Documentation and Frequently Asked Questions
The new Creative Commons Global Network is the result of a comprehensive and collaborative effort by the CC movement to renew and grow its network, finalized at the 2017 Global Summit in Toronto.
It’s important to acknowledge the hard work of all the people involved from the beginning, which included research (the Faces of the Commons is a 300 page multi region report with recommendations and insights), an open consultation with the broad CC community including CC Affiliates, partners, funders, and the CC Board, and 22 online and in-person meetings. More than the 80 percent of the active members of the network were involved in the process. You can read the full Global Network Strategy, as well as other documentation of the process, in our Github repository.
When you participate in the Creative Commons Global Network (“CCGN”), there are several legal policies that you should read because they apply to you as you engage with CC and the network.
The following policies apply to everyone who participates in the CCGN:
If and when you become a member of the CCGN, you must also follow the guidelines for vouching applicants to the network. Members of the Global Network Council must also follow the guidelines for approving new CCGN members.
Note that all of the CC policies that apply to the general public, such as the CC Trademark Policy, also apply to people involved in the CCGN. You can review all of those policies here.
What is Creative Commons and what is a Creative Commons license?
Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools. With a network of staff, board, and members around the world, Creative Commons provides a suite of free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to provide a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work on conditions of your choice. For more information about what Creative Commons do and how Creative Commons Licenses work, visit creativecommons.org.
What is the CC Global Network?
A vital part of Creative Commons movement is its network of people around the world who share CC’s visions and values. From translating licenses to advocating for the adoption of CC licenses in local policies, individual/institutional members and supporters of CC around the world have served as CC representatives in their regions and come together around common issues such as copyright reform, open education, etc. to have a global impact.
What is this website?
This website is the hub for the Creative Commons Global Network where you can find out about the Network, who they are, what they do, how they work together (and independently). This site is where you can apply to join the network as an individual or institutional member.
How does the CC Global Network work?
Composed of Individual and Institutional Members and contributors, the CC Global Network is the overarching structure to help coordinate and provide leadership in the global Creative Commons movement. The CC Global Network as a whole pursues and holds true to the visions, missions, values and guiding principles defined in the Global Network Strategy and Global Network Membership Charter. Although it shares the same visions and values with and supported by CC HQ, the CC Global Network has a separate governance structure.
There are three key elements of the Global Network: Chapters, Platforms, and Governance through the Global Network Council.
A Chapter is constituted by all Individual/Institutional Members and other people who promote CC (“Contributors”) in a particular country. Contributors who are not Members may also participate in Chapters. How Chapters organize themselves should be determined locally and will depend on local characteristics, preferences, needs, resources, and priorities.
A Platform is an “area of work” that can have goals, objectives, policy positions, individual and collaborative activities, and possibly also specific programs. Platforms are enabling structures for activities carried out by Network Members and Contributors and are a way of organizing and coordinating collaboration across the network. While decision-making is limited to Network Members, participation in platform activities is open to anyone, just like in Chapters.
The Global Network Council is the governing and decision-making body of the Global Network. It consists of elected representatives of all CC Chapters and representatives from CC HQ.
Who is part of the CC Network?
CC Global Network is open to anyone who would like to contribute to Creative Commons movement. While Individual and Institutional Members are core participants in the network’s governance processes and the international work of the network, other Chapter participants or independent CC advocates participating in CC Platforms are also part of CC Network. Artists or collaborators who do a project at an event organized by CC and engage with other CC supporters are also equally welcome as contributors to the CC Global Network.
Do I need to be a member to participate in the Network?
No. Being a member is just one of the ways to participate in the Network. You can launch a CC project in your region with other members in your Chapter as a contributor. If you are interested in a specific area or issue, e.g. OER, you can participate in the OER Platform or any other Platform as a non-member. Membership is for those who are interested in playing a leadership role in the governance of the Network.
Is there a membership fee?
No! We believe Creative Commons is a nonprofit and has been and can continue to be a thriving open community where everyone feels welcome to participate and contribute whether they afford to a membership fee or not. However, we’d greatly appreciate your support and your donations are always welcome. Help us build a vibrant, collaborative global commons by donating today.
What do I need to apply for a membership?
You don’t have to be a member to do a CC project in your region or participate in a Platform. But if you are keen to involve more deeply in and play a leadership role in the movement’s international dimension or to be involved more deeply in collective decision-making on key issues of the network, you might want to consider applying for a membership. As an Individual Member, you can create a Chapter and/or represent your Chapter at the Global Network Council.
What is the process? Is it difficult? How long will it take?
It’s quite simple. To become a member of the CC Global Network,
1) You must agree to the Charter
2) Provide some track record of contributing to the CC movement
3) Be vouched by two current network members.
These requirements equally apply to Individual Members and Institutional Members. Once you agree to the Charter and submit an application through this website, your application will be first reviewed by the two vouchers based on transparent criteria and the Global Network Council will make a final decision to approve or deny the application. We expect this to be a quick process, and it should not take more than 2 to 4 weeks to receive the final result, depending on the capacity of the council. If you have any questions about the process, contact us email@example.com.
