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Made With Creative Commons Paperback – May 5, 2017
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About the Author
Paul Stacey is Associate Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons. As an educator and new venture startup specialist, Paul thrives at making visible the possible and bringing new possibilities to life. Creating good in the world and having a good bottom line are core to his vision and work. Sarah Hinchliff Pearson is Senior Counsel at Creative Commons. As a copyright lawyer with a journalism background, this project has furthered her lifelong interest in the future of the arts and media.
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What the book is about in Part 1 is the authors' discovery that there is no fixed definition of an open business model. In fact many of the companies and people interviewed dislike the phrase. Instead they provide a historical overview of the idea of a commons going back to the days before the first enclosure movement up to the current digital revolution, and how the idea of the commons powers the current ideas of a sharing economy and promotes innovation. Paul Stacey's research here is excellent, and his footnotes are beyond sufficient. Sarah Pearson's section is more methodological. It begins by saying that "made with creative commons" is not about how to make money with CC licenses at all, and indeed states there is no formula because the game is too new and anyway that's not what CC is about. CC is about, in Ryan Merkley's words, building a vibrant, usable commons, powered by collaboration and gratitude. The licenses may be good for business but that is not why businesses use them. They use them because they believe in something more than financial profit.
Part 2 is filled with two dozen case histories. These are also brilliant interviews with creative people in a variety of different businesses: education, industrial design, gaming, academic publishing, self-publishing, data visualization, even museum and library science. Their reasons for using CC licenses vary widely but over and over you will read that "it's not about money." Money is, as one says, fuel for creativity not the goal of creativity. That all of them are successful at what they do is deeply impressive.
This is an excellent book and there is nothing else like it on the market, not Whitehurst, not Chesbrough, not Ostrom -- all of whom are cited. And the book itself is released under an open license (which I say just to annoy people who moan about a lack of a fixed definition of openness).
If you are hesitating about buying it, why not download the PDF of the book freely online (wait, does it preserve your freedom? can't we define free differently? etc etc)? Any given read of three pages will tell you what you're in for.
The book “Made with Creative Commons” is a mix of documentation, research and interviews. Paul Stacey and Sarah Hinchliff Pearson begin by going back in history and explaining to us where the commons started and what are the digital commons. A short history of Creative Commons follows, with an emphasis on the benefits of the CC licenses. For those unfamiliar with the licenses, there are some technical explanations. Then the book turns into a user manual, with a chapter dedicated to the different revenue streams available to creators who license their work with CC. The final and most colourful part are the case studies.
The book itself is an example of a successful project: funded on Kickstarter, the book was published in all digital formats and is distributed for free, but the physical copy is available at a small price on Amazon.
The authors came to the conclusion that people who prefer CC licenses over traditional copyright models are individuals and organisations who think beyond profit, people who want to make a difference.