The world has experienced an explosion of openness. From individual artists opening their creations for input from others, to governments requiring publicly funded works be available to the public, both the spirit and practice of sharing is gaining momentum and producing results.

Creative Commons began providing licenses for the open sharing of content only a decade ago. Now more than 400 million CC-licensed works are available on the Internet, from music and photos, to research findings and entire college courses. Creative Commons created the legal and technical infrastructure that allows effective sharing of knowledge, art and data by individuals, organizations and governments. More importantly, millions of creators took advantage of that infrastructure to share work that enriches the global commons for all humanity.

The Power of Open collects the stories of those creators. Some are like ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative news organization that uses CC while partnering with the world’s largest media companies. Others like nomadic filmmaker Vincent Moon use CC licensing as an essential element of a lifestyle of openness in pursuit of creativity. The breadth of uses is as great as the creativity of the individuals and organizations choosing to open their content, art and ideas to the rest of the world.

As we look ahead, the field of openness is approaching a critical mass of adoption that could result in sharing becoming a default standard for the many works that were previously made available only under the all-rights-reserved framework. Even more exciting is the potential increase in global welfare from the use of Creative Commons’ tools and the increasing relevance of openness to the discourse of culture, education and innovation policy.

We hope that The Power of Open inspires you to examine and embrace the practice of open licensing so that your contributions to the global intellectual commons can provide their greatest benefit to all people.

Catherine Casserly



Joi Ito



The Power of Open


Except where otherwise noted, content in The Power of Open is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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