Creative Commons is the global standard for open content. There are active CC communities on every continent on earth.

When open licenses become a requirement on publicly funded resources, they have the potential to massively reduce costs and increase access to use and reuse of a wide range of materials, from educational content like digital textbooks, to the results of scholarly research, to troves of valuable public sector data.

All too often, the opposite is the case. When the public can’t access and use the materials it paid for, the impact those materials have is limited.

Copyright law should not be written in secret

Creative Commons believes that whenever the scope, duration, or limitations of copyright law are under discussion, lawmakers should think carefully about how those decisions impact the public’s right to information, knowledge, and culture.

Unfortunately, sometimes those decisions are made in secret negotiations, where the public can’t watch and can’t participate. This year, we’ve seen disturbing details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a treaty that, if passed, will extend copyright terms by another 20 years beyond its current, mandatory term. If adopted, this extension would work to keep creative works out of the public domain for decades beyond the current term. It’s essentially a double-life sentence for all new works.

This would be an incredible loss for the commons. Increasing the term of copyright protection harms the commons. Any public policy that will further delay a work’s entry into the public domain is contrary to the values we support –– realizing the full potential of the internet through universal access to the creativity that promotes active participation in culture and society.

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