Art + Design: Research Guide

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization which leads the world in encouraging and enabling the easier use of copyrighted works. 

  • CC licenses provide simple, free tools for individuals to retain their copyright AND easily share their creative works. CC licenses work with copyright and provide levels of sharing, remixing , the creation of derivatives, and commercial  or non-commercial use.
  • CC works with governments and other institutions to encourage more open laws and options for individuals to share creative works. 
  • CC also builds  community around the idea of sharing creative works  through worldwide networks of people with  these same interests.

"What is Creative Commons?" by the Wikimedia Foundation, Creative Commons reuse allowed by due to tradmark usage, no copies CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. This widget links/refers back to the original video.

What is Open Access?

Open Access is a designation for resources which are made available online, free of charge and usually without or limited copyright restrictions.



Creative Commons Timeline, 2020

Creative Commons Timeline References

The "Creative Commons Timeline, 2020" is a derivative of "Creative Commons Timeline"  by Andree Rathemache, 2008  used under CC-BY 4.0. "Creative Commons Timeline, 2020" [text edited] by Kendall Larson licensed under  CC-BY 4.0.

Timeline references (the content sources below) are by Andree Rathemache, 2008 are licensed under CC-BY 4.0.

Content sources:

Creative Commons. n.d. "CC Certificate Unit 1: What is Creative Commons?" Accessed October 7, 2018.

Creative Commons. n.d. "Network Strategy." Accessed September 30, 2018.

Creative Commons. n.d. "State of the Commons." Accessed September 30, 2018.

Lessig, L. 2014. "How I Lost the Big One." Legal Affairs, March/April 2004.

Murphy, Julia  and Max Roser. 2018. "Internet".

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. “Copyright Term Extension Act,” (accessed September 27, 2018),

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. “Creative Commons,” (accessed September 30, 2018),

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. “Eldred v. Ashcroft,” (accessed September 27, 2018),

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. “Global Internet Usage,” (accessed September 30, 2018),

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. “History of the Internet,” (accessed September 27, 2018),

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. “World Wide Web,” (accessed September 27, 2018),

Image sources:

CC logo on blue world map image by Creative Commons

Creative Commons license spectrum by Shaddim, original CC license symbols by Creative Commons, licensed under CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Creative Commons icon by Creative Commons

Internet users by world region image by Max Roser, licensed under CC BY-SA

Ken Thompson sitting and Dennis Ritchie at PDP-11 image by Peter Hamer, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lawrence Lessig image by Joi Ito, licensed under CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Partial map of the Internet image by The Opte Project, licensed under CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Trend of Maximum U.S. General Copyright Term image by Tom W. Bell, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

State of Creative Commons, 2017 image by Creative Commons, licensed under CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The original timeline created using Timeline, a tool from the Knight Lab at Northwestern University using this Google Sheets file.