Bassel Khartabil (also known as Bassel Safadi) is a computer engineer who, through his innovations in social media, digital education, and open-source web software, played a huge role in opening the Internet in Syria and bringing online access and knowledge to the Syrian people. Many people reading this blog know Bassel through his work as lead for CC Syria.
Sunday, March 15, 2015 marks the third anniversary of Bassel’s arrest and imprisonment in Syria, as well as the fourth anniversary of the Syrian uprising.
In San Francisco, #FreeBassel supporters, artists, and members of the open community are gathering at the Electronic Frontier Foundation for a community-building event organized around a Wikipedia edit-a-thon in Bassel’s honor. We’ll be working to improve and add articles and media content related to Bassel and articles of interest to him. We’ll also be discussing his case and brainstorming about new projects and ideas to help bring awareness to his case. Here are the details:
March 15, 2015
2:00pm — 6:00pm
EFF HQ: 815 Eddy St., San Francisco
No prior Wikipedia editing experience is necessary, we’ll have experienced editors present to help you get set up and make your first edit. Artists and activists interested in freedom of expression are encouraged to come contribute to the discussion. Experienced Wikipedians also welcome to come learn more about Bassel, contribute to Wikipedia, and help others to become involved.
For more details on the #FreeBassel Day event, click here.
This entry is remixed from Wikipedia:Meetup/San Francisco/FreeBassel Day 2015, available under CC BY-SA.Comments Off on #FreeBassel Day 2015: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at EFF
We are in New Delhi and Mumbai for a number of presentations, workshops and meetings. Please come say hello if you are at these events or in the area.
SciDataCon2014 in New Delhi
The International Conference on Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability (SciDataCon) is motivated by the conviction that the most research challenges cannot be addressed without attending to issues relating to research data essential to all scientific endeavors. However, several cultural and technological challenges are still preventing the research community from realizing the full benefits of progress in open access and sharing. CODATA and WDS, interdisciplinary committees of the International Council for Science (ICSU) are co-sponsoring and organizing a high profile international biennial conference at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Nov 2: A day long Text and data mining (TDM) workshop offered in collaboration with ContentMine
TDM is an important scientific technique for analyzing large corpora of articles used to uncover both existing and new insights in unstructured data sets that typically are obtained programmatically from many different sources. While the science and technology TDM is complex enough, its legal complications are equally dizzying. Not only is its legal status unclear at best, it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction making cross-national collaboration difficult. Besides the license status of the original material, contractual agreements between research institutions and publishers, who are often the gatekeepers of the corpora, can create significant hurdles. The workshop offers an introduction to TDM, presenting the legal considerations through hands-on exercises.
Effective and efficient application of scientific data for the benefit of humanity entails agreed goals, clear and reproducible methods, and transparent communication throughout the data chain from producer to user via data organizer and research publisher. How well is that working? A Panel Discussion at the close of each day will summarise that day’s conclusions, and respond to the question of how well the data chain may be working from a trio of perspectives: Conference Organizer, data-management expert, and data producer.
Synthesis Data Citation Principles and Their Implications for TDM: Importance, Credit and Attribution, Evidence, Unique Identification, Access, Persistence, Specificity and Verifiability, and Interoperability and Flexibility: these eight important phrases describe the data citation principles agreed upon by the community and published under a joint declaration and endorsed by 185 individuals and 83 organizations. But, what are the implications of these principles beyond just citation, particularly with respect to automated analysis of large corpus of articles? This presentation will briefly present the principles, and then explore some of the issues that we have to come to grips with in order to make text and data mining (TDM) easy for scientists.
Maximizing Legal Interoperability Through Open Licenses: Many scientists do think about interoperability as they have to work with colleagues from other domains. However, common interoperability efforts are focused on technical, and if we are lucky, semantic interoperability. Rarely do scientists think of legal interoperability in the design of their science experiments. Can my work be legally mixed with someone else’s work without violating any intellectual property (or worse, privacy and security) laws? Is my work portable across not just scientific domains but also across judicial boundaries? We attempt to shed light on some of these questions in this presentation.
