CC Global Summit 2019 Lisbon, Portugal


Creative Commons 2019 Summit PosterOla!

The summit was a fantastic community event to be involved in. There was such a level of energy over the 3 days that you were constantly concerned about what you might be missing out on in the parallel sessions! From the beginning it was clear that we were joining a very established community of people who were part of something massive and ongoing. Everyone seemed to be actively involved with some group or project, but also keen to meet new people and find out what they did. There were lots of demonstrations of works in progress. The keynotes were all great and really thought provoking.

Legal, Policy and Copyright Reform

Image of Lisbon Tram
These issues are going to touch all our lives and will require broad social collaboration to solve.

CC community discussions about law reform come from a starting position that CC licences are a solution for content availability, but copyright exceptions are also vital for creating a fair and balanced copyright system. Sessions highlighted the directional shift in policy towards more commercial use of copyright. Members of the CC community engaged in copyright law reform advocacy reported on a trend for reasonable advocacy to be repressed by the divisive use of power and for creators to be disadvantaged. Here are some key messages:

Australian research and policy at the summit

Image of Matthew Rimmer
There was also much discussion of the new European Union Copyright Directive – with its uploaded filters and link tax. We also visited a range of cultural institutions in Portugal. A highlight was the Jose Saramago Museum – which had a beautiful collection of the life and work of Portugal’s Nobel Laureate in Literature, and author of such magnificent works as All The Names, Blindness, and The Year Of The Death of Ricardo Reis. Image: Sebastiaan ter Burg CC BY
Matthew Rimmer
Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation Law, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology
Traditional knowledge and the commons. I presented a paper on the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and its implications for the protection of traditional knowledge, Indigenous intellectual property, and cultural heritage in Australia. I also discussed new developments – such as the Federal inquiry into fake art; Victoria’s Indigenous Cultural Heritage reforms; Queensland’s new human rights regime, which recognises cultural rights; and the Timber Creek Decision on native title and cultural loss. Alejandro Mayoral Banos spoke about the importance of Indigenous data sovereignty. Mehtab Khan discussed the white paper developed by Creative Commons on the protection of traditional knowledge. There was a resolution that the open movement should further engage in consultations and collaborations, so that it could better serve Indigenous communities.
Creators of the commons. I spoke about the empirical research undertaken by myself and Dr Kylie Pappalardo for an ARC Discovery Project on intellectual property and 3D printing – involving both data analysis and qualitative interviews with makers. For the session, I discussed the context of 3D printing and film – looking at the work of Laika Studios, Weta Workshop, Disney and HBO. In particular, I focused on the 3D printing of Aussie heart-throb and He-Man Hugh Jackman for the animation, Missing Link. I highlighted how many 3D printing platforms – such as the Thingiverse – are reliant upon Creative Commons licensing.  I discussed our new edited collection – 3D Printing and Beyond: Intellectual Property and Regulation (co-edited by Dinusha Mendis, Mark Lemley, and myself). The session also included a discussion of the Open Press Project – a DIY Printing Press. There was also a discussion of the Creative Commons movement in India. As part of my fieldwork on intellectual property and 3D printing, I also visited a number of Lisbon makerspaces and fablabs, with Masters Student Samuel de Souza Teixeira Lobao. This provided a good insight into how 3D printing was being deployed in Portugal in respect of art, craft, textiles, design, and biology.

Samuel Lobao LLB, LLM, M.Phil Candidate Queensland University of Technology

The 2019 Creative Commons summit hosted in Lisbon was an outstanding event! As a legal-tech researcher who is particularly interested in Intellectual Property, I was excited to hear and discuss the CC licensing system with other experts. However, to my delightful surprise, the summit was much more than that.
By sharing their stories, creators and fellow commoners helped me to understand how creativity and innovation are catalysts for change in many areas. From cultural heritage to sustainability, I saw the burden that outdated or inefficient legal frameworks impose on those creative minds. Overall, the event was an invaluable opportunity to evaluate and criticize the impact of Law for the “global commons” through real-life problems.

CC licences and Artificial Intelligence

By almost complete chance Robin found herself in a great panel session chaired by Ryan Merkley about Artificial Intelligence and the implications for CC licences. The panel consisted of Diane Peters, General Counsel CC; Ben McKarkill, ‘Smug Mug’; Chelsea Colbert, lawyer; and our own Caroline Howe, Policy Australia.

Image of AI panel session CC Global summit 2019
The panel considered the expectations of CC licensors around use of their works

The discussion revolved around how voice, languages, images and other media with CC licences are being scraped from web platforms and used to develop AI and other unexpected new services and products. In particular, there was concern about the use of CC licence images to train AI in facial recognition and the potential for this to be used for military applications. Google Translate guesses languages by ingesting Wikimedia – which is the largest corpus of language in the world. So the broad permissions allowed by CC licences may be enabling these types of uses which in most cases were not anticipated by those applying the licence.
These uses are stretching the edges of our legal framework. Copyright doesn’t anticipate non-expressive use of a work and this may challenge the idea/expression dichotomy. But machine use of copyrightable data can also have beneficial uses – if we develop open CC data sets there will be more open/unbiased data to train the AI of the future.

