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Start arrow Agenda arrow 22@Breakfast arrow Past Events arrow 22@Update Breakfast October 2008
22@Update Breakfast October 2008
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Towards free culture: Creative Commons licenses.                  

The Internet has changed the way we promote our work and claim it. The creation of social networks, where materials are shared and reused, has brought about a change in the way we conceive of licenses to protect intellectual property. We have moved from a restrictive, exclusive licensing model to a freer one, which reflects new methods of social interaction.

22@Update Breakfast october 2008

October.s 22@ Update Breakfast took place at the offices of Lavinia, a company that has specialized in communication and technology since it was founded in 1994. Jaume Teodoro, director general of Lavinia, presented a video about their corporation and pointed out that their current annual turnover is 50 million euros and that they have 1,000 workers in Spain, Paris and Brussels.

Innovator of the Month Xavier Serra, director of the Pompeu Fabra University.s Music Technology Group, focused his presentation on the collaborative production of multimedia content. He referred specifically to a project the group is working on, a website called Freesound.org that was founded in 2005 to give artists free access to sounds without any copyright issues. This initiative was aided by the fact that Creative Commons licenses started to be used about that time. Currently, the site has over 600,000 registered users from around the world and 58,000 sounds that can be used to different ends, ranging from commercial to educational. Noteworthy among the current uses are: Sons de Barcelona and Freesound Radio.

Sons de Barcelona aims to promote the city.s aural heritage by collecting sounds from participants. They aim to create a community where participants can exchange, comment on and re-use the available sounds as well as sharing new aural experiences. To do this, they also organize workshops in schools, art centers, civic centers and social centers.

Freesound Radio is an experimental system that aims to reinforce the value of freesound contents in a radio-style setting. The idea is for this website to serve as a meeting place where users can listen to and interact with existing creations, mix them and change them.

Finally, Xavier Serra also mentioned other initiatives that are based on collaboration and social networking, including the following:

Wikipedia: an online encyclopedia created in 2001 by L. Sanger and J. Wales, which is funded through donations from companies that use their contents to create alternative business opportunities. They use two types of licenses: GNU GPL (General Public License) for contents, and FDL (Free Documentation License) for the programming.

Public Library of Science (Plos.org): focuses on publishing scientific articles. It was created by a group of scientists in 2000 as a not-for-profit alternative to medical journals. It is funded through donations and subscriptions.

Slashdat.org: publishes technology articles and explores new trends. It began in 1997 and is paid for through advertising.

Sellaband.com: promotes artists, who upload their songs to the site. Users invest in groups they like. When the investment reaches 50,000 dollars, the label starts promoting the group. Users receive a percentage of the profits.

Xavier Serra mentioned four points that are important to the success of a social networking initiative:
  1. A large and participative international community.
  2. Useful contents.
  3. Technological development.
  4. Sufficient funding.
According to Serra, .Web 3.0 is a group of creative tools and not just content; it is a place where people work and are creative, where they know how to integrate the contents and the tools..

In the second part of the breakfast, Sönke Lund, partner at the mmmm Monereo Meyer Marinel.lo Law Firm, discussed the topic of copyrights to protect online contents.

.Diffusion of digitals contents is constantly effecting our work as lawyers, we have to change our perspective, our focus when advising clients,. said Lund. Moreover, he explained that, when discussing intellectual property and free licenses, he is not speaking about patents or brands but copyrights.

The Internet has caused a paradigm shift. Contents are beginning to be used collectively, with group participation on a massive scale. Traditional licenses, with their focus on property and restrictions, cannot address this new reality. This is why free licenses have appeared that allow work to be created, distributed, communicated and transformed freely. This doesn.t mean that they are free of cost but that they .allow both creators and users to protect and share their work, eliminating the legal vicissitudes that currently exist,. affirmed Lund. Some of these licenses are:
  • GNU GPL (General Public License): created in the 80s in order to protect software creation, use and distribution.
  • Creative Commons: is the name of a not-for-profit organization created in 2003, which produces a range of flexible licenses for creative work; content licenses. In Spain there are two million pieces that use this license, which has been in use since 2004.
  • ColorIURIS: is a mixed system to self-manage copyrights aimed at content creators that use the Internet to promote their work.
  • Aire Incondicional: is a Spanish license that allows Creative Commons contents to be adapted to the laws of this country.
  • French model: is another type of free license, but is prohibits P2P file sharing.
When the creator decides to use Creative Commons, they ca choose from four types of license:
  • Attribution: Creators let others copy, distribute, display, and perform their copyrighted work . and derivative works based upon it . but only if they give credit.
  • Noncommercial: Creators let others copy, distribute, display, and perform their work . and derivative works based upon it . but for noncommercial purposes only.
  • No Derivative Works: Creators let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of their work, not derivative works based upon it.
  • Share Alike: Creators allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs their work.
Spanish law presents some limits and as a result there are some legal problems with these licenses, including:
  • The right to remove work, when the creator deems it necessary.
  • Formalization of a written license: can.t be done on the Internet.
  • Third-party transfer of rights: Spanish law says rights are in transferable.
  • Damages and liability.
To finish up, Josep Piqué, managing director of 22@Barcelona, explained the news in the district.
  • A delegation from Barcelona-Catalonia attended the World Economic Forum, in Teijin.
  • The first session of 22@Staying in Company, which aims to link international university students with companies in Barcelona in order to foster talent, was held.
  • The 22@Creates Talent workshops started up in schools around the district, focusing on 8- to 12-year-olds.
  • The Social Business network moved to22@Barcelona.
  • A delegation from the district will be present at Barcelona Meeting Point.
  • The Festival Inside Barcelona will take place.


Creative Commons licenses were created to facilitate distribution and use of contents, giving the creator a series of choices as to what they allow: quotes, reproductions, derivative work or public use as well as establishing restrictions like no commercial use or recognition of the original creator.

Freesound.org is an initiative that aims to facilitate sounds for artists to use without all the copyright problems.

New methods of social interaction that have been created thanks to the Internet have forced us to find new ways to protect copyrights while allowing for free circulation of work online.


.It.s very interesting to get a look at the current situation in the music world. For artists this is very interesting..

.I think the Web 3.0 concept is very interesting..

.New technology can contribute contents for the web and create even more online content..

.In theory, I though it was good. It was what I expected. It didn.t really seem like enough time to discuss the topic of Creative Commons licenses, the legal side. But I thought the first speaker was really good; he summed up the online world very effectively..

  • Web 3.0 refers to the improvements made to Web 2.0. It evolved out of collaborative use and interaction to become a database where contents are accessible and artificial intelligence technologies, like web semantics, geospatial technology or 3D, are being used more and more.
  • The University of Pompeu Fabra.s Music Technology Group (GTM), as part of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies and the University Audiovisual Institute, specializes in digital technology related to sound and music. It is made up of over 40 researchers from different, complementary fields. The group researches topics like processing and synthesis, description of musical contents, interactive musical systems, computational models of perception and musical cognition, and technology related to music-based social networks.
  • The Word Economic Forum was created in 1971 by Swiss professor Klaus Schwab, who invited top European executives to a meeting in Davos, Switzerland to discuss commercial strategies. Current members or collaborators include: Queen Rania Al Abdalla, Gordon Brown, Benedict XVI, Bill Gates, James Dimon, K.V. Kamath, Henry Kissinger, Indra K. Nooyi, David J O.Reilly, Tony Blair, Barham Salih, Umuru Musa Yar.Adua and John Chamber.

To download Xavier Serra's corporate portfolio, please click here (653 Kb)

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