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Creative Commons Global Network Membership Charter

  • 07.11.2017 Public Version: https://creativecommons.org/network/charter/

  • See Policy for version control

  • Translations of this Charter and other network-related governance documents may be provided in other languages. In the event of doubt or conflict between any translation and the original English language version, the English language version shall control.


This document is the agreement you, an individual person (a "Member") or an institution (an “Institutional Member”), in the Creative Commons Global Network, have with all of the other Members and Institutional Members of the Creative Commons network and Creative Commons (“we” or the “CCGN”). As used in this Charter all references to “Member” or “Members” refers collectively to Members and Institutional Members, though their rights as defined in other CCGN documents differ.

This Charter includes the list of values we share, the principles that guide our work and mutual responsibilities. It also identifies policies with which all Members and others, if acting in the name of Creative Commons (when allowed) or a participant in a Chapter or elsewhere in our network in any capacity, must adhere in order to safeguard the reputation of Creative Commons and the coordination of activities in the course of pursuing our shared mission and objectives.

Rights and Responsibilities

Membership in the Creative Commons Global Network is open to any individual or organization that has a demonstrated commitment to supporting the sharing of knowledge and culture, and who shares the values of the community.

Joining as a Member or other participant means joining a global network of individuals and organizations that work together, in many different ways, to promote and enable openness and sharing around the world. We are all collectively committed to building a global network that is supportive and that recognises and celebrates the achievements of others. We expect that as a Member or other participant, you will strive to work collaboratively and help others achieve our shared goals.

Becoming a Member is a position of trust. It means we trust one another to be a face of the Creative Commons community and to collaborate productively and constructively to promote a shared vision and common objectives, consistent with the objectives and activities of your local Chapter, if any. Joining as a Member also means playing a leadership role in the movement’s international dimension, with expectations to support collective decision-making and advancing the major areas of focus of the network.

All Members are expected to:

  • Abide by the CCGN Code of Conduct

  • Abide by policies that Creative Commons establishes and updates from time to time in connection with use of its trademarks, websites and web domains, and similar, which CC pledges to advise members, partners and Chapters of in a timely fashion and to publish in advance as described below

  • Work towards the mission of the movement in a way that aligns with its collective strategy

  • Always act consistently with the values of the CCGN movement

  • Communicate with and support others in the CCGN via mailing lists, or others methods of communication

  • Share your work and experiences with the CCGN

  • Actively contribute to the CCGN in some way (e.g., participating in a CC Network Platform)

The work of a Creative Commons Network Member

The work of a Creative Commons Network Member can take place in two overlapping networks - in subject matter specific Platforms, and in geographically specific local Chapters.

As a Member, you do not have to seek permission to carry out activities that further CC’s mission, as long as they do not conflict with Creative Commons values or the collective strategy and activities of others in the CCGN. You acknowledge that the Chapter in your country or with which you choose to associate may develop and maintain an organizational structure that could include management and coordination, governance processes, designated spokespersons, or designated subject matter leads who speak or direct communications on issues in a specific country. Chapters may also define limits and offer guidance to Members of the Chapter team as to how they can operate and speak on behalf of the Chapter in that country. Members within a country with a Chapter are expected to abide by those, as are other participants working on behalf of CC in the country. On issues of legal interpretation and government policy, among other matters to be identified by Chapters and Creative Commons, Members and others operating in or in association with a country are expected to coordinate with the local Chapter leadership on these matters, whether or not they participate directly in the Chapter.

In your activities as a Member, many Members will work with others in your country to constitute a local Chapter, organizing activities consistent and aligned with the CCGN shared strategic vision. In addition to a local Chapter’s organizational structure as described above, CCGN Platforms frame what a Member or other contributors can say and do on behalf of Creative Commons or the local Chapter. Platforms enable diverse and widespread participation while ensuring that activities of Members and other contributors are strategically aligned and consistent. We welcome your initiative and creativity in how you contribute to the CCGN and our shared goals.

Codes of Conduct

(NOTE: Several sources were consulted in development of the CCGN Code of Conduct, including Ubuntu Code of Conduct (CC:BY-SA 3.0), The Contributor Covenant (CC:BY), the Open Source Code of Conduct (CC:BY-SA 3.0) and some ideas from Geek Feminism.

The pledge

The Creative Commons Global Network is a movement that advocates, promotes and enables openness and sharing around the world. This is an open, safe and inclusive space fostering sharing and collaboration regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.

