Creative Commons is an alternative to traditional stances on copyright. They advocate moderation in copyright where the author retains some rights to their piece, but encourages the inevitable sharing of information. Their philosophy emphasizes flexibility and compromise between the creator and the consumer. The organization, founded in 2001, now hosts thousands of textual, visual and auditory works published under Creative Commons license and is a virtual directory to many forms of new media.
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Creative Commons licenses accept the inevitability of replication and imitation thus giving the author the ability to select the level of control they want to exert over their work. For example, individuals are then granted permission to reproduce aspects in noncommercial forms. Many authors choose to publish under Creative Commons even if they are selling copies of their books in print with the philosophy that publicity will generate sales.
A traditional economic philosophy argues that people will not buy books if they can get them for free online. According to this argument, the basic premise of giving away such items will thus be un-advantageous economically speaking. However, it is not clear whether or not this factor is outweighed by the publicity the author receives from the widespread availability. Certainly, the creation is more easily accessible to the consumer, though it remains to be decided how greatly this benefits the creator.