Posted on Feb 7, 2011
Since the Open English Bible was started as a project, it has been released under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence - CC-BY.
The aim of the OEB has always been, as much as possible, to remove questions of law from the translation and publication of the Bible. At the time we started, the CC-BY licence was the freest choice. It allowed complete reuse, including (most importantly), the right to take the OEB and create your own translation embodying your own translation choices.
Public domain declarations weren’t an option for a translation which may be used throughout the world. Many legal systems outside the US, including Australia and the UK, don’t recognise public domain declarations.
Copyright and other laws throughout the world automatically extend copyright protection to works of authorship and databases, whether the author or creator wants those rights or not. CC0 gives those who want to give up those rights a way to do so, to the fullest extent allowed by law. Once the creator or a subsequent owner of a work applies CC0 to a work, the work is no longer his or hers in any meaningful sense under copyright law. Anyone can then use the work in any way and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, subject to other laws and the rights others may have in the work or how the work is used. Think of CC0 as the “no rights reserved” option.
This is perfect for the OEB, and after some thought the OEB is moving from the old CC-BY licence and adopting CC0.