fundraising campaign

Commoner Letter #5: Indaba Music’s Daniel Zaccagnino and Matthew Siegel

Allison Domicone, December 7th, 2009

Indaba Music, an international community of musicians, music professionals, and fans exploring the creative possibilities of making music with people in different places, has been up to some pretty impressive stuff since being founded just a few years ago. We’re honored to have Daniel Zaccagnino and Matthew Siegel, the company’s co-Founders, write the fifth letter in the Commoner Letter series of this year’s fundraising campaign. We hope you will be inspired by their story of remix, collaboration, and creation in the online music world and will join them in supporting Creative Commons today.

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danoncolbertreport

Dear Creative Commoner,
 
It has been an incredible year for Indaba Music – with much owed to Creative Commons and the incredible tools and culture it has fostered.
 
Indaba Music is a community of over 350,000 musicians from 185 countries who create music together in online recording sessions. As you might surmise from this concept, Indaba Music leverages Creative Commons licensing in a number of ways, each meaningful to our business and to the community we have cultivated. The following are just a few examples of how Creative Commons has enabled us to create some of the most interesting musical opportunities in the world:
 
Indaba Music Sessions are online projects in which musicians come together to combine tracks recorded in different places into single pieces of music. Every file that is uploaded to a session can be explicitly licensed under Creative Commons so musicians have control over how their music is used by those with whom they collaborate.
 
The Lawrence Lessig vs. Stephen Colbert Remix Challenge is an incredible example of an Indaba Music Session that leveraged Creative Commons licensing to create something extraordinary. In January of 2009 Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig was a guest on the Colbert Report. He discussed his just-released book “Remix.” As Larry and Stephen debated the merits of remixing, Stephen interrupted and issued a tongue-in-cheek challenge to his audience: “I will be very angry and possibly litigious if anyone out there takes this interview right here and remixes it with some great dance beat and it starts showing up in clubs across America.”
 
Of course, the Indaba Music community took the challenge seriously and began to remix the interview. Days later, hundreds of remixes emerged and Stephen caught wind of the Indaba Music Session. Again he issued a remix challenged to the Colbert Nation and, again, the Indaba Music community responded in force. Ultimately, we were invited to come on the show as the guest and, on February 4, 2009, had the opportunity to sit down with Stephen and defend our community and all Creative Commoners! It was great fun and a wonderful example of how everyone can benefit from being open with their content – from Colbert generating an incredible viral marketing campaign, to Indaba getting exposure, to a few select musicians who had their music played on national TV.
 
Indaba Music Contests are another great example of how Creative Commons has continuously broken down barriers in music. We have run several collaborative contests in which our entire community was able to remix and re-imagine such artists as The Roots, Rivers Cuomo, John Legend, and The Crystal Method with all remixes licensed under Creative Commons.
 
In particular, two contests have pushed the barriers of music creation and distribution. We just concluded a contest in which Indaba Music members competed to remix the entire Marcy Playground album Leaving Wonderland… In a Fit of Rage. All of the remixes are CC licensed and winners will actually get royalties on the sale of a remix CD that will hit airwaves early next year. Taking CC utilization a step further, Canadian pop-duo Carmen & Camille were the first to run a contest on Indaba Music in which submissions were licensed under CC Attribution 3.0 and remixers were allowed to sell their remixes for profit with no payments back to Carmen & Camille. Carmine & Camille wanted to create an incentive to generate the very best content that would expose their song in a new light – if one of those remixes should become a hit single it would be great for Carmen & Camille and they were happy for the remixer to benefit financially.
 
Our Creative Commons Clips Library is the newest CC addition to Indaba Music. Anyone can search thousands of CC licensed audio clips generated by professional musicians for Indaba Music. Moreover, the CC Mixter audio library is syndicated within our system, making all of the wonderful CC Mixter content available to over 350,000 musicians around the world.
 
As you can probably tell by now, we are big Creative Commons fans and CC has become an integral part of our site, our business, and our ability to continue to push musical barriers. CC licensing has opened up possibilities that never before existed, and has created an environment full of openness, collaboration, and sharing…all things that those of us in the business of music can learn from!
 
