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The Spirit of Sharing in Jordan

Cameron Parkins, June 16th, 2008

Jordan has long been a geographical area where Creative Commons has looked to expand (you can read about our Jordan-specific jurisdiction work here) – as such, recent news about the promotion of CC, the public domain, and an increased spirit of sharing in Jordan is inspiring.

Two UK artists, Eileen Simpson and Ben White of the Open Music Archive, have been traveling throughout Jordan for the past 6 months, advocating for the establishment of a ‘CC Jordan’ as a means for local artists to “freely collaborate without harsh licensing restrictions”. To Simpson and White, CC licences would act as a means to promote authors, artists, filmmakers, and musicians across the country with Simpson stating, “if we weren’t allowed to refer back to previous works, to walk down the path of others, we would just be lost, and the creative community will be stifled.” From TechNewsWorld:

In an effort to highlight the importance of a diverse and vibrant public domain, Simpson and White spent the last six months attempting to sample old Jordanian films and musical works whose copyrights have expired, an experiment to work within restrictions imposed by international and local trademark and copyright laws.

[...]

Unable to find archived material that is now completely accessible in the public domain, they turned to the Jordan Academy of Music, which collected folk songs from the Kingdom for the 2002 celebration of Amman as Arab Cultural Capital. As the recordings are from the shared community and have no accredited author, the folk songs are a part of the public domain and therefore are not owned or controlled by anyone and are considered as “public property.”

Simpson and White plan on taking the songs and remixing them with local artists, updating the ballads and encouraging artists to explore the music further. “We all build on the creativity of others, and we should be able to build on others’ work in a fair manner,” Simpson told The Jordan Times [...] “The whole concept passes on the spirit of sharing, which in a creative community is important to do,” she said, adding that legally allowing creative collaboration would curb intellectual property rights violations.

The article also touches on the amazing work of Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property who we have been working with in an effort to port CC licences to Jordan and the rest of the Arab world.

2 Responses to “The Spirit of Sharing in Jordan”

  1. stedawa says:

    Yeay-hoo! (Or should I say: “Ya!”, the Arabic or Persian lead word for an invocation?)!

    Heads up to the cross-border hopping and cultural barrier popping of Eileen and Ben!

    Music crossing the borders, doing archival digs and reviving, reliving those hidden, almost lost gems.

    I recently put to tune an old poem (Keep Pluggin’ Away) by Afro-American poet *par excellence*, Paul Laurence Dunbar.

    I hope the Jordanian musicians and artists get on board with the project, and likewise discover and enhance, revive and rekindle these works of art!

    In harmony,
    stedawa

  2. It is necessary to report that Jordan had one important CC event this year. It was “Open Source Day” when Creative Commons Licenses were widely discussed and presented to Jordanian students.
    Mr. Ziad Maraqa of AGIP was one of the main speaker and he talked about the new CC-related legislations in Jordan. Both Eileen Simpson and Ben White attended Open Source Day and they had a good impression. Also, Mrs. Della Racchia, of Creative Commons, was one of the event’s guests.
    To know more about Open Source Day visit:
    http://www.just.edu.jo/opensource/day

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