[cc-commonerletter] Final Commoner Letter: Jimmy Wales

Melissa Reeder melissa at creativecommons.org
Tue Dec 23 15:09:12 EST 2008

Thank you for taking the time these past couple of months to read through a
very small percentage of reasons people support CC. Your interest in and
support of CC is essential to the growth of the open movement.

Our final commoner letter <http://support.creativecommons.org/letters> of
this campaign comes from Jimmy Wales, who needs no introduction. As you
know, Jimmy believes in, advocates for, and supports infrastructure that
enables the sharing of knowledge—globally. If you believe in access to
information, global sharing, and collaboration too, then please, consider
joining Jimmy Wales in supporting CC. If you haven't contributed, now is the
time <http://support.creativecommons.org/join>. Please help spread this
letter far and wide.

Dear Creative Commoner,

Creative Commons recently celebrated its 6th birthday, and I want to take a
moment to ask for your support <http://support.creativecommons.org/join> of
CC's vital role in building a commons of culture, learning, science, and
more, accessible to all.

When I founded Wikipedia in 2001, Creative Commons unfortunately did not yet
exist. However, as by far the most wildly successful projects for the
creation of and legal infrastructure for free knowledge in the world, our
paths are inevitably intertwined.

For example, we have Wikinews publishing under CC BY, Wikimedia Commons
curating thousands of quality images and other media, many under CC BY or
BY-SA, Wikimedia chapters in Serbia and Indonesia as the Creative Commons
affiliate organizations in those jurisdictions, Wikimedia Sweden and
Creative Commons Sweden collaborating with Free Software Foundation Europe
to put on FSCONS, and Creative Commons' international office in Berlin just
moved in with Wikimedia Germany.

Most importantly, we have people working to build free knowledge around the
world, collaborating mostly informally. Some see themselves as part of one
or more movements and communities, others just want to share and

I've been pleased to personally serve on the CC board of directors since
2006 <http://creativecommons.org/press-releases/entry/5840> and am happy
that after years of work, the Wikimedia community has obtained the
option<http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/11544>to update its
primary license to CC BY-SA. This would remove a significant
barrier to collaboration among people and communities creating free
knowledge, a barrier that only exists due to the timing mentioned above.

As I explain in Jesse Dylan's *A Shared
*, Creative Commons is about building infrastructure for a new kind of
culture  -- one that is both a folk culture, and wildly more sophisticated
than anything before it. Think about how quaint a traditional encyclopedia
appears, now that we have Wikipedia. How much better would the world be if
we allow education, entertainment, government, science and more to be
transformed by the web? If we do not support Creative Commons, the
realization of these dreams about what the Internet can and should become
are at risk. By supporting Creative Commons, we build those dreams.

Allow me to close with a borrowing. Eben Moglen, chief lawyer of the free
software movement, without which neither Wikipedia nor Creative Commons
would exist, wrote the following at the end of the first letter of this
campaign <http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/10143>:

Supporting Creative Commons isn't just something I feel I ought to do; it's
something we all have to do. I hope you will join with me in supporting
Creative Commons <http://support.creativecommons.org/> with your money, with
your energy, and with your creative power. There's nothing we can't do if we

Thank you,
Jimmy Wales


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Creative Commons was built with and is sustained by the generous support of
organizations including the Center for the Public Domain, the Omidyar
Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, as well as members
of the public.

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