The previous version was 2.5. According to the Creative Commons blog:
The latest version of the Creative Commons licenses ” Version 3.0 ” are now available. To briefly recap what is different in this version of the licenses:
Separating the generic from the US license
As part of Version 3.0, we have spun off the generic license to be the CC US license and created a new generic license, now known as the unported license. For more information about this change, see this more detailed explanation.
Harmonizing the treatment of moral rights & collecting society royalties
In Version 3.0, we are ensuring that all CC jurisdiction licenses and the CC unported license have consistent, express treatment of the issues of moral rights and collecting society royalties (subject to national differences). For more information about these changes, see this explanation of the moral rights harmonization and this explanation of the collecting society harmonization.
No Endorsement Language
That a person may not misuse the attribution requirement of a CC license to improperly assert or imply an association or relationship with the licensor or author, has been implicit in our licenses from the start. We have now decided to make this explicit in both the Legal Code and the Commons Deed to ensure that ” as our licenses continue to grow and attract a large number of more prominent artists and companies ” there will be no confusion for either the licensor or licensee about this issue. For a more detailed explanation, see here.
BY-SA ” Compatibility Structure Now Included
The CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses will now include the ability for derivatives to be relicensed under a Creative Commons Compatible License, which will be listed here. This structure realizes CC™s long-held objective of ensuring that there are no legal barriers to people being able to remix creativity in the way that flexible licenses are intended to enable. More information about this is provided here.
Clarifications Negotiated With Debian & MIT
As part of discussions with Debian, it was proposed to allow the release of CC-licensed works under DRM by licensees on certain conditions ” what was known as the parallel distribution language but this has not been included as part of Version 3.0 of the CC licenses.
The inclusion of the BY-SA 3.0 license is an interesting and helpful inclusion. According to the Creative Commons wiki, the BY-SA 3.0 license operates as follows:
A final change incorporated into Version 3.0 is that the CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses now include a compatibility structure that will enable CC to certify particular licenses, stewarded by other organizations similarly committed to promoting a freer culture, as being compatible with the CC BY-SA. Once certified as compatible, licensees of both the BY-SA 3.0 and the certified CC compatible license will be able to relicense derivatives under either license (eg., under either the BY-SA or the certified CC compatible license).
This addition could really help bridge the gap between Creative Commons licenses and similar licenses employed by other parties and organisations. Although the idea seems to be to impose the governing structure of a Creative Commons license on comparable licenses, the benefit of greater uniformity is going to add more certainty to the copyleft market.