Institute for Open Leadership Fellows develop OER Policy Development Tool

After spending time with the Institute for Open Leadership,  Amanda Coolidge and Daniel DeMarte  have designed an OER Policy Development Tool.

The OER policy tool will help anyone who wants to create an OER policy do so quickly and without any stress. The contents of the OER policy tool are intended to be adopted and adapted for use within a college or university’s culture using the OER Policy Assumptions, OER Policy Components and OER Policy Resources.

Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons headquarters put it as ‘A win from the Institute for Open Leadership for Colleges / Universities wanting to create an OER policy’.

Amanda Coolidge and Daniel DeMarte are both 2016 fellows of the Institute for Open Leadership.

More details on this tool can be found on

Creative Commons Interviews Jane-Frances Agbu of Nigeria

National Open University Logo CC-BY 2.0

Open educator and Institute for Open Leadership Fellow Jane-Frances Agbu works as a senior lecturer in health science and coordinates the award-winning Open Educational Resources program at NOUN, the National Open University of Nigeria.  NOUN provides open and distance education to over 180,000 students in the region.
Agbu has seen the benefits of open education firsthand as a teacher, an administrator, and an advocate for free education for all students.
What does open education mean to you as an educator? How do OER increase access and equity in your institution? What has OER changed at your institution, if anything?
Open education means access, equity in education. It helps to reach the unreached and the marginalized (for example, those in conflict area, women in difficult situations, youth that must work but need to study at the same time). It is flexible and accommodating. It is the right education mode for the information and technology age. OER awareness is just two years in at my institution and we have been able to understand the creation and use of OER through collaborations and sensitization in this area. With OER, educational resources are shared, used, adopted, adapted free of cost. Lecturers now use OER to improve on teaching materials and personal research, students use OERs as additional knowledge for deeper insight in their courses. Institutionally, NOUN seeks to gradually share its body of courseware as OERs to further contribute to this noble ideal.
How do you support OER at NOUN? How have you used your time at the Institute for Open Leadership to encourage better access to educational resources in your region and beyond?
I was the coordinator of NOUN-OER projects until July 2016, and I raised awareness in this area.This culminated in an award for my institution in March 2016.
My contact and time with IOL has broadened my insight on open policy and I have used the knowledge gained to help draft an OER policy for my institution that was recently approved by the University Senate. This policy will help encourage better access to educational resources in my institution and beyond.
How do you promote advocacy of open licensing in Nigeria and West Africa in general? What is your motivation for promoting open education in these regions? Why does OER matter to your region?
This is achieved through sensitization in this area and collaboration with other institutions. In December 2015, NOUN presented its OER initiative to the Federal government of Nigeria, a way of advocating for others to come on board.
Advocacy around open licenses is geared towards opening-up knowledge for common good and this is needed in my region, the West African region, where most are in dire need of better quality of life.
Have you worked directly with any students in Nigeria who have inspired your work? Are there any particularly exciting stories or data points that you’d like to share?
We are gradually understanding the beauty of open education, OERs and open license framework and our advocacy in this area has inspired many institutions and individuals around us. Perhaps my exciting story, aside from the award we got in this area, is a recent publication that further sharpened my understanding of the benefits of open education: The Best of Two Open Worlds at NOUN.
Open education is more than licensing. How do you inspire working open in your work and teaching?
Yes, it is more than licensing.
It upholds the dignity of mankind. We need to be open-minded to understand and tap into the beauty of open education.
For me, though trained in a conventional university system, I am glad that I can reach (and provide education) to more students by working in an open education system. I now publish in open access journals because that is how it should be in the first place. Research findings should be seen and utilized immediately and not shelved away in a concrete library. I also try to use open license in some of my personal materials so that students to easily adapt them without seeking permission. I also use open-licensed audio and videos to improve my teaching.
With many students going back to school this week, what kind of advice do you have for students who want to inspire their institution to embrace OER? How can we spark a movement as open educators and students?
For my part of the world, OER is still in its infancy. OER, just like everything tagged “open” is sometimes misunderstood. For example, when NOUN started in 2003 as an open university, it met a lot of resistance, but learners are gradually embracing its unique opportunity that provided flexibility and access in education. So OER may have its initial resistance but once the beauty is understood through continued advocacy, champions will rise.

