Before working for Creative Commons full time, I was a student activist in the Students for Free Culture movement. I’m still on the board of the organization (though this will change shortly as I am not seeking reelection in the upcoming board race), and I helped work on the Free Culture Conference 2008 at Berkeley. The Free Culture @ Berkeley team did a smash-up job of running the conference and recording all of the video for archival purposes and now all the videos are available online.
There are some really fantastic talks in here, including a keynote interview with John Lily Mozilla, Anthony Falzone on Fair Use, and many more. Check out the blip.tv channel here and download all the Attribution licensed videos.
We also commissioned a design for free culture t-shirts from Patrick Moberg. We are now retailing them through a modest PayPal storefront here for $20 + S/H, and all proceeds will go to help Students for Free Culture grow. The shirt designs are CC licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike, so feel free to download the files and make your own!Comments Off
For Digg.com‘s fourth Digg Dialogg, Kevin Rose interviews NIN’s front man Trent Reznor with questions submitted by the Digg community. Not surprisingly, the top rated question refers to NIN’s choice to use Creative Commons licenses when releasing his two recent albums. One of those albums, Ghosts I-IV, topped Amazon MP3 as the best selling album of 2008.
NIN’s experiments in music publishing were not accidents. In the interview, the soft-spoken Reznor carefully articulates the reasoning for his new forays as well as his advice for up-and-coming artists. NIN has a huge fan base and a lot at stake here; these are not academic rants with no practical interests at stake, but rather the actual beliefs of a working, career musician whose career depends on their success. If you watch one interview about the future of music, this should be it.Comments Off
CC Malaysia Board Member Muid Latif writes to us about his team’s recent press coverage and community outreach. For one, The Star, the largest newspaper in circulation in Malaysia, interviewed CC MY in an extensive article “Creative Commons movement steps up”. It features, among others, the team’s proud achievement “Here in my home”, a CC-licensed video shot last year in Kuala Lampur with Malaysian Artistes For Unity.
“Given the ‘viral’ nature of the project, it was important that we legalised free downloads and subsequent dissemination of the song and video,” [the song's composer Pete Teo] said.
“CC allowed us to do this without going to lawyers and drafting expensive and verbose traditional licences, every time someone wanted permission to use the song or video in their projects,” said Teo.
Fifty two people were involved in the project, including filmmakers, dancers, singers, producers, musicians, actors, entrepreneurs, designers, footballers, activists, celebrities and students.
CC Malaysia has also been busy putting on a workshop during the Kuala Lumpur Design Week to teach artists how to find, use, and create CC-licensed works. The team curates a Flickr group, called MyCC, which hosts monthly “Best CC Work” contests and other meet-ups.
Once again the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase has selected great creative works to include in the latest version of Ubuntu, this version due out in April. As with the previous Show Case, all of the winning entries will be bundled with the Ubuntu release and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. This time, however, there were three categories, so three winners. The categories are: Audio, Video, and Image.
Taking the video category is Robbie Ferguson for his video “Spirit of Ubuntu” (ogg video). Robbie hosts the Category 5 Technology TV show which is a live question and answer style show. His entry is a discussion of the Ubuntu community and what it means.
The winning image is a photograph by William J McKee Jr titled “Canadian Clouds” that was taken soon after crossing the boarder into Canada from New York State.
Amazing works from all 3 winners (for more information on the winners, see the official announcement), and the group of submissions (still available on the submission site, but only temporarily) was of great quality!
Be sure to remember that this contest will happen for each new Ubuntu release, which is every 6 months. So, get those submissions ready for the Free Culture Showcase for Ubuntu 9.10 released in October of this year!Comments Off
RiP: A Remix Manifesto, a community-driven documentary that focuses on copyright and remix culture (covered earlier here and here) is just beginning to creep out into theaters, having its U.S. premier last week at SXSW. While the film largely focuses on the story of Greg Gillis (Girl Talk) it includes interviews with a wide variety of figures, including both Lawrence Lessig and Cory Doctorow.
Perhaps most interesting is that the filmmakers have teamed up with open source video platform Kaltura (early coverage here) enabling anyone with a computer to remix the film only at opersourcecinema.org. All the footage of the film is released under a CC BY-NC license.Comments Off
Two Fists One Heart is a new family drama film from Australia, centered on the story of a young boxer. The film was released widely yesterday in theaters across Australia and to help promote the film, the producers have created a stand-alone site, Cut Your Own Scene, where fans can download rushes of the film for free under a CC BY license. This means that footage from the film can be put to any use as long as the source is acknowledged and there is a link back to the official movie page.
“It’s not often you get the ear of major film players and personally I have always thought creative commons is an underutilized concept in the film industry. I see this as an opportunity to prove in some way that the web and it’s culture of sharing and share-alike is a good thing for creative industries
the producer mentioned that they had a lot of great footage they weren’t able to use in the film – more than usual – and I suggested to him we not let it be wasted and we release it for anyone to mashup and play with. To me, the thought of footage being wasted and unused when someone could make something really creative with it was a real shame. There are so many people out there cutting great videos and posting them on YouTube, but the biggest barrier is often having the footage to play with. This way we could give them something to use – and the footage is what professional editors deal with – and promote the film at the same time – it was a win-win.”