Nov 5: Talk on CC/OKF open science activities to be given at the computer science dept., Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi
Jenny Molloy, OKFN Open Science and I will be introducing the young computer science students at IIT-Delhi on the various open science and data activities around the world. This talk is organized by Prof. Aaditeshwar Seth, Computer Science, IIT-Delhi.
Nov 6-8: Meetings on citizen science and sensors at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai
HBCSE at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai is a National Center with the broad goals to promote equity and excellence in science and mathematics education from primary school to undergraduate college level, and encourage the growth of scientific literacy in the country. We will be discussing with HBCSE’s metaStudio potential areas of collaboration in citizen science and the use of sensors in projects to accelerate the growth of scientific awareness in the country through direct public participation in science.Comments Off on CC Science’s Indian November
Creative Commons is turning 10 this year! We’ll be hosting parties around the world and sharing party favors online for a ten-day celebration, December 7 to 16.
To see a listing of the parties we have planned, visit the #cc10 wiki page. There are more in the works, so stay tuned.
Do you want to celebrate CC’s tenth anniversary in your city? Host your own #cc10 event! Even if it’s just a happy hour after work, we’d love to hear about it and help you spread the word. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you’re planning. We’ll add it to our listing and send you some special CC swag for the party (supplies are limited and we may not be able to ship to every location, but we’ll try).8 Comments »
Last week, Muslims all over the world celebrated Eid al-fitr, a festivity which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, dedicated to fasting and praying. Since 2010, Arab world–based Creative Commons communities have celebrated Ramadan by organizing “Creative Commons Iftars” (CC Iftar) across the region.
A CC Iftar is a social event where people gather to celebrate the breaking of the fast, socialize, and talk about innovation, creativity, and the open web. CC Iftars are built around the spirit of sharing which lies at the basis of Creative Commons’ vision, and which people in Ramadan celebrate by breaking the fast together, partaking food, and giving to others.
This year, Creative Commons Arab communities have organized and celebrated CC Iftars in four Arab countries: Qatar, Tunisia, Morocco, and Iraq. CC Iftar Doha kicked off in the Qatari capital on August 13 at K108, a restaurant that redistributes its proceeds to charities working on issues such as unprivileged children’s education. Guests at the CC Iftar Doha were asked to share their ideas about inspiration and the outcome was crafted into a collaborative art project.
The day after, August 14, it was CC’s Tunisian community’s turn to join the CC Iftar project, with the first CC Iftar hosted in the country. Since the third Arab regional meeting “Sharing the Spring” was held in the Tunisian capital in summer 2011 to celebrate Arab youth’s blossoming innovation and creativity, Creative Commons Tunisia’s community — largely made up of photographers, cartoonists, musicians and techies — has been growing incredibly. Many community-led events, including the first CC Tunis Salon, have been hosted in the country. CC Tunis community gathered in the beautiful location of the Sidi bou Said park with home-cooked food (and lots of cats!) to discuss future projects to be held not only in the Tunisian capital but all across the country.
August 17 was our Moroccan community’s turn to host its first ever CC Iftar, with lots of people attending the gathering in Rabat. Morocco recently joined the broader CC Arab community by organizing Open Taqafa and the first Creative Commons Salon in Casablanca. The country has a vibrant artistic and musical scene, together with an high-skilled tech community, and many of these techies and artists are now joining their Arab peers’ efforts to bring more open and collaborative culture to the Arab world. CC Iftar Morocco was a big step in the direction of getting more regional cooperation over common open-culture-related projects.
On the very same day, CC’s Iraqi community was also organizing its first CC Iftar. Bloggers from the Iraqi network for social media (INSM) coming from different parts of the country gathered in Baghdad to celebrate openness and sharing with a wonderful CC chocolate cake. For those who were not able to attend the event physically, a skype session was held in order to join the celebrations virtually. Our CC team in Iraq has a Facebook page around which the community is gathering. Some of its members are regulars at CC Arab regional meetings and we hope to be able to hold CC events in Iraq more regularly, in order to familiarize the broader Arab community with the beauty and cultural richness of the country.
