New copyright licensing tool for Office




Today we are announcing the availability of an Office add-on tool which helps businesses and individuals to protect their IP in documents. The tool will be a “copyright licensing tool” to make it easy for authors using Office to select a Creative Commons license for their creative works.


We have partnered with Creative Commons who are a non-profit org promoting “flexible copyright licenses for creative works”. CC have built upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to offer a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. The tool lets you choose if you intend to declare the IP “all rights reserved”, “some rights reserved” or “public domain” and inserts the appropriate legalese for you into the document.


The add-in inserts an option called “Creative Commons” in the “File” menu of Office apps. Click that option, and the tool asks simple questions in 2 screens, then affixes a link to appropriate license for your creative work. The link leads to a “human readable” summary (the “Commons Deed”), which links to the “legal code” – a full copyright license.


Add-ins like this help to demonstrate that current copyright law is flexible and can be applied by creators to reflect their choices. Download it here.


Comments (3)

  1. BryanF says:

    Great! … but won’t install on Office 2007 beta. :-(

  2. dstrange says:

    Hi Bryan,

    its a good point and a real pity it doesn’t work yet on 2007 so I went back the the product manager for this in Redmond who says:

    "At this point, Office 2007 is in beta and not yet released.  We’re looking for customer feedback about the copyright licensing tool, which currently works with Office 2003 and Office XP, and we will carefully evaluate that feedback as we approach the launch of Office 2007."