Rami Olwan

All About CyberLaw, Copyright and Developing Countries


Just got back from a day in Brisbane and spent the better part of the evening with the good folks at CC Australia. The whole evening was put together by the activist, artistic designer, journalist and one helluva party planner Elliot Bledsoe.

We started with a round table discussion led by Brian Fitzgerald. The typical international CC office is two, maybe three law grad students porting US CC licenses to make them relevant to the local domain, but it was clear from the jump these people are on a whole different level. The first thing they did was hand me a 200+ page book of local case studies that was two years in the making called “Building an Australian Commons.” These are really smart, on it, people. Glad they are on our side, that’s for sure. We peppered each other with questions and I learned a lot about some serious differences from the US environment (“Really? No ‘fair use’???) It was a blast to see the excitement about ccMixter and it was a joy to spread the message. You guys should be proud – you’re world famous and appreciated.

One thing I’ve noticed when talking to CC people anywhere in the world: We all know how to talk about the benefits of CC licensing to culture, to an artists’ career (we can all quote/paraphrase Tim O’Reilly’s “You should be worried about obscurity, not piracy”) and other angles, but what ccMixter has taught me in a way the polemics by Lessig and Boyle could only tell me theoretically was that open licenses enable innovation in the creative process. If you don’t believe me just check out what colab said the other day. He knew these guys from the Peter Gabriel (All Rights Reserved) site. The only difference between the remixers he mentions from a few years ago at that site and the same ones at ccM today is access to the Pool enabled by CC. This is a powerful message to tell artists: by embracing the “sharing economy” they have a shot at improving their music. Anyway…

After the official meeting a bunch of us went out for dinner/drinks. I got to talk with Rami from CC Jordan (!) and he owes me six killer ‘pells from back home. Overall it was cultural exchange, full throttle.

Thanks to Elliot, Brian, Rachel Cobcroft, Jessica Coates, Emma Carroll, Nic Suzor and a few I’m sure I’m spacing (sorry!) for a great, educational time and for being such gracious hosts.



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