Less than 72 hours after the Obama-Biden Transition Team adopted our most permissive license for Change.gov, Cerado Ventana has built a Change.gov iPhone, mobile application, and widget. We will never know if this application would have been built if Change.gov hadn’t chosen such a permissive license, but it just goes to show what interesting things can happen when you let the world know your work is free to be built upon.
We originally caught this via Twitter and Christopher Carfi’s “Social Customer Manifesto” blog where he expressed thanks to Obama’s team for using CC:
Thank you again to the Obama administration for opening up Change.gov with Creative Commons to make this possible, and thanks to everyone here on the team. You have been building killer technology, and have enabled us to create this new conduit for citizens and government to connect.
This is just the beginning of innovative uses of the content from Change.gov, so keep an eye out for more interesting applications and let us know about them.
Check out the widget after the jump.
When Jeremy Keith, a web developer living and working in England took a photo of Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral and posted it to Flickr under our Attribution license (which seems to be the flavor of the month around here), he had no idea it was eventually going to end up in the blockbuster feature film Iron Man.
After explaining the terms of the CC license to a studio representative interested in using the photo in the film, Jeremy was told that it would costs at least $1500 to be attributed in the credits. So the studio offered the next best thing in lieu of being attributed properly: cash. But Jeremy turned the money down and just signed the license release anyway.
Besides being another example of Hollywood utilizing CC licensed material, this story offers insight into why we developed the CC+ protocol. CC+ is designed to help creators negotiate rights outside the scope of the license. For a lot of cases, this turns out to be our NonCommercial provision — that is, musicians offer their music to their fans under NC and use CC+ to point commercial users to a 3rd party rights broker (like Magnatune) that handles commercial rights negotiation on behalf of the artist. But here we can see another right being negotiated, that of attribution, which shows just how flexible CC licenses are.
Remember, when you’re the creator and owner of a copyrighted work, you have ultimate say over who does what with your work; CC licenses merely help you negotiate the thicket of what that “what” is.
Thanks go to Jeremy for writing up such an important example of CC licensed works being used in the wild.3 Comments »
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 »
Change.gov, the website of US president-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, has undergone some important and exciting changes over the past few days. Among them is the site’s new copyright notice, which expresses that the bulk of Change.gov is published under the most permissive of Creative Commons copyright licenses – CC BY.
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Content includes all materials posted by the Obama-Biden Transition project. Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to Change.gov under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
This is great news and a encouraging sign that the new administration has a clear sense of the importance of openness in government and on the web (there’s a bit more on this over at Lessig’s blog). The embrace of Creative Commons licensing on Change.gov is consistent with earlier support by both Obama and McCain for the idea of “open debates.” (It’s also in line with Obama’s decision to publish the pictures in his Flickr Photostream under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license – pretty cool!)
Tim O’Reilly has written a smart post (which has elicited some very thoughtful reader comments) recommending that Change.gov use revision control as a way to further improve transparency and make it possible for the public to review any changes that occur on the site. Of course, licensing is just one component of openness, but getting licensing right is necessary for enabling people to truly take advantage of technologies that facilitate collaboration.
Update: Several people have pointed out that “works created by an agency of the United States government are public domain at the moment of creation” (see Wikipedia for more on this). Change.gov is not currently the project of a government agency, but a 501(c)(4) that has been set up to manage the Obama-Biden transition. Also, the public is being invited to contribute their own comments and works to the site, and it is important to have a clear marking of the permissions that other people have to this material.
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Food writer and culinary culture aficionado Brian J. Geiger maintains a great site called The Food Geek, which features a blog, podcasts, recipes, and loads of helpful cooking tips. The site – which combines Gastronomica‘s thoughtful analysis and Alton Brown‘s geeky wisdom – is published under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Over the weekend, Geiger posted a column entitled “Who owns that recipe?,” which explains why recipes can’t be copyrighted (while the expression of recipes can) and encourages food knowledge sharing as a way to “make a better life for ideas.” Highly recommended for food fans and free cultural works proponents alike.
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Ideas are better shared than they are stored. Ideas like company. Ideas like new environments. Ideas like to frolic in new brains with other ideas. It’s how baby ideas are made. Ideas can’t reproduce well alone, so everyone wins if ideas are allowed to be promiscuous. … How firmly do I believe in this? I have released all of my original work for this site under a Creative Commons License.
