Catherine Stihler

Catherine Stihler

Catherine Stihler
Catherine Stihler is the CEO of Creative Commons.
Catherine Stihler

Catherine Stihler OBE has been an international champion for openness as a legislator and practitioner for over 20 years.

Born in Scotland, Catherine was educated at the University of St Andrews, where she was awarded a Master of Arts (MA) with Honours in Geography and International Relations, and later a Master of Letters (MLitt) in International Security Studies. She also has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Open University. In October 2014, Catherine became the 52nd Rector of the University of St Andrews, and today serves as the Chair of the governing body, University Court. In 2018 she was awarded an honorary doctorate (DLitt) in recognition of her service to the university.

She stood for election as a Member of the European Parliament for Scotland in 1999, representing the Labour Party. At the European Parliament she became one of Scotland’s longest-serving and most respected legislators.

Catherine was elected Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, founded the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform and the Parliament’s All-Party Library Group, and was instrumental in securing graphic health warnings on cigarette packets across the EU.

In 2019, Catherine was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her services to politics. That same year, she stood down from the European Parliament to become the Chief Executive Officer of the Open Knowledge Foundation. During her 18-month tenure at the Foundation, Catherine redefined its vision and mission to produce a new strategic direction, re-engaged its global chapters and increased the worldwide profile of the organisation.

In August 2020, Catherine was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Creative Commons, a non-profit organisation that helps overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity to address the world’s pressing challenges.

"Catherine Stihler" by Martin Shields is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Catherine's News

Creative Commons Announces New Board Members: Marta Belcher, James Grimmelmann & Luis Villa

I am delighted to introduce the latest additions to the Creative Commons Board of Directors: Marta Belcher, James Grimmelmann, and Luis Villa. They each bring unique skills and experiences, and they’re all passionate advocates for Creative Commons and the open movement. We are at a pivotal moment in the development of Creative Commons. As we … Read More “Creative Commons Announces New Board Members: Marta Belcher, James Grimmelmann & Luis Villa”

Elevating Emerging Audiences: Share Your Experience

Calling all AI developers, NFT creators, and entrepreneurs As our world faces increasingly complex and interconnected challenges, it becomes clear that innovation and collaboration are essential to finding viable solutions. Creative Commons is proud of the thousands who make our global community. And this year, we’re expanding. We’re endeavoring to connect with groups who we’ve … Read More “Elevating Emerging Audiences: Share Your Experience”

Detail of the cover of the Creative Commons State of the Commons 2022 in black text on a yellow background over details from three illustrations with text: THE MORE WE SHARE, OPEN IS BEAUTIFUL, and OPEN PALMS, NOT CLUTCHING FISTS.

State of the Commons 2022

We are pleased to present the 2022 Creative Commons State of the Commons annual report. This report highlights key innovations, achievements, collaborations, conversations, and partnerships from CC and our global community over the past year. In 2022 we were incredibly proud to mark twenty years of CC licensing and all the groundbreaking collaboration it has … Read More “State of the Commons 2022”

CC at WIPO SCCR 43 – Progress made on exceptions and limitations and draft

From 13 to 17 March 2023, Creative Commons (CC) participated in the 43rd session of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) in Geneva, Switzerland. In this blog post, we look back on the highlights of the SCCR/43 week. Excited to be @WIPO in Geneva to attend the … Read More “CC at WIPO SCCR 43 – Progress made on exceptions and limitations and draft”

A bluish surrealist painting generated by the DALL-E 2 AI platform showing a small grayish human figure holding a gift out to a larger robot that has its arms extended and a head like a cello.

Better Sharing for Generative AI

Over the last year, innovation and use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded, providing new ways for people to create content of all sorts. For example, it’s been used to help create award winning art, develop educational materials, expedite software development, and craft business materials. Recently, three artists filed a class action lawsuit in … Read More “Better Sharing for Generative AI”

CC at 20: CEO Catherine Stihler Reflects on 2022 and Where CC Is Headed Next

Last Friday (16 December 2022), Creative Commons proudly celebrated twenty years of CC licensing and all the groundbreaking collaboration it has enabled. As we look back on this remarkable journey, time seems to pass more quickly than ever — yet our gratitude for each milestone remains unwavering, as do words of thanks towards everyone who … Read More “CC at 20: CEO Catherine Stihler Reflects on 2022 and Where CC Is Headed Next”

UNESCO MONDIACULT2022: A Starting Point for Open Culture

This week, policymakers from around the world gather in Mexico for MONDIACULT2022, the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development, a critical event that is bound to shape the future of international cultural policies worldwide. In the lead-up to MONDIACULT2022, Creative Commons’ (CC) Brigitte Vézina delivered a keynote to the international forum “Digitalizar … Read More “UNESCO MONDIACULT2022: A Starting Point for Open Culture”

Sharing Matters: What We’ve Learned at Creative Commons

Sharing matters. Thanks to the digital revolution, we share things like never before, from scientific research to family photos, from day-to-day life to college courses — and all instantaneously. The variety and volume of sharing today was unimaginable even just a decade ago. Now social media and publishing platforms, smartphones, cheap data, and expanded internet … Read More “Sharing Matters: What We’ve Learned at Creative Commons”

CC Supports Internet Archive’s Efforts to Ensure Public Access to Books

Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a motion for summary judgment calling to reject the lawsuit against the Internet Archive (IA) brought by four big publishers that threatens IA’s controlled digital lending (CDL) program. Creative Commons fully supports this motion. Here’s why.  The Internet Archive is an American non-profit library preserving and giving access … Read More “CC Supports Internet Archive’s Efforts to Ensure Public Access to Books”