Creative Commons Licences Translated into Te Reo Māori


Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand have released the draft translation of the Creative Commons 4.0 licences into te re Māori for consultation. The Creative Commons licences are free legal tools that anyone can use to share their copyright works more openly.


The licences allow rights holders to release their work into the commons under a range of freedoms and restrictions. Creative Commons Aotearoa are calling on speakers of te reo Māori to provide feedback on the translation.
The translation was completed by Ian Cormack, Director of Taumatua Māori Language Services and a licensed Māori Translator.
According to Cormack, the translation provided several interesting challenges. ‘Sui Generis Database Rights’, for example, was translated as Motika Pātengi Raraunga Momo Takitahi — with Motika translated as ‘rights’, Pātengi Raraunga as ‘database’ and Momo Takitahi as ‘single kind/genus.’
Other terms, like ‘Copyright and Similar Rights’, were translated as Manatārua me ngā Motika Rite, with Manatārua the legal term for copyright, and Rite translated as ‘similar, like.’ Karaitiana Taiuru, member of the Creative Commons Aotearoa Advisory Panel, points out that;

This is the first translation of the Creative Commons licences into an Indigenous language, which is a great achievement for te reo Māori.

It is also a major milestone for legal protection of te reo Māori works. “The translated licences will promote taonga and matauranga to be created, shared and published with the legal protection of the Creative Commons licences while recognising iwi, hapū and whānau, as well as whakapapa of the material,” says Taiuru.
The Creative Commons licences in Aotearoa New Zealand are increasingly being used by teachers, librarians, artists, musicians, researchers and government departments. Members of the public can provide feedback on the translation by leaving a comment on the translation page, or contacting Creative Commons at


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