Lawrence Lessig and the Creative Commons Developing Nations License
has been a frequent subject of discussion here on Worldchanging, and
with good reason: the Creative Commons license has changed the world's
understanding of intellectual property -- and helped us see that
getting intellectual property rules right can spur innovation.
Nowhere is innovation more badly needed, of course, than in the
developing world, where environmental and social problems are magnified
not only by economic poverty itself, but by the lack of access to
information which could alleviate those problems.
Very often solutions to those problems already exist, or at least
designs for parts of those solutions. These solutions and ideas provide
puzzle pieces from which people can assemble their own better futures,
as it were. But when people don't know those pieces exist, and when
they have to access to use of those solutions, those solutions might as
well not exist. This is why the copyfight is such a worldchanging concern.
The Developing Nations license
is meant to open the floodgates of access to new solutions in the
Global South by creating a system which encourages designers and
creators in the Global North to freely share their innovations. As we
put it in the book,
" This new license allows creators to make their works available for
attributed free distribution (copies can be freely shared, providing
the original creator is credited) in the Global South, while still
retaining all copyright control in the Global North."
is using the Developing Nations license to build a framework for open source design collaboration for meeting humanitarian crises with the best available tools."