Thursday, 22 August 2013


Creative Commons Global Summit opens in Buenos Aires

This week this Leo has traveled far to the southeast, and is enjoying wintery Buenos Aires where Creative Commons is holding their Global Summit 2013.
CC's Summit is more interesting than
Francois Brunery's "A Tedious Conference"

Creative Commons (CC) is a San Francisco based NGO that provides six “plug-n-play” copyright licenses. CC now has a presence all over the world, and recently expanded to include affiliate organizations in Kenya.

The Summit is three days, and Day 1 has opened with an introduction to the work of CC and the major topics that are keeping them busy. Specifically:

1. Stewarding the Commons. CC is leading (or pushing from behind the scenes) a number of Open Policy initiatives such as Open Data, Open Access, Open Educational Resources, and the like. Also, there was much discussion of the imminent launch of “4.0”, the revised group of CC licenses that are designed to address a number of technological and policy advancements since the implementation of the 3.0 version.

2. Develop Innovative Products. CC treats their licenses as “products for consumption”, and would like more people to consider themselves “users” of the CC products. For example, on Flickr and YouTube, you can select a CC license for your posted videos/photos. Most people who do so still consider that they are primarily a Flickr or YouTube user.  CC would like them to begin thinking that they are also primarily a CC user.

3. Strengthen the Affiliate Network. As mentioned, CC has recently expanded to include affiliate organizations in Kenya, and other activities are occurring worldwide. The big question raised at the Summit is how the Affiliates view CC as a forward-thinking organization, and what function will it serve in 10 years time? Also noteworthy was an ongoing movement to “Free Bassel”. Bassel is the name of the CC Syria Affiliate Lead; he is in jail due to his work in open information.

4. Increase Community Uptake. CC licenses are easy to use and easy to understand, which is ideal for many of the users and would-be users (who are typically artists rather than lawyers or academics). The challenge now is to get publishers and government to adopt an “Open” policy such as open textbooks, open data, etc. Here this blogger must point out that Kenya’s government was the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to have an online Open Data portal, although the success of that portal has been waning of late.

5. Fundraising. We were told that 98% of CC funding comes from US-based foundations. This is not a sustainable or healthy funding model (particularly for an organization that is 10 years old) and the CC headquarters recognizes the limitations. The challenge is to determine ways to monetize CC’s “products”.

More as the Summit progresses……



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