More than we can create

“Human pyramid” by Jonathan Hadiprawira (CC BY)

Martin Thörnkvist is a market intelligence advisor at Media Evolution. This is the first text taken from our forthcoming publication about how we can build media and content on data and creations that already exist.

We live in a world with more information than we can make sense of, where ideas have no value until they are sorted and implemented. We live in a world where the possibilities are more than we can manage.

Meanwhile, the use of open APIs for data access and Creative Commons-licensed media is becoming increasingly common, making it easier than ever to build on already existing data and content.

What is an open API

An API (Application Programming Interface) is an interface that allows different services to speak the same language and share data and content. This set of rules makes it possible for programmers other than the creator of the original code and content in the database to create new services on top of the existing one.

What is Creative Commons

By giving a work (image, text, video, music, etc.) a Creative Commons license, a creator can tell the world that it is OK to share, remix and create new media based on the original, but still retain the copyright.

The creator decides exactly what the license will look like by using the four pre-defined conditions. Attribution (tell who the creator is, the title of the work—if any—and which license applies), Share Alike (it’s OK to remix, tweak and build upon the work as long as the new creation is licensed under the same terms), Non-Commercial (it’s OK to remix, tweak and build upon the work, but not to distribute it commercially) and No Derivatives (it’s OK to copy and distribute the work, but don’t make any changes to it).

Practicing what you preach

Today’s media industry is driven by collaboration and the realization that shared information is not lost information. More people realize that if we share, we’ll get something in return –in terms of contacts, information and media content.

Thoughts about open innovation, open data and “sharing is caring” are nothing new. But talk has seriously become action; we’ve reached a point where transparency is the norm and companies that make their content inaccessible provoke raised eyebrows. More and more companies and organizations are taking the tough, major step of opening up their data for others to build on. Similarly, when creators add a license, powered by Creative Commons, to their copyright, the works created can be shared and built upon.

Starting to see the impact

We are active in industries that is taking the for new innovative methods and is by that creating a deep understanding of how open APIs and Creative Commons-licensed works can create new values, both social and financial.

Companies that have open APIs allow anyone to build new services on their data and content without any existing relationship or special written contracts; the rules are defined in the API.