Creative Commons

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Creative Commons
Creative Commons logo
Founders Lawrence Lessig
Type Non-profit organization
Founded 2001
Headquarters San Francisco, California
 United States
Focus Expansion of "reasonable", flexible copyright
Method Creative Commons licenses

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.[1] The organization has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.


[edit] Aim and influence

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, dubbed "some rights reserved."[2] 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".[3]

Creative Commons works to counter what the organisation considers to be a dominant and increasingly restrictive permission culture. According to Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons, it is "a culture in which creators get to create only with the permission of the powerful, or of creators from the past".[4] 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.[5][6]

[edit] Creative Commons governance

Creative Commons Japan Seminar, Tokyo 2007

The current CEO of Creative Commons is Joi Ito. Mike Linksvayer is vice president, John Wilbanks is vice president of science, and Ahrash Bissell is the Executive Director of ccLearn.

[edit] Board

The current Creative Commons Board includes: Hal Abelson, James Boyle (Chair), Michael W. Carroll, Davis Guggenheim, Joi Ito, Lawrence Lessig, Laurie Racine, Eric Saltzman, Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, Jimmy Wales, and Esther Wojcicki.[7]

[edit] Technical Advisory Board

The Technical Advisory Board includes five members: Hal Abelson, Ben Adida, Barbara Fox, Don McGovern and Eric Miller. Hal Abelson also serves on the Creative Commons Board.[7]

[edit] Audit Committee

Creative Commons also has an Audit Committee, with two members: Molly Shaffer Van Houweling and Lawrence Lessig. Both serve on the Creative Commons Board.[7]

[edit] Types of Creative Commons Licenses

Mayer and Bettle 2 - Creative Commons.ogv
Mayer and Bettle explain what Creative Commons is

Creative Commons licenses contain four major permissions:

  • Attribution (by) requires users to attribute a work's original author. All Creative Commons licenses contain this option, but some now-deprecated licenses did not contain this component.
  • Authors can either not restrict modification, or use Share-alike (sa), which is a copyleft requirement that requires that any derived works be licensed under the same license, or No derivatives (nd), which requires that the work not be modified.
  • Non-commercial (nc) requires that the work not be used for commercial purposes.

As of the current versions, all Creative Commons licenses allow the "core right" to redistribute a work for non-commercial purposes without modification. The Non-commercial and No derivatives options will make a work non-free.

[edit] Legal test case

A Creative Commons license was first tested in court in early 2006, when podcaster Adam Curry sued a Dutch tabloid who published photos without permission from his Flickr page. The photos were licensed under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial license. While the verdict was in favour of Curry, the tabloid avoided having to pay restitution to him as long as they did not repeat the offense. An analysis of the decision states, "The Dutch Court’s decision is especially noteworthy because it confirms that the conditions of a Creative Commons license automatically apply to the content licensed under it, and bind users of such content even without expressly agreeing to, or having knowledge of, the conditions of the license."[8]

[edit] Creative Commons International

The original non-localized Creative Commons licenses were written with the U.S. legal system in mind, so the wording could be incompatible within different local legislations and render the licenses unenforceable in various jurisdictions. To address this issue, Creative Commons International has started to port the various licenses to accommodate local copyright and private law. As of December 2008, there are 50 jurisdiction-specific licenses, with 8 other jurisdictions in drafting process, and more countries joining the worldwide project.[9]

[edit] Usage of Creative Commons licenses

Creative Commons is maintaining a content directory wiki of organizations and projects using Creative Commons licenses.[10] On its website CC also provides case studies of projects using CC licenses across the world.[11] CC licensed content can also be accessed through a number of content directories and search engines (see CC licensed content directories).

On January 13, 2009, broadcasting content from Al Jazeera was released as creative commons.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

[edit] Criticism

Matteo Pasquinelli (2008) describes two fronts of criticism: "those who claim the institution of a real commonality against Creative Commons restrictions (non-commercial, share-alike, etc.)[clarification needed] and those who point out Creative Commons complicity with global capitalism".[clarification needed] Pasquinelli specifically criticises Creative Commons for not establishing "productive commons".[clarification needed][18]

Critics have also argued that Creative Commons worsens license proliferation, by providing multiple licenses that are incompatible.[19] Most notably 'attribution-sharealike' and 'attribution-noncommercial-sharealike' are incompatible, meaning that works under these licenses cannot be combined in a derivative work without obtaining permission from the license-holder.[20][21] Pro-copyright commentators from within the content industry argue either that Creative Commons is not useful, or that it undermines copyright.[22][citation needed] [23] [24]

Some within the copyleft movement argue that only the Attribution-ShareAlike license is actually a true copyleft license [25] and that there is no standard of freedom between Creative Commons licenses (as there is, for example, within the free software and open source movements). [26] An effort within the movement to define a standard of freedom has resulted in the Definition of Free Cultural Works.[27] In February 2008, Creative Commons recognized the definition and added an "Approved for Free Cultural Works" badge to its two Creative Commons licenses which comply -- Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike. [28]

[edit] See also

[edit] Citations

  1. ^ (Creative Commons FAQ)
  2. ^ Broussard, Sharee L. (September 2007). "The copyleft movement: creative commons licensing". Communication Research Trends.;col1. 
  3. ^ Berry & Moss 2005
  4. ^ Lessig, Lawrence (2004) (PDF). Free Culture. New York: Penguin Press. pp. 8. 
  5. ^ Ermert, Monika (2004). "Germany debuts Creative Commons". Register 1: e9. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0000009. 
  6. ^ Lessig, Lawrence (2006). "Lawrence Lessig on Creative Commons and the Remix Culture" (mp3). Talking with Talis. Retrieved on 2006-04-07. 
  7. ^ a b c People - Creative Commons
  8. ^ "Creative Commons License Upheld by Dutch Court". Groklaw. 2006-03-16. Retrieved on 2006-09-02. 
  9. ^ project
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Creative Commons Case Studies
  12. ^ Benenson, Fred (2009-01-13). "Al Jazeera Launches Creative Commons Repository". Retrieved on 2009-01-19. 
  13. ^ Steuer, Eric (2009-01-13). "Al Jazeera Announces Launch of Free Footage Under Creative Commons License". Retrieved on 2009-01-19. 
  14. ^ Cohen, Noam (2009-01-11). "Al Jazeera provides an inside look at Gaza conflict". Herald Tribune. Retrieved on 2009-01-19. 
  15. ^ "Al Jazeera Announces Launch of Free Footage under Creative Commons License". Al Jazeera Creative Commons Repository. Retrieved on 2009-01-19. 
  16. ^ Andrews, Robert (2009-11-14). "Al Jazeera Offers Creative Commons Video, Lessig Lends Backing". Retrieved on 2009-01-19. 
  17. ^ Ito, Joi (2009-01-14). "Al Jazeera Launches Creative Commons Repository". Retrieved on 2009-01-19. 
  18. ^ Pasquinelli, Matteo. "Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons", Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2008
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ [3]
  21. ^ [
  22. ^ Nimmer 2005 (need to find full details of ref)
  23. ^ ASCAP Targets "Copyleft / Free Culture" Enemy...
  24. ^ 10 Things Every Music Creator Should Know About Creative Commons Licensing
  25. ^ [4]
  26. ^ Benjamin Mako Hill, Towards a Standard of Freedom
  27. ^ [Definition of Free Cultural Works]
  28. ^ Approved for Free Cultural Works

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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