Creative Commons Walking The Talk, Supporting Open Collaboration to Achieve Cancer Cures

Creative Commons CEO, Ryan Merkley was on June 29th, 2016 invited to participate in the Cancer Moonshot Summit hosted by US Vice President Biden in Washington DC.

The aim of the Summit was to create action and fostering collaborations around the goals of the Cancer Moonshot. The event brought together a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including researchers, oncologists, nurses and other care providers, data and technology experts, philanthropists, advocates, patients, and survivors.

Vice President Biden was put in charge of creating a new national effort to end cancer by doubling the rate of progress toward a cure – to make a decade of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care in five years.

The Creative Commons community recently made recommendations on how the US government could accelerate the speed and probability of discovery for new cancer treatments and cures by:

  1. Makimg open access the default for cancer research articles and data.
  2. Taking embargo periods on research articles and data to zero.
  3. Building and rewarding a culture of sharing and collaboration.
  4. Sharing cancer education and training materials as open educational resources.

In response to the Vice President’s call for open access to cancer research publications, Creative Commons is walking the talk by providing open educational resources and tools that will support everyone involved in building open and collaborative communities for cancer research.

Creative Commons HQ also wrote an article on the Cancer Moonshot Summit on Medium.

CopyRightX 2016

Are you interested in copyright and intellectual property? Do you want to understand how Creative Commons licenses can help you share your content? Join us this Saturday March 26th from 10 am till 2pm as Kayode Yussuf, our Tech Lead speaks on Creative Commons at this year’s CopyrightX which will hold at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), University of Lagos..

Wiki Loves Africa 2015 Kicks off in Style across Africa

Photographic competition adds immeasurably to understanding of Africa on Wikipedia

Cape Town, 9th November 2015

Since the 1st of October, photographers and Wikipedians (experienced and new) have been contributing their impressions of the inspirational design from Africa and expressing the influence of culture on day-to-day fashion and decorative and functional accessories and adornment by entering photographs in the Wiki Loves Africa competition.

There are now 2 weeks left until the competition closes for another year. The contest runs from the 1st October to the 30th November 2015 and entries are welcome from anywhere on the continent and beyond. Mid-way through the contest there has been over 3 791 entries from 505 participants in 44 countries. To encourage contribution, eight teams from across Africa have been hosting upload, wikithon and Wiki Takes … (a themed photo tour) events in various capital cities.

These events are being hosted by groups of volunteers in Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda. Each photographic entry is a contribution to a global understanding of Africa’s cultural diversity by representing its many styles, influences, fashion innovations and the extraordinary capacity for design.

The joy of this competition is that the results are not just going to be shared among its enthusiasts or in a gallery somewhere, but with the roughly 18.5 billion monthly readers of Wikipedia and its related projects across the world. Each image will be considered, and many will be used to illustrate and bring to life relevant articles on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

In this way the global understanding of the vast continent of Africa and its many stories and intricacies are deepened. It is too early to tell what images from this year’s Wiki Loves Africa are going to be used within Wikipedia. However in 2014, 589 images that related to the theme of Cuisine were used across 56 wikipedia projects with one image being used in 37 different projects alone.

The images from the competition inspired 2 wikibooks that form the Mujje Tulye Come to Eat collection. The Wiki Loves Africa competition encourages participants to contribute media – photographs, video or audio – that illustrates a theme chosen by Wikipedia volunteers across Africa.

The theme changes each year to cover a universal, visually rich and culturally specific topic (for example, markets, rites of passage, festivals, public art, cuisine, natural history, urbanity, daily life, notable persons, etc). In 2015 Africa’s Wikipedia volunteers chose the theme Cultural Fashion and Adornment.

The competition encourages media that represents cultural dress, fashion and a diversity of adornment. Cultural fashion has been defined as clothing and body wear that presents local cultural influences and is determined by cloth, styles, ways of wrapping and hanging, etc.

This theme also includes adornment, which is represented by culturally defined jewellery, make-up, hairstyles, tattoos and scarification, cloths and woven materials. The Wiki Loves Africa team has set up a campaign on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to encourage the larger community of Wikipedia editors and readers both in Africa and beyond to get involved by donating what they want towards the competition’s prizes. To ensure quality images we need to attract Africa’s best professional and amateur photographers with quality prizes.

