Creative Commons Kenya Salon

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Looking at the times that we are in, it is taxing to fully understand and appreciate the creation of content in the digital space.  The use of content has spiralled beyond its previous state. Today, we are constantly interacting with content, whether it be data or literary content, in a way that was never envisioned before the dawn of world wide web. We are increasingly the subjects indicted by Copy right law and the time has come for us to ask ourselves whether the Law was made for man or man for the Law.

This is the same theme running across the minds of Africa and more specifically Kenya’s content creators. Jamlab being part of the Creative Commons Kenya community, we seek to understand the Concept of Openness, to explore whether Open and distributed systems will work, and look into the virtues and values of distributed Creativity.

We understand that the principles we hold on the subject of Intellectual property impact heavily on our economics, our social nature and our politics.  Intellectual property does not only affect lawyers authors and musicians. It affects all of us and as we have seen through the interaction with young people in the School of Open, the modification of these laws will make a huge difference between a future young people can behold and a future young people can create.

As a result, Jamlab, working together with Akilidada, took up the role of  bringing to Kenya and Sub-saharan Africa, the first ever Creative Commons Kenya Salon held on the 6th of June 2013, at the iHub.

The goal was to  explore how these same principles if used strategically, could level playing fields in education, in areas of government, academia and even the creative arts. We hosted panelists; Simeon Oriko Co-founder of Jamlab, Wanjiru Kamau- Rutenberg, Founder and Executive Director of Akilidada, Michael Murungi, CEO of National Council of Law and Reporting, Judith Owigar, President of Akirachix and Paul Kiwehlo from CC  Tanzania The idea was to find ways in which to democratise technology and find level playing fields while using it.

The questions that arose was the question of access and the question of how to ensure that the backlog of our work does not lie solely on the working of technology. These are some of the tweets that highlight the topics in the night.

akilidada
Technology knows no male or female. The stereotypes are our own. -@JamlabHQ #CCSalonKE
6/6/13 7:05 PM
JamlabHQ
The culture of Open and the ability to share fostersInnovation and Creativity..@mtotowajirani @creativecommons @schoolofopen #CCSalonKE
6/6/13 6:19 PM
JamlabHQ
@akirachix main question is the question of access.. @owigarj #CCSalonKE
6/6/13 6:17 PM
JamlabHQ
If we removed the technology from the equation of our organisations, would they still exist? #CCSalonKE @akirachix @owigarj
6/6/13 6:51 PM
akilidada
A level playing field is when my grandmother doesn’t need a middleman (lawyer) in order to seek justice -@KenyaLawReports #CCSalonKE
6/6/13 6:36 PM
JamlabHQ
How are the panelists @CCSalonKE Changing the status Quo in whatever capacities they are in?
6/6/13 6:54 PM
akilidada
We should make a conscious decision to embrace culture of collab and sharing. It’s how we can thrive! -@JamlabHQ #CCSalonKE
6/6/13 7:54 PM

The Salon introduced the people who attended, about fifty of them, ranging from all backgrounds; Engineering students to CEOs of parastatals to University lecturers, to dancers and just normal techies to the idea, importance and use of Creative Commons in a world whose ground was constantly shifting under our weight. The message that was passed on at the end of the day is that everyone, in their own capacity, had to find a way to understand how to use and embrace Open, and also understand where it could be used and where it couldn’t be put to use. Otherwise, we would all face the fear of obliteration.

Many topics were raised that evening. The availability of food brings people to good spirits. However, to an observer watching closely as the group mixed and interacted into the night, they would notice the beginning of a community. People were brought together by curiosity, they remained because of the illumination they found. It was simply the beginning for the CC community in Kenya. The diversity will define us as we engage in more topics,  find more common grounds and have more Creative Commons Salons. Many questions still remained unanswered and many topics remained undiscussed. However, I can already see the recreation of many of the ways we do things and more in depth comprehension of the changing paradigms before us, stemming from the Salons.

Jamlab is simply glad to be a part of those bringing it all together.