Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I just got an email from TED with a link to this wonderful video by renowned filmmaker, Jesse Dylan who recently made the A Shared Culture video. This new video below is about Compassion. I've written about compassion in the past and I think it is the single most important thing that we need right now. The Charter for Compassion asks everyone to tell their story of compassion. Looks like a great project.

Charter for Compassion

Help us create a Charter for Compassion

People of all nations, all faiths, all backgrounds, are invited to contribute.

By recognizing that the Golden Rule is fundamental to all world religions, the Charter for Compassion can inspire people to think differently about religion. This Charter is being created in a collaborative project by people from all over the world. It will be completed in 2009. Use this site to offer language you'd like to see included. Or inspire others by sharing your own story of compassion.

20081104_Chicago_IL_ElectionNight1032, Barack Obama | CC BY-NC-SA

CC Blog

President Elect Barack Obama CC-Licensed Behind the Scenes Photos on Flickr

President-Elect Barack Obama and his staff have been posting photographs to his Flickr photostream since early 2007. Their most recent set from election night offers an amazing behind the scenes look at a historic point in American history.

All of the photos are released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, making them easily shareable and reusable. You can see more photos from the campaign trail here.

Loic on stage at Maid Cafe

When Loïc was in Tokyo, we were discussing the election. Although Loic was hoping for Obama to win, he thought that McCain was going to win. I felt very strongly that Obama was going to win. We decided to make a bet. The loser would end up becoming a servant to the winner for a day.

Obviously, I won.

I thought about selling Loic on eBay, but I realized that would be too selfish. I'm now considering a twitter account or channel so everyone interested can participate. I still haven't decided the day, but I think I'll choose a day when I'm in the Bay Area so I can document some of this...

Anyway, I'm still open to ideas. Let me know if you think of anything clever.

Congratulations USA. As is everyone else in the whole wide world, I'm so happy for you I could cry. I actually did cry a few times. Having been traveling the a lot recently, it was interesting how all many people were talking about is how we hoped Obama would win.

I think that the financial crisis has triggered a wave of doubt about the US all over the world. In general. I is inevitable that the US going from being a "super-duper power" to just a "super-power". However, as the world was adjusting to this new, more distributed world, we could have ended up in a very anti-American direction, or one where we were working to try to integrate American as a "member" of a more rational and diverse world.

I think the presidency was the key to retaining global respect for the US as we recover from the recent shocks in the market. Although the US will have a lot of work cut out for itself in the coming months and years, I think that having elected Obama, the US will get to start with a clean slate and most people will give the US the benefit of the doubt. I think that this is really a great chance to show the rest of the world how intelligent, humble, diversity-embracing and ready-for-change the US is. Lets work to make the US respectable again and help convince the world that the core values of the US are something worth learning from.

I was quoted in the Washington Post today. The article is behind some sign-up wall, but if you search for "Joichi Ito" at, you can find the article. It's mostly accurate, but I don't think I ever said, "black man". I think I said, "Obama." The journalist kept asking me, "what do you think about a black man taking office..." so I guess he wanted that in the quote. I do think that Obama being black is part of importance of the election, but the fact that Obama is black isn't WHY he is humble, intelligent and great. ;-)

Washington Post

Around the World, Praise for Obama

By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service


"It is almost impossible to overstate the impact of this vote on the rest of the world," said Joichi Ito, a globetrotting Internet entrepreneur and prominent blogger who is based in Tokyo.

"The United States looked closed, stupid, xenophobic and aggressive" under Bush," Ito said. "By electing Obama, it looks open, diversity-embracing, humble and intelligent."

"This vote is the best thing that could have happened to restore American influence," Ito said. "By choosing a black man as president, Americans showed the world they are ready for change."


Thanks to Richard Stallman, everyone at the Free Software Foundation, The Wikimedia Foundation, Creative Commons and the various communities who have worked so hard to get this to happen. This is an extremely important and essential step in uniting Free Culture.

I am so happy. ;-)

UPDATE: See Mike's post on the CC Blog for a more precise explanation of what happened and what needs to happen for everything to be completely complete.

Lessig's Blog

Enormously important news from the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation has released the GNU Free Document License version 1.3. Section 11 of that license now (essentially) permits certain wikis to be relicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (v3.0) license, so long as the relicensing is completed by August 1, 2009. That means, the Wikipedia community now has the choice to relicense Wikipedia under a Creative Commons license. (Here's the FAQ for the amendment.)

It would be hard to overstate the importance of this change to the Free Culture community. A fundamental flaw in the Free Culture Movement to date is that its most important element -- Wikipedia -- is licensed in a way that makes it incompatible with an enormous range of other content in the Free Culture Movement. One solution to this, of course, would be for everything to move to the FDL. But that license was crafted initially for manuals, and there were a number of technical reasons why it would not work well (and in some cases, at all) for certain important kinds of culture.

This change would now permit interoperability among Free Culture projects, just as the dominance of the GNU GPL enables interoperability among Free Software projects. It thus eliminates an unnecessary and unproductive hinderance to the spread and growth of Free Culture.

Richard Stallman deserves enormous credit for enabling this change to occur. There were some who said RMS would never permit Wikipedia to be relicensed, as it is one of the crown jewels in his movement for freedom. And so it is: like the GNU/Linux operation system, which his movement made possible, Wikipedia was made possible by the architecture of freedom the FDL enabled. One could well understand a lesser man finding any number of excuses for blocking the change.

But here's what Richard said in 2002 in a different context:

"If we don't want to live in a jungle, we must change our attitudes. We must start sending the message that a good citizen is one who cooperates when appropriate...."

Add "good citizen" to the list of praise for this founder of contemporary freedom.