Archive for November, 2008

Singapore licenses are online!

In all the enthusiasm after we finally made it and among the million other things each one of us is involved in we neglected to communicate the merry news on this blog. Yes, after some delay, the Singapore versions of the Creative Commons licenses are now online and available for all Singapore-based authors to use. Just head over to for an overview of the licenses.

To license your own work (say your blog text or a photo you have taken) under a Singapore-specific Creative Commons license go to to choose the appropriate license (just make sure you choose “Singapore” as your jurisdiction). After answering a couple of simple questions about the types of uses that you wish to allow, the website will give you some code that you can copy and paste into the webpage where your content lies.

If now you find that this is too complicated because perhaps you don’t know how to enter this code on your webpage or blog, you could just enter manually on your webpage a notice about the license you wish to use for the content hosted on that page (be it pictures, text, music, or anything else) and add a hyperlink to the respective license “deed” (e.g., link to if you wish to use the BY license). You’re done! Now a user who visits the webpage will be able to see that you license your content under a specific CC license and will also be able to click on the hyperlink to read the terms and conditions of the license. This way of doing things is not exactly optimal, as you have not included the code that the first method I described above will generate for you. Without that code it will be more difficult for search engines and software tools to automatically identify your content as CC-licensed. So I would suggest using the first method whenever possible. But for a human user it will be all the same. 

No matter what you do, just make sure that before you license your work under a Creative Commons license you understand the terms of the license you are using and make it easy for anyone viewing your page to access that license so they can understand the terms as well. Note that unless you are a legal expert or have a particular fascination with legal documents, you do not need to read the whole license text to understand the license. You only need to read the short and simple license “deed” (such as in the link above), which captures the essence of the license in a few words. If after visiting the links above you are still unsure as to which license to use you may find answers to your questions in the Creative Commons FAQ

As a last note: if you are a Singapore-based author/creator there is nothing stopping you from using another country’s license from the Creative Commons website, but it makes all the sense in the world to use the Singapore-specific licenses – these are crafted with a language that is tailored to Singapore law and this will be helpful for local legal experts and courts in case you ever need to take legal action against unlawful uses of your content. So, you’re doing yourself a favor if you use the Singapore-specific Creative Commons licenses (and of course you’re also making those of us who worked on them happy to see the licenses used in practice)!

Finally, it goes without saying that if you read this and you are designing/administering a Singapore-based online community which allows users to post their own content online, you should consider integrating the choice of Singapore CC licenses in your website design, so that whenever users wish to use a CC license your website can give them the option to do this as part of the upload process. Flickr is a good example of implementing this in practice – it allows users to choose a CC license for their uploaded photos and will then automatically add a license notice on the respective pages hosting these photos. It will also allow users to search for photos which are CC-licensed here  or browse through them by license type here.


PS. Big thanks to all those who helped finalize the licenses and put them online, including Anil Samtani of NTU, Warren Chik and Ankit Guglani of SMU, and the good folks at Creative Commons San Francisco and Berlin.