Centre for Internet & Society
Ten Telugu Books Re-released Under CC-BY-SA 3.0 License

Chief Guest Prabodhananda addressing the gathering (by Rahmanuddin Shaik, CC-BY-SA 3.0 License)

For the first time in the history of Indian books, 10 Telugu books by a single author were released under Creative Commons license (CC-BY-SA 3.0) on June 22, 2014 at 10 a.m. at Golden Threshold, Abids, Hyderabad.

The event was organised by the Centre for Internet and Society's Access to Knowledge (CIS-A2K) team.

CIS-A2K has collaborated with Telugu Wikipedians in convincing Indu Gnaana Vedika to re-release 10 of their books under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license which is compatible with Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Unlike the predominant digitization efforts (which only makes scanned images available), these books will be uploaded on Telugu Wikisource (www.te.wikisource.org) and converted into Unicode (searchable) text. This will ensure that these books are freely read, both online and offline in various formats like PDF, epub, mobi, text, etc. This is a major milestone initiative by CIS-A2K to make the sum of all knowledge in Telugu freely available to all Telugus over the internet and is part of its Telugu language area plan.

Telugu Wikipedia has been in existence for 10 years and has 57000 articles on various topics. Telugu Wikisource is one of the sister projects of Wikipedia which has more than 9600 pages and 100 books, it is the largest online Unicode book library available today at the service of Telugu people.

The Programme

The event started with invocation by Indu Gnaana Vedika followed by introduction of Chief Guest and Guest of Honour.

The patron of Indu Gnaana Vedika, Sri Sri Sri Prabodhananda Yogeeswarulu presided over as the chief guest and N Rahamthulla, long time wikipedian and Special collector, Srisailam project, Kurnool was the guest of honour.

Addressing the gathering, Prabodhananda emphasised on the importance of availability of knowledge in ones own mother language, and also why knowledge should not be confined to books alone, but should be brought onto various platforms, internet being one among them. This would not only ensure wider reach for the books, but also enable the language to survive in the fast changing era.

Then, a video interview of guest of honour, Rahamthulla was played, where he spoke about creation of new technical jargon in ones own mother language and how Telugu was being used as administrative language in his office among his subordinates.

Rahamthulla also spoke on the practices he brought into in his own office to adopt mother language at work and gave out suggestions that would effectively help all in adoption of mother language at work places with Telugu as an example.

This was followed by Veeven’s talk on “End-User’s perspective of free licenses”, where he spoke about importance of open content, free software and free licenses.

Then, program director of CIS-A2K, T. Vishnu Vardhan spoke about the importance of creative commons licenses in the context of Indian languages in Internet. In his speech, Vishnu informed that there is enormous literature and content available in Indian languages which is unusable because of ignorance of licenses. He listed out guidelines that would help writers to have their work reach millions through releasing it under a free license.

Then, in a formal manner, the copyright holder of the books signed on the documents, specifying that the books are released under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. In the tea break that followed, participants enquired experts on free licenses.

Signed Agreement

Above: Prabodhananda handing over the signed agreement to Vishnu Vardhan (by Rahmanuddin Shaik, CC-BY-SA 3.0 License)

A Wikisource demonstration by Rahmanuddin Shaik was shown followed by Q & A session.

Then there was a panel discussion on “CC licenses” which saw participation from one each of a free license expert, writer and end user. This brought in awareness and more deeper thought into bringing in more literature in Telugu into CC licenses.

An outcome of the event was:

  1. N Rahamthulla promised to re-release his books under CC license.
  2. Mandali Buddhaprasad, Deputy Speaker, Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly, gave permission to release 4 of his books under CC license.
  3. Several other writers have come forward to re-release their books under free licenses.

Given below is the certificate signed by Sri Sri Sri Acharya Yogeeshwarulu giving permission to publish his works under CC-BY-SA 3.0 License:

Certificate CC-BY-3.0 License

For additional details of the event, click here.

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