May 17, 2005  ·  Lessig

As announced yesterday, we’ve had some significant (and almost all fantastic) changes at Creative Commons. (The exception is described in the next entry). Read more in the extended entry.

As the press release describes, we’ve launched Creative Commons, International (CCi). This is an outgrowth of the iCommons Project. The objective of iCommons was to port our licenses into as many jurisdictions as possible. There are over 70 jurisdictions in the process of doing this, and about a score have already launched.

But what we didn’t expect when we launched iCommons was that the community that was built to port the licenses would then want to do more. Once the geeky-lawyer part was finished, that is, there were artists, artists, educators, librarians, and many others who were keen to help build the movement beyond the licenses.

This need created an opportunity. And we were extremely lucky to be able to get Paula Le Dieu to lead the project to meet this need. Paula has been much of the inspiration and most of the sweat behind the BBC’s Creative Archive project. Once she got that project launched, she was eager to do the same internationally. CCi is a UK based nonprofit corporation. The chairman of its board is Joi Ito. And its focus will be to grow the communities around CC in every country around the world that we can.

iCommons will continue to do the first stage of the project — building the community to port the license. But once the licenses have been ported, and the country launched, iCommons will hand the project over to CCi.

More progress:

This change comes with two others as well, both precipitated by the news described in the next entry. Neeru Paharia has been the idea-man behind most of the coolest ideas that CC has had. She has become the executive directors of what we internally refer to as the Culture Commons (as distinct from the Science Commons, which launched earlier this year). Neeru’s job is to continue to develop projects that integrate our licenses into code and community. She’s got more ideas than there is time, so I’m extremely happy that she has taken the helm.

And finally, we have hired our first General Counsel, Mia Garlick. As our licenses grow, and the legal issues they raise increase, we finally hired a lawyer in house who can spend her day dealing with these issues. Mia is an Aussie (as is Paula). She had many years of practice in Australia. She was a graduate student at Stanford, and then practiced in the Valley for a couple more years. We were very lucky to be able to tempt her away from money and timesheets, to add a real lawyer to the mix at CC.

There will be more changes to come. We’re keen to find a great development director, and more web support in house. Our CEO, Mark Resch, after pulling our organization together and getting us to see how we had to grow, has moved on. I’m the temporary CEO (and Chairman). I’m hopeful Joi Ito will move to the Bay Area in the fall and take my place.

Stay tuned for more.