Creative Commons in Jordan Rami Olwan Former project leader of CC Jordan PhD Student at QUT Faculty of Law


- Where is Jordan located? - When did Jordan CC Begin? - What did CC Jordan do? - What are the problems of CC in Jordan? - What are Arab Commons? - What does the future look like?

Where is Jordan located?
Jordan, “is a country in the ‘Middle East’ in Southwest Asia bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq, to the north-east, Israel and the West Bank to the west, and Saudi Arabia to the east and south. It shares the coastlines of the Dead Sea, and the Gulf of Aqaba with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt”.


When did CC Jordan Begin?
- Creative Commons (CC) has been working with Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP) since March 2004 to port the CC license into the Jordanian copyright and civil law system. - AGIP was the first organization from the Middle East to bring CC to this region of the world.


What did CC Jordan Do?
- We translated the license into Arabic and we had to make it fully compatible with the Jordanian legal system. - The drafting process was hard since it was difficult to find corresponding and appropriate legal and technological terminology in Arabic. - There was no pre-existing Arabic CC license. We have relied heavily on the French CC license. - We are helping two UK artists (Eileen Simpson and Ben White) to sample old Jordanian films and musical works to produce new work. - Now CC Jordan is working on version 3 of Jordanian CC Licence.

The Problems of CC License in Jordan
-Cultural differences. -General public are not aware of CC the movement and its importance. -Few Jordanian lawyers have significant knowledge in copyright laws. -English language is still an obstacle for many Jordanians.

Limited internet use in Jordan.

- Few creators are keen on publishing their work under CC licenses, they are suspicious of using an American concept.

What Are Arab Commons?
-Arab Commons ( is a an initiative that aims to educate Arab artists, intellectuals and creative workers about the advantages of releasing their works under CC. - As of December 2007, the initiative contains: 11 full text books; 7 poetry books; 46 art works; 1 magazine; 1 podcast; and 11 articles.

What does the future look like?
Although the concept of CC licensing in the Arab World is not as developed as in many CC jurisdictions, there are opportunities to further promote CC by: - Conducting awareness campaigns on a wide level throughout the Arab World. - Examining Arab copyright laws and introducing exceptions and limitations where necessary (anti-circumvention, compulsory licensing for language translations, utilizing the whole work for teaching). - Conducting research work on the potential of CC in the Arab World, their applicability and enforceability. - The introduction of CC training in Arab law schools and universities.

- Jordan’s CC page at - Wikpedia’s page on Jordan at - Map of Jordan available at - Taylor Luck, ‘Artists advocate for establishment of creative commons’, the Jordan Times, available at - Arab Commons at - Copyright and Access to Knowledge, available at ations/copyright_20060602/copyright_access.pdf

- Creative Commons Australia at

Thank you