Puerto Rico

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Affiliated Institution
[ University of Puerto Rico School of Law] (academic institution)

Hiram A. Meléndez-Juarbe

Latin America
Country Code

2011 CC Puerto Rico Roadmap

Date submitted: December 8, 2010

Time span of this roadmap: December 2010 – December 2011

Team information

CC Puerto Rico List

Many thanks to all who contributed to the localization of the license suite.

Project Leads: Hiram A. Meléndez-Juarbe, Carlos González-Yanes, Chloé Georas

More about University of Puerto Rico School of Law

Founded in 1913, the University of Puerto Rico School of Law is the oldest of its kind in Puerto Rico. The School of Law has been accredited by the American Bar Association since 1945, has been a member of the American Association of Law Schools since 1944 and is the only public law school in Puerto Rico.

The School of Law has a longstanding tradition as an innovative institution in many legal fields and is deeply committed to the advancement of important social values such as the ones embraced by the Creative Commons project. As a result of this broad commitment to social change, the Cyberlaw Clinic of the U.P.R. School of Law promotes principles of liberty and freedom of expression on the internet as well as the development of a technological and legal context that encourages individual and collective creativity. The Cyberlaw Clinic’s commitment to “free culture” has provided the ideal context for the development of the Creative Commons Puerto Rico (“CCPR”) project.

CCPR is fully aware the importance of a rich and culturally diverse public domain for a vigorous democratic society and of the many ways in which cultural growth is stifled by a combination of technology, copyright law and practice, and the entertainment industry’s hold on the creation and dissemination of cultural products. CCPR understands what is at stake and is, thus, very serious about consistently following-up on the essential community-building and internationalizing dimension of this enterprise.

Jurisdiction: Puerto Rico

Complete list of all members of the Affiliate Team, their roles, and field(s) of expertise:

  • Hiram Meléndez-Juarbe, founder and Co-Lead, Assistant Professor, University of Puerto Rico School of Law (currently finalizing JSD at NYU School of Law), expert in Constitutional, Cyberlaw and Intellectual Property law
  • Chloé S. Georas, Co-Lead, Assistant Professor, University of Puerto Rico School of Law, Director of Cyberlaw Clinic, expert in Cyberlaw, Copyright and Art Law
  • Students of the Cyberlaw Clinic (10 through 16 students per year) work on different projects related to Creative Commons and open access
  • Occasional volunteers, including prior students who are now practicing lawyers

Date of earliest MOU in jurisdiction: May 31, 2006

Self-Identified Regions: Caribbean/Latin America

Why do you identify yourself as being part of the listed regions?

  • Puerto Rico has a unique location in the history of the regions of Latin America, the Caribbean and North America. As a former colony of the Spain and a current territory of the United States, the island is a cultural, linguistic and historic crossroads between the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.


The University of Puerto Rico (UPR) School of Law and its Cyberlaw Clinic are committed to the promotion of innovative projects for social and legal change such as that of Creative Commons. CCPR fully understands the importance of a rich and culturally diverse public domain and is aware of the multiple ways in which cultural production and growth are often inhibited by a combination of technology, current copyright legal regimes and the practices of media industries. CCPR believes in free culture and open source and addresses its efforts towards advancing a culture of internet users that not only consumes contents, but, more importantly, actively engages in the production of new works. CCPR understands the potential as well as the challenges of the free culture movement and, as a result, is dedicated to the broad dimensions of the Creative Commons movement.


After we launched the CCPR licenses in February 2008, we have been working intensively to give educational presentations and workshops directed to many different audiences such academics, artists and musicians, among others. Many presentations have been requested, for instance, by specific academic departments or faculties, librarians, artists/musicians, art-related institutions (Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico), and specific festivals or activities (Festival de la Palabra, an international literary festival; Gráfica del Caribe, an international graphic arts event).

We also attend many individual requests for consultations regarding CC licenses and their uses in specific contexts. In this sense, we serve all of Puerto Rico, both in terms of individual and organizational requests.


We are currently working on the consolidation of two open education projects:

