India gets Creative Commons chapter

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay is setting up the Indian chapter of Creative Commons

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay is setting up a chapter of Creative Commons with the aim of providing easier access to educational and other content.

Creative Commons offers a content licensing system that gives copyright owners the option to reserve only some of their rights. The organization was founded in 2002 by Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford University, to make more creative work available legally to others to share and build on.

At IIT Bombay there is a lot of educational content, including Web-based courses that the institute would like to make available under a flexible Creative Commons license, said Shishir K. Jha, project lead for Creative Commons India.

The Indian chapter of Creative Commons will be formally launched Friday at the IIT Bombay campus in Mumbai with Joichi Ito, chairman of the Creative Commons, delivering one of the keynotes. Workshops at the event will address issues related to collaboration on creative projects, including films.

In the first phase, however, the Creative Commons licenses are likely to be more attractive for educational content than for India's large film industry, popularly known as Bollywood, Jha said. People working in education and government-supported research in India are far more open to exploring new concepts such as Creative Commons, than commercial ventures like large films, he added.

The Indian chapter of Creative Commons is already working on drafting versions of licenses that are more in tune with Indian culture and the legal system. The concept of "fair use," known in India as " far dealing," is far broader in Indian copyright rules than in the copyright laws of other nations, Jha said.

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