Yesterday Creative Commons celebrated its fourth birthday with parties around the world as well as in Second Life. Larry was in Portugal and I was in Japan so we hooked up with the party in Second Life. Board members Hal and Jimmy also joined us there together with a great mix of SL visitors and regulars.
In Second Life, Larry took the opportunity to pass me a digital torch as part of a ritual where he handed on the Chairman position to me after four amazing years as the founder-Chairman of Creative Commons.
When I joined the board in 2003, the licenses had been launched and the movement already had a great buzz of activity and good will around it. A the time, some products like Movable Type had already integrated Creative Commons licenses, but for the most part, CC was a movement of like-minded people with a vision. Since then Creative Commons, thanks to everyone who has supported us over the last four years, has become a standard feature in major search engines, web services, software tools and content libraries. In four short years, Creative Commons has grown from an idea to a basic part of the technical and business infrastructure of the Internet and the sharing economy.
One thing that needs to be clear is that I'm succeeding Larry, not replacing him. That's impossible. I'm jumping into the movement to try to help where I can and contribute to the leadership that Larry started. Larry remains fully committed as CEO. I'll try to give Larry more time to focus on his unique contributions to Creative Commons while I bring my own.
Creative Commons was and always will be a cultural and social movement which empowers people to share and promote free culture. In every way, it is "the right thing to do." However, Creative Commons has a new group of supporters. Many people now use Creative Commons because it makes business sense. The corporate world needs to hear this in a language they understand. I speak their language.
While I hope that Creative Commons T-Shirts will still get you free drinks in San Francisco, I think that Creative Commons will become a regular topic of conversation in board rooms, government policy meetings and living rooms of "normal people". As we lay claim to ubiquity, we need to step up as an organization and as a movement. I hope you will all join me in pressing on with renewed confidence and energy to make CC such a success that, as Larry hopes, people will look back and think that what we are saying now should have been obvious.
Finally I need to thank everyone for your support over these four years. It is through the broad grassroots support that CC has been able to port to over 70 countries, convince major companies to adopt the licenses and change their practices and become a key enabler of sharing and free culture. It takes real work and real money to build a movement like this. And the movement continues. Please continue to support CC and if you aren't already a supporter, it's a good opportunity to start. We've got $100,000 left to raise to meet our $300,000 goal for this fund raider. Your participation is essential to our success and contributing to our funding is an important part of this support. Thanks. CLICK HERE TO GIVE
UPDATE: Press Release