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Open licensing policy
The adoption of Creative Commons licenses and public domain tools is beneficial to society as a whole. Open licensing helps public institutions better meet their missions of disseminating digital resources and data, breaking down the typical barriers associated with traditional copyright by granting broad permissions in advance. The integration of Creative Commons licensing and publicly funded education, research, and data clearly communicates to the users served by these policies the conditions of reuse. There’s a huge potential to drastically increase the impact of public funding through the adoption of open licenses.
Creative Commons licenses are being integrated and incorporated into public, foundation, and institutional policies around the globe. For example, government agencies are requiring that publicly funded education and research resources be released under Creative Commons licenses. Multiple philanthropic foundations are adopting open licenses and intellectual property policies to expand the reach of their charitable investments. Both government and foundation open policies require (as a condition of funding) their grantees to openly license what they build and revise with grant funds. Cities are sharing useful health, traffic, weather, and crime data under open licenses to increase transparency and re-use of data for the public benefit. And intergovernmental organizations are using open licenses to share cultural heritage materials, reports, educational resources, research, and data with the world.
While Creative Commons continues it outreach and advocacy on open licensing policy adoption, we have always known that voluntary licensing schemes will never be a comprehensive solution for access to and reuse of knowledge and creativity around the world. For this reason, we believe that fundamental law and regulatory reform is needed, regardless of the success of the CC licenses and their utility in promoting a more equal, just, and fair society.
The Creative Commons global network is involved in education and action to promote progressive changes to copyright that will benefit users and the public interest. This work is represented in our organizational strategy, and aligned with our vision and mission.We respond to requests for comments on public policy issues related to copyright and intellectual property, and we’re involved in a variety of working groups and projects that aim to integrate open licensing and public domain tools into policy and practice. We are actively involved in advocacy to support positive legal and regulatory changes—from Europe to Asia to Latin America— and even at international fora such as WIPO.
Community Engagement and Advocacy
We work in providing outreach, education, and advocacy for open licensing and open policy across a variety of disciplines, including areas such as public sector information/open data, open access to scholarly research, open educational resources, galleries, libraries, archives, museums (GLAMs), and philanthropic foundations. We have observer status at the World Intellectual Property Organization and provide interventions there on relevant topics. We participate in working groups on these and related topics, such as the Legal Aspects of Public Sector Information (LAPSI), the International Communia Association, and the SPARC Open Access Working Group. We also advocate for copyright reform in areas that align with our mission.
- Collaborate on a project: Interested in one of our projects above? Visit the project's page directly to learn more about it. If you'd like to contribute or propose a new project idea, send a note to Timothy Vollmer at firstname.lastname@example.org. For policy activities related to a specific country, contact your regional coordinator.
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- Watch for policy internship opportunities: We typically take part in the Google Policy Fellowship program.