Creative Commons and the New Intermediaries

21 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2005 Last revised: 6 Dec 2007

See all articles by Michael W. Carroll

Michael W. Carroll

American University Washington College of Law


This symposium contribution examines the disintermediating and reintermediating roles played by Creative Commons licenses on the Internet. Creative Commons licenses act as a disintermediating force because they enable end-to-end transactions in copyrighted works. The licenses have reintermediating force by enabling new services and new online communities to form around content licensed under a Creative Commons license. Intermediaries focused on the copyright dimension have begun to appear online as search engines, archives, libraries, publishers, community organizers, and educators. Moreover, the growth of machine-readable copyright licenses and the new intermediaries that they enable is part of a larger movement toward a Semantic Web. As that effort progresses, we should expect new kinds of intermediaries that rely on machine-readable law to emerge.

Keywords: Creative Commons, copyright, Semantic Web, XML, machine-readable

Suggested Citation

Carroll, Michael W., Creative Commons and the New Intermediaries. Michigan State Law Review, Vol. 45, 2006, Villanova Law/Public Policy Research Paper No. 2005-13 , Available at SSRN:

Michael W. Carroll (Contact Author)

American University Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States
202-274-4047 (Phone)
202-730-4756 (Fax)


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