Grants/CC Policy Makers and Industry Leaders Arab World Forum
Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.
The aim of the forum is to invite senior policy makers (judges, government officials, ministers and academics) and industry leaders for a two day meeting in Amman, Jordan (possibly at the Columbia University Middle East Research Centre) to discuss the use of CC in the Arab world in government, academia and business. The forum will also invite legal scholars and copyright experts from the region and abroad to assess to what extent CC legal framework can fit with the civil legal system and copyright law of Jordan and other Arab countries. This forum will be the first in a series of initiatives that CC Jordan will be conducting to raise public awareness of CC and how it could act as a path for development in the Arab region. This forum will bring together people from different disciplines to examine the importance of open content licensing (including CC) and will contribute to the discussion around increasing the amount of Arabic content online through the initiatives of the public, private and educational sectors.
Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).
The outcomes of this forum will be: A) A book. Each speaker will be asked to provide a short research paper on the subject that they will be discussing which will be published in a book in Arabic. B) A guide. The organisers of this forum will produce a short practical guide written in simple Arabic that is intended for use by government, business, educational institutions and the general community. The guide will be produced in a draft form and circulated to the forum participants for comments before being finalised and generally distributed. C) Better informed public policy and decision making and the uptake of CC licensing by business, government and education sectors in the Arab region.
Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?
We are targeting the senior leaders and decision makers in both the public and private sectors who can influence decision making regarding CC for the long term benefit of the general public. This will be one of the first events in the region that will invite government officials, leaders of educational institutions and business people to discuss how the new economy is impacting their activities. It will also allow legal scholars to examine how legal rules facilitate or hinder such activities.br />
I have been involved with CC since March 2003 when, with my colleague Ziad Maraqa, I translated the first CC licenses to Arabic. I have attended several international conferences that were the foundation stone for the development of 'free culture' ideas and the formation of Creative Commons International, including the Internet Law Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (organised by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society) in March 2003. I have experience in running conferences, the most recent being a conference in Amman, Jordan on Copyright in the Digital Age in the Arab Region. For more information, please click here: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC_Jordan_launch_and_1st_CC_Arab_World_Salon
How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?
I have been involved with CC activities in the region from the beginning and only in the last few years I have realised that more people are interested to learn about CC from the Arab region. Although most of these people are quite young and ‘Internet geeks’, I believe there is not much interest coming from the business, academia and the government sectors. This will be a great opportunity to introduce people from these sectors to CC and its importance to the Arab region. The successful measurement of the project will depend largely on what extent the speakers of the forum will take the ideas that they have gained during the forum and adopt them in their work. It is hoped that this forum will convince academics, government officials and business people to publish their work online more often under open content models such as CC. The success of the project will be an increase in the amount of Arabic materials available online and, specially, an increase in CC– licensed Arabic materials.
How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?
We will invite up to 16 speakers to speak at the forum, half of whom will be from Jordan and the Arab world and the rest will be from overseas (mainly the US and Australia). The people invited to speak at the forum will be experts in the use of CC licensing to promote open access, who can conceptualise how CC can benefit developing countries (particularly the Arab region) in business, education and government. Invitations will be extended to overseas participants including: Professor Lawrence Lessig (US), Professor Anne Fitzgerald (Australia), Neale Hooper (leader of CC and Government project, Queensland Government, Australia), Graham Vickery (OECD), Paul Uhlir (US), Chris Corbin (EU PSI platform) and Professor Marco Ricolfi (Italy). Following the forum, the international experts who participate in the forum will be encouraged to continue the process of knowledge transfer and exchange with the Arab region through informal mentoring and support. Arrangements for ensuring an ongoing dialogue will be discussed at the forum.
Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".
Greater adoption of CC in the Arab region will promote the amount of Arabic content available online. Understanding how CC licenses can be used by business, government and the education sector would be expected to lead to an increase of Arabic content available for open access and reuse. In particular, education is critically important for social and economic development and the forum will discuss how CC can be used to increase the availability of educational materials and foster research collaborations in schools, universities and research centres in Jordan and the Arab world.
Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?
There is not particular technology needed for running this event. We expected to obtain all necessary equipment at the venue that we chose for the forum.
What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?
The challenge is to invite speakers from the region who are aware of CC and understand the potential of CC licences to publish and disseminate their work. We will assist any government official or business person from Jordan or the Arab region who wants to learn more about CC before participating at the event. Also, the other challenge that we will face is that the budget that is offered by CC might not be enough to cover the expenses to run such a forum. We will ask for additional funding from local and international institutions willing to sponsor this event.
How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?
We are planning, by holding this forum to bring government officials and academics onside in support of CC in Jordan. There is a high potential to develop the connection between CC Jordan and Jordanian government, educational institutions. As a result we hope to encourage funding institutions in Jordan and abroad to support future projects that would help further the adoption of CC in these sectors in Jordan.
How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?
This forum is intended to be a catalyst for the Arab region. We hope it will lead to the development of other projects that aim to spread CC awareness in the Middle East. We hope to organize other similar events in other Arab countries mainly in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria where local CC projects have been established.
What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?
It is hoped that CC will sponsor this event as it previously did for the soft launch of CC Jordan that was held in Jordan on 15 November 2009. We hope to invite several CC staff such as Joi Ito and Diane Peters to come and speak at the forum. We appreciate the assistance of CC head office to spread the word about the event.
Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)
CC Australia is an active CC jurisdiction that communicates with its community members through various means, including : -Website -Blog -Twitter -Courses and seminars -Written materials, ranging from fact sheets to extensive guides, books and book chapters -Frequent presentations at business, government and educational events – ranging from meetings of creative industries practitioners to national and international conferences. CC Jordan is a new project jurisdiction that communicates with its community members through Arabic world CC mailing list and emails communication.