CC BY-NC

Digital Youth Research Report Released

Cameron Parkins, November 21st, 2008

Digital Youth Research, a cross-campus academic project that aims to understand the effects of digital media on young people, published their findings this past Wednesday after 3 years of work by 28 researches and research collaborators. The report claims some interesting findings, namely that “youth use online media to extend friendships and interests” and to “engage in peer-based, self-directed learning online” – findings that run counter to more wide-spread narratives on the subject.

The report, as well as all the other content available digitally from Digital Youth Research, is released under a CC BY-NC license, a decision that should encourage wider-spreading of the report and an increased dialogue on the subject. From the New York Times (via Joi):

Good news for worried parents: All those hours their teenagers spend socializing on the Internet are not a bad thing, according to a new study by the MacArthur Foundation.

“It may look as though kids are wasting a lot of time hanging out with new media, whether it’s on MySpace or sending instant messages,” said Mizuko Ito, lead researcher on the study, “Living and Learning With New Media.” “But their participation is giving them the technological skills and literacy they need to succeed in the contemporary world. They’re learning how to get along with others, how to manage a public identity, how to create a home page.”

As the NYT article notes, Digital Youth Research is funded by the MacArthur Foundation, which for years has also been one of CC’s biggest supporters.

Want to join them in supporting CC? Help Build the Commons by donating money, sharing your CC story, or by spreading the word to your friends. Every donation over $50 receives a CC Network profile and a limited-edition Jonathan Coulton USB Drive, with even more perks at higher donation levels.

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Campaign Exclusive: Custom USB Drives & Unreleased Jonathan Coulton Album

Fred Benenson, November 17th, 2008

Mega Green FlashdriveThe ever innovative Brooklyn-based singer songwriter Jonathan Coulton has teamed up with Creative Commons to release his greatest hits compilation “JoCo Looks Back” on a 1gb custom Creative Commons jump drive to help support our 2008 campaign. If that weren’t enough, JoCo and CC have also included all of the unmixed audio tracks for every song on the drive. That’s over 700mb of JoCo thing-a-week goodness. Since all of JoCo’s music is released under our Attribution-NonCommercial license, this is an incredible opportunity for the public to remix and reuse his fantastic music. Song files are in 320kbps MP3 and unmixed audio tracks are in 256 VBR MP3.

We’ll be offering the drives exclusively at our $50 dollar donation level (and above) until December 31st. Also included are a CreativeCommons.net account, an OpenID identity, and a 2008 campaign sticker.

Jonathan also wrote a wonderful commoner letter speaking on how he, as a musician, uses Creative Commons to support himself and his career. Read it here.




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Tout de Suite Series: Author’s Rights

Cameron Parkins, November 10th, 2008

Digital Scholarship, a website run and maintained by information management expert Charles W. Bailey, Jr., recently published a fantastic article regarding author’s rights for their Tout de Suite series. The article aims to “give journal article authors a quick introduction to key aspects of authorʹs rights” and is released under a CC BY-NC license. The document includes a wide range of information regarding CC, including information about how to license works, guidelines for proper attribution, and suggestions as to which license is best suited for academic journals (Bailey argues BY and BY-NC).

Bailey has published various other CC-related articles on Digital Scholarship, all released under a CC BY-NC license. For those looking to expand their knowledge of information studies, the site is an great reference.

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Into Infinity Audio Mega-Mixer launches

Eric Steuer, November 6th, 2008

Into Infinity (see previous post) – the CC-licensed art and music exhibition produced by dublab in collaboration with Creative Commons – is going strong. Visit the project’s online home for regular additions by artists and musicians from all over the world. Everything on the site is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license that allows legal sharing and reuse – we’ve already seen some great remixes of the works, which we’re looking forward to presenting publicly soon.

For now, we’re pleased to announce the debut of the Into Infinity Audio Mega-Mixer, a soundboard that lets you create in-the-moment sound collages from all of Into Infinity’s 8-second audio loops. We’ll be adding more functionality and updates to the mixer soon – so stay tuned. In the meantime, have fun creating sound combinations!

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Finals Club

Cameron Parkins, October 29th, 2008

Finals Club is a new website that aims to provide an online space for college students to blog about class lectures as well as converse in forums on a range of academic topics. Students can form groups, invite their friends to join, and assign tasks all with the goal of a more comprehensive learning experience and, as the Harvard Crimson points out, increased “transparency among study groups.”

All of the user-generated content at Finals Club is released under a CC BY-NC license, keeping the content created therein open and free to use for future students. While currently only available at a select group of universities, Finals Club shows great promise as a platform for students to collaborate academically in an open manner.

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CC Talks With: MusicBrainz

Cameron Parkins, October 28th, 2008

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Robert Kaye, “lead geek” at MusicBrainz, a community music database that “attempts to create a comprehensive music information site.” Kaye fills us in on what is happening at MusicBrainz, including extensive background on the project, how they use CC licenses, and their goal to add broader support for classical music.

Where does MusicBrainz fit in the open content ecology?

