The German UNESCO Commission has released the publication, “Open Content Lizenzen – Ein Leitfaden für die Praxis” (pdf) aka “Open Content Licenses – A Practical Guideline.” The publication is authored by Dr. Till Kreutzer, a member of the Commission’s legal expert committee and a founder of iRights.info, a legal information website for consumers. The publication explains how to make use of open licenses, featuring the CC license suite as its primary example. Though tailored towards companies, institutions and organizations, the guideline is also a compact how-to for anyone interested in CC licensing their work. The publication is available under CC BY-NC, and is a timely follow-up to UNESCO’s related publication with the Commonwealth of Learning, “Guidelines for Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher Education” — which also highlights the use of CC licenses for OER.2 Comments »
We are thrilled to relay Wired.com’s announcement that from now on all Wired.com staff-produced photos will be released under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial license (CC BY-NC)! Wired.com’s Editor in Chief Evan Hansen says,
“Creative Commons turns ten years old next year, and the simple idea of releasing content with “some rights reserved” has revolutionized online sharing and fueled a thriving remix culture. At Wired.com, we’ve benefited from CC-licensed photos for years — thank you sharers! Now we’re going to start sharing ourselves.”
We want to return the thanks to Wired.com for recognizing the power of open! Wired.com is a leader in covering the world of technology and a pioneer in commercial online publishing. We hope that others will recognize the value of both borrowing from, and contributing to, the richness of our shared commons.
To immediately sweeten the pot, Wired.com is celebrating their new licensing policy by releasing a CC-licensed gallery of 50 iconic photos from past stories including portraits of Steve Jobs, Woz, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer, Trent Reznor, JJ Abrams, and others. Check out Wired’s Flickr stream for high resolution formats of the photos.
We believe that there are incredible opportunities for publishers and news organizations in open licensing. With this commitment, Wired joins other prestigious news and content organizations who are sharing interesting and important resources with the world under CC, incluing Al Jazeera, Propublica, and GOOD. Thanks Wired.com!
CC license use in journalism and other domains, in addition to numerous other activities, are made possible thanks to donations from people like you. We are a nonprofit organization; please consider contributing to our annual campaign going on now! Thank you.4 Comments »
The 3rd Creative Commons Arab regional meeting will occur on June 30 to July 1, and will gather Creative Commons communities consisting of youth and civil society members across various fields (education, law, art, music) that are actively spreading the values of openness, sharing, peer-production, collaboration, and innovation in the Arab world. The meeting will celebrate these communities and values.
The meeting is in cooperation with Nawaat.org, the Tunisian blogging platform awarded the 2011 Netizen Prize by Reporters Without Borders, and is sponsored by the Al Jazeera Network. It will take place in Tunis, where the Tunisian revolution took place in December 2010, and the Arab youth began to reshape the region, giving a burst to creativity and cooperation as the basis of a better future for new Arab generations.
The meeting will feature a set of workshops with the following goals:
- Raise awareness of open licensing and open source tools as ways to promote self expression, creativity, innovation and peer-production in an open and collaborative environment
- Connect local individuals (bloggers, artists, activists, etc) and institutions (universities, schools, law professionals, cultural centers, etc) that share an interest in open licensing and open source with the broader Arab regional Creative Commons and open source community
- Train these individuals and institutions to the actual use of open licensing and open source tools for creative works, self expression and business development
- Create a work environment which is oriented to sharing knowledge and products
- Foster original content production in Arabic which responds to countrys’ local needs
- Enhance creative production in the Arab world and distribution in an open but legal way.
The workshops are entirely designed and led by volunteer members of the Creative Commons Arab regional communities from the following countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Qatar, UAE, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, and Palestine. Most of the workshops will be “hands on” and will be entirely led in Arabic. The outputs (visual art works, music works, blogs, etc.) will be regrouped and featured online after the meeting.
Each workshop will address one of the following issues:
1) Application of open licensing to education
2) Legal introduction to CC licenses
3) Visual art and creative remix
4) Youth music, Creative Commons, “Sharism”
5) Citizen journalism, social media, open licensing
6) Using Creative Commons & Social Networking to Create, Share, Network and Build your Personal Brand
7) Introduction to open source tools for creative people
All workshops are free, and open registration through the CC Arab mailing list and Nawaat.org has brought more than 50 participants from Tunis and other Tunisian municipalities (working language: Arabic). The plenary sessions are open to everyone and translation between Arabic and English will be provided. Access the full agenda of the meeting here.
Creative Commons Concert
To close the meeting, a free CC music concert will take place the evening of July 2nd at the Center for Arab and Mediterranean Music. Musicians from across the Arab world (Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon) and particularly those from Tunisia will pay a tribute to openness by performing their music (pop, hip hop, rock, classical Arab music) in a “jam session” sort of evening, where remix between the different artists will be encouraged and peer-production will be celebrated.
