milestone

Thank you!

Joi Ito, January 7th, 2009


Joi Ito / Photo by Mizuka / CC BY

One week ago I asked for support in helping us reach our $500,000 goal. At that time, we had $12,000 left to raise with only 2 1/2 days left in the campaign, and we were all wondering how we were going to make it. Today, I’m proud to say that our community went above and beyond — raising CC a grand total of $525,383.73.

I want to send a special thank you to all of the individuals and companies that are long time supporters of CC. We’ve had hundreds of people continue to support CC over the years and I wish I could thank each and everyone of you publicly for your continued support. However, I don’t want to take up the entire CC main page, so please know how appreciated your commitment to CC is. To Digital Garage, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Tucows, Consumer Electronics Association, and wikiHow, thank you for your continued commitment to CC – I look forward to working with each of your companies in bringing more global awareness about CC, and I feel confident that together we will continue to enrich the digital commons we’re all investing in.

And to all the new individuals and new corporate supporters (Attributor, DotAsia, Ebay, Nevo Technologies, Safe Creative) – thank you for choosing to support CC this year. CC is only as strong as the community that supports it and we’re thrilled to see this community thriving. Think of all we can do over the next year by coming together and supporting each other.

I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the following companies and foundations who are committed to sustaining CC and the open movement. To the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla, IETSI, Red Hat, Google, and the Omidyar Network – thank you.

Thank you all from the bottom of my (and the rest of the CC staff’s) heart — we know how difficult it is right now and are deeply honored that you would choose to support CC this year. This doesn’t just help us continue our work but also reaffirms the growing strength of our community and the belief in a more fair and accessible digital world.

The CC staff, the board of directors, and I all look forward to what will surely be an exciting 2009.

- Joi

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NIN’s CC-Licensed Best-Selling MP3 Album

Fred Benenson, January 5th, 2009

NIN Best Selling MP3 AlbumNIN’s Creative Commons licensed Ghosts I-IV has been making lots of headlines these days.

First, there’s the critical acclaim and two Grammy nominations, which testify to the work’s strength as a musical piece. But what has got us really excited is how well the album has done with music fans. Aside from generating over $1.6 million in revenue for NIN in its first week, and hitting #1 on Billboard’s Electronic charts, Last.fm has the album ranked as the 4th-most-listened to album of the year, with over 5,222,525 scrobbles.

Even more exciting, however, is that Ghosts I-IV is ranked the best selling MP3 album of 2008 on Amazon’s MP3 store.

Take a moment and think about that.

NIN fans could have gone to any file sharing network to download the entire CC-BY-NC-SA album legally. Many did, and thousands will continue to do so. So why would fans bother buying files that were identical to the ones on the file sharing networks? One explanation is the convenience and ease of use of NIN and Amazon’s MP3 stores. But another is that fans understood that purchasing MP3s would directly support the music and career of a musician they liked.

The next time someone tries to convince you that releasing music under CC will cannibalize digital sales, remember that Ghosts I-IV broke that rule, and point them here.

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Retiring standalone DevNations and one Sampling license

Lawrence Lessig, June 4th, 2007

Today we are retiring two of the Creative Commons licenses — the stand alone Developing Nations license, as well as one of the three Sampling licenses we offer. The reasons for these retirements are both practical and principled.

The practical reason is simple lack of interest: From the start, Creative Commons has promised to keep our family of licenses as simple as possible. Actual demand has been one of the key indicators of how simple things can be. We estimate just 0.01% of our existing licenses are Developing Nations licenses, and 0.01% are the version of the Sampling license that we are retiring. Those numbers say that these licenses are not in demand.

The principled reasons are different with each license. The Developing Nations license is in conflict with the growing “Open Access Publishing” movement. While the license frees creative work in the developing nations, it does not free work in any way elsewhere. This means these licenses do not meet the minimum standards of the Open Access Movement. Because this movement is so important to the spread of science and knowledge, we no longer believe it correct to promote a stand alone version of this license. Later this month, we will begin a discussion about adding the terms of the Developing Nations license to 5 of the other CC licenses, and giving users the option to include those terms in their license. (So, for example, you could select a BY-NC license for the developed world, but offer a BY license for creators within Developing Nations.) Because such an option would be attached to a standard CC license, it would not conflict with the principle we are announcing here. Based upon the feedback we get to that idea, we will decide whether to implement it.

