|Founded||January 15, 2001|
|Focus||Expansion of "reasonable", flexible copyright|
|Method||Creative Commons license|
|Ryan Merkley (CEO)|
Creative Commons (CC) is an American non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.The organization has released several copyright-licenses, known as Creative Commons licenses, free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. An easy-to-understand one-page explanation of rights, with associated visual symbols, explains the specifics of each Creative Commons license. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright but are based upon it. They replace individual negotiations for specific rights between copyright owner (licensor) and licensee, which are necessary under an "all rights reserved" copyright management, with a "some rights reserved" management employing standardized licenses for re-use cases where no commercial compensation is sought by the copyright owner. The result is an agile, low-overhead and low-cost copyright-management regime, benefiting both copyright owners and licensees.
Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible or a physical object.
Copyright is a legal right, existing in many countries, that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to determine whether, and under what conditions, this original work may be used by others. This is usually only for a limited time. Copyright is one of two types of intellectual property rights, the other is industrial property rights. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright on ideas is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.
A license or licence is an official permission or permit to do, use, or own something.
The organization was founded in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldredwith the support of Center for the Public Domain. The first article in a general interest publication about Creative Commons, written by Hal Plotkin, was published in February 2002. The first set of copyright licenses was released in December 2002. The founding management team that developed the licenses and built the Creative Commons infrastructure as we know it today included Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, Glenn Otis Brown, Neeru Paharia, and Ben Adida.
Lester Lawrence Lessig III is an American academic, attorney, and political activist. He is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the former director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Lessig was a candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but withdrew before the primaries.
Harold "Hal" Abelson is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, a fellow of the IEEE, and a founding director of both Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation.
Eric Eldred is an American literacy advocate and the proprietor of the unincorporated Eldritch Press.
In 2002 the Open Content Project, a 1998 precursor project by David A. Wiley, announced the Creative Commons as successor project and Wiley joined as CC director.Aaron Swartz played a role in the early stages of Creative Commons, as did Matthew Haughey.
The Open Content Project was a project dedicated to creating and evangelizing Open content. Initiated in 1998 by David A. Wiley, it pre-dates free culture and Creative Commons.
David A. Wiley is Chief Academic Officer of Lumen Learning, Education Fellow at Creative Commons, and Adjunct Faculty of Instructional Psychology & Technology at Brigham Young University where he was previously an Associate Professor. Wiley's work on open content, open educational resources, and informal online learning communities has been reported in many international outlets, including The New York Times, The Hindu, MIT Technology Review, and WIRED. Wiley was also previously a member of the Advisory Committee of University of the People.
Aaron Hillel Swartz was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist. He was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS and the Markdown publishing format, the organization Creative Commons, and the website framework web.py, and was a co-founder of the social news site Reddit. He was given the title of co-founder by Y Combinator owner Paul Graham after the formation of Not a Bug, Inc..
As of May 2018 there were an estimated 1.4 billion works licensed under the various Creative Commons licenses.Wikipedia uses one of these licenses. As of May 2018, Flickr alone hosts over 415 million Creative Commons licensed photos.
Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free encyclopedia based on a model of openly editable and viewable content, a wiki. It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the World Wide Web, and is one of the most popular websites by Alexa rank. It is owned and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that operates on money it receives from donors.
Flickr is an image hosting service and video hosting service. It was created by Ludicorp in 2004. It has changed ownership several times and has been owned by SmugMug since April 2018.
Creative Commons is governed by a board of directors. Their licenses have been embraced by many as a way for creators to take control of how they choose to share their copyrighted works.
Creative Commons has been described as being at the forefront of the copyleft movement, which seeks to support the building of a richer public domain by providing an alternative to the automatic "all rights reserved" copyright, and has been dubbed "some rights reserved".David Berry and Giles Moss have credited Creative Commons with generating interest in the issue of intellectual property and contributing to the re-thinking of the role of the "commons" in the "information age". Beyond that, Creative Commons has provided "institutional, practical and legal support for individuals and groups wishing to experiment and communicate with culture more freely."
Copyleft, distinguished from copyright, is the practice of offering people the right to freely distribute copies and modified versions of a work with the stipulation that the same rights be preserved in derivative works created later. Copyleft software licenses are considered protective or reciprocal, as contrasted with permissive free-software licenses.
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.
Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. Intellectual property encompasses two types of rights; industrial property rights and copyright. It was not until the 19th century that the term "intellectual property" began to be used, and not until the late 20th century that it became commonplace in the majority of the world.
Creative Commons attempts to counter what Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons, considers to be a dominant and increasingly restrictive permission culture. Lessig describes this as "a culture in which creators get to create only with the permission of the powerful, or of creators from the past."Lessig maintains that modern culture is dominated by traditional content distributors in order to maintain and strengthen their monopolies on cultural products such as popular music and popular cinema, and that Creative Commons can provide alternatives to these restrictions.
