Microsoft Releases Free Licensing Tool For Office

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Microsoft has added a free copyright licensing tool that the hundreds of millions of people using Office products like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can use to protect their work.

Microsoft teamed with Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization founded at Stanford Law School by Lawrence Lessig that has created flexible copyright licenses for creative works. The tool can be downloaded at Microsoft Office Online.

Creative Commons says its goal is to give authors a clearer ability to express their intentions regarding the use of their work. The organization has developed six types of licenses authors can use, viewable at the Creative Commons website.

The licenses allow authors to retain copyright ownership while permitting the copying and distribution of it with a list of restrictions. Restrictions can include whether the work can be used commercially or if modifications can be made to it.

“This is an important step in ensuring that each individual becomes aware of his or her own intellectual property rights – and those of others,” said Ian Angell, professor of Information Systems at the London School of Economics (LSE), which works with Creative Commons to promote adoption and awareness in England and Wales.

“We at the LSE are keen to work with Microsoft toward empowering the creators of intellectual wealth’ to become more involved in its commercial use.”

“Creative Commons licenses are essential for protecting my creative work and for sharing it with others. They help with copyright issues, which frees me to do my job: making movies. I’m glad Microsoft Office users can now so easily use Creative Commons’ tools,” said Davis Guggenheim, director of the documentaries “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Teach” and member of the board of directors of Creative Commons.


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Microsoft Releases Free Licensing Tool For Office
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