About the Organization
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Their mission is to develop, support, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.
Their free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use one’s creative work — on one’s own conditions. CC licenses can easily adjust copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”
The idea of universal access to research, education, and culture is made possible by the Internet, but our legal and social systems don’t always allow that idea to be realized. Copyright was created long before the emergence of the Internet, and can make it hard to legally perform actions we take for granted on the network: copy, paste, edit source, and post to the Web.
The default setting of copyright law requires all of these actions to have explicit permission, granted in advance, whether you’re an artist, teacher, scientist, librarian, policymaker, or just a regular user. By teaching people about these laws, they can use these resources legally.
To achieve the vision of universal access, someone needed to provide a free, public, and standardized infrastructure that creates a balance between the reality of the Internet and the reality of copyright laws. Creative Commons created this space.