CC BY

Designers Accord Web Community launches under CC BY

Eric Steuer, November 6th, 2008

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.

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DJ Z-Trip’s Obama Mix

Fred Benenson, October 27th, 2008

Z-trip Obama Mix
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.

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CC Licensed Image on Rapid City/Gillete Phone Book

Cameron Parkins, September 10th, 2008

Sylvan Sunset | Scott Carpenter CC BY

It certainly isn’t the most publicized use of CC licences we have seen, but Scott Carpenter’s “Slyvan Sunsetappearing 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.

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Call for Soundtrack: RIP A Remixer’s Manifesto

Victor Stone, September 9th, 2008

Creative Commons and the makers of the independent film currently in production RIP: A Remixer’s Manifesto a co-production between Montreal-based production house Eye Steel Film and the National Film Board of Canada are making a Call for Soundtracks. The film itself is released under a CC license and has been produced collaboratively through hundreds of submissions and remixes at Open Source Cinema.

A mashup in its own right, RIP tackles the issue of Fair Use ─ broadly defined as the limited use of copyrighted material without requiring the permission of the rights holders ─ on its own uncertain ground. Pulling footage from a range of sources, filmmaker Brett Gaylor looks at cultural appropriation throughout history, from Muddy Waters to the Rolling Stones to the king of the remix, Walt Disney. With legal advice from Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig, Brett negotiates the tricky world of fair-use filmmaking.

Now the producers and CC are using ccMixter to host a Call for Soundtracks hoping to finish the music soundtrack for the film using remixes made from CC Attribution licensed source material. Instructions and details can be found at ccMixter.

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Joi Ito Discusses CC in Business Week

Cameron Parkins, September 3rd, 2008

Joi Ito, CC’s CEO, recentlly sat down with Business Week to discuss Creative Commons, our mission, and how our licenses work the way they do. The article has an obvious focus on the business potential of CC licences but touches on the implications our licences have in the arts and education as well. It’s a great write up and hopefully gives a bit of context about where we are right now and where we are headed in the near future.

Outside of CC, the article talks at length about Joi’s upcoming photography book, FREESOULS. FREESOULS features photography Joi has taken over the past year of individuals, both well known and lesser known, that had few or no images of themselves publicly available under a CC licence or in the Public Domain. The book and the images therein are being released under a CC BY license and many of the photos already available online under the same terms.

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HOWTO Rock Flickr like a champ

Mike Linksvayer, August 28th, 2008

Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb lays it out:

Turn on Creative Commons Licensing

It’s easy to turn the default setting for new photos uploaded to Creative Commons Attribution (our favorite) by visiting the Privacy & Permissions tab in your account. Unfortunately there’s not clear, working links from Flickr to an explanation of the different licenses. Here they are on the Creative Commons site.

CC Attribution is a license that says other people can use it and change it, including in a commercial context, as long as they give you attribution as the creator. It greases the wheels for quick and easy media sharing. That’s good and it would be nice if more quality media was licensed this way. We keep a link to the Creative Commons by Attribution search on Flickr in our browser toolbar and use it frequently for photos in posts. Those could be your photos we and others are using!

(Emphasis added.)

Read the whole article for Marshall’s other helpful suggestions on how to make the most out of Flickr.

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Animasher Brings Commons Remixing to Animation

Fred Benenson, August 25th, 2008

Animasher is a site with a simple premise based on a powerful tool that helps anyone remix the commons. The core of the site is a flash tool that enables easy key frame based creation of animations complete with music and narration. In order to seed the site with remixable content, Animasher pulls Attribution licensed photographs from Flickr and Attribution and Public Domain music from other sources such as Jamendo and Opsound. Proper attribution is then automatically generated for each animation which is also licensed under CC-BY. All animations can be cloned and edited instantly by anyone visiting the site.

To get started, watch some of the animations created by other users, or create your own.

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LearnHub Integrates CC Licensing

Jane Park, April 25th, 2008

LearnHub logo—the new online social learning network—decided to go Creative Commons earlier this week. On Wednesday, they integrated CC licensing into their platform as an option for users to share their work, with the additional option of contributing work into the public domain. One of their inspirations was Flickr, the online photo management system that has integrated CC licensing and search.

LearnHub is the result of a collaboration between India’s largest online educator–Educomp–and Savvica Inc., an educational technology company that John and Malgosia Green founded back in 2004.

LearnHub is not designed for any one specific group, but for the networking capabilities among the diverse individuals and communities out there. Because they emphasize open educational resources, LearnHub’s goals are definitely in line with ccLearn’s. John tells me what appealed to him about CC:

“What I saw in CC was that there were several different levels, from public domain to copyright, which give people choice… I’m familiar with CC actually mostly through Flickr which I use very passionately. I think that [CC] works very, very well on that platform, but I don’t think they’ve gone nearly as far as they could with it. And we certainly have that opportunity in education.”

For an example of LearnHub’s current interface, check out the “Wanna Work Together” video at LearnHub’s Creative Commons community. It is licensed CC-BY.


Logo & Screenshot © LearnHub

LearnHub looks very exciting, and we will be following their development closely and reporting further as their user community grows. John tells me that they plan for closer CC integration in the future. “We want to encourage people to share their content freely. We have a lot of specific ideas around search integration.”

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Dream at 1920×1080 in CC

Mike Linksvayer, May 19th, 2006

Elephants Dream, a short film that premiered late March, is now available for download in many formats, including a stunning AVI, MPEG4 (mp42) / AC3 5.1 Surround / HD 1920×1080 encoding. The production files are also downloadable.

The film is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license. It was created to show off the capabilities of open source 3D modeling software Blender, a task at which it has surely succeeded.

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