CC Guatemala

Affiliate Project Grant Update: Latin America

Meryl Mohan, March 18th, 2014

This is the final installment in our five week blog post series on the Affiliate Team project grants. You’ve heard about projects in Africa, Arab World, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Today, you’ll hear about projects from our Latin America region, including: a report on the evolution of the academic journals’ presence and dissemination in Chile, a School of Open course for librarians on copyright led by Colombia, El Salvador, and Uruguay, and a free music festival and open source website from Guatemala and Uruguay.

Chile: Promotion of Open Knowledge in the Chilean Academia: Ways to Facilitate Adoption of Creative Commons in the Academic World
by project lead Francisco Vera

In Derechos Digitales, we have been working almost 10 years on copyright and access to knowledge issues, by doing public advocacy on copyright reform and working with Creative Commons licenses to enable all kind of creators to share their works in the digital environment, through the use of these tools.
One of our stronger research lines has to do with scientific and scholarly work, how this knowledge is being disseminated, and how we can improve that process to make this information accessible to everybody interested.
Following that path, since 2008 we have been researching academic journals production and their publishing terms, along with creating legal guides to academics to get a sense of how to use CC licenses and make them able to share their work. That allowed us to publish a couple books with our findings and internal policy recommendations.
Thanks to the CC grant we were awarded, we have been able to resume that work, updating our figures from the 2008 research and taking one step further, conducting field research on the academic community about the way they publish and manage that content, and if they are aware of the CC and Open Access movements.
At this point, we have interviewed scholars from the major Chilean universities in different fields on exact and social sciences to be aware of their perceptions and needs regarding open access. In parallel, we are researching academic publications to determine how the situation has evolved from 2008 to this day, in terms of journal continuity but also in terms of how these deal with publishing formats and licensing terms.
We hope, by April this year, to have a step forward on our diagnosis of the academic dissemination environment, and with more insights of the academic world, a report that speaks on the evolution of the journals’ presence and dissemination. We also hope to have performed a couple workshops with government officers and academic community, in order to boost open access and open licensing initiatives.

Colombia, El Salvador, Uruguay: ABC of Copyright for Librarians

by project lead Maritza Sanchez

A CC grant made possible that since August 2013, three Creative Commons chapters -Colombia, El Salvador and Uruguay- are working to adapt an online course for librarians about copyright and with an eye on the Open world.
The project aims to develop the necessary open educational resources (OER) for an online course, self-taught and in Spanish, that will be available through the School of Open, and eventually in the OER projects of the chapters developing the course (i.e. Internet Activa and Artica).
Why Basic Copyright Concepts for Librarians? It is not a secret that many librarians and libraries in Latin America work with little or no knowledge about the copyright frame. We want to offer this target group and other related professionals (e.g. academic researchers, teachers, OER developers, librarian students, archivists, museum workers, all those interested on heritage conservation, etc.) the basic knowledge for their work.
We believe that this knowledge is much needed right now and will also be useful to promote CC licenses among librarians in the region.
The material in this course will be open as a self-guided course that can be tapped on demand — individually, at a user-preferred time and date. Moreover, the course can be harnessed as a group, from a collective or specific institution, to be facilitated according to the possibilities and conditions of a given community.
We are currently finalizing the legal and pedagogical review process of the last module of the course that we have titled, “ABC Copyright.” The legal review ensures the strengthening of self-learning potential of all students, while the pedagogical review is valuable to contextualize accurately and clearly each module to Latin American culture. We are also working on building a communication strategy which will be essential once the course is published at the School of Open for the dissemination to the audience of this open educational material. We have already developed the graphic concept, which we share as a preview in this post! We are at the stage of creating new graphic elements that will complement some of the most complex issues and will make their assimilation much easier.
We are working with love and energy so that very soon all those curious and interested can learn, share and supplement the online course, ABC Copyright for Librarians in Latin America!

Guatemala, Uruguay: Promoting Free Music in Central and South America
by Meryl Mohan (project lead: Renata Avila)

This project, a collaboration between CC Guatemala and Uruguay, was drafted following the suggestions of six bands who are starting to use open licenses in Guatemala. It represents a unique opportunity to reconnect and expand the open license network in the Latin American music community, consisting of an open call for free music followed by a week dedicated to festivals and concerts in multiple jurisdictions. Each country will have at least ten bands participating, and is combined with training for musicians, producers, artists, and copyright experts to explain artists’ rights, how copyright law affects music, and the power of sharing. The activities will be posted on an open source website filled with the LP of Latin American free music, photos and videos of the workshop, a free music declaration, and showcase of successful cases in Latin America and all the activities of the free music week. Since it’s open source, anyone can use it to recreate the same project in their region or country.