Support Creative Commons and help spread the word. This shouldn’t be an innovative way of doing things – it should be the standard.   
 
Sincerely,
 
Dan Zaccagnino                                          Matthew Siegel
Co-CEO, Co-Founder                               Co-CEO, Co-Founder

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Greenplum Doubling All Donations for the Next Week!

Allison Domicone, December 2nd, 2009

greenplum
We’re entering the final weeks of our 2009 fundraising campaign, and if you have yet to make a gift to CC (or even if you have!) now is the time to do so because any amount you give will automatically be doubled by Greenplum! Give today and Greenplum will generously match every donation dollar for dollar for the next week – up to $5,000! Donate now to help us meet their challenge!

Formed in 2003, Greenplum is led by pioneers in database systems, data warehousing, supercomputing, Internet performance acceleration and open source. With technical and business leaders from large-scale computing companies like Amazon, eBay and Yahoo, and database companies including Oracle, Informix, Teradata, Netezza, Microsoft and Tandem, Greenplum is tapping the best minds in the business to deliver the next-generation of data warehousing and analytics. Greenplum deeply understands the importance of the internet to create digital tools for the 21st century, and we’re delighted to have them as a corporate sponsor of our campaign!

Join Greenplum in investing in the future of creativity and knowledge. Give what you can today!

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Donate Today to Have Your Donation Doubled by WhippleHill!

Allison Domicone, November 17th, 2009

whipplehill-logo
Our 2009 fundraising campaign continues, and to help us reach our goal of $500,000 by the end of the year, we’re delighted to announce a second corporate matching challenge, this time sponsored by WhippleHill Communications. WhippleHill will generously match every donation dollar for dollar for the next week – up to $5,000! Donate now to help us meet the challenge!

WhippleHill Communications was founded in 1998 and is based in Bedford, New Hampshire. This innovative company provides targeted communications solutions for independent schools seeking next-generation Web services. Like CC, WhippleHill values openness and innovation on the Web, with a particular focus on education, a realm CC is also heavily involved in through ccLearn.

Join WhippleHill in investing in the future of creativity and knowledge. Give what you can today!

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Commoner Letter #4: Molly Kleinman of the University of Michigan

Allison Domicone, November 16th, 2009

Molly Kleinman is a long-time friend of CC and has been doing incredible work for all things copyright over at the University of Michigan as Special Assistant to the Dean of Libraries. From Espresso Book Machines to a CC-friendly Scholarly Publishing Office, we continue to be inspired by the University of Michigan’s innovative approach to open content, copyright, and especially open education, an area of focus CC is highly committed to developing through ccLearn. We’re honored to have Molly, a self-proclaimed dedicated advocate of Creative Commons, write the fourth letter in the Commoner Letter series of this year’s fundraising campaign.

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Molly Kleinman2
Photo by Chan Wong CC BY-NC

Hello, Fellow Commoner,

Creative Commons licenses make it easier for me to do my work, and to help my faculty and students do theirs. Today I’d like to return the favor and encourage you to support the Creative Commons 2009 Annual Campaign, and help make sure they continue the wonderful work they’ve been doing.

Why is Creative Commons so helpful and important? Because it provides a balanced, sane alternative to the madly out-of-whack copyright system I deal with every day. I am an academic librarian and copyright specialist who teaches faculty, students, librarians, archivists and others about their rights as creators and their rights as users. Anyone familiar with the state of copyright law knows it’s messy and confusing stuff, and the very notion of users’ rights is contentious in some circles. Big Content has been waging a propaganda campaign to convince the public that all unauthorized, un-paid-for uses are infringing, illegal uses. It’s not true, but the widespread misinformation is bad for educators, bad for students, and bad for all of us who benefit from the fruits of scholarly research. Professors are afraid to share educational material with their students. Parents are afraid to let their kids post homemade videos online. All this fear hinders the ability of scholars, teachers, and students to do the work of research, teaching, and learning that is their job.

