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Guide to Becoming an Institutional Member

Membership in the CC Global Network is open to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment and a future willingness to supporting the sharing of knowledge and culture, and share the values of the CC Global Network as set forth in the CC Global Network Charter.

CC’s global impact has always depended on the long-term commitment and support of many dedicated organizations and institutions around the world, many of which have served as CC affiliates. Some contribute to our community by setting an example through the adoption of CC licenses, the implementation of CC-friendly copyright policies, or the promotion of CC to other organizations and governments in their region; others provide a foundation for organizing and leveraging teams of individual volunteers and activists; and still others actively organize and steward events, projects, and advocacy positions related to CC and the copyright ecosystem. As CC embarks on its next chapter to broaden and strengthen its global network, relationships with organizations and institutions become increasingly critical.

Are you with an organization that has served as a CC affiliate? Are you a scholar eager to persuade your university to embrace and support CC policies, and possibly promote this approach to your colleagues and other universities in your region? Are you from a local or international organization that has been involved in CC-related projects and interested in working more closely with like-minded organizations in the CC community as an official member? Then you are in the right place.

Some important facts about institutional membership

  • In order to apply for institutional membership to the CCGN, your institution must be a legal entity; if it is not, then individuals associated with a group may always apply for individual membership.

  • Your institution will not be eligible for membership in the CCGN if its one of the following:

    • Political parties
    • Lobbying firms and groups
    • Governments and government agencies, legislatures etc. (but not including government-funded institutions such as universities)

It is not eligible for membership in the CCGN although any of its individual members may apply. This is due in part to partisanship and lobbying concerns. It’s also possible that other concerns may arise with regard to certain categories of institutions. Remember: you can always join as an individual through our normal processes, even if your institution is not accepted.

  • Organizations with a CC affiliate agreement or MOU as of the end of 2017 with CC are encouraged to continue their relationship with CC. With the launch of the new Global Network structure, the affiliate program is closed as of the end of 2017, and all existing affiliate agreements will be terminated. However, we hope to continue to strengthen our cooperation with all CC affiliates and other organizations with any relationship with CC through a transition from affiliate status to Institutional Member status.

  • Organizations with a terminated or expired CC affiliate agreement or MOU are encouraged to renew their relationship with CC. If your organization has been involved with CC in the past but is no longer active, consider becoming an Institutional Member in the new Global Network structure. This includes organizations that have never had a formal relationship with CC but have been involved and wish to continue being involved with the CC community.

  • Institutional Members can participate in Chapters and Network Platforms. Just like individual members, Institutional Members are encouraged to participate in a Chapter of their choice and work with any other members in the network through Network Platforms. You can find information on principles and guidelines for Chapters here. Or if you want to learn more about how Network Platforms work, you may want to check out this.

  • Individuals working in an Institutional member can join the network as Individual Members as well. Individual Members and Institutional Members have many commonalities but some differences. . While an institution cannot be vouched for by its employees and must designate a representative to become an institutional member, there’s no restriction on the number of persons associated with the institution that may also join as an Individual Member.

  • Institutional Members do not have voting rights on the Global Network Council. While both Individual Members and Institutional Members have many of the same rights and responsibilities, Institutional Members do not have voting rights on the Global Network Council. Only Individual Members (including persons associated with Institutional Members) can represent a Chapter and vote as a member of the Global Network Council.

  • An organization must be vouched to become an Institutional Member. To become an Institutional Member, an organization must be vouched for by two active Individual Members of the Global Network. Vouching is the process by which individuals attest to the contributions of the applicant. Individuals employed by or affiliated in any other any direct relationship with the organization cannot vouch for the organization. For evaluation criteria for those vouching as well as standards for vouching, please read this guide for vouching.

Before you apply

Before starting the application process, please check the list below and make sure to be prepared to provide the requested information when you submit your application:

  1. Provide the name and title of the individual who will officially and formally represent your institution in its submission.

  2. Review and agree to comply with the Global Network Charter

  3. Provide the identifies of two Individual Members of the CC Global Network who will vouch for your institution. As noted above, they must be individuals who are not directly associated with the institution.

  4. Identify all prior agreements your institution has had with Creative Commons in the past, including an MOU or affiliate agreement, and trademark and domain name agreements.

  5. Agree to sign a formal agreement with CC, if deemed necessary.

If you are prepared to supply this information and agree to the processes above, then you are now ready to move on to the next step - submitting an application through the Institutional Membership Sign-up page.

If you have any questions or feedback, please email us at