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Autodesk Is The First Major Design Software Company To Adopt The Creative Commons Open Learning Initiative. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), announced that its Media & Entertainment (M&E) support and learning content for its 2014 product line is now live and available under Creative Commons (CC) licensing; that equates to 20,000 pages of documentation, 70 videos and 140 downloadable 3D asset files.

"Autodesk embracing Creative Commons licensing is a big win for Creative Commons, but more importantly, it’s a big win for the design community online," said Creative Commons CEO Cathy Casserly. "The power of the Internet lies in how easy it is for people to share and build on each other’s work. CC licenses make that kind of sharing possible without the law getting in the way. In opening its resources, Autodesk is demonstrating that it understands the capacity for creativity and collaboration among its community of users."

The company established the Autodesk Open Learning Initiative in response to a request from Paul Duguay, a 3D and multimedia studies instructor at the Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, Canada. After discovering a series of videos on the Autodesk 3ds Max Learning Channel that perfectly fit his curriculum needs, Duguay wanted to translate the audio into French as well as provide his students with legal access to the videos from the college’s website. Eventually Duguay hoped to share his video translations with the wider French speaking 3ds Max community. Unfortunately, the legal complexities of traditional copyright agreements proved insurmountable. Thanks to the Creative Commons framework, Autodesk is now able to facilitate creative sharing and the Power of Open.

"The new digital world is forging powerful networked communities of people eager to share their knowledge and expertise and to mentor each other, and we can play an important part in making that happen," said Chris Bradshaw, Autodesk senior vice president. "With Creative Commons, we are adopting an easy-to-follow legal infrastructure for the worldwide user community to effectively share knowledge. I can’t wait to see what artists create: a Finnish translation of new Maya software features or an independent school in Bangladesh teaching 3D animation — the possibilities are limitless."

The Autodesk Knowledge Network is initially implementing Creative Commons licensing for the media and entertainment industry, but also plans to publish product help materials across the company under the license. In addition, Autodesk intends to place its Knowledge Base and Discussion Forums, as well as past and future training content from Autodesk University under the Creative Commons model. Once digital content has been released to Creative Commons, it can be modified, remixed and shared globally.

Earlier this year, Autodesk jumped on board to help maximize digital creativity, sharing and innovation by investing at the Innovator level in Creative Commons, joining Creator level corporate donors such as Google and eBay; numerous foundations including: the Bill & Melinda Gates; William and Flora Hewlett; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and Alfred P. Sloan; as well of thousands of committed individual contributors.

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