The competition was conceptualised by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood as a fun and engaging way to rebalance the amount of visual representations and relevant content that exists about Africa on Wikipedia. The international Wiki Loves Africa competition is organised by the Wikimedia community that created Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia, and built the free media archive Wikimedia Commons. Wiki Loves Africa is supported by WikiAfrica at the Africa Centre and is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and local supporters in individual countries.

### Useful links:

Websites: Local events:

A showcase of this year’s photographic entries: crowdfunding campaign:



The winning photos from Wiki Loves Africa 2014: 1st prize: 2nd prize: 3rd prize: Community Prize:

Media release by the Africa Centre

For media queries contact:

English: Isla Haddow-Flood

Cell: +27 71 491 4101

Tel: +27 21 418 3336

Email: islahf @

French: Florence Devouard

Cell: +33 645 60 62 77

Email: fdevouard @


Steps to enter Wiki Loves Africa Entering Wiki Loves Africa Cultural Fashion and Adornment is easy!

Follow these 4 steps:

Step 1: Take some photos.

Step 2: Select the best.

Step 3: Create an account on Commons to take part. Register here.

Step 4: Use the Upload Wizard to enter the photographs.

Competition Rules

The Competition Rules are: Images submitted to the Wiki Loves Africa contest may win prizes! There are a few rules to respect for the images to be eligible.

Rule 1: All photos must be taken by the person submitting them. They can be either self-uploaded or uploaded during a registered mass upload session.

Rule 2: Upload can only be done in October and November 2015. But you can enter media that was taken at any time, even historical photographs (as long as you own the copyright on these photographs).

Rule 3: Images must be free of watermarks or embedded signatures to be eligible. All entries will automatically be submitted under a free licence such as Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 (CC-BY-SA 4.0) (or in the public domain). Read more about the cc-by-sa license here.

Rule 4: All eligible pictures will be categorised under Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2015, this will be automatically assigned during the upload process.

Rule 5: Participants should enable e-mail on Wikimedia Commons so they can be contacted should their image be chosen for a prize.

Competition prizes

The prizes for the competition are:

1st prize: a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the participant winning picture

2nd prize: US$300 Amazon gift + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the 2nd prize picture

3rd prize: US$200 Amazon gift + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the 3rd prize picture Community Prize: US$200 Amazon gift voucher + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the Community Prize Local Organising Teams To see what’s going locally and to contact the teams, please click here. About WikiAfrica The WikiAfrica project is an international collaboration that redresses the imbalance of factual heritage and cultural knowledge about Africa on Wikipedia by promoting a new approach to knowledge that is fully-inclusive, mainstream and intercultural. Its mission is to assist and support the growth of Wikipedia as a free and open encyclopaedia that provides greater access to Africa’s wealth of contemporary and historical realities. About the Wikimedia Foundation The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit charitable organisation that is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property. About the Africa Centre The Africa Centre is both a physical entity and ongoing philosophical journey that explores how Pan-African cultural practice can be a catalyst for social change. The Africa Centre operates in the belief that creativity and innovation are powerful tools that: manifest what otherwise would only sit in our imaginations; release new ideas and make them freely accessible; and ensure that people living on this soil can define for themselves what is possible and what their reality looks like. These beliefs are brought to life through a range of programmes in various countries as well as online. Current programmes include the Artists in Residency, Badilisha Poetry X-Change, Everyday African Urbanism, Infecting The City, Talking Heads, and WikiAfrica. All of the projects celebrate and explore what it means to be in Africa today and what is conceivable for 21st-century Africans.

