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Sunday, April 15 • 4:15pm - 5:45pm
Creative Commons and the Values Gap

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It can be said that the central value of Creative Commons is generosity. Our licenses, tools and activities are designed to encourage and promote sharing and to empower others to do so. This is encoded in the tagline "When we share everyone wins" that serves as the title of our website. This philosophy aligns very well with the structure of network which has reduced distribution costs for most cultural goods to almost zero while adding immense value to the commons. Over the the past decade and a half of CC's existence we have seen many communities that embrace this idea of sharing flourish in unprecedented and sometimes unanticipated ways, and become an important element of the fabric of the everyday lives many around the world.

Yet at the same time we have also seen the concept of sharing being embraced by social networks and online platforms who primarily operate as profit-driven businesses. Online platforms that enable the sharing of content have become essential intermediaries that dominate the way a growing part of the world's population accesses culture and information. While they also embracing the idea of “sharing,” the same is not the case for the underlying value of generosity, growth, and health of the commons. Most of the platforms that provide today's infrastructure for sharing are for-profit corporations that have managed to monetize the sharing of content that they neither own nor produce, and lock it away for use only within their confined universe of users.

The emergence and economic success of these platforms has created a backlash among content creators and legacy intermediaries. They argue that online intermediaries capture a disproportionate amount of the value derived from the creators of culture and information. According to them there is a 'value gap' between the value derived by online platforms and the original content creators. To remedy this so-called "value gap", organized rights holders in both the US and the EU have recently intensified their attempts to undermine the liability privileges that online intermediaries enjoy. In doing so they attack fundamental tenets of the internet that have empowered many of the communities that share our ideas of sharing.

It appears that in this specific dispute at least, our values align us more with the interests of online intermediaries and less with the organizations representing creators and other rights holders. For an organization that seeks to empower creators and foster creativity, this is an interesting position to be in.

This session will discuss our values and our value proposition to creators in the light of the ongoing discussion about value creation in the online environment with key representatives from our community. It is intended to allow us to reflect on our ideas about content creation and distribution and its interplay with the commons.

avatar for Delia Browne

Delia Browne

National Copyright Director, National Copyright Unit
Delia joined the CC Board of Directors in 2018. She is a highly respected copyright lawyer and policy advocate who leads the National Copyright Unit (NCU) providing specialist copyright advice to Australian Schools and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes with a focus... Read More →
avatar for Ryan Merkley

Ryan Merkley

CEO, Creative Commons
"Pick big fights with your enemies, not small fights with your friends." Copyright, CC licenses, open government, data, education, and open access. Public domain, policy. Espresso. Bicycles.
avatar for Jane Park

Jane Park

Director of Platforms & Partnerships, Creative Commons
Jane directs CC’s work with platforms to create a more vibrant and usable commons. She has ten years of organizational experience in the design, strategy, and execution of socially innovative programs in education, communications, and global network growth.
avatar for Eric Steuer

Eric Steuer

Creative Commons
I lead Creative Commons' content strategy and I develop partnerships and projects with artists, media organizations, technology developers, and creative institutions on behalf of CC. I am also currently working with CC's General Counsel, Diane Peters, on a project called the Open... Read More →

Sunday April 15, 2018 4:15pm - 5:45pm EDT
Kensington Ballroom "B" 2nd floor, Delta Toronto Hotel, 75 Lower Simcoe St, Toronto ON