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Creative Commons
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Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a public charity dedicated to reducing barriers to the free exchange of knowledge and culture by making it easy and efficient to obtain legal permission to reuse creative, scientific, and educational works. Taking inspiration from the open source movement, CC has developed Web applications that help people license their original works for specified uses while retaining their copyrights. CC licenses have been adopted by such diverse organizations as the BBC, MIT, and the Public Library of Science. Over 60 million documents on the Internet are offered under CC licenses.

CC was established in 2001 with the assistance of Berkman Center fellows and clinical students. CC’s board includes cyberlaw faculty James Boyle of Duke, Michael Carroll at Villanova, and former Berkman Professor Lawrence Lessig of Stanford. Also serving are MIT computer science Professor Hal Abelson; lawyer, documentary filmmaker, and former Berkman Executive Director Eric Saltzman; 2007 Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim; Berkman Fellow and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales; public domain advocate Laurie Racine; Magnatune CEO John Buckman; and Internet publisher Eric Eldred. CC’s Chairman is Joi Ito, ICANN board member and venture capitalist. Its corporate secretary is Berkman Fellow Diane Cabell. CC’s first executive directors, Molly Van Houweling (now Assistant Professor at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall) and Glenn Otis Brown (Strategic Partner Development Manager for Google’s YouTube), are former Berkman students.

CC currently maintains offices in San Francisco, Boston, and Berlin in addition to a subsidiary in South Africa. With help from legal academics around the world, CC’s International division has supervised the porting of CC licenses to dozens of different jurisdictions. The Science Commons division, headed by former Berkman staffer John Wilbanks, develops tools for open access to scholarly literature and data. SciCom’s Advisory Board includes Nobel Laureates Sir John Sulston and Joshua Lederberg.


Publications 01

Sunday, Aug 16, 2009

An Evaluation of Private Foundation Copyright Licensing Policies, Practices and Opportunities

This project undertook to examine the copyright licensing policies and practices of a group of twelve private foundations. In particular, it looked at the extent to which… More


News 07

Monday, Sep 14, 2009

Creative Commons: Defining Noncommercial

Creative Commons has published a substantial report (plus data), "Defining Noncommercial," which represents a year-long study funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and… More

Friday, May 1, 2009

Open Translation Tools 2009

"the polyglot Internet"

Via Open Education News: "Open Translation Tools 2009 will be held from 22 to 24 June, in Amsterdam...The event will be followed by an Open Translation 'Book Sprint' which will… More

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009

The Legal Education Commons

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, with the support of the Berkman Center, has launched the Legal Education Commons, where law professors can exchange and access… More

Friday, Dec 12, 2008

Cambridge bound!

Lawrence Lessig receives two Harvard appointments

Tremendous news: former Berkman Center faculty director Lawrence Lessig is returning to Harvard as a professor of law and faculty director of Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Foundation… More

Friday, Apr 11, 2008

John Perry Barlow looking back on an Internet decade

Find your headphones and grab a seat, maybe skip the popcorn this week. As part of the Berkman Center’s ongoing tenth anniversary celebration, Berkman@10, we’re retrieving some… More

Thursday, Apr 3, 2008

Communia and iCommons Call for Papers

The deadlines for papers the first ever Commmunia Conference and the iCommons Summit '08 is quickly approaching. More

Friday, Mar 28, 2008

Lessig v. Valenti on the future of intellectual property online

Gather the family, make some popcorn, turn off the TV. As part of the Berkman Center’s ongoing tenth anniversary celebration, Berkman@10, we’re retrieving some classics from our… More


Events 01

Dec 12, 2008 @ 6:30 PM

The Commons: Celebrating accomplishments, discerning futures

Jamie Boyle, Lawrence Lessig, Joi Ito, Molly S. Van Houweling, and Jonathan Zittrain

Creative Commons and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society present "The Commons: Celebrating accomplishments, discerning futures" tonight. More


People 03

Team