Puerto Rico Launches Localized Creative Commons Licenses

Tonight at the University of Puerto Rico Cyberlaw Clinic will host the launch of localized Creative Commons (CC) licenses, marking the forty-fourth jurisdiction worldwide to port the Creative Commons licensing suite. The event will be held at 7:00pm at U.P.R.’s School of Law, featuring an exhibition by local artists, a promotional CD release, and keynote by Creative Commons Chairman Joichi Ito.

I know you're like, so what. Well I'll tell you what. Any of you that might subscribe to Dondequiera or read it occasionally, might be familiar with the Creative Commons. From time to time I'll use the Creative Commons search application to find pictures posted on Flickr that are published using a Creative Commons Attribution Commercial Use license. To put this in simple terms, because of the Creative Commons license I have free access to a royalty free photographic image database. The big difference between a CC license and normal copyright, is that CC claims "some" rights reserved, as opposed to "all" rights reserved. By leaving giving some rights to potential creators, the CC license grants freedoms never before possible with published material. Sweet!

The Creative Commons Puerto Rico team is lead by Hiram A. Meléndez-Juarbe, Carlos González-Yanes, and Chloé Georas, who coordinated the porting process and public consultation with local and international legal experts. In preparation for the public discussion, a memorandum was prepared by the 2006-2007 class of the University of Puerto Cyberlaw Clinic to analyze the role of moral rights in Puerto Rico’s mixed legal tradition. The memorandum is available for download: http://creativecommons.org/international/pr/moral-rights.pdf.

“The Cyberlaw Clinic’s commitment to ‘free culture’ has provided the ideal context for the development of the Creative Commons Puerto Rico Rico (CCPR) project,” notes María L. Jiménez, Director of U.P.R.’s Legal Aid Clinic. “The university 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.”

I'd recommend any one that is interested in topics like fair use, copyright protection, and intellectual property read the book linked to above, Free Culture. Written by Lawerence Lessig, who has recently decided to run for congress, the book provides an outstanding historical and common sense analysis of the consider the shrinking domain of public ideas. The website puts it way better than I ever could so here is how they describe the book:

"Lawrence Lessig shows us that while new technologies always lead to new laws, never before have the big cultural monopolists used the fear created by new technologies, specifically the Internet, to shrink the public domain of ideas, even as the same corporations use the same technologies to control more and more what we can and can’t do with culture. As more and more culture becomes digitized, more and more becomes controllable, even as laws are being toughened at the behest of the big media groups. What’s at stake is our freedom—freedom to create, freedom to build, and ultimately, freedom to imagine."