What is CCID? Do I really need one?
CCID is a universal login for all Creative Commons services, from editing the CC wiki to accessing Global Network website. You can register for a CCID here with an email address, a given name and a password. As a first step in the membership process, we request users to have a CCID so that we can store your profile data in our database to help you access your application during the application process and then the information disclosed only to members of the network once you have joined as a member.
Can the institution I work for join the Network?
Yes. Not only individuals but also institutions can become an official Member of the Network and the basic requirements are the same – agreeing to the Charter and being vouched by two current individual members. In addition to these requirements, there may be additional minimum agreements to be signed with CC organization regarding trademark and other legal issues. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to apply for an institutional membership on behalf of my organization. Can I still become an individual member? Or would I be automatically accepted as an individual member?
Institutional membership and individual membership are two separate membership programs that do not exclude each other. Anyone who is an institutional member – meaning who is employed by or in any other formal relationship with the given institution – can apply to become an individual member regardless of the membership status of their institution. No matter how many individual members a given institution has, anyone, whether she is an individual member or not, can apply for an institutional membership on behalf of the organization. Membership status of your institution neither affect membership status of its employees nor guarantees that your individual membership application is approved automatically. You must go through the same application process as anyone else to become an individual member.
The only thing you may want to take note of if you are interested in both membership programs is that the institution cannot be vouched by individual members associated with the institution. In other words, names listed in an institutional membership application as vouchers must be those that have no formal relationship with the institution.
What is a Chapter?
Chapters are the hub of local CC activities in a particular country. Constituted by Network Members and other participants of CC within a country, a chapter may develop and maintain an organizational structure and governance processes of its own and offer guidance and direction to Members and other participants within the country as to how they can operate and speak on behalf of the Chapter in that country. All Chapters must make sure their activities are in line with the CC Global Network’s shared strategic vision, For more information about roles and responsibilities of a Chapter, read this.
Can I start a new Chapter in my Country?
Make sure to check if a Chapter already exists in your country. If there is no Chapter in your country, and if you are an Individual Member of CC Global Network, then you are eligible to start a new Chapter in your country. Even then, we recommend you confirm with the Creative Commons Headquarters (CC HQ) first whether there is any individual or community interested in creating a Chapter in your country. It is also possible that there’s someone who has already been in discussion to create a Chapter, in which case we might be able to connect you with them!
How can I find out if there’s a Chapter in my country already?
While we are trying to provide the most up-to-date list of Chapters on this website, chances are there are some prospective Chapters or potential communities that are not publicly visible. Please write to email@example.com and we will help you find your local Chapter or connect you to potential communities in your country.
Can I start a Chapter in my city or university?
For purposes of governance the Network, only one Chapter can exist per country and Chapters must be open to any Member or participants within that country. A university can participate in a Chapter as an Institutional Member or Contributor, but an individual cannot start a Chapter for your city or within a university. However, there may be limited circumstances where there is good reason to have more than one team within a given country. The Global Network Council will review these on a case-by-case basis.
Can I participate in more than one Chapter?
Yes and no, depending on the type of relationship you are looking for. You are free to do projects or collaborate with other members in as many countries or regions as you want, but you may be affiliated with only one Chapter at a time when it comes to governance of Chapters and how CC Global Network works. For example, you are only able to represent one Chapter at the GNC at a time. Chapters may also define limits and offer guidance to Members of the Chapter team as to how they can operate and speak on behalf of the Chapter in that country. Members within a country that has a Chapter are expected to abide by those rules, as are other participants working on behalf of CC in the country.
What is The Charter?
The Charter is the agreement between an individual person or an institution that the Creative Commons Global Network has with all of the other Members and Institutional Members of the Creative Commons network and Creative Commons. It includes the list of values we share, the principles that guide our work, and our and mutual responsibilities. It also identifies policies with which all Members and others, if acting in the name of Creative Commons (when allowed) or a participant in a Chapter or elsewhere in our network in any capacity, must adhere in order to safeguard the reputation of Creative Commons and the coordination of activities in the course of pursuing our shared mission and objectives.
Any individual or institution must agree to the Charter to apply to become a Member of the Network.
What happens to the Affiliate Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding that I or my organisation have with Creative Commons under the new CCGN structure?
Generally, all Affiliate Agreements and MOUs will be terminated by Creative Commons at some point between now and the 2018 Global Summit. If you are applying to become an organizational member of the CCGN, the CC legal team will be in touch before membership is approved to make arrangements for termination of existing agreements with your institution and Creative Commons. If you are not applying to join the CCGN, CC will contact you in advance of the 2018 Global Summit to confirm the date of termination of your agreements, consistent with the terms and conditions of those agreements. No Affiliate Agreements or MOUs will remain in effect after the 2018 Global Summit, absent unique circumstances. Please plan accordingly.