Four Creative Commons Working Groups Will Explore Policy Issues. Meet Their Leads!

Brigitte Vézina

Throughout 2021, four working groups of the Creative Commons Copyright Platform are undertaking an exploration of policy issues affecting the open ecosystem, in line with the Creative Commons 2021-2026 strategy. In this blog post, we present the four working groups and introduce you to their leads. 

Generally, the Platform is a space for copyright and open movement advocates and practitioners to identify, plan and coordinate policy-related activities. The Platform acts as: 

  • a forum to exchange good practices, case studies and practical examples;
  • a network of contacts, local focal points and experts;
  • a place to collaborate on projects and activities.

This year, the Platform created four working groups to address four policy themes and find solutions to problems affecting the open ecosystem from a global perspective: (1) artificial intelligence and open content; (2) platform liability; (3) copyright exceptions and limitations; and (4) the ethics of open sharing. 

Each working group will publish an article encapsulating its outcomes in the CC Medium Publication in Fall 2021. Each of them will also present their work at a public webinar on November 9, 2021, in order to inform CC Global Network members, practitioners, policymakers and the general public of any proposed solutions so as to contribute to and influence wider policy discussions. I’m very excited to introduce you to our fantastic leads. Over to you, Mahmoud, Emine, André and Coraline!

Working Group 1 — Artificial Intelligence and Open Content — Max Mahmoud Wardeh 

I’m deeply interested in the ways technology impacts the world. My work includes building digital technology platforms as well as teaching about them as a part-time lecturer in digital technologies at Loughborough University in London. I’m also interested in exploring different ways of creating and sharing knowledge. Over the years (my first open source contribution was last century!) I’ve been involved in various open knowledge projects and have been a member of the Creative Commons community for over a decade. This Working Group intersects with many areas of my professional and personal interests and I’m very excited to be leading it. I’m particularly grateful for the opportunity to work with the members of the group and eager to see how their ideas and contributions to the WG’s topics will develop. As well as authoring the position paper, we’re aiming to create a wider set of resources related to the topics we’ll be exploring. These will include the use of CC/openly licensed material in training AI, the copyrightability of algorithmically generated content, and more. Our hope, and goal, is that the community will find these resources useful to learn from, build on, and contribute to.

Working Group 2 — Internet Platform Liability — Emine Yildirim 

I’m a doctoral researcher at a prominent Belgian institute, working at the intersection of freedom of expression and thought and technology. I hold law degrees both from Turkey and the US. I also had a chance to work for the Wikimedia Foundation as a legal fellow for a while. Working for the WMF further ignited my passion for the access to information and open knowledge movement. As my doctoral research also aims to conduct a comprehensive analysis on how platform liabilities affect freedom of expression and thought, it is quite intriguing for me to lead this working group. I anticipate that this WG’s policy recommendations will add another invaluable resource to the open movement literature by explaining how platform copyright liability legislation intentionally or unintentionally chills the right to freedom to share, especially concerning open licenses, such as CC licenses. I’m honored to be a part of this great WG, which has members joining from different parts of the world with rich and valuable experiences.

Working Group 3 — Exceptions and Limitations to address Global Challenges — André Houang 

I am a researcher at InternetLab, a Brazilian independent research center focused on internet policy and an institutional member of the Creative Commons Global Network. I am currently a master’s student at the University of São Paulo, where I studied law. My research is focused on copyright reform at the Brazilian national level. I am especially interested in studying how interest groups try to influence Congress into importing foreign copyright legislation. I was attracted to lead this Working Group because I believe exceptions and limitations can serve as important instruments for promoting access to knowledge and culture worldwide. At a global level, they can help us achieve a more just society, one in which access to the world’s intellectual creations and knowledge is not contingent on wealth or nationality. I hope our WG will help Creative Commons in setting up references on how exceptions and limitations can be drafted so as to achieve this goal. 

Working Group 4 — Beyond Copyright: the Ethics of Open Sharing  — Coraline Ada Ehmke 

I am an internationally recognized engineer and activist with extensive experience in the open source commons. I am best known as the creator of Contributor Covenant, the first and most widely adopted code of conduct for open source communities. In 2019 I authored the Hippocratic License, one of the most well-known examples of the emerging body of Ethical Source licenses. I am the co-founder and executive director of the Organization for Ethical Source, a global volunteer-driven community promoting fair, ethical, and sustainable outcomes in open source. I am thrilled to lead this multidisciplinary working group, not only to help Creative Commons responsibly promote open sharing, but also to foster collaboration with leaders of other digital commons communities. 

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We really look forward to seeing what the working groups will achieve and to welcoming you to our public webinar on November 9, 2021 — mark your calendars, more information will follow soon! 

Interested in joining the Copyright Platform? You can: