Our biggest report yet: State of the Commons 2016

We are pleased to announce our annual State of the Commons report, which celebrates our global community of artists, archivists, and advocates working to further collaboration, creativity, and access to research and cultural heritage.

Ryan Merkley

Today marks another milestone for the commons: the release of the 2016State of the Commons, our annual deep dive and celebration of the global community working to further collaboration, creativity, and access to creativity and knowledge.

This year’s report goes beyond data and metrics to focus on the people that power the commons in every region of the world. These stories illustrate how our movement is growing and evolving, driven by people who choose to share. The commons continues to grow, with the total number of CC licensed works now at 1.2 billion in 2016, including the increased use of licenses that invite remix, commercial use, and collaboration – up to 65% of all content shared this year.

TL;DR: 2016 was our biggest year yet. From incredible sharing of 375,000 public domain works with theMetropolitan Museum of Artto our massiveGlobal Summit,we’re seeing CC communities organize around renewed focus on movement building, free culture, policy reform, sharing, and global collaboration powered by gratitude.


The commons is the largest collection of free and open knowledge in the world. In order to bring you this report, we’ve partnered with a handful of the hundreds of platforms that provide CC licensing to bring you more data and user spotlights in a new and attractive format.

In October, we issued aCall for Submissionsthat asked our community to report on their favorite projects from the commons this year. These impact stories were beyond what we could have imagined: we heard stories of portals that use open data to predict and plan forearthquakes in New Zealand,acitizen-led civic data portalin El Salvador, aseries of medical photographs that surfacesthe untold struggle for independence against Portuguese colonial rule, and the “world’s most beautiful slideshow” of historic monuments submitted by over 10,000 Wikipedians. These examples, only a few of the many, tell the vibrant and life-altering stories of the people behind the commons.


Highlights from our partners include theFreeharmonic Orchestra,12名音乐家在“免费音乐档案”的一个虚拟房间里会面,制作了有史以来最具合作精神的专辑。我们在Flickr上的朋友发起了多媒体共享计划,在这个计划中,世界各地的研究团队利用庞大的1亿张图像数据集构建新的应用程序,探索人们与地方的交互。




Lastly, the report itself was translated by 30 volunteers into a dozen languages as part of our efforts to make our community more accessible to international communities.

Like everything else, we truly couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you so much for your support in 2016 and beyond. Read, excerpt, share, and tweet the report athttp://stateof.www.familygiver.comwith the hashtag#sotc.