Open Culture

The Power of Open Culture

At Creative Commons, we truly believe in the power of open access to cultural heritage. This type of “better sharing” helps build and sustain vibrant and thriving societies.

Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) have been the gate openers to the world’s cultural heritage for centuries, and play a fundamental role for the communities that they serve. They provide resources and services for enjoyment, education, research, and the advancement of knowledge, and stimulate creativity and innovation in the service of global sustainable development. By making their collections as openly accessible, shareable, and reusable as possible by the public — both on-site and online — they empower people, generation after generation, in offering them the scientific, historical, and socio-cultural resources to build a future for themselves and their communities. Unfortunately, GLAMs face many barriers in trying to make their collections openly accessible online. Creative Commons strives to support GLAMs in overcoming these barriers to achieve better sharing of cultural heritage.

Creative Commons Open Culture Program

Thanks to the generosity of Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, Creative Commons runs the CC Open Culture Program to support the development of a thriving open culture ecosystem among cultural heritage institutions and their users. Informed by our 2021-2025 strategy and 20th anniversary campaign to ensure better sharing of knowledge and culture ( i.e. sharing that is contextual, ethical, inclusive, sustainable, purposeful and prosocial) and in line with our organization’s values of informed intention, global inclusivity, and agile leadership, our program is made up of four key components.


We actively take part in activities to reform the copyright system to enable cultural heritage institutions to fulfil their legitimate and public interest missions. This includes continuing to advocate for the importance of keeping non-original reproductions of public domain works in the public domain; encouraging a purposeful policy discourse celebrating open culture as a positive affirmation of the importance of open access and sharing of cultural materials to the fullest extent possible; and engaging in conversations on the respectful and ethical use of culturally-sensitive materials.


We play our part as stewards of the CC licenses and tools, in particular, the Public Domain Mark and Public Domain Dedication Tool, and strive to ensure they function properly in the cultural heritage sector.

Capacity Building

We support the transformation of cultural heritage institutions by offering training for GLAM professionals who want to engage with open access through the GLAM Certificate, as well as other training and consulting opportunities tailored to their needs.

We work with GLAMs and other cultural organizations to bring Creative Commons licences into their infrastructure to manage their materials and make them more widely available.

Community Engagement

We empower and contribute to building the Open Culture community and the Open GLAM movement. Discover the Open Culture platform and join a network of dynamic GLAM practitioners and experts from all over the world (membership form and mailing list). We hold monthly meetings to share ideas, challenges and experiences and collaborate on activities to promote open access to cultural heritage globally. We also support the OpenGLAM Initiative, a community-driven project.

Get in touch

Want to know more about our activities and those of the Open Culture community? Join the Creative Commons Open Culture Platform by filling out this membership form and joining our mailing list.

For questions and requests, contact Brigitte Vézina, Director of Policy, Open Culture and GLAM, or Camille Françoise, Open Culture Manager,