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Creative Commons Receives $1M Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Advance Better Sharing

About CC

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently allocated $1M to Creative Commons (CC) in honor of CC’s 20th Anniversary. This three-year, general operating support will help foster CC’s commitment to Better Sharing by addressing equity gaps and unequal balances of power in the open ecosystem.

The internet has global ownership with people sharing more information and ideas than ever before; but not all sharing supports equity and the public’s best interests. Better Sharing involves a concerted effort and dedication to building a globally produced, open commons of knowledge, data, culture, and innovation that is universally applicable and accessible.

“We are committed to building a world where everyone, everywhere, has access to free and open knowledge,” says Catherine Stihler, CC chief executive officer. “For us, this means doubling down on our efforts to ensure open access and better sharing for all – not only those with privilege. It also means launching new ventures in Open Science to remove unnecessary barriers to addressing public health crises and the climate emergency, driving comprehensive equitable solutions.”

For the last 20 years, CC has been at the forefront of the digital commons, prioritizing equity in our foundational projects, spanning license stewardship and infrastructure, cultural heritage, education, science, policy, and expanding the global open community. Through CC’s signature licenses, creators have shared over 2 billion works of art, images, texts, research, textbooks, and 3-D models. This global copyright standard empowers people, institutions, and systems to share information openly to advance education, equity, and creativity worldwide. 

To ensure inclusively, sustained progress of Better Sharing, CC will strengthen the CC licenses with a focus on technical infrastructure, legal robustness, accessibility features, and supporting materials. This includes refining open tools and learning materials to strengthen collaborations and community-led solutions, improve knowledge, provide benefits, solve global challenges, promote the public good, and address systemic disparities and biases. 


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
Support for Better Sharing is provided, in part, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to improving health and health equity in the United States. In partnership with others, we are working to develop a Culture of Health rooted in equity that provides every individual with a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. For more information, visit

About Creative Commons:
Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools. Our legal tools help those who want to encourage reuse of their works by offering them for use under generous, standardized terms; those who want to make creative uses of works; and those who want to benefit from this symbiosis. Our vision is to help others realize the full potential of the internet. CC has affiliates all over the world who help ensure our licenses work internationally, and who raise awareness of our work. Learn more at


Posted 24 January 2022