Despite the instability, violence, and political unrest still happening in many places in the region, the Arab world still has a strong will to move forward, create, and share. The community-driven enthusiasm and self-organization skills showed by the CC groups in Qatar, Tunisia, Morocco and Iraq prove this; hopefully next year new communities will be able to join and old communities will be able to come back to action.
As we conclude Eid al-fitr this year, our thoughts go out once again to Bassel Khartabil aka Safadi, CC Syria public lead. Bassel was one of the promoters of the CC Iftar project back in 2010, when he hosted an iftar in Damascus to celebrate cultural cooperation and sharing in a remix project with CC Lebanon. Bassel has been detained by Syrian authorities since March 15th, 2012. A campaign has launched to ask for his release and the response of Creative Commons’ communities worldwide has been overwhelming. We encourage you to spread the word and follow updates on the campaign’s site freebassel.org and on Twitter @freebassel.4 Comments »
It’s taken us a few months, but we would like to introduce some new members of the CC family – our new CC Argentina affiliate team.
The new Argentinian team (see their website here and their CC wikipage here), came on board late last year and is headed up by public leads Beatriz Busaniche and Patricio Lorente out of institutional partners Wikimedia Argentina and Fundación Vía Libre. Both organisations are well known in the Latin American open community. Wikimedia Argentina supports the local Wikimedia community and promotes projects for the dissemination of free content and wiki-culture. Meanwhile, the non-profit Fundación Vía Libre works closely with the free software community and is committed to spreading knowledge and sustainable development. Among other things, it is a participant in both the FLOSSWorld and Science, Education and Learning in Freedom (SELF) projects.
With the new team, comes some exciting events for CC in the region. On 8 March CC Argentina, with Wikimedia Argentina and La Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, will jointly host a breakfast with Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, an academic from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and legal lead of CC France. The theme of the event will be “legal aspects of the digital public domain.” Melanie and Beatriz will then team up with Claudio Ruiz of CC Chile at the first Latin American GLAM-Wiki event in Santiago a week later.
This comes hot on the heels of the announcement a few weeks ago of a new CC-licensed Argentinian documentary, Runa Kuti: Indigenas Urbanos, which is making the rounds of film festivals. The film, which is under a BY-NC-ND license, focuses on the lives of indigenous Argentinians living in Buenos Aires.
Congratulations and welcome to the new team. We look forward to working with you on CC and all things open in Argentina.Comments Off on A new CC team for Argentina
From June 16 to July 8, The Power of Open launched in seven cities around the world: Tokyo, Washington DC, Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, London, Paris, and Madrid. Thanks to the diversity of our CC community, each launch event was unique and inspiring, emphasizing openness as relevant to local culture and policy. Here we recap some of the highlights from each event in the order they occurred.
“Power of Open” Creative Commons Party at Loftwork by digitalbear / CC BY-NC-SA.
In Tokyo, Japan, CC Japan took the lead and put on a wonderful event at Loftwork, a creative agency that provides creator-matching services for companies in need of artists, while using CC licenses to distribute some of its creators’ works to increase exposure. CC Japan’s launch featured an “Into Infinity” project showcase and a talk by CC Chairperson and MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito. The Japan launch was angled to increase awareness of CC in the digital culture of Japan, particularly focusing on digital artists, designers, technologists, and museums. According to Loftwork’s post, the event was a success! gathering artists and entrepreneurs in Shibuya who agreed that CC was a powerful tool for creators, and that creative innovation would accelerate the world of technology in coming years. More pictures of the event are available here.
In Washington DC, The Power of Open officially launched at The New America Foundation featuring a panel discussion that included CC CEO Cathy Casserly, Heather LaGarde at IntraHealth International, Rebecca MacKinnon at Global Voices Online, and Sherwin Siy at Public Knowledge. The DC event gathered leaders from foundations, innovators in business, and policymakers. The New America Foundation notes that “Discussion revolved not just around Creative Commons’ successes in advancing people’s businesses and causes but also on ways to continue its growth and to clear up misunderstandings about how its licenses work. Speakers, for example, repeatedly drove home the point that Creative Commons does not replace copyright but extends it in ways that give artists and writers more power, and its force has been repeatedly upheld in court.” The event was livestreamed, and video is also available at the post.
The Power of Open launch in Brussels was hosted at GooglePlex, and featured a presentation and Q&A with Mark Patterson, the Director of Publishing for the Public Library of Science—that is transforming research communication via the use of CC BY for its scientific articles. The Brussels event gathered parliamentarians and others from the European Commission, focusing on the European Union’s flagship Digital Agenda initiative and the value of copyright and innovation in the digital age, specifically “In order to allow for a broader reach to new and larger audiences, key action areas focus on finding easier and more uniform solutions to pan-European licensing, simplifying copyright clearance and collective rights management, to name a few.”
Rio de Janeiro
In Brazil, the launch event was hosted by the FGV (Fundação Getulio Vargas) Rio Law School Center for Technology, featuring a presentation by Gabriel Borges at Fiat Automóveis, who discussed the process of creating the Fiat Mio, a concept car designed collaboratively via CC BY-NC-SA. Gabriel talked about the advantages of using CC for the project, and what led Fiat to choose CC for the designs. The event also featured Alexander Schneider, Secretary of Education of São Paulo, José Murilo, from the Digital Culture of the Ministry of Culture, Claudio Prado from the Brazil Digital Culture Laboratory, and Ronaldo Lemos at FGV Rio Law School. The discussion focused largely around CC for educational materials and changes in the political climate of Brazil. FGV covers the event in detail here.
From left to right: Rachel Bruce (JISC), Frances Pinter (Bloomsbury Academic),
Jonathan Worth, Lord Merlin Erroll (House of Lords), Lisa Green (CC),
Patrick McAndrew (Open University)
The London event was a huge hit thanks to JISC, a longtime CC supporter who organized the event with us at the Wellcome Trust. JISC develops partnerships and programs on the innovative use of digital technologies for UK education and research communities. Diane Cabell, who attended the event, reports,
“Rachel Bruce, Innovation Director of JISC’s Digital Infrastructure project, introduced speakers Prof. Paul Webley of SOAS, Ben White of The British Library, and photographer Jonathan Worth, whose work has appeared in numerous publications and exhibitions and is part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Worth, one of the featured creators in The Power of Open, drew the greatest audience attention as he explained how he uses CC licenses for online copies of his work in order to drive sales of higher-value copies such as hard prints and signed editions. Worth detailed how his online collections have attracted attention from communities of dedicated fans of the celebrities who are subjects of his portraits. These communities closely follow the bidding on his fee-based editions. This social network conversation has further promoted his work and resulted in a number of prestigious and profitable special commissions. His online photography course at Coventry University has the highest number of registered students in the school.”
The discussion also focused largely around the recent Hargreaves Review report on intellectual property reform in the UK, and gathered British parliamentarians, publishers, and educators.
The Paris event was held at Le Lieu du Design, where Pierre Gerard, co-founder of Jamendo, presented, followed by a film screening by CC-using director Vincent Moon. Like Japan, The Power of Open launch in Paris focused largely on tapping into growing French digital culture, reaching creators at the intersection of design and technology. The crowd consisted of representatives from FuturEnSeine, coined the SXSW of France, where creators are recognizing how they can share works and contribute to innovation by using CC licenses, in addition to creators, free culture supporters and legal scholars from Wikimedia France, faberNovel and Cap Digital. An exciting time in France, the event stimulated discussions around current French HADOPI law (Creation and Internet law), and highlighted the ability of creators to choose rights and take control of their content.
EOI (Escuela de Organización Industrial) hosted the last event in Madrid, welcoming CC Chairman Joi Ito to present the Spanish version of the book. EOI covers the event on their blog: “Leading experts from the European Union’s institutions, academia, private and public organisations joined Creative Commons to celebrate the launch of The Power of Open in EOI Business School.” The Madrid event was a great closer for the launch event series, focusing on Creative Commons’ vision for realizing the full potential of the Internet via the EU’s Digital Agenda: “With the Digital Agenda, the European Union has set the objective to develop a very fast Internet for the economy to grow strongly and to create jobs and prosperity, and to ensure citizens can access the content and services they want.” Business school students, finance and banking community representatives, the CC community, and a heavy press presence were in attendance.
