The Helsinki Institute for Information Technology Will Drive Public Discussion from the Silicon Valley Nonprofit’s Website
Palo Alto, California, USA – Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to building a layer of reasonable copyright, announced today that it would begin development of Finnish versions of its copyright licenses as part of its ongoing International Commons (iCommons) project. The Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT), an authority on law and technology in Finland, will lead the effort.
Announced in March 2003, iCommons is Creative Commons’ project to make its machine-readable copyright licenses useful worldwide.
“With iCommons, we are building a system for promoting creativity across borders,” said Lawrence Lessig, Chairman of Creative Commons and professor of law at Stanford. “If you imagine different countries as legal operating systems,’ iCommons will port our licenses for use across the world.”
As project lead, HIIT will coordinate a public effort to literally and legally translate Creative Commons’ licenses for use in Finland. HIIT will field public comments on an archived email discussion at the Creative Commons website, http://www.creativecommons.org/discuss#finland.
“HIIT is enthusiastic to host iCommons in Finland,” said Martti Mäntylä, research director of HIIT and a professor at Helsinki University of Technology. “Creative Commons could do the same for the entertainment and publishing industries that free software and open source did for the software business.”
Christiane Asschenfeldt, the iCommons Coordinator at Creative Commons, commented: “It is great to get the iCommons drafting process underway with a project lead of HIIT’s experience and expertise. Finland will set an excellent precedent for many other iCommons countries, which in the near future will include Brazil, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.”
“Finnish copyright law doesn’t differ much from the U.S. system,” said HIIT project lead Herkko Hietanen. “But by translating the licenses to Finnish, we’ll make it even easier for Finnish artists and authors to adopt Creative Commons licenses and share their works with the world.”
More about Creative Commons
A nonprofit corporation, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual works whether owned or public domain. It is sustained by the generous support of The Center for the Public Domain and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Creative Commons is based at Stanford Law School, where it shares staff, space, and inspiration with the school’s Center for Internet and Society.
For general information, visit http://creativecommons.org.
For more information about iCommons, see
More about HIIT
Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, founded in 1999, is a joint research institute of the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology. HIIT represents high expertise both in computer science and law and has close institutional bonds with academic legal science, law-courts, and The Finnish Bar Association.
HIIT conducts internationally high-level strategic research in information technology, especially in areas where Finnish IT industry has or may reach a significant global role. HIIT works in close co-operation with universities and industry, aiming to improve the contents, visibility, and impact of Finnish IT research to benefit the competitiveness of Finnish IT industry and the development of the Finnish information society.
For more information about HIIT, visit http://hiit.fi.
Christiane Asschenfeldt (Berlin)
iCommons Coordinator, Creative Commons
christiane -AT- creativecommons.org
Herkko Hietanen (Helsinki)
Helsinki Institute for Information Technology
herkko.hietanen -AT- hiit.fi
Glenn Otis Brown Executive Director (Palo Alto)
glenn -AT- creativecommons.org
The Silicon Valley Nonprofit Also Rolls Out New Model for Community
Palo Alto, California, USA – May 29, 2003 – Creative Commons, a nonprofit
dedicated to building a layer of reasonable copyright, announced today
that it would begin development of the Sampling License, a copyright tool
designed to let artists encourage the creative transformation of their
work, for profit or otherwise. Leading the public discussion and
development of the license is Negativland, practitioners of “found sound”
music as well as other forms of media manipulation.
Glenn Otis Brown, Creative Commons Executive Director, commented: “The
Sampling License is among the most exciting projects we’ve taken on so
far. The technology and culture of the Net already facilitate the
remixing of culture. The law does not, so we’re helping it catch up by
remixing copyright itself.”
When completed, the Sampling License will allow people to create collage
art and “mash-ups” – as well as other art forms based on re-used
materials – from licensed works. Like all of Creative Commons copyright
tools, the Sampling License will be made available for free to the public
from the organization’s website.
“There’s a crucial difference between bootlegging another’s work and the
creative transformation of it.” Negativland said. “Collage is a technique
that has an undisputed currency in virtually all art forms today.
Originally, copyright was designed to prohibit the piracy or bootlegging
of complete works; that was and remains a worthy goal. But copyright is
now also routinely used to prohibit collage, as if it were no different
from outright piracy. With Creative Commons, we’re trying to build a
license that will allow copyright holders to invite transformation of
their works – even for money – while preventing this sort of verbatim
Negativland is Creative Commons’ first Project Lead, a role central to
the organization’s new community development model. As Creative Commons
identifies new projects, Project Leads will drive public discussion from
the Creative Commons website.