Permission culture is a term often employed by Lawrence Lessig and other copyright activists such as Luis Villa and Nina Paley to describe a society in which copyright restrictions are pervasive and enforced to the extent that any and all uses of copyrighted works need to be explicitly leased. This has both economic and social implications: in such a society, copyright holders could require payment for each use of a work and, perhaps more importantly, permission to make any sort of derivative work.
Until April 2018 Creative Commons had over 100 affiliates working in over 75 jurisdictions to support and promote CC activities around the world.In 2018 this affiliate network has been restructured into a network organisation. The network no longer relies on affiliate organisation but on individual membership organised in Chapter.
Creative Commons Korea (CC Korea) is the affiliated network of Creative Commons in South Korea. In March 2005, CC Korea was initiated by Jongsoo Yoon (in Korean: 윤종수), a Presiding Judge of Incheon District Court, as a project of Korea Association for Infomedia Law (KAFIL). The major Korean portal sites, including Daum and Naver, have been participating in the use of Creative Commons licences. In January 2009, the Creative Commons Korea Association was consequently founded as a non-profit incorporated association. Since then, CC Korea has been actively promoting the liberal and open culture of creation as well as leading the diffusion of Creative Common in the country.
Bassel Khartabil was a Palestinian Syrian open source software developer and has served as project lead and public affiliate for Creative Commons Syria.From March 15, 2012 he was detained by the Syrian government in Damascus at Adra Prison. On October 17, 2015 Creative Commons Board of Directors approved a resolution calling for Bassel Khartabil's release. In 2017 Bassel's wife received confirmation that Bassel had been executed shortly after she lost contact with him in 2015.
All current CC licenses (except the CC0 Public Domain Dedication tool) require attribution, which can be inconvenient for works based on multiple other works.Critics feared that Creative Commons could erode the copyright system over time or allow "some of our most precious resources – the creativity of individuals – to be simply tossed into the commons to be exploited by whomever has spare time and a magic marker."
Critics also worried that the lack of rewards for content producers will dissuade artists from publishing their work, and questioned whether Creative Commons is the commons that it purports to be.
Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig countered that copyright laws have not always offered the strong and seemingly indefinite protection that today's law provides. Rather, the duration of copyright used to be limited to much shorter terms of years, and some works never gained protection because they did not follow the now-abandoned compulsory format.
The maintainers of Debian, a GNU and Linux distribution known for its strict adherence to a particular definition of software freedom,rejected the Creative Commons Attribution License prior to version 3 as incompatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) due to the license's anti-DRM provisions (which might, due to ambiguity, be covering more than DRM) and its requirement that downstream users remove an author's credit upon request from the author. Version 3.0 of the Creative Commons licenses addressed these concerns and except for the non commercial variants are considered to be compatible with the DFSG.
Kent Anderson, writing for The Scholarly Kitchen, a blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, criticizes CC as being dependent on copyright and not really departing from it, and as being more complex and complicating than the latter – thus the public does not scrutinize CC, reflexively accepting it as one would a software license – while at the same time weakening the rights provided by copyright. Anderson ends up concluding that this is the point, and that "Creative Commons receives significant funding from large information companies like Google, Nature Publishing Group, and RedHat", and that Google money is especially linked to CC's history; for him, CC is "an organization designed to promulgate the interests of technology companies and Silicon Valley generally".
Mako Hill asserted that Creative Commons fails to establish a "base level of freedom" that all Creative Commons licenses must meet, and with which all licensors and users must comply. "By failing to take any firm ethical position and draw any line in the sand, CC is a missed opportunity. ... CC has replaced what could have been a call for a world where 'essential rights are unreservable' with the relatively hollow call for 'some rights reserved.'" He also argued that Creative Commons worsens license proliferation, by providing multiple licenses that are incompatible.
The Creative Commons website states, "Since each of the six CC licenses functions differently, resources placed under different licenses may not necessarily be combined with one another without violating the license terms."Works licensed under incompatible licenses may not be recombined in a derivative work without obtaining permission from the copyright owner.
Richard Stallman of the FSF stated in 2005 that he couldn't support Creative Commons as an activity because "it adopted some additional licenses which do not give everyone that minimum freedom", that freedom being "the freedom to share, noncommercially, any published work".Those licenses have since been retired by Creative Commons.
Creative Commons is only a service provider for standardized license text, not a party in any agreement. Abusive users can brand the copyrighted works of legitimate copyright holders with Creative Commons licenses and re-upload these works to the internet.[ who? ] No central database of Creative Commons works is controlling all licensed works and the responsibility of the Creative Commons system rests entirely with those using the licences. This situation is, however, not specific to Creative Commons. All copyright owners must individually defend their rights and no central database of copyrighted works or existing license agreements exists. The United States Copyright Office does keep a database of all works registered with it, but absence of registration does not imply absence of copyright.
