This symposium contribution examines the disintermediating and reintermediating roles played by Creative Commons licenses on the Internet. Creative Commons licenses act as a disintermediating force because they enable end-to-end transactions in copyrighted works. The licenses have reintermediating force by enabling new services and new online communities to form around content licensed under a Creative Commons license. Intermediaries focused on the copyright dimension have begun to appear online as search engines, archives, libraries, publishers, community organizers, and educators. Moreover, the growth of machine-readable copyright licenses and the new intermediaries that they enable is part of a larger movement toward a Semantic Web. As that effort progresses, we should expect new kinds of intermediaries that rely on machine-readable law to emerge.
Carroll, Michael W. “Creative Commons and the New Intermediaries.” Michigan State Law Review 2006, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 45-65. Reprinted in Cyberspace and Copyrights, edited by Aughi Narayana Vavili. Hyderabad, India: Icfai University Press, 2008.