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What The Creative In 'Creative Commons' Really Means

Publication Date: 
December 14, 2007
Source: 
PC Magazine
Author: 
Matt Safford

Professor Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons is the central figure in a PC Magazine story about what Creative Commons is and how it evolved as a reaction to current copyright laws:

At the turn of the millennium, Stanford law professor and cyber-law expert Lawrence Lessig had an idea.

In the midst of a Supreme Court case arguing that the latest lengthening of American copyright laws was unconstitutional, Lessig decided that if he couldn't stop the strengthening of copyright law, which was extended by an additional twenty years in 1998, he would help create an alternative.

In 2001, Lessig and a board of directors founded a non-profit organization called Creative Commons, to create legal licenses that expanded the options of traditional copyright laws, enabling users to selectively allow use of their works by others. Loosely based on earlier ideas already popular online, such as open-source software, the first six licenses were released via the Creative Commons website in December of 2002.