New Online Licensing System Makes it Easier to Republish the Work of Intergovernmental Organizations

WIPO_logoA new online licensing tool for intergovernmental organizations will make it easier to bring their published material to a wider audience.

The unveiling of the Creative Commons 3.0 Intergovernmental Organisation (IGO) License caps a two-year collaboration led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) with the support of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in collaboration with several other international organisations.

The licenses make it easier for IGOs to widely distribute their studies, reports, data sets and other material online. Once applied, the licenses give the public permission to republish that content, as long as they follow a few simple rules. Creative Commons licenses are widely used and understood around the world.

“The new tool will make access to and use of important stores of information much easier,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

Governments and international organizations have to lead by example when it comes to disseminating information in the digital age,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “The OECD is proud to have played a key role in ensuring that the valuable work being done by the IGOs will reach a larger audience and have more impact.”                                                               

“The more that everyone can access and use the important work of IGOs, the more impactful they are,” Creative Commons co-founder Lawrence Lessig said. “By publishing their information and data under Creative Commons licenses, these organizations are giving anyone on the planet the right to read and share those materials.”

The Creative Commons IGO license will simplify the procedures for re-publishing by setting a single license requirement for a report or dataset once and for all, which remains valid for whoever re-uses the content.

The group of organizations that contributed to the development of the new licenses consisted of, in addition to WIPO:  European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN); European Space Agency (ESA);  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO);  Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); International Labour Organization (ILO);  Organization of American States (OAS); Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); United Nations (UN);  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); World Bank; World Health Organization (WHO). The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Nordic Council of Ministers participated as observers to the group.


Creative Commons is a globally-focused nonprofit organization dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. Creative Commons provides free licenses and other legal tools to give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions and get credit for their creative work while allowing others to copy, distribute and make specific use of it.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the leading global forum for the promotion of intellectual property as a force for innovation and creativity to achieve positive change. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 186 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.


Source: WIPO, PR/2013/750

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