[Cc-ch] Creative Commons and iCommons

Paula Le Dieu paula at creativecommons.org
Wed Nov 16 22:10:50 EST 2005

Dear All,

Recently Creative Commons celebrated the 24th launch of a Creative  
Commons local jurisdiction license (congratulations Slovenia!). With  
at least 70 local jurisdiction licenses expected over the next couple  
of years and millions of CC licensed objects, it is clear that  
Creative Commons is an extraordinary international phenomenon.  
However, as we started to discuss at the iSummit in June, this rate  
of growth brings with it the need to re-think the organisational  
structure and to think carefully about how Creative Commons presents  
itself to an international public.

As we've grown, we've come to recognize that the diversity and energy  
of the communities that have been started under the iCommons project  
need their own institutional structure. That institution needs to  
support more than the licensing project that has been the core  
mission of Creative Commons.

We have therefore decided to migrate the iCommons project to its own  
separate legal entity. That entity will be called "iCommons"; it will  
have its own board, and is now incorporated with nonprofit status in  
the UK. I will serve as the executive director of this new entity.  
For now, iCommons continues as a subsidiary of Creative Commons, and  
will be supported by Creative Commons. But eventually, depending upon  
how iCommons grows, it could become a wholly separate entity, devoted  
to spreading CC licenses, as well as addressing the wide range of  
issues that have the attention of our iCommons partners. Whether, and  
how, iCommons develops will depend upon what you decide.

Creative Commons will continue to work to launch Creative Commons  
licenses within legal jurisdictions around the world.  Christiane  
Asschenfeldt will direct that project from Berlin with the help of a  
new assistant, Eva Lutterbuese (eva at creativecommons.org), as well as  
with Tessi Rieber, who will continue to work for the Berlin office as  
a student intern for two days per week.  It has been Christiane's  
work so far that made the the international movement of Creative  
Commons possible. But if we are to keep the high quality that the  
licensing project requires, it is essential that Creative Commons  
keeps strong direction over the licensing project, as distinct from  
the other great work of the iCommons community.

Therefore, in the future, new countries entering into the porting  
project will work with Christiane to launch licenses within their  
jurisdiction. Those licenses will continue to be maintained both  
locally and through Creative Commons. Then, depending upon the  
interest within the country, community members can then join  
iCommons. We expect iCommons to be a home for many "free culture"  
projects internationally. But the core will always be you.  
Christiane's project to internationalize the work of Creative Commons  
will be named "Creative Commons International." That project will  
continue to be supported within Creative Commons.

Over the next months, we will be adding a great deal more detail to  
this new structuring and in doing so we hope we will address many of  
the questions that are raised by this first email. However it is  
important to note that while the world of Creative Commons  
International will be very defined in keeping with the renewed focus  
on the licenses, the world of iCommons will be far more open. Start  
to think about how you think you would like to contribute to  
iCommons, how it should be structured as a volunteer organisation and  
about the kinds of activities it should be engaged in. Remember,  
Creative Commons is supporting iCommons initially but the  
responsibility for it in the long term resides with the community.  
What do you want to achieve and how can we structure it to ensure  
that you succeed?

There are lots of questions that we will be answering in a second  
email that is coming on Monday, so stay tuned.

Paula Le Dieu
Executive Director
paula at creativecommons.org

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