This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (December 2016)
|Alma mater||University of Waterloo|
|Occupation||CEO, Creative Commons|
Ryan Merkley is the CEO of the American non-profit organization Creative Commons. He is an advocate for open licenses, net neutrality and open data initiatives in the public sector. Merkley is the Chair of the Open Worm Foundation board of directors and was trustee at the Quetico Foundation. He writes and speaks on issues such as the sharing economy, academic publishing and legal infrastructure for sharing content.
Merkley was born in Cambridge, Ontario, and studied at the University of Waterloo from 1998 to 2001, and employed at Engineers Without Borders Canada as the Chief Communications Officer. He worked for the City of Toronto and City of Vancouver in roles such as Director of Communications and Senior Advisor to the Office of the Mayor, leading the open government data initiative of Toronto mayor David Miller. In 2010, he moved to the Mozilla Foundation to take the role of Director of Programs and Strategy. During his tenure at Mozilla, he contributed to the development of products in support of the open web including Lightbeam, Webmaker, and Popcorn.
Merkley was recruited as CEO for Creative Commons in 2014, after the position was vacated by Catherine Casserly in 2013. His focus is on a new, long term strategy and sustainability of the organisation. His 2016 op-ed in Wired criticising the academic publishing industry was referenced by Vice-President Joe Biden in his speech to the American Association for Cancer Research, calling for more open research. In 2016, he successfully secured a $10 million grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to support Creative Commons' new strategy, re-focusing the organisation on encouraging sharing.
On February 7, 2017, Merkley announced a partnership between Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation and The Metropolitan Museum of Art where the museum released 375,00 images under a public domain dedication Creative Commons Zero, known as CC0. As part of the announcement, Creative Commons also released the beta of CC Search which included social features for list sharing and simple attribution. The search engine, currently in BETA, pulls Creative Commons licensed images from The MET, Flickr, 500px, Rijksmuseum, the New York Public Library.
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