All music played during the performance will be released under a CC BY-NC license, and will be compiled to produce the first CC-released Arab music CD featuring the best young talented musicians in the Arab world. The CD will be launched and distributed this fall through a viral social game involving most of the Arab capitals and the online Arab communities. Al Jazeera Mubasher TV channel will broadcast the event live. The goal of both the concert and the CD is to boost the idea of openly licensed music and legal sharing in the region, encouraging the Arab youth to share music legally but also to produce their own through peer collaboration and remixes enabled by the CC licenses. Check out pre-coverage of the concert by Rolling Stone (ME) and Italian News Agency ANSA.
For more information on both events, see the Creative Commons Qatar announcement.1 Comment »
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Over the weekend, the Czech Republic celebrated Liberation Day and officially introduced the complete Czech translation of Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture. The translation was the culminating work of fifty volunteers over three years, and was enabled by the CC BY-NC license of the original English publication. The Czech version is also available under the same license. Adam Hazdra, project initiator and coordinator, writes, “I hope it will contribute to the promotion of Creative Commons and free culture it aims to restore.”
Last November, Stanford started accepting digital dissertations for the first time, allowing students to opt out of hundreds of dollars in printing and processing costs. The new program also enabled CC licensing, allowing students to make their work available under a license of their choosing. Of the 60 doctoral students who submitted their dissertations electronically, 52 went with CC licensing, choosing the CC BY-NC license. 47 doctoral theses will be displayed in their entirety in the Stanford Digital Repository. From the Stanford Report,
“The doctoral students who chose the digital route last quarter came from five of Stanford’s seven schools: Earth Sciences (1), Education (2), Medicine (7), Humanities and Sciences (15) and Engineering (35).
Gunnarsdottir’s 160-page dissertation, “Modeling the Martian Surface Using Bistatic Radar at High Incidence Angles,” honed an existing method for evaluating the roughness of the planet’s terrain – one of many factors NASA uses to select landing sites for spacecraft.
She used “The Dish,” the 150-foot diameter radio telescope located in the Stanford foothills, to beam a signal to Mars. Then she analyzed the surface echo detected by the orbiting 2001 Mars Odyssey, the NASA spacecraft carrying science experiments designed to improve understanding of the planet’s climate and geologic history.
“Our results were incorporated into the landing site selection of the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander,” said Gunnarsdottir, who earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Iceland in 1999, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Stanford in 2002.”
Since the program is already in place, Stanford expects greater numbers of electronic dissertations this quarter. We hope other universities will take Stanford’s lead in enabling the CC license option for their students’ work. For past dissertations that have been CC licensed by individuals, see my post “CC Licensing Your Dissertations.” “CC licensing increases your creation’s visibility, even if by only a small margin at first. It lets current and future students access and read (and even derive, based on the specific CC license you choose) your work so that they can build and improve upon it—all the while giving credit where credit is due, namely, to you.”No Comments »
Are you a creative professional who frequently finds yourself using Google Image search or the Flickr commons portal to discover new images? PicScout, a company specializing in image recognition software, is working on a Firefox extension called ImageExchange that they want your help to beta test. Right now the program is in closed beta, but they’ve already implemented support for recognizing images licensed with our Attibution Non-Commercial license.
What does this mean in practice? If you come across a CC BY-NC licensed photo anywhere on the web, PicScout’s ImageExchange extension will recognize it and give you what it believes is the source URL on Flickr. Here’s a screenshot to give you the idea of the results from a search for “flowers” on Google Images:
The important part to understand is that PicScout’s extension can recognize photos anywhere on the web — from Google Image Search results to a blog you stumble across. When you click the round information button at the top right of the thumbnails that it recognizes, you’ll get a dialog box with more information. If PicScout believes the photo is CC BY-NC licensed and from Flickr, it will point you to the photo’s original page on Flickr. PicScout also recognizes rights-managed and micro-stock images from various industry databases as well. This allows image re-users to get in touch directly with the owner of the photo and secure commercial rights to use it.
Recognizing commons content and identifying its original source is an important part of our community and it’s something we’ve been thinking a lot about. Take for example, the vigilant editors and administrators of Wikimedia Commons, which serves as the multimedia backend for all of the Wikipedia projects. A good portion of their time is spent weeding out copyright violations from the newly uploaded content to the project. If they had an easy way to determine whether an incoming photo was freely CC licensed, public domain, or All Rights Reserved, their jobs could be a lot easier. While PicScout’s ImageExchange is only indexing CC BY-NC licensed photos (which Wikipedia doesn’t accept anyway), we’re looking forward to seeing the database expand its reach into other domains in order to serve more and more communities.
For now, if you’re a creative professional searching the web for new images to use in your day-to-day work, sign up with Pic Scout’s ImageExchange beta program today!2 Comments »
Remember back in April when I first mentioned Student Journalism 2.0, ccLearn’s pilot project to bring Creative Commons and the power of new media into high school journalism classes? Well since then ccLearn and two SF Bay Area high school journalism classes have been busy getting the ball rolling.
