Joi Ito - who is among other things Chairman of the Board of Creative Commons - passed through Hong Kong this week. Yusuf Goolamabbas over at Outblaze did a quick interview with Joi and Pindar Wong (the guy who brought the Internet to Hong Kong) about why Hong Kong needs Creative Commons. He mentioned our efforts to create a local Hong Kong version of the "some rights reserved" licenses and that we are seeking community feedback on the license draft. If all goes well, we hope to launch the CC-HK license officially in mid-June. Want more information or want to get involved? Click here.
Some quotes from Joi and Pindar:
Weve built the number two, number three infrastructure in the world over the last ten years. So what are we going to do with it? Now, if we're going to have a not very forward-looking copyright regime that binds us, shackles us, it's quite clear that the creative community in Hong Kong - music, film, the arts - their ability to mix, mash, be creative is somehow not factored in to the current view of the law. So all we're trying to do is say, look. It's not necessarily "all rights reserved," it's also "some rights reserved." Lets try and use the existing copyright regime and make licensing - look at the licensing aspect. Not everyone by nature wants to fall foul of copyright law, but give us some options. It's not that we don't want to obey the law, its that we do want to have a license, but make it easier for us to get a license. Furthermore, give us some choices as far as the types of license we can get. Therefore Creative Commons has been around, weve looked at it we all know it. Many of us who are involved in the industry worldwide have said "hey look its quite strange we don't have Creative Commons in Hong Kong." Why not? Why don't we go and do it? So that's what we've done."
...Hong Kong is one of the freest economies in the world. So let the market decide. The Creative Commons license should be there by default. Once it's there then we can start doing things that are very interesting... This is a starting point not an ending point.
...The problem is that the mass production and delivery of content is the main model that people want to use the internet for, but then you might as well use cable. That's fine for broadcast thats not a bad architecture... but the internet is really for peer to peer communication. And the problem is that if you don't create a legal regime that allows you to do it, people will do it anyway but it will be illegal. And so by causing people to do illegal things, its also one of these thing where people figure well, if I'm breaking the law anyway.. I might as well go all the way. So the minute you make people into pirates, you call them criminals and terrorists like they did in the United States, then theyre going to come back at you, they're going to attack you, they're going to treat you like the man. So what Creative Commons is trying to do is get everybody to the table, get everybody to follow the rule of law, respect each other's needs, and say everyone has the right to have a choice.
...What you're fighting for right now is the attention of a person.
...Whats really a pity is that this Hollywood regime is infecting other governments into thinking that by having a strong copyright regime they will encourage the content business. When in fact by encouraging the amateur business they may sell more video cameras and televisions and network connections and bandwith, and we would probably make a lot more money supporting the sharing economy in asia than we would trying to build a hollywood inside Hong Kong.
Here's the video:
Unfamiliar with Creative Commons? Watch this then:
To learn more, and perhaps even get involved, visit the Hong Kong Fans of Creative Commons wiki.