Open Education Lightning Talks: Recordings and Slides

lightning“lightning” by duane.schoon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In December, the CC Open Education Platform hosted a series of open education “lightning talks” (7 minutes + Q&A) in which open education practitioners discussed their work and answered questions with a global audience. We are grateful to all 24 speakers for sharing their open education work!

To maximize access, we recorded all of the talks with the permission of the speakers. Many of the speakers have also shared their slides and other resources. Enjoy!

8 December 2020

  • Sue Jones: Cognitively Accessible Math OER (Video / Slides)
  • David Wiley: Sustaining and Improving OER (Video / Slides)
  • Chris Morrison & Jane Secker: How openness helped us address the challenge of copyright and online teaching at a time of crisis (Video / Resource)
  • Nathan Smith: Starting a local consortium to increase collaboration around OER (Video / Slides / Resource)
  • Yasin Dahi: Learnful: An open platform for OER authoring and collaboration in Canada (Video / Slides)
  • Christer Gundersen: Crowdsourcing translation of early grade reading resources at scale (Video)
  • TJ Bliss: Open Education in Idaho Higher Education (Video / Slides)
  • Grif Peterson: Increasing equity with OER through learning circles (Video / Slides)

11 December 2020

  • Judith Sebesta: Texas Learn OER (Video / Slides / Resource)
  • André Rocha: Fabschools (Video)
  • Suma Parahakaran: Educating for Human Values and Ethics in Schools (Video / Slides)
  • Yogesh K S: Wikimedia and MediaWiki in Open Education (Video / Slides / Resource)
  • Stephen Downes: A Personal Learning Platform (Video)
  • Hugh McGuire: Where can I find Pressbooks books? Why, the Pressbooks Directory (Video / Slides / Resource)
  • Omshivaprakash: Digital archiving to build OER for local languages (Video / Slides)
  • Nate Angell: Open Learning Experience Bingo (Video / Slides / Blog)

17 December 2020

  • Roxanne Russell: Part you, part text, part machine, all learning (Video / Slides / Resource)
  • Fernando Daguanno: OER are not always textbooks (Video / Slides)
  • Meri McCoy-Thompson: We Are Resilient (Video / Slides)
  • Werner Westermann: Offline OER to mitigate learning loss (Video)
  • Sarah Hutton: Open from the Start: Strategies for Integrating OER and Open Pedagogical Practice Into First-Year and General Programs at UMass Amherst (Video / Slides)
  • Lance Eaton: The Public Dollar: Finding & Flipping the Value of the Commons (Video / Slides)
  • Rajeeb Dutta: Hello Santali (Video / Slides)
  • Dan McGuire: Geogebra + Illustrative Mathematics + your LMS = Great Teaching and Learning (Video / Slides / Resource)

If you like the video bumpers – you can download them here.

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The 2020 CC Global Summit Keynotes Are Here!

We have exciting news…we published the keynotes from the 2020 CC Global Summit!

In addition to the 170+ sessions hosted at last year’s virtual event, we hosted three keynotes that helped us think through how to connect the events of 2020 with our work—and find a path forward in hope and optimism. We’re excited to share these recordings of the keynotes with you today!

A Culture of Peace

This keynote featured Bushra Ebadi (Canadian Commission for UNESCO), Deepak Ramola (Project FUEL), Leonardo Párraga (Juventudes Por La Paz), and Asha Siad (Memories of Mogadishu). It fostered a necessary discussion on the role “open” plays in advancing peace, challenging the audience to critically examine preconceived notions of open access, open culture, and open knowledge, and to understand the role decolonized and democratized conceptions of these terms will serve in building the future we want. For more on this keynote, check out this Twitter thread!

Hacer Feminista Lo Abierto: Poniendo Nuevos Engranes a La Cultura Libre 

This keynote featured Irene Soria (CC Mexico). Given in Spanish, it set the stage for exploring new definitions of “open.” Using intersectionality as a framing, Irene helped us navigate the relationships between race, gender, and social class as new ways of seeing the open movement. For more on this keynote, check out this Twitter thread!

Democracy for Sale 

This keynote featured Catherine Stihler (CC CEO) and Alek Tarkowski (CC Board Member) speaking with Peter Geoghegan (author of Democracy for Sale). They discussed the links between fighting for our democracies and fighting for “open” and the public interest. For more on this keynote, check out this Twitter thread!

What’s next?

We’re still working on receiving permission from the speakers to publicly release all of the CC Global Summit video recordings. Once that process is completed, we’ll start creating a catalog on the CC Global Summit website of the approved videos. We ask for your patience and understanding during this process. Thank you!

Missed the CC Global Summit? Take a look at our wrap-up!

As a nonprofit, Creative Commons relies on the generosity of the public to make events like the CC Global Summit possible. If you attended and loved your time at the CC Summit, please consider donating what you can. ✌ Thank you!

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Meet CC Argentina, Our Next Feature for CC Network Fridays!

After introducing the CC Italy Chapter to you in July, the CC Netherlands Chapter in August, CC Bangladesh Chapter in September, CC Tanzania Chapter in October, and the CC India Chapter in November, and the CC Mexico Chapter in December, we are staying in Latin America to introduce the CC Argentina Chapter! 

The Creative Commons Global Network (CCGN) consists of 46 CC Country Chapters spread across the globe. They’re the home for a community of advocates, activists, educators, artists, lawyers, and users who share CC’s vision and values. They implement and strengthen open access policies, copyright reform, open education, and open culture in the communities in which they live.

To help showcase their work, we’re excited to continue our blog series and social media initiative: CC Network Fridays. At least one Friday a month, we’re traveling around the world through our blog and on Twitter (using #CCNetworkFridays) to a different CC Chapter, introducing their teams, discussing their work, and celebrating their commitment to open! 


Say hello to CC Argentina!

The CC Argentina Chapter was formed in 2018. Its Chapter Lead is Matías Butelman and its representative to the CC Global Network Council is Franco Giandana. CC Argentina is involved in all of the Network Platforms (Copyright, OpenGLAM and OpenEducation) and actively advocates for open in Argentina. For this post, we spoke to Franco who told us a bit more about the Chapter’s work. He responded in both English and Spanish! 

CC: What open movement work is your Chapter actively involved in? What would you like to achieve with your work? What exciting project has your Chapter engaged in recently? What projects in your country are using CC licenses that you’d like to highlight? (Please provide their Twitter handles if you have them.)

CC Argentina: Creative Commons Argentina y sus integrantes se encuentran involucrados en diferentes proyectos de capacitacion y difusion de la cultura libre:

