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Creative Commons Launches “CC Network” with Annual Campaign

United States
Melissa Reeder, October 15th, 2008

Today Creative Commons launched the Creative Commons Network, as part of their annual fundraising campaign.

The CC Network offers users a profile and web badge, providing a means to express support of Creative Commons. The site also acts as a testbed for digital copyright registry technology. CC Network users may list their Creative Commons licensed works on their CC Network profile. The profile and web badge include metadata corresponding to the license used, allowing applications to consume information about the provenance of licensed works and licensors. Creative Commons’ own website is one such application and now displays provenance information on license web pages if available.

Creative Commons CTO Nathan Yergler said “The CC Network is where the semantic rubber meets the web road”, referring to the high expectations and underwhelming adoption of Semantic Web technologies. Yergler continued “With the CC Network we’re leveraging everything we’ve learned over the past five years about metadata on the web, including the new RDFa standard, along with the work of many other groups, including FOAF, POWDER, and SIOC.”

CC Network accounts also come with an OpenID login, allowing users to login to sites that support OpenID via a trusted provider. The CC Network aims to raise the bar for OpenID providers by taking all steps necessary to protect users’ privacy. “An OpenID provider knows every site a user logs into via OpenID, so it is important for a user to be able to trust their OpenID provider. We hope users think Creative Commons is trustworthy, but we’re also taking steps to bake user protections into the CC Network’s OpenID provider implementation, from the technology to terms of service to explanation of the risks and benefits to users” said security expert Ben Adida, a technology advisor to Creative Commons.

All of the standards the CC Network builds on are open, and the code that runs the site is free software. “The CC Network launch is a step toward a system of interoperable digital copyright registries as open as the web itself. Open registries allow users to discover more information about who’s licensing content, and as such are a necessary complement to our open copyright licenses” explained Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito.

CC Network accounts are offered as a benefit for annual CC supporters at a level of $50 or above ($25 for students). Creative Commons’ annual fundraising campaign, themed “Build the Commons”, has a goal of raising $500,000 as well as encouraging CC supporters to lead by example, educate others about the value of the CC approach to openness and access, and to help launch the CC Network.

Please visit the Build the Commons campaign webpage, for more information, support.creativecommons.org/

About Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works, whether owned or in the public domain. Through its free copyright licenses, Creative Commons offers authors, artists, scientists, and educators the choice of a flexible range of protections and freedoms that build upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to enable a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. Creative Commons was built with and is sustained by the generous support of organizations including the Center for the Public Domain, Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, as well as members of the public.
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