Yahoo this week launched a beta version of a search tool designed to scour the Web for information that can be shared, built upon, or reused under certain conditions.
The Yahoo Search for Creative Commons makes it easier to locate Web content with a Creative Commons license. Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that offers flexible copyrights for creative works. The group builds upon the traditional "all rights reserved" form of copyright to create a voluntary "some rights reserved" copyright, according to Creative Commons. Tools from Creative Commons are free and the organization offers its own search engine.
Yahoo's new offering can restrict a Web search to content published by authors who want a user to share or reuse the content under certain conditions, according to Yahoo officials.
This content can include text, books, educational material, and more. Most of the time, Web searches return content with a full copyright, which is applied automatically to almost any form of expression, such as a photo, song, or Web page.
Typically, the author's permission is required for copying or re-use of creative work found online, but the Creative Commons license can help relax some of those copyrights. According to Yahoo, the limited rights of Creative Commons content will be clearly marked, so users can use the works without having to contact the author for permission.