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Commoner Letter #2 – Renata Avila, CC Guatemala

Melissa Reeder, November 3rd, 2008

We are honored and proud to present the second letter in this year’s Commoner Letter series, written by CC Guatemala Project Lead, Renata Avila. In addition to her passionate work heading off the successful launch last month of Creative Commons licenses in Guatemala, Renata is also a human rights lawyer and a frequent author for Global Voices Online, an international citizen journalism project. As you will see in this letter, some of CC’s most inspiring stories come from our international community; they help remind us why CC and the Commons are vital and how they have the power to effect positive change in ways that may never have seemed possible.

There are only three more commoner letters left in this year’s series. If you would like to receive them via email, please sign up here. To help keep Creative Commons running, which includes Creative Commons International, please donate today!


Dear Commoner,

The Creative Commons enables us to connect with people from other cultures, share ideas, and solve problems together. It is a tool that gives voice to creativity, and allows us to share symbolic space within society, charting alternative routes to inclusion across the continents, in all languages.

My country, Guatemala, is an amazing place where indigenous communities and Spanish speakers share a diverse cultural space. The diversity extends from the culture to the landscapes, right down to the way we communicate. There are 22 indigenous languages in active use by Guatemalan communities across mountains, two oceans, and 33 volcanoes. Sadly, our country was affected profoundly by more than 30 years of civil strife until the mid-90s, and is only now emerging from a long period of violence and racism, exclusion and social disparity.

Poverty in Guatemala is high and deep, and the country has remarkably unequal distributions of income, resources and opportunities. In my work as a human rights lawyer, I have experienced in a very personal way that the potential of our cultural commons and national heritage is disconnected and unrealized.

Each of our indigenous communities treasures a legacy of scientific and technical knowledge, artistic and aesthetic values of their own, but they need the tools to open their culture to others and share both
ways. We need to find ways to overcome linguistic, technical and social barriers, and build connections with Spanish-speakers completely disconnected from their reality. To create a common culture is a challenge and a necessity to improve living conditions and assure peace. As in many other developing countries, basic necessities such as food, potable water and medical care certainly have priority. But how can we communicate to the world that we are in fact a rich country, in the sense of how we create and preserve culture? How do we connect different visions of the world within the same country?

I decided to spearhead the launch of Creative Commons Licenses in Guatemala as a tool to help connect our cultural commons. Now the Guatemalan Ministry of Education is using cc for a Schools of the Future project with books and materials with Creative Commons licenses to help breach the digital divide. One of the most prestigious universities in the country, Franscisco Marroquín University, have released their online educational resources to the Commons too.

Internationalization and localization of the Creative Commons licenses is more than just a technical, legal process. It enables creative, verbal and nonverbal forms of expression as a vehicle to share and
learn from one another. Through human connections we can discover treasures that reshape our understanding of concepts like “development”, “wealth” and “others”. We can begin to cross the mental
and geographic borders that divide us.

As an author for Global Voices Online, one of the most successful examples of global cultural exchange using Creative Commons licenses; and as a lawyer dealing with the complexities of multilingual, developing countries in transition to peace, I believe that open tools such as the Creative Commons are essential for creating better societies. We have a lot to learn from each other. With this letter I challenge you to allow yourself to be embraced by another world.

Please support the creation of our Global Commons.

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CC Guatemala: “Free to Choose, To Create, To Innovate, To Learn, To Imagine”

Michelle Thorne, October 22nd, 2008

On October 23 in Guatemala City, the UFM‘s New Media Centre will host an event to celebrate the localized Guatemalan licenses, available soon online. Jimmy Wales, Creative Commons Board member, will hold the keynote address Free to choose, to create, to innovate, to learn, to imagine.

CC Guatemala’s institutional host, UFM and its New Media Center, will be releasing a vast amount of material and education resources under the Guatemalan licenses. The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan: A Chronicle of Conquest will be available under a localized CC license as well.

In other exciting news, the region’s first orphan works rescue program will be initiated by the University’s Ludwig von Mises Library. The program will scan twentieth-century Central American works in cooperation with the Internet Archive. More open content and open education programs in Latin America will be discussed this November 19-21 at the Latam Commons 2008 conference in Santiago, Chile.

Congratulations to CC Guatemala and Project Lead Renata Avila!

Press Release (English and Spanish).

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