The Free Software Foundation has just released version 1.3 of its Free Documentation License containing language which allows FDL-licensed wikis to republish FDL content under the CC Attribution-ShareAlike license until August 1, 2009. Excepted from this are FDL documents originating elsewhere unless they have been incorporated into the wiki prior to November 1, 2008.
This is a crucial step toward de-fracturing the free (culture) as in (software) freedom world, which should have the impact of greatly accelerating the growth of that world. Last December the Wikimedia Foundation requested that the FSF make this step.
Thanks and congratulations to the WMF and FSF (if you haven’t wished the latter a hearty 25th anniversary yet, please do so) and to the free world.
The next step is for the Wikipedia/Wikimedia community (and other FDL-licensed wikis) to decide to offer wiki content under CC BY-SA 3.0.
We hope that these communities find CC the best steward for free culture licenses to be relied upon for massively collaborative works. See our Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses and Approved for Free Cultural Works branding rolled out in February and April of this year respectively for some background on this.
In the longer term (i.e., in a future version of the CC BY-SA license, which as the FSF does their licenses, we version very carefully and deliberately) we will address other issues of particular interest to communities creating massively collaborative works, in particular attribution for such situations (our version 2.5 licenses begin to do this) and how strongly copyleft (ShareAlike in CC parlance) attaches to the context in which CC BY-SA licensed images are used (as we did for video synced to music in version 2.0).
Thanks again to the FSF and WMF, which as CC does, build critical infrastructure for a free world. All of these organizations are nonprofits deserving of your support. CC is running its annual fundraising campaign right now. :)
Also see Lawrence Lessig’s post on Enormously important news from the Free Software Foundation.1 Comment »
Schematics for the Arduino chip are released under a CC BY-SA license, meaning that home-brewed Arduino chips have popped up in “open source synthesizers, MP3 players, guitar amplifiers, and even high-end voice-over-IP phone routers”. The article is brimming with anecdotes and examples on how giving away these schematics ahs been a huge help to Arduino economically, ethically, and creatively. In regards to their initial motivations, Thompson writes:
[T]he Arduino inventors decided to start a business, but with a twist: The designs would stay open source. Because copyright law—which governs open source software—doesn’t apply to hardware, they decided to use a Creative Commons license called Attribution-Share Alike. It governs the “reference designs” for the Arduino board, the files you’d send to a fabrication plant to have the boards made.
Under the Creative Commons license, anyone is allowed to produce copies of the board, to redesign it, or even to sell boards that copy the design. You don’t need to pay a license fee to the Arduino team or even ask permission. However, if you republish the reference design, you have to credit the original Arduino group. And if you tweak or change the board, your new design must use the same or a similar Creative Commons license to ensure that new versions of the Arduino board will be equally free and open.
On the topic of open-source economics, the Arduino team has some phenomenal insight on lessons they have learned:
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[Arduino] makes little off the sale of each board—only a few dollars of the $35 price, which gets rolled into the next production cycle. But the serious income comes from clients who want to build devices based on the board and who hire the founders as consultants.
“Basically, what we have is the brand,” says Tom Igoe, an associate professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, who joined Arduino in 2005. “And brand matters.”
What’s more, the growing Arduino community performs free labor for the consultants. Clients of Banzi’s design firm often want him to create Arduino-powered products. For example, one client wanted to control LED arrays. Poking around online, Banzi found that someone in France had already published Arduino code that did the job. Banzi took the code and was done.
Written, performed, recorded and produced entirely by Jono Bacon, the album touches a range of political and social topics, driven by a brutal, thundering style with pounding double bass drumming, grinding guitars and guttural vocals. The album was recorded in Jono’s home studio in central England and combines a range of styles. Pre-release listening sessions have resulted in comparisons to Metallica, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Pantera, Decapitated and Hatebreed.
Jono Bacon, the one man band behind Severed Fifth, released the inaugural album Denied by Reign today. This metal album is trying to bring the idea of Free Culture licensing to the world of metal music. We previously discussed here the announcement of the idea back in June of this year. It is a testament to Jono’s enthusiasm for this project how quickly he was able to write, record, and master this first album while also doing his full time job as Community Manager for Ubuntu.1 Comment »
The Geograph British Isles project, which aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometer of Great Britain and Ireland, announced today that they have recieved their 1 millionth image submission. All images are licensed under a CC BY-SA license, meaning the images can be shared and reused as long as the author(s) are properly attributed and any derivative works are shared under the same license.
Just three months ago, we were praising the GBI project’s effort to release torrents of their image database, which then totaled 860,000 images. Congrats to the GBI project on this huge milestone – read more about their project here, including their well articulated points on the benefits of remaining free and open.1 Comment »
Colin Mutchler is one of the original CC success stories. Back in 2003, he posted his song, My Life, to Opsound under a CC BY-SA license. A month later a violinist name Nora Beth added a violin track, calling the new work My Life Changed. It was one of the first instances of CC facilitating unsolicited collaboration, laying the ground work for the amazing remix culture we have seen develop over the past 5 years. Mutchler has since expanded his resume, working on photography and media production as well as his music. We caught up with him recently to find more about what he has been up to since we last checked in – needless to say, it has been a while.
Can you give us some background on yourself and your music? How did you get started as a musician? What are your major influences?
My first 7 years in Bellingham WA were filled with my parents’ sounds from the Grateful Dead and George Winston. But it wasn’t until I first started playing guitar in college that I began to write lyrics, initially inspired by people like Ben Harper, Ani Difranco, and Bob Dylan. Silvio Rodriguez was also an influence ever since I lived in Bolivia in 1998. Then when I saw Saul Williams in the movie Slam in 1999, it became clear that the most powerful voices of our generation would come through Hip Hop and spoken word. Other influential voices for me were Sarah Jones and Alix Olson. For a while I imagined myself becoming a kind of folk-hop version Mos Def and Talib Kweli (still do), but with a full time job in digital marketing and a vision for a crowdfunding media tool for social entrepreneurs, I’m still fighting that daily choice to actually be an artist and musician.
Brad Sucks, a CC license using pop/rock musician, recently released his latest album Out Of It for free online and under a CC BY-SA license. Brad is one of the most remixed artists over at ccMixter, runs an active blog, interacts with fans directly, and was recently interview by the Featured Commoners behind The Indie Band Survival Guide. Needless to say we needed to catch up with Brad and ask some questions of our own – read on to learn about Brad’s influences, why he uses CC licenses, and how he feels about his work being remixed and reused.
Can you give our reader’s a bit of background on you and your music? How long have you been creating music? What are your influences?
I started taking classical guitar lessons when I was 10 years old. I hated practicing and was never very good and quit because it was boring. Then when I was 14 or so I got into MOD/S3M trackers (Scream Tracker and then later Impulse Tracker) and was really into industrial/electronic music. I got an electric guitar a few years later and started trying to fit it all together as digital recording matured.
My influences were mostly classic rock as a kid. Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, etc, the stuff my dad listened to. As a teenager I was into more aggressive stuff: Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, etc. Besides being a lot harder, it had a real DIY ethic to it. There usually wasn’t much of a “band”, just one or two guys working on recordings. That was a huge inspiration because it seemed normal to me to think of doing everything myself. After that I mellowed out and de-gothed a bit but I secretly wish I could take myself seriously enough to rock like Ministry.
After the fantastic success of Wikipedia Takes Manhattan, Wikipedia, The Open Planning Project, Free Culture @ Columbia, Free Culture @ NYU and Creative Commons have all teamed up to organize another free culture photo scavenger hunt hunt for this Saturday, September 27th!
This time we’ve really stepped up the awards. The grand prize for the team with the most photos is now a dinner with Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia and CC board member, at the fantastic Pure Food & Wine restaurant in downtown Manhattan.
The photos will go directly into Wikimedia Commons and the Livable Streets Streetswiki and all photos will be released under our Attribution-ShareAlike license to allow for easy remixing and reuse in any future projects.
The day starts at 1pm and ends with a party after sunset. Register now and we’ll see you on Saturday!Comments Off
A lot’s changed since I started putting music on the Internet way back in 2001. Artist-endorsed free downloads were shocking. Flexible pricing was still an untested novelty. It was rare to find source files from artists and sharing music wasn’t encouraged by new artists.
Recently I was asked if I’d do anything different this time around [...] and I honestly couldn’t imagine why I’d do things different. The only reason I, a dude who made an album by himself in a country basement, has had any sort of success is because people took it upon themselves to share my music with their friends. They remixed it, they used it in their videos, they played it on their podcasts, they included it in software and games and it took on a life of its own.
To coincide with the album release, ccMixter got Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan, authors of the “Indie Band Survival Guide” to conduct an interview with Brad Sucks. Brad is one of the most sampled artists over at ccMixter and the interview sheds much more light on his music in particular and opinions on the music industry as a whole.Comments Off
Last Friday (June 15th), Where are the Joneses?, a “daily fictional interactive comedy shot entirely for the web”, went live. The show is written collaboratively by the Where are the Joneses? community, released on to YouTube under a CC Attribution-Sharealike licence, and funded as a marketing experiment for Ford Motors (as a big purple van is featured in every episode).
Certainly a hybrid of ideologies, Where are the Joneses? is as funny as it is forward thinking. This model for media production is outlined superbly by Rob Myers on his blog where he discusses the show in relation to its use of participatory creation, CC licensing, and as a marketing tool. Truly a must read to understand the unique importance of such an experiment.Comments Off