Five years ago today things changed online in the copyfight. Frustration with the increasingly hostile environment surrounding intellectual property and a fundamental shift in copyright law in the United States, a brilliant and positive initiative called Creative Commons launched. It shifted things around by not asking “how can I stop people from stealing things?,” but by asking “how I can I share what I make and work with others?” With a set of licenses that were legal as well human and machine readable, an amazing amount of creativity and collaboration became possible.
This blog had started a few months before the launch in December of 2002 and I licensed all my blog posts from that point on. Now I have 331 posts that can be shared and remixed as long as it’s noncommercial and I’ve given credit. All of my 6,547 public photos on Flickr have the same license. The 10 episodes of the Bad Metaphor podcast are also licensed and everything that I create and put online will be licensed in a similar way.
It’s been a positive and encouraging experience to use the licenses as I’ve been able to meet and work with people from all over the world because of the project. The more that you give and share, the more you get back.