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Mapping the Global Commons: A Quantitative Perspective on Free Cultural Practice

Mapping the Global Commons: A Quantitative Perspective on Free Cultural Practice

Giorgos Cheliotis

Tuesday, July 14, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor
RSVP required for those attending in person (
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET.

Where in the world are people using Creative Commons licenses? How much content is licensed under Creative Commons and what are the individual, social and cultural factors that influence adoption? Also, what happens after content is made available for remixing under an open license? What kind of 'cultural flows' emerge from ad-hoc, large-scale remixing activity and how do these vary under different incentives for production? These are the questions I will attempt to sketch an answer for, combining data analysis, visualizations, and individual, qualitative perspectives.

To answer the questions about global Creative Commons adoption I will present some findings from the CC-Monitor project, initiated in Singapore and now in its third year with support from the National University of Singapore, CC, SSRC and the Ford Foundation. Most of the data is derived from the daily execution of a large number of search queries on Yahoo, Google and other search engines over a long period of time. In addition to raw data and visualizations, I will explain how we are trying to set up a wiki-based platform to annotate the data and add local perspectives on CC adoption and perception.

To answer the question regarding what happens after content is published online with a license that allows for reuse, I will present an analysis of content production patterns in the ccMixter online community which is focused on remixing CC-licensed music, either in the context of remixing contests, or in an ad-hoc, user-driven fashion. I will present some visualizations of large-scale remixing activity and show that the introduction of additional extrinsic incentives for production through the organization of contests can boost total output but has only marginal impact on the long-term growth of the community's creative core.

About Giorgos

Giorgos Cheliotis is Assistant Professor of Communications and New Media at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is currently also a visiting researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Before joining NUS, Giorgos was a visiting professor at the School of Information Systems of Singapore Management University, a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and with a new media startup in Switzerland, and a post-doctoral researcher with IBM Research at the Zurich Research Laboratory, where he also worked as a doctoral student, earning a PhD in Telecommunications and Information Systems from his home institution, the National Technical University of Athens. Giorgos has initiated and is leading the CC-Monitor project in collaboration with Creative Commons and with support from the Social Science Research Council and the Ford Foundation. He is an associate fellow of the Center for Asia Pacific Technology Law and Policy (CAPTEL) at Nanyang Technological University and the public lead of Creative Commons Singapore. Giorgos is also editor of the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy and founder of the Free Culture research conference, an annual interdisciplinary event promoting academic dialogue on issues of freedom, sharing and control on the Internet. His work has appeared in several refereed journals, books and international conference proceedings, while he is a frequent speaker on open licensing and new media trends, in public events, on television and in the popular press.


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Past Event
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM