The relaunch of the creative Commons India took place at New Delhi on
12thNov 2013. It was a joint effort by the three affiliates of
India viz Wikimedia Chapter, Center for Internet and Society, and Acharya
Narender Dev College. New Delhi.
The Wikimedia banner announcements were very effective. The registrations
exceeded 1000, and threatened to make hall capacity of 300 to be woefully
inadequate. Mercifully, the actual attendance to registration ratio was
just about right to make the attendees count to remain just within the
Staff and Students from Acharya Narender Dev College did a lot of the
voluntary work necessary for the arrangements. A nice rangoli at the
reception welcomed the visitors. They also managed the reception desk, and
behind the screen arrangements to welcome the speakers with potted plants,
and present them mementoes.
Dr Savithri Singh of ANDC welcomed the gathering. Mr Lawrence Liang,
Co-founder of Alternative Law Forum, and the organizer of the first launch
of Creative Commons many years ago spoke first. He answered the most
frequently asked question as to why this is a relaunch, and what happened
after the first launch. Lawrence narrated how the first launch took place
from IIT Mumbai. At that time the focus was to create a version of the 2.5
license ported to Indian law. As many of you would know, though the basic
licenses have been based on the international legal understandings among
the nation members of the United Nations, making these enforceable among
all these nations, further scope to port these agreements to a nation’s law
also exists, and this is called porting. Lawrence and his associates did
this with the 2.5 version. Lawrence remarked with humor that Ekalavya may
have been the first person to have breached the copy right law and paid for
it by being disabled from using the knowledge. Lawrence also spoke on the
current international movement seeking to make the output of publicly
funded projects public.
Meanwhile, Dr Shashi Throor arrived and a majestic Diya was lit to
symbolize the occasion. Dr Tharoor also electronically launched the webpage
http://www.creativecommons.org.in/ . The India page within the website of
Creative Commons.org can be found here.
Dr Shashi Tharoor spoke in support for the emerging open knowledge
environment, and said his ministry has already made a beginning by
releasing the NCERT books under CC By SA. We can count on him to support
all reasonable suggestions in these areas.
Ms Rohini Nilekani spoke about her experience in launching Pratham books,
where the objective was to nurture the reading habit among children and to
put a book in every child’s hand.
This was followed by Mr Moksh Juneja of Wikimedia who spoke on how
Wikimedia is supporting Creative Commons.
Delhi has a vibrant community that is eager to participate in such
initiatives. Many were impatient with the slow progress in this country,
and wanted a lot more to happen quickly. This was amply demonstrated in the
questions and answers session, as well as at the end of the talk sessions,
when many did not go for the high tea and engaged with the organizers.
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