MusicBrainz plays an important role in blazing the path for open databases. We know how to play with open source and music, and we have few examples of how to work
with open structured data. We work hard to make our data useful and available to people, as we believe that Metcalfe’s law also applies to data. Thus, getting lots of people to use our data makes MusicBrainz vastly more useful and valuable. With that in mind, we want to be the de-facto standard for music metadata in the open content ecology.
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U of Michigan Library Adopts CC Licenses

Jane Park, October 16th, 2008

In another innovative move, the University of Michigan Library has adopted CC licensing for all of its own content. Any work that is produced by the library itself, and to which the University of Michigan holds the copyrights, will be released under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license (CC BY-NC). This allows anyone, including you, to access, adapt, remix, reproduce, and redistribute the library’s works for noncommercial purposes. This is fantastic news for educators, researchers, and students, who often dread the laborious task of obtaining permissions to synthesize diverse works with just as diverse (not to mention tricky) rights attached to them. From their press release:

The University of Michigan Library has decided to adopt Creative Common Attribution-Non-Commercial licenses for all works created by the Library for which the Regents of the University of Michigan hold the copyrights. These works include bibliographies, research guides, lesson plans, and technology tutorials. We believe that the adoption of Creative Commons licenses is perfectly aligned with our mission, “to contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge.”

University Librarian Paul Courant said, “Using Creative Commons licenses is another way the University Library can act on its commitment to the public good. By marking our copyrighted content as available for reuse, we offer the University community and the public a rich set of educational resources free from traditional permissions barriers.”

Recall that they also recently installed the Espresso Book Machine, which prints on demand copies of over 2 million public domain books. Now they can add even more works to the mix! What will the Library be up to next? Thanks to Molly Kleinman for alerting us to the good news.

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The Websters’ Dictionary

Cameron Parkins, September 24th, 2008

The Websters’ Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World is a newly released book on “how to create communities of thousands […] and channel their energy to effect political, social and cultural transformation.” Written by tech-advocate and political theorist Ralph Benko, The Websters’ Dictionary aims to educate on the web’s potential to motivate groups and enact change on broader issues, all while keeping in mind the complexities inherent in organizing movements online.

While the book is aimed at those with mid-level web experience, The Websters’ Dictionary has salient points that should resonate across technical prowess and familiarity. The Websters’ Dictionary is available for free PDF download – after taking the “Websters’ Oath” – and is being released under a CC BY-NC license, meaning that it can be reused in any number of ways, as long as future works credit Ralph Benko and are noncommercial in intent. Hardcover and paperbacks versions of the book should be available in October.

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CC Talks With: Richard Stevens

Cameron Parkins, September 9th, 2008

Richard Stevens, known to many as simply rstevens, has been a major presence in webcomics for the better part of a decade, gaining notoriety through his popular webcomic Diesel Sweeties. In March of this year, he chose to release the entire archive for DS (nearly 2,000 comics) under a CC BY-NC license, opening up a collection of incredibly witty and sharply designed comics to the masses. We recentlly caught up with rstevens to learn more about his comics and work in general, why he chose to use CC, and what kind of effect it has had on Diesel Sweeties.

Can you give our readers some background on who you are and what you do? How long have you been working in the webcomic world? How did you end up there?

I’m a comic book nerd born a few months before Star Wars who studied and taught graphic design, but wound up getting to be a cartoonist. I’m a big Mac fan, even though they’re popular again and I spend most of my time walking around writing or making coffee.

I’ve been doing Diesel Sweeties on the web since early 2000 and it’s been my job since 2002. I did a parallel version for newspapers that ran from 2007-2008.
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“Trust: Reaching The 100 Million Missing Voters” Re-released Under CC License

Cameron Parkins, September 2nd, 2008

Trust: Reaching The 100 Million Missing Voters“, originally released in 2004 as a collection of essays, has been re-released online under a CC BY-NC license, meaning it can be shared, reused, and remixed as long as the author, Farai Chideya, is credited and it is for non-commercial purposes.

By releasing “Trust” under a CC license, Chideya and ‘Pop + Politics‘ (a political blog Chideya started in 1996) are able to spread their message much farther than before as the work can now be disseminated, reused, and remixed with no legal hassle. In other words, “Trust” can now more easily reach the 100 million missing voters the essay collection is focused on. You can download the first three chapters here, with more to follow as the election continues on. From Pop + Politics:

What does “Trust” cover? Well, do you want to know how the two-party system evolved? Why independent parties are at a disadvantage in that system? Why millions of people don’t vote? How hip hop politics evolved? How young Americans can revolutionize the system? It’s all in there.

AND IT’S YOURS.

This book is yours now. As long as you are a non-profit or a non-commercial blog, you can print any part (or all of) “Trust,” or: distribute it, post it on your site, excerpt it, or put parts of into other works like voter-registration packets. If you’re a commercial publisher or blog, you can do the same thing… but you have send us an email and ask permission first.

How can we give the book away for free online? The publishers, Soft Skull Press, gave us permission to release the book under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons is an amazing project that allows books, art, and information to be free, with the permission of the people who created it.

That’s it. THIS IS YOURS.

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