Creative Commons Affiliate Teams Call for Copyright reform in Colombia to focus on supporting users’ rights

Today Creative Commons, CC Colombia, and over a dozen other CC affiliates and partners sent a letter to the Colombian government calling for user-friendly copyright reform. Colombia’s copyright law is being re-opened to come into compliance with the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

We believe that this is a timely opportunity to introduce positive changes to copyright that will support users and the public, such as adopting a flexible use exception like fair use. Our community looks forward to providing ideas and feedback during the reform process.

Letter of support for balanced Colombian copyright law reform [English]
Carta para apoyar una reforma equilibrada al derecho de autor en Colombia [Spanish]

The signatories below are writing to you regarding the proposed updates to copyright law in Colombia that will be introduced in order to implement the U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement. We are concerned that these changes will only further tip the balance of copyright toward the interests of rights holders, while ignoring necessary protections for the public domain, as well as for users, consumers, and the general public.

We understand that the proposed changes would include increasing copyright terms  for some types of rights holders, and adopting an instrument to mirror the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We urge the Congress to take this opportunity to provide for crucial balances to copyright that protect the rights of users. In the fast-changing digital and online environment, the Congress should consider introducing a flexible exception to copyright that echoes the regulation of countries that have adopted “fair use” or “fair dealing” exceptions.

It has been our experience that to ensure the maximum benefits to both culture and the economy in this digital age, the scope and shape of copyright law need to be reviewed. Now is the time for the Congress to ensure that appropriate and necessary exceptions and limitations are updated in order to protect and support users, access to information, and creativity.

Creative Commons Colombia
Creative Commons
Fundación Karisma
COMMUNIA International Association on the Public Domain
Centrum Cyfrowe
Creative Commons Peru
Creative Commons Uruguay
Creative Commons Netherlands
Creative Commons Ireland
Creative Commons Ukraine
Creative Commons Indonesia
Creative Commons Portugal
Creative Commons UK
Australian Digital Alliance
Creative Commons Chile
Creative Commons Australia
Creative Commons Nigeria

#PS: Content copied from Creative Commons HQ Website

Announcing the 2017 Creative Commons Global Summit

We’re pleased to announce that the next Creative Commons Global Summit will take place in Toronto, Canada from April 28-30, 2017. This vital event will gather a global community of technologists, academics, activists, creatives, and legal experts to work together on the expansion and growth of the commons, open knowledge, and free culture for all. Previous summits were held in Seoul (2015), Buenos Aires (2013), and Warsaw (2011). As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is a perfect location for this important meeting of the top minds in our field.

CC Korea, Global Summit 2015, CC-BY
CC Korea, Global Summit 2015, CC-BY 2.0

The Toronto summit will be a launchpad for the next phase of work for Creative Commons and its global communities. Earlier this year, we unveiled a new Strategic Plan, which focuses on collaboration, vibrancy, gratitude, and usability as our key principles. This is our first summit since this announcement, where we expect to draw together nearly 500 participants from a variety of disciplines including policy and law, arts and culture, open education, GLAM, free culture, open science, open access, and technology. This event is for the global open community, broadly construed, and its focus all aspects of “open” work in education, free culture, open data and research, open knowledge, and more.

David Kindler, CC Summit 2011, CC-BY
David Kindler, CC Summit 2011, CC-BY 2.0

Communities around the world are at the heart of our work. Without activists, advocates, professionals, and supporters around the world, Creative Commons would not be the globally recognized standard it is today. Our summits have historically kickstarted actions to help creators make connections and celebrate the commons, and the 2017 summit is poised to be our most successful yet.

We wholeheartedly invite you to join us in Toronto next April. For information about how to participate, please sign up for our special summit email list below. Thank you for your support.

CC Korea, CC Global Summit 2015, CC-BY 2.0
CC Korea, CC Global Summit 2015, CC-BY 2.0


Article Credits: 



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