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Jesse Dylan's “A Shared Culture” Video Released to Celebrate Creative Commons 2008 Fundraising Campaign

About CC

Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization focused on building a body of openly shareable and reusable creative work, today announced the launch of its 2008 fundraising campaign. Information about how to support Creative Commons is available at

To celebrate the campaign, Creative Commons today released “A Shared Culture,” a short video by renowned filmmaker Jesse Dylan. Known for helming a variety of films, music videos, and the Emmy Award-winning “Yes We Can” Barack Obama campaign video collaboration with rapper, Dylan created “A Shared Culture” to help spread the word about the Creative Commons mission. The video is available online to watch and download at

In the video, some of the leading thinkers behind Creative Commons describe how the organization is helping “save the world from failed sharing” through free tools that enable creators to easily make their work available to the public for legal sharing and remix. Dylan puts the Creative Commons system into action by punctuating the interview footage with dozens of photos that have been offered to the public for use under CC licenses. Similarly, he used two CC-licensed instrumental pieces by Nine Inch Nails as the video’s soundtrack music. These tracks, “17 Ghosts II” and “21 Ghosts III,” come from the Nine Inch Nails album Ghosts I-IV, which was released earlier this year under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

“I wanted to give people a clear understanding of how Creative Commons works and why it’s an important system,” says Dylan. “I think the best way to do that is by actually putting to use some of the great stuff that’s been made available to the world under CC licenses. The images and music in the video were made by people all around the world who chose to publish their work in a way that says ‘Hey, see this thing I made? You can take it and use it to make something else. I’m giving you the legal right to use it, because I don’t think that copyright should be something that stands in the way of creativity.’ Without the amazing work of Nine Inch Nails and all of the photographers whose images I used, this kind of video simply wouldn’t have been possible to make.”

“A Shared Culture” is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, meaning that anyone in the world can legally share, use, and remix it, as long as they abide by the license’s conditions. (The terms of the BY-NC-SA license are available at On its website and via LegalTorrents, Creative Commons has offered the video in several formats (ranging from Quicktime to Ogg Theora) and has provided photographer attribution through ImageStamper.

As part of the fundraising campaign, Creative Commons is calling on members of the public to use “A Shared Culture” as the basis for other videos that describe how CC licenses have enabled legal access, collaboration, and participation around the world.

“We hope that Jesse Dylan’s amazing video is just the first in a vast collection of videos and projects that address the idea of ‘A Shared Culture,’” says Joi Ito, Creative Commons’ CEO. “Take what Jesse has done and use it to make your own video. There are millions of CC-licensed songs, images, and video clips out there that you can use. Shoot some of your own interview footage that features your friends and people in your local communities talking about these issues. Take everything that you have at hand and use it to create, customize, remix, and share. Show the world that copyright should be a tool for fostering innovation, and not a barrier to creative progress.”

“We’re thrilled that Jesse made this amazing video to show the strength and importance of Creative Commons,” says Melissa Reeder, Creative Commons’ development manager. “We hope it inspires the public to create their own work, to use CC-licenses, and support Creative Commons financially during our fundraising drive and beyond.”

About Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works, whether owned or in the public domain. Through its free copyright licenses, Creative Commons offers authors, artists, scientists, and educators the choice of a flexible range of protections and freedoms that build upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to enable a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. Creative Commons was built with and is sustained by the generous support of organizations including the Center for the Public Domain, Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, as well as members of the public. For more information about Creative Commons, visit


Eric Steuer
Creative Director, Creative Commons
eric at creativecommons dot org

Melissa Reeder
Development Manager, Creative Commons
melissa at creativecommons dot org

Posted 15 October 2008