Creative Commons

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Creative Commons (CC) refers to a public copyright license that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that he/she has created.

Creative Commons licenses offer creators a spectrum of choices between retaining all rights (a "classic" copyright) and relinquishing all rights (public domain), an approach called "Some Rights Reserved."

CC provides flexibility (for example, an author might choose to allow only non-commercial uses of his/her own work) and protects the people who use or redistribute an author's work from concerns of copyright infringement as long as they abide by the conditions that are specified in the license by which the author distributes the work.

Creative Commons licences are developed by Creative Commons, a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools.


At the beggining of internet popularization, Eric Eldred who ran a website that reprinted works whose copyright had expired, making them more widely available in a variety of formats, decided to challenge an US congress extension copyright act. The act was going to destroy his business, so he went to court - and eventually the Supreme Court - to argue that it was unconstitutional. Eldred was joined by a selection of other commercial and non-commercial interests, and his lawyer was Lawrence Lessig, a political activist and professor at Harvard Law School. On February 17, 1999, Lessig formed a collection of people to help fight the case, which was named the Copyrights Commons. Among them were Eldred and Hal Abelson, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. On 12 January, 2001 one of the members of Copyrights Commons - Eric Saltzman, who was running Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society - suggested that the movement be renamed Creative Commons, the change was unanimously accepted.[1]

Inspired by the Open Source movement, the first set of Creative Commons licences, version 1.0, were issued on 16 December, 2002, inspired in part by the GNU General Public Licence, a widely used free software license. Lessig said at the time: "People want to bridge the public domain with the realm of private copyrights. Our licences build upon their creativity, taking the power of digital rights description to a new level. They deliver on our vision of promoting the innovative reuse of all types of intellectual works, unlocking the potential of sharing and transforming others' work."[1]

Usage by artists, educators, scientists, websites and institutions

In June 2011 the book Power of Open was launched celebrating over 400 million CC-licensed works. While showing incredible growth, the absolute number of licensed works was probably far larger. Due to the conservative way they estimate, only numbers from Yahoo! Site Explorer and Flickr were actually reflected. The most significant adoption event in Creative Commons’ history, the migration of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites to CC BY-SA starting in June 2009, was not directly reflected in the chart.[2] An analysis cited in the Wikipedia in November 2014 revealed that the amount of CC licensed works in major databases and searchable via Google sums up to 882 million works. Nine million webpages linking to one of the CC licenses. The photography sharing website Flickr continued to be the first with 307 million works, Wikipedia had 111 million and even YouTube had 10 million videos under that license at that time.[3]

Usage by steemians and Steem CC projects

In September 2017 one account named @creative-commons was launched in Steemit to upvote and resteem Creative Commons related stuff - they ask for steemians to use the tag #creative-commons for a better chance to get noticed.[4] They brief that the basic idea of ​​Creative Commons licenses is simple: “Artists and creatives can easily make their works available without complicated license agreements. But there are some basic concepts everyone using Creative Commons should understand. See the infographic: "Creative Commons - What does it mean?" (by Martin Missfeldt /”[5]

In January 2018 the steemian @alexandravart launched the community based account aiming to curate Creative Commons creative work, vote resteem and reward the authors in a collaborative effort; create initiatives, challenges, collaborations and contests for creatives from different genres and mediums (visual artists, musicians, writers, developers etc to generate even more Creative Commons Licensed work and more.[6] Almost a year before, Wagner Tamanaha launched the Blockchain Cat (@blockchaincat) comics, under Creative Commons attribution license. Authorizing anyone to copy, distribute, display, perform and remix the work if credit the original creator. To make new versions easier, he shares public Google Slides files that you people with Gmail accounts can copy and edit if they like.[7]

Stellabelle, an active social media writer and top reputation steemian, who created the Steem Gnome and Steemicide Hotline projects, in November 29, 2017, announced a new project called Slothicorn.[8] Part of the Open Source and Creative Commons movements, Slothicorn focuses on the emerging art known as cryptoart. Stellabelle explained: “This includes, but not limited to: cryptogames, art containing crypto paper wallets, art containing cryptographic puzzles, art containing cryptocurrency logos and themes, art that visualizes decentralization, blockchain tech, crypto vs. fiat, a cartoon of Jamie Dimon’s head exploding, you get the idea. Slothicorn may look cute, but its claws are symbolic of the memory of fraud that the bankers and predatory lenders committed during the recession of 2008."[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The history of Creative Commons Written by Duncan Geere and published on Wired in December 13, 2011
  2. The Power of Open: over 400 million CC-licensed works, with increasing freedom Written by Mike on Creative Commons Blog and published in June 27, 2017
  3. List of major Creative Commons licensed works Published in Wikipedia, retrieved in February 23, 2018
  4. @creative-commons : Created on Steemit in September 2017, retrieved in February 23, 2018.
  5. Creative Commons - What does it mean? (Infographic) Published by @creative-commons on Steemit in September 21, 2017
  6. Newsflash: The New Art Community Project is here ! Published by on Steemit in January 20, 2018
  7. Introduction Published by @blockchaincat on Steemit in December 21, 2016
  8. ntroducing A New Steem Project Slothicorn: Half Sloth, Half Unicorn, All Magic Written by Stellabelle on Steemit in November 29, 2017
  9. Could Slothicorn Become The Ultimate Funding Solution For Creative Commons Crypto Artists? Written by Stellabelle on Hackernoon in December 17, 2017


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