Virtual Workshop Recap: Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage

Background to the workshop

At the start of April 2022, Creative Commons released a policy paper called “Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage — An Agenda for Copyright Reform” developed by members of the Creative Commons (CC) Copyright Platform and CC friends from around the world, which addresses the key high-level policy issues affecting access and sharing of cultural heritage, notably by galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs).

This paper calls for policies that support better sharing of cultural heritage in the public interest. And that’s exactly what we are planning to do. We are developing our first ever CC Open Culture Guide for Policymakers to address the copyright barriers to universal access and reuse of knowledge and culture faced by GLAMs. To initiate this process, we held an interactive virtual workshop for policy experts and open culture enthusiasts to explore key policy issues and gather insights into how to effectively engage policy makers in our work. 

Workshop Recap

CC hosted a workshop on 10 May 2022, “Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage,” which sought to bring together folks from the worlds of open culture and policy. The workshop started with a welcome address from Creative Commons CEO Catherine Stihler, followed by a brief overview of the main policy issues affecting better sharing of cultural heritage.

Our four panelists took to the stage to share their insights into ways to develop impactful and effective guidance to reshape policy. We were joined by:

  • Brigitte Vézina | Director of Policy and Open Culture at Creative Commons (Moderator)
  • Ramon Lugo, Legislative advisor, Senate of the Republic of Mexico
  • Maria Drabczyk, Head of Policy and Advocacy & Board Member, Centrum Cyfrowe
  • Mark Foster, Owner and Managing Director, Strategic Advisory Management
  • Shantal English | Copyright and Related Rights Manager, Jamaica Intellectual Property Office

Check out this Twitter thread with top tips from our panel ? 

1/ A ? of tips from our panel at CC’s ‘Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage’ workshop. #OpenCulture

CC’s @Brigitte_Vezina asked the panel for their insights from developing effective guidance to reshape policy ?

— Creative Commons (@creativecommons) May 10, 2022

After hearing from our panel of policy experts, we moved to the interactive part of the workshop. Attendees were divided into four breakout groups to co-create an initial roadmap for developing a guide for policymakers to support the public interest goals and mission of global cultural heritage institutions and their users. Please note that recordings are not available for the breakout sessions. 

Our four breakout sessions were:

  1. Open Culture in an Ideal World: Needs, goals and aspirations of the open culture movement | Led by Camille Francoise
  2. Open Culture in our Current World: Problems, hurdles and challenges | Led by Shanna Hollich
  3. Bridging the Gap between Current and Ideal: Exploring solutions: exceptions and limitations and safeguarding the public domain | Led by Maarten Zeinstra
  4. New horizons: artificial intelligence, copyright and cultural heritage | Led by Emine Ozge Yildirim

The event probed several innovative and inspiring strategies for CC advocates to convey complex policy messages in simple and engaging ways. It also helped define our policy vision for better sharing of cultural heritage, according to the four horizons that shape it: (1) the challenging present; (2) the path forward; (3) the ideal future; and (4) the final frontier. Our learnings will feed into our guide development process, which will involve many opportunities to deepen the conversations and strengthen collaboration among experts in our dynamic global community.


We can’t develop this guide without your help—join us and get involved in developing a stable foundation for policy makers to further access to information, knowledge and culture. Join the CC Copyright Platform Mailing List >>

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Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage — An Agenda for Copyright Reform

“This paper is intended to act as a pillar and reference point for CC’s advocacy work in copyright reform in the cultural heritage context, with a focus on issues arising in the digital environment. It may serve to support members of the CC community in their own advocacy efforts, guide policymakers in their legislative processes, and inform anyone interested in the policy issues gravitating around access and reuse of culture and cultural heritage. It will likely be adapted into a GLAM Guide for Policymakers and will be augmented with real-life examples, case studies and practical advice. It starts with an overview of copyright challenges to the legitimate activities of GLAMs, notably preservation (largely through digitization) and sharing of digital and digitized content images and data for access, use and reuse. It also notes copyright’s chilling effects in the face of the GLAM sector’s general risk aversion. The paper then offers insights towards effective copyright reform addressing those challenges, with a focus on the opportunities related to the digital environment. The proposals for reform aim to create legal certainty and international harmonization as well as to facilitate cross-border transactions. The paper encourages policymakers to recognize and support the pivotal roles of GLAMs in preserving and providing access to knowledge and culture to all members of society. It urges policymakers to engage with stakeholders to ensure there are clear, simple, and effective policies in place to support better sharing of cultural heritage in the public interest. The paper provides a high-level overview of the policy issues and, as a whole, it does not necessarily reflect the current situation in any specific jurisdiction.”

