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  • From: "Rebecca MacKinnon" <rebecca.mackinnon AT>
  • To: "Mr. Pindar Wong" <pindar AT>, cchk-exco AT, cc-hk <cc-hk AT>
  • Cc: Velentina Ma <oinuen AT>, Ying Chan <yychan AT>
  • Subject: Re: [Cc-hk] We were on page 3 of SCMP Sunday fyi
  • Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 20:13:58 +0800

Thanks to Velentina for the hard work getting press attention! For those who don't subscribe here's the full text:

New copyright licences allow more sharing on Web ... legally

Joshua But
Oct 26, 2008

The concept of sharing, one of the defining features of the Web, is seen as part of a culture that lends itself to copyright infringement, but a set of simple icons may help to change that widespread attitude.

The launch of Creative Commons licences in Hong Kong yesterday, in conjunction with the University of Hong Kong's journalism school, allows individual creators of images and data to define rights relating to their works, and allow the works to be shared legally under certain conditions - by including the appropriate icon in their online product.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that encourages use of the "some rights reserved" concept, which aims to bridge the gap between the default copyright concept of "all rights reserved" and "public domain" - where no copyright restrictions apply.

Under a Creative Commons licence, an amateur photographer could allow his work uploaded to Flickr - an online image album - to be copied, distributed, displayed and performed, if he is given credit.

He could state that the pictures were to be shared only for non-commercial purposes. He could also prohibit retouching of his pictures by adding a "no derivative works" condition. Icons indicating copyright could be applied to any creative works ranging from documents, photographs and music to artworks and videos.

The licences are now localised and adapted to copyright laws in Hong Kong, the 50th jurisdiction in the world where they have become legally applicable. About 140 million objects around the world have so far been licensed under the system.

Creative Commons chief executive Joichi Ito said the internet had brought with it large copyright concerns, even though more people were now willing to share. "You might have to consult a lawyer to draft a contract before using a picture on the internet. The huge costs make it hard for people to share their works."

Creative Commons licences aimed to lower "knowledge-connection friction" that people faced when wanting to collaborate, he said. They provided choices to modify copyright terms and allow legal sharing.

He said the licences were neither anti-copyright nor an alternative to the traditional copyright concept.


2008/10/26 Mr. Pindar Wong <pindar AT>

Rebecca MacKinnon
Assistant Professor, Journalism & Media Studies Ctr.
University of Hong Kong   (
E-mail: rmack AT | Tel: +852-2219-4005

"The world is talking. Are you listening?"

Public lead: Creative Commons Hong Kong

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