Creative Commons licensing

Creative Commons licensing

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) supplies the bulk of its free and customised data with Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licensing. This lessens the restrictions on the use of that data considerably by changing the copyright from 'all rights reserved' to 'some rights reserved'. In effect, what the ABS asks is only that it be acknowledged as the source of the data. The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website, as is the full legal code for the CC BY 4.0 licence.

People are free to re-use, build upon and distribute such data, even commercially. This makes a wealth of data more readily available to governments, the community, researchers and businesses, facilitating innovative research and development projects based on quality statistics, and promoting the wider use of statistics in the community, which is one of our core objectives.

Creative Commons does not apply to all ABS material. See ABS Copyright for further information regarding coverage of these licences.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons offers flexible copyright management for all types of creative work, by providing free tools that allow authors to mark their work with the freedoms they want it to carry. It does this by providing free licences that let creators give permission in advance for certain uses of their material. Creative Commons can change copyright terms from 'all rights reserved' (the default copyright situation) to 'some rights reserved'. This encourages collaboration and innovation in the further use of the Creative Commons licensed information, while still offering legal protection to the original author. Creative Commons metadata can also be used by search applications to assist people in discovering appropriately licensed information.

There are a range of licences that creators can use to manage their copyright in the online environment, each offering its own specific protections and freedoms. ABS, together with other government agencies, are using CC licensing to embrace open licensing of public sector information.

If you have any questions about Creative Commons or ABS licensing, email

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