(photos by Charles Mok)
In case you haven't heard of it before, Creative Commons is an alternative approach to copyright. In this Internet age, many people are creating and sharing their works for non-commercial or only partially commercial reasons. The point is not to advocate piracy: many artists, authors, entertainment companies and news organizations want tight control over the usage rights to their work so that they can make maximum profit from every single thing they create, and they have a right to do so. (Although CC founder Larry Lessig does think that U.S. copyright law has gone overboard.) But many other people are more interested in seeing their works used and distributed as widely as possible than they are in making money off those works, as long as they receive credit and recognition for their creations. Creative Commons licenses enable us to do this. CC is especially useful for non-profit, publicly funded, and educational content, but there are commercial artists and Internet companies who also use these licenses. I know musicians and photographers who have found it profitable to put out at least part of their work for free on the web under a CC license because doing so helps them gain a loyal audience and reputation, which in turn leads to paid work or performance opportunities that they would not have gotten otherwise.
The CC licenses are being localized for a growing number of legal jurisdictions, including for Mainland China and Taiwan. But nobody has yet localized them for Hong Kong. Our meeting on Monday formed a group that will spearhead the localization of Creative Commons licenses for Hong Kong law, then work on promoting the use of CC in Hong Kong and educate people in Hong Kong about how to use them. We've set up a wiki site with more information, which anybody interested in helping bring Creative Commons to Hong Kong can join.
Here is an excellent video that explains Creative Commons:
...and here is an interview with Creative Commons founder Larry Lessig about how it all works: