Rami Olwan

All About CyberLaw, Copyright and Developing Countries

Creative Commons in the Arab Region Discussed at TAG-Forum

The Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Business Forum hosted today at its headquarters at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh College of Business (TAG-College) Joichi Ito, the CEO of the US-based Creative Commons (CC) organization, who delivered a lecture entitled “Creative Commons in the Arab Region, Necessity and Privileges”.

Ito began by emphasizing the important role the Arab world plays in the development of the Creative Commons organization. He stated that “the world has become increasingly globalized economically.” As such Creative Commons will help universities, journalists and individuals to share learning, culture, opinions, art, music and everything else that will help to create global commons. In this respect, the dialogue with the Arab world plays an extremely important role, according to Ito.

He also revealed during his presentation that Wikipedia will be converted to Creative Commons within the coming seven months.

Creative Commons originated in the United States to address global issues around copyright, but from a slightly American perspective. As the movement has widened and reached over 47 jurisdictions, the licenses, the message and the projects have developed an increasingly global mindset.

In regards to the Arab region, Ito added “We are just getting started in the Middle East and trying to understand how institutions work and what issues Creative Commons are most likely to have a positive impact on first will be key for our success.

We are delighted to work with regional high professional partners like the Talal Abu- Ghazaleh Organization to better understand the Arab region.”

Meanwhile, Legal Cases and Court Decisions Department Manager Ziad Maraqa of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org) tackled the problems of copyright in the digital world.

“The major obstacles which encounter the users of the internet are whether the work is available for free over the net or if such a work is licensed or not,” Maraqa noted.

He also pointed out that the Organization has been working on the CC issue since 2004.

The Creative Commons Organization was founded in 2001 by Larry Lessig, professor of Law in Stanford University and author of many important books about the sharing of creativity on the Internet.

Joi Ito, the current CEO of CC, is a well-known venture capitalist investing in many successful web 2.0 companies such as Twitter, Technorati, Last.fm and Flckr. He has been named by the World Economic Forum as one of the 100 leaders of tomorrow while he was listed by Time Magazine one of the members of the “cyber elite”.

The event was attended by Talal ABu-Ghazaleh, chairman and CEO of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization and a host of students and academics.

CC is an international non-profit organization which provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. CC can be used to change copyright terms from “All Rights Reserved” to “Some Rights Reserved.”

The idea of CC licenses has gained considerable credibility over the years. This year, the idea of CC licenses was brought also to Cannes Mip TV market, where Joi Ito was invited to give a keynote speech and to explain how a broadcaster or TV producer can use CC licenses to protect his/her work, while strengthening the relation with audiences and users that are in this way allowed certain uses of the work according to the chosen license.



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