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An Odd Marriage: the Creative Commons-Microsoft Tool's EULA
Wednesday, June 21 2006 @ 09:19 PM EDT

Creative Commons has announced that you can download a tool now from Microsoft that will attach a Creative Commons license of your choice to any Word, Excel or Powerpoint document. As much as I appreciate Creative Commons, I think you should look at the EULA and read it carefully before you say "I do." I understand the hopes here, but it does seem a mismatch. I have marked the parts I particularly noticed. The tool makes the process easy, but it is not your only choice.

After the EULA, I will place the press release about the tool. Then you can make up your own mind.

************************

MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS CREATIVE COMMONS ADD-IN FOR MICROSOFT OFFICE

These license terms are an agreement between Microsoft Corporation (or based on where you live, one of its affiliates) and you. Please read them. They apply to the software named above, which includes the media on which you received it, if any. The terms also apply to any Microsoft

* updates,
* supplements,
* Internet-based services, and
* support services

for this software, unless other terms accompany those items. If so, those terms apply.

BY USING THE SOFTWARE, YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THEM, DO NOT USE THE SOFTWARE. IF YOU COMPLY WITH THESE LICENSE TERMS, YOU HAVE THE RIGHTS BELOW.

1. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. You may install and use the software on any of your devices.

2. DISTRIBUTION. You may copy and distribute the software; provided, however:

a. You may not:
* alter any copyright, trademark or patent notice in the software;

* use Microsoft’s trademarks in your programs’ names or in a way that suggests your programs come from or are endorsed by Microsoft;

* distribute the software along with malicious, deceptive or unlawful programs; * modify or make derivative works of the software;

* copy or distribute the software for commercial purposes, including for or in any way related to the operation of any business enterprise, military or government operations or revenue-generating activities; or

* distribute the software so that any part of it becomes subject to an Excluded License. An Excluded License is one that requires, as a condition of use, modification or distribution, that

* the code be disclosed or distributed in source code form; or

* others have the right to modify it.

b. For any software you distribute, you must:

* distribute the software as is, including with these terms and acceptance processes unmodified; and

* indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Microsoft from any claims, including attorneys’ fees, related to the distribution or use of any of your programs which may be distributed with the software.

c. Separation of Components. The components of the software are licensed as a single unit. You may not separate the components and install them on different devices.

3. SCOPE OF LICENSE. The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the software. Microsoft reserves all other rights. Unless applicable law gives you more rights despite this limitation, you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so, you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways. For more information, see www.microsoft.com/licensing/userights. You may not:

* work around any technical limitations in the software;

* reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the software, except and only to the extent that applicable law expressly permits, despite this limitation;

* make more copies of the software than specified in this agreement or allowed by applicable law, despite this limitation;

* use the software in any way that is against the law;

* rent, lease or lend the software; or

* use the software for commercial software hosting services.

4. EXPORT RESTRICTIONS. The software is subject to United States export laws and regulations. You must comply with all domestic and international export laws and regulations that apply to the software. These laws include restrictions on destinations, end users and end use. For additional information, see www.microsoft.com/exporting.

5. LIMITATION ON AND EXCLUSION OF REMEDIES AND DAMAGES. YOU CAN RECOVER FROM MICROSOFT AND ITS SUPPLIERS ONLY DIRECT DAMAGES UP TO $5.00. YOU CANNOT RECOVER ANY OTHER DAMAGES, INCLUDING CONSEQUENTIAL, LOST PROFITS, SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES. This limitation applies to:

• anything related to the software, services, content (including code) on third party Internet sites, or third party programs, and

• claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, guarantee or condition, strict liability, negligence, or other tort to the extent permitted by applicable law.

It also applies even if Microsoft knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages. The above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you because your country may not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or other damages.

6. DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY. The software is licensed “as-is.” You bear the risk of using it. Microsoft gives no express warranties, guarantees or conditions. You may have additional consumer rights under your local laws which this agreement cannot change. To the extent permitted under your local laws, Microsoft excludes the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.

7. ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This agreement (including the warranty below), and the terms for supplements, updates, Internet-based services and support services that you use, are the entire agreement for the software and support services.

8. APPLICABLE LAW.

a. United States. If you acquired the software in the United States, Washington state law governs the interpretation of this agreement and applies to claims for breach of it, regardless of conflict of laws principles. The laws of the state where you live govern all other claims, including claims under state consumer protection laws, unfair competition laws, and in tort.

b. Outside the United States. If you acquired the software in any other country, the laws of that country apply.

9. LEGAL EFFECT. This agreement describes certain legal rights. You may have other rights under the laws of your state or country. You may also have rights with respect to the party from whom you acquired the software. This agreement does not change your rights under the laws of your state or country if the laws of your state or country do not permit it to do so.


*****************************

Microsoft and Creative Commons Release Tool for Copyright Licensing The organizations announce availability of Microsoft Office add-in that enables easy access to Creative Commons copyright licenses.

Redmond, WA, USA; San Francisco, CA, USA – June 20, 2006

Microsoft Corp. and Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that offers flexible copyright licenses for creative works, have teamed up to release a copyright licensing tool that enables the easy addition of Creative Commons licensing information for works in popular Microsoft® Office applications. The copyright licensing tool will be available free of charge at Microsoft Office Online, http://office.microsoft.com, and CreativeCommons.org. The tool will enable the 400 million users of Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel® and Microsoft Office PowerPoint® to select one of several Creative Commons licenses from within the specific application.

"We're delighted to work with Creative Commons to bring fresh and collaborative thinking on copyright licensing to authors and artists of all kinds," said Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft. "We are honored that creative thinkers everywhere choose to use Microsoft tools to give shape to their ideas. We're committed to removing barriers to the sharing of ideas across borders and cultures, and are offering this copyright tool in that spirit."

"The goal of Creative Commons is to provide authors and artists with simple tools to mark their creative work with the freedom they intend it to carry," said Lawrence Lessig, professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of Creative Commons. "We're incredibly excited to work with Microsoft to make that ability easily available to the hundreds of millions of users of Microsoft Office."

"It's thrilling to see big companies like Microsoft working with nonprofits to make it easier for artists and creators to distribute their works," said Gilberto Gil, cultural minister of Brazil, host nation for the Creative Commons iSummit in Rio de Janeiro June 23 through 25, where the copyright licensing tool will be featured. Gil, who will keynote at the iSummit, has released one of the first documents using the Creative Commons add-in for Microsoft Office.

The goal of the Creative Commons licenses is to give an author a clearer ability to express his or her intentions regarding the use of the work. The Microsoft Office tool allows users to choose from a variety of Creative Commons licenses that enable an author to retain copyright ownership, yet permit the work to be copied and distributed with certain possible restrictions, such as whether or not the work can be used commercially and whether or not modifications can be made to the work. The full list of licenses available from Creative Commons is available online at http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/meet-the-licenses. The tool also provides a way for users to dedicate a work to the public domain.

"Microsoft's openness in working with the Creative Commons is a very exciting because an author can now easily embed licenses to creative works during the process of innovation," said Ian Angell, professor of Information Systems at the London School of Economics (LSE). "This is an important step in ensuring that each individual becomes aware of his or her own intellectual property rights — and those of others. 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." The LSE partners with Creative Commons to drive Creative Commons license adoption and awareness in England and Wales.

"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.

"The collaboration of Microsoft and Creative Commons to bring Creative Commons licenses to Microsoft Office applications underscores how for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations can work together to bring innovative ideas and tools to the public," said Alan Yates, general manager of the Information Worker Division at Microsoft.

Microsoft and Creative Commons partnered with 3sharp LLC, a Redmond-based independent solution provider to develop and test the copyright licensing tool.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About Creative Commons Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works — whether owned or in the public domain. Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists and educators that build upon the "all rights reserved" concept of traditional copyright to offer a voluntary "some rights reserved" approach. It is sustained by the generous support of various foundations including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network Fund, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation as well as members of the public. For general information, visit http://creativecommons.org.


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