CC BY-NC

Frances Pinter from GOOD’s “We Like to Share” Series

Jane Park, August 31st, 2009

We’d like to point out GOOD’s latest interview from its “We Like to Share” series by Eric Steuer—“Frances Pinter on the (Academic) Value of Sharing.” Frances elaborates on Bloomsbury Academic‘s decision to license their academic publications via CC BY-NC, academics’ need for exposure, and the changing landscape in publishing,

“So much of academic output is now available on the web, and when you talk to academics they are not 100 percent happy with how difficult it is becoming to find their works. They are looking for tools; a digital means of selecting, filtering, and ranking the materials they are using and recommending. We are actually in a period of transition where we are still relying on the old, but wanting to experiment with the new. People like myself who spend a lot of time with the open access crowd can kind of forget there are a lot of academics who aren’t so vocal, who are primarily interested in producing their content, getting materials in front of their students, and getting their promotion and their recognition for work that they produce.

In this period of transition there is a lot of investment required in experimenting with new technologies. And with the experimenting of new technologies, we have to make sure the recognition and the openness is absolutely essential and part of it.”

The interview is also available in audio, and if you want to learn more about Frances and Bloomsbury Academic, be sure to check out the longer ccLearn interview with her from last year, as part of our Inside OER series.

All GOOD “We Like to Share” interviews are available to share via CC BY.

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CC Talks With: Kenzo Digital

Cameron Parkins, July 21st, 2009

Kenzo Digital is New York-based multi-talented creator that works in video, audio, and mixed media to create both artistic works and commercial products. Aesthetically informed by early 90s hip-hop, his latest and most well-publicized work, City of God’s Son, is a CC-licensed “opera for the blind.” The project finds Kenzo sampling and remixing numerous sources to create a vivid sound-scape that invokes imagery and a cinematic narrative through audio.

Today, in conjunction with our interview, Kenzo is releasing the most recent addition to COGS titled City of God’s Son: Cinema for the Blind. The piece features interviews with blind musicians on “sight through sound, synesthesia” and the film itself, crafting a fascinating perspective on how our senses work in conjunction with (or without) one another. You can watch the piece, which is released under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial license, in HD at YouTube – check out a still of the video below:

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We caught up with Kenzo recently to pick his brain in regards to the project generally, his approach to creation through sampling and reuse, why he chose to CC-licence this project, and much more. Read on to find out what he had to say.

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photo by Tommy Agriodimas | CC BY

Can you give our readers some background on yourself and the project? What inspired you to create City of God’s Son? You call it a hip-hop opera and a film for the blind – what do you mean by these descriptions?

I am a digital artist, video artist, director and music producer based in NY. Early 90ʼs hip hop was always a big inspiration to me growing up, it served as the soundtrack to a lot of my childhood and adventures growing up. I was really into graffiti as a kid, and used to sneak out of the house all the time and run around with my friends or sometimes by myself and go bombing. I considered the city at night to be kind of an altered reality. No one was around except for the junkies, prostitutes, and gangsters who occupied the same streets that by day would be bustling with business men, school kids like myself, and delivery men. I loved the fact that in my mind only a few people were privy to seeing these same streets during the day while I was entrenched in my civilian life (school and family), and at these late hours were things were pretty wild, and as a kid of course I was very excited by that. What really inspired me as a kid was also the fact that the only traces of my existence in this alternate reality were the tags and graffiti art left behind. Music played a huge role in this. My walkman was probably one of the most essential things going out at night, as the music was a key component to setting the mood and getting myself in the proper frame of mind to create. By experiencing the city this way, and listening to the music, everything through the night played out cinematically. So much so that it would leave these super visual impressions in my imagination that I could recall and trigger through the music.

Musicʼs relationship to time, both as a medium and a device to manipulate time, in addition to a listenerʼs historical relationship to a song is what “City of Godʼs Son” seeks to expand and explore. “City of Godʼs Son” is a hip hop opera in that it is an epic, a greek tragedy, and like opera, understanding the actual lyrics and slang is not necessary to understanding the story and experiencing the drama of the story. Understanding the slang and verses definitely adds another level of meaning and depth to the story, as well as a knowledge of hip hop music history. “City of Godʼs Son” while seemingly a strictly music focused project, is equally about gangster cinema culture as well, as references to everything from pre-code Edward G. Robinson gangster flicks, to 70ʻs Japanese gangster flicks like “Branded to Kill”, to “Le Cercle Rouge”, “Clockers”, “Goodfellas” and of course “City of God” litter the story and soundscape, as some of hip-hopʼs most influential artists of this generation collide with the gangster film icons that helped define their genre. It is about weaving the various mythologies from each medium and creating a new language called “Beat Cinematic”. It is a film for the blind in that it exists in the listenerʼs imagination and recalling of their own psychological associations to music, film, and sound. I specifically wanted to play this for blind people because I wanted to see how blind people reacted to a film made to be experienced sonically. I am interested in how a blind personʼs mind works like a visual sampler depending on whether the person was born blind or lost their vision along the way, and what those visual impressions mean to them now. It is also a film for the blind in that my own artistic journey into music production was inspired to make this project. As a completely self-taught disgustingly bad keyboard player, creating the music for this project was in and of itself a very blind process in that I had to really feel out my entire way through this new world of sound.
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Riversimple and 40 Fires Foundation promote participatory car design

Eric Steuer, July 13th, 2009

Caught an interesting NY Times post over the weekend about Riversimple, a British start-up that recently debuted a prototype of a two-seat hydrogen fuel cell car. There are several interesting things about Riversimple’s proposed business model – for instance, it plans to lease the car instead of sell it, and wants to employ a manufacturing process in which the cars are built in a variety of small, local factories. The detail that is of particular interest to us here at Creative Commons, though, is that the company has published the car’s design schematics under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial license on the site of the 40 Fires Foundation, a project that invites community participation in the car design process.

Says Riversimple CEO Hugo Spowers:

“If we give away the tools for entrepreneurs around the world to make money from making cars, we expect to harness an unstoppable groundswell of support globally.” … “From a strictly commercial point of view, we want to encourage others to copy us as we want these standards adopted ubiquitously.”

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11/17: Lulan Artisans Textile Competition

Cameron Parkins, June 17th, 2009

lulan

Lulan Artisans, a for-profit social venture that designs and produces high-quality, hand-woven textiles, recently launched a competition – 11˚/17˚ – to solicit community designs for Lulan’s 2010 collection.

Lulan will accept submissions until October 15th and are encouraging participants to publish their work under a CC BY-NC license and additionally make them available to independent artisans for commercial purposes and for use without attribution. The goal behind this is that the designs submitted will “populate a database of Creative Commons designs that weaving cooperatives around the world can use to increase their ability to make a sustainable living and be less at risk of poverty.”

You can learn more about the competition’s guidelines at the 11˚/17˚ website.

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Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Fred Benenson, May 12th, 2009

Collective IntelligenceWe somehow missed last March’s release of Mark Tovey’s collection of essays called “Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace” from the Carleton University Press. The book is a 648 page collection of essays from the likes of Yochai Benkler, Howard Rheingold and David Weinberger and is now available to download as a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial PDF. If you want to support the book’s non-profit publisher, we encourage you to purchase the hardcover copy at Amazon.

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Kutiman Talks to CBC; Interview Audio on ccMixter

Cameron Parkins, May 6th, 2009

thruyouIf you’re interested in online culture, you’ve probably come across the amazing THRU YOU project from Israeli producer Kutiman (see this WIRED profile for some background). Kutiman mashed together various YouTube clips of people playing instruments (many of them instructional videos) to create something totally new and unique. The result was a collection of seven songs and videos that artfully demonstrate the potential of digital collaboration.

Last month, CBC Radio’s Spark talked to Kutiman about the project and posted the interview audio posted to ccMixter under a Creative Commons BY-NC license for producers to chop up and use in their own tracks. Check it out!

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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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Randall Munroe on XKCD’s Book & Creative Commons

Fred Benenson, April 20th, 2009

XKCD Excerpt
Today’s New York Times reports on XKCD cartoonist Randall Munroe‘s foray into IRL publishing, so we wanted take the opportunity to congratulate Randall for the book deal, but we also wanted to point out his typically pithy and brilliant perspective in the NYTimes article on the book’s copyright and his choice to use Creative Commons:

Does that mean that the book won’t carry a traditional copyright and instead take its lead from the online comic strip itself, which Mr. Munroe licenses under Creative Commons, allowing noncommercial re-use as long as credit is given?

“To anyone who wants to photocopy, bind, and give a copy of the book to their loved one — more power to them,” he said. “He/She will likely be disappointed that you’re so cheap, though.”

Randall’s award winning webcomic XKCD is updated frequently and released under our Attribution-NonCommercial license.

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BBC Releases R&DTV Under CC

Fred Benenson, April 10th, 2009

R&DTV LogoTurning the tables, the BBC recently interviewed Digg’s Kevin Rose for their R&DTV series. R&DTV is a monthly program consisting of interviews with BBC developers and technology leaders. In conjunction to licensing the shows under our Attribution-NonCommercial license, the BBC is also releasing all of the content that got left on the cutting room floor in their “Asset Bundles.” This is a fantastic effort for the commons, so hats off to the BBC!

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“RiP: A Remix Manifesto” Released, Online Remixing Through Kaltura

Cameron Parkins, March 23rd, 2009

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RiP: A Remix Manifesto, a community-driven documentary that focuses on copyright and remix culture (covered earlier here and here) is just beginning to creep out into theaters, having its U.S. premier last week at SXSW. While the film largely focuses on the story of Greg Gillis (Girl Talk) it includes interviews with a wide variety of figures, including both Lawrence Lessig and Cory Doctorow.

Perhaps most interesting is that the filmmakers have teamed up with open source video platform Kaltura (early coverage here) enabling anyone with a computer to remix the film only at opersourcecinema.org. All the footage of the film is released under a CC BY-NC license.

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