The Legal Education Commons launched yesterday with open access to over 700,000 federal court decisions. The LEC is an “open, searchable collection of resources designed specifically for use in legal education.” It is made possible by a collaboration between the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. From the press release:
“All teachers of law have materials and notes they use in teaching,” says John Mayer, CALI Executive Director. “Many freely share their materials with colleagues, but there has never been a singular searchable, taggable space to serve that function for the entire legal academy,” he explains, “until now.”
While the LEC opens with an extensive collection of court cases and images, it can expand its collection of resources only through contributions and donations from the legal education community.
CALI implores faculty and staff at CALI member schools to share any files from personal collections that may facilitate learning amongst the legal education community. “Especially as we increasingly garner more participation and sharing from legal educators,” says Mr. Mayer, “the Legal Education Commons will be a great, non-commercial tool for those who are both teaching and learning the law.”
All material in the Legal Education Commons is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license (CC BY-SA), making it interoperable with a great deal of other open educational resources.1 Comment »
MixedInk is a recently launched service that allows large groups of people to collaboratively work on a single document together online. While many sites of this nature exist, MixedInk seems to be the first to focus on large group collaboration and does so in a unique manner. MixedInk’s submission system is based on a Digg-like voting procedure in which users vote for their favorite draft – the final draft is therefore dynamic and can shift over time if a better draft is decided upon by the community.
MixedInk keeps this type of collaboration open and legally sound by requiring any documents created on the site to be released under a CC BY-SA license. This serves a practical purpose – the articles written offer no restrictions in regards to quoting or editing as long as the original author is credited – and also serves the auxiliary purpose of keeping the MixedInk community open and free, ensuring there are no legal barriers for creating the best content possible. There are already some interesting examples of how this system can be put to use, most notably Slate’s community written Inaugural Address where individuals can contribute and vote for the Inaguration Speech they would most like to hear President-Elect Barack Obama give this coming Tuesday. The top-rated address will be published at Slate.com on inauguration day.No Comments »
The source files have been seeded for Valkaama, a fresh collaborative “open source movie”, filmed in Krakow, Poland. Director Tim Baumann intends to complete the post-production of the full feature movie publicly, with the help of volunteers both amateur and professional:
Here all available media sources are published in order to give you the chance to build upon them. If you want to participate in this project, by helping finishing the movie, creating remixes, making a new trailer or if you want to publish anything else here which is related to Valkaama, please get in touch with us.
Valkaama (trailer) is a drama set in Sweden and Finland and produced by drama school students and amateurs in and around Krakow. It tells the story of two disparate young men, each seeking his fortune, thrown together by fate to travel to “Valkaama”. As their paths cross, they do not realize how much of their journey has already been determined by their pasts.
Open Source and Open Content movies are still a rarity. Valkaama is one of the first movies not only to be distributed freely, but also to guarantee free access to all source data used and created during the production process. The project uses CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses to guarantee very flexible use and reuse of the produced material. Almost every text, picture and video, as well as all downloadable media, is tagged with a respective license. In some cases the licenses are included in the media files themselves.
Happy remixing!2 Comments »
Wikipedia began 8 years ago today and now exists in 265(!) languages with over 10 million articles among them. In those 8 years Wikipedia has grown from an outlandish dream and into a reality far more outlandish than the original dream — it now seems silly to compare Wikipedia to past encyclopedias, for while Wikipedia and sibling sites run by the Wikimedia Foundation are encylopedic in nature, they are 1,000 times more useful than anything previously conceived as an encyclopedia. Happy birthday and congratulations!
Almost exactly 1 year and 11 months after the birth of Wikipedia, Creative Commons launched. As many know, a process is underway that may result in Wikipedia migrating to CC BY-SA as its main license, which would be a great thing for the growth of free culture. However, see Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’ letter in support of CC’s recently ended annual fundraising campaign for other connections. And day to day, media under appropriate CC licenses is being utilized by Wikipedians — who for example immediately began using video and stills from the Al Jazeera CC repository launched just two days ago.
Here’s to many more years of free culture!
For context, we celebrated Mozilla’s 10th birthday last April and the GNU project’s 25th last September. It’s very difficult to draw comparisons, but the longevity of the free software movement and the relatively recent massive success of Wikipedia should inspire and humble the rest of the free culture and related movements.No Comments »
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This “Digital Engagement Commission” will question the role of digital arts and its meaning and benefits for audiences in Lancashire – people who live or work in the county, visitors and those who have an interest in engaging with it virtually.
… The artist will make the consultation process publicly visible in an engaging and creative online platform. The participatory consultation activities should take the form of both unique and engaging physical sessions and virtual engagement via the publicly accessible online platform. This platform could be developed especially by the artist or could make use of existing social networks. Any software developed for the project would be licensed under the latest general public license and any other works developed as part of the project would be licensed under creative commons attributions share alike. (emphasis added)
The aptly named Funny or Die comedy community has launched a competition with the free on-line screen writing software site Zhura. All contributions must be licensed under our copyleft license, Attribution-ShareAlike (BY-SA) so that Funny or Die’s producers can create the shows freely. Consequently, Funny or Die episodes based on submissions to the competition will be reciprocally licensed under BY-SA as well:
Q. What if I don’t want anyone to touch my script?
A. In order to be considered by the head writers for production, your script MUST carry the BY-SA Creative Commons License. This does two things: It lets Funny Or Die UK produce your sketch and it allows Zhura members (and Funny or Die UK head writers) edit your script as necessary to make it better (sorry).
If you’ve been itching to show the web how funny you are, now’s your chance. Read more about the competition over at Zhura’s site.No Comments »
This is a good opportunity to celebrate that the world of CC music is amazing for its depth and growth, not only for singular successes. One of many indicators is that Jamendo is on the cusp of reaching 15,000 openly licensed albums. They’ve put out a call for best of 2008 lists. It turns out fans have been building such lists all year, which is great, as discovery is the challenge.
My discovered on Jamendo in 2008 list follows. Except for the last track, you probably won’t enjoy this much, but that’s not the point — there are lots of other people discovering CC licensed music (at Jamendo and elsewhere) — follow them and you could be too. Or, if you share my taste in noise music…
KORIZA (Komitet Operativnoy Razrabotki Industrialnyh Zennostey Avangarda) from Saint Petersburg, Russia. They've released one experimental mathcore single, New Orlean Sunset Club that is deeply satisfying but a little too mellow. They are supposedly working on "new material, that will be much more experimental, vanguard & violent." CAN'T WAIT.
Dr Pombo: Trastorno de la personalidad Rock electrónico psicodélico from Ermua, Spain. Recommed the track La mano de Dios.
Desarraigo of Ningúnlado (Nowhere), Mexico does very short, violent tracks with a drum machine, screaming, and GNU/Linux. On Polvo recommend Criadero De Polvo, which adds night sounds, a 46 second epic.
En Busca Del Pasto, an improvisational project from Madrid, Spain, has released 24 albums on Jamendo. Improvisación para dúo, Nº 4 («Pan y vino») is heavier on electronics and sampling than typical for EBDP. Parte segunda from that album is excellent.
Daniele Torelli of Reggio Emilia, Italy works with the electronic band Yue and put out We Don't Care (single), a snappy little song.
Merci-Merci does lo-fi slow dance punk from La Rochelle, France. Souvenirs d'un océan disparu's Océan Pacifique is a very pleasant listen.
Tom Fahy led a prolific group of musicians in St. John's, Canada. Fahy died June of this year, a huge loss for music. The group's output of 70 albums on Jamedo ranges stylistically from instrumental rock to jazz to classical, with many variations. Some recommendations include Endgame: A Tribute to Bobby Fischer, instrumental rock, hear Defence; Hotel, raga influenced jazz, Epilogue; Little Fatty: Studies in Atonality, classical, Little Fatty No. 1; and 1986, instrumental rock, Miss Rose Tells The Future. [Edited March 2013; see note below]
Telemetrics Callsign 65:41 Noise and samples from Whitehouse, Ohio, USA. 25 minutes of easy on the ears listening.
Jamison Young, a musician and activist from Australia but based in Prague, Czech Republic, had a surprise this year from Shifting Sands Of A Blue Car when its Memories Child was featured in the X-Files: I Want to Believe movie. Not my usual type of music, but it grows on you. No reason for it to not be in heavy rotation on a supermarket PA near you.
Individual tracks listed above are assembled at http://www.jamendo.com/en/playlist/97841. All are available under CC BY or CC BY-SA.
Update (March 28, 2013): Tom Fahy‘s music is no longer available on Jamendo, but it is now hosted on Internet Archive. We’ve updated the links to the Internet Archive listings.No Comments »
Our final commoner letter of this campaign comes from Jimmy Wales, who needs no introduction.
If you haven’t contributed, now is the time. Please help spread this letter far and wide. Now, Jimmy Speaks…
Dear Creative Commoner,
Creative Commons recently celebrated its 6th birthday, and I want to take a moment to ask for your support of CC’s vital role in building a commons of culture, learning, science, and more, accessible to all.
When I founded Wikipedia in 2001, Creative Commons unfortunately did not yet exist. However, as by far the most wildly successful projects for the creation of and legal infrastructure for free knowledge in the world, our paths are inevitably intertwined.
