and the creator name in that database.

* NicoNiCommons is created in the premise of getting remixed, so "Non-derivative" license does not exist in NicoNiCommons.

Some contents of Osamu Tezuka - was an extremely famous and popular cartoon artist - is in NicoNiCommons.

Contents of Gakuppoido - DTM (Desktop Music) software of a singer (Gackt) - is in NicoNiCommons as well.

** Pixiv Commons **

pixiv [ja] is the biggest illustration sharing site in Japan, with 600million PV per month. They announced pixiv Commons 1.0 last year, and are working on the specs.

==Parameters of pixiv Commons==

Pixiv Commons has 3 basic parameters:

1) Can republish
-Users can republish the work to other websites and weblogs. No derivative work can be made out of it.

2) Can reuse
-Users can use the original work as a source and create other works such as videos (and upload it to video sharing sites such as NicoNicoDouga and YouTube), produce T-shrits, name cards and slideshows etc.

3) Can recreate
-Users can use the original work's character or world setting and create other contents such as illustrations, videos, figures etc out of it.

They have several optional parameters:

1) Attribution
-need attribution yes/no

2) Contact when used
-need to contact the creator after use / do not need to contact

3) Where this content can be used
-pixiv Commons compliant websites only / no restriction

4) R-18(adult contents)
-allow adult content / prohibit adult content

* pixiv commons stands on the premise only for non-commercial use. If the user wants to use the work for commercial purpose, they need to contact the creator for permission.

** Piapro [ja] License **

Piapro, a website operated by Crypton Future Media is another example of user generated contents. Piapro is basically set up for VOCALOID characters. Vocaloid is a DTM(desktop music) software which has characters such as Hatsune Miku [ja], Kagamine Rin/Len [ja], Megurine Luka [ja], etc. Basically Piapro licenses comply to the vocaloid's Terms Of Service, so it needs to be non-commercial usage, also erotic expressions using the VOCALOID characters are prohibited.

==Parameters of Piapro license==

1) Attribution
-need attribution yes/no

2) Derivative work
-whether users can create derivative work/no

* Piapro allows only non-commercial usage.

* Piapro decided not to go with CC license as they wanted the users to have a selection of attribution (currently all of the CC licenses require attribution) and also they wanted to set a rule such as morality of the contents, etc.

* Crypton released Piapro's license usage data, although the data is a bit old. 2007/12/3~2008/1/28(total 12,991)

* note that all of the contents are for non-commercial usage at Piapro.

When Creative Commons changed their license from ver1.0 to ver2.0, they made attribution default. This was because 97-98% of the creators selected attribution.

From the above mentioned stats, only 23.3% of the Piapro creators required attribution. We do not know the reason for this yet- maybe it is cultural issue, maybe it is because "will not require attribution" was the default setting.

** Cyber Special District [ja] **

The Japanese government has the right to create various "special districts" such as "farming special district", "recycle special district", "medical special district" etc, and is currently planning a "cyber special district" to be launched in 2009. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has secured a budget of 700million yen (or 7million USD) for this project.

Cyber Special District will be "a closed and safe community inside the cyber world with real name users who agreed to certain conditions". The purposes include:
1. integration of the net and real world
2. privacy of communication and personal information
3. content distribution
4. utilization of IT in the public services

Specifically, they are going to try and set rules for copyright, medical and education areas using this Cyber Special District.

Description of the "copyright" section says:
Experiment an environment within the Cyber Special District where the users who holds the copyright and rewarding right shall be able to create and archive creatives as commons, and the users can use or create derivative work free of charge.