We are committed to making it as inclusive as possible, and hope that everyone feels encouraged and excited about participating in the process by sharing opinions, suggestions and concerns about what we believe we can and should develop for our common future: the Creative Commons Global Network.

Guiding Principles

Be welcoming. All of the Members of this community have different backgrounds and experiences. We expect all Members to welcome new Members, and have special consideration to help them orient themselves in the network.

Be respectful. Disagreement is no excuse for disrespectful behaviour. We work together to resolve conflict, assume good intentions and do our best to act in an empathic fashion. We will not allow frustration to turn into a personal attack. We do not tolerate harassment or discrimination in our communities. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not productive. Be thoughtful in the words that you choose. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants.

Different people have different perspective on issues. Being able to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn't mean they are wrong. Disagreements, social and technical, are normal, but we will not allow them to persist and fester leaving others uncertain of the agreed direction. We expect participants in any project to resolve disagreements constructively. When they cannot, matters should be escalated within established structures for resolution.

Always remember, CCGN is a diverse and global community where English is not the first language for the vast majority of participants. Always try to pick the short way to express the idea you are trying to share, considering the language and cultural barrier always present.

Be considerate. Our work will be used by other people, and we in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision we take will affect users and colleagues, and we should consider them when making decisions.

Be collaborative. Collaboration between people that each have their own goal and vision is essential. Collaboration reduces redundancy and improves the quality of our work. Wherever possible, we work closely with other projects and communities on the Open world to coordinate our efforts. We prefer to work transparently and involve interested parties as early as possible.

Ask for help when unsure. Nobody is expected to be perfect in this community. Asking questions early avoids many problems later, so questions are encouraged, though they may be directed to the appropriate forum. Those who are asked should be responsive and helpful.

Share leadership. The most powerful way a community can advance its cause is by bringing in new people, and helping them to become leaders. The most influential among us should actively seek to mentor, promote, advise, and advance those with potential to have impact in their communities, and as part of our global network.

Reporting Issues

If you experience or witness unacceptable behavior — or have any other concerns — please report it by emailing members-support@creativecommons.org. For more details, please see our Reporting Guidelines below.

Reporting Guide

If you experience or witness unacceptable behavior — or have any other concerns — please report it by emailing members-support@creativecommons.org. All reports will be handled with discretion.

In your report please include:

  • Your contact information.

  • Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there are additional witnesses, please include them as well.

  • Your account of what occurred, and if you believe the incident is ongoing. If there is a publicly available record (e.g. a mailing list archive or a Slack logger or similar), please include a link.

  • Any additional information that may be helpful.

After filing a report, a representative from Creative Commons or the GNC (with support from Creative Commons) will contact you personally. The incident will be reviewed, follow up with any additional questions, and make a decision as to how to respond.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior at odds with or in the spirit of this Code of Conduct is expected to do so immediately. If an individual continues to engage in unacceptable behavior, Creative Commons may take any action it deems appropriate, up to and including a permanent ban from the Creative Commons Global Network without further warning.

CC Policies

Creative Commons establishes policies regarding its trademarks and domain names, use of its internet services including subdomains, and similar. Most of these policies are allowed to give you permission in advance, rather than requiring you as a Member or other participant to ask first. These policies are revised periodically by Creative Commons after consultation with the CC Global Network Council and are published at https://creativecommons.org/policies.

For the avoidance of doubt, while we use the term "Member" to refer to individuals and organizations admitted to the CCGN upon agreement with this Charter, that does not make them a member, partner, agent or employee of Creative Commons as a legal matter, or of any other Member or participant in the CCGN. More details are provided in the Policies linked to above.

This Charter

This Charter is first published on October 6th, 2017. Please note, that this Charter may be amended from time to time by Creative Commons in consultation and collaboration with the Global Network Council. When changes are made, then-current Members will be notified of changes and will be deemed to have agreed and be bound by them unless they withdraw within 30 calendar days of receiving notice. If a Member does withdraw, then notwithstanding that withdrawal, in the event they participate in a Chapter, Platform or Working Group, or otherwise participate in their country on behalf of CC (such as holding themselves out as a participant in the CCGN), the Charter (as amended) and the CC Policies and any other policies and procedures established by the Platform or Working Group will apply to such activities.

Change log

  • First public version October 6th, 2017
  • Revised public version November 7th, 2017