This morning, Autodesk announced that its Media & Entertainment (M&E) support and learning content for its 2014 product line is now available under Creative Commons licenses; that’s 20,000 pages of documentation, 70 videos, and 140 downloadable 3D asset files under CC BY-NC-SA and CC BY-NC-ND licenses.
“Autodesk embracing Creative Commons licensing is a big win for Creative Commons, but more importantly, it’s a big win for the design community online. The power of the internet lies in how easy it is for people to share and build on each other’s work. CC licenses make that kind of sharing possible without the law getting in the way. In opening its resources, Autodesk is demonstrating that it understands the capacity for creativity and collaboration among its community of users.” – Creative Commons CEO Cathy Casserly
According to a press release that Autodesk released this morning, the Open Learning Initiative was actually a direct response to demands from the community of users of Autodesk products. Paul Duguay, a 3D and multimedia studies instructor at the Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick in Canada, discovered a series of videos on the Autodesk 3ds Max Learning Channel that perfectly fit his curriculum needs. Duguay wanted to be able translate the audio into French and publish the videos on the college’s website. Autodesk started licensing its content under CC so that community members like Duguay could use the material to its full potential.
It’s fantastic to see an industry leader in design software choosing to open its documentation and training content to its community. Autodesk has also demonstrated its commitment to open by donating to Creative Commons at the Innovator level. Thank you to Autodesk for making an investment in a more creative, collaborative internet.
Update: Here’s some nice coverage by San Francisco Chronicle’s James Temple:
“For a company as prominent as Autodesk to do this, it sends an important signal to other major players: We think that’s a service to our customers we want to provide,” said Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Hopefully other companies will then take a look and say, ‘Maybe we should do that too.'”