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Microsoft Adds Licensing Tool To Office

People can protect their creative works by choosing from within Office any of several copyright licenses offered through the nonprofit group Creative Commons.
Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday launched an add-in that would let people protect their creative works by choosing from within Office any of several copyright licenses offered through the nonprofit group Creative Commons.

The new tool, available through Microsoft Office Online and Creative Commons, would make the licenses available through the File drop-down menu in Word, Excel or PowerPoint. The licenses give content creators a variety of options that enable them to retain copyright ownership, yet permit the work to be copied and distributed with certain restrictions.

Rather than going to the Creative Commons site to copy and paste a license, content creators can add the appropriate copyright-protection text at the bottom of their works in Office, a Microsoft spokeswoman said. The licensing tool is free of charge.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., and Creative Commons partnered with software maker 3sharp LLC, also based in Redmond, in developing and testing the tool.

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