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Creative Commons Licences: An Alternative to Copyright?

Raquel Xalabarder (

Professor of Law and Political Science Studies at the UOC


Creative Commons (CC) licences are reshaping the exercise of copyright over the Internet. By means of a set of standardised licences, CC makes it easier for authors to authorise the use and exploitation of their works published on the Internet. The project has been perceived (and often, explained) as a movement against copyright, but as usual, the reality is more complex. This article will examine the technological and legal context of the project, as well as the validity of CC licences under the Spanish Law of Intellectual Property. We aim to explain its origins, identify the main issues in these licences to better understand their scope, and maybe – in the process – clear up some misunderstandings.


copyright, intellectual property, copyleft, author’s rights, licences

Submission date: January 2006
Published in: March 2006

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Creative Commons License The texts published in this journal, unless otherwise indicated, are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 2.5 licence. It may be copied, distributed and broadcast provided that the author and UOC Papers are cited. Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted. The full licence can be consulted on