The Sampling License presents a similar concern. Until today, we have offered three versions of the Sampling license. Two of those versions permit noncommercial sharing of the licensed work (SamplingPlus, and Noncommercial SamplingPlus). One (the Sampling License) only permits the remix of the licensed work, not the freedom to share it. There is a strong movement to convince Creative Commons that our core licenses at least permit the freedom to share a work noncommercially.

Creative Commons supports that movement. We will not adopt as a Creative Commons license any license that does not assure at least this minimal freedom — at least not without substantial public discussion. We are grateful for the feedback, and for the understanding of those who helped us craft the sampling licenses, both of which got us here.

This change does not affect any existing licensed work. The links to these licenses, and every Creative Commons license, will always remain valid. The only change we’re making today is that we will no longer offer these licenses on our licensing page.

To read more about these retirements, please visit our retired licenses page.

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Google Goes CC

Mia Garlick, November 4th, 2005

Google now enables CC-customized searching so you can search for Creative Commons-licensed content on either Google or Yahoo!’s Advanced Search page. Creative Commons’ own “Find” page now gives you to option to use either Google or Yahoo! for your searching. With two major search engines now enabling the dissemination of CC-licensed works, this enables greater dissemination of CC-licensed works and establishes CC’s licensing infrastructure as an important component of the Internet.

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53 million pages licensed

Mike Linksvayer, August 9th, 2005

Yesterday Yahoo! announced that their search index had grown to 20 billion documents. That, along with continued adoption of Creative Commons licenses, explains 53 million linkbacks to our licenses according to Yahoo! linkback queries. In May, when Yahoo!’s index apparently consisted of 8 billion documents, we found 16 million pages with license links. So discounting the growth of Yahoo!’s index, the number of Creative Commons license links have increased by approximately one third in the past three months alone — 53/(16*(20/8)) = 1.325. Take the exact numbers with a lump of salt, but the indication of growth is impressive nonetheless.

You can search for Creative Commons licensed content at Yahoo! Search for Creative Commons.

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Flickr’s Creative Commons area back, grown way over a million images licensed

Matt Haughey, April 29th, 2005

Flickr, who we interviewed last year, has reopened the area of their site devoted to Creative Commons licensed images. If you’re looking for a photo to drop into a collage, a report for school, or even onto a t-shirt, this is a great place to browse and search for specific licensed photos. We’re also happy to see growth at Flickr has gone way beyond our expectations to nearly 1.5 million photos licensed for reuse.

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Yahoo! Search for Creative Commons

Mike Linksvayer, March 23rd, 2005

Six months ago we noted that one could use Yahoo! link: searches to find Creative Commons licensed content out of 4.7 million indexed pages that linked to a Creative Commons license at that time.

Last month we mentioned that the Yahoo! search index contained over 10 million pages that link to a Creative Commons license.

Now we’re very happy that Yahoo! has built a Creative Commons search interface. As with our own search engine, you can limit results to works you can use commercially or that you can build upon or both.

We’ve added a box to our search engine’s results page that allows you to easily try a similar search at Yahoo! — try out this search for ‘shark’.

For developers, Yahoo! has added a license parameter to their Web Search API.

Read more on the Yahoo! Search blog, where the announcement of Yahoo! Search for Creative Commons features an inspiring guest post from Creative Commons chairperson Lawrence Lessig.

Way to go Yahoo!

(Now close to 14 million pages linking to a CC license.)

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How Many Web Pages Link to a CC License?

Neeru Paharia, February 18th, 2005

At the end of 2003, we were proud to announce that over 1 million web pages had linked to Creative Commons licenses. Today, we are even more proud to say that this number is now well over 5 million web pages. Thanks to you, a vibrant base of free culture is flourishing.

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