Catherine Stihler

Catherine Stihler

Catherine Stihler
CEO
Catherine Stihler is the CEO of Creative Commons.
Catherine Stihler

Catherine Stihler OBE has been an international champion for openness as a legislator and practitioner for over 20 years.

Born in Scotland, Catherine was educated at the University of St Andrews, where she was awarded a Master of Arts (MA) with Honours in Geography and International Relations, and later a Master of Letters (MLitt) in International Security Studies. She also has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Open University. In October 2014, Catherine became the 52nd Rector of the University of St Andrews, and today serves as the Chair of the governing body, University Court. In 2018 she was awarded an honorary doctorate (DLitt) in recognition of her service to the university.

She stood for election as a Member of the European Parliament for Scotland in 1999, representing the Labour Party. At the European Parliament she became one of Scotland’s longest-serving and most respected legislators.

Catherine was elected Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, founded the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform and the Parliament’s All-Party Library Group, and was instrumental in securing graphic health warnings on cigarette packets across the EU.

In 2019, Catherine was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her services to politics. That same year, she stood down from the European Parliament to become the Chief Executive Officer of the Open Knowledge Foundation. During her 18-month tenure at the Foundation, Catherine redefined its vision and mission to produce a new strategic direction, re-engaged its global chapters and increased the worldwide profile of the organisation.

In August 2020, Catherine was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Creative Commons, a non-profit organisation that helps overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity to address the world’s pressing challenges.

"Catherine Stihler" by Martin Shields (martinshields.com) is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Catherine's News

CC welcomes Nate Angell

Here at Creative Commons, we know that the stories we tell and the people we engage are deeply connected, together forming the backbone of who we are and what we do. Our community generates our most powerful stories and also amplifies all the work we do, spreading the benefits of open knowledge and better sharing … Read More “CC welcomes Nate Angell”

Congratulations and Farewell

I’d like to share with our community a congratulation and a heartfelt farewell to staff in the Creative Commons legal team. First, CC is excited to announce that longtime CC staffer, Kat Walsh, has been promoted to CC General Counsel. Kat was on the CC legal team from 2012-2015 during the drafting and initial publication … Read More “Congratulations and Farewell”

CC stands in solidarity with Ukraine and supports those safeguarding public collections, educational resources, and cultural heritage sites

As more than a million Ukrainians flee for safety, the United Nations is calling the exodus Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II (WWII). The war in Ukraine is causing terrible human suffering and death and will impact future generations of Ukrainians. The lives of millions across the continent are now in total upheaval. … Read More “CC stands in solidarity with Ukraine and supports those safeguarding public collections, educational resources, and cultural heritage sites”

Do not feed the trolls

Recently, there has been an increase in threatened and actual lawsuits involving CC licensed works, and in some cases, license enforcement has even become a business model. We have now learned that even long-time friend and contributor to Creative Commons, Cory Doctorow, has been targeted. Put simply, “license-enforcement-as-business model” is a perversion of the founding … Read More “Do not feed the trolls”

Digital Services Act — Is the EU legislative train on the right track?

On December 14, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) of the European Parliament adopted its position on the Digital Services Act (DSA) proposal, under the leadership of IMCO DSA Rapporteur MEP Christel Schaldemose (S&D, Denmark). What is the Digital Services Act? The Digital Services Act aims to update the current EU legal framework … Read More “Digital Services Act — Is the EU legislative train on the right track?”

A message from our CEO to the CC Community on Creative Commons’ 20th Anniversary

Dear CC Community, It’s a very special day — today marks the 20th Anniversary of Creative Commons’ founding! Twenty years ago, Creative Commons started with a simple, radical idea: to save the internet from “failed sharing” and create a world where everyone has access to knowledge and creativity. What began as a simple idea and … Read More “A message from our CEO to the CC Community on Creative Commons’ 20th Anniversary”

In response to NFT debate

On Wednesday, November 24, Creative Commons (CC) shared an article on our social media channels from Cuseum titled How 21 Museums & Cultural Organization Engaged with NFTS in 2021. At CC, we pride ourselves on raising issues thoughtfully and often share articles on our platforms about the digital space where we work. Many times CC … Read More “In response to NFT debate”

Digital Democracy from the ‘Global Britain for an open world?’ publication

Last month, the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) released a publication entitled Global Britain for an open world? Open societies around the world and the international system that supports them are under growing threat. This publication examines the importance of open societies to the UK’s ‘force for good’ ambitions.  Edited … Read More “Digital Democracy from the ‘Global Britain for an open world?’ publication”