“Creative Commons is a public laboratory for new ideas,” said Lawrence
Lessig, Chairman of Creative Commons and professor of law at Stanford.
“By having real-life practitioners like Negativland lead volunteer
discussion groups, we’ve come up with a nice way to build on the great
ideas among our supporters.”
Creative Commons will soon announce new Project Leads for an Education
License, a Developing Nations License, and others. The nonprofit plans to
extend the Project Leads model into technological developments as well.
More about Creative Commons
A nonprofit corporation, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of
intellectual works – whether owned or public domain. It is sustained by
the generous support of The Center for the Public Domain and the John D.
and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Creative Commons is based at
Stanford Law School, where it shares staff, space, and inspiration with
the school’s Center for Internet and Society.
For general information, visit http://creativecommons.org.
To follow the progress of the Sampling License discussion group, visit
The experimental music and art collective known as Negativland has been
recording music/audio/collage works since 1979, producing a weekly 3-hour
radio show (“Over The Edge”) since 1981, hosting a World Wide Web site
since 1995, and performing live on occasional tours throughout America
and Europe. They have released 15 CDs, one video and one book (Fair Use:
The Story Of The Letter U And The Numeral 2) since 1980.
Negativland’s particular musical practice incorporates found sounds and
musical samples into their collage compositions. This contemporary
interest in collage (a hallmark of 20th Century art of all kinds) stems
in part from fact that art and commerce have now merged to a degree where
corporations finance, groom, direct, filter, manufacture and distribute
almost everything we know of as “culture.” This inevitably uncomfortable
partnership of art and commerce to produce “mass culture” means that art
is no longer an independent creation. It is now instigated, owned,
operated, and promoted by administrators, subsumed by demographic
targeting, and subjected to economically inspired “guidelines” for
For more information, visit http://negativland.com.
More about the Project Leads model at http://creativecommons.org/discuss.
Glenn Otis Brown
Executive Director (Palo Alto)
glenn AT creativecommons.org
dj AT webbnet.com
markhosler AT charter.net
Austin and Palo Alto, USA — March 11, 2003 — Davis Guggenheim, a celebrated director and producer of both documentary and dramatic film and television, joined the board of directors of Creative Commons this week.
“Davis brings a unique and invaluable perspective to our team,” said Lawrence Lessig, Chairman of Creative Commons and Professor of Law at Stanford.
“His is that rare combination of creative talent: critically acclaimed, commercially successful, and public-minded.”
Lessig announced Guggenheim’s joining Creative Commons during a standing-room-only keynote address at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas this week.
Guggenheim joins a board of directors that includes cyberlaw and intellectual property experts James Boyle, Michael Carroll, Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, and Lawrence Lessig, MIT computer science professor Hal Abelson, lawyer-turned-documentary filmmaker-turned-cyberlaw expert Eric Saltzman, and public domain Web publisher Eric Eldred.
More about Davis Guggenheim
In 1999, Guggenheim undertook an ambitious project documenting the challenging first year of several novice public school teachers. Two films resulted from this intensive immersion in the Los Angeles public school system: The First Year and Teach. Both films sought to address the tremendous need for qualified teachers in California and nationwide and to create awareness of this crisis — as well as to inspire a new generation to become teachers. In 2002, Davis received a Peabody Award for The First Year.
Guggenheim was an Executive Producer on Training Day and directed a feature film called Gossip, both for Warner Bros. His television directing credits include recently completed episodes of “The Shield,” “Alias,” and “24″ as well as such critically acclaimed programs as “NYPD Blue,” “ER,” and “Party of Five.” He is currently producer and director of the upcoming HBO series “Deadwood.”
Guggenheim’s other documentary films include Norton Simon: A Man and His Art, produced for permanent exhibition at the Norton Simon Museum, and JFK and the Imprisoned Child, produced for permanent exhibition at the John F. Kennedy Library. Guggenheim wrote and edited many films with his father, four-time Academy Award winner Charles Guggenheim. Davis graduated from Brown University in 1986.
More about Creative Commons
A non-profit corporation, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual works — whether owned or public domain. It is sustained by the generous support of The Center for the Public Domain and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Creative Commons is based at Stanford Law School, where it shares staff, space, and inspiration with the school’s Center for Internet and Society. For more information, visit http://creativecommons.org.
