CCi

CCi and Wikimedia Germany in closer collaboration, shared office space

Michelle Thorne, December 9th, 2008

Creative Commons International (CCi) is moving! Leaving our office in Berlin-Mitte, we’ll be moving to Berlin-Schöneberg to share workspace with Wikimedia Germany. Our move builds upon existing collaborations with local Wikimedia projects and the hope of continued support and unified efforts. To date, CCi has teamed up with Wikimedia Serbia, one of the institutional hosts of the CC Serbia project, and Wikimedia Indonesia will soon begin overseeing the porting of the CC licenses to Indonesian law. Nordic CC and Wikimedia communities are also strengthening ties, as demonstrated by the recent “free society” conference FSCONS, organized by CC Sweden, Wikimedia Sweden, and the Free Software Foundation Europe.

It is our hope that the office share will build bridges across projects, people, and resources. As reported last month, the Wikimedia/Wikipedia community is now deciding whether to offer wiki content under CC BY-SA 3.0. These discussions follow the Free Software Foundation’s release of 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.

Read more about the move in our press release.

100,000 Attribution-ShareAlike Images for Wikimedia Commons

Good news reaches another Wikimedia project, Wikimedia Commons, which hosts hundreds of thousands of freely licensed Creative Commons media and serves as the multimedia back-end of Wikipedia. Everyone is encouraged to upload as much educational free media as they can in order to benefit the commons, and this is exactly what the German Federal Archive has decided to do.

Since December 4th, the archive is uploading around 100,000 photos to Wikimedia Commons, all licensed under our Attribution-ShareAlike license. The subject matter varies from not-so-ordinary street scenes to famous German sights, but all of the photos are high quality and offer great snapshots of modern German history. Check out the contributions from BArchBot to keep an eye as the uploads progress over the next couple of weeks.

A very warm congratulations to our new office mates, Wikimedia Germany, and to the German Federal Archive for organizing such a significant and valuable contribution to the commons!

Image: “Schwerin, Neujahr, Feuerwerk” by Ralf Pätzold, made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License by the Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive), Bild 183-Z1228-001.

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Latam Commons 2008 is a Success

Jane Park, December 1st, 2008

Latam Commons 2008: The Public Domain, Creative Commons, and Open Education in Latin America, held Nov 19-21 in Santiago, Chile, was a great success. The event was co-hosted and excellently managed by NGO Derechos Digitales, and representatives from all over Latin America were present and actively participated in the meeting. Project Leads of Creative Commons jurisdictions first held a one-day meeting to discuss their projects, possible strategic initiatives and collaborations across the region, and shared challenges. These conversations are just the beginning of what is planned to become a regular regional gathering to leverage the expertise and resources that are distributed throughout the region. The next day was devoted to a highly interactive “unconference” on open education which brought together leading international advocates for open education with key figures in libraries and ministries of education in Chile and beyond. The goal of the meeting was to gather information regarding top concerns and key projects involved in the growth of the open education movement, to be synthesized and then leveraged for collaborative opportunities both within and beyond the region. Look for a report on this event in the coming months. Finally, Derechos Digitales orchestrated a seminar on the public domain which included cutting-edge research reports and discussions regarding the legal and practical elements of both defining and utilizing the public domain in Latin America. The philosophical and legal issues pertinent to consideration of the public domain is clearly of broad interest in the region, and we are hopeful that these ideas will continue to serve as organizing themes for ongoing conversation and action to enhance access to knowledge and improved scholarship in the future.

Additional details will be forthcoming from ccLearn, CCi, and Derechos Digitales.

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Spain’s Version 3.0 goes live

Michelle Thorne, November 17th, 2008

Creative Commons Spain and Catalonia has successfully completed its versioning of the ported Creative Commons licensing suite to Version 3.0. The six standard Creative Commons licenses are now legally and linguistically adapted to Spanish law and available in Castilian, Catalan, and Basque, with a Galician translation coming soon and now Galician.

CC Spain and Catalonia is lead by Ignasi Labastida i Juan and in affiliation with the renown Universitat de Barcelona, The Spanish community continues to rank among the most frequent and permissive license users, and the country hosts numerous CC-powered projects and proponents, including the collaborative Freesound database, netAudio.es and its associated netlabels, several departments of the Catalan government, and institutions like Universitat de Girona with dedicated open resources for research and learning.

“Version 3.0 of the licenses is more robust and clarifies some aspects related to moral rights and rights collective management,” explains Ignasi Labastida i Juan. “We now have many users, but there is still a lot of work to do to explain the meaning of using a CC license in specific fields.”

Creative Commons International, a project of Creative Commons, continues to work with legal experts and professionals around the world to ensure the licenses’ global interoperability and their jurisdictional legal certainty.

