Interview | Catherine Stihler: Creative Commons, the EU Copyright Directive, and Civil Society’s Role

Catherine Stihler OBE was appointed CEO of Creative Commons, in August 2020, a non-profit organisation that helps overcome legal obstacles to advance better sharing of knowledge and creativity to address the world’s pressing challenges. She has been an international champion for openness as a legislator and practitioner for over 20 years. She was a member of the European Parliament for Scotland representing the Labour Party. At the European Parliament, she became one of Scotland’s longest-serving and most respected legislators. Prior to joining Creative Commons, she served as the CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Catherine reflects on this trajectory that led her to Creative Commons and the lessons learned from the EU Copyright Directive adoption. She talks about the growing importance of Creative Commons licences and the importance of various ongoing legislative developments (e.g. AI, disinformation). She highlights the value of Creative Commons for creativity and knowledge sharing. Finally, throughout the episode she emphasises the need for the community, from libraries to civil society organisations, that are seeking a progressive copyright reform to unite and stand together in order to ensure their voice is heard by policymakers.

Do you prefer watching our passionate interviewees talking about the 21st-century walls blocking access to culture? Then check out the vlog below.

Video highlights with timestamps:

00:00 Intro

01:46 The road to joining Creative Commons

09:54 Lessons learned from the EU Copyright Directive adoption

16:26 The growing importance of Creative Commons licences

22:14 Ongoing legislative developments and their importance

27:51 The value of Creative Commons for creativity and knowledge sharing

34:45 Hitting the ‘Wall’

38:47 Final thoughts