Creative Commons Global Summit 2018

The Creative Commons Global Summit is one of the biggest events that graces the Creative Commons community every few years. The CC Global Summit is generally a collaborative, fun space for everyone and anyone interested in exploring the future of the Commons and sharing the users, creators and activists.

The past summits were held in Toronto, Canada (in 2017); Seoul, South Korea (in 2015); Buenos Aires, Brazil (in 2013) and Poland, Warsaw (in 2011). This blogger previously wrote on the 2015 Global Summit in Seoul and about how the summit was a successful one.

The 2017 Summit also went as promisingly as expected as there were problems that arose during the 2015 Summit that the 2017 Summit addressed. One of these problems included lack of financial funding of the African Creative Commons community and as a result they could not attend the 2015 Summit. The Creative Commons society provided financial funding for the delegates from Africa and Latin America to attend the 2017 Summit (making it one of the most attended summits thus far).

Among the delegates were new members, outside the Creative Commons and open access community, making the 2017 Summit a diverse one; this blogger feels like this in itself is a big success and step in the right direction for the community as it means that it is making an impact and having an outreach to individuals beyond the CC scope.

The summit also made moves at gender-balanced panels as opposed to the largely male based panels the past summits had.

The CC Global Summit returns again in 2018 to Toronto once more. While expecting delegates in the near thousand this will be the first meeting of the Global Network Council. The Council will help in determining decisions regarding the future of CC Global Summits as well as the CC community.

It will be interesting to see what new ideas will come up during the 2018 summit. Submissions for proposals for the summit are now open.


Fair use and fair dealing

“Fair dealing” and “fair use” both refer to users’ rights under copyright law. However they are not used synonymous as their meaning and scope are defined differently due to the fact that they are incorporated into two different legal systems.

Fair dealing is incorporated in jurisdictions that utilize the common law system. Fair dealing is a right granted by copyright law to an author of a creative work.

Fair use is incorporated in United States and Canadian copyright laws. Fair use allows individuals to use author’s works without asking the author for permission.

Due to one of Kenya’s sources of law being Common law Kenya utilizes (legally) fair dealing in its Copyright laws. However upon further research this blogger came across a research paper by Victor Nzomo. In his research paper Nzomo discusses a judgement made by the Supreme Court of Kenya in 2014. The case was based on broadcast rights in assessing whether there was infringement occurring by allowing free-to-air (FTA) programme-carrying signals to re-broadcast signals “pursuant to the so-called “must-carry” rule” that is mentioned in the Broadcasting Regulations of the Kenya Information and Communication Act; the “must –carry” rule was found to be included under fair dealing provisions of the Kenya Copyright Act.

This brings us to the fair use versus fair dealing discussion; the Supreme Court’s discussion further blurred Kenya’s approach to which (from fair use and fair dealing laws) it takes. Nzomo’s paper further analyses how the court disregarded statutory approaches and, instead, emphasised the importance of limitations and exceptions to safeguard public interest and how this laid the foundation for a shift away from a fair dealing test that focused on the fairness of the use of a copyrighted work.

Section 26 of the Copyright Act looks at the nature of copyright in literary, musical or artistic works and audio visual works. This allowance is far too wide and Japhet Otike, a professor at Moi University, stated the same in his paper: “Photocopying of a copyrighted book is not quite illegal”. A statement mentioned in the paper, “photocopying is not synonymous with book piracy” a definition given by Mr. Mwazemba, extracted from International Publishers’ Association (IPA), however Otike states that this is not correct as the definition of piracy was the making of illegal copies of video tapes, computer programs, books for commercial gain. Piracy, on the other hand, involved mass production of copyrighted materials for commercial gain.

Fair use’s exception is that any works can be used so long as the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of what has been taken from the copyrighted work and the effect of the use upon the potential market for the copyrighted work were flexible in the way they were being used.

Fair dealing’s exception is that they outline specific purposes for which a reproduction of a work is permitted, without requiring the copyright owner’s permission. However a person is not liable for copyright infringement if the use amounts to fair dealing for the purposes of: non-commercial research or private study, criticism or review, reporting current events, parody among many others.

This means that fairness of the use must also be proven for the exception to apply and whether it is used fairly or not is not taken into consideration.

In regards to Copyright law/infringement an author would be better protected by fair use (a point both Nzomo and Otike agree on) and that Section 26 of the Copyright Act would need to be amended in order to better protect authors and their creative works.

Bassel Khartabil

This blogger previously wrote about Bassel Khartabil, a Syrian born open-source software developer, who had been detained by the Syrian government from 2012. During the first week of August it appears that his captors ordered for his execution.

Bassel’s death is a tragedy that has shaken the open access world. Creative Commons and the hacktivist world. Bassel was a pioneer and advocate for free speech, free culture and democracy in the Arab world.

There is evident outrage from human rights groups, followers of Bassel’s work as well as friends and family of Bassel at the decision to capture and execute Bassel Khartabil. But rather than shaking the foundation Bassel created his execution has simply and evidently fuelled the fire he fought for – open access by sharing culture and knowledge.

The Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund page was created in order to push the above criteria. On the page the following is stated:

“At the request of Bassel’s family, Creative Commons has established the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund to support projects in the spirit of his work. Creative Commons is accepting donations, has seeded the fund with $10,000, and invites the public to celebrate Bassel’s legacy and support the spread of his work. Contributions to the fund will go towards projects, programs, and grants to individuals advancing collaboration, community building, and leadership development in the open communities of the Arab world. The fund will also support the digital preservation, sharing, and remix of creative works and historical artifacts. All of these projects are deeply intertwined with CC’s core mission and values, and those of other communities to which he contributed and who will benefit from the establishment of the fund.’’

In an attempt to honor all the contributions made by Bassel Creative Commons has begun a new initiative that deals with fellowship. Details on that can be found here.


Taken from Bassel Khartabil’s Wikip

Will using an artist’s brand amount to copyright infringement

The Kenyan music scene has been running into hurdles as of late; Kenyan musicians have been speaking out against companies who have been taking advantage of them and their work. Enter: Wangechi Waweru, known by her stage name Wangechi, is a Kenyan rapper and songwriter.

Continue reading “Will using an artist’s brand amount to copyright infringement”

The thin line between copyrighted material and copyright infringement

The European Union (EU) Court of Justice’s ruling in GS Media BV v. Sanoma has caused a stir. The European Court Of Justice ruled that linking copyrighted material would not solely constitute to copyright infringement. Instead there had to be knowledge that those materials were copyrighted especially in the event that those works (with the accompanying link) was being published for profit.

Continue reading “The thin line between copyrighted material and copyright infringement”

Delhi university prevails against copyright infringement allegations

In September 2016, the Delhi High Court found Rameshwari Photocopying Services, a kiosk inside the Delhi School of Economics, had not committed any copyright infringement against three international publishing giants – Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Francis.

Continue reading “Delhi university prevails against copyright infringement allegations”

Carrie Underwood’s and Brad Paisley’s copyright infringement allegations

In May 2013, two hit country songwriters and singers Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley were sued by one Lizza Connor (that is her professional name, her real name is Amy Bowen) over the song ‘remind me.’ The suit came as a shock, not just to Underwood and Paisley, but to their fans as well. Country artists are known to write the lyrics to their own songs. The fact that two of the biggest country artists (in the 21st century) were being accused of copyrighting another artist’s song raised some eyebrows.

Continue reading “Carrie Underwood’s and Brad Paisley’s copyright infringement allegations”