Copyfree: Unfetter your ideas.

Welcome to the home of the Copyfree Initiative.

The Copyfree Initiative is dedicated to supporting and promoting copyfree licensing policy, maintaining the Copyfree Standard Definition, certifying licenses as compliant or non-compliant with that standard, and fostering a healthy community of people interested in copyfree policy.

Why Copyfree?

Copyfree policy is a way to make both your life and others' lives easier, to enhance the visibility of both creators and their works, and in general to make the world a better place. There may be times when people have specific goals that might prompt them to pursue some alternative copyright licensing and enforcement policy. As copyright enforcement under the standard models of the twentieth century become increasingly difficult and expensive, though, much greater benefits can be had by taking advantage of the network effects of social sharing, enabling and even encouraging it as part of a greater strategy for advancing the interests of both the creator and the consumer.

For an introduction to some of the reasons to embrace copyfree policy as part of a broad approach to interacting with the rest of the digital world, see Why Copyfree?.

What is Copyfree?

Copyfree is a term used to identify the freedom to copy, use, modify, and distribute what you possess. It is a philosophy that stands in contrast to both copyright and copyleft, in that it does not seek to limit or restrict your rights regarding your possessions at all. Copyfree is not about limited monopoly on the product of the intellect like copyright, nor is it about dictating terms of redistribution like copyleft. It is a policy supporting control over what you possess and allowing others to control what they possess, compatible with motivations for such freedom grounded in creative, legal, philosophical, and technical needs, among others.

A Policy

Copyfree refers to a policy of freeing the product of the intellect through licensing. This means that it is open source and free software, but only the freest of open source and free software, and it is also much more than software. Any work subject to copyright licensing at all (including books, movies, and music, among other media) potentially falls within the purview of a copyfree policy.

A Standard

The Copyfree Standard Definition (CSD) defines the characteristics of a copyfree work. This standard determines compliance of licenses with copyfree policy. Just as the Open Source Initiative certifies licenses as compliant with the Open Source Definition, and the Free Software Foundation defines licenses as Free or Non-Free Software licenses and as Copyleft or non-Copyleft licenses, so too does the Copyfree Initiative identify licenses as Copyfree Standard Definition compliant or noncompliant. See Copyfree Licenses for a list of licenses certified as conforming to the Copyfree Standard Definition. Check the policy page for more information about CSD certification.

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The following resources are relevant to Copyfree policy and philosophy. The Copyfree Initiative does not necessarily endorse the positions or opinions expressed within these resources, nor do they necessarily endorse the Copyfree Initiative or copyfree licensing, philosophy, or policy, per se.

The content of this site is provided for informational purposes only, is not intended as legal advice, and should not be regarded as legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a legal professional.