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Announcing CC’s Open Infrastructure Circle

Licenses & Tools, Sustaining the Commons, Technology
A black and white Creative Commons icon and logo above

CC Licenses make it possible to share content legally and openly. Over the past 20 years, they have unlocked approximately 3 billion articles, books, research, artwork, and music. They’re a global standard and power open sharing on popular platforms like Wikipedia, Flickr, YouTube, Medium, Vimeo, and Khan Academy.

CC’s Legal Tools are a free and reliable public good. Yet most people are unaware that their infrastructure and stewardship takes a lot of money and work to maintain. 

We need to secure immediate and long term funding for the CC licenses and CC0 public domain tool, which are key to building a healthy commons. We’re facing many challenges and threats to the commons–libraries are under attack, misinformation is rampant, and climate change threatens us all. CC is one of the few nonprofit, mission-driven organizations fighting to ensure we have a sound legal infrastructure backing open ecosystems, so that culture and knowledge are shared in order to foster understanding and find equitable solutions to our world’s most pressing challenges.

We need support from like-minded funders to champion sharing practices and tools that oppose the enclosure of the commons.

That’s why we’re launching the Open Infrastructure Circle (OIC) — an initiative to obtain annual or multi-year support from foundations, corporations, and individuals for Creative Commons’ core operations and license infrastructure.

With consistent funding, we can resolve “technical debts” (years of work we’ve had to put on hold due to underfunding!) and make the CC Licenses more user-friendly and accessible to our large, global community. The world has changed a lot since the CC Licenses were first created in 2002, and we want to ensure they stay relevant and easy to use going forward.

We are grateful to our early Open Infrastructure Circle supporters, including the William + Flora Hewlett Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Paul and Iris Brest.

Sign up to join OIC with a recurring gift! Or reach out to us for more information about OIC at

Thank you for considering joining the Open Infrastructure Circle and contributing to the legal infrastructure of the open web.

Posted 03 November 2023