Creative Commons

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki
Creative Commons
On the left is a circle with the letter "cc" inside of it. On the right is the text "creative commons".
FoundedJanuary 15, 2001; 21 years ago (2001-01-15)[1]
FounderLawrence Lessig
FocusExpansion of "reasonable", flexible copyright
MethodCreative Commons license
Key people
Catherine Stihler (CEO)
Revenue (2017)
Decrease $1.6 million[2]
Website{{URL||optional display text}}

Creative Commons (CC) is an American non-profit organization and international network devoted to educational access and expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.[3] The organization has released several copyright-licenses, known as Creative Commons licenses, free of charge to the public. These licenses allow authors of creative works 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.

The organization was founded in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldred[4] with 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.[5] The first set of copyright licenses was released in December 2002.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8][9] Aaron Swartz played a role in the early stages of Creative Commons,[10] as did Matthew Haughey.[11]

As of May 2018, there were 1.4 billion works licensed under the various Creative Commons licenses.[12] Wikipedia uses one of these licenses.[13] As of May 2018, Flickr alone hosted over 415 million Creative Commons-licensed photos.[14][15]


  1. " WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info – DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  2. "CREATIVE COMMONS CORPORATION". Nonprofit Explorer. ProPublica. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  3. "Frequently Asked Questions". Creative Commons. August 4, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  4. "Creative Commons: History". Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. Plotkin, Hal (February 11, 2002). "All Hail Creative Commons / Stanford professor and author Lawrence Lessig plans a legal insurrection". SFGate. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  6. "History of Creative Commons". Archived from the original on November 3, 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2009. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. Haughey, Matt (September 18, 2002). "Creative Commons Announces New Management Team". Creative Commons. Archived from the original on July 22, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. Wiley, David A. (June 30, 2003). "OpenContent is officially closed. And that's just fine". Archived from the original on August 2, 2003. Retrieved February 21, 2016. I'm closing OpenContent because I think Creative Commons is doing a better job of providing licensing options which will stand up in court
  9. matt (June 23, 2003). "Creative Commons Welcomes David Wiley as Educational Use License Project Lead".
  10. Lessig, Lawrence (January 12, 2013). "Remembering Aaron Swartz". Creative Commons. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  11. "Matt Haughey". Creative Commons. April 4, 2005. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  12. "State of the Commons – Creative Commons 2017". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  13. "Wikimedia Foundation Terms of Use". Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  14. "Flickr: Creative Commons". Flickr. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  15. "State of the Commons 2017". State of the Commons 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2019.

External links[edit]