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Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2001 to provide free access to culture, education and research through the Web's open source platform. CC licenses and tools are based on the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL). They offer a “some rights reserved” alternative to traditional copyright law, allowing various types of content to achieve full Web potential and compatibility.
CC is also known as a Creative Commons license.
Creative Commons licenses allow creators to maintain copyrights on their works while allowing others to copy and distribute those works. In Creative Commons licenses, work can be freely shared and distributed, as long as the creator is given proper credit and the work is distributed under the license's specified conditions.
In December 2002, CC released its first set of free copyright licenses. Since then, CC licenses have been used worldwide by dozens of CC affiliates in the U.S., Canada and the UK. By 2009, there were approximately 350 million licensed CC works.
Based in Mountain View, Calif., the CC board includes entrepreneurs, philanthropists and experts in education, thought leadership, technology and law.