Although Creative Commons offers multiple licenses for different uses, some critics suggested that the licenses still do not address the differences among the media or among the various concerns that different authors have.
Lessig wrote that the point of Creative Commons is to provide a middle ground between two extreme views of copyright protection – one demanding that all rights be controlled, and the other arguing that none should be controlled. Creative Commons provides a third option that allows authors to pick and choose which rights they want to control and which they want to grant to others. The multitude of licenses reflects the multitude of rights that can be passed on to subsequent creators.
Erik Möller raised concerns about the use of Creative Commons' non-commercial license. Works distributed under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial license are not compatible with many open-content sites, including Wikipedia, which explicitly allow and encourage some commercial uses. Möller explained that "the people who are likely to be hurt by an -NC license are not large corporations, but small publications like weblogs, advertising-funded radio stations, or local newspapers."
Lessig responded that the current copyright regime also harms compatibility and that authors can lessen this incompatibility by choosing the least restrictive license.Additionally, the non-commercial license is useful for preventing someone else from capitalizing on an author's work when the author still plans to do so in the future. The non-commercial licenses have also been criticized for being too vague about which uses count as "commercial" and "non-commercial".
Great Minds, a non-profit educational publisher that released works under an -NC license, sued FedEx for violating the license because a school had used its services to mass-produce photocopies of the work, thus commercially exploiting the works. A U.S. judge dismissed the case in February 2017, ruling that FedEx was an intermediary, and that the provision of the license "does not limit a licensee's ability to use third parties in exercising the rights granted [by the licensor]."Great Minds appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit later that year. The 2nd Circuit upheld the lower court's decision in March 2018, concluding that FedEx neither infringed copyrights nor violated the license. One of circuit judges Susan L. Carney argued in the court statement:
We hold that, in view of the absence of any clear license language to the contrary, licensees may use third‐party agents such as commercial reproduction services in furtherance of their own permitted noncommercial uses. Because FedEx acted as the mere agent of licensee school districts when it reproduced Great Minds' materials, and because there is no dispute that the school districts themselves sought to use Great Minds' materials for permissible purposes, we conclude that FedEx's activities did not breach the license or violate Great Minds' copyright.
In 2007, Virgin Mobile Australia launched a bus stop advertising campaign which promoted its mobile phone text messaging service using the work of amateur photographers who uploaded their work to the photo-sharing site Flickr using a Creative Commons by Attribution license. Users licensing their images this way freed their work for use by any other entity, as long as the original creator was attributed credit, without any other compensation being required. Virgin upheld this single restriction by printing a URL, leading to the photographer's Flickr page, on each of their ads. However, one picture depicted 15-year-old Alison Chang posing for a photo at her church's fund-raising carwash, with the superimposed, mocking slogan "Dump Your Pen Friend".Chang sued Virgin Mobile and Creative Commons. The photo was taken by Chang's church youth counsellor, Justin Ho-Wee Wong, who uploaded the image to Flickr under the Creative Commons license.
The case hinges on privacy, the right of people not to have their likeness used in an ad without permission. So, while Mr. Wong may have given away his rights as a photographer, he did not, and could not, give away Alison's rights. In the lawsuit, which Mr. Wong is also a party to, there is an argument that Virgin did not honor all the terms of the nonrestrictive license.
On 27 November 2007, Chang filed for a voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit against Creative Commons, focusing their lawsuit against Virgin Mobile.The case was thrown out of court due to lack of jurisdiction and subsequently Virgin Mobile did not incur any damages towards the plaintiff.
Open content is a neologism coined by David Wiley in 1998 which describes a creative work that others can copy or modify freely, without asking for permission. The term evokes the related concept of open-source software. Such content is said to be under an open licence.
An open-source license is a type of license for computer software and other products that allows the source code, blueprint or design to be used, modified and/or shared under defined terms and conditions. This allows end users and commercial companies to review and modify the source code, blueprint or design for their own customization, curiosity or troubleshooting needs. Open-source licensed software is mostly available free of charge, though this does not necessarily have to be the case. Licenses which only permit non-commercial redistribution or modification of the source code for personal use only are generally not considered as open-source licenses. However, open-source licenses may have some restrictions, particularly regarding the expression of respect to the origin of software, such as a requirement to preserve the name of the authors and a copyright statement within the code, or a requirement to redistribute the licensed software only under the same license. One popular set of open-source software licenses are those approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) based on their Open Source Definition (OSD).
The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers is an American not-for-profit performance-rights organization (PRO) that protects its members' musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance, and compensating them accordingly.
A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted "work". A CC license is used when an author wants to give other people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that he or she has created. CC provides an author flexibility and protects the people who use or redistribute an author's work from concerns of copyright infringement as long as they abide by the conditions that are specified in the license by which the author distributes the work.
