When Christiane Asschenfeldt joined Creative Commons, in April 2003, Creative Commons offered one set of copyright licenses: in American English, based in good part on U.S. law. Two years later, CC offers fifteen different localized licenses, in thirtheen languages, from countries on four continents. (A couple dozen other localized licenses are in some state of draft.) Once a two-employee operation in the basement of Stanford Law School, CC is now an international network of law schools, thinktanks, nonprofits, and — most important — dedicated and expert volunteers. We have Christiane, and the many iCommons volunteers she personally brought together, to thank for this night-and-day difference. That Christiane until recently worked solo from Berlin, and is now raising a beautiful little girl, makes this accomplishment even more amazing.
Christiane met Larry and me at iLaw in Cambridge in the summer of 2002. We got along famously from the get-go, but little did I know that even then Larry was laying his plans for CC International. (He probably kept his vision for iCommons from me to prevent me, my hands already plenty full, from having a heart attack.) Looking back on it, I should have recognized then what I would come to appreciate when Christiane joined CC: Expert in the EU Directive on intellectual property, friendly and funny, and up-to-speed on the latest in film, scientific research, and pop culture, she was an obvious asset to the organization.
Apart from all she’s done for CC, I am particularly thankful to Christiane for her hospitality during my first and only visit to Berlin two years ago. I have fond memories of visiting the Reichstag and the Berlin Wall with her, and of getting to know her man Florian (a rising-star film director). I trust we’ll get to hang out more in the future, and I wish Christiane the best as her work on making CC a truly global force continues to bear fruit.