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#cc10 Featured Platform: Behance

Elliot Harmon, December 14th, 2012

Scott Belsky

Scott Belsky / transmitNOW events / CC BY-NC

Throughout CC’s tenth anniversary celebrations, we’re profiling media platforms with CC integration, and talking to the people behind those platforms to see what role CC plays in their communities.

Behance is a platform and community for designers and other creative people. Behance is a major hub for designers to be seen; its testimonials page has dozens of stories, both of designers who got work by sharing their portfolios on Behance and of big-name companies who used it to find talent. Most interestingly, Creative Commons licensing is the default on Behance. When you select “All Rights Reserved” for a project, you’re warned that “This will limit your exposure.”

I wanted to know why Behance placed so much importance on CC licenses, so I reached out to founder and CEO Scott Belsky. I also asked Scott to pick a few of his favorite CC-licensed projects on Behance. A few of those are sprinkled throughout this blog post; the rest are listed at the end.

Jellyfish Madness
Jellyfish Madness / Alexander Semenov / CC BY-NC

How much of the content on Behance is CC-licensed? Has that number stayed constant or changed since you implemented CC licensing?

Over 75% of content published on Behance is CC-licensed. We implemented CC-licensing from the very beginning, and it is by far the preferred copyright setting. Those that choose otherwise are often doing so at their client’s request or for some other contractual concern.

For some artists and designers, the argument for CC licensing a portfolio might not be obvious. Can you tell me any success stories users have had with open licensing, or examples of interesting conversations you’ve had with users about how they use CC?

The primary driver of CC licensing is a desire to share broadly with reasonable restrictions. Behance is a global platform of over a million creative professionals from around the world. One of the primary benefits of being on Behance is the constant stream of inspiration and opportunities. There have been all sorts of collaborations – many of them non-commercial and born out of love – that are the result of CC-licensing. We want Behance to be the wind at the backs of creative careers, and CC has been a primary ingredient in the growth and values of Behance.

Inspiration Pad
Inspiration Pad / Marc Thomasset / CC BY-NC-ND

Since Behance started, have you seen creators’ attitudes about sharing changing?

Sharing is the new “networking.” Rather than focus on business card exchanges and networking receptions, the creative community builds professional networks by sharing their creations, feedback, and resources. Look no further than GitHub, a platform for sharing amongst the development community that likely facilitates as many career opportunities as traditional resumes. In Behance, we see a growing value for transparency and attribution. Many thousands of projects are published every single day, and we’re helping organize the data around this creative work. We’re also trying to help people sort through the work and find talent.

If you create something in this world, you should get credit for it. The creative industry has never valued attribution, especially when it comes to advertising and entertainment. But the power is shifting away from agencies and middlemen to the creatives themselves. It’s an exciting trend, but it depends on a continued culture of transparency and sharing.

Scott’s favorite CC-licensed projects

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One Response to “#cc10 Featured Platform: Behance”

  1. Great piece. However, the creative industry does value attribution. That’s how it finds out who the best people are. Leaders of every shape: directors, producers, editors–all want to know “Who did that?!?” Great work begets great notice. The trick is to do the great work.