Creative Commons (CC) are free, easy-to-use copyright licenses that provide a simple, standardized way to give your permission to share and use your creative work— on conditions of your choice. Even if the uses of CC seem relatively clear to artists and creators, the licenses have been more difficult to justify when the authors’ activities involve commercial interests. The main goal of the CC Toolkit for Business is to allow professional individuals and organizations to understand why the use of CC licenses can be a strategic instrument to consider in their business models.

business_centerHow can it benefit a business?

Reducing production costs

You can produce effective materials with a small investment by using CC licensed works (design, photography, film, music...) made available by a generous community of authors. The only drawback is that you can find other companies using the same CC licensed works. But hey, if you are a startup or a company launching a new product, this can be a great starting point!

Reducing transaction costs and legal uncertainty

Standardized contracts are one means of reducing transaction costs and legal uncertainty associated with copyright licensing. Copyright owners can be difficult to locate or hard to negotiate with. Even if you reach an agreement, you will probably need the help of a lawyer. Creative Commons works with lawyers from all over the world so that you can freely use a license suite that works globally.

Increasing first mover advantage

Copyright gives you exclusive rights over your work. This means others cannot use it without your permission. By licensing your work with CC, you will allow others to use your work. Your work will circulate more widely, which can help you gain an interesting market share. In other words, you can accelerate your access to the market and increase your chances to establish a first mover advantage.

Increasing “opportunity benefits” and building a reputation

When you license a product with CC, you increase your chances to enjoy "opportunity benefits". If you make your product available for others to use, adapt and share you might be surprised by unexpected returns, such as new forms of revenues arising from the derivative works. Letting the public know that you are interested in collaborative works can also enhance your reputation.

Increasing access to innovation and reducing marketing costs

Making your product available to your target audience under a CC license allows you to do market tests before releasing its final version. Your early adopters can try your product beforehand, give you feedback about it and influence the market you have targeted. This way, you improve your product while maximizing future benefits and often reducing innovation and marketing costs.

Promoting sustainability

When you use CC licenses you show that your business is socially responsible: you are working towards generating revenue but you also want to make sure that others can benefit from your work. CC licenses place your company in a network of collaborative clients, partners and suppliers, allowing you to keep a light structure and reduce costs by using only resources that are essential.

For more information check out all the material:

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