  1. Open Access Policy of the University of Puerto Rico School of Law
    On March 24, 2010, the Faculty of the University of Puerto Rico School of Law unanimously approved the adoption of an Open Access Policy (“OAP”) in order to share the fruits of its research and scholarship as broadly as possible and reduce barriers to access them. Through the OAP, articles accepted for publication of the Faculty of the School of Law will be available for free to the general public in an online digital repository.
    With the adoption of the OAP, the School of Law deepens its commitment to the global movement of open access, which promotes the free and unrestricted access to materials published digitally and placed online that are the product of academic endeavors. The open access movement is built around the principle that knowledge is a public good and, accordingly, the fruits of knowledge should be distributed for use by everyone, locally and globally.
    We are now working on the implementation phase of the Open Access Policy such as the design and creation of the repository.
  2. BiblioTesis: National Online Repository for Theses
    The project entitled “The Online Publication of Thesis Approved by Universities of Puerto Rico,” directed by Prof. Manuel Lobato and assisted by the Cyberlaw Clinic on all legal aspects of said project has provided an intense laboratory of research, both legal and policy-related, regarding online publication in the context of academic settings. Funded by Puerto Rico Board of Higher Education, the project’s main purpose is to create a national online repository devoted to the publication of thesis produced at all institutions of higher education in Puerto Rico. Attached please find the following publication related to the project.
    Lobato Vico, Manuel (Investigador Principal) y Chloé S. Georas (Co- Investigadora). 2009. “La publicación en internet de tesis de maestría aprobadas por universidades de Puerto Rico”, Consejo de Educación Superior de Puerto Rico.
    We are now in conversations/meetings with the higher echelons of the UPR bureaucracy and the Puerto Rico Board of Higher Education to determine the next steps in the implementation of the project, including the design of the platform for the repository, which will give authors of a thesis the alternative to place their work under CC licenses.
    We have recently started to assist a non-profit organization called Tu Arte.org in the creation of an online museum dedicated to art in public spaces in Puerto Rico.
  3. Online museum of Tu Arte.org
    As part of the creation of said online museum, we will advise our Cyberlaw Clinic clients to place all educational materials and images pertaining to art in public spaces in Puerto Rico under a CC license. This project is still in the initial stages and may take substantial time to become available online.
    We are also in the midst of organizing a CC Salon:
  4. CCPR Salon
    After publicly launching the local version of the CC licenses in 2008, CCPR has taken on the task of educating and counseling creators in all fields of the valuable tools provided by these licenses. As part of this broad educational initiative, the Cyberlaw Clinic has decided to organize a “CC Salon,” an informal social event in which creative communities may mingle and share ideas, while they become familiar with the use of the CC licensing system and its advantages. As the host of a CC Salon, Puerto Rico will not only strengthen the bonds within our artistic community, but also further broaden the exchange of ideas between our local innovators and the rest of the world.
    We will bring Elizabeth Stark as our guest speaker and are planning various musical, visual arts and literary interventions as part of our CC Salon, which will take place in May 2011.
    Another project for this year involves the revamping of the websites of the Cyberlaw Clinic and CCPR.
  5. Cyberlaw Clinic and CCPR websites
    A group of clinical students with technical expertise is assisting in the redesigning of the Cyberlaw Clinic and CCPR websites.

Project Outputs and Expected Dates of Delivery

  1. Implementation of Open Access Policy of UPR School of Law:
    Date contingent upon the technical support and approval of other sections of the UPR related to IT
  2. Further consolidation BiblioTesis project:
    Date contingent upon pending agreements between the UPR and the Board of Higher Education and upon the latter’s development of the technical platform for the repository
  3. Online Museum of Tu Arte.org
    Date contingent upon clients of Tu Arte.org of Cyberlaw Clinic.
  4. CCPR Salon: May 2011
  5. Revamping of websites: Before the end of 2011


As a mixed legal jurisdiction where the federal U.S. copyright regime coexists with the local moral rights legislation and jurisprudence, users of CC licenses in Puerto Rico use both the local CCPR licenses and the U.S. CC licenses. This adds a certain layer of complexity to the determination of the statistics of use of CC licenses in Puerto Rico.

In terms of the Open Access Repository of the UPR School of Law and the BiblioTesis respository for thesis, the design proposals for each platform include mechanisms to track statistics of use.

Sustainability and Scalability Materials

UPR School of Law has enabled the completion of the porting process and launching of the CCPR licenses in February 2008. Since then the UPR School of Law has funded many of the educational efforts at festivals and events where CCPR has given presentations.

The UPR School of Law provides the full-time salaries of the two Co-Leads of CCPR and has included the CCPR project in the areas of endeavor of the students of the Cyberlaw Clinic, who dedicate time for academic credit to the ongoing open access projects. Furthermore, the UPR has also funded the JSD studies of CCPR founder Hiram Meléndez at NYU School of Law, where he is writing his dissertation on Cyberlaw/Intellectual Property-related topics, and plans to send Co-Lead Chloé Georas to do an LL.M. degree in Cyberlaw/Intellectual Property.

The UPR School of Law also provides the physical infrastructure in terms of offices, technology and secretarial assistance, among others, as well as all other necessary material resources. Overall, the support of the UPR has been an invaluable key to the sustainability and increased commitments of the Cyberlaw Clinic/CCPR to open access and free culture projects in general.


As part of the CC Latam Conference 2010 in Argentina, we were able to make valuable contacts with fellow CC Leads in the Latin American region and understand the parallelisms in terms of the projects being developed at our individual jurisdictional levels. We will continue to assist, to the extent that our institutional funding allows, to the regional meetings of CC Latam/Caribbean and of North America, given our mixed legal jurisdiction, and eventually work towards the participation and development of regional projects.


Although Spanish and English are the languages spoken in Puerto Rico, Spanish is the primary language and, as such, the porting process involved the translation of the licenses to Spanish.