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Creative Commons announces major funding support from Omidyar Network

About CC

San Francisco — 2008 May 28

Creative Commons announces that it has received $500,000 as the first installment of a gift of $2.5 million over five years from Omidyar Network. This gift is made to Creative Commons as part of the “5×5 Challenge” grant program, from which Creative Commons expects to receive $2.5 million annually in general operating support for each of the next five years. The 5×5 program was initiated at the invitation of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In addition to the Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network, other major funders participating in the 5×5 Challenge include the International Electronic Trade and Services Initiative (“IETSI”), a nonprofit trust founded to support the development of ecommerce, globally, as well as Google, Mozilla, and Red Hat.

Creative Commons is the San Francisco-based not-for-profit organization that provides free copyright licenses that allow creators to mark their works with a range of permissions granted to others. To date, Creative Commons licenses are attached to millions of artistic, scientific, and educational works distributed by their creators over the Internet.

This gift comes at a historic moment for Creative Commons, which recently launched an initiative to explore its possible roles in connection with a digital copyright registry system.

“Omidyar Network has been a leader in encouraging nonprofit organizations to become both more finely tuned to their users’ needs and more self-sustaining,” said Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito. “Omidyar Network’s grant will support Creative Commons’ basic promise: to provide free, simple tools that allow the creators of the world to share their works on generous terms. In addition, the grant will allow us to explore providing fee-based, value-added services, which can benefit our community and help support the organization financially. The registry is our first big project in which we plan to explore these possibilities.”

“Creative Commons has transformed the way people think about intellectual property,” said Matt Bannick, managing partner of Omidyar Network. “Creative Commons licenses have dramatically lowered the transaction costs for use of many digital works, and an open, interoperable digital copyright registry system would continue to decrease those costs, as well as increase the visibility of many more creative works. We are delighted to help enable the exploration of this system and to see Creative Commons, an organization that we have long supported, take an important step in its growth toward sustainability.”

For more information on the Creative Commons registry project, see

About Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works, whether owned or in the public domain. Through its free copyright licenses, Creative Commons offers authors, artists, scientists, and educators the choice of a flexible range of protections and freedoms that build upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to enable a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. Creative Commons was built with and is sustained by the generous support of organizations including the Center for the Public Domain, 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. For more information about Creative Commons, visit


Mike Linksvayer
Vice President, Creative Commons
ml at creativecommons dot org

Press Kit

Posted 28 May 2008