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Amazon #1 Bestseller, “Machine of Death,” goes Creative Commons

Jane Park, November 24th, 2010

It’s happened before with music albums, where releasing work openly online did not hurt actual sales of the product. The authors of Machine of Death clearly get this. They explain why the science fiction anthology of stories about people who know the manner by which they die (but have no idea when), has been made available online under CC BY-NC-ND:

Why are we doing this? Aren’t we worried about hurting our book sales?

In a word: no. You have proven time and again that you are willing to pay for content that you find valuable. You have shown that you are driven to share material that you fall in love with. And we are committed to ensuring that you can experience our work whether you can afford to buy a book or not; whether you live in a country that Amazon ships to or not; whether you have space in your life for a stack of paper or not.

Please, download, read, share and enjoy!

In addition, some of the individual stories are released under the CC BY-NC-SA license, which allows you to translate and adapt the work as long as you abide by the noncommercial condition and release the derivative under the same license. Podcasts are also being created for all the stories, with three stories up so far.

As of right now, Machine of Death is the #1 bestselling science fiction anthology on Amazon, and has also made their Best Books of 2010 list. For more information, see Boing Boing and the Machine of Death website.

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Digital Open Winners Announced

Jane Park, October 14th, 2009

CC BY by the Digital Open

CC BY by the Digital Open

I blogged about the Digital Open in April, a new online community and competition that was accepting free and open technology projects from anyone 17 or younger through August. The competition was aimed at fostering an online and open community of youth by encouraging them to see the benefits of open source and open licensing.

Since then the jury has come in to announce eight grand prize winners. The first video profile is the Centralized Student Website from Fremont, California, by Raymond Zhong and Aatash Parikh. They’ve gone ahead and built a student portal for their high school, where virtually any school activity, especially student clubs, are accessed. Other winners include a Casa Ecologica in Spain and a Hybrid Airship. Be sure to check back for more videos.

Except where otherwise noted, all content on the Digital Open is available via CC BY. The Digital Open is the result of a joint partnership between the Institute for the Future, BoingBoing, and Sun Microsystems.

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Snitchtown: The Photo Essay

Cameron Parkins, June 29th, 2009

Over at Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow points readers to Snitchtown: The Photo Essay, a wonderful adaptation of his essay, Snitchtown. Originally a CC BY-NC-SA licensed editorial on “the future of urban surveillance” – specifically the ubiquity of CCTV cameras found in the the UK – the new work, authored by Emma Byrne, is a photo essay that puts images alongside Doctorow’s words, specifically photos of CCTV cameras. Naturally, it is CC BY-NC-SA licensed as well.

These stories are inspiring for us as they show our licenses at work doing excatly what we intended them to – helping facilitate interesting and poignant reuse that make the original work richer. Even better is Doctorow’s reaction:

This is, I believe, my absolute favorite CC adaptation of my work to date; in that it’s the first adaptation that I prefer to my original.

A free PDF download of Snitchtown: The Photo Essay is available here.

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“Here. My Explosion..”: CC-Licensed Feature-Length Film and Soundtrack

Cameron Parkins, May 18th, 2009

Here. My Explosion… is a new feature-length film from Reid Gershbein. Released under a CC BY-NC-SA license
(the film’s soundtrack is released under a CC BY-SA license), and is available for free download here.

The film is shot using a tilt-shift photography technique and clocks in at around 75 minutes. If you like the film, you can support it through donation at Gershbein’s website. Thanks to Boing Boing for the heads up.

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Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend

Cameron Parkins, May 18th, 2009

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video is a stellar resource for online video creators looking to better understand their fair use rights. Previously released as a PDF-download by American University’s Center for Social Media, the document now has a fitting video counterpart titled Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend. Via Boing Boing:

“This video lets people know about the code, an essential creative tool, in the natural language of online video. The code protects this emerging zone from censorship and self-censorship,” said Aufderheide, director of the Center for Social Media and a professor in AU’s School of Communication. “Creators, online video providers, and copyright holders will be able to know when copying is stealing and when it’s legal.”