  • Fundación Vía Libre: (@FViaLibre) En conjunto con CCAr, desarrollará el sitio web ‘derechodeautor.org.ar’ para difundir información sobre el derecho de autor, su usos, limitaciones, excepciones, vinculación con diferentes sectores, así como para ofrecer herramientas específicas en defensa de la Libertad de Expresión Online para usuarios de plataformas en internet.
  • Universidad Nacional de Cuyo: (@uncuyo) Lila Pagola llevó adelante un curso sobre Derechos de Autor en el ecosistema educativo, donde presentó a Creative Commons y sus licencias. 
  • Los miembros de Creative Commons hemos participado activamente en la difusión de la cultura libre y las licencias en una diversidad de charlas, presentaciones, conversatorios y conferencias online, entre las cuales vale mencionar la Feria del libro de La Rioja, el Instituto Superior de Estudios Pedagógicos de Córdoba, Fundación Vía Libre, Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, Secretaría de Cultura de Río III, la Biblioteca Virtual, encuentros con estudiantes y docentes de escuelas, entre otros.
  • Se colaboró en el desarrollo de los Términos de Usos del portal, repositorio de recursos eduacativos abiertos del Ministerio de Educación de Argentina.
  • El Plan Nacional de Lecturas del Ministerio de Educación de la Nación presentó las colecciones que serán distribuidas en las escuelas de todo el país. Dentro del listado de libros recomendados por la Comisión Asesora Nacional CAN hay títulos de editoriales que trabajan con licencias CC, como Superpoder Editorial, Prebanda, Muchas Nueces, Ediciones de la Terraza. Cabe destacar que el Plan prevé que los libros seleccionados formen parte de la plataforma Juana Manso con sus ediciones digitales.
  • FLISOL: (@flisolcordoba) Festival de Software Libre. Presentación sobre Creative Commons y licencias CC.
  • Matías Butelman (@mbutel) y Juan Pablo Suárez (@derechoaleer) con su proyecto @bibliohack continúan el desarrollo de escáneres de bajo costo y trabajan sostenidamente en la transformación digital de museos, bibliotecas y archivos en el país
  • Universidad Nacional de Córdoba: (@unc_cordoba)  Se incorporan licencias CC a las herramientas digitales que se desarrollan a los fines de la implementación de políticas públicas de participación para gobiernos locales. 
  • Universidad de Champagnat, Mendoza: Se capacitó a los alumnos de la Diplomatura en Derecho y Gobierno Digital sobre el uso de licencias CC en el estado. 
  • Nuestra representante en el ámbito editorial, Barbi Couto trabaja en el relevamiento y articulación de editoriales publicando con licencias CC en todo el país, relevadas al momento 25 proyectos; asesora proyectos editoriales que evalúan el uso de CC (como el proyecto Cuerpos Urgentes de la Colectiva Escritoxs por la IVE de Mendoza o el proyecto de Música para el Alma entre otros), con perspectivas de más editoriales para sumarse en los próximos años. 
  • Virginia Ines Simon (@vi_simon) público diferentes papers sobre el Tratado de Marrakesh utilizando licencias CC. 
  • LibreBase, organización emblema de la Cultura Libre en la Ciudad de Córdoba continúa organizando el espacio “Encuentro por la Libertad en el Software y la Cultura”. 
  • Se participa en las discusiones para la incorporación de las licencias libres en los contenidos a enseñar de Educación Digital en las escuelas de la Provincia de Córdoba en el marco de los Núcleos de Aprendizaje Prioritario de Educación Digital Programación y Robótica 
  • Proteger nuestra cultura es liberarla | Barbi Couto | TEDxCordoba (@eneroenlaciudad) La cultura la creamos entre todos, pero no es tan fácil compartirla. Barbi pone sobre la mesa los problemas del sistema editorial tradicional y de las leyes de derechos de autor. 
  • Participación de Beatriz Busaniche (@beabusaniche) y Barbi Couto en el libro “Sobre los hombros de un gigante. Reflexiones sobre la propiedad intelectual y la cultura libre” editado por editorial La Casa de los Conejos.
  • Se conformó una nueva organización social llamada Clementina que trabaja sobre la difusión, formación y debate de la cultura libre y software libre en educación. Ya cuenta con sitio web en clementina.org.ar algunos de los miembros de CCAR se encuentran en la comisión organizadora de este nuevo espacio.

CC: What do you find inspiring and rewarding about your work in the open movement?

CC Argentina: It is a constant learning process. The CCAr members are involved in different types or sectors, doing all kinds of jobs related to copyright, from working at universities or museums, running NGOs, being private legal consultants or competing in the editorial industry, so everyday there is a good chance of learning new perspectives or insights. In that sense, even if we share the interest and will to advocate in the Open Movement, we have different knowledge and experiences, which is only making the whole process of being involved in a CC Chapter more interesting and nurturing. 

CC: What are your plans for the future? 

CC Argentina: Creative Commons Argentina is an active Chapter of the CC Global Network, composed by a diverse group of people coming from different sectors and regions within the country. As a CC Chapter, we have managed to function efficiently under a common goal, to promote and advocate for the use of CC licenses and the growth of the Open Movement in our region. We are proud to have specialists in copyright law, OpenGlam and OER, CC Ar members who are performers, artists, educators or publishers, engaging with each other and collaborating permanently in our Telegram group.   

For the near future, we foresee ourselves strengthening the bonds and work that are already in place, bringing in new challenges with more expertise and organization, collaborating with more museums, libraries, archives, universities, government and individuals. To add more, even if Argentina is an immense country, we are always in contact with our fellow CC Latin American Chapters, looking for new opportunities to connect and share ideas and resources, and so far, that has been as important as what we have already stated before. 

Thank you to the CC Argentina team, especially Franco for contributing to the CC Network Fridays feature, and for all of their work in the open community! To see this conversation on Twitter, click here. To become a member of the CCGN, visit our website!

📸: Featured image has icons by Guilherme Furtado and Vectors Point via Noun Project (CC BY 3.0).

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Creative Commons Board Tribute to Departing General Counsel Diane Peters

It’s customary at Creative Commons for the Board of Directors to pause during our annual meeting to acknowledge any departing Board members and staff and thank them for their contributions to the CC mission and community. Among the exceptional Commoners we acknowledged this year, there is one who has touched more projects, individuals, and institutions in the CC community than any other. And so I’m writing to share the CC Board’s tribute to our departing General Counsel Diane Peters, with heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the entire CC Board. We all look forward to continuing together on this journey as fellow CC community members, and as beneficiaries of everything that we owe to the foremost architect and steward of the Commons.

For twelve years as General Counsel at Creative Commons, and even before that as a member of the greater open knowledge community, Diane Peters has been the embodiment of CC’s innovations and ideals.

Diane was the chief architect of the current generation of Creative Commons legal tools–the mastermind of their universal design principles and detailed provisions, and the leader who harnessed the insights of the entire CC community to ensure their precision and excellence. Through this work, Diane not only built our legal tools but also built our network–mentoring and collaborating with lawyers and other community members around the world to perfect the CC tools and spread the CC philosophy.

Diane is a legal hacker in the best sense of the phrase. She has harnessed the law to avoid organizational pitfalls and legal jeopardy, and also to accomplish our loftiest goals. She has done this from her crucial and complex post as General Counsel, Board member, and Board Counsel and Secretary. This role as trusted counselor can be a challenging and even lonely one, requiring a lawyer who is both embedded in and objective about a beloved organization. Diane served in this difficult role with deft skill, wisdom, and grace.

At CC HQ and among the CC community, Diane has been not just a lawyer but a senior leader, working in partnership with CEOs, directors, staff, and community members to ensure CC’s adherence to our vision, mission, and highest ideals of integrity in times of both triumph and trouble. Diane has served as our institutional memory and the keeper of the CC flame.

The Open COVID Pledge is a testament to Diane the lawyer and Diane the leader. It is a great legal hack that also demonstrates Diane’s management and direction-setting skills, and the emotional intelligence necessary to quickly accomplish a critical goal through the collective efforts of a diverse group of contributors with their own institutional affiliations, priorities, and personalities. OCP is a beacon that shines a light towards CC’s future, thanks in large part to Diane.

Diane has also been a visionary regarding sharing by scholarly, educational, and cultural institutions. Her expertise and collaboration with partners including MIT, UNESCO, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution were essential to achieving the release of countless works of culture and knowledge into the commons.

It is hard to imagine CC without Diane Peters. And we won’t. Because Diane’s legal talent and collaborative leadership have left an indelible mark on every aspect of CC’s work. She has ensured that this work will stand the test of time, evolving to meet new opportunities and challenges while remaining true to CC’s ideals.

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Announcing Our New Strategy: What’s Next for CC

I am delighted to announce the launch of Creative Commons’ new strategy for 2021-2025.

This strategy is the result of over three months of stakeholder engagement, dozens of consultations, and hundreds of conversations held among Creative Commons’ multiple collaborators, including staff, funders, the CC Board of directors, as well as a wide range of individuals within the CC community, particularly members of the Creative Commons Global Network (CCGN). The strategy development process was designed to be inclusive and transparent with the aim of co-creating a strategy that is ambitious, nuanced, and relevant to the people that make up Creative Commons around the globe.

This strategy truly represents a fresh start for Creative Commons. It provides clarity on the values that define us as an organization: leadership, intention, inclusivity. It depicts our vision for the world we want to see: a world where equitable sharing of knowledge and culture purposefully serves the public interest. It also expresses our mission: to empower the people and communities that we serve by equipping them with legal, technical, and policy solutions that they require in order to address real challenges on the ground.

This strategy provides an exciting development for CC. It sharpens our focus on core goals that emphasize shared knowledge and culture; facts, ideas, and dreams shared equitably, with long term impact and resilience. It emphasizes that our objective is not necessarily only to promote more sharing, but to foster better sharing of knowledge and culture. It builds upon our copyright licenses and tools, and I am thrilled for us to embrace a broad-based approach to open sharing. 

Over the course of the next five years, Creative Commons will deliver on the strategy’s three core goals by engaging in activities involving advocacy, infrastructure innovation, and capacity building.

Developing the strategy has been a joint effort and a true testament to the values of collaboration and inclusivity that we at CC hold dear. I want to thank all of those–you know who you are–who provided advice, guidance, and wisdom to help craft this document. I want to acknowledge my colleagues at Creative Commons who have shared their ideas and helped shape the strategy; their energy and commitment throughout the process were unflinching. In particular, I am immensely grateful to Sarah Pearson, Senior Counsel; and Brigitte Vézina, Policy Manager, who led the strategy development process with commendable dedication.

