[Open-education] "Sharing", under a CC Licence, resonates with the free knowledge movement

Ramesh Sharma ramesh at oerfoundation.org
Sun Jan 26 16:38:10 UTC 2014

You may be interested in this news about Creative Commons licences as
reported in Times of India, Jan 26, 2014


Creativity goes commonSandhya Soman & LUBNA KABLY,TNN | Jan 26, 2014, 06.39
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|Making Creative Work
|Creative Commons<http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Creative-Commons>
[image: Creativity goes common]
ONE FOR ALL, ALL FOR ONE: The acclaimed film Ship of Theseus was made
freely available online last week.
It took wildlife photographer and filmmaker Amoghavarsha long hours and
some fancy high-speed photography to capture the graceful river terns
flying down to snap up minnows from the waters of Bhadra. But despite all
the effort that went into its making, he chose to make his documentary,
River Terns of Bhadra, freely available in the public domain. It has been
released under a Creative

"As a student, I was part of the Free and Open Source Software movement.
Opting for CC was a natural progression," says the filmmaker.

"Sharing", under a CC Licence, resonates with the free knowledge movement.
A growing tribe of publishers, musicians, photographers and academics is
choosing to share their work for free. Amoghavarsha points out that his
photograph of a rare freshwater jellyfish was useful to a scientific
researcher submitting a white paper.

In view of this trend, the India chapter of Creative Commons was relaunched
two months ago by the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), in
collaboration with Wikimedia
Acharya Narendra Dev College.

In 2007, filmmaker CV Sathyan, perhaps one of the earliest adopters of the
CC movement, released his painstakingly created documentary to the public.
It had taken him two years to capture the rebel spirit of noted Malayalam
poet A Ayyappan to create Ithrayum Yathabhagom (The Journey Thus Far). The
film is freely available in the archives of a website. "I made it not for
money but to raise the humaneness of people," says Sathyan.

Every CC licence ensures that creators get the credit for their work. But
it need not be a free-for-all situation - there are six variations of
licensing permutations possible such as 'share-alike', 'non-commercial',
and 'no derivatives'.

'Share alike' enables others to remix, tweak, and build upon an original
work provided the new creation is also released under identical CC terms.
This usage of CC licence is quite popular among budding musicians. 'No
derivates' means usage is possible without any changes to the original

"Releasing one's work under a CC licence doesn't imply that you are letting
go of the right to earn money. It merely helps you to reach a larger
audience," says Moksh Juneja, head, Wikimedia India.

But advocate Gowree Gokhale, partner at law firm Nishith Desai Associates,
cautions: "Those who opt for the CC licence need to have a clear
understanding of its implications, especially because it is worldwide,
perpetual and irrevocable (unless the licence terms are breached)."

That perhaps is why award-winning filmmaker Anand Gandhi did not opt for a
CC licence. But last week he did make his acclaimed Ship of Theseus freely
available online. "We have about 18,000 downloads. We are planning to
further upload 25 hours of raw sync footage that can be downloaded, edited
and reshared, especially by young film-makers," says Gandhi. However, free
sharing has its limits. "Films are incredibly expensive to make and some
money should be directed back to the makers," adds Gandhi.

CC licences best serve their purpose in the altruistic academic world.
"India produces a lot of educational content. But what is the use if one
can't freely translate English textbooks into regional languages?" asks
Savithri Singh, principal of Acharya Narendra Dev College.

Pratham Books, a Bangalore-based publisher, continues to use CC licences
for its children books. "Traditional publishers thought we were crazy,"
says Gautam John, adviser, Pratham Books. But use of CC licences has
surpassed Pratham's expectations of reaching out to children. "We are
getting new readers with every book in the public domain," says John. The
500 titles with CC licences, in fact, outsell the rest.
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