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Understanding Creative Commons

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This post was created, in response to CC Certification Assignment – #1

So you have seen the circled C – the embodiment of restrictions – All Rights Reserved – the tag that accompanies CopyRight. This month, I am part of the Creative Commons Certificate Class, and I invite you, through my assignment, to discover how we got here (copyright); and how we can move on from here.

The story of Creative Commons (fondly aka CC) begins with copyright. Copyright, in law, regulates the way human creativity products are used – like books, academic research articles, music, and art. The creator, or author, gets a set of exclusive rights so that they can prevent others from copying and adapting their work (for a limited time).

This may have been okay in a world without the technological advancements of the 21st century. The internet has given us the opportunity to access, share, and collaborate on all human creations at an unprecedented rate (and scale). This instant-always-on-sharing capabilities made possible by digital technology are in tension with the sharing restrictions embedded within copyright laws around the world.

Technology makes it possible for online content to be consumed by millions of people at once, and it can be copied, shared, and remixed with speed and ease. But copyright law places limits on our ability to take advantage of these possibilities. Creative Commons was founded to help us realize the full potential of the internet.

How does one work around this real, and ever present conflict?

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