The Purpose of the Creative Commons Licenses

What does Creative Commons try to accomplish with its licenses?

The Creative Commons licenses have core values built into them: sharing, openness, collaboration, knowledge, and creativity. Especially with the incorporation of GLAMs, knowledge and creativity are the “building blocks” of human culture and should be something celebrated rather than restricted. Seems to be working as there are over 2 billion licensed works around the world on over 9 million websites.

Creative Commons and Open GLAM

GLAMs are Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums. GLAMs are the foundation to knowledge and culture all over the world. They are institutions that hold and care for cultural and documentary heritage. Unfortunately, the majority of these works are not digitized and remain inaccessible to the world, unless the institution undertakes the massive workload of transitioning these to digital resources. It’s not only a load of work upfront, but maintaining this project as well as the funds required is substantial and could be overwhelming. Open GLAM is a movement like the Creative Commons movement, working to implement open access policies to the cultural heritage resources all over the world. There are many benefits to Open GLAMs that have been recognized so far in their first decades:

  • Increased goodwill and recognition.
  • Enhanced relevance vis-a-vis 21st century audiences.
  • Increased staff efficiency and better mission alignment.
  • Better return on investment in digitization and digital infrastructure management. Increased online presence and visibility, thanks to integration into external interfaces, like Wikimedia Commons.
  • Increased research and new knowledge creation around collections.
  • Inclusion in educational resources, particularly Open Educational Resources (OER).
  • Sustained reuse and remix culture.

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An OER Workshop by Andrea Bearman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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