Pratham Books launches StoryWeaver

In their bid to reach and influence over half a billion Indian children to fall in love with reading, Pratham Books created and launched an open source story platform known as StoryWeaver.
Ms. Suzanne Singh who serves as Pratham Books chairperson spoke about the philosophy behind , StoryWeaver.
‘If we could have one wish, it would be this : Joyful reading material for all the 300 million children of India. So they could fall in love with reading, and discover new ideas, new thoughts, and eventually, have richer lives’. She said.
In the past ten years, Pratham Books has created high quality and inexpensive which are distributed  across schools and libraries in every corner of the country reaching millions of children.
In 2008, Pratham Books adopted the  Creative Commons licences which led the publishing house to  throw conventional publishing wisdom of restrictive copyright to the wind. The  stories were released under open licenses, giving the public  the right to use, share or even build upon the creative work. The effect of this action? Published stories traveled near and wide, to places the publishers couldn’t reach directly. It opened the doors to readers – of all ages, geographies, and nationalities. Best of all, the stories found their way into newer languages, audio versions, YouTube videos, and digital apps. Its how a whole new multiplier effect got created.
StoryWeaver is an open source platform of multilingual children’s stories, a window into this enchanting world of Open stories and images and languages. Open to parents. Open to educators. Open to other publishers. And, most importantly, Open to children!
You can access StoryWeaver from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. You can then read from a collection of 800 stories in 24 languages. You can create a new story from a bank of 2000 images. You can translate any of the stories into newer languages and share them with others. You can print and use the stories in the way that you want. And also connect with a community of content creators and readers. And this is just the beginning. We will continue to grow the repository through more participation and more collaboration with like-minded partners.
Imagine a story written in English being translated into Ladakhi, being read by children in Kashmir. And the same illustrations being used by a teacher in Bihar to retell the story. And the same story being versioned into a play in Assamese. The possibilities are endless.
Congratulations Pratham Books, for believing in Open.

Outernet Launches Support for CC Nigeria’s Adopt A School Project

In its bid to spread its tentacles to all unreached parts of the world, Outernet is supporting an online campaign for projects that improves knowledge and internet access.

Creative Commons Nigeria’s Adopt a School project was selected as one of the projects to receive funding from the online campaign.

Adopt a School project is an offshoot of the School of Open which seeks to promote open education. We adopt a school for five weeks teaching them create content for the internet. Specific tools are Wikipedia, Mozilla Webmaker and Creative Commons licenses.

Our application link is, please share with your networks and support the application as much as you can

For more information on this application, please reach

Kayode Yussuf

Tech Lead,

Creative Commons Nigeria

Outernet Seeks to work with Creative Commons Nigeria

Gizmodo’s graphical representation of ‘Outernet’

With slow or no internet access plaguing more than 60% of the world’s population, organizations like Outernet have come to find a solution to this dearth of access to basic information.

Touted as Humanity’s Public Library, Outernet is gathering the most important information from the Internet and broadcasting it to the entire world from space. For free.

Outernet has three specific goals:

*   to provide information without censorship for educational and emergency purposes.

*  to provide access to “courseware,” which includes textbooks, videos, and software.

* to provide alternative access when access to regular Internet connection is down for any reason.

As the name suggests, Outernet provides information anywhere in the world without passing through our crowded internet routes. If you want to access Wikipedia for instance, you need to go through the internet either on your phone or via a computer connected to an internet service provider. Outernet provides a free content distribution system that would provide basic web access broadcast via a series of geostationary and LEO satellites, as well as cube satellites using a combination of datacasting and User Datagram Protocols.

What Outernet has done is to store up basic information on a satellite in space. To access this information, all you need is a portable device (a lantern or a lighthouse).

After the initial purchase of the device, you have free access to information on the satellite.

Gidmozo’s representation of the Lantern

Outernet’s devices are designed to work in the most rugged areas where there is limited or no power  and where regular internet access will not reach.

Outernet’s Thane Richard was in Kampala in June 2015 to host an Outernet  hackatron at the Mosfest Uganda 2015

Creative Commons Nigeria ‘Adopt a School’ Series


Week 1 of the School of Open ‘Adopt a School’ went successfully.

Students were taught on creating Wikipedia accounts. Next week, we will move to creating and editing articles.

Thirty students participated in the training.

Click here to see pictures in this link.

