Sometimes doing the right thing can also help put your brand on the map.
Just a few months ago, Creative Commons was a great idea that nobody had really heard of. The San Francisco-based non-profit was started with the noble goal of providing free tools to grant copyright permissions for their work to third party news outlets. Creative Commons releases copyright licenses free of charge to the public. Sites like Wikipedia and others have benefited from these “some rights reserved” licenses from the organization. But outside of the online community, Creative Commons quietly functioned without gaining a lot of attention.
That all changed last week in the wake of the uprising in Egypt. The Al Jazeera network was facing major opposition from the Egyptian government for its coverage of the events. Before long, the government shut down Al Jazeera in Cairo and prohibited the network from broadcasting footage of the turmoil happening in the city. Six Al Jazeera journalists even were taken into custody by government officials, according to the Associated Press. Enter Creative Commons to the rescue. Al Jazeera was issued a license by Creative Commons and the network was soon broadcasting clips that could be picked up by traditional news outlets, blogs and digital news networks with an ease and speed not previously possible for the network. Now viewers and readers from around the globe were introduced to Al Jazeera’s firsthand accounts of the events happening in Egypt.
Not only are American viewers finally seeing unfiltered footage from Al Jazeera, Creative Commons has emerged as a champion of free speech. Pretty cool – and it doesn’t end there. Al Jazeera can’t be kept down; the network has received additional support from other news outlets. Despite efforts to have their signal blocked, The New York Times reports, 10 channels in the region have started to simulcast Al Jazeera’s broadcasts.
From a branding perspective, both Al Jazeera and Creative Commons emerge winners in this series of events which was started by a people who demanded changes. By refusing to let a nation be silenced, Creative Commons and Al Jazeera have spoken up”¦ and the rest of the world is listening.
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