Today we officially start working on what will become a metadata infrastructure to make it easy to use free culture. Commons Machinery will work with standardised metadata to be used to mark up digital works with legal rights and obligations. The most important of these often being attribution, the right to be named as creator.
It is easy nowadays to share your work with others, using Creative Commons or similar licenses, but it has been difficult to comply with the licence requirements when using these works. These requirements often consist of that the licence be kept with the work and that the creator is named. This has been difficult because there has not been many tools or standards to help users to comply with these requirements. The onus has been on the user to save the licence information and then to find an appropriate way of displaying it. It has not been easy because there has been no software to make it easy. But soon there will be!
Commons Machinery will build the infrastructure necessary to enable software developers to create the tools and plug-ins that people need to keep license information intact and meet attribution requirements. Our initial work will focus on creating a best practice guide to show what standards there are that are relevant, how they work together, and how they are best used.