Video and Resources
Video of the events above are being edited and will be available at thepowerofopen.org in the coming weeks. To keep up-to-date, follow us on social media or use the tag #powerofopen. And if you haven’t already, download and read The Power of Open and please share and remix it with your friends under CC BY. As Joi stated in Madrid, “the value of open isn’t merely static. The true power of open comes from creating an ecosystem in which innovating does not require asking permission.”
Lastly, stay tuned for another event in Doha, Qatar in September!Comments Off on Seven successful launch events on The Power of Open
The Power of Open: Stories of creators sharing knowledge, art, & data using Creative Commons
Released a couple weeks ago, The Power of Open demonstrates the impact of Creative Commons through stories of successful use of our tools by artists, educators, scientists, and institutions of all types. The Power of Open is available for free download at http://thepowerofopen.org under CC BY. It is available in several languages, with more translated versions to come, and you can also order hard copies from Lulu. We hope that it inspires you to examine and embrace the practice of open licensing so that your contributions to the global intellectual commons can provide their greatest benefit to all people. The Power of Open was made possible by our supporters, to whom we are deeply grateful, and the numerous creators featured, initially as part of our Case Studies project. Read more.
Over 400 million CC-licensed works, with increasing freedom
The book also features two pages sketching the socio-economic value and numerical adoption of CC tools. “How has adoption of Creative Commons grown?” is a difficult question given the decentralized nature of the web, but not as difficult as measuring economic value. Since Creative Commons’ first year, we have tracked the number of web links to Creative Commons licenses reported by search engine queries and the number of works licensed at major repositories. Derived from these a very conservative estimate of the approximate minimum number of licensed works at the end of each year is plotted at right – from under 1 million works after the first year, to over 400 million at the end of 2010. Read more.
Global Launch Events for The Power of Open
The Power of Open launched with events from around the world. The official launch occurred June 29 at The New America Foundation in Washington D.C., featuring Global Voices Online and IntraHealth, with CC CEO Cathy Casserly representing for staff. Additional launch events took place from June 16 in Tokyo, Japan, with the last event happening tomorrow, July 8, in Madrid, Spain. For the full list of events that took place in Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, London, and Paris, head on over to http://thepowerofopen.org/events. We will be reporting on outcomes from these events, so be sure to keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog and using the tag #powerofopen on social media.
In other news:
- We have interns this summer! Casey is researching how Creative Commons has changed the discourse around copyright law. Jorge is researching stuff too, as well as coordinating with our international Affiliate Network. Read more.
- We held our 3rd Arab Regional Meeting in Tunis. We also held a rocking concert and are going to make a CD out of it under CC BY-NC!
- An example of the trend toward use of more open licenses noted above is Free! Music! Contest 2011 which this year is promoting CC BY and BY-SA licensed music. Bands can register through July 31.
- We presented at this year’s Open Knowledge Conference with the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) on Open Data Licensing. The OKF is also hosting Open Government Data Camp in October.
- Speaking of open data, participants of the Linked Open Data in Libraries Museums and Archives Summit (LOD-LAM) drafted an Open Ranking System for Library, Archive, and Museum Collection Metadata.
- Speaking of open government, License or Public Domain for Public Sector Information (PSI)?
- In policy news: the Commonwealth of Learning adopted CC BY-SA as part of its new open educational resources (OER) policy, the Open Society Foundations started encouraging its grantees to use CC licenses as part of its new copyright policy, and Brazil introduced OER into federal legislation in addition to adopting it as part of a local government policy.
- The Albanian translation of the CC license suite is open for review.
- Lastly, we are working with the Association of Educational Publishers to establish a common learning resources framework to help unleash the tremendous potential of OER and online learning.