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Regional Workshop in Caucasus Leading CC Projects to First License Drafts

Michelle Thorne, October 31st, 2008

On October 23, CC Legal and Public Project Leads from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia met in Tbilisi, Georgia for a workshop to discuss the CCi license porting process in their jurisdictions. The workshop was facilitated by representatives of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) and Nena Antic, Legal Project Lead from CC Serbia.

At the workshop, the Project Leads from the South Caucasus presented base-line assessments of their jurisdiction’s copyright legislation, a follow-up to the detailed reports they conducted in summer 2008. The results were evaluated to determine the steps required to port the core CC licenses to the legal framework in each respective jurisdiction.

Nena Antic shared her experience with the CCi license porting process in Serbia by highlighting the main obstacles, lessons learned, and CC Serbia’s tangible results so far. Nena provided in-depth explanations for the changes she introduced to adapt the CC licensing suite to Serbian law and led the workshop’s discussion on legal terminology, the NC & ND license elements, and Collective Rights Management.

Vazgen Karapetyan, EPF’s Senior Cross-Border Programs Officer and co-organizer of the workshop, remarked, “As a whole, the workshop proved highly instrumental in familiarizing the participating Affiliate Institutions with the successful experience of their Serbian counterpart. Learning about the necessary changes to port the CC licenses will definitely help the Legal Project Leads in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia develop their own first draft licenses.”

The first drafts from the three South Caucasus nations are expected to enter the public discussion on December 1, 2008.

The CC license porting commenced in the South Caucasus in May 2008 when the EPF announced a regional grant competition titled Support to the Adoption of Creative Commons Licensing Framework in the Countries of the South Caucasus. The Center for Information Law and Policy (Armenia) and the Young Lawyers Union (Azerbaijan) were identified as competition winners. On July 14, 2008, the two organizations were awarded individual grants to implement their 12-month projects in collaboration with Creative Commons International. In Georgia, a team of local legal experts representing Business Intelligence and Valuation GROUP – “BVG”, Ltd. was contracted by EPF/Georgia to oversee the CC Georgia project in partnership with the above Armenian and Azerbaijani organizations and CCi.

Image: “Tbilisi Old District” in the public domain.

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Hong Kong Promotes Education, Creativity with Creative Commons’ 50th Launch Event

Michelle Thorne, October 23rd, 2008

On October 25, the launch of the localized licenses in Hong Kong will mark the fiftieth Creative Commons jurisdiction to celebrate the license porting.

Creative Commons International (CCi) works to build CC’s free, multilingual licensing system in collaboration with legal experts and professionals around the worldwide. CCi has coordinated fifty jurisdictions to successfully adapt, or “port“, the core CC licenses. The international license porting project is an important aspect of Creative Commons, as the localized licenses provide extra legal certainty and ensure that the licenses are both legally and linguistically understood around the world.

The Hong Kong launch will be held during an event co-sponsored by the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre and the Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity. Prof. Lawrence Lessig and CC CEO Joichi Ito will hold keynotes, followed presentations about open courseware and strategies for Hong Kong to improve education through CC licensing. More details about the event and the CC Hong Kong project can be found on their website: http://hk.creativecommons.org/.

Press release (English and Chinese).

Congratulations and thank you to CC Hong Kong and Project Leads Rebecca MacKinnon, Dr. Yahong Li, Ms. Alice Lee, and to Mr. Pindar Wong and the many Hong Kong volunteers for their support!

Image selected from “CCHK Launch Programme (.pdf)” by Creative Commons Hong Kong, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

UPDATE: Catch the live webcast of the events on http://www.iresource.hk/v30/promo_cchk.php, courtesy of Cyberport.

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First Roundtable Creative Commons Russia

Catharina Maracke, September 3rd, 2008

We are very pleased to announce that the ‘First Roundtable on the Introduction of Creative Commons licenses in the Russian Federation’ will be organized on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 between 16:30 and 19:00 in central Moscow. The roundtable will be chaired by Anton Nossik (SUP) and Syb Groeneveld (Creative Commons Russia).

Creative Commons International has been working with almost 50 local Creative Commons jurisdiction projects to port the licenses to their respective Copyright legislation. However, the CC licenses have not yet been ported to the Russian Federation. With the support of Syb Groeneveld (CC Ambassador for the Russian Federation) and his initiative to revive the discussion by hosting a first roundtable with IT and IP experts, we hope to get the porting process in the Russian Federation started in the near future.

Details can be found here:

To date, the CC-licenses have not been ported to the Russian Federation. This does not mean there is no activity or interest in CC. The opportunity of introducing CC licenses in the Russian Federation has been studied. Various public and private institutes have organized well-visited lectures on the topic and the first companies, institutes and artists are planning to work with the Russian license. However not much progress has been made to start the adaptation and localization of the licenses to Russian law.

This Roundtable will therefore bring together a small group of legal, Internet and policy experts to set an agenda on the introduction of the licenses in the Russian Federation. The outcome should be a broadly supported six months roadmap towards introduction of the licenses and, where possible, a division of the tasks to be conducted in this process. Although places for the event are limited (max 12 people) please contact Syb Groeneveld and let him know if you are interested in the event by sending an email to syb at creativecommons dot org.

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CC Romania Promotes Creativity with Localized Licenses

Michelle Thorne, September 1st, 2008

Creators in Romania now have the option to license their creative works under one of the six Creative Commons licenses tailored to Romanian law. The Creative Commons team in Romania, led by Bogdan Manolea and Stefan Gavrilescu and supported by the Association for Technology and Internet, carried out the porting process and public discussion with local and international legal experts and in consultation with Creative Commons International.


Romania” by robynejay with works from artists listed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/learnscope/2609671247/ | CC BY NC SA

The Romanian licenses will be launched in Bucharest on September 2 at 1600 during an event hosted by the Center for Independent Journalism. Speaking at the event are Razvan Rusu from Travka, the first Romanian band to license their entire album under a CC license; Ioana Avadani from the Center for Independent Journalism; and Florin Grozea from the popular Romanian band Hi-Q.

Read more in our press release (in English and Romanian).

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CCO Beta/Discussion Draft 3

Diane Peters, August 29th, 2008

We are pleased to release for public comment the next beta draft of CC0 Waiver, which comes several months after the last draft of CC0 was published in April.  You can view the beta draft 3 at ccLabs.

While this draft is being released later than planned (more on that, below), we are very excited about the progress we’ve made on CC0 in the interim.  We look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions for improving CC0 still further.  Read on to hear more about what has changed and our plans for finalizing CC0 this fall.

In our April beta 2 release, we made two significant changes to CC0 that drew a number of comments. The first change was to separate the “waiver” tool, intended for use by copyright owners wishing to relinquish their rights under copyright to a work, from the “assertion” tool, intended for use by others to mark a work as being free from copyright and in the public domain.  This eliminated confusion the combined tool was causing, and allowed us to push ahead with CC0 while planning the more complicated assertion piece. This change was received favorably by commentators.

The other significant change made in the April draft was to position CC0 as a “Universal” legal tool, capable of being used in all jurisdictions without the formal porting process CC traditionally uses for its core licenses.  In making this change, we recognized that the legal effect of CC0 would differ depending on the jurisdiction.  After further consideration, however, we concluded that the benefits of having a Universal tool outweighed that concern.

This attempt at Universality attracted the bulk of the comments we received after posting the April draft.  It was also the key issue underlying other comment threads raising enforceability issues and differences between legal systems.

Several commentators (accurately) pointed out that the language in CC0 beta draft 2 overstated the legal effect CC0 would have in their jurisdictions, as no waiver could completely eliminate moral and other rights granted authors and others in many countries.  Others noted that the mechanism of a waiver did not exist at all in their jurisdictions, or at best minimally, and so suggested alternative approaches like a covenant not to sue.  Still others asked for more clarity on the important point that others’ rights in the work were not affected by CC0 and may need to be cleared in advance of a particular use (including – by way of example – privacy and publicity rights held by an individual whose image is captured in a photo).

There were other comments and suggestions for improvement.  We’ve posted many on the CC0 Wiki.

All of the comments we received were incredibly valuable and caused us to re-evaluate not just the legal code but also the positioning of CC0 as a Universal legal tool.  We took this opportunity to consult in more depth with our CCi community during iSummit earlier this month and with other legal experts in an attempt to apply additional academic rigor to our drafting process.

So while this draft 3 was delayed, we feel it was for good reason. We remain dedicated to pursuing a Universal CC0, but with some substantial revision to the text. Here are a few of the changes you will see in draft 3 as a result of those comments and discussions:

  • Inclusion of a Statement of Purpose that provides context and explanation for issues CC0 attempts to solve while also identifying limitations inherent in such an attempt;
  • Clarifying language about the IP rights affected by CC0 through a new comprehensive definition of “Copyright Related Rights”; and
  • Emphasis on the possible existence of privacy and publicity rights of others with respect to a work, and the need for those to be cleared where appropriate.

We welcome your comments on these changes and your suggestions for other improvements.  The primary venue for discussion continues to be the cc-licenses mailing list.  We also encourage you to take a look at our newly-updated CC0 Wiki where you can find a summary of comments leading up to this draft 3 and links to their full text.  You can also find on the wiki a list of other tools and licenses that attempt to do in part what we are attempting to accomplish with CC0.  Please feel free to add other tools you may be aware of to the list.

We request that comments on this beta draft 3 be submitted within the next 30 days (by September 26th or thereabouts).  We plan to finalize CC0 in late October or early November, shortly following our participation in the 3rd Communia Workshop on Marking the Public Domain.

A special acknowledgment to Catharina Maracke (Director of CCi) for coordinating the international input at iSummit.  Thanks also goes to Science Commons and ccLearn for being patient (despite a growing need for CC0 in their domains) so we might get this right.

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