One Billion Creative Works Will Soon Be Available for Free Use

Creative Commons licensed material is rapidly increasing Photo: Non-Profit Quarterly

Creative Commons, a non-profit organization which licenses free online content, announced on Thursday that the total number of license-free photos and articles will surpass the one billion mark in 2015.

Every four years Creative Commons issues a report entitled State of the Common. According to data published in the latest report, as of November 2014 there were around 882 million works available under Creative Commons licenses (CC).

The figure represents a doubling of the number of works available since the last report was published in 2010, which estimated there to be 400 million CC licenses in use at the time. In 2006 a mere 50 million works were estimated as available for use under CC licenses. In an effort to track data more effectively in the future, Creative Commons has also announced plans to publish the State of the Common report annually, starting in 2015.

Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative Commons was “surprised” by the expansion rate of free CC licensed material. He said that reaching the one billion mark was “an exciting milestone for a 12 year old organization.”

According to Merkley the reports are generated by asking websites that publish large numbers of CC licensed material, such as Flickr and Wikipedia to supply data to Creative Commons. Another method used to count CC material utilizes Google to count every item on the internet embedded with a unique CC code. However these methods can only approximate the amount of CC licensed material, as the organization does not maintain its own database.

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