In today's world, the proper governance of intellectual property rights is of paramount importance. Satisfying the interests of both creators of properties of intellectual nature as well as that of the public’s is a sensitive undertaking. Mainly because, intellectual property rights granted by statutes over these works affect access to variety of social and economic needs. This is particularly so in developing countries where access to knowledge, information, education, medicine and other relevant socio-economic needs are usually hampered by lack of financial means. The socio-economic impact of legal barriers to access to knowledge (A2K), which is the focus of this event, is highly noticeable in many countries of the developing and least developed world.
Among the many global initiatives working on A2K and intellectual property rights, particularly that of copyright law, Creative Commons (CC), a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools, is a major and ever growing one. CC functions through different affiliates in various jurisdictions worldwide. Likewise, in Ethiopia, a group of volunteers, with diverse backgrounds, are working together towards the better application of CC licenses in the process of access to knowledge and information in the country.