The Next Decade for 'Creative Commons'

Creative Commons just celebrated its 10th birthday. If you go to their web site you can see the "Annual Report from Creative Commons", which highlights many of its accomplishments over the past decade. They have also posted a document entitled "The Future of Creative Commons" that lays out a roadmap for moving forward through the next decade. These fascinating documents are worth a closer look for our readers.

Creative Common's vision involves nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research, education, and full participation in culture — for driving a new era of development, growth, and productivity.  At its heart, Creative Commons is a simple idea. It’s the idea that when creators build on each other’s work, something amazing happens.

When Creative Commons (CC) first launched, it was recognized that new and emerging digital technologies could offer unprecedented opportunities for individuals to make and disseminate creative works, to build on others’ contributions, and to collaborate in previously unimaginable ways.

The Internet has given artists, authors, scientists, researchers, and scholars a new platform to share their  knowledge and works with others - no longer restricted by traditional boundaries. Yet, the complexity of antiquated copyright law stands as an obstacle to the ideal of creative collaboration and sharing in this new Information Age.

Creative Commons (CC) licenses were designed and developed to help the global community of innovators in the 21st century to utilize the Internet’s potential as a place for collaboration without old copyright laws getting in the way. The organization's technical and legal tools have made it possible for individuals and institutions to give permission for their works to be copied, curated, and redistributed as long as one gives credit to the original creative source.

The creators who thrive today are the ones who use Internet distribution most intelligently. In fact, the ones who are most generous with their work often reap the most reward. People used to think of reuse as stealing; today, not letting others use your work can mean irrelevance.   — Cathy Casserly, CEO, Creative Commons

The social and economic value of sharing content using open licenses is well documented. In education, openly licensed content proffers enormous cost savings over traditional textbooks. In science and medicine, shared access to research can help save lives and encourage interdisciplinary efforts to accelerate problem solving.

Open licensing ensures the results of investments of tax dollars by the government are made available to the broader public. On major websites across the Internet, embedded CC licenses enable anyone, anywhere to join the participatory and collaborative culture and creatively use, improve on, and remix educational content, videos, music, photos, research, and more.

Over the past decade, many governments and public institutions have learned how to effectively leverage CC licenses and public domain tools to share their data, publicly funded research, educational and cultural content, and other digital materials. Numerous countries around the world have adopted open licensing requirements for their own content and data, resources created by grantees, or both.

Creative Commons licenses are at the center of a major shift in how scientific research is conducted and shared. Organizations like the Public Library of Science (PLoS) have led the charge in helping the science publishing to use CC licensing solutions.  In fact, a whole new generation of creative individuals and institutions are learning to use open licensing to build innovative, new business models.

Over the past decade, Creative Commons has become the standard internationally for sharing creative works. But that’s just the beginning. The next ten years will be all about tapping the potential of the global community of Commoners to build a more open Internet and a freer world.   — Lawrence Lessig, Co-founder, Creative Commons

If you haven't heard of Creative Commons or know very little about them, take the time to learn more by reading some of  the collected news & information items posted on Open Health News (OHN) about Creative Commons.

Also, go to Creative Commons to read the CC Newsletter, view upcoming events,  see CC Blogs,  learn about CC Licenses, and much more.