Powering an Open Future at the Creative Commons Global Summit

Connections. As with any conference or summit, connections are the key to a successful event, and without question the 2011 Creative Commons Global Summit held in Warsaw, Poland helped the CC global community make many connections that will go a long way to powering an open future. The CC Global Summit, which took place September 16,-18, 2011, brought together volunteers, activists, practitioners and industry leaders from nearly 70 countries to discuss ways to advance Creative Commons’ mission, build a vibrant global CC community and share best practices across sectors.

Of the many issues covered over the three-day summit, perhaps the most interesting was the plans for version 4.0 of the Creative Commons License suite. Like any tool in the digital age, there is always a need to update and innovate to address the emerging digital trends and issues. Version 4.0 would in many ways simplify the Creative Commons licenses to make them more user-friendly, while tackling copyrights issues in a more global way.

Perhaps the biggest change being explored is the development of a global CC license, which would replace the “unported” licenses and also, in theory, end the need for license porting to specific jurisdictions. In Qatar, we are working on porting the CC licenses to Qatari law, but are currently using the unported version, which has proven to be quite effective. In my opinion, a solid global license would give even more confidence to our local creatives. I can also see the benefits of not having 50+ ported versions of the license, especially when we think of the Internet as a global resource that doesn’t respect boundaries. At the same time, not porting (or aligning) licenses to local laws may leave some people nervous about whether the licenses would stand up in a court of law if their rights were infringed (although let’s be honest, how many cases end up in court?). Nothing has been decided on Version 4.0 yet, but expect to hear about some interesting developments over the coming year.

I was happy to represent CC Qatar on two panels at the summit. The first focused on how galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) can use CC, and I showcased the ways the Qatar Museum Authority, including the Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf and the Qatar National Museum, are exploring using CC licenses to share their collections and resources. The others panelists shared some really creative efforts, including a showcase from Japan where visitors were encouraged to take photos of the art in the museum and share the photos under a CC license, and a Wiki Loves Art project that took place in the Netherlands. I am planning to share these ideas and more with the museums here.

The second panel I took part in focused on how to build an affiliate team. CC Qatar is hosted by ictQATAR, but has an active group of volunteers and activists, including a strong legal lead, that are truly propelling its progress over a short period. I highlighted the benefits of having a government organization as the affiliate sponsor, including funding, credibility and access, but also discussed some challenges, such as politics and sustainability. I’ll be posting both presentations on SlideShare soon.

You can see many of the presentations given at the CC Global Summit on SildeShare, and for a great  photos from the Summit, check out the CC Flickr Group. Hopefully there will be some more presentations, photos and videos to come. Id’ be thrilled if the keynote from CC founder Larry Lessig is posted – trust me, you will want to watch it!

A special thanks to our wonderful hosts in Warsaw – you made everyone feel welcome and were key to making the Summit a huge success.