1.1 Billion Licenses and Counting: Creative Commons State of the Commons 2015

Creative Commons State of the Commons Report 2015

“Collaboration, sharing, and cooperation are a driving force for human evolution. Creative Commoners have known this fact all along, and recently there has been a flurry of new research to explain why. We are hardwired for sharing. Harvard professor on evolutionary dynamics Martin Nowak calls it the essential “snuggle for survival” — evidence that sharing is not just a selfless act. Sharing has concurrent and lasting benefits, multiplied for the giver, the receiver, and communities at large.” – Ryan Merkley – CEO, Creative Commons (CC).

One of the major highlights of the 2015 State of the Commons report is that CC licensed works now stand at whooping 1.1 billion growing from under 200 million in 2006. This remarkable achievement highlights that CC and its suite of licenses are the global standard for legal sharing, embedded in major content platforms from Wikimedia and adopted by governments from the White House to our very own Kenyan government led by state institutions like NCLR and KECOBO.

Data on Percentage of CC Licenses 2015 CC SOTC

According to the data collected and presented by CC, a large majority of all CC-licensed works are under the less restrictive “free culture” licenses that allow for both commercial use and adaptations. As a result, 3% of CC-licensed works are under the public domain licenses, while 24% are under the BY license and 37% are under the BY SA license which brings the total percentage of works under the “free culture” licenses to an impressive 64%. This data lends much credence to Merkley’s statement above and the important role CC plays by promoting a legal and technical infrastructure that fosters sharing and collaboration across the globe.

Data on quantity of content covered by CC licenses SOTC 2015

Another very interesting set of data relates to the spread of content licensed under CC. Images including photos and artworks are currently the most CC-licensed works with 391 million, followed by 46.9 million texts (articles, documents), 18.4 million videos, 4 million audio tracks, 76,000 open educational resources and 23,000 multimedia, 3D and other works.

For more insights, check out the State of the Commons report which can be found online in various formats for sharing at stateof.creativecommons.org/2015. The report has been translated into over 17 languages by Creative Commons affiliates.

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Author: Victor Nzomo

Pan-African. Attorney, Blogger-at-large, Consultant. Follow him on twitter: @victornzomo. Email: nzomo.victor@gmail.com

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