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Microsoft Teams with Creative Commons

Microsoft announced this week it has teamed up with nonprofit licensing organization Creative Commons to provide users with a copyright licensing tool that works in the Office productivity applications suite.

The copyright licensing tool, which is free, will let Word, Excel and PowerPoint users choose among a selection of copyright licenses to address particular documents from within the Office applications, according to a joint statement by Microsoft and Creative Commons.

"[Our] goal...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, in a statement.

The tool itself will let users to decide among a variety of Creative Commons licenses, created to enable authors to retain copyright ownership, yet permit the work to be copied and distributed with restrictions, such as whether or not the work can be used commercially and whether or not modifications can be made to the work.

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

The tool is available for download at Microsoft Office Online, and CreativeCommons.org.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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