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Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that allows content creators to designate how they want to exercise their intellectual property rights, primarily online.
Creative Commons was founded in 2001 by a group of law and intellectual property experts that included Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, Eric Eldred, and Eric Saltzman as an alternative to the “all rights reserved” copyright model, which would allow more works to be used in the public domain.
It received initial support from the Center for the Public Domain and Stanford Center for Internet and Society, and has been funded by a variety of foundations, individual donations and government grants, including the MacArthur Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Omidyar Network.
Under Creative Commons licenses, creators can dictate whether their works can be used for commercial purposes, to create derivative works or by entities that abide by similar licensing arrangements. All Creative Commons licenses require attribution of the original author.
Numerous news organizations have used Creative Commons licenses to allow their content to be distributed, including GateHouse Media, the BBC, the Tribune Co. and Spot.Us. The Knight Foundation requires all of its News Challenge winners to make their work available via Creative Commons.
MinnPost is a nonprofit news site based in Minneapolis, Minn. The site was launched in 2007 by Joel Kramer, a former editor and publisher at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, to reach civic leaders and those interested in public policy. Its initial $1.1 million in funding was provided predominantly by local donors (including Kramer himself), along…