CC Australia’s response to the exposure draft of the Access Reform Bill | by Elliott Bledsoe | Creative Commons: We Like to Share | Mar, 2022 | Medium

“On Friday 25 February the Creative Commons Australia Chapter (CC Australia) made a submission to the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications in response to their consultation on the exposure draft of the Copyright Amendment (Access Reform) Bill 2021 and a review of the technological protection measures (TPMs) exceptions in the Copyright Regulations 2017….

In the submission, CC Australia expresses its support for the proposed reforms as they harmonise with CC’s vision and mission. There are strong public interest arguments to support activating orphan works and supporting equitable access to cultural collections (and it aligns with CC’s Open GLAM Program). Permitting quotation of copyright material in a range of noncommercial scenarios will help make research available to the research community and the public quicker. And further facilitating online education and encouraging flexibility in the delivery of government services are both worthwhile endeavours….”

OER and CC license references on Wikipedia: We need your help!

“Hosting over 1.7 billion visitors, more than fifty-eight million articles in more than 300 languages, Wikipedia is the world’s largest reference site. Misinformation on Wikipedia can cause rippling damage across countless communities. As open education advocates, we need to ensure the foundational information about OER and CC licenses is accurate. This is not just a matter of correcting critical information in the present, but also protecting the future of our movement. We must ensure learners, educators, policy makers and advocates have accurate information at the core of their open education work.

This is a call to action! Join us for an introductory conversation with Wikimedia’s Douglas Ian Scott and learn how to edit Wikipedia–then put it to practice! We will host a follow-up community conversation and edit-a-thon on Wikipedia to update references to OER and CC licenses–and need your help.”

Open Knowledge to Solve Global Challenges

“The world has multiple big, complex problems (see UN SDGs). If we want to solve these problems, knowledge about the problems must be shared openly with everyone.

Dr. Cable Green is the Director of Open Knowledge at Creative Commons, and is helping to lead a new global campaign to open knowledge about climate change and biodiversity preservation.

After a short 10 minute overview, we will spend 30 minutes discussing why open knowledge is critical to solving global challenges, and what we can collectively do about it.

Everyone is welcome!”

Open Minds Podcast: Angela DeBarger of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Hello Creative Commoners! This week is Open Education Week, and we are back with a new episode of CC’s podcast, Open Minds … from Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy of Angela DeBarger

In this episode, CC’s Director of Open Knowledge, Dr. Cable Green, sits down for a conversation with Open Education Advocate, Dr. Angela Haydel DeBarger. Angela is a Program Officer in Education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Her portfolio addresses Open Education, with the aim of democratizing knowledge, creating inclusive and engaging experiences for learners, and advancing racial equity in education systems.

Previously, Angela served as senior program officer for Lucas Education Research at the George Lucas Educational Foundation, where she led elementary and middle school project-based learning initiatives. From 2002 to 2014, she worked as an education researcher at SRI International. Her research focused on improving classroom pedagogy, specifically assessment strategies, to promote student learning and engagement in science.

Angela has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford University, a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in educational psychology from Stanford University. She is a native Californian and enjoys spending time with her two boys.

Please subscribe to the show in whatever podcast app you use, so you don’t miss any of our conversations with people working to make the internet and our global culture more open and collaborative.

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23 Scholarly Communication Things | QUT Library

23 Scholarly Communication Things by Queensland University of Technology is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.



