Middle East

3rd Creative Commons Arab Regional Meeting and Concert

Donatella Della Ratta, June 29th, 2011

The 3rd Creative Commons Arab regional meeting will occur on June 30 to July 1, and will gather Creative Commons communities consisting of youth and civil society members across various fields (education, law, art, music) that are actively spreading the values of openness, sharing, peer-production, collaboration, and innovation in the Arab world. The meeting will celebrate these communities and values.

The meeting is in cooperation with Nawaat.org, the Tunisian blogging platform awarded the 2011 Netizen Prize by Reporters Without Borders, and is sponsored by the Al Jazeera Network. It will take place in Tunis, where the Tunisian revolution took place in December 2010, and the Arab youth began to reshape the region, giving a burst to creativity and cooperation as the basis of a better future for new Arab generations.

The meeting will feature a set of workshops with the following goals:

  • Raise awareness of open licensing and open source tools as ways to promote self expression, creativity, innovation and peer-production in an open and collaborative environment
  • Connect local individuals (bloggers, artists, activists, etc) and institutions (universities, schools, law professionals, cultural centers, etc) that share an interest in open licensing and open source with the broader Arab regional Creative Commons and open source community
  • Train these individuals and institutions to the actual use of open licensing and open source tools for creative works, self expression and business development
  • Create a work environment which is oriented to sharing knowledge and products
  • Foster original content production in Arabic which responds to countrys’ local needs
  • Enhance creative production in the Arab world and distribution in an open but legal way.

The workshops are entirely designed and led by volunteer members of the Creative Commons Arab regional communities from the following countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Qatar, UAE, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, and Palestine. Most of the workshops will be “hands on” and will be entirely led in Arabic. The outputs (visual art works, music works, blogs, etc.) will be regrouped and featured online after the meeting.

Each workshop will address one of the following issues:

1) Application of open licensing to education
2) Legal introduction to CC licenses
3) Visual art and creative remix
4) Youth music, Creative Commons, “Sharism”
5) Citizen journalism, social media, open licensing
6) Using Creative Commons & Social Networking to Create, Share, Network and Build your Personal Brand
7) Introduction to open source tools for creative people

All workshops are free, and open registration through the CC Arab mailing list and Nawaat.org has brought more than 50 participants from Tunis and other Tunisian municipalities (working language: Arabic). The plenary sessions are open to everyone and translation between Arabic and English will be provided. Access the full agenda of the meeting here.

Creative Commons Concert

To close the meeting, a free CC music concert will take place the evening of July 2nd at the Center for Arab and Mediterranean Music. Musicians from across the Arab world (Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon) and particularly those from Tunisia will pay a tribute to openness by performing their music (pop, hip hop, rock, classical Arab music) in a “jam session” sort of evening, where remix between the different artists will be encouraged and peer-production will be celebrated.

All music played during the performance will be released under a CC BY-NC license, and will be compiled to produce the first CC-released Arab music CD featuring the best young talented musicians in the Arab world. The CD will be launched and distributed this fall through a viral social game involving most of the Arab capitals and the online Arab communities. Al Jazeera Mubasher TV channel will broadcast the event live. The goal of both the concert and the CD is to boost the idea of openly licensed music and legal sharing in the region, encouraging the Arab youth to share music legally but also to produce their own through peer collaboration and remixes enabled by the CC licenses. Check out pre-coverage of the concert by Rolling Stone (ME) and Italian News Agency ANSA.

For more information on both events, see the Creative Commons Qatar announcement.

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Creative Commons Qatar launches today!

Donatella Della Ratta, May 31st, 2011

On Tuesday, 31st May at 6pm local time, Creative Commons Qatar will celebrate its official birth with a reception in a unique venue, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.

The CC Qatar launch will be a celebration of Qatari and Arab creativity. Qatar has a flourishing and rapidly expanding creative scene, which will be featured at the launch through the works of more than 20 local artists—including photographers, bloggers, fashion designers, web developers and writers—that are currently releasing their creations under CC licenses.

Al Jazeera, which in 2009 became the first broadcaster in the world to launch a CC-licensed broadcast-quality online footage repository (under CC BY), will present a video with the latest updates about their CC-released works and exciting projects.

ictQATAR, which in October 2010 successfully hosted the “Digitally Open” summit and the second CC Arab world regional meeting in Doha, will serve as the public lead for outreach in Qatar, with the help of a vibrant and very active community of Creative Commons advocates, artists and content creators, as well as institutions and organizations.

The launch party will be livestreamed at Livestream.com/ictQATAR from 6 pm to 8 pm local time (GMT + 3). The festivities will include a live remix by visual artists Naeema Zarif and Lina Merhej from the CC Lebanon community, and a live DJ/VJ set from Celine Seeman and Colin Brown from CC’s Canadian community.

Following the launch, Creative Commons Qatar will host a series of workshops for content creators, as well as support and other community engagement activities. The first series of workshops will take place on June 1-2 at Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha Campus. It will be led by Naeema Zarif and focus on how visual artists can leverage Creative Commons licenses with their works.

For more information about Creative Commons Qatar activities, you can visit www.creativecommons.qa and follow their updates on Twitter @ccqatar.

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Jeeran Launches a Dedicated Creative Commons Channel

Fred Benenson, October 16th, 2009

Jeeran Logo 300Jeeran, the largest Arabic online community with 1.5 million registered users and more than 7 million visitors per month, has just launched a dedicated Creative Commons space to inform the developing CC Arab community with articles, news and updates about CC activities in the region. While a large commons culture is still developing in the Arab world, the new Jeeran channel should help provide valuable information to Arab users how to license and share their work online.

The ultimate goal of the channel is to foster new CC content creation and dissemination of content in the Arabic language. This is really a fantastic opportunity for the budding CC community in the Middle East because Jeeran has done so much work in the domain of Arabic content creation and language preservation on the Internet. For an example, check out their their innovative project called as Seejal which is transferring an old Arab tradition of poetry onto the web.

The CC channel on Jeeran will feature blog posts, videos, caricatures and music, as well as successful case studies on how Creative Commons is being used in the Arab Region (e.g., the Creative Commons Al Jazeera repository). The channel will also contain a section on news and updates on Creative Commons events, meetings and happenings in the Arab Region like the upcoming Jordan launch and CC Salon.

We’d like to thank Laith and Omar, founders of Jeeran, their team, Rami Olwan and Bassel Safadi from our CC Arab community for making this happen!

– Donatella Della Ratta (donatella@creativecommons.org)

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