CC Open Source Blog

CC Legal Tools: Machine-Readable Layer


by Saurabh Kumar on 2023-08-28

Greetings, readers!🌟 I'm excited to share that as part of Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2023, I had the incredible opportunity to contribute to the exciting project "CC Legal Tools: Machine-Readable Layer." This journey has been a remarkable blend of learning, coding, and collaboration, and I'm thrilled to share the highlights of this journey with you all.

GSoC 2023 and CC

Project Overview

The project's core focus was to enhance the Creative Commons (CC) Legal Tools app by introducing a robust machine-readable layer. The machine-readable layer enables computers to understand the intricacies of CC licenses, making it easier for legal professionals, developers, and enthusiasts to work with CC licenses programmatically.

Getting Started

My journey began with delving into the existing codebase and understanding the project's requirements i.e. understanding the app's architecture, its components, and how it currently handled CC licenses was crucial for what lay ahead.

RDF, or Resource Description Framework, emerged as a crucial player in the project. Grasping the intricacies of RDF and its role in representing licenses was a necessary step in the journey.

Challenges and Learning Opportunities

One of my early challenges was unraveling the complexities of the legacy RDF/XML files. How did they differ from the new RDF/XML files we aimed to generate? This exploration led me to discover improvements in structure, updated license information, and additional metadata.

Generating RDF files for various licenses and versions became a puzzle to solve. Crafting RDF triples, understanding licensing nuances, and weaving this logic into the app's views became both a learning opportunity and a rewarding challenge.

Contributions and The Work

As the project evolved, I worked to dynamically generate RDF/XML files, allowing the app to generate machine-readable licenses on-the-fly.

To maintain an organized approach, it is ensured that the generated RDF files are sorted, all the credit goes to Timid Robot.

The newly generated RDF/XML aims to enhance the clarity, accuracy, compatibility, and standardization of Creative Commons license representation in RDF format. These improvements boost machine-readability and semantic understanding, fostering seamless integration and interpretation in digital systems.

Overview of changes:

Throughout the journey, I had the privilege of working closely with my mentor, engaging in collaborative discussions and receiving insightful code reviews..

As my GSoC journey draws to a close, I'm excited about the foundation we've laid for the CC Legal Tools app. The machine-readable layer opens doors to a future of smarter, automated legal processes.

The improvements made during GSoC will continue to ripple through the CC Legal Tools app, benefiting users and the broader open-source community.

Mentor and Support

A heartfelt thanks to my mentor, Timid Robot, for guiding me through this incredible journey. Your unwavering support, wisdom, feedback, and willingness to share knowledge have truly been invaluable. I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow under your mentorship. Thank you for making this journey unforgettable.

Takeaways and Conclusion

GSoC became a platform for me to acquire new skills, dive into complex concepts, and broaden my horizons. The learning experience was immersive and transformative.

Being part of the open-source community was a revelation. Interacting with like-minded individuals, contributing to a shared goal, and experiencing the true essence of collaboration was a highlight.

My GSoC journey has been a remarkable adventure of exploration, discovery, and growth. The project's mission to create a machine-readable layer for CC Legal Tools has left an indelible mark on my journey as a developer.

Thank you for joining me on this expedition. Here's to the future of open-source contributions and the endless possibilities they hold.


Saurabh Kumar