Actions we take for granted in online networks - copy, paste, edit source and post to the web - are usually restricted by copyright which requires explicit permission, granted in advance.
The implication of this on news and journalism can be devastating, since the value and interest in 'news' is usually based on how quickly and easily the information reaches the public. Creative Commons helps with the dissemination of information by having created tools on the internet and flexible copyright licences that give these permissions without having to seek for them. Through creative commons a pool of content is available that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed and built upon all within the boundaries of copyright law.
eco j-hub‘s decision to utilize Creative Commons licences is a very welcome development, which we hope other journalists in Nigeria will take advantage of and perhaps also licence their works in this manner. This is a strong statement to the creative industry that liberal licensing in copyright is not at all bad, but is actually a progressive form of sharing information. This is coming at a great time when Nigeria has just passed its Freedom of Information Act to bring about better access to information which can now be distributed even more widely and effectively.
Old models of news delivery are changing, being complemented, and even supplanted by entirely new models. Many of these new models leverage Creative Commons licenses, a simple, standardized way for authors to grant copyright permissions to their work in the digital age.
Because the rights to copy, distribute, or adapt content are pre-cleared, news is more rapidly and widely disseminated, allowing innovative business models to emerge that rely on free and legal sharing and reuse.
This follows the progressive traditions of ventures like Propublica, Huffington Post Investigative Fund, Ground Report, Spot.US, and Al Jazeera amongst others.
Creative Commons Nigeria is led by Kusamotu & Kusamotu, a law firm based in Lagos.
More information about creative commons can be found at www.creativecommons.org.