Latam 2009

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Latam Commons 2008 – CC Day Outcomes

This is a brief summary of some of the main topics, areas of concern, and opportunities that were shared among the CC representatives who attended the Latam Commons 2008 meeting in Santiago, Chile, from Nov 19-21, 2008. There was one whole day devoted to these discussions explicitly, followed by two other days focused on open education issues and then a seminar on the public domain. This report focuses on outcomes from conversations among the CC attendees on the first day, Nov 19.

A full report on these and other outcomes from the overall meeting is forthcoming. This report is a summary, provided to illustrate the shape of the conversations and to stimulate additional conversation across the CC network.

Who was present?

  • Argentina
    • Ariel Vercelli (CC Argentina and Bienes Comunes)
  • Brazil
    • Carlos Affonso Pereira de Souza (FGV)
  • Chile
    • Claudio Ruiz (CC Chile and Derechos Digitales)
    • Alberto Cerda (CC Chile and Derechos Digitales)
    • Francisco Vera (CC Chile and Derechos Digitales)
    • Paz Peña (Derechos Digitales)
  • Colombia
    • Carolina Botero (CC Colombia and Fundación Karisma)
    • BiCho Vargas (CC Colombia)
  • Ecuador
    • Patricia Pacheco (CC Ecuador and UTPL)
    • Juan José Puerta (CC Ecuador and UTPL)
  • Guatemala
    • Renata Avila (CC Guatemala)
  • Peru
    • Pedro Mendizábal Simonetti (CC Peru)
  • Creative Commons
    • Diane Peters
    • Catharina Maracke
  • ccLearn
    • Ahrash Bissell
    • Grace Armstrong

What was discussed?

The session consisted of two principal parts. First, each jurisdiction gave an open-ended report on the history and current projects of their CC jurisdiction. Thereafter, jurisdictions discussed in greater detail some of the principal problems they are encountering as well as possible synergies and focus areas where they might collaborate on issues of common interest that are potentially fundable. Key topics of interest are listed below.

How did the chapter get established?

  • Who was involved?
  • What steps were taken to port the licenses and what are the current challenges, if any?
  • What level of support (institutional, governmental, community) was available?

How is the chapter being sustained?

  • What funding is currently available?
  • What are the needs and opportunities?
  • Who is involved? How many staff are there?

What is the position (standing) of the chapter...

  • the local or national government?
    • Are there champions who recognize the value of the work?
    • Does the government work with the chapter, or against it?
  • the activist (tech and blogger) community?
    • Does the chapter get monetary or in-kind support from these communities?
  • Are there complications with working with these communities?
  • ...with foundations and other potential partners/funders?
    • Is the chapter perceived as a leader in positive social change?

What impacts has the chapter had (or could have) locally or regionally?

  • ...internationally?
    • What is the level of awareness for the chapter's work beyond its country/region?

What events have been held?

  • Meetings, topics, attendance, impact?
  • What events would the chapter like to hold? Why? What are the needs?

What products (or other successes) has the chapter delivered?

  • Research and reports.
  • Informational guides.
  • Counsel.
  • Organization and/or collaboration with others.
  • Building and sustaining community.
  • Kata Mutiara Bahasa Inggris

Identification of central problems and the utility of a roadmap for addressing those issues

  • What should the role of CC-HQ be and not be?
  • How might roadmaps developed by different CC regions be integrated or made more useful to other CC projects?
  • Melanoma

What themes or outcomes emerged from these discussions?

  • Overall, most leads reported the existence of a general understanding of Creative Commons in their jurisdictions. However, that did not necessarily equate with acceptance of CC as a licensing model for a variety of reasons. Lingering concerns exist about license enforceability.
  • Sustainability of the CC jurisdictions is an issue. None of the chapters is independently sustained. Rather, most are attached to a sustaining institution (e.g., university or NGO), while some are maintained through the volunteer efforts of the chapter leads.
  • There is substantial variation from one jurisdiction to another in terms of real or tacit government support for Creative Commons, or room for legal reform within governments themselves. Having a supporter in a visible, high-level government post really helps.
  • The ongoing task of updating the licenses can be a significant burden. Most jurisdictions are involved in projects outside of CC proper, or beyond simply porting and hosting the CC licenses for which they already have little direct support. Nonetheless, several of the more established CC jurisdictions are either in the process of or planning to update the licenses to 3.0 in 2009.
  • As with other parts of the world, dealing with collecting societies is often one of the biggest challenges to broader acceptance of CC. Discussion focused on the influence of the Spanish collecting societies in Latin American jurisdictions in particular.
  • Everyone is interested in policy work, especially in areas like DRM, fair use, preservation of cultural and indigenous works, and education (which is much more intertwined with government policy in Latin America than it is in the United States, for example). A common challenge is gaining access or a voice at the international level, such as within WIPO and similar policy forums where many of these issues are debated and shaped.
  • There generally appears to be stronger governmental policy support for the use of open source software. Also, open access has been an issue of interest in some jurisdictions, especially among the libraries--however, actually implementing or enforcing the policies is a separate matter. And in all cases, there is more work to be done to make the connection between these policy preferences and the importance of CC.
  • Overall, there are many different previous or current projects related to "open" and CC, including research on open business models, access to public sector information, blogging and free speech, distance education, the public domain, and other areas. Many of the CC jurisdictions would prefer for stronger relationships with CC HQ to facilitate and strengthen this work and clarity on the purview for CC-HQ internationally.
  • At the same time, those CC leads who are also involved with other organizations take pains to clarify that CC is just one of several projects that they might be involved with. In these cases, CC may be a significant project, but it is important for these organizations to have independent voices and to be recognized for their other focus areas as well as local expertise on CC matters.
  • Most jurisdiction leads expressed concern over poor communication among Latin American jurisdictions, particularly in areas such as event planning and collaboration. Leads discussed the possibility of reshaping and proactively improving the relationships, collaboration, and communications among the different Latam jurisdictions and between the jurisdictions and CC-HQ. While some jurisdictions are well organized and funded, others would like more assistance with organization and project planning from CC-HQ.
  • Many jurisdictions would like some participation, even periodically, by members of CC’s Board of Directors to help promote events, assist with funding opportunities, and strengthen their local activities and presence.
  • Leads agreed on the desirability of exploring ideas for the first Latam project that would involve multiple Latam jurisdictions, increase collaboration and expand funding opportunities. In particular, they discussed:
    • Public domain
      • Explore publications, events and common experiences.
      • Role of governments and NGOs.
      • Possible development of registry.
    • Collecting societies and moral rights
      • Possible meeting/discussions between Latam jurisdictions and Spanish jurisdictions and/or collecting societies.
  • Suggestions were made for improving communications and the sharing of information between Latam jurisdictions, including:
    • Creating a Latam wiki for sharing information about jurisdiction activities.
      • Potentially dedicating all content on such a wiki to the public domain using CC0?
    • Other possible methods of communicating among Latam jurisdictions?
  • Future regional events include:
    • A seminar on open access to be hosted by CC Colombia (2009).
    • Another CC meeting (and more?) to be hosted by CC Ecuador (2009)
    • Possible funding for work on the public domain, to be submitted in early December
    • Other events?