Creative Commons

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Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.[1] The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators 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. This simplicity distinguishes Creative Commons from an all-rights reserved copyright. Creative Commons was invented to create a more flexible copyright model, replacing "all rights reserved" with "some rights reserved". Wikipedia is one of the notable web-based projects using one of its licenses.

The organization was founded in 2001 by Larry Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldred[2] with support of the Center for the Public Domain. The first set of copyright licenses were released in December 2002.[3] In 2008, there were an estimated 130 million works licensed under Creative Commons.[4] Creative Commons is governed by a board of directors and a technical advisory board. Joi Ito is currently the chair of the board and CEO.[5] Creative Commons has been embraced by many as a way for content creators to take control of how they choose to share their intellectual property. There has also been criticism that it does not go far enough.


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