Community: GLAM

Librarians from all sectors are a big presence at the summit. Sessions highlighted research projects to preserve cultural heritage and improve access to information and engage with communities:

  • Paula Eskett, LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) presented on how the organisation is contributing to New Zealand’s commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in a community driven report.
  • Half of world’s languages (6500) might be dead in a century’s time. OpenSpeaks is an open, global, participatory platform for communities to learn about digital documentation of Asian languages

Public Domain Day is 1 January each year. In application, lack of international copyright harmonisation means the PD status of a work is variable.  For GLAM institutions this is problematic for identifying works in the public domain, and for communicating that status to the public. A number of projects reveal best practices and principles for the public domain:

Cover art: "Theft! A History of Music" by James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins, Keith Aoki CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US
“Theft! A History of Music” by James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins, Keith Aoki CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US

Robin went to an interesting presentation on Wikidata showing how a group of volunteers are trying to map structured data about copyright for individual creative works. They want to map all the different copyright laws that may apply to a creative work in different jurisdictions and make the information findable and machine readable in the future. It’s a fantastic idea and as well as providing a repository for information, could potentially allow for mass uploads of material entering the public domain on 1 January each year. If this sort of information could be crowdsourced and held in one place, it could be very valuable in a machine-readable future. This project is one of a number of similar copyright mapping projects such as and that are trying to standardise rights information and make it available, and usable, by non-experts.

Community: Open Education

Robin went to a presentation on the Hamburg Open Online University by Ellen Pflaum. They are doing some great work offering digital open education to academics. They realise that staff using digital teaching technologies need soft skills as well as technical skills. So they help academics develop digital learning products by working with communities of practice and offering workshops on topics such as instructional design and using social media. The platform provides academics with ideas/material/templates as well as access to legal advisors with detailed knowledge about CC licensing. The platform itself was also put together using open source technologies. It sounded like a fantastic service for universities in Germany.
We heard about great resources and tools to support Open education including:

  • OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search)-an open content search engine pulling in resources from a large number of OER platforms.
  • OER Worldmap- working with CC on a re-launch of OER Policy Registry
  • Two open source content creation tools: H5P -an interactive content building platform; Photopea- a free photo editor that photoshops common image formats.

Copyright games

We attended several sessions on gamification of copyright education. These sessions were so much fun- giving rise to lots of discussion and debate.
A collage of images of copyright games
For Nerida it was an opportunity to meet up with an international group of collaborators who have been creating country adaptations of Copyright the Card Game. The original game was created by Jane Secker and Chris Morrison from UK Copyright Literacy. CC Au Chapter members had collaborated with Jane and Chris this year to create an Australian adaption.
Robin had a great time playing The Publishing Trap at a session also presented by Chris and Jane from Copyright Literacy.  This board game is designed to help PhD students choosing when/how to publish their work. It is based on UK law, and is still in beta form, but it can be downloaded and used and all the resources are printable.
Nerida also played Creative Commons Release ‘Em Poker with Tohatoha Aotearoa Commons. Many Henk, CEO, Tohatoha Aotearoa Commons co-presented this session with Cam Findlay, These two are extra-ordinary communicators and they explained principles of adult learning that guided their game and workshop.

Summit support for professional development

Prodip Roy AALIA (DCP), Library Officer, Digital Collections, RMIT University Library & Student Success

Being interviewed by Argentine Journalist Marcela Basch and Sebastiaan ter Burg, Netherlands, photographer journalist, and a creative commons activist where I shared my roles and experiences about the importance of the creative commons and its tools
Being interviewed by Argentine Journalist Marcela Basch and Sebastiaan ter Burg, Netherlands, photographer journalist, and a creative commons activist where I shared my roles and experiences about the importance of the creative commons and its tools

As the recipient of a CC Global Summit Scholarship, Creative Commons invited me as a guest attendee to the Summit. To defray transportation costs associated with travel to the Global Summit, Creative Commons awarded me a travel grant. This included the cost of the flights to and from the Global Summit, as well as covering the cost of the registration fee and accommodation in Portugal for the Summit.
The gathering was a chance for Creative Commons network members, digital rights activists, open content creators, and Commons advocates to meet, share information, and collaborate on projects.
The three days of the conference ended with so many discussions, debates, workshops, planning and community building. The focus point of every discussion was around supporting productive copyright reforms. This included Creators of the Commons (artists, makers, creators), Building the Commons (tools, tech, community that makes the commons run), Ethics of Openness (diversity, equity, inclusion, gender, de-colonisation and the role of the commons), Open Education, Open Science and Open Access, Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums and Legal, Policy and Copyright Reform.
Oh, the great Summiteers! I want to convey thousands of congratulations and love for the contribution of your knowledge, idea and creation to the whole world.
Do you want to create new knowledge? Or want to share your great creation? Want to share your idea? Then CC Global Summit 2019 was the right place for you. Make you, and give it to the world, to bring more innovation to the world. Be happy, be blessed, live the whole world in your creation. The Creative Commons is playing a more significant role in forming a knowledge-based society in this new era of civilization. The Summit provided me with a timely and useful venue to discuss how CC members and advocates could work together to ensure that the international implementations do the least harm to user rights and maximise the potential benefits for the commons.

I am honoured to be one of the recipients of the CC Global Summit Scholarship Program for 2019 and consider myself fortunate to be able to attend the summit in Portugal. Building a career as a librarian in the Digital era, this opportunity is a great privilege for me which will also encourage other staff to be involved with the global organizations like CC.

Join the CC conversation

If you are keen to keep up with developments and discussion on matters of importance to the CC community join the CC Global Network on Slack: #cc-copyrightreform #cc-openedu #cc-openglam and more!

Image of Robin Wright: Sebastiaan ter Burg CC BY
Robin had the best time heading off with CC’s Ben MacAskill and an enthusiastic group of photographers on a photo shoot walking tour around Lisbon. Image: Sebastiaan ter Burg CC BY

Photo of Nerida
Nerida loved the styling and patterns
of Lisbon’s vistas, buildings and pavements.

See more CC Summit pics by Sebastiaan ter Burg
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Matthew, Samuel and Prodip for sharing their experiences and learnings. Unless noted, images are the authors’.
Bloggers: Robin Wright, Swinburne University of Technology and Nerida Quatermass, Queensland University of Technology.]]>

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