Music, arts, journalism, education, science, activism, search, and health. These are only some of the areas in which Creative Commons' “copyleft” licenses have been successfully applied since their creation in 2002, according to speakers at a New America Foundation event on June 29.
Cathy Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons; Heather LaGarde, partnerships & OPEN Initiative advisor at IntraHealth International; Rebecca MacKinnon, co-founder of Global Voices Online and a New America Schwartz Fellow; and Sherwin Siy, deputy legal director and Kahle/Austin Promise Fellow at Public Knowledge gathered at New America's Washington, D.C., headquarters to discuss the new book The Power of Open, as well as the future of Creative Commons. The publication and event, moderated by New America Knight Media Policy Fellow Tom Glaisyer, are part of a six-continent tour to raise awareness and understanding of Creative Commons licenses, which build on traditional copyright law and allow content creators to share their material in a controlled way.
Discussion revolved not just around Creative Commons' successes in advancing people's businesses and causes but also on ways to continue its growth and to clear up misunderstandings about how its licenses work. Speakers, for example, repeatedly drove home the point that Creative Commons does not replace copyright but extends it in ways that give artists and writers more power, and its force has been repeatedly upheld in court. Creative Commons co-sponsored the event with New America, which makes its Web content available under a Creative Commons non-commercial share-alike license.