Creative Commons Global Summit

From 13 to 15 April, when spring was already warming up Europe, IPI’s dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič and Saša Krajnc attended the pinnacle of annual Creative Commons events – the CC Global Summit in icy, yet still posh Toronto. For those not familiar with the organisation – Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to give the public permission to use creative work, but also acts as an organized network for advocacy and initiatives related to free sharing of copyrighted material, open resources and open internet.

For an entire weekend “the Commoners” gathered for workshops, discussions, seminars, and plenaries about the future of CC, the network and the community of sharing. The event brought together 192 speakers and 435 attendees from 64 countries, many more followed the event through the stream and social feed. The Summit, held at the Delta hotel, opened every morning with breakfast for Summit newbies and then continued throughout the day with a packed program of lectures and workshops in various areas, connected with the open internet, copyright, education, open access, new technologies and issues related to the present and future of the CC network.

The IPI team enthusiastically participated in copyright law sessions and actively contributed to them, as dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič was one of the hosts and speakers of the “Fixing Copyright to Meet the Needs of Educators” session, addressing the current issues of educators faced with copyright limitations when conveying knowledge and discussing in depth the education exception, proposed in the new EU Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market.

The participants, otherwise scattered in numerous smaller sessions, gathered every day for the presentations of keynote speakers. Wikipedia Executive Director Katherine Maher’s discussion asserted that free knowledge is inherently radical and called to resist enclosures of knowledge and learning. MIT Library Director Chris Bourg’s wide-ranging keynote “Open as in Dangerous” discussed the need to embrace the assertion that free knowledge is a political act. The packed room for Lawrence Lessig’s talk “From Unlocking Free Culture to Reviving American Democracy” listened as he outlined his career from copyright to representational democracy. Professor Ruth Okediji, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard University and Co-Director of the Berkman-Klein Center, gave the final, resonant keynote of the Summit, focusing on her work for a more just international copyright system and discussed her work on the Marrakesh Treaty, a copyright exception to support individuals with visual impairments.

By the end of the weekend, the IPI team was thrilled to have met old friends, made new ones, gained fresh drive to advocate for a better and balanced EU copyright and continue our work in the spirit of openness and sharing.

If you want to find out more about CC or want to apply for next years’ Global Summit, follow this link.

© Sebastiaan ter Burg

© Sebastiaan ter Burg