Glenn Otis Brown
Executive Director (Palo Alto)
glenn AT creativecommons.org
Assistant Director (Palo Alto)
neeru AT creativecommons.org
Stanford-based nonprofit also opens doors of Founders’ Copyright submission process
Santa Clara, California, USA – April 23, 2003 Creative Commons announced today the release of several hundred titles under its Founders’ Copyright. The Silicon Valley nonprofit also opened the Founders’ Copyright submission process to the public via its website.
With the Founders’ Copyright, Creative Commons has created a legal mechanism that copyright holders can use to release their works under generous terms terms that reflect the wisdom and sense of balance of the country’s early lawmakers.
In 1790, the first U.S. copyright law granted authors a monopoly right over their creations for 14 years, with the option of renewing that monopoly for another 14 years. Today, in the U.S. and many other countries, that right lasts 70 years after the creator’s death.
“Like other Creative Commons projects, the Founders’ Copyright is appealing for both pragmatic and symbolic reasons,” said Tim O’Reilly, Chairman and CEO of technical publishers O’Reilly and Associates. “It lets publishers like us free up great books after they’ve lost profitability. And it lets us cast a virtual vote for a more reasonable, moderate form of copyright.”
The first wave of Founders’ Copyright releases includes the following adopters:
O’Reilly, the first Founders’ Copyright adopter, will release 157 out-of-print volumes under a Creative Commons attribution license and 394 in-print titles under a Founders’ Copyright arrangement, pending author approval. The Creative Commons website will list the books in question and announce their availability as their Founders’ Copyright terms lapse. See http://creativecommons.org/projects/founderscopyright/oreilly for the full list.
Dan Gillmor, widely read technology pundit and columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, will release his forthcoming book under the Founders’ Copyright.
Andy Kessler, Wall Street veteran and frequent Wall Street Journal
contributor, will release his celebrated book Wall Street Meat: Jack
Grubman, Franke Quattrone, Mary Meeker, Henry Blodget and Me
under the Founders’ Copyright.
“We are excited to help realize an idea that Tim O’Reilly began,” said
Lawrence Lessig, chairman of Creative Commons and professor of law at Stanford. “By releasing hundreds of titles under a short copyright term, O’Reilly has demonstrated that even commercial publishers recognize the drawbacks of unlimited copyright.”
Creative Commons also announced today the opening of its Founders’ Copyright submission process to the public. Rather than registering with the U.S. Copyright office for a copyright term that will exceed their lifetimes by 70 years, creators can opt for a 14- or 28-year term with Creative Commons. Using a simple web form, authors can submit their works for consideration for release under the Founders’ Copyright.
More About the Founders’ Copyright: How It Works
Creative Commons and a contributor will enter into a contract to guarantee that a particular work will enter the public domain after 14 years, with an option to extend for another 14. To re-create the functionality of a 14- (or 28-) year copyright, the contributor will sell the copyright to Creative Commons for $1.00, at which point Creative Commons will give the contributor an exclusive license to the work for 14 (or 28) years. During this period, Creative Commons will list all works under the Founders’ Copyright in an online registry, along with the projected public domain liberation date.
More about Creative Commons
A non-profit corporation, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual works whether owned or public domain. It is sustained by the generous support of The Center for the Public Domain and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Creative Commons is based at Stanford Law School, where it shares staff, space, and inspiration with the school’s Center for Internet and Society.
For more information: http://creativecommons.org
Glenn Otis Brown
O’Reilly & Associates
1.800.998.9938 x 7109 (tel)
San Jose Mercury News
Author, Wall Street Meat: Jack Grubman, Franke Quattrone,
Mary Meeker, Henry Blodget and Me
San Francisco, CA — Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the creative reuse of intellectual works, launched its first product today: its machine-readable copyright licenses, available free of charge from creativecommons.org. The licenses allow copyright holders to easily inform others that their works are free for copying and other uses under specific conditions. These self-help tools offer new ways to distribute creative works on generous terms — from copyright to the public domain — and are available free of charge.
“People want to bridge the public domain with the realm of private copyrights,” said Stanford Law Professor and Creative Commons Chairman Lawrence Lessig. “Our licenses build upon their creativity, taking the power of digital rights description to a new level. They deliver on our vision of promoting the innovative reuse of all types of intellectual works, unlocking the potential of sharing and transforming others’ work.”
