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October 17, 2013
Creative Commons on Copyright Reform
Creative Commons, best known for providing new approaches to allowing creators to control use of their material, has put out a big new policy statement on reforming copyright. In a blog post yesterday, Timothy Vollmer introduced CC's new policy statement on international copyright reforms.
The policy statement asserts that "CC licenses are a patch, not a fix, for the problems of the copyright system" in part because only a tiny fraction of copyrighted works use the licenses. CC argues that no matter what, licensing can only go so far and what's really needed is "...to reform copyright law to strengthen users’ rights and expand the public domain."
Vollmer's post describes the origin of the policy statement in comments and questions from CC affiliates who wanted guidance on the organization's policies. And he notes that it is something of a change of course for CC itself, which has not previously been heavily involved in opposing moves to copyright maximalism.
It seems timely to remind readers that Creative Commons is a non-profit that operates because of the contributions people make to it. That constrains their ability to lobby or engage in political action in favor of any particular reform agenda and reminds us that if we want to see this work done it's incumbent on us to make our legislators and representatives aware of our views.
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