At Creative Commons, a lot of the work we do to support the commons is in the background. We write and steward copyright licenses that help fuel the open web. We help push through open policies at the government, university, and foundation level to increase access to academic, scientific, cultural and other types of content. We fight for sensible copyright reform. All of this work is important, and we’re going to continue to do it.
But we also want to try our hand at something more visible. Our plan is to spend the next year collaboratively researching and writing a book about business models that involve Creative Commons licensing. Even our funding strategy for this project is public-facing and collaborative. Last week we launched our first-ever Kickstarter to raise money for the project, and we hope you’ll become a part of it all by making a pledge at any amount.
Crowdfunding this project is a way to kick off the project in an open and visible way, and to gather support and excitement for our work. But it is also a way to get first-hand experience with a business model that involves Creative Commons. As we raise funds to support the development of a book we will ultimately give away for free under a CC license, we are a case study for our own book. We’re off to a strong start and we’re learning as we go.
And we’re going to do it entirely in the open. We’ve started a Medium publication called “Made with Creative Commons” to use as our digital whiteboard. Throughout the year, we’ll be writing there about the things we learn, the questions we have, the problems we face. We’re hoping to make the research and writing process as collaborative as possible. Kickstarter backers can also become co-creators of the book to receive early drafts of our writing as we go and provide input to help shape the book.
We’re really excited about this ambitious project. Creating and sharing is what CC is all about, and as we do it, we’re hoping to reveal strategies that other creators and businesses can use for their own work. We hope you’ll join us!
–Sarah Hinchliff Pearson is Senior Counsel at Creative Commons.