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Digital Open

Jane Park, April 21st, 2009

dologo
The Digital Open, a new online community and competition for youth, is now accepting free and open technology projects from anyone 17 or younger. Free and open means openly licensed, with software licensed under a GPL license and content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA. (See the Digital Open–approved Licenses for more details.) The competition runs until August, and they accept projects in all different languages. The competition aims to foster an online and open community of youth by encouraging them to see the benefits of open source and open licensing. Their announcement below, including a link to the Boing Boing video:

“What can you make with technology that will change the world—or even just make life a little easier or more fun?

Institute for the Future, in partnership with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing, invites youth worldwide, age 17 and under, to join us as we explore the frontiers of free and open innovation. The Digital Open: An Innovation Expo for Global Youth will celebrate projects in a variety of areas ranging from the environment, art and music to the more traditional open source domains of software and hardware.

From April 15 until August 15, 2009, we’ll accept text, photos, and videos documenting projects from young people around the world who want to contribute to the growing free and open technology community.

But the Digital Open is more than an online competition. By submitting a project, you’ll become a valuable member of a community of creative young innovators working in the exciting world of free and open technology.

Collaboration is encouraged! In addition to a variety of prizes and achievements you can earn through community participation, the top project in each category will earn a fantastic prize pack and be featured on Boing Boing Video!

The future is yours to make! Get started at http://digitalopen.org.”

Judges include ccLearn’s Ahrash Bissell and CC board member, Lawrence Lessig.

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Boing Boing tv Archives Running CC Ads

Cameron Parkins, April 20th, 2009

Boing Boing tv, purveyors of all things awesome, recently began running short adverts for CC as bumpers for almost all the videos produced up until February of this year. Check out their video archives to see the spots in the wild, one of which is cut from Jesse Dylan’s A Shared Culture.

As noted previously, all Boing Boing tv episodes are released under a CC BY-NC license. A big thanks to the great people at Boing Boing and Boing Boing tv for making this happen!

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Advice for Authors on Negotiating With a Publisher About CC Licenses

Cameron Parkins, March 30th, 2009

Cory Doctorow points us towards an excellent essay from the team behind Digital Foundations on ten key steps to negotiating a CC-licensed release with a large scale publisher:

4. Pitch it with facts

Use case studies to argue with facts. It also helps for them to see that other reputable publishers have licensed books Creative Commons. O’Reilly has some a study on an Asterisk book that we used very effectively.

http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/06/free_downloads.html

The Asterisk book sold 19k copies over two years (about what comparable books from O’Reilly were selling), but was downloaded 180,000 times from *one* of the 5 sites that mirrored it.

Also consider google as arbiter:

Results from google search breakdown of references to the two books in the oreilly case study (at the time of negotiation, early 2008):
asterisk: 139,000 references in 2 years (2005-2007), or 70,000 per year

understanding the linux kernel, 42,000 references in 7 years (2000-2007), 6,000 per year

So there was 10x the press/blog/reference/hits for the CC licensed book.

Treading the sometimes delicate waters of negotiating a CC license with those immediately apprehensive to the idea is difficult at the very least – this type of information, from those who have gone through the process, is invaluable. While the Digital Foundations piece focuses on print publishing, the information therein is applicable across media formats, especially when combined with our ever growing case study database.

We would be remiss not to mention James Boyle’s thoughts on the matter, particularly regarding his experience in licensing The Public Domain: Enclosing The Commons of the Mind under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

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Sundman returns

Mike Linksvayer, December 16th, 2008

John Sundman has published his third gonzo SF novel, The Pains, under a CC BY-NC-ND license. As usual when it comes to CC-licensed SF, Cory Doctorow has more on the story over at Boing Boing.

We published an interview with Sundman about his use of CC licenses back in 2006.

You can download, buy, or donate in support of all three of Sundman’s novels on his wetmachine.com site.

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CC Salon LA TONIGHT! Xeni Jardin and GOOD Magazine

Cameron Parkins, September 3rd, 2008

One last reminder that we are hosting the latest CC Salon LA tonight (9/3/08). Details below:

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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