Before even proceeding with this post it is important to ask yourself if you have ever heard of Creative Commons and its goal. If the answer is no the question that arises is what is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organisation that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tool. CC’s free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work – on conditions of your choice. A Creative Commons license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.
However Creative Commons also protects the people who use your work, so they do not have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the conditions of the CC license you have specified.
Creative Commons was founded in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldred in the United States. Creative Commons is a much newer concept in Kenya that not many people are aware of. The aim of Creative Commons Kenya is to change this by provide an awareness among individuals as to their rights and methods to protect their work and themselves from plagiarism.
However Creative Commons is more than a non-profit organisation. In fact it is a community made up of individuals from different walks of life that share a mutual interest. Creative Commons in Kenya is but one of many affiliates of the organisation. On November 8th 2012, the CC Kenya affiliate was launched at Strathmore University. During the launch of this CC project, Strathmore’s Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT) was chosen as Public Lead for CC Kenya whereas the National Council for Law Reporting (NCLR) was chosen as Legal Lead for CC Kenya.
Recently the Creative Commons community held the Creative Commons Global Summit in Seoul, South Korea. CC Africa Regional Coordinator Alex Gakuru (from Kenya), CC Kenya Legal Lead representative Nelson Tunoi along with CC Kenya volunteer Simeon Oriko all attended the Summit.
A major focus area for Creative Commons Kenya was that of being engaged in projects to do with open education resources, government adoption, health, advocacy, ICT development, business models and transparency. Although it is a slow growth the organization is taking a step in the direction that it set out in.
Creative Commons Kenya is growing slowly and achieving the focus areas that the organisation first sought to achieve through the aid of various schemes and projects. One such project is the ‘School of Open’ was launched by CIPIT in partnership with the NCLR and jamlab with an aim to introduce the concept of “Open” to high school students all over the country and engage them in the use of Open Education Resources.
The ‘School of Open’ Kenya Initiative is an after school program that helps them learn about Creative Commons licenses, as well as participate in open culture through collaboration, remix and sharing.
Creative Commons Kenya is sure to be a household name soon as more and more Kenyans learn about the initiative and how it can serve as an advantage to them.