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We’re taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what’s at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation.
At her talk at this year’s Mozilla Festival, Maggie Vail made a strong case for artist-driven media, stating, “Artists create. Artists innovate. It’s what they do, even in business.” According to Vail, artist-driven media will help drive out the industry-backed corporations who seek to lock down the web, maintaining a stranglehold on the important projects that make creativity on the internet thrive. Democratizing creation in both platform-based and independent media means providing open licensing structures that support artists and promoting creativity and innovation. In the words of our mission statement, these structures will “realize the full potential of the internet.”
I feel lucky that I get to spend a good deal of my time seeking out and talking to brilliant 21st century creators, from Joost deCock, a self-proclaimed “sewcialist” who provides bespoke CC-licensed sewing patterns on his website to the Public Lab, which infuses science with art to inspire a generation of citizen scientists. I’ve spoken to fine artists, data scientists, journalists, and even actors, all of whom believe that through the power of sharing, another world is possible. For me, the commons represents this dream of another world. Our digital commons has now reached well over a billion works – the free exchange of knowledge is dependent on its growth and maintenance, but it takes creators and mission-driven projects to make that possible.
At the core of CC is our licenses, which makes sharing clear and simple across platforms, but I know that we are much more than just licenses – we’re a group of creators, scientists, lawyers, musicians, photographers, and sometimes all of these identities at once. We’re global, we’re multilingual, and most of all, we’re a community.
21st century creation means embracing the commons and the messy, collaborative form of open creativity that makes digital media so special. It means utilizing tools that question the status quo, and most of all, it means sharing and gratitude for the community that makes it all possible.
Our core of community is not a series of disparate projects, but instead a network of people driven by the desire to share their creativity with the world. What is creating in the 21st century? It’s remix, it’s reuse, and it’s collaboration, made possible by the dream of the global commons.