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.Comments Off
Create Digital Music, a fantastic blog on innovations in music technology/performance, recently published their Winter 2008 Guide featuring interviews, reviews, and of course photos of new trends in music production.
The guide is being published as a free PDF download and paperback book and is released under a CC BY-SA license. Not only is the guide approved for free cultural works, but it does an excellent job pooling free-to-use CC-licensed images and providing proper attribution back to these images through out its pages.Comments Off
Nodes.fm encourages musicians to upload their music so that it can be voted upon. Besides operating at no cost to musicians, and using our copyleft Attribution-ShareAlike license, Nodes.fm is free software as its codebase is released under the Free Software Foundation’s AGPL license.Comments Off
A Byte Of Vim is a newly released e-book by Swaroop C H that guides users, new and old, through the Vim 7 text editor. Released under a CC BY-SA license, the e-book is not only legally ripe for reuse but also approved for free cultural works.
Of particular note is A Byte of Vim‘s distribution model – primarily released online in wiki format, communal edits are easy and open, taking advantage of the freedoms inherent to BY-SA licensed works. You can download the e-book in PDF format as well.1 Comment »
Dopplr has aggregated thousands of travelers data and photos to create compelling pages that have autogenerated content. These pages expose fascinating trends of travelers visiting different cities. Take a look at Black Rock City’s profile:
By utilizing our Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike licenses, Dopplr has effectively avoided the transaction costs typically associated with negotiating rights to use a photo in a derivative work.3 Comments »
After the great success of the first Ubuntu FreeCulture Showcase just 4 months ago the great people at Ubuntu have opened up the door for submissions for the latest Showcase. The Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase is a way to show off the high-quality creativeness of the Free/Open Source community.
The winners of the competition are given more than just bragging rights as well. As Jono Bacon, Community Manager for Ubuntu, has put it in his announcement, “with each development cycle we present the opportunity for any Free Culture artist to put their work in front of millions of Ubuntu users around the world.” That is millions of new eyeballs and ears to experience your creative work. The deadline for submissions is February 6th, 2009 so get to work on your submission now!
Also, this time around the competition is not limited to only music and video as they have added the Image category to the mix. The image can be any type of photography or computer generated still art.
All submissions for the Showcase will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. The choice of license shows Ubuntu’s commitment to the ethos of Free Software and Free Culture. The Attribution-ShareAlike license is Approved for Free Cultural Work license and also the same license that Wikipedia is considering transitioning to in the future. This is a really great choice on behalf of Ubuntu to use the BY-SA license and help build the commons of free as in freedom material.3 Comments »
Tribe Of Noise, a community driven music site that uses a CC BY-SA license for all uploads, recently launched a new project, One Billion Fans, to help promote their growing pool of artists. Musicians, fans, and companies can all log in to support their favorite artist over the coming months with the winner being featured on the digital billboard at Times Square. Voting ends on February 28 – be sure to head to the One Billion Fans website to sign up and help promote!2 Comments »
Digital Tipping Point, a documentary on the free software and free culture movements, recently posted over 80 digitized hours (350 hours have been shot in total) of CC BY-SA licensed footage of “leading politicians, CEOs, and software developers from all over the world.” The footage is available for free at their archive.org page:
The DTP crew describes their project as a Point-of-View (POV) documentary film about the rapidly growing global shift to open source software, and the effects that massive wave of technological change will have on literacy, art, and culture around the world.
The DTP crew says their project will be the first feature length documentary about free open source software to be built in an open source fashion out of video submitted to the Internet Archive.
The DTP crew invites you to take their video and rip, mix and burn it however you like, for whatever purpose you like. You can even use the footage for your own commercial film, as long as you release your final product under a Creative Commons Attribute-ShareAlike license.
Kaltura, an “open-source platform for video creation, management, interaction, and collaboration”, boasts a robust platform uncommon among web-apps that includes the ability to annotate, remix, edit, and share video collaboratively over the web.
Of particular interest to the CC-community is Kaltura’s decision to require that all user-submitted media be licensed under a CC BY-SA license, creating a community of true sharing and remixing that is in line with our Free Cultural Works guidelines. From Kaltura:
Kaltura’s open source platform enables any site to seamlessly and cost–effectively integrate advanced interactive rich–media functionalities, including video searching, uploading, importing, editing, annotating, remixing, and sharing. Kaltura’s goal is to bring interactive video to every site and to create the world’s largest distributed video network.
Kaltura are also funding open video work at Wikimedia, great news we posted earlier here.Comments Off
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 »