Yesterday, The Paly Voice, the student-run newspaper at Palo Alto High School, announced the integration of CC licenses, allowing its writers to choose to share their articles and op-ed pieces with the world. Already, Sydney Rock and Rachel Harrus’s article announcing the collaboration has gone viral via the CC BY-NC license, as the CC Google Alert picked it up and placed it squarely inside my morning radar. From the article,
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“Starting today, readers of The Paly Voice may notice a new graphic — a Creative Commons licensing logo — tagged at the bottom of some stories.
The addition is due to a new collaboration with Creative Commons, a nonprofit corporation that allows published work to be available to the public for fair and legal sharing.
As a part of the Student Journalism 2.0 Project, The Paly Voice, along with the staff of El Estoque, the student news publication of Monta Vista High School, and the staff of The Broadview at Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, is the first high school in the nation to use Creative Commons licensing, which could potentially revolutionize the way creative works are available online.
Campanile adviser Esther Wojcicki, who is the chair of the board of directors for Creative Commons, believes that the collaboration will positively influence student journalism at Paly.
“It gives people the legal right to share their story,” Wojcicki said. “It’s like your own PR firm.”
Creating a feature films is a massive undertaking, and it is for this reason that we’re always so impressed to hear of film makers using CC licenses. Two recent examples are Nasty Old People from Swedish director Hanna Sköld and Torno Subito from Italian Simone Damianiunder.
“Nasty Old People” was released under our Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license and Torno Subito is available under our Attribution-Noncommercial license. What’s great about these licenses is that they both allow and encourage legal sharing and remixing as methods for promotion and encouraging fan engagement. The results are already beginning to appear: fans of Nasty Old People have raised donations amounting to 10% of the film’s loaned budget, and they’ve also created a Portugese translation of the film’s subtitles.
Over the years, there have been a number of CC-licensed feature films released, and we do our best to keep up with them all on our film wiki page, but please add to the wiki if you come across something we’ve missed.3 Comments »
Yoko Ono wants you to remix her track “The Sun Is Down!” whose stems are released under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial license. You can download the sample pack which includes the track’s vocal effects, loops of bass, drums, sound effects, and Tenorion files.
But Yoko’s also running a contest to find the 10 best remixes. Here are the details:
Create your own remix of “The Sun Is Down!” by Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, using as many or few of the samples from the pack and any original audio you wish to add.
When you have finished your mix, make an MP3 copy that’s as high quality as possible, but still under 10MB in size.
Email the MP3 of your mix, along with its name and your name, address, email and phone number to remix@YOPOB.com before 12 December 2009.
The Top Ten mixes will be decided by Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band.
The winners will receive special signed Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band prizes and will be featured on this site over the Xmas and New Year period.
Head over to Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band for the full contest details and to download the sample pack.5 Comments »
Richard Giles, a social media specialist in Australia who frequently posts and CC licenses photos on Flickr, received a threatening letter from the International Olympic Committee last week, mentioning a set of photos he had taken at the 2008 games in Beijing.
Giles posted a rundown of the story so far on his blog. It is not clear the situation is resolved yet, and initially there was confusion about which photos or licenses are at issue, but there are many worthwhile posts about it to check out, including these:
- Olympics threaten photographer by Mathias Klang (of CC Sweden), who points out in passing that there are now over 120 million CC licensed photos on Flickr — a 20% increase in 6 months.
- Go To The Olympics? Take Photos? Put Them On Flickr? Await Olympic Committee Legal Threat Letter on Techdirt by Mike Masnick.
- International Olympic Committee Goes Copyright (& Trademark) Crazy on The Moderate Voice by Joe Windish.
- Wikipedia and Olympics Committee heading for collision? by Sage Ross, who points out that Giles’ photo(s) likely came to the attention of the IOC indirectly via English Wikipedia, where one of Giles’ photos is currently used in the Usain Bolt article.
Regarding Ross’ post, of course the UK merchant that used the photo in an advertisement that eventually attracted the IOC’s notice may have discovered the photo directly on Flickr as well. In either case, the value of moving to a more liberal license if you want your works to spread is highlighted — Giles’ Usain Bolt photo is under CC Attribution-ShareAlike, while his other Beijing photos are under CC Attribution-NonCommercial.
Whatever the resolution of this particular dispute, there’s no question that the IOC’s attempt to control how photographers use their own photos is symptomatic of the permission culture and tragedy of the anticommons we are facing. Creative Commons can’t directly influence the IOC’s policies, but we’re creating an alternative to ensure a non-gridlocked future of creativity and innovation, an alternative that offers benefits to those who participate in the commons now, and whose successes will change minds. Please support us — we’re in the midst of our 2009 campaign to raise $500,000 to fund this work.
The photo at the top of this post by Richard Giles is not of the Olympics, but does look fun. Note that even such an innocuous photo could be under threat as we move in the direction of a permission economy — building owners attempt to control public photography, why not balloon owners or designers? Give now. ☺5 Comments »