I look forward to embarking on this journey and working with all of CC’s collaborators, supporters, and partners in the open movement and beyond to secure a successful future. 

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The Improved CC Search

This is part of a series of posts introducing the projects built by open source contributors mentored by Creative Commons during Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2020 and Outreachy. Ayan Choudhary was one of those contributors and we are grateful for his work on this project.


The CC Search website is a tool that is available to everyone on the internet, but its accessibility is quite low. The reasons for its low accessibility are varied in nature which affects different sections of people. Due to this reduced accessibility, it is not possible for everyone to completely utilize all the features that CC search provides and thus it becomes imperative to fix this issue. The final deliverable of this project will be a highly accessible website which everyone on the web can access from any device or region and which fully accommodates every visitor to enable them to utilize the search to its fullest.” 

These were the initial lines of my proposal for the GSoC 2020. Accessibility is often one of the more overlooked aspects of any website but this is no excuse to neglect the need for important accessibility improvements as it could be the difference between a large number of users being able to use the site and those who could not.

CC Search underwent major accessibility changes. One of these involved the internationalization of the website. Internationalization is crucial to making accessibility improvements as it opens up the resource to a whole new populace, one that was restricted from its use just because of language barriers.

The improved CC Search offers varied language choices to cater to all the users without bringing any kind of linguistic barriers. Apart from the internationalization changes, other accessibility features have been added, which include but are not limited to:

  1. Improved screen reader support
  2. Easier keyboard navigation
  3. Better visual representation and contrast ratios

A lot of these changes are noticeable in the daily use of the website. These changes also provide a smooth and seamless user experience for those who don’t necessarily use conventional methods of website navigation.

The English version of the CC Search homepage
The CC Search homepage translated into French. Note: this is a translation done by Google Translate and thus may contain inaccuracies.

What’s Next?

The presence of a 100% accessible website is the ideal state that every website should achieve and CC Search is no exception. The present version of CC Search, even though highly accessible, still has room for improvement. By improving it over time can we ensure that the accessibility guidelines are always met and we continue to give each and every user the same exquisite experience unconditionally.

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Spreading Joy and Giving Gratitude: A Toast to This Year’s Silver Linings

It’s almost over. The year that shall not be named will soon end with a collective sigh and a half-hearted wave from humanity. However, before we stumble into what one can only hope will be a less disastrous year, we’re determined to spread some joy and share our gratitude.

We’re grateful for every image, video, song, book, and article that millions of you continue to share using a CC license or public domain mark. 2 billion and counting! From 3D models of spacecraft to vital public health information. During this festive season especially, we’re grateful for the countless photographs of pets in holiday-themed outfits, like these pictures of our favorite pugs on Flickr


More importantly, we’re grateful for the tireless efforts of the open community, our donors, and our staff to create a more open and inclusive world. 

What you helped us achieve

Promoting and facilitating open access in collaboration with members of the open community felt more important than ever this year. The urgent need for scientific research and data on COVID-19, open educational resources for students forced to stay home, open-source medical hardware due to PPE shortages, and more motivated us to carry onward.

That context makes this year’s accomplishments and “big wins” at Creative Commons uniquely meaningful, and we’re excited to share just a few of them with you below. If pugs in holiday outfits don’t spark joy in your heart, then hopefully these will! 

This year, Creative Commons…

🏛 Collaborated with the Smithsonian on Smithsonian Open Access, releasing 2.8 million images and data into the public domain using Creative Commons Zero! This announcement in February came after years of collaborative efforts from CC staff including Director of Open Education Cable Green, General Counsel Diane Peters, and CC GLAM platform lead Evelin Heidel.

🤖 Submitted statements to WIPO on artificial intelligence (AI) and intellectual property (IP) explaining why we’re against copyright protection for AI-generated output. 

📝 Completed research on sharing Indigenous cultural heritage online, advocating that GLAMs should acknowledge that access and reuse restrictions might be justified in certain situations. 

👘 Collaborated with the European Fashion Heritage Foundation and the Onassis Foundation on the 2020 symposium exploring issues regarding the tensions between digitizing fashion cultural heritage and remaining mindful and respectful of cultural rights and values.

🔬 Helped create and lead the Open COVID Pledge, resulting in over 30 Pledgors, including Founding Adopters Facebook, Amazon, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, and more, effectively unlocking hundreds of thousands of patents to the public to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Take the Pledge!

🇲🇽 Presented in front of the Mexican Senate addressing copyright exceptions and limitations, GLAMs, and the fundamental rights of access to knowledge and culture. Read the written statement here.

👋 Welcomed three new chapters to the CC Global Network (CC Peru, CC Austria, and CC Czech Republic) and supported 32 projects across 20 countries—from Argentina and Bangladesh to Uruguay and Venezuela—through the Community Activities Fund, totaling $30,000 USD! 

🌏 Held the first-ever virtual CC Global Summit, which included over 1300 participants, 200 presenters, and 170 sessions across 60 countries. We also introduced a new session, a global land acknowledgement, where we examined ideas of colonialism, power dynamics, and our own biases. Look back at this year’s CC Summit here!

💪 Joined the UNESCO OER Dynamic Coalition and the Network of Open Organizations, who are both working to help national governments and institutions implement the UNESCO Recommendation on OER. More information here and here.

📚 Participated in open education campaigns and initiatives, including the Free the Textbook Campaign and Translate a Story. We also joined the UNESCO Global Education Coalition, an international response to ensure the continuity of education for all learners during and after COVID-19.

👨‍🎓 Completed the second year of CC Certificate scholarships, enabling 28 new CC Global Network members from 25 countries to take the CC Certificate. We also graduated hundreds of new CC Certificate participants—by the end of 2020, there will be over 800 graduates from 50 countries! Register for January or June 2021 courses here.

💻 Launched the new CC Open Source Community Team initiative, a team of volunteers to help us develop and maintain our open source projects and community. Learn more here and here!

👩‍💻 Completed four open source internship programs with 13 interns total from Turkey, Nigeria, Brazil, India, Australia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and Malaysia. Thanks to their help, we’ve been able to launch the CC Legal Database, the new CC Open Source website, the CC Linked Commons, and much more!

💬 Hosted webinars on important topics like copyright, OpenGLAM, open access, and many more in partnership with other actors, like Europeana, the Museum Computer Network (summaries here, here, here, and here), and the UNESCO-Bangkok/Memory of the World Committee Asia Pacific (details here).

Into 2021 we go, older and bolder

Finally, we’re grateful for the opportunity to celebrate 20 years of Creative Commons in 2021 by embarking on a new era with a bolder organizational strategy that matches the challenges and opportunities ahead. While we will continue to face the difficulties that come with change, we’re excited for this new chapter and we hope you’ll support us by:

Every action you take to create a more open and inclusive world is a precious gift to us—and we thank you for it. 🙏

📸: Featured image is a remix of this 19th-century beer advertisement (CC0) shared by the Smithsonian Design Museum.

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Meet CC Mexico, Our Next Feature for CC Network Fridays!

After introducing the CC Italy Chapter to you in July, the CC Netherlands Chapter in August, CC Bangladesh Chapter in September, CC Tanzania Chapter in October, and the CC India Chapter in November, we are now traveling to Latin America to introduce the CC Mexico Chapter! 

The Creative Commons Global Network (CCGN) consists of 46 CC Country Chapters spread across the globe. They’re the home for a community of advocates, activists, educators, artists, lawyers, and users who share CC’s vision and values. They implement and strengthen open access policies, copyright reform, open education, and open culture in the communities in which they live.

To help showcase their work, we’re excited to continue our blog series and social media initiative: CC Network Fridays. At least one Friday a month, we’re traveling around the world through our blog and on Twitter (using #CCNetworkFridays) to a different CC Chapter, introducing their teams, discussing their work, and celebrating their commitment to open! 

Say hello to CC Mexico!

The CC Mexico Chapter was formed in 2018. Check out this video by CC Mexico featuring original music, “La cumbia de los comunes” (“The commons cumbia”) published under CC BY-SA. Its Chapter Lead is Ivan Martinez and its representative to the CC Global Network Council is Irene Soria. They are a group of activists, artists, musicians, academics, political scientists, hackers, editors, and lawyers who have fought battles in favor of free culture for many years, and who gathered to bring CC Mexico back to life in 2018.  For this post, we spoke to Irene who told us a bit more about the Chapter’s work. She responded in both English and Spanish

CC Mexico Team
A few members of CC Mexico’s team!

