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IP & Creative Commons
by Sofia Gkiousou
2007-10-31 09:49:46
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There are more updates coming but for the benefit of my Creative Commons supporter friends in Greece here is a question I just posed in the WIPO International Conference on IP and the Creative Industries.

I asked if the panel thinks that there can be a balance between having an IP system and legislation and at the same time supporting a ‘creative – commons’ type approach.

Mr. Sherif Saadallah (Executive Director, Office of Strategic Use of IP for Development, WIPO) could give the following official answer:

As an international organisation one of the issues was creative commons and how to use alternative systems. Today i cannot tell you whether we have a big plan. International community are more open to look into this question and are more open to look into it and to see how these two models can survive together. We think that it is hot. We have it on the agenda but we have not resolved it yet.

Professor Stuart Cunningham (ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia) was more to the point and also cleared out what Creative Commons is all about just in case any delegates had misconceptions.

I see an increasing interest and participation in open source philosonpy. Having started in pick & mix culture it is now moved into the mainstream eg access to government services (crown copyright available as a right). The practicalities are of course much more complicated. The best example is the BBC ‘s creative archive project. The principle of making all of BBC catalogue available (when technology allows) to citizens as a right. This will have enormous implication in ways that do not cripple financially young creatives who would want to use that information.

It’s also a hot topic in global research & development and higher education. E-research is now a big issues driven by the principle that if it is public funded why is it not available to the public.

The last horizon is the commercial domain what we see there is a bottom up challenge around questions of the long tail. Creatives find ways around bottleneck of distribution process and aggregator control.

The genie is out – this is an emergent and highly creatively destructive process. I want to stress that this is a solution – creative commons does not promote piracy

Finally Dimiter Gantchev (Acting Director, Creative Industries Division, WIPO) noted:

WIPO as a secretariat will do what is needed in terms of their members countries. We live in modern society and we will probably see more and more coexistence. History is not made in one day of course. The Dutch copyright agency now has two links on their website for a commercial license and a creative commons license, we are all eagerly awaiting to see how the experiment will go.

For more posts from Sofia at the WIPO International Conference, please visit her blog:


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