Creative Commons appeals for cash

The organisation set up to help authors freely distribute their work while retaining control is appealing for money - a lot of money

Creative Commons launched an appeal this week for cash to meet its goal of raising $225,000 by the end of this year. It has already raised just over $20,000, giving it two months to accrue the remaining $205,000.

Set up in 2002 by US academic Lawrence Lessig, author of Code and other laws of Cyberspace,  Creative Commons aims to provide a more flexible alternative to the traditional copyright laws. It allows content creators to grant some rights to the public while keeping others — for example, allowing anyone to republish their material as long as it is attributed.

Now it is appealing for support to achieve its aims. Currently, the group says, "there are over fifty million objects on the Web that link back to [its] licences" and it has "hundreds of volunteers working to spread our free licences".

According to the statement, while the group has relied in the past on "the substantial support of major foundations" it now needs the public "to show the world that our support reaches beyond foundation boardrooms".

Creative Commons enjoys the support of the UK Government, amongst others. In June the Government's Common Information Environment (CIE) commissioned a study on the potential for the deployment of Creative Commons licences or their equivalent.

However, the group has encountered some difficulties in Britain, in its quest to create more workable copyright standards. After setting up a UK operation in March, Creative Commons later announced that, after "much debate" it was setting up a separate "jurisdictions" for Scotland.