If you teach about Creative Commons, if you have students and teachers interested in creating new media, in remixing or mashing-up, you will want to download a copy of The Power of Open. The pdf book is a kind of temperature check, more accurately a celebration, of the impact of the global explosion of openness that is the Creative Commons movement, now a decade old.
Now more than 400 million CC-licensed works are available on the Internet, from music and photos, to research findings and entire college courses. Creative Commons created the legal and technical infrastructure that allows effective sharing of knowledge, art and data by individuals, organizations and governments. More importantly, millions of creators took advantage of that infrastructure to share work that enriches the global commons for all humanity.
Soon to be available in nine languages, the little book shares the stories of creators of all walks of life–photographers, filmmakers, publishers, journalists, musicians, educators, writers, hardware and automobile designers, museum curators, storytellers, health care and human rights workers, and librarians–who have benefited from the Power of Open.
Teacher librarians must make learners aware of this movement as part of any instruction relating to modern understanding of intellectual property and media creation.
As we look ahead, the field of openness is approaching a critical mass of adoption that could result in sharing becoming a default standard for the many works that were previously made available only under the all-rights-reserved framework. Even more exciting is the potential increase in global welfare from the use of Creative Commons’ tools and the increasing relevance of openness to the discourse of culture, education and innovation policy.