Creative Commons is an organization that describes itself as “a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.” They offer copyright licenses to those who wish to share their work with the public under their own circumstances. The following graphic can also be found on the Organization’s site, and lists the possible reasons why one would possibly want a license.
They contend that their wish is to spread knowledge and education throughout the world and the internet with a “some rights observed” approach.
The history of Creative Commons has its roots in the beginnings of press printing. A rapid spread of technology didn’t allow for people to reserve the rights over their materials, thus the printing house was born. The problem with this lay in the people who owned the printing houses who had complete control over what material made its way into the world.These events influenced the “Statute of Queen Anne” which gave the artists materials protection for 14 years, after which it fell to the public. This was one of the first instances of public domain. In response to the “Mickey Mouse” act that extended copyright for several years, Eric Eldred and a group of others joined together to form “Copyright Commons” in order to find it unconstitutional. After Eldred and others came together to fight the act, they formed Creative Commons to help the work make its way to the public and protect the rights of the artist. The first licenses were issued in December, 2002, and they have been operating ever since.
There seems to be little controversy surrounding Creative Commons, and the work mostly appreciated. There have been many people to voice concern about the “non-commercial” license they offer. This allows for no royalties or any kind of monetary gain; the author never receives any sort of compensation. What I’m finding it difficult to understand is why this would matter if the person in question applied for that particular kind of license. One would think that they wouldn’t offer to give their work up for free by accident, but because they want for it to be shared with the public.
Overall, I think Creative Commons is an interesting way to introduce material into the public domain, and I definitely considered that this week as I searched for free sounds to use for my audio projects. And then again when I had to maim my soulful rendition of “Night Cheese” just so I could post it online for credit. I think Creative Commons is an interesting organization because they want to protect the rights of the person who is financially involved, but also is eager to share as much information as possible with the world. The point of Creative Commons is to share knowledge and culture across the internet, and I think that’s pretty cool.