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Twenty years of CC

Creative Commons empowers people, institutions, and governments to openly share content to advance knowledge, equity, and creativity for everyone, everywhere.

Creative Commons 20th Anniversary Graphic

Throughout modern history, access to knowledge has been deliberately and unjustly denied to many, limiting our collective ability to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.  That’s why, in 2001, we came up with a simple yet radical idea: to save the internet from “failed sharing” and create a world where everyone has access to knowledge and creativity.


In 2001, we came up with a simple yet radical idea: to save the internet from “failed sharing” and create a world where everyone has access to knowledge and creativity. As we look ahead to the next 20 years, our focus is on “better sharing”, sharing that is contextual, ethical, inclusive, sustainable, purposeful, and prosocial.

As CC celebrates its 20th Anniversary, we invite you to join us in promoting better sharing that serves the public interest and creates the world the internet promised, one where everyone has access to culture, science, and knowledge. 

In 2021, we honored our founding anniversary. In 2022 we celebrate two decades of Creative Commons licenses, as we continue to advance Better Sharing across the globe. Knowledge, creativity, innovation, and progress are built incrementally. Our work is not done.

As a nonprofit, we rely on the contributions of donors like you. 

By donating to our Better Sharing campaign, you help ensure Creative Commons can continue advocating for open access to knowledge for 20 more years. Help support our 20th Anniversary Campaign!



Stay Informed 

Better Sharing

In the last two decades, we’ve helped shape the culture around “sharing,” increasing access to valuable information, historic images, scientific articles, educational resources, cultural artifacts, and so much more. 

Now, we’re looking forward, eager to put the tools to share and re-share content in the hands of everyone, everywhere. We know that greater access to information means a stronger global community, more innovation, and increased capacity to solve key challenges the world faces today…

Want to hear more where Creative Commons has been and where we’re going? 

Click through for a message from our CEO Catherine Stihler for more information about our Better Sharing campaign that was launched honoring our two year celebration of CC’s founding and CC licenses. 

20th Anniversary Campaign Committee

Creative Commons wishes to gratefully thank the members of our 20th Anniversary Campaign Committee,  They have worked tirelessly over these last several months and their guidance, expertise and enthusiasm have given new meaning to collaboration and openness.  Many of them have been involved with Creative Commons from the beginning and we are supremely excited to have them with us during this landmark year.

Our committee members are: Peter Baldwin (Honorary Committee), Paul Brest (Co-Chair), Ruth Okediji (Co-Chair), Hal Abelson, John Seely Brown, Mike Carroll, Joshua Elkes, Bob Glushko, Dorothy Gordon, Ronaldo Lemos, Larry Lessig, Zahavah Levine, Alexander Macgillivray, Kent McGuire, Laurie Racine, Eric Saltzman, Pam Samuelson, Alek Tarkowski, Esther Wojcicki.