November 25, 2013, was a day we had looked forward to for years — the official launch date of Version 4.0 of the Creative Commons licenses. But despite months of planning, something unexpected started to happen just after we hit publish: our website started to fail.
We spent the next 12 hours working to fix the current setup while simultaneously moving our website to higher-performance servers. That situation was maddening: for a few hours, half of the world could see the new 4.0 licenses, and half couldn’t. Finding a fix was our highest priority. All hands were on deck to ensure we delivered on our promise of providing stable, trustworthy infrastructure for our licenses.
And deliver we did. By the morning of the 26th, the entire world awoke to a new set of CC licenses — licenses that reflect two years of work by some of the best minds in copyright law on the planet.
I’m telling you about the site outage for two reasons. First, it shows us for what we are: a very small organization with extremely limited resources. CC licenses will always be free, but maintaining them isn’t. Whether it’s tech infrastructure, adoption support, or helping users understand the licenses, our stewardship responsibilities are ongoing, in demand, and require resources.
Second, and more importantly, it says a lot about you. A lot of you were up all night with us. The people who could see the new licenses were excitedly sharing details with those of you who couldn’t, and asking us how they could help. I remember laughing to myself, “How many site outages get live-blogged?” Basically, you’re the best community we could ask for.
If you can, please consider making a gift to help carry Creative Commons into 2015. Together, we built state-of-the-art licenses that we’ll all be using for the next decade. But there’s a lot more work to do, for all of us.
Thank you for sharing with us in this dream of a world where knowledge and culture are more accessible to everyone. We’ll never stop fighting for that world, even if it means pulling a few all-nighters.