In an unforeseen move, Microsoft today declared a team up with the copyright licenses of Creative Commons, hence furthur empowering the already majorly used alternative to the license of All Rights Reserved. They have announced The copyright licensing tool will be available free of charge at Microsoft Office Online, http://office.microsoft.com, and CreativeCommons.org. The tool will enable the 400 million users of Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel and Microsoft Office PowerPoint to select one of several Creative Commons licenses from within the specific application. (citation)
Ok! So what does this mean for us people? It simply means that this will extend to people who don't know about it, and hence don't take measures to safegaurd what is rightfully theirs. We all know how much people use Microsoft Office, and with the new 2007 that userbase will only increase. Hence, this is one of the best ways to get it out to people, but integrating it directly in the applications so that they don't have to go hunting around to decide which license to use.
Creative Commons licenses can already be used in legal copyright battles, and the more people that use it, the better it will be. There have been views against the use of Creative Commons licenses, and its been said that "while nice in spirit and generally about sharing, still brings law to code, and even if that is just about proper attribution, it raises barriers."
“Microsoft’s openness in working with the Creative Commons is a very exciting because an author can now easily embed licenses to creative works during the process of innovation,” said Ian Angell, professor of Information Systems at the London School of Economics (LSE). “This is an important step in ensuring that each individual becomes aware of his or her own intellectual property rights — and those of others. We at the LSE are keen to work with Microsoft toward empowering the ‘creators of intellectual wealth’ to become more involved in its commercial use.” The LSE partners with Creative Commons to drive Creative Commons license adoption and awareness in England and Wales.
This is a very good step taken by Microsoft, after a very long time! :-P All doubts will get put to the side once people actually start to see the advantages of CC-ing their content and material. This is the next best thing to a take-over by Microsoft! :) Kudos!