Creative Commons licenses help people express a preference for sharing their work — on their own terms. Copyright holders who decide to waive some of their rights but retain others can choose a license that declares “Some Rights Reserved” by expressing whether they require attribution or allow commercial usage or modifications to their work. Additionally copyright holders may select to waive all their rights and declare “No Rights Reserved” by dedicating their work to the public domain. After the copyright holder chooses their license or public domain dedication, it is expressed in three formats to easily notify others of the license terms:
1. Commons Deed. A simple, plain-language summary of the license, with corresponding icons.
2. Legal Code. The fine print needed to fine-tune your copyrights.
“Our model was inspired in large part by the open-source and free software movements. The beauty of their approach is that they’re based on copyright owners’ consent — independent of any legislative action — and motivated out of a wonderful mixture of self-interest and community spirit,” explained Creative Commons Executive Director Glenn Otis Brown. “One of the great lessons of these software movements is that the choice between self-interest and community is a false choice. If you’re clever about how you leverage your rights, you can cash in on openness. Sharing, done properly, is both smart and right.”
Various organizations and people have pledged their support for Creative Commons, including Byrds founder Roger McGuinn, DJ Spooky, iBiblio, the Internet Archive, MIT Open Courseware project, O’Reilly & Associates, People Like Us, the Prelinger Collection/Library of Congress, Rice University’s Connexions project, Stanford Law School, and Sun Microsystems. Implementers include musicians, writers, teachers, scholars, scientists, photographers, filmmakers, publishers, graphic designers, Web hobbyists, as well as listeners, readers, and viewers.
Copyright holders can choose the appropriate license for their digital content at http://creativecommons.org/license/. Additional information is available through the technical fact sheet and testimonials document.
Behind Creative Commons
Cyberlaw and intellectual property experts James Boyle, Michael Carroll, Lawrence Lessig, and Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, MIT computer science professor Hal Abelson, lawyer-turned-documentary filmmaker-turned-cyberlaw expert Eric Saltzman, and public domain Web publisher Eric Eldred founded Creative Commons in 2001. Fellows and students at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School helped get the project off the ground. A non-profit corporation, Creative Commons is based at and receives generous support from Stanford Law School and the school’s Center for Internet and Society. Learn more.No Comments »
Sep 18, 2002 — www.creativecommons.org
– Creative Commons today announced its newly formed leadership
team, expanding its efforts to cultivate a vibrant public
domain within the current copyright system.
Founding Executive Director Molly Shaffer Van Houweling
recently completed her long-planned transition from Creative
Commons to become Assistant Professor at the University
of Michigan Law School and member of the Creative Commons
Board of Directors.
“We are proud to have had Molly lead the team to where it
is today – her extraordinary contributions helped make Creative
Commons a reality,” said Creative Commons Chairman Lawrence
Lessig. “Our new management’s impressive track record will
help bring our efforts to a new level by bridging the copyright
world with the public domain and removing barriers to creativity.
We are poised for tremendous success.”
Former Deputy Director Glenn Otis Brown, now Executive Director,
has worked closely with Van Houweling to ensure a smooth
transfer of responsibilities that include overseeing the
organization’s strategic, technical, and development activities.
Brown joined Creative Commons early 2002, having worked
for the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Miami and
the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law
School. He is a published author on copyright issues with
works appearing in The Economist, the Harvard Law Review,
and The New Republic.
“The founding team raised awareness about the unexplored
possibilities for interplay between copyright and the public
domain,” said Brown. “We are now focused on helping the
public take part in this mission. We’re excited about launching
our copyright licenses free of charge this autumn; soon
people will be able to express a preference for sharing
their work on their own terms.”
Other additions to the management team are:
- Associate Director Neeru Paharia, formerly of McKinsey
& Company and Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. A noted
filmmaker, illustrator, and blues guitar player, her work
has been showcased in various film festivals and publications.
Paharia received her Master of Science in Public Policy
and Management with a concentration in Information Systems
from Carnegie Mellon University.
- Consulting Technical Director Ben Adida, founder and CTO
of open source technology consultancy Open Force. Best known
as co-founder of ArsDigita, Adida helped develop the ArsDigita
Community System, the first free toolkit for building collaborative
database-backed Web sites. Adida received his Master and
Bachelor degrees in Computer Science from MIT. His writings
have appeared in IEEE Internet Computing, IEEE Software,
and Open Magazine.
