This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good

Ryan Junell, Creative Commons. Creative Commons License Symbol. 2001 313

Digital image file. Gift of Creative Commons. © 2001 Creative Commons Corporation by artist Ryan Junell.

Ryan Merkley: I'm Ryan Merkley. I'm the CEO at Creative Commons. On the wall in front of you, you see the Creative Commons logo, and four icons that denote the permissions that a creator could give to other people to allow them to use their work.

Lessig: My name's Lawrence Lessig. I'm a co-founder of Creative Commons. When we launched, our real objective was to get people to think about the relationship between copyright and their own forms of creativity.

Merkley: We now live in a world of copies, because that’s how the Internet works. If you have Snapchat, all those pictures that evaporate digitally – there's a copyright on them for your life plus 70 years in the United States. Creative Commons and the licenses – they're a hack on copyright. "Copyright, all rights reserved. Creative Commons, some rights reserved."

Junell: Hi, my name is Ryan Junell, and I designed the Creative Commons logo in 2002. I was excited early on about the logo being open. Like anti-designed.  This is something that anyone could do. Here's a pencil, circle, CC. That seals the deal, rather than a notary public with their embossed stamp.

Lessig: There's a double C, which is a C copying a C, which suggests the idea of multiplying copies. And every one of our licenses guarantees at least the right to copy for non-commercial purposes.

Merkley: In 2015 we'll pass a billion licensed works with Creative Commons. And every single one of those times the creator had to say, "I'm willing to share this.”

Lessig: This is a core principle that the Internet has revived, the incredibly important freedom to innovate and create in whatever field with a minimal restriction imposed by others. So I'm sure that design is not for everyone, but I'm also sure we have no idea who it's for and who it's not for. And that's why we have to leave it open for everyone so that we encourage the widest range of people to critique or build upon or be inspired by design. And then we let the rest of us figure out which design is something we want to make a part of our ordinary life.

6 / 10