Mangrove forests have been described by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the world’s most threatened tropical ecosystems. In an effort to protect and raise awareness around this problem, MapWorks Learning launched the first of what they plan to make an annual Mapathon for ecological preservation and learning. The inaugural event engaged schools, universities, and environmental groups around the world to document the health and well being of mangrove populations using the Mapping the Mangroves tool.
The Mapping the Mangroves (MTM) toolkit is a project originally funded by Qatar Foundation International, and is now a keystone project of MapWorks Learning. MTM uses a mapping application built on the open source Ushahidi software platform, relying on crowdsourcing to collect geographic and descriptive data about mangrove forests. The project’s reporting system allows anyone to submit a report about mangrove forests, describing the area’s biodiversity and pairing it with geographic coordinates and other sensor data. The data are then displayed on an interactive map on the project’s homepage, with all reports searchable and explorable by geographic region and other habitat or report traits. The data are freely available for download and licensed under a CC0 Public Domain Dedication, too.
The MTM project is supporting the development of OER curriculum introducing learners to mangrove forest ecosystems, basic species identification, and explaining how they can take part in the monitoring and protection of forests around the world. The toolkit’s learning material is available under a CC BY-NC-ND license on OER Commons.1 Comment »
Arts Engine‘s annual Media That Matters Festival — now in its 12th year — is accepting new entries for short films! In addition to being a “premier showcase for short films with big messages” Media That Matters will give filmmakers the opportunity to connect with educators, activists, and nonprofits around the globe, helping to move communities towards social change. If selected, your film will be screened at the Fall festival and featured via a “multi-platform campaign combining online streaming with personalized screenings,” and made available under CC BY-NC-ND.
Submission criteria from the announcement:
Short Film: Films must be twelve minutes MAXIMUM; the ideal length is around eight minutes.
All Styles: We accept documentaries, narratives, animations, music videos, public service announcements, dramas, comedies, hybrids, or a style of your own creation! Creativity is always encouraged. The only guideline is that your project must focus on a social issue.
All Issues: Any and all issues will be considered.
All Ages: All ages will be considered!
The early deadline to submit is February 23, regular deadline is April 20, and the late deadline is May 1. Submit your film at http://www.mediathatmattersfest.org/submit. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org Comments »
The Open Society Foundations (OSF) have adopted a new copyright policy that encourages its grantees to release their outputs under CC licenses. The OSF have long been releasing their own work products under a CC BY-NC-ND license, but now they have introduced a new clause to encourage OSF grantees to do the same:
“We believe that OSF’s mission is enhanced when our grantees’ Work Product is also made widely available to the public, with appropriate protection of legitimate interests. To that end, OSF is introducing a new clause into its grant agreements, whereby our grantees must advise OSF whether or not they will broadly license all Work Product created with OSF funds using a Creative Commons license, or otherwise.”
The Public Health Program, Information Program and Media Program are piloting this new policy with their grantees this year. For more information, read the OSF copyright policy.
For more information about funder policies and Creative Commons licenses, see our wiki.1 Comment »
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.3 Comments »
At the beginning of summer, many of you told us how much you share in a survey for Shareable Magazine. The results of that survey have been translated into a study of “The New Sharing Economy” by Shareable and Latitude Research. Visually, the study features nifty diagrams depicting what we share the most and how sharing has evolved over time. Substantively, “The New Sharing Economy” reveals some encouraging trends, such as that sharing in the virtual world makes people more comfortable with the idea of sharing in the physical world (in fact everyone in the study who shared online also shared offline), and that most of these people believe they will partake in even greater corporeal sharing in the next five years.
But the most encouraging trend the study revealed was that Creative Commons is playing a huge infrastructural role in this new sharing economy—that CC is, in fact, daily saving the world from failed sharing:
“Of those who share information and media online, approximately 2 in 3
participants use other people’s creations licensed under Creative Commons.”
The benefits of Creative Commons are often difficult to see, as a functioning system is only ever noticed when it fails. But as sharing only increases over time, both on- and offline, you can be sure that CC superheroes are at work behind the scenes slashing through the red tape, identifying and fixing the bugs, opening closed systems, implementing better policies, educating the public, and generally making sure things are running smoothly so that the web can continue to grow. Because the majority of study participants also connected sharing with being “better for the environment,” “saving money,” and being “good for society”—all stuff which, it turns out, CC is quietly helping us to do.
The study is available under CC BY-NC-ND. To learn more, check out Shareable’s post, and please consider joining us in the fight for openness and innovation.Comments Off
The event I blogged about in December, TEDxNYED, is happening this Saturday, March 6, in New York City. TEDxNYED is “an all-day conference dedicated to examining the intersection of education, new media, and technology.” For those of you who can’t attend, the conference will be livestreamed from 10am EST to 6pm EST at http://tedxnyed.com.
The speaker line-up includes our own Larry Lessig (founder and board member of CC), Michael Wesch (a cultural anthropologist who created those awesome YouTube videos like “Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us”), Neeru Khosla (Co-founder of the CK12 Foundation that submitted seven open textbooks to California’s Free Digital Textbook Initiative), and David Wiley (big thinker in open education and associate professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at BYU).Comments Off
You’ve all heard of the TED Conference (Technology, Entertainment, Design), the annual meeting of great minds with amazing 20 minute speeches that share what they’ve been doing with their lives. But not all of you may have heard of TEDx—spinoffs off TED that are independently organized around a central theme or idea.
TEDxNYED is one of those spinoffs—“an all-day conference dedicated to examining the intersection of education, new media, and technology, will take place on March 6, 2010 in New York City.” The speaker line-up includes our own Larry Lessig (founder and board member of CC), Michael Wesch (a cultural anthropologist who created those awesome YouTube videos like “Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us”), Neeru Khosla (Co-founder of the CK12 Foundation that submitted seven open textbooks to California’s Free Digital Textbook Initiative), and David Wiley (big thinker in open education and associate professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at BYU).
CC Learn is partnering with TEDxNYED and Whipple Hill to help with this amazing event. With currently 300 or so people expected to attend, space is limited, so please apply if you would like to join. “TEDx NYED is particularly seeking applicants who work in and around education and who are dedicated to reforming schools from the inside-out as well as outside-in. Those interested in attending should apply at http://tedxnyed.com/apply.”
From the press release,
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“TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited
to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology,
Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our
future… The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists — is
almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane
Goodall, Frank Gehry, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono.
At the TEDx NYED event, live speakers, two Ted Talks videos, and networking
sessions will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The
TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx
events, including ours, are self-organized.”
Al Jazeera has just launched the latest of its online project called Al Jazeera Blogs.
The website features blog posts written by prominent journalists and correspondents from the global Al Jazeera television network. It also hosts several sub-blogs sections divided by geographical areas, such as the Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. In addition, Al Jazeera has a blog focused on international business and the ongoing financial crisis.
The project also features interesting tech extras such as integration with OpenCalais’ semantic tagging system.
Credit once again goes to Al Jazeera English’s Head of Online, Mohamed Nanabhay. Mohamed also happens to be the author of the first commoner letter for this year’s annual campaign, and was one of the key players who made Al Jazeera’s amazing CC repository a reality.1 Comment »
Notable Brooklyn author Jonathan Lethem (Fortress of Solitude, Motherless Brooklyn, You Don’t Love Me Yet among others) just released an essay titled “Crazy Friend” (PDF download) under a CC BY-NC-ND license. The story is a fantastic read in and of itself, but we’re doubly excited that its CC licensed.
Here’s io9’s summary:
The essay, called “Crazy Friend,” is a winding, mildly obsessive tale of how Dick’s stories guided Lethem out of childhood, into a turbulent adolescence, and at last settled him in a career as a critically-acclaimed writer. He begins by talking about his boyhood relationship with two cool older girls who didn’t get why he thought Dick’s writing was so important, and ends by introducing us to Lethem’s life as a Dick fanboy and showing us snippets of his early writing about Dick (some interesting stuff). Ultimately, Lethem says, Dick is the archetypal “crazy friend” whom we’ve all known. And whom we all love.
Lethem has a new book coming out on October 13th called Chronic City and he’ll be doing an epic reading of the entire book around NYC city book stores starting October 16th.Comments Off
I blogged about the past year’s fellows in February, and now the deadline for 2010 is approaching next week. For those who don’t know what TED is, I’ll quote myself,
“TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design” and their talks are given annually at the TED conference in Long Beach, CA. 50 speakers give “talks” or 18 minute speeches about a variety of issues, including “science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world.” (Past speakers include Al Gore, our own Lawrence Lessig, and Jill Bolt Taylor—a brain researcher who describes the stroke she suffers in exhilarating fashion, to name a few.)
Now, with the new TED fellows program, extraordinary people you may not have heard of yet (without the $6,000 to pay for standard admission to the conference) can give talks, too.”
To apply for a fellowship, go to their website and follow the instructions there. The deadline for all applicants is noon (EST), September 25. It’s eighteen minutes of exposure to talk about anything you want; you could very well be that spokesperson for your cause. All TED talks are licensed CC BY NC-ND.Comments Off