The Creative Commons is easily one of my favorite non-profit organizations. Their goal is to maximize creativity by providing a fair and legal way to share and distribute materials, while giving the creator options for how much leeway to permit. They have provided a variety of licenses for distribution since 2002, and now there are over 350 million CC licensed works in use. We chose the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License for our verb icon project, toicon.com, so that all of our icons are free for personal and commercial use with attribution.

Lawrence Lessig

The Creative Commons began with Lawrence Lessig, one of the founding board members. His work around copyright issues is widely discussed, and now his activist career expands to focus on the US’ political system. Explore his Wiki.

Open Education Resources

Creativity and learning go hand in hand. Open Education Resources (OER) are popping up everywhere with content from renowned universities such as MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and Rice, with the goal of making quality, up-to-date education available to all. Find your favorite.

Free Music Archive

A collection of high quality audio directed by independent community radio station, WFMU. All the content is handpicked and licensed individually so it’s clear what you can use each song for. You can search their library by genre or curator, making it easy to find the perfect audio for your project. They even have a plethora of new birthday songs available for free so you can avoid the murky waters of the original “Happy Birthday to You” song. Explore their ever-growing library.

Creative Commons and Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum has recently been working with the Europeana Foundation to highest make high quality images of their public domain artworks available on their site. While it may seem counterintuitive from a marketing point of view, the Rijks has found a way to make it work in their favor. Read the case study.

Cards Against Humanity

The Creative Commons are also making waves in the gaming community, and not just the digital one. Cards Against Humanity, a popular party card game, has put their cards online and licensed them under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license, meaning you can use, edit and share the game for free. Not the usual business model, considering they sell the same physical cards for $25. Their genuine commitment and belief in sharing a great idea is commendable, and extremely rare in the capitalist world we live in. You know they really care when they even include storage suggestions in their printing guide! Download your own game.

Fijn weekend! (Have a good weekend!)