I. Foundations of Scholarly Communication

Research Integrity

Jennifer Hall; Eileen Salisbury; and Catherine Radbourne

Copyright and Creative Commons

Katya Henry; Rani McLennan; and David Cohen

Author Profiles

Paula Callan; Tanya Harden; and Brendan Sinnamon

II. Research Data Management

Managing research data

Philippa Frame

Publishing research data

Philippa Frame and Stephanie Jacobs

Licensing research data

Philippa Frame and Stephanie Jacobs

III. Open Access

Open Access organisations and developments – National and international

Sandra Fry

Open Access Models

Ginny Barbour; Paula Callan; and Stephanie Jacobs

Open Research

Alice Steiner

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Katya Henry; Kate Nixon; and Sarah Howard

IV. Publishing

Which journal or book publisher to publish with

Paula Callan and Catherine Radbourne

Avoiding deceptive and vanity journals/conferences

Stephanie Jacobs; Catherine Radbourne; and Ginny Barbour

1. Persistent identifiers (PIDs)

Stephanie Jacobs; Paula Callan; Tanya Harden; and Brendan Sinnamon

Preprints, Preprint servers and Overlay journals

Ginny Barbour; Stephanie Jacobs; and Catherine Radbourne

Promoting research

Kate Harbison; Paula Callan; and Tanya Harden

V. Publication Metrics

Responsible use of metrics

Catherine Radbourne and Tanya Harden

Citation counts, author level metrics and journal rankings

Alice Steiner and Tanya Harden

Databases for metrics

Catherine Radbourne

What’s Next for CC Licenses

In this 20th anniversary year of the CC license suite, we are pleased to be renewing our commitment to license stewardship. Creative Commons has always taken its stewardship responsibilities seriously, engaging in multi-year consultation processes for versioning the tools, publishing official translations of the licenses into dozens of languages, and working to educate people about … Read More “What’s Next for CC Licenses”
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A Bug in Early Creative Commons Licenses Has Enabled a New Breed of Superpredator | by Cory Doctorow | Jan, 2022 | Medium

“Here’s a supreme irony: the Creative Commons licenses were invented to enable a culture of legally safe sharing, spurred by the legal terror campaign waged by the entertainment industry, led by a literal criminal predator who is now in prison for sex crimes.

But because of a small oversight in old versions of the licenses created 12 years ago, a new generation of legal predator has emerged to wage a new campaign of legal terror.

To make matters worse, this new kind of predator specifically targets people who operate in good faith, only using materials that they explicitly have been given permission to use.

What a mess….”

A Bug in Early Creative Commons Licenses Has Enabled a New Breed of Superpredator | by Cory Doctorow | Jan, 2022 | Medium

“Here’s a supreme irony: the Creative Commons licenses were invented to enable a culture of legally safe sharing, spurred by the legal terror campaign waged by the entertainment industry, led by a literal criminal predator who is now in prison for sex crimes.

But because of a small oversight in old versions of the licenses created 12 years ago, a new generation of legal predator has emerged to wage a new campaign of legal terror.

To make matters worse, this new kind of predator specifically targets people who operate in good faith, only using materials that they explicitly have been given permission to use.

What a mess….”

Creative Commons Receives $1M Grant From Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Advance Better Sharing

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently allocated $1M to Creative Commons (CC) in honor of CC’s 20th Anniversary. This three-year, general operating support will help foster CC’s commitment to Better Sharing by addressing equity gaps and unequal balances of power in the open ecosystem.

The internet has global ownership with people sharing more information and ideas than ever before; but not all sharing supports equity and the public’s best interests. Better Sharing involves a concerted effort and dedication to building a globally produced, open commons of knowledge, data, culture, and innovation that is universally applicable and accessible.

“We are committed to building a world where everyone, everywhere, has access to free and open knowledge,” says Catherine Stihler, CC chief executive officer. “For us, this means doubling down on our efforts to ensure open access and better sharing for all – not only those with privilege. It also means launching new ventures in Open Science to remove unnecessary barriers to addressing public health crises and the climate emergency, driving comprehensive equitable solutions.”

For the last 20 years, CC has been at the forefront of the digital commons, prioritizing equity in our foundational projects, spanning license stewardship and infrastructure, cultural heritage, education, science, policy, and expanding the global open community. Through CC’s signature licenses, creators have shared over 2 billion works of art, images, texts, research, textbooks, and 3-D models. This global copyright standard empowers people, institutions, and systems to share information openly to advance education, equity, and creativity worldwide. 

