Since the beginning of the Egyptian uprising on January 25th, Qatar-based all-news Arabic channel Al Jazeera has been feeding its repository of CC-licensed video with up-to-date footage from Egypt and Tunisia.
The circulation of information is key in such crises and Al Jazeera has got a powerful network of journalists and reporters on the ground who can provide footage that is sometimes very difficult to obtain. As Wired puts it: “in order to make the news available worldwide, Al Jazeera has decided to make its content available for other news sources to use through their Creative Commons website”.
The footage released on Al Jazeera’s Creative Commons repository is under a CC BY license, which makes it legally available to be downloaded, shared, re-mixed, translated and even re-broadcast without asking for further permission as long as the original source is credited.
The repository was launched in January 2009 with footage of the conflict in Gaza. Since then, original footage from many Arab countries has been added. According to a tweet by Mohamed Nanahbay, Head of Online at Al Jazeera English, traffic on the CC Al Jazeera repository has increased of 723% since adding the Egyptian footage.
Al Jazeera is not the only media outlet in the region using CC licenses to further the reach of their reporting and analysis. For instance, the Egyptian daily news organization Al Masry al Youm, available both in English and in Arabic, is also licensing its original video content under a CC BY NC ND license. Many Egyptian blogs and activists’ websites providing live reports and updated information about the current events in Egypt such as Manalaa.net and Misr Digital are published under Creative Commons licensed too.
Creative Commons has been working in Egypt with a local team from Bibliotheca Alexandrina headed by Hala Essalmawi. The team has been busy readying the Egyptian licenses for publication in late February, the first Arab CC ports to be formally launched. All of us at CC send wishes of support to the CC team and the Egyptian people during this time.