As further incentive to use the footage, the five best scenes will be posted on the Two Fists One Heart promotional site. These scenes will be selected by Bill Russo, head of Editing at the AFTRS and the creative team from Two Fists One Heart. Russo will also personally give the winners editing advice in regards to both their specific clips and their careers in general.Comments Off
The third beta of the next version of the Firefox web browser is now available for download. For the approximately half of you reading this in a Firefox browser, the next version of Firefox will be (because the beta already is) much faster and more awesome all around (and will be released as version 3.5 to denote the significance of improvements over Firefox 3). You can help ensure the release is even better by using the beta. For the rest of you — now is a good time to get with the program.
Perhaps the most exciting feature in the future Firefox 3.5 for the commons is built-in support for the new
<video> tags and open audio and video codecs. Admittedly it isn’t easy to explain why open multimedia formats are so important for the open web — they are infrastructure, lowering a number of costs and enabling interoperability for everyone — so the benefits of widespread adoption of open formats (and opportunity costs of their lack) is systemic and largely invisible. We’re pretty comfortable with making such an argument and appreciate the challenges of doing so — though there are many concrete use cases enabled by Creative Commons licensing, we know those are the tip of the iceberg.
We’ve linked a few times to explanations of why open formats in particular are important, and back in 2004 a rant on fixing web multimedia by making audio and video on the web addressable like other items published on the web instead of opaque, which is essentially what the new tags and open formats drive at.
You can also see a few times over the past year where we’ve snuck
<video> tags into blog posts for the entertainment of people on the cutting edge running Firefox 3.1 alpha and earlier betas at the time.
Talented animator, writer and producer Nina Paley has freely released her animated film, Sita Sings the Blues under our copyleft license, Attribution-ShareAlike. Copies of Paley’s feature length film are available on Archive.org, LegalTorrents, and various other sites in many different formats. Nina explains her decision to her audience on the film’s site:
I hereby give Sita Sings the Blues to you. Like all culture, it belongs to you already, but I am making it explicit with a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. Please distribute, copy, share, archive, and show Sita Sings the Blues. From the shared culture it came, and back into the shared culture it goes.
You don’t need my permission to copy, share, publish, archive, show, sell, broadcast, or remix Sita Sings the Blues. Conventional wisdom urges me to demand payment for every use of the film, but then how would people without money get to see it? How widely would the film be disseminated if it were limited by permission and fees? Control offers a false sense of security. The only real security I have is trusting you, trusting culture, and trusting freedom. …
Nina’s film retells the classic Indian myth Ramayana and has already received critical acclaim from the NYTimes, Rogert Ebert who gave it two thumbs up, and many others. On March 7th, it was broadcast on PBS/WNET and is now available streaming on thirteen.org.Comments Off
Today, Uncensored Interview, a video producer and licensor of musician interviews, is releasing thousands of videos from its interview footage archive under our most permissive license, Attribution also known as CC-BY. Previously, Uncensored Interview’s library consisted of premium content available for commercial licensing, but now includes videos available via download in Ogg Theora, a free and open video compression format. Under CC-BY, users of the content are only required to give attribution to Uncensored Interview as the content source. The site is also creatively using our CC+ protocol to help users purchase permissions outside the scope of the Attribution license, such as the right to use the video unaccredited or for endorsement of a commercial product.
Below, find an example* of one of the more than a thousand CC-licensed videos you’ll find on the site where electronic musician Matthew Dear discusses his thoughts on file sharing:
You can find all of the Creative Commons licensed videos (with more to come) in the Creative Commons section of the Uncensored Interview site or subscribe to the feed of videos here.
* You may have noticed that we’re featuring video in this blog post. If you take a look at the source, we’re using the <video> tag in HTML 5 to point to Uncensored Interview’s Ogg Theora file. If you’re running Firefox 3.1 (currently in beta) then you’ll be able to watch the video in the browser’s native media player without using proprietary software. If your browser doesn’t have Ogg Theora support then the embed will default to UI’s Adobe Flash player.1 Comment »
The Commons Video is a 3 minute 46 second animation (licensed under CC BY) from On The Commons and The New Press making the case for an expansive conception of “The Commons” as a means to achieve a society of justice and equality. From the video’s description:
In a just world, the idea of wealth–be it money derived from the work of human hands, the resources and natural splendor of the planet itself–and the knowledge handed down through generations belongs to all of us. But in our decidedly unjust and imperfect world, our collective wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. There is be a better way–the notion of the commons–common land, resources, knowledge–is a common-sense way to share our natural, cultural, intellectual riches.
A good portion of the video from the captured point above (1:53) on concerns intellectual commons, based on the writing of David Bollier and others. Bollier is author of Viral Spiral, a history of CC and related movements (previously blogged).
Some readers will find the expansive and social justice oriented conception of commons described by the video compelling. Others will find the argument that tangible goods thought of as commons confuses the unique case in favor of a commons of intellectual goods, given the latter’s non-rival nature. But such confusion is often willful, certainly not informed by subtle and historical arguments about the nature of commons.
Agree or disagree with the perspective presented in The Commons Video, it’s a useful reminder that lessons concerning the management of real and intangible goods don’t always flow in the direction or say what one might expect.
For more on the expansive commons point of view, watch for an extended featured commoner interview with Bollier soon.Comments Off