Share-alike is a copyright licensing term, originally used by the Creative Commons project, to describe works or licences that require copies or adaptations of the work to be released under the same or similar licence as the original. Copyleft licences are free content or free software licences with a share-alike condition.
Remix culture, sometimes read-write culture, is a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new creative work or product. A remix culture would be, by default, permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix the work of copyright holders. While a common practice of artists of all domains throughout human history, the growth of exclusive copyright restrictions in the last several decades limits this practice more and more by the legal chilling effect. As reaction Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who considers remixing a desirable concept for human creativity, works since the early 2000s on a transfer of the remixing concept into the digital age. Lessig founded the Creative Commons in 2001 which released Licenses as tools to enable remix culture again, as remixing is legally prevented by the default exclusive copyright regime applied currently on intellectual property. The remix culture for cultural works is related to and inspired by the earlier Free and open-source software for software movement, which encourages the reuse and remixing of software works.
The free-culture movement is a social movement that promotes the freedom to distribute and modify the creative works of others in the form of free content or open content without compensation to, or the consent of, the work's original creators, by using the Internet and other forms of media.
Public-domain-equivalent license are licenses that grant public-domain-like rights or/and act as waivers. They are used to make copyrighted works usable by anyone without conditions, while avoiding the complexities of attribution or license compatibility that occur with other licenses.
Students for Free Culture, formerly known as FreeCulture.org, is an international student organization working to promote free culture ideals, such as cultural participation and access to information. It was inspired by the work of former Stanford, now Harvard, law professor Lawrence Lessig, who wrote the book Free Culture, and it frequently collaborates with other prominent free culture NGOs, including Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Public Knowledge. Students for Free Culture has over 30 chapters on college campuses around the world, and a history of grassroots activism.
The GNU Free Documentation License is a copyleft license for free documentation, designed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for the GNU Project. It is similar to the GNU General Public License, giving readers the rights to copy, redistribute, and modify a work and requires all copies and derivatives to be available under the same license. Copies may also be sold commercially, but, if produced in larger quantities, the original document or source code must be made available to the work's recipient.
Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy is Lawrence Lessig's fifth book. The book was made available for free download and remixing under the CC BY-NC Creative Commons license via Bloomsbury Academic. It is still available via the Internet Archive. It details a hypothesis about the societal effect of the Internet, and how this will affect production and consumption of popular culture to a "remix culture".
Creative Commons is maintaining a content directory wiki of organizations and projects using Creative Commons licenses. On its website CC also provides case studies of projects using CC licenses across the world. CC licensed content can also be accessed through a number of content directories and search engines.
RiP!: A Remix Manifesto is a 2008 open-source documentary film about "the changing concept of copyright" directed by Brett Gaylor.
The Definition of Free Cultural Works is a definition of free content from 2006. The project evaluates and recommends compatible free content licenses.
A free license or open license is a license agreement which contains provisions that allow other individuals to reuse another creator's work, giving them four major freedoms. Without a special license, these uses are normally prohibited by copyright law or commercial license. Most free licenses are worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, and perpetual. Free licenses are often the basis of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding projects.
Bassel Khartabil, also known as Bassel Safadi, was a Palestinian Syrian open-source software developer. On 15 March 2012, the one-year anniversary of the Syrian uprising, he was detained by the Syrian government at Adra Prison in Damascus. Between then and 3 October 2015, he had been transferred to an unknown location, probably to be judged by a military court. On 7 October 2015, Human Rights Watch and 30 other human rights organizations issued a letter demanding that Khartabil's whereabouts be disclosed. On 11 November 2015, rumors surfaced that Khartabil had been secretly sentenced to death. In August 2017, his wife made public that Khartabil had been executed by the Syrian regime shortly after his disappearance in 2015.
The digital commons are a form of commons involving the distribution and communal ownership of informational resources and technology. Resources are typically designed to be used by the community by which they are created. Examples of the digital commons include wikis, open-source software, and open-source licensing. The distinction between digital commons and other digital resources is that the community of people building them can intervene in the governing of their interaction processes and of their shared resources.
A public license or public copyright license is a license by which a copyright holder as licensor can grant additional copyright permissions to any and all persons in the general public as licensees. By applying a public license to a work, provided that the licensees obey the terms and conditions of the license, copyright holders give permission for others to copy or change their work in ways that would otherwise infringe copyright law.
I'm closing OpenContent because I think Creative Commons is doing a better job of providing licensing options which will stand up in court
One moment, Alison Chang, a 15-year-old student from Dallas, is cheerfully goofing around at a local church-sponsored car wash, posing with a friend for a photo. Weeks later, that photo is posted online and catches the eye of an ad agency in Australia, and the altered image of Alison appears on a billboard in Adelaide as part of a Virgin Mobile advertising campaign.