Free Culture is an idea and a social movement that promotes the liberty to share and modify creative works as a form of free content. This includes mash-ups, sampling and remix. The ethos of free culture holds that value exists beyond financial revenue and that culture is inherently free.
Free Culture Movement objects to over-restrictive copyright laws and many within the movement argue that such laws hinder creativity. They call this system "permission culture." The Free Culture Movement is represented by people such as Lawrence Lessig and organisations such as the Free Culture Foundation and with projects as diverse as Wikipedia, Wikileaks and Creative Commons.
Creative Commons is an organization started by Lawrence Lessig which provides licenses that permit sharing under various conditions, and also offers an online search of various Creative Commons-licensed works.
Creative Commons provides a range of licenses, each of which grants different rights to use the materials licensed under them. All of these licenses offer more permissions than “all rights reserved.”
Today, the term Free Culture is used interchangebly for many other ideas and movements, including Open access (OA), the hacker culture, the access to knowledge movement, the Open Source Learning and the copyleft movement.
The term “free culture” was originally used since 2003 during the World Summit on Information Society to present the first free license for artistic creation at large, initiated by the Copyleft attitude team in France since 2001 (named free art license). It was then developed in a 2004 book by Lawrence Lessig.