In yesterday’s Personal Tech Q&A section of The New York Times, there was a useful item called Making Use of Public Domain (registration required, although I was able to see the page at first without logging in) that describes a bit about how images that are found online can be used. The article points to a few good sources of public domain images and also mentions Creative Commons-licensed works as a source of legal-to-use material.
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Just because a photo or document is available online does not mean it is automatically in the public domain, so check for copyright notices or a Creative Commons license before grabbing something to reuse. (A Creative Commons license works alongside a copyright and allows writers and artists more flexibility in sharing their creations with the world …)
Over the past year, GOOD has grown from having a primary focus on magazine publishing to being a media mini-empire, with its hand in videos, blogging, event production, and a variety of other activities, both online and off. The company’s cornerstone project, GOOD magazine, is still going strong – and is published under a Creative Commons license (BY-NC-ND).
One of my favorite elements of the magazine is its design, which is managed by creative director Casey Caplowe, who spoke recently at CC Salon LA about the advantages of using an open approach to creating and distributing content. The greatness of the magazine’s design is typified by a recurring feature called the GOOD Sheet, which presents large volumes of information in useful and beautiful graphical formats. The most recent GOOD Sheet is a collaboration with designer Atley Kasky called “The First 100 Days” and offers a sampling of decisions made by various US presidents in their first months in office.
Update (12/03/08): The GOOD Sheet came out of a relationship between GOOD and Starbucks, in which the latter agreed to distribute free weekly newsprint copies of the GOOD Sheet in its stores for eleven weeks. This means that for the eleven weeks prior to the US presidential election, Creative Commons-licensed media was being given away for free to hundreds of thousands of people in Starbucks stores. Pretty cool. This New York Times article describes the deal.No Comments »
Aviary‘s mission is to “make the world’s creation accessible.” So it makes sense that they’ve baked Creative Commons licensing into their platform of live image editing applications. The site has launched with three distinct tools (with more to come) that help artists create and share fantastic images with the eventual intention of creating a new kind of market place to encourage commercial licensing of their CC licensed work through our new CC+ protocol. Aviary supports both our Attribution and Attribution-NonCommercial license.
One other feature that is unprecedented about Aviary is the ability to load other creator’s work directly into a new work, thus allowing for radically efficient in-platform remixing of content. Just think of what could happen if YouTube offered in-browser remix functionality for other people’s videos.No Comments »
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.1 Comment »
Pop star Gwen Stefani and her husband, rocker Gavin Rossdale recently welcomed a baby, Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale, into the world. Many celebrities contract with a magazine to arrange an exclusive photo session that debuts mother with newborn. But Stefani and Rossdale took a different approach and hired their own photographer and put the photo online for the public under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, along with some additional terms that allow all print magazines, newspapers, and blogs to use the photo – even commercially, with some restrictions. You can download a high-res version of the photo (and check out the additional terms the photo is available under) at Stefani’s site.2 Comments »
Ryan Cartwright, creator of webcomic The Bizarre Cathedral, recently posted an insightful and thought-provoking piece on why he uses a CC BY-NC-SA license on all Bizarre Cathedral comics. From Cartwright:
[B]y restricting some freedom in distribution, it protects greater freedoms for the end-users. This is why I chose CC-BY-NC-SA for the Bizarre Cathedral.
- BY because I want people who receive one cartoon to be able to enjoy the rest here at FSM.
- SA because I want everyone to enjoy the same access to the strips
- NC because I want people to enjoy these at no cost. I am paid for creating them, so I want them to be enjoyed at no cost.
Cartwright wrote the piece in response to criticism centered around the argument that his license choice (CC BY-NC-SA) was “non-free.” We’re always interested in this sort of dialogue, so insight like this – as well as insight from those critical of our licenses – is invaluable.1 Comment »
The Geograph British Isles project, which aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometer of Great Britain and Ireland, announced today that they have recieved their 1 millionth image submission. All images are licensed under a CC BY-SA license, meaning the images can be shared and reused as long as the author(s) are properly attributed and any derivative works are shared under the same license.
Just three months ago, we were praising the GBI project’s effort to release torrents of their image database, which then totaled 860,000 images. Congrats to the GBI project on this huge milestone – read more about their project here, including their well articulated points on the benefits of remaining free and open.1 Comment »
flickrleech is a great tool for those looking to search a large number of flickr photos at once – by utilizing Flickr’s API, flickrleech is able to display 200 images per page rather than the standard 10. As pointed out by Alvin Trusty, it simply “makes scanning for a picture much quicker.”
While flickrleech has been around for a while, a new update has added the ability to search for photos by CC license. For those who scour Flickr searching for the perfect CC-licensed image, this functionality should mean less time spent searching and an immediately wider selection to choose from. Check it out for yourself here.1 Comment »
Zemanta is an online platform for finding and adding “relevant images, smart links, keywords and text” to blog postings. Available in numerous incarnations (Firefox add-on, WordPress Plugin, etc.), Zemanta queries the text of a blog post against their own “proprietary natural language processing and semantic algorithms” to formulate media recommendations.
Images are pooled from Wikimedia Commons, Flickr and various stock photo providers – as a result, a large number of the photos are CC-licensed. The Zemanta interface displays what license a photo is released under before it is added to the post, making it clear to bloggers what permissions are allowed. You can read more about what Zemanta does here – it is a simple and efficient way to add rich media to blog posts and best of all, its free.1 Comment »
Last year you probably saw a video demo of Photosynth at TED, and forwarded and/or were forwarded the video many times (the video is even licensed under CC BY-NC-ND, like all TED videos). Lots of people forwarded it to me anyway — I apparently do something with computers :) and Photosynth is computer technology anyone can immediately connect with — it “synths” or stitches together collections of photos, creating a model one can navigate as if one were “there” — the demo video includes an incredible model of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, created from many normal photos.
Obviously this technology creates a whole new way to relate to photography, one that treats photos more as data that contributes to a model than as individual creative works. How should such ‘data’ and works rendered from the same be restricted? No doubt such questions will become increasingly relevant — Photosynth hints at futuristic new mediums and interfaces that massive and expected increases in storage, compute power, and sensor ubiquity will bring.
Photosynth opened to the public late last month, and it is great that Microsoft chose to encourage synthers to release their work under a CC license (see screenshot at end of this post). ReadWriteWeb and the Seattle Times were two of many publications to note the Creative Commons feature in Photosynth.
Below is a screenshot of my first attempted synth, composed of 98 photos taken from the windows of the CC office in San Francisco. Although one could do better with more experience or simply more photos, a screenshot really doesn’t do justice at all to this or any synth — click on the image to navigate around. Unfortunately this currently requires a plugin only available on Windows XP or Vista.
For anyone who wants to create a bigger or better synth, I’ve uploaded the original 98 photos to the Internet Archive and placed them in the public domain.
A completely different part of Microsoft has also just announced CC licensing — the Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0, an IT guidebook and worksheet, is now released under CC BY. The MOF blog has a nice rationale:
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One of the first things people realize when looking at implementing a service management framework, whether it is ITIL, MOF, or another, is that they must not only be adopted but also adapted to your individual organization’s needs. You have to decide which of the described processes are relevant to your requirements and to what depth to apply them. this is true whether you are a consultant trying to make a living assisting others in their implementations, or a IT Manager trying to decide how improve upon your organization’s existing change control.
MOF 4.0 now fully supports this need for flexibility and the ability to remix, adapt, and shuffle the content with the adoption of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. This license allows you to freely Share (copy, distribute, or transmit) any of the MOF content and Remix (adapt) that content to suit your needs. For a full legal explanation of the terms of the license, please refer to the Creative Commons website.