CC México: Somos un grupo de personas activistas, artistas, músicas, académicas, científicas sociales, hackers y personas abogadas, que hemos enfrentado batallas a favor de la Cultura Libre en México durante varios años. Nos juntamos en julio del 2018 para traer a la vida un nuevo y mejorado capítulo de Creative Commons México. Por cierto, ¿ya viste nuestro video?, tiene música original, “La cumbia de los comunes.”


CC: What open movement work is your Chapter actively involved in? What would you like to achieve with your work?

CC Mexico: We are actually working on three topics mainly: 

  • Advocating for CC licenses through talks, workshops and discussion groups
  • Joining coalitions defending the Internet and opposing recent local unfair and disproportional copyright reforms, by taking part or leading talks and forums about their negative impact on education and authors; 
  • Changing the way big players in Mexico relate to copyright, especially regarding Open Education and Open GLAM.

We urgently advocate for the need for access to educational and cultural materials in the Mexican context. We are contributing to changes in public institutions, such as the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Secretariat of Culture in Mexico City. Both of these institutions adopted CC licenses in a massive way thanks to our advice. We want to encourage more institutions—particularly those funded by public means—to adopt CC licensing and change their ways of managing copyright. We want to improve Mexican copyright law and promote a better environment for creativity, freedom, free licenses, and public domain. (We have even linked to support from Creative Commons when exposing these topics to the Mexican Senate).

CC México: En el capítulo CC hemos trabajado en el uso de licencias CC en la UNAM, la universidad más grande de Latinoamérica, de igual forma, hemos ofrecido múltiples charlas en diferentes espacios para hablar de la reforma de la ley de derechos de autor en México y cómo eso nos afecta. También hemos realizado vínculos con CC Global para hablar de estos temas en el Senado de la República. También formamos parte de coaliciones como Salvemos Internet y Ni censura ni candados, que buscan oponerse a modificaciones en la ley que vulneran los derechos digitales en México.

CC: What exciting project has your Chapter engaged in recently?

CC Mexico: We were just awarded a Creative Commons grant to develop a publication on author’s rights and proportional copyright from a regional point-of-view. Spoiler alert: gender, remixing, and traditional knowledge is involved!

UNAM (Mexico’s National University) has officially adopted CC licensing at their repositories—and we provided advisory for this process. This is the BIGGEST university in Latin America! Cool isn’t it?

We are supporting the Mexico-based @ultracinema_mx festival’s CC-licenced films category. This is a beautiful community of authors resampling, reusing, archiving, cataloguing, tracking and producing films in Latin America. 

CC México: Hemos ganado el gran de CC global para realizar una publicación acerca del derecho de autor proporcional y hablar desde diferentes voces, como una forma de entender la propiedad intelectual. También, le hemos dado seguimiento a la implementación de las licencias CC en la UNAM e hicimos vínculos con el festival de Cine de Reapropiación, Ultra Cinema, y desde el año próximo, tendrán una categoría de premiación exclusiva de obras que tengan licenciamiento CC.

CC: What do you find inspiring and rewarding about your work in the open movement?

CC Mexico: Contact with people and communities such as artists, filmmakers, librarians, archivists, NGOs and others looking for our advice is both inspiring and rewarding. Knowing that artists, some even supported by Mexican government grants, have chosen CC licensing is pretty inspiring.

CC México: El contacto que hemos tenido con la gente y algunas comunidades, sentir que algunos espacios de artistas y cineastas nos buscan para saber más del tema, o que nos comparten su trabajo, es muy gratificante. También saber que hay artistas CC que apoyan el movimiento y han sido apoyados con becas de fomento a la creación.

CC: What are your plans for the future? 

CC Mexico: We would like to build a bigger team, a volunteer network and CC workgroups throughout the country; especially among communities not commonly included at the Creative Commons mission.

CC México: Nos gustaría construir un equipo más grande; armar y coordinar un grupo de voluntarios a lo largo de todo el país, especialmente entre comunidades que no siempre han sido incluídas en las comunidades internacionales de Creative Commons.

CC: What projects in your country are using CC licenses that you’d like to highlight? (Please provide their Twitter handles if you have them.)

CC Mexico: Projects opting-in CC licencing in Mexico are quite diverse:

CC México: Los proyectos que han optado por las licencias CC en México son muy diversos: La Secretaría de Cultura del gobierno de la Ciudad de México, el Instituto para la Investigación de la Universidad y la Educación, en la UNAM, algunos fotógrafos mexicanos como Rodrigo González, alias @eneas, la banda de rock mexicana Belafote. En Latinoamérica, el Centro de Estudios Avanzados en América Latina. Y también hemos hecho algunos enlaces con proyectos en otros continentes, como el realizado por APC, el informe: “Making a Feminist Internet Movement building in a digital age in Africa.” 

