Doug Engelbart

Creative Commons wins the 2008 Free Software Foundation Award for Project of Social Benefit!

Mike Linksvayer, March 24th, 2009

Saturday at Libre Planet, the Free Software Foundation’s annual conference, Creative Commons was honored to receive the FSF’s Award for Projects of Social Benefit:

The FSF Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented annually to a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society by applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life.

Since its launch in 2001, Creative Commons has worked to foster a growing body of creative, educational and scientific works that can be shared and built upon by others. Creative Commons has also worked to raise awareness of the harm inflicted by increasingly restrictive copyright regimes.

Creative Commons vice president Mike Linksvayer accepted the award saying, “It’s an incredible honor. Creative Commons should be giving an award to the Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman, because what Creative Commons is doing would not be possible without them.”

Congratulations also to Wietse Venema, honored with the Award for the Advancement of Free Software for his “significant and wide-ranging technical contributions to network security, and his creation of the Postfix email server.”

FSF president Stallman presented a plaque by artist Lincoln Read commemorating the award to Creative Commons.

It is worth noting that the FSF Social Benefit Award’s 2005 and 2007 winners are Wikipedia and Groklaw both because it is tremendous to be in their company and as the former is in the process of migrating to a CC BY-SA license (thanks in large part to the FSF) and the latter publishes under a CC BY-NC-ND license.

Only last December CC was honored to receive an award from another of computing’s most significant pioneers, Doug Engelbart.

Thanks again to the Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman. Please join us in continuing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his founding of the free software movement. As Stallman would say, “Happy Hacking!”

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CC recognized “For Raising Collective Intelligence”

Mike Linksvayer, December 21st, 2008

At the Program for the Future conference, Creative Commons received the first Collective Intelligence Recognition Award for an organization. Tim O’Reilly received the first individual award. From the press release (pdf):

The awards were presented by renowned computer visionary and inventor Douglas Engelbart and Robert Stephenson, curator at The Tech Museum of Innovation. Said Engelbart: “Along the digital frontier, we rely on our scouts to explore the terrain and exchange information at the trading posts. Tim O’Reilly has set up the ‘Internet Pony Express’ to broadcast the possibilities of Open Source and Web 2.0 to the rest of the world. Creative Commons has begun the development of ‘trading post’ rules for us to collectively work together in developing and applying knowledge to solve complex urgent problems. On the 40th anniversary of The Demo, I am happy to recognize both for their demonstrated contributions to increasing our collective intelligence. Great stuff!

It is a great honor for Creative Commons to be recognized by visionary Doug Engelbart and alongside Tim O’Reilly (a long time supporter of CC, from the beginning; please join him).

The conference celebrated the 40th anniversary of Engelbart’s groundbreaking demo, with the broader theme of increasing collective intelligence — Engelbart’s life work — for solutions to human problems. There was a broad sense among attendees that our collective memory is too short, but the future is hopeful if we consciously build tools to help us (“bootstrap tools” in the parlance), and that mass collaboration and building the commons have critical roles to play.

Unsurprisingly, many of the conversations sparked by the conference had to do with learning. One poll of attendees found that those who had read Engelbart’s papers were far more likely to believe that education could be radically changed for the better. Tim O’Reilly blogged a conversation on one important aspect of learning — practice.

Previous post on the conference and my slides from a session on bootstrap tools.

Recall that CC’s annual fundraising campaign is nearing completion — now is the time to support our work to raise collective intelligence!

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Creative Commons and Collective Intelligence / Program for the Future

Mike Linksvayer, December 5th, 2008

Monday and Tuesday next week the Program for the Future Conference celebrates the 40th anniversary of Doug Engelbart’s famous Demo, which presaged much of modern computing, in 1968 (related in some ways, see Creative Commons 1967). From the conference website:

Engelbart dreamed of technology and tools that increased our Collective Intelligence and a stunning example of how it works. Now it’s up to us to take up the challenge. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Engelbart’s astounding demo, the Program for the Future is bringing together some of the best minds in science, media, business and education — and we hope you will be among them — to explore the question: what’s next?

Monday the conference takes place at San Jose’s The Tech Museum of Innovation, Tuesday it moves to Stanford University. See the conference program for details and registration.

I’ll be speaking Tuesday on a panel about “Bootstrap Tools”. So what could Creative Commons have to do with bootstrapping collective intelligence? That’s not terminology we use every day, but a hint: I’ll probably title my slides The Commons as a Collective Intelligence Meta-Innovation. For further hints along those lines, sans futurist buzzwords, there’s good reading and viewing to be had in presentation slides by Science Commons’ John Wilbanks, e.g., Radical Sharing: Transforming Science? I’ll probably use some of his slides.

Final bit to whet your appetite, see the Engelbart Mural. A detail is below, featuring a clever CC BY-NC-SA license and attribution notice: