Free content


May 28, 2022

Free content, free information - any kind of creative work that meets the characteristics of a free cultural good.

Definition of

A free cultural good (free content) is, according to the definition of free cultural goods, a work that is not subject to significant legal restrictions on freedom: use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it getting to know the work and applying the knowledge thus acquired create and distribute copies of information or work make changes and corrections, and distribute derivative works. While there are many definitions in daily use, free content is legally very similar, if not identical, to open content. Likewise, alternative concepts of free and open source differ in philosophical rather than legal considerations. For example, the Open Knowledge Foundation in Open Definition describes "openness" as synonymous with "freedom" as used in the term "free cultural goods" (as in the definition of open source and free software). For free or open source content, both movements recommend the same three Creative Commons licenses, CC BY, CC BY-SA, and СС0.

Legal issues


Copyright (cf. all rights reserved) is a legal concept that gives the author the ability to control the use of his work. In many countries, this control is limited in time, and after a certain period of time, the work enters the public domain. While the copyright is in force, the use of the work may only take place with the consent of the author, unless it is within the limits of permitted use. Traditional author control restricts use of the work to those who either pay the author to use the content or operate within the limits of fair use. Second, the system limits the use of hard-to-find content. Third, it builds barriers between authors, limiting derivative creativity, including mash-ups and co-creativity.

Public Domain

The public domain is a collection of creative works whose proprietary copyrights have expired or did not exist; as well as a collection of creations that are not subject to copyright. Anyone can modify, distribute or otherwise use the works without any proprietary copyright effects. A work in the public domain or which is freely licensed may be referred to as a copycenter.


Copyleft is a word game, the name of the practice of applying copyright standards to remove restrictions on the distribution of copies and modified versions of a work. Unlike public domain works, the author retains the copyright of the work, but grants everyone a non-exclusive license to distribute and often modify the work as well. Copyleft licenses require that any derivative work be distributed under the same terms as the original work. A symbol commonly associated with copyleft is an inverted copyright sign. Unlike the copyright symbol, the copyleft symbol is not defined by law.



In the media, which includes text, audio and video, free licenses, including some Creative Commons licenses, allow the distribution of works under certain clearly defined conditions. Not all Creative Commons licenses are free: they vary widely in terms of the permitted scope of use. In February 2008, free CC licenses were approved as "suitable for free cultural goods". There are repositories that only collect free content (photos, clip art, music) and literature.


Open source development models incorporate expert review processes and provide collaborative benefits similar to classic mo