- Consulting Communications Director Sally Khudairi, communications
strategist for the Apache Software Foundation and Web Standards
Project. Active in the Web for nearly a decade, she directed
communications strategies for some of the industry’s most
prominent specifications, including XML, HTML 3.2 and 4.0,
and HTTP/1.1. Khudairi is a leading proponent for emerging
initiatives such as the Semantic Web, Web Services and Intellectual
Biographic information on the Creative Commons team can
be found at www.creativecommons.org/learn/aboutus/people
About Creative Commons
Bridging the copyright world with the public domain, Creative
Commons promotes the innovative reuse of all types of intellectual
works. An assemblage of renowned cyberlaw, intellectual
property, and technology experts collaborated on Creative
Commons’ first initiative planned for public release in
Autumn 2002. Through this project, copyright holders can
choose from a collection of licenses to easily inform others
that their works are free for copying and other uses under
specific conditions. Creative Commons is an independent,
non-profit organization based at Stanford Law School. For
more information, visit www.creativecommons.org
May 16, 2002 SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA -
Representatives from the new nonprofit Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org) today outlined the company’s plans to help lower the legal barriers to creativity through an innovative coupling of law and technology. The Creative Commons will provide a free set of tools to enable creators to share aspects of their copyrighted works with the public. “Our tools will make it easier for artists and authors to make some or all of their rights available to the public for free,” Stanford Professor and Creative Commons Chairman Lawrence Lessig explained at the O’Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference. “If, for example, an artist wants to make her music available for non-commercial use, or with just attribution, our tools will help her express those intentions in a ‘machine-readable’ form. Computers will then be able to identify and understand the terms of an author’s license, making it easier for people to search for and share creative works.”
Creative Commons was formed by a coalition of academics from a broad range of institutions, including Duke, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Villanova. Its aim is to use the flexibility of copyright law to help support a rich public domain alongside traditional copyrights. In a separate Creative Commons presentation, Molly Van Houweling, Executive Director, and Lisa Rein, Technical Architect, previewed the web-based application that will help scholars, artists, and others make their works available for copying, modification, and redistribution. Authors and artists who use the tool may choose to dedicate their works to the public domain or choose to retain their copyright while allowing creative reuses subject to custom combinations of conditions. An illustrator seeking exposure, for example, might choose to let anyone freely copy and distribute her work, provided that they give her proper credit. An academic eager to build a public audience could permit unlimited noncommercial copying of his writings.
“The aim,” Ms. Van Houweling explained, “is not only to increase the sum of raw source material online, but also to make access to that material cheaper and easier.” To do this, Creative Commons will translate authors’ intentions into “metadata” associated with their creative works. This will enable people to use the Internet to find, for example, photographs that are free to be altered or reused, or texts that may be copied, distributed, or sampled with no restrictions whatsoever – all by their authors’ permission, expressed in code as well as plain, straightforward language.
Creative Commons expects to launch these applications for general public use this fall. In the meantime, Creative Commons is inviting feedback on its prototype and its mission.
Creative Commons also announced its longer-term plans to create an intellectual property conservancy. Like a land trust or nature preserve, the conservancy will protect works of special public value from exclusionary private ownership and from obsolescence due to neglect or technological change. The conservancy will house a rich repository of high-quality works in a variety of media, and help foster an ethos of sharing, public education, and creative interactivity.
More about Creative Commons:
Creative Commons was founded upon the idea that creativity and innovation rely on a rich heritage of prior intellectual endeavor. We stand on the shoulders of giants by revisiting, reusing, and transforming the ideas and works of our peers and predecessors. Digital communications and personal computing promise a new explosion of this kind of collaborative creative activity. At the same time, expanding intellectual property protection leaves fewer and fewer creative works in the “public domain” – the body of creative material unfettered by law and, to quote Justice Brandeis, “free as the air to common use” – while the growing complexity of copyright makes it more and more difficult to know when it is legal to copy or alter a work. Creative Commons will work within the copyright system to help reduce these barriers to creativity. Creative Commons was founded in 2001 with the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain. It is now based at and receives generous support from Stanford Law School, where Creative Commons shares space, staff, and inspiration with the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. It is led by a Board of Directors that includes law professors Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle, and Michael Carroll, MIT computer science professor Hal Abelson, lawyer-turned-documentary filmmaker-turned-cyberlaw expert Eric Saltzman, and public domain web publisher Eric Eldred. The organization is also advised by a technical advisory board that includes boardmember Hal Abelson, Barbara Fox (Senior Architect, Cryptography and Digital Rights Management, Microsoft WebTV), Don McGovern (Senior Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School), and Eric Miller (Activity Lead for the World Wide Web Consortium’s Semantic Web Initiative).
Please direct press inquiries to Molly Van Houweling, Executive Director, or Glenn Otis Brown, Assistant Director, at email@example.com.No Comments »