January 28th, 2010
What is C?
A 501c3 corporation headquartered in San
Francisco with 30 employees around the world.
CC is a non-proﬁt.
CC does not offer legal services per se.
CC offers free legal and technology tools that
allow creators to publish their works on more
ﬂexible terms than standard copyright.
Terms that allow public sharing, reuse, and
No Rights Reserved Some Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved
Pre-1923 works, Federal
Government Works, etc. Everything from Disney ﬁlms
c to your notes, to most of the
Publiclicenses are irrevocable and
However works can be removed from public
and their licenses can be changed
CC licenses are non-exclusive
Creative Commons licenses do not
preclude fair uses, fair dealing, etc.
Format #3: Machine Readable Metadata
<span xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" xmlns:dc="http://
<span rel="dc:type" href="http://purl.org/dc/dcmitype/Text"
property="dc:title">My Photo</span> by
<a rel="cc:attributionURL" property="cc:attributionName" href="http://
is licensed under a
<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/
3.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License</a>.
<span rel="dc:source" href="http://fredbenenson.com/photo"/>
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at <a
"... Open source licensing has become a widely used method of creative collaboration that
serves to advance the arts and sciences in a manner and at a pace that few could have
imagined just a few decades ago. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
uses a Creative Commons public license for an OpenCourseWare project that licenses all
1800 MIT courses. ... There are substantial beneﬁts, including economic beneﬁts, to the
creation and distribution of copyrighted works under public licenses that range far
beyond traditional license royalties.”
Jacobsen v. Katzer, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit – August 18th, 2008,
Case no. 2008-1001
“ ... It’s hard to overstate the degree to which CC has contributed to my career as a musician. In 2005 I started Thing a
Week, a project in which I recorded a new song every week and released it for free on my website and in a podcast feed, licensing
everything with Creative Commons. Over the course of that year, my growing audience started to feed back to me things they had
created based on my music: videos, artwork, remixes, card games, coloring books. I long ago lost track of this torrent of fan-made
stuff, and of course I’ll never know how many people simply shared my music with friends, but there’s no question in my mind that
Creative Commons is a big part of why I’m now able to make a living this way. Indeed, it’s where much of my audience comes from -
there are some fan-made music videos on YouTube that have been viewed millions of times. That’s an enormous amount of exposure to
new potential fans, and it costs me exactly zero dollars.
When you’re an artist, it’s a wonderful thing to hear from a fan who likes what you do. But it’s even more thrilling to see that someone
was moved enough to make something brand new based on it - that your creative work has inspired someone to do more creative
work, that your little song had a child and that child was a YouTube video that a million people watched. A Creative Commons
license is like a joy multiplier. The art you create adds to the world whenever someone appreciates it, but you also get
karma credit for every new piece of art it inspires. And around and around. This is my favorite thing about Creative
Commons: the act of creation becomes not the end, but the beginning of a creative process that links complete strangers
together in collaboration. To me it’s a deeply satisfying and beautiful vision of what art and culture can be. ...”