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Creative Commons Relaunched In India; Key Highlights

Creative-commons-IndiaCreative Commons (CC), a nonprofit organisation that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools, has relaunched its India chapter. The license provides a simple, standardised way to give the public, permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions you set and was originally launched here in 2007.

Creative Commons India chapter is made up of three organisations — Wikimedia India, Centre for Internet and Society and Acharya Narendra Dev College. Lawrence Liang, Co-founder of Alternative Law Forum said that the biggest difference this time around is that Creative Commons has been tailor-made for India law. If someone approaches a court about some information that is licensed under CC, it would be in compliance with the Indian Copyright Act. India does not have derivative rights like in US, so CC will try to bring some clarity on that front.

The chapter’s goals will be raising awareness on licenses and open education resources, connecting with photography communities, content donation and participating in affiliate network

When CC was first launched in India, it was housed at IIT Bombay and not enough groups were involved in promoting it; the organisation is attempting to change that this time around. Here are some of the key points that were discussed during the relaunch:

CC in education

– Speaking at the relaunch, Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development said that as part of national mission on education through ICT, all services for students are available for free through Sakshat under CC license. This service provides access to same information to students from all parts of India.

– He said that hierarchy, secrecy and discretion are characteristics of Indian government bodies and educational institutions too unfortunately are prone to these. This, he said, can be changed with open license, as it empowers students.

– Ministry recently launched NROER (under CC) that helps reach the unreached and empower all by providing resources in multiple languages and formats. It has become India’s flagship initiative in open education efforts.

– NCERT has taken the initiative of declaring that NROER will carry CC by SA license (can be used for commercial purposes). Wikipedia had lobbied the ministry to adopt the license instead of CC by NC (cannot be used for non-commercial purposes).

– ICT in education initiative was first launched in 2004, revised in 2010 and government still needs to set up quick reaction mechanisms to evaluate use of ICT in curriculum. Government also needs to evaluate and monitor return on investment in ICT.

– Tharoor said that affordable tablets can make a difference to learning. Next generation Aakash will have the processing power of first generation iPad, more RAM and a USB port. Delivery of these tablets has been a problem, so we hope the government will be in a position to issue standards that many manufacturers can use to bring these inexpensive tablets to students across India. These tablets will have access information made available under CC by the government.

How Pratham books uses CC

Speaking about Pratham Books, Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Pratham Books said that some of the artists and writers who put up their work on the site under creative commons license started getting more requests for their paid work.

– Some of their books issued under CC are being sold on Flipkart. They have no issue with it as this means one more child somewhere will be able to read it.

– Building a platform for creating and remixing CC licensed books was its  Google Impact Challenge pitch.

More open data needed from government bodies

– Moksh Juneja, President, Executive Committee, Wikimedia India Chapter said that there is not enough information out in the public domain from example.

– Appeal to remove copyright on census data: “If we had this information we would know the name of 6 and a half lakh Indian villages that is currently not in public domain,” he said.

– Press Information Bureau data about our history and current scenario needs to be issued under CC license. Why isn’t it released? Indira Gandhi’s picture on Wikipedia for example is sourced from National Library, USA.

– Data from ISRO: NASA is funded by US government and all its images on the website can be reused. That’s not the case with images from ISRO which have a copyright on them. When ISRO was asked why they don’t release the images on CC, Wikipedia was told to use from the website. So lack of awareness is an issue.

Also read

Our Comments On Changes Proposed In India’s Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010

Pratham Books is “Open” for Publishing – Gautam John

Issues That Survey Of India’s Complaints Against Google’s Mapathon Raises About India’s Maps Policy

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