CC: Anything else you want to share?

CC Mexico: 

  • We translated the book “Made with Creative Commons” into Spanish. Available here
  • Our presentation video!
  • “The Creative Commons Caravan” with the “Stand-up comedy of Copyright” A very funny stand up comedy, when the CC MX lawyer, Salvador Alcántar, on stage, and our musician José Serralde, will tell you about some fundamentals about copyright and intellectual property; It will answer your doubts, questions, and above all, it will seek to surprise you with the best jokes, coming from the humor of traditional models of management, profit and circulation of creative works. You can see it here

CC México:

  • Hicimos la traducción al español del libro: “Hecho con Creative Commons”, lo puedes conseguir aquí.
  • También, llevamos a cabo la “Caravana Creative Commos,” donde incluímos “El Stand-up de los Derechos de Autor”. Una plática al estilo del stand-up, donde un abogado en el escenario, con un micrófono, nos contó sobre algunos fundamentos de derecho autoral y propiedad intelectual. Respondió las dudas, preguntas, y sobre todo, buscó sorprendernos con los mejores chascarrillos, provenientes del humorismo de los modelos tradicionales de gestión, lucro y circulación de las obras creativas.

Thank you to the CC Mexico team, especially Irene for contributing to the CC Network Fridays feature, and for all of their work in the open community! To see this conversation on Twitter, click here. To become a member of the CCGN, visit our website!

📸: Featured image has icons by Guilherme Furtado and Vectors Point via Noun Project (CC BY 3.0).

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Creative Commons Joins the American University’s Efforts to Promote the International Right to Research

American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) has received a three-year grant of $3.8 million from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, for its Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP). The project will study changes needed in international copyright policy to ensure equity in the production of and access to research.

“The COVID pandemic has cast a bright light on inequities in the global research system that restrictive copyright laws perpetuate,” said Professor Sean Flynn, director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and the project’s principal investigator. “In many countries, library resources, for example, can only be used ‘on the premises’ of that institution. Use of educational materials is often restricted to use ‘in a classroom.’ Our goal is to promote a system in which every researcher, every student, and every citizen of every country has the ability to engage in modern research activity and enjoy its products, including across borders and utilizing online tools.”

The project will support a network of access to knowledge civil society organizations to form and lead national and regional coalitions of researchers and the institutions that support them. Each coalition will engage in collaborative research projects and facilitate the sharing of research outcomes in their countries and regions. 

Creative Commons will join the Steering Committee, alongside several other organizations, with the goal of driving change in international copyright policy to ensure equity in the production of and access to research.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Arcadia-funded project and contribute to spurring change in international copyright policy,” said CC’s CEO Catherine Stihler. “At Creative Commons, we strive to foster the production, open access and open sharing of research in ways that serve the public interest and we look forward to pursuing this objective in collaboration with other project partners.” 

Read the full press release from the AUWCL here.

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Thanking Diane Peters for Her Service to Creative Commons

I’d like to offer a heartfelt thanks to Creative Commons’ longtime General Counsel, Diane Peters, who will be leaving CC at the end of the month to take on new opportunities in 2021. She has served in her staff role at CC since 2008 and as a member of the CC board of directors for many years as its counsel and secretary. Diane has played a key role in nearly every initiative CC has undertaken over the past decade, and the organization will miss her dearly.

Diane led the work to launch the 4.0 versions of CC’s licenses, the CC0 public domain dedication, and CC’s Public Domain Mark—legal tools that have become the gold standard for institutions and individuals wanting to make their copyrighted works freely and openly available for use by anyone in the world. She’s been a critically important figure in supporting and championing CC’s global community, and her leadership of the Open COVID Pledge has been a great demonstration of her innovative thinking. Additionally, her hard work in the GLAM sector has resulted in many major collections of academic materials and cultural works being made openly available to the public—freeing knowledge and culture everywhere for everyone. 

All of us at Creative Commons wish Diane well. We thank her for her service to CC over the past 12 years and are excited for what the future holds for her. The work she’s done at CC has made it much easier for people to share knowledge and creativity with others, and has resulted in a more open and accessible world.

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