Creative Commons is a non-profit headquartered in Mountain View, CA that "enables knowledge sharing and creativity through its legal and technical tools."

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As Chef from South Park so poignantly said, “There’s a time and a place for everything, and it’s called college.” Sometimes college students do stupid things, and sometimes they get caught. Even some of the most successful people in the world got in trouble for things like underage drinking, public urination, or throwing a party that got a bit too loud. These are the types of things that can cause mild embarrassment and a few short-term headaches, but probably won’t ruin your life (as long as you don’t add them to your resume). During the past decade there has been a new indiscretion that has become popular with college students. Like the others, it seems victimless (which is debatable), but the repercussions of this offense can be much more serious. What is it? Copyright infringement.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that addresses many of those issues that college students face when it comes to understanding how copyright works. Now, Creative Commons isn’t going to get you off the hook when you get served a DMCA notice by the RIAA or anything like that, but they are helping to spread the ideology of openness when it comes to intellectual property. What do they do exactly?

Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright — all rights reserved — and the public domain — no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work — a “some rights reserved” copyright.

What does that mean? It means that artists, musicians, photographers, writers, and anybody else who creates can use the Creative Commons License to maintain their rights to their work while allowing you more flexibility in the way you enjoy it. In fact, Creative Commons is an organization that does a phenomenal job of explaining who they are and what they’re about, so we’re going to leave the rest up to them. They have a great about page and a Wiki, as well as comics and videos, all of which you should check out if you’re interested in working for Creative Commons.

Creative Commons is growing very quickly, and it’s very likely that they’ll be adding new job openings in the future. For now, they have two jobs listed that have no mention of a need for previous work experience. Still, both of these jobs come with significant responsibilities, so you better have had relevant internships and/or a relevant, high-level position in a college organization. The two current openings are for a Public Relations Specialist RFP and an Accountant, both of which are located at Creative Commons’ San Francisco office. If you’re interested in copyright law, intellectual property rights, or creative works in general, Creative Commons might be a great place to launch your career.

College students can also get involved with Creative Commons through FreeCulture.org, which is an organization aimed at promoting ” free culture ideals, such as cultural participation and access to information.” You can get involved with a local chapter or look around their site for other ways to participate. This is a great opportunity for people who are interested in the mission of Creative Commons, but aren’t good fits for the jobs that are currently listed.

Note: On April 27th we revisited entry-level jobs at Creative Commons.

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We copyright our daily posts and our entire site, do you think we should use a Creative Commons license instead? Why? Tell us in the comments.

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