To ensure inclusively, sustained progress of Better Sharing, CC will strengthen the CC licenses with a focus on technical infrastructure, legal robustness, accessibility features, and supporting materials. This includes refining open tools and learning materials to strengthen collaborations and community-led solutions, improve knowledge, provide benefits, solve global challenges, promote the public good, and address systemic disparities and biases. 


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
Support for Better Sharing is provided, in part, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to improving health and health equity in the United States. In partnership with others, we are working to develop a Culture of Health rooted in equity that provides every individual with a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. For more information, visit

About Creative Commons:
Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools. Our legal tools help those who want to encourage reuse of their works by offering them for use under generous, standardized terms; those who want to make creative uses of works; and those who want to benefit from this symbiosis. Our vision is to help others realize the full potential of the internet. CC has affiliates all over the world who help ensure our licenses work internationally, and who raise awareness of our work. Learn more at


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Creative Commons Public Domain Tools in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums (GLAMs) – A Needs Assessment

“This survey will be used by Creative Commons for the purposes of analysis to inform our stewardship plans with respect to Creative Commons tools (CC0 (1.0 Universal) Public Domain Dedication and the Public Domain Mark) with a focus on their understanding and use in the GLAM sector. All results will be treated in confidentiality and, if communicated publicly, released anonymously….”

Opportunity: Campaign Manager – Creative Commons

“Climate change, and the resulting harm to our global biodiversity, has been one of the world’s most pressing challenges for decades. Creative Commons (CC) and its partners SPARC and EIFL are launching a global campaign to develop and deliver on equitable, effective messaging, strategies and tactics to empower stakeholders currently leading critical climate and biodiversity work to embed open practices and policies in their operations, and make open sharing of climate and biodiversity research the default.

CC is looking for an enthusiastic, well-organized and hardworking Campaign Manager to assist Creative Commons, our partners, and the campaign steering committee in devising, planning and creating materials for a 4-year global campaign to open climate change and biodiversity research; and then organizing, coordinating, and delivering on that detailed campaign plan….”

Lawrence Lessig: Internet Architecture, Remix Culture, Creative Commons, NFTs, Aaron Swartz and the Internet Archive

“Professor Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School and notably a founding board member of Creative Commons. The New Yorker has called him the most important thinker on intellectual property in the Internet era. In this podcast episode, he shares his reflections on the interplay between copyright and Internet’s architecture, remix culture, the Creative Commons movement, the rise and benefits of NFTs, the work of Aaron Swartz and the attack on the Internet Archive.”

In response to NFT debate

On Wednesday, November 24, Creative Commons (CC) shared an article on our social media channels from Cuseum titled How 21 Museums & Cultural Organization Engaged with NFTS in 2021.

At CC, we pride ourselves on raising issues thoughtfully and often share articles on our platforms about the digital space where we work. Many times CC staff will expand on these topics through our blog, to provide a perspective that reflects CC’s experiences around our work to support, steward and provide legal and technical assistance for the maximization of digital creativity, innovation and sharing. It is our hope that this open space of conversation will generate different viewpoints and promote civil debate. 

So it came as a surprise that yesterday a blog post shared about our nascent thoughts on NFTs dating back to May 2021 could lead to such a personal attack on myself, our Board and the CC team. We encourage healthy debate and welcome feedback but will not tolerate unfair and inaccurate attacks.  

CC has been researching and having conversations with others about NFTs, as referenced in the blog post from May 2021. We continued the dialogue during the CC Global Summit in September 2021 including sessions from stakeholders with different perspectives about NFTs.

For the record I hold no crypto currency or own any NFTs – my interest is looking into how NFTs relate to our licenses and our mission. From discussions so far, many artists and creators are benefiting from being fairly and justly compensated, whilst others have broader concerns about NFTs, which is why there should be a debate. In such a nascent space and as with any new technology, there are differing views and it is important that debate and discussion can be conducted respectfully. Sadly this was not always the case during the recent exchange online.

CC will continue to thoughtfully explore emerging and controversial issues affecting our licenses, our community and our belief in the value of open sharing. We will continue to share our views and ideas in this space and encourage civil debate both online and offline. Guided by our value of informed intention as stated in our strategy, we will continue to “take care with the work that we do, and … act with integrity, accountability, insight and humility.”

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