Friday, June 23, 2006

Office finds a place in the Creative Commons

C|Net News is reporting that Microsoft has teamed up with the non-profit Creative Commons organisation to provide a free tool that will let people attach a Creative Commons copyright license to their Office documents.

Image only.

There are many reasons why reliance on closed, proprietary, secret file formats like Microsoft's .doc is a bad idea (e.g. vendor lock-in, sudden obsolesence at Microsoft's whim, etc.), but the reality is that .doc is a de facto "standard". (It isn't really a standard as such -- have you ever tried opening your old Word version 1.0 documents?) At least for the short term future, people are going to continue using Office, and this has the potential to introduce, and give Microsoft's Seal of Approval to, the Creative Commons to millions of people who otherwise would think that anything less that All Rights Reserved is an open invitation for the communists to take over and start eating babies.

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