For example, we have Wikinews publishing under CC BY, Wikimedia Commons curating thousands of quality images and other media, many under CC BY or BY-SA, Wikimedia chapters in Serbia and Indonesia as the Creative Commons affiliate organizations in those jurisdictions, Wikimedia Sweden and Creative Commons Sweden collaborating with Free Software Foundation Europe to put on FSCONS, and Creative Commons’ international office in Berlin just moved in with Wikimedia Germany.
Most importantly, we have people working to build free knowledge around the world, collaborating mostly informally. Some see themselves as part of one or more movements and communities, others just want to share and collaborate.
I’ve been pleased to personally serve on the CC board of directors since 2006 and am happy that after years of work, the Wikimedia community has obtained the option to update its primary license to CC BY-SA. This would remove a significant barrier to collaboration among people and communities creating free knowledge, a barrier that only exists due to the timing mentioned above.
As I explain in Jesse Dylan’s A Shared Culture, Creative Commons is about building infrastructure for a new kind of culture — one that is both a folk culture, and wildly more sophisticated than anything before it. Think about how quaint a traditional encyclopedia appears, now that we have Wikipedia. How much better would the world be if we allow education, entertainment, government, science and more to be transformed by the web? If we do not support Creative Commons, the realization of these dreams about what the Internet can and should become are at risk. By supporting Creative Commons, we build those dreams.
Allow me to close with a borrowing. Eben Moglen, chief lawyer of the free software movement, without which neither Wikipedia nor Creative Commons would exist, wrote the following at the end of the first letter of this campaign:
Supporting Creative Commons isn’t just something I feel I ought to do; it’s something we all have to do. I hope you will join with me in supporting Creative Commons with your money, with your energy, and with your creative power. There’s nothing we can’t do if we share.
I’ve spent the last few months neck deep on an original album – the first since 2003. ‘We Dont Disco’ is an electronic soundtrack to the days of my life. A little bit ambient, a little bit pop, a little bit dance……its a little bit kind of thing. If you like it then great, its free to download and completely copyright free – yep, a first on this web site – and is licensed under a Creative Commons ‘Attribution License’. Please feel free to use any song in any which way you choose.
An avid remix artist, team9 has chosen to release song stems for four of their tracks (Lines, We Don’t Disco Like We Used To, Five Times, and As We Travel), allowing potential remixers a simple way to re-imagine team9′s original tracks.1 Comment »
We will present a proposal for dual-licensing all Wikimedia projects currently using the GFDL, by January 15, 2009. It will be published on the foundation-l mailing list. This proposal will be discussed and revised through open community discussion, leading to an open vote among all active Wikimedia contributors (to be defined using similar criteria as the Board elections). If a majority of community members favor migration to CC-BY-SA, it will be implemented.
This follows the enormously important November 3 move by the Free Software Foundation to enable FDL-licensed wikis to migrate to CC BY-SA. For more background and why this is so important for free culture, see our post on the FSF’s move.
FSF president and free software movement founder Richard Stallman has since written an open letter on the matter. Excerpt:
If a wiki site exercises the relicensing option, that entails trusting Creative Commons rather than the Free Software Foundation regarding its future license changes. In theory one might consider this a matter of concern, but I think we can be confident that Creative Commons will follow its stated mission in the maintenance of its licenses. Millions of users trust Creative Commons for this, and I think we can do likewise.
This is a great honor for Creative Commons, and a debt of trust we are compelled to uphold. We hope the Wikimedia community will come to the same conclusion. Regarding maintenance of CC BY-SA licenses, see our Statement of Intent, also cited by the Q&A linked at the top of this post.
For a more general take on license stewardship, please see Bradley Kuhn’s post on The FLOSS License Drafter’s Responsibility to the Community, prompted by Stallman’s letter:
The key quote from his letter that stands out to me is: “our commitment is that our changes to a license will stick to the spirit of that license, and will uphold the purposes for which we wrote it.” This point is fundamental. As FLOSS license drafters, we must always, as RMS says, “abide by the highest ethical standards” to uphold the spirit that spurred the creation of these licenses.
Far from being annoyed, I’m grateful for those who assume the worst of intentions and demand that we justify ourselves. For my part, I try to answer every question I get at conferences and in email about licensing policy as best I can with this point in mind. We in the non-profit licensing sector of the FLOSS world have a duty to the community of FLOSS users and programmers to defend their software freedom. I try to make every decision, on licensing policy (or, indeed, any issue) with that goal in mind. I know that my colleagues here at the SFLC, at the Conservancy, at FSF, and at the many other not-for-profit organizations always do the same, too.
CC does not create software licenses (we recommend existing excellent free software licenses, such as the FSF’s GNU GPL), but these are words to take to heart as closely as possible.No Comments »