Creative Commons Launches Annual Fundraiser

Creative Commons is a license that hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of creators use to make content that is typically file-sharing, remix friendly.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The model is sometimes known as ‘copyleft’. They are now kicking off something only started last year; which is a year end fund-raiser. The organization is close to meeting one third of their target on their first day.

“Digital technologies are connecting people in ways that were never before possible” The campaign webpage says, “but that network is fragile. Creative Commons needs your support to help enable a participatory culture – a culture in which everyone can actively engage in the creativity that surrounds us.”

There is little doubt the Creative Commons community is huge. With contributors ranging to as large as Wikipedia, Digg (comments), music archives like Section Z and Magnatune, and so on, it is possible to say that there is no surprise that the goal the Creative Commons organization is seemingly already in arms reach.

On its first day of the campaign, the Creative Commons community collected roughly 80,000 dollars. Their goal is to reach 300,000 dollars by the end of the year (December 31.) They claim that in order to meet their target, they’ll do this in a unique fashion – through video sharing as well as donations.

How is making money through video sharing possible? There are definitely attempts like Sharman Networks, Streamcast, and others, but many file-sharing companies are under fire through litigation by record labels.

Creative Commons plans to make money via video-sharing by utilizing a company known as Revver. Revver is a video sharing site that pays video content creators money for making content and releasing it under Creative Commons licenses.

Creative Commons boasts, “CC and Revver have hacked the fund raising system… Watch our videos and we get paid!” They explain, “Revver attaches a short ad at the end of each video; when someone clicks on the ad, Revver splits the resulting revenue with the video’s creator. It’s usually a 50/50 split, but Revver is generously giving Creative Commons 100% of the money our videos make through the end of our fund raising campaign on December 31, 2006.”

While donations are still an option, Creative Commons says, “We’re becoming the first nonprofit organization to raise money through online video sharing.”

It would seem that this idea of ad placement might ring a similar tune to that of YouTube when they partnered up with Google. By placing an ad at the end of video clips, a company could stream video and profit from it. While YouTube might be working to build such a model, it seems that Revver has already made this a reality – effectively beating them to the punch. Normally, Revver splits the profits 50/50 with the artist, but the company is giving 100% of the donated content straight to the foundation. From the looks of things, it’s proven to be quite successful already.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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