Interested schools in Lagos that want to get involved to send an email to

Please note that:

  1. This training is free of charge, neither the school nor the organizers will pay to any other party for the running of the training;
  2. The school will select a day and will allocate time to the organizers for the training to hold each week.
  3. The school will provide a training centre, computers and power to run the training
  4. The school will nominate students that will participate in the training; this will be dependent on the amount of computers the school has. Every participant must have access to a computer.
  5. The school will nominate teachers (Computer science, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and other teachers dimmed fit for the training;
  6. The training centre must be airy and conducive for learning. It must not be rowdy;
  7. The organizers will bring the resource persons;
  8. The organizers will bring internet access;
  9. The organizers will bring training materials.

Creative Commons Nigeria Completes 12-Week CopyrightX Class

After twelve rigorous weekends of learning, sharing and writing exams, 27 participants have completed the Harvard CopyrightX training and have written the exams.

CopyrightX is an annual 12 week training which explores the  local copyright laws; blending copyright law with art, entertainment, and the creative industry at large;

Despite challenges like national and state elections in Nigeria, the training still ran from February 7 till April 25, 2015 at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Lagos, Akoka with the participants enthusiastic to learn.

There were debates concerning how copyright laws should be reformed to suit the current challenges we face in the protection and distribution of creative works.

Faculties for the training this year included Mrs. Helen Chuma-Okoro (a Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Open A.I.R Fellow, University of Cape Town; and Open A.I.R West Africa Hub Coordinator), Mrs. Ifeoma Oluwasemilore ( authorCopyright expert and law lecturer in University of Lagos, Mr. Ayodele Kusamotu (Managing Partner of Kusamotu and Kusamotu and Legal Lead of Creative Commons Nigeria) and Kayode Yussuf who spoke on Creative Commons Licenses. Barrister Idrees Ibrahim served as training coordinator.

It is important to note that all CopyrightX materials are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Please click here to see the permissions on the materials. Prof William W. Fisher of Harvard Law School also wrote a review on the successes of the CopyrightX courses which he tagged ‘Lessons from CopyrightX‘.

CopyrightX will continue next year, interested participants should check theis website for updates, follow Creative Commons Nigeria on twitter (@CC_Nigeria) and on facebook.

Creative Commons Launches Creative Tee Shirts


  Courtesy: Creative Commons

Creative Commons headquarters is joining the Noun Project, and Teespring are to announce an awesome, limited edition commemorative t-shirt celebrating our wonderful logo, the double ‘C’ in a circle logo.

The Creative Commons logo and license icons logo which was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announced ]currently featured as part of a new exhibit called, “This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good.”

During the exhibition, the Creative Commons logo and license icons for Attribution, ShareAlike, Noncommercial, and NoDerivatives were featured alongside universal designs such as the @symbol and the International Symbol for Recycling.

Friends and supporters of Creative Commons are encouraged to buy their commemorative shirts via You better act fast, the stocks are depleting. Sample of the shirt is pasted below.





Creative Commons Nigeria Hosts 12-Week CopyrightX Class


Creative Commons Nigeria is partnering with the HarvardX distance-learning initiative, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society to host a twelve week training tagged CopyrightX.

CopyrightX is an annual 12 week training which explores the  local copyright laws; blending copyright law with art, entertainment, and the creative industry at large; The training will run from February 7 till April 25, 2015.

There will also be debates concerning how copyright laws should be reformed to suit the current challenges we face in the protection and distribution of creative works.

This year’s CopyRightX will be anchored by Mrs. Helen Chuma-Okoro and Mrs. Ifeoma Oluwasemilore, both copyright law experts and they will be on ground to guide participants. The anchors will get support from Barrister Idrees Ibrahim.

Though registration for CopyrightX is closed, interested participants can follow the course and participate physically every Saturday at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Lagos, Akoka.

It is important to note that all CopyrightX materials are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Please click here to see the permissions on the materials. Prof William W. Fisher of Harvard Law School also wrote a review on the successes of the CopyrightX courses which he tagged ‘Lessons from CopyrightX‘.

The map below shows (in blue) the countries of residence of the students who have taken the online course and (in red) the countries in which the affiliated courses have been or are currently based.


Map of CopyrightX affiliates courtesy