Free Cultural Works Definition

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A diverse group of writers has released the first version of the "Definition of Free Cultural Works." The authors have identified a minimum set of freedoms which they believe should be granted to all users of copyrighted materials.


The definition lists the following core freedoms:

  • The freedom to use and perform the work
  • The freedom to study the work and apply the information
  • The freedom to redistribute copies
  • The freedom to distribute derivative works.

Inspired by the Free Software Definition and the ideals of the free software and open source movements, these conditions are meant to apply to any conceivable work. In reality, these freedoms must be granted explicitly by authors, through the use of licenses which confer them.

On the website of the definition, [1], a list of these licenses can be found. Furthermore, authors are encouraged to identify their works as Free Cultural Works using a set of logos and buttons.

The definition was initiated by Benjamin Mako Hill, a Debian GNU/Linux developer, and Erik Mِiller, an author and long-time Wikipedia user.

Mِller and Hill encourage authors to rethink copyright law and use one of the Free Culture Licenses to help build a genuine free and open culture.

More Information


identifying free cultural works


  • Erik Miِller - eloquence (at) gmail (dot) com - +49-30-45491008
  • Benjamin Mako Hill - mako (at) atdot (dot) cc