Creativity always builds on the past. And you are building the past right now. Share now. Shape the future.

—Justin Cone, 2004

Traditional “all rights reserved” copyright restricts our access to the creative outputs of the past. However, imagine a world where we stop reinventing the wheel and build on the past for a better future. In a digital world, Creative Commons licenses refine copyright for creating digital futures while expanding the shared commons.

Lawrence Lessig, a leading pioneer and founding board member of Creative Commons, suggests giving the creators of knowledge and culture the freedom to create. This means using copyright to give permissions to create. In this learning pathway we will explore how this works. It’s legal, and it’s free!


Creativity builds on the past by Justin Cones

Watch: Building on the Past, winner of the Creative Commons Moving Images Contest, 2004.

Or watch video on
Going behind the scenes
Meet Creative Commoner, Justin Cone who created “Building on the Past

Or watch video on

Share your thoughts

  1. Contribute to the discussion of the ideas in “Building on the past” by posting one or two comments on WENotes below, for example, Great video because …..
    • What was the most important message of the video for you?
    • Did you learn anything new?
  2. Contribute your thoughts, ideas or insights to the discussion of Justin’s reflection by posting one or two comments on WENotes below. Questions to consider:
    • Do you agree / disagree with Justin’s reasons and message behind the video — Why?
    • Did you experience any unexpected insights? Please share.
    • Complete this sentence: “For me, Creative Commons means … “

You must be logged in to post to WEnotes.

Note: Your comment will be displayed in the course feed.