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Creative Commons Poised for New Growth Phase with Key New Hires and Expansion into Science

Matt Haughey, November 10th, 2004

The Silicon Valley nonprofit takes on
new personnel as it prepares to explore a Science Commons, continue its
rapid international expansion, and build upon the precocious success of
its first two years.

SAN FRANCISCO,
USA November 10, 2004 Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to
expanding the range of creative and intellectual works free to share
and build upon, today announced the creation of two new staff positions
as the organization makes the transition from meteoric start-up to
online institution and begins applying its model to scientific research.

Silicon
Valley veteran Mark Resch joins Creative Commons as its overall Chief
Executive Officer, while entrepreneur and metadata expert John Wilbanks
joins as the Executive Director of Science Commons, a newly formed
branch of the organization.

Creative Commons’ long-time core
staff, led by Executive Director Glenn Otis Brown, Assistant Director
Neeru Paharia, and international affairs directors Christiane
Asschenfeldt and Roland Honekamp, will continue on in more specialized
versions of their roles. Under this leadership team, the number of web
pages carrying Creative Commons copyright licenses has grown from zero,
in December 2002, to around five million today. The nonprofit now
offers its free legal tools in nine different languages, with around
three dozen more translations in draft. The organization’s most recent
accomplishments include the sampling- and copying-friendly licensing of
the WIRED CD, a 16-track album featuring the
Beastie Boys, David Byrne, and other top artists, as well as the debut
of a unique semantic-web search engine, which now ships with Mozilla’s
industry-leading browser, Firefox 1.0.

“In just two years,
Brown and Paharia have led the Creative Commons team from the basement
of Stanford Law School to the cover of WIRED,”
said Lawrence Lessig, chairman of Creative Commons and professor of law
at Stanford, referring to the November issue of the magazine. “As the
new overall CEO, Resch brings a specific and
crucial skill-set to Creative Commons at this phase in its growth. The
core staff are now free to focus on their intense substantive workload,
while Resch will help the expanded organization become a broad and
stable movement.”

“Wilbanks’s addition as leader of the new
Science Commons branch also marks a very exciting new phase,” said
Lessig, “as the Creative Commons model is tested in unchartered areas
of intellectual endeavor.”

Mark Resch brings to the new CEO

position a wealth of experience developing successful start-up projects
into mature firms. He is chairman and co-founder of the interactive
system maker Onomy Labs, Inc. and was President and CEO of Commerce Net,
a nonprofit industry consortium that addressed critical enablers of
Internet commerce. At Xerox, Resch developed new Internet business
opportunities and managed http://xerox.com
worldwide. Resch was also co-founder and Vice President of Operations
at Luna Imaging Inc., which created large interactive photography
databases and was funded by the Getty Trust and Eastman Kodak.

Wilbanks
comes to Creative Commons from a Fellowship at the World Wide Web
Consortium in Semantic Web for Life Sciences. Previously, he founded
and led to acquisition Incellico, a bioinformatics company that built
semantic graph networks for use in pharmaceutical discovery.

Structurally,
the Creative Commons corporation will consist of three parallel
projects working in concert and overseen by Resch and chairman Lessig:

  1. Creative
    Commons the existing organization that focuses on copyright and
    cultural subject matter like music, images, and educational materials;
  2. International Commons the effort to adapt Creative
    Commons’ legal tools to various countries’ legal systems (over 50 and
    counting); and
  3. Science Commons a project to build on Creative Commons’ work in open-access scientific publishing (like MIT’s
    Open Courseware and the Public Library of Science) and apply Creative
    Commons’ voluntary “some rights reserved” approach to patents and
    scientific data.

Functionally, both Science Commons
and Creative Commons will overlap with International Commons, and
current staffers will enjoy roles that span the various sections of the
organization.

Brown, for example, who coined the phrase
“some rights reserved” to describe Creative Commons’ middle-ground
approach to copyright, will continue to coordinate messaging strategy
and act as the organization’s main staff attorney. Paharia, who
directed the development of Creative Commons one-of-a-kind search
engine and its innovative MP3-tagging protocol, among other projects, will continue to coordinate business and technology development.

Brown, anticipating Creative Commons’ rapid growth in 2004, first proposed the creation of Resch’s CEO position over a year ago.

“Our
growth has exceeded even our most optimistic expectations,” said Brown,
“but by mid-2003 it was already clear that our extremely lean team had
created a movement that would require new skill sets at various levels
of the organization. We’ve been looking forward to focusing on our
substantive legal and cultural projects full-time, and Mark Resch’s
managerial expertise will help Creative Commons further accelerate its
sustained and stable growth.”

About Creative Commons

A
nonprofit founded in early 2002, Creative Commons promotes the creative
re-use of intellectual and artistic works—whether owned or in the
public domain—by empowering authors and audiences. It is sustained by
the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D.
and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Hewlett Foundation.

For general information, visit <http://creativecommons.org>.

About Mark Resch, the new CEO of Creative Commons

Mark
Resch is deeply interested in the mutual interaction of society,
business, and technology. He is Chairman and co-founder of interactive
system maker Onomy Labs, Inc. Resch was President and CEO of Commerce Net,
a nonprofit industry consortium that addressed critical enablers of
Internet commerce. At Xerox Corporation, Resch was developed new
Internet business opportunities and managed http://xerox.com

worldwide. Resch was co-founder and Vice President of Operations at
Luna Imaging Inc., creator of large interactive photography databases,
funded by the Getty Trust and Eastman Kodak. As Vice President and
Director of Computer Imaging at CRSS Architects, Inc. Resch integrated CAD,
GIS, FM, and Visualization software to render data and space. As
Director of Graphic Arts at Computer Curriculum Corporation, Resch
supported the creation of more than 3,000 hours of interactive
courseware for students at risk. Resch was assistant professor of
Computer Art in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and drafted its MFA
degree. Resch served as co-chair for the Association for Computer
Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Graphic and Interactive
Techniques (SIGGRAPH) in 1993, and has served on numerous non-profit
boards.

Resch is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and holds a BA in History from Grinnell College and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About John Wilbanks, Executive Director of the Science Commons

John
Wilbanks comes to Creative Commons from a Fellowship at the World Wide
Web Consortium in Semantic Web for Life Sciences. Previously, he
founded and led to acquisition Incellico, a bioinformatics company that
built semantic graph networks for use in pharmaceutical discovery.
Before founding Incellico, John was the first Assistant Director at the
Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and also
spent time in Washington, DC, USA as a
legislative aide to U.S. Representative Fortney (“Pete”) Stark.
Wilbanks holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Tulane University.

Contact

Glenn Otis Brown (San Francisco)

Executive Director, Creative Commons
415.946.3065
glenn@creativecommons.org

Press Kit
http://creativecommons.org/presskit/

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