INTERVIEW BY CC Mexico
The Sistema de Internet de la Presidencia (or Presidency Internet System) (“SIP”) is the office in charge of generating and publishing all of the Mexican President Vicente Fox’s content and information over the Internet. They host and maintain various websites including the Presidency’s main website, “México en Línea” the Presidency’s Internet radio station, and “Software Libre” Presidency’s website for using the FLOSS project. León Felipe Sánchez, of our CC Mexico team, interviewed Luis Alberto Bolaños (pictured on the right) and Emiliio Saldaña (pictured on the left) to explain why Creative Commons licenses caught the Mexican Presidency’s attention. A Spanish version of this interview is available here.
Creative Commons (“CC”): How did you find out about Creative Commons and its project in Mexico?
SIP: As part of our activities within SIP we try to keep up to date with the leading technologies and trends in digital environments. One of our core activities is the work with FLOSS, which is how we learned about the Creative Commons project which attracted our attention because of its flexible range of licenses that can be tailored to the specific needs and interests of the Presidency’s communication and transparency programs.
CC: What made you decide to adopt Creative Commons licenses for all the content generated by the Mexican Presidency on the Internet?
SIP: We carried out extensive research on copyright protection and licensing and analyzed the Presidency’s specific needs to make its content available to the people. After this research we were delighted to find that Creative Commons licenses enabled us to protect our content in a more flexible way than the default “all rights reserved” status quo, thereby contributing to one of our main objectives, which is to make all the information available to as many people as possible. This is a key issue for the Presidency because we want our content to be used and distributed by researchers, academics, students, press members and the general public. Through Creative Commons’ licenses, the Presidency is able to ensure the free distribution, reproduction and diffusion of its content at no cost, thereby encouraging people to share while preventing unauthorized commercial use with licenses that fully comply with Mexican copyright legislation.
CC: What impact has this decision had on the Mexican Internet radio community and other program producers?
SIP: Collaboration between the Mexican government and Creative Commons Mexico is still at an initial stage. As a government Internet radio proposal, “México en Línea” is an innovative project which we trust will encourage other government entities to adopt the Creative Commons licensing scheme. This will emphasize the state’s recognition of the fact that the content belongs to the people while preventing unauthorized commercial use of such content and information yet not affecting its distribution and reproduction which, in the case of government statements and information, is very important for reaching as many people as we can.
CC: What impact or implications do you think the adoption of Creative Commons’ licenses might have on the governmental environment?
SIP: Both the impact and implications will be very positive because through the adoption of these licenses, we guarantee that the content generated by the Presidency remains the property of the people and that it is available free of charge. The use of Creative Commons’ licenses is a step towards a new government with very high standards of openness as regards information that will contribute to the administration’s levels of transparency, thereby guaranteeing that information will always be available to the people that need it. As we said, we want to set an example to help other government entities make their information available as well benefiting the community.
CC: How does Creative Commons fit into the government FLOSS project which you lead?
SIP: The use of Creative Commons’ licenses strengthens the work philosophy underlying the way the Presidency’s Internet System directs this project. It represents the spirit in which almost all of the content generated by the government is administrated actually. In other words, Creative Commons’ licenses have helped us make access to information more democratic.
CC: What is your vision about the role that FLOSS and open access to information technologies will play in the future of Mexico?
SIP: The use of FLOSS is a growing trend, especially within government, because it has enormous benefits such as, for example, the savings made from not having to buy software licenses. However, the most important fact is that taking advantage of open technologies and open distribution methods increases the transparency and efficiency of government operations, the process of documenting working procedures and the generation of knowledge databases, in this case in systems that enable us to increase the number of better government practices very simply.