We are happy to introduce CC Belgium—the new CC Chapter in the heart of Europe.
We have been running as an informal chapter for more than 10 years with different people as Chapter Leads. For several years, a team led by Severine Dussolier from CRID at the University of Namur, stewarded the translations of the CC License Suite (adapting them to Belgian law). The Chapter was then led by Yannick H’Madoun (with KU Leuven at that time), followed by Gwen Franck who has been very active as an EIRE representative. As a former member of the international Creative Commons’ team, Gwen has provided many important connections. In 2020, she passed the lead to Nicolas Pettiaux. We are now a formal CC Chapter, organizing new activities and focusing on:
- Publishing works of known Belgian authors under CC-BY-SA
- Getting actively involved in the CC Open Education initiative as we believe education is the key to securing a more peaceful future. (Plus, Nicolas is a teacher!)
With Severine, then Yannick, Gwen and Nicolas, the Chapter has managed to have diverse leadership, both in gender and language (French and Dutch are the two main languages of Belgium). This is proof of a strong will to be inclusive and consensual (probably a characteristic of the Belgian people)!
The Chapter has been quite active in promoting the CC licenses during events and has organized conferences; especially related to education, art, poetry and GLAMs. Close coordination has also taken place with the Belgian Wikimedia team and CC Belgium is also part of the Open Knowledge Foundation Belgium.
CC Belgium counts just a small group of official members: Agnez Bewer, Jan Ainali, Gwen Franck, Maxim Lambrecht, and Nicolas Pettiaux. However, we are supported by other activists and promoters of free licenses and common goods that help to carry the idea across Belgium and keep the discussions going. We also have great connections with the French and Dutch CC Chapters, and will hopefully build connections with other European and international ones.
CC Belgium exclusively uses free software tools (as defined by the Free Software Foundation). For us, it’s very important to be truly inclusive and to maintain our integrity by using these open tools to fully control our information systems and to not force anyone to release private data or use the logins controlled by Google or Microsoft, for example. Our collaboration tools are hosted and kindly offered by DomainePublic, a libre hoster. We’re grateful for their support.
We would love to see the culture of sharing, including the CC License Suite, taught in schools in order to replace the default copyright that prevents sharing. Sharing is the key to knowledge dissemination without borders. Everyone is richer when our culture and knowledge are shared extensively and openly, especially when the exclusive reappropriation is forbidden (the SA clause). This creates a beneficial virtuous circle.
We are one of the newest CC Chapters and we are very pleased to join this extremely important network of official CC Chapters, where every member can change the world through collaboration.
You’re welcome in Belgium! If you’re around, we’d love to show you our nice little country with friendly multilingual people who appreciate cycling and football, good chocolate, waffles, beers and surrealism. Fun fact: Our national mascot is a peeing child!
If you live in Belgium and care about CC licences, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to know all the activists, promoters, and curious people interested in sharing, education, and related subjects.
Thank you, from the CC Belgium team!