The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is a group that “builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes.” With those telescopes they produce some absolutely amazing photographs and videos, all of which are released under a CC BY license. Check out their visual of the week for some particularly stunning photographs.3 Comments »
Spot.us is a recentlly launched nonprofit project from the Center for Media Change that aims to pioneer “community funded reporting.” Stories are pitched online with an amount of money needed for publication – users and site visitors can donate to any pitch they deem worthy, with the resulting article released under a CC BY license. From Poytner Online:
Users create story ideas that they think should be investigated and submit them to the site. From these ideas, journalists choose to write story pitches and open the idea up to the public to make donations. Once the project reaches its funding goal, those who have donated pay up and the journalist produces the story. If the project doesn’t receive enough funding, no one is charged. After the story is complete, Spot.Us publishes it and offers it to news organizations for free (the site’s content is licensed under Creative Commons). There is an option for news organizations to buy exclusive rights to the story, with the funding money going back to the journalist.
Spot.us has been getting a ton of great press including a nice write-up in the New York Times. Check out the site – no articles have been published yet but there are plenty of great pitches waiting to be funded. Similarly, don’t hesitate to start your own.
Addendum: Spot.us and Wikinews are both presenting tomorrow at a special CC Salon San Francisco on citizen journalism. It’s cool that both sites use the permissive CC BY license — they could each reuse the other’s stories, so long as they give credit — and you could too.No Comments »
Some very cool news from the design world: The Designers Accord, a community of more than 100,000 designers who are committed to environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible design practices (read more the project in GOOD Magazine’s interview with founder Valerie Casey) has launched an online platform for sharing design ideas. The Designers Accord Web Community is a collection of case studies, resources, methodologies, and best practices that have been created by designers and are intended for public use. All submissions and materials on the site are available under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This approach will enable the development of a body of freely-licensed design resources that can be used by people around the world, even for commercial purposes. A big bravo to the people behind this incredible effort!
If the Designers Accord community site was a traditional website, it might behave like a catalog or encyclopedia of best practices, cases studies, and references. Most likely, it would present a single voice to an audience of listeners.
It would be hugely helpful to all of us if that universal resource existed. But it doesn’t. Yet.
We can create this resource through our coalition. The reason we have the Designers Accord is that the creative community has yet to create a definitive set of instructions, or a clearly defined roadmap for fully integrating the principles of sustainability into our work. We are struggling through these difficult challenges together, and this site is a repository for content related to this journey.
Thanks very much to Katy Frankel for introducing us to the people at the Designers Accord and for her help in making this happen.No Comments »
The legendary mashup DJ Z-Trip has released a new mix under our Attribution license intended to help garner support for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Z-Trip’s Obama Mix is a recording of the set he’s been playing at recent fundraisers he’s organized with the artist Shepard Fairey (creator of the ubiquitous OBEY campaign and more recently, the Obama HOPE posters). Z-Trip wants you to push the mix as far and wide as possible so it makes sense he chose our least restrictive license:
I encourage you to download it and pass it along to anyone you think should hear it. Feel free to burn copies, share it with friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and especially anyone you know is on the fence about this election. I’m also putting out a radio friendly version, in case anyone wants to broadcast it.
Regardless of your political affiliation, the mix deserves a listen for anyone interested in political speech and sound. Download Z-Trip’s mix here.1 Comment »
It certainly isn’t the most publicized use of CC licences we have seen, but Scott Carpenter’s “Slyvan Sunset” appearing on the cover of the 2008/2009 Rapid City/Gillete Phone Book has us ecstatic nonetheless. While big names help gain wider exposure for CC, it is important to remember that these are tools meant for everyone, of which Carpenter’s photo re-use is an excellent example. From MTF.org:
Last September I received an email from someone at Yellowbook, saying that they were interested in using my picture for the cover of the Rapid City phone book [...] I said that they were already free and welcome to use it under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license with which it was published, but that I’d be willing to relicense it as Attribution only, which I did, and also signed a form giving them permission to use it. I often wondered if I should have held out for money also, but seeing the small role of the picture, it’s just as well I didn’t. Something tells me they wouldn’t have paid much for that, if anything, and I’m simply pleased to get some exposure and have an artifact of free culture–the CC license–appear right there on the cover of an old media phone book.
Carpenter’s experience highlights many of the things we love to see – licences increasing content visibility, the ability for a creator to reach a separate agreement outside their original CC license, and proper and thorough attribution (even if we have to agree with Carpenter that a graphic designer might “balk at this kind of verbiage [...] with the picture being such a minor part of the page”). Kudos to Carpenter and the countless others who use CC for everyday reasons and, every so often, experience surprising results.No Comments »