WA State: Publisher attack on Creative Commons

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Cable Green

Feb 17, 2012, 5:28:35 PM2/17/12
to Educause Openness Constituent Group, OER Advocacy Coalition, OER Forum, oer-uni...@googlegroups.com

Greetings Open Colleagues:


Publishers are telling Washington State Senators that Creative Commons is “a proprietary interest and not a general licensing entity.”


The sponsor of the bill (HB2337) is responding with the following information (see below).


I share here in case you encounter the need for similar information about Creative Commons.


Warm regards,





The publisher attack on Creative Commons is pretty dubious.


Publishers are desperate to maintain the huge profit margins they make for essentially packaging the same content in new wrappers year after year. If their quality is indeed as superior as they claim, they shouldn't have any trouble competing with open educational resources.


“Creative Commons” is no longer named in the bill, so attacking CC doesn’t make any sense.


CC has no financial interest in this bill. Ask the publishers about their financial biases in WA K-12 schools using open textbooks.


The Facts:


·       Creative Commons (CC) is a US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. 

·       There are over 500 million pieces of CC-licensed content available on the web, ranging from amateur photography to terabytes of government data to the entirety of Wikipedia. 

·       The Creative Commons licenses have been interpreted as the global standard for open content licensing for a decade.

·       CC operates in broad consultation with an international network of legal and licensing experts who help develop the licenses and legal tools. 

·       CC has developed a suite of licenses and tools and offers these licenses and tools for free on an "as is" basis for anyone to use.

·       CC does not require or provide any means for creators or rights holders to register their use of a CC license, nor does CC maintain a database of works distributed under Creative Commons licenses.

·       Creative Commons has no authority to grant permission on behalf of licensors, and CC does not manage rights on behalf of persons who use the licenses. The CC organization is not a party to the license. 

·       The CC licenses are voluntary and leverage existing copyright law for them to work. 

·       All CC licenses are non-exclusive, which means that rights holders can enter into additional, different licensing arrangements for the same work at any time. 

·       Creative Commons licenses are drafted to be enforceable around the world, and have been enforced in court in various jurisdictions. To CC's knowledge, the licenses have never been held unenforceable or invalid. 


Cable Green, PhD

Director of Global Learning
(e) ca...@creativecommons.org  /  (m) +01 360-790-3114  /  (s) cable.green
(t) @cgreen @cc  /  (b) OER
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