I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.


Kiruba Shankar

Announcing My Latest Book – ‘Copy Right and Left’

Am glad to announce that my book on Creative Commons titled ‘Copy Right and Left‘ will be launched on July 20th.  You can learn more about the book here http://www.CopyRightandLeft.org .

Creative Commons has been an area of deep interest for me and I totally love the concept and the spirit behind it.  It was a satisfying experience putting together the book. More importantly, this book was an excuse for me to push myself to understand the subject better.

I have always been a fan of small, short books that are easy to read. This book will follow the path and will aim to explain Creative Commons in a fun, easy-to-digest, casual manner.

The entire contents of the book is available online for everyone to read. In-fact, the entire book is written openly on a Wiki. While we were working on the book we would publish each chapter as and when it was finished.  I wanted to make sure that I used the most transparent and most collaborative method to write this book.

The book will also come out as a dead-wood version and will be available for purchase at Rs.99. This is more to cover the printing and distribution cost.

So, how did this book come about? Oh, its a long story. Got the time? 🙂

It was in late 2002 that I had first heard of the term creative commons. Honestly, it hadn’t captured my attention until the middle of 2003, when over a million licensed were issued. That was when I sat up to take notice. I started to read more about it in detail and took a strong liking to it’s concept of promoting creativity through sharing.

I was highly impresses with Lawrence Lessig, the founder of Creative Commons and how just by his sheer conviction was able to make CC into a very respectable organisation. It was the meeting with him and Joi Ito (who later succeeded Lessig as CEO  and is now the Director of MIT Media Lab) at iCommons Summits in 2007 at Dubrovnik, Croatia and in 2008 at Sapporo, Japan that made a lasting impression on me.

Much to my dismay though, a lot of us in India were ignorant about Creative Commons (CC) and it’s advantages. I felt it would be useful to have an easy to read book that explains CC with relevant examples. This was a 4 year wish that finally materialised with this attempt now.

I wanted to walk the talk and use the very concept of Creative Commons in the book writing process.  I’ve generously used many of the contributions from people who have shared their experience and knowledge under the CC license themselves.  Many of the contents of the book are taken from the Creative Commons website itself, particularly encouraged by the staff at Creative Commons headquarters.  We have duly credited everyone whose work has been used in this book.

The book itself is licensed under the most liberal creative commons license. This means that anyone is free to use this book and build on top of it. Anyone can freely distribute it or even use it commercially if they wish (with no obligation to share the revenues).

Its at this time that I should really appreciate the hard work and dedication of 3 of my research colleagues,  Watson Solomon,  Sushmitha and Preethi.  Thank you fellas.

The preparations for the July 20 launch have begun. Will update you with more information on that soon. Meanwhile, please mark your calendars. It would be awesome if you can join in body (preferably!) or spirit!


So, Where Else Have I Been Writing?

(Photo Credit: Daniela Faris)

Another area where I have been active is on iCommons.org website writing about things relating to the spirit of Creative Commons. I’ve not been doing too bad. Amongst all the global writers, I’ve been placed in the Top 5 list, two weeks in a row.

BTW, iCommons.org is a great place to read about the Creative Commons movement across the world. You’ll find some of the most passionate folks who believe in the spirit of sharing.

Hello from Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Busy with the summit. Will let the photos do the talking for now.

The old town is within high walled fortress. The conference is taking place at a 650 year old quarantine.

Ultra modern speed boats docked next to old age buildings.

The adriatic sea is brilliantly turquoish. It’s more salty and hence easier to swim. Check out the folks floating.

Photo taken during the morning coffee break.

Photo courtesy: Joi Ito, Tomislav Medak, Dogwinker

The Nerve Wrecking Visa Experience

How would you feel if you are in this situation.

You are one of the select folks worldwide to be invited to participate in the Creative Commons Summit at Dubrovnik, Croatia.

You receive full scholarship. Your flight, accommodation and food are taken care of.

Your flight leaves tonight, in a few hours time.

And here you are sitting at home, twiddling your thumbs and gnawing you teeth, because your Visa stamped passport hasn’t reached you yet!

Hear my story.

Two weeks ago, I flew to Delhi to apply for my Croatian Visa. The visa interview was a breeze. In fact, it lasted less than 2 minutes. All my papers were perfect : the invitation letter, the flight schedule, my e-tickets, bank balance, my office leave letter, and a very long visa application form with 40 questions duly answered.

Like I said, it took only 2 minutes for the interview. They asked me to pay the fees which I promptly did. And then, the bomb was dropped. It would take anywhere from a week to 20 days for my visa to be processed.


And so, I crossed my fingers hoping the visa would come on time. Days slowly passed by and the anxiety began to grow. Three days ago, I began to lose hope. It was demoralizing losing an opportunity to rub shoulders with the best minds in the world. I tried hard not to show the disappointment.

I began making plans for the week ahead. The best way to forget something is to immerse yourself in other interesting things.

Today afternoon, the courier guy knocked on my door with a packet that I had been envisioning it in my dreams : The passport with the Croatian visa stamped. Tonight is my flight and I receive the visa just hours before.

If there was an expression for joyous relief, you could have clearly caught it in my face.

A huge dollop of appreciation to Tomislav Medak, part of the organizing team at Croatia who tirelessly worked with the immigration authorities to speeden up the process.

It’s going to be an awesome event and I hope to bring back and share the spirit of free Internet.

iCommons Summit 2007

If there was one event that I really wanted to attend, it is the Creative Commons Summit. It’s where some of the world’s best folks who believe in free propagation of knowledge gather. So, it’s a wonderful feeling being invited to the summit on full scholarship.

For those new to the event, here’s a quick synopsis from the iCommons Summit website.

What: A three-day Summit to discuss the importance of a free Internet for free culture, new rules to keep the internet free, how to build free culture communities and the lessons we can learn from pirates.

Who: 300 of the world’s leading intellectuals, authors, lawyers, artists and technologists on the cutting edge of Internet policy.

Where: Dubrovnik, Croatia on the banks of the Adriatic Sea.

When: 15-17 June, 2007