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Seven successful launch events on The Power of Open


From June 16 to July 8, The Power of Open launched in seven cities around the world: Tokyo, Washington DC, Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, London, Paris, and Madrid. Thanks to the diversity of our CC community, each launch event was unique and inspiring, emphasizing openness as relevant to local culture and policy. Here we recap some of the highlights from each event in the order they occurred.

DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009
“Power of Open” Creative Commons Party at Loftwork by digitalbear / CC BY-NC-SA.

In Tokyo, Japan, CC Japan took the lead and put on a wonderful event at Loftwork, a creative agency that provides creator-matching services for companies in need of artists, while using CC licenses to distribute some of its creators’ works to increase exposure. CC Japan’s launch featured an “Into Infinity” project showcase and a talk by CC Chairperson and MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito. The Japan launch was angled to increase awareness of CC in the digital culture of Japan, particularly focusing on digital artists, designers, technologists, and museums. According to Loftwork’s post, the event was a success! gathering artists and entrepreneurs in Shibuya who agreed that CC was a powerful tool for creators, and that creative innovation would accelerate the world of technology in coming years. More pictures of the event are available here.

Washington DC
In Washington DC, The Power of Open officially launched at The New America Foundation featuring a panel discussion that included CC CEO Cathy Casserly, Heather LaGarde at IntraHealth International, Rebecca MacKinnon at Global Voices Online, and Sherwin Siy at Public Knowledge. The DC event gathered leaders from foundations, innovators in business, and policymakers. The New America Foundation notes that “Discussion revolved not just around Creative Commons’ successes in advancing people’s businesses and causes but also on ways to continue its growth and to clear up misunderstandings about how its licenses work. Speakers, for example, repeatedly drove home the point that Creative Commons does not replace copyright but extends it in ways that give artists and writers more power, and its force has been repeatedly upheld in court.” The event was livestreamed, and video is also available at the post.

The Power of Open launch in Brussels was hosted at GooglePlex, and featured a presentation and Q&A with Mark Patterson, the Director of Publishing for the Public Library of Science—that is transforming research communication via the use of CC BY for its scientific articles. The Brussels event gathered parliamentarians and others from the European Commission, focusing on the European Union’s flagship Digital Agenda initiative and the value of copyright and innovation in the digital age, specifically “In order to allow for a broader reach to new and larger audiences, key action areas focus on finding easier and more uniform solutions to pan-European licensing, simplifying copyright clearance and collective rights management, to name a few.”

Rio de Janeiro
In Brazil, the launch event was hosted by the FGV (Fundação Getulio Vargas) Rio Law School Center for Technology, featuring a presentation by Gabriel Borges at Fiat Automóveis, who discussed the process of creating the Fiat Mio, a concept car designed collaboratively via CC BY-NC-SA. Gabriel talked about the advantages of using CC for the project, and what led Fiat to choose CC for the designs. The event also featured Alexander Schneider, Secretary of Education of São Paulo, José Murilo, from the Digital Culture of the Ministry of Culture, Claudio Prado from the Brazil Digital Culture Laboratory, and Ronaldo Lemos at FGV Rio Law School. The discussion focused largely around CC for educational materials and changes in the political climate of Brazil. FGV covers the event in detail here.

From left to right: Rachel Bruce (JISC), Frances Pinter (Bloomsbury Academic),
Jonathan Worth, Lord Merlin Erroll (House of Lords), Lisa Green (CC),
Patrick McAndrew (Open University)

The London event was a huge hit thanks to JISC, a longtime CC supporter who organized the event with us at the Wellcome Trust. JISC develops partnerships and programs on the innovative use of digital technologies for UK education and research communities. Diane Cabell, who attended the event, reports,

“Rachel Bruce, Innovation Director of JISC’s Digital Infrastructure project, introduced speakers Prof. Paul Webley of SOAS, Ben White of The British Library, and photographer Jonathan Worth, whose work has appeared in numerous publications and exhibitions and is part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Worth, one of the featured creators in The Power of Open, drew the greatest audience attention as he explained how he uses CC licenses for online copies of his work in order to drive sales of higher-value copies such as hard prints and signed editions. Worth detailed how his online collections have attracted attention from communities of dedicated fans of the celebrities who are subjects of his portraits. These communities closely follow the bidding on his fee-based editions. This social network conversation has further promoted his work and resulted in a number of prestigious and profitable special commissions. His online photography course at Coventry University has the highest number of registered students in the school.”

The discussion also focused largely around the recent Hargreaves Review report on intellectual property reform in the UK, and gathered British parliamentarians, publishers, and educators.

The Paris event was held at Le Lieu du Design, where Pierre Gerard, co-founder of Jamendo, presented, followed by a film screening by CC-using director Vincent Moon. Like Japan, The Power of Open launch in Paris focused largely on tapping into growing French digital culture, reaching creators at the intersection of design and technology. The crowd consisted of representatives from FuturEnSeine, coined the SXSW of France, where creators are recognizing how they can share works and contribute to innovation by using CC licenses, in addition to creators, free culture supporters and legal scholars from Wikimedia France, faberNovel and Cap Digital. An exciting time in France, the event stimulated discussions around current French HADOPI law (Creation and Internet law), and highlighted the ability of creators to choose rights and take control of their content.


DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009
Tíscar Lara and Felipe Ortega by Joi / CC BY.

EOI (Escuela de Organización Industrial) hosted the last event in Madrid, welcoming CC Chairman Joi Ito to present the Spanish version of the book. EOI covers the event on their blog: “Leading experts from the European Union’s institutions, academia, private and public organisations joined Creative Commons to celebrate the launch of The Power of Open in EOI Business School.” The Madrid event was a great closer for the launch event series, focusing on Creative Commons’ vision for realizing the full potential of the Internet via the EU’s Digital Agenda: “With the Digital Agenda, the European Union has set the objective to develop a very fast Internet for the economy to grow strongly and to create jobs and prosperity, and to ensure citizens can access the content and services they want.” Business school students, finance and banking community representatives, the CC community, and a heavy press presence were in attendance.

Video and Resources

Video of the events above are being edited and will be available at in the coming weeks. To keep up-to-date, follow us on social media or use the tag #powerofopen. And if you haven’t already, download and read The Power of Open and please share and remix it with your friends under CC BY. As Joi stated in Madrid, “the value of open isn’t merely static. The true power of open comes from creating an ecosystem in which innovating does not require asking permission.”

Lastly, stay tuned for another event in Doha, Qatar in September!

Posted 20 July 2011