As my favorite CC video says, “Enter Creative Commons.” Creative Commons carves out an arena in which people can use and build on new works without fear. It frees us from both the looming threat of lawsuits and the time consuming and expensive demands of clearing permissions. Creative Commons helps people share openly, and the more content that CC helps to open up, whether it’s music or photography or scientific data or educational resources, the more it expands what faculty and students can teach and study freely.

I’d like to call particular attention to the work of one of Creative Commons’ offshoots, ccLearn. ccLearn is striving to realize the full potential of the internet to support open learning and open educational resources, and to minimize legal, technical, and social barriers to sharing and reuse of educational materials. I cannot overemphasize the importance of this work. In the United States alone, plummeting budgets and rising costs for both K-12 and higher education are making it harder for students and teachers to access the quality educational resources they need. Until recently, most educational content was locked behind digital paywalls or hidden in print books, and the free stuff you could find online was often unreliable. Now, the pool of high quality open educational resources is growing every day, with open textbooks, open courseware, and other experimental projects popping up all the time. Many of these projects have received support from ccLearn, and nearly all of them are built on the framework of Creative Commons licenses. Every one provides expanded access that is crucial to the future of a quality educational system, both in this country and throughout the world.

This is why it is so important to support Creative Commons, in any number of ways. Though I donate (and you should, too), I believe that one of my greatest contributions has been in helping to build the Creative Commons community from the ground up, one frustrated professor or librarian at a time. Every person I teach about Creative Commons is a person who may eventually contribute to the Commons herself, attaching licenses to her works and sharing them with the world. The bigger the Commons, the better for all of us.

Molly Kleinman
Special Assistant to the Dean of Libraries
University of Michigan Library

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That Was Fast! Canonical Matches $3000 of Your Donations!

Allison Domicone, November 9th, 2009

Canonical

Just five days ago we announced that Canonical would be generously matching every donation dollar for dollar for the next week – up to $3,000. Well, we met that goal in record time! Thanks to everyone who donated in the past five days and had your donation doubled – for a total of $6,000 going toward our annual campaign to sustain CC!

Many thanks to Canonical for their ongoing support of free culture and Creative Commons.

We still have a long way to go to reach our $500,000 goal for this year’s campaign, so please donate today and show your support for a culture of sharing!

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Canonical Wants to Double Your Donation!

Allison Domicone, November 4th, 2009

Canonical
Almost a month ago we launched the 2009 fundraising campaign, with the goal of raising $500,000 by the end of the year. Despite the daunting economic climate, we’ve set our goal high, and we’ll need everyone who cares about CC to pitch in whatever they can. So, in order to make your dollar go a little farther when you give a gift to CC, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Canonical, who’ll generously match every donation dollar for dollar for the next week – up to $3,000! Donate now to help us meet the challenge!

Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu project, was founded in 2004. The headquarters are in Europe, with over 200 employees working in 23 countries. Their mission is “to realize the potential of free software in the lives of individuals and organisations,” which they do by delivering the world’s best software platform and ensuring its availability to everyone.

From Jono Bacon, Canonical’s Ubuntu Community Manager: “Canonical are really happy to support the Creative Commons, an organization at the corner-stone of an ethos that we share in the Ubuntu world and that we are proud to support.” Likewise, we feel that Canonical’s mission could not be better aligned with our own, and as such we’re thrilled to partner with them on on this matching challenge.

Join Canonical in investing in the future of creativity and knowledge and give what you can today!

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Commoner Letter #3: Jay Yoon of CC Korea

Allison Domicone, November 2nd, 2009

Creative Commons owes much of its success to the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who have helped port, translate, and propagate CC licenses in over 50 jurisdictions worldwide. CC Korea, under the leadership of Project Lead Jay Yoon, has achieved some incredible things since its inception, and continues to be a beacon of participatory culture in Asia and across the globe. We are honored to have Jay Yoon, who has already given so much of his time and talent to CC, show his support in the third letter of the Commoner Letter series for this year’s fundraising campaign.

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JayYoon
Dear Creative Commoner,

I am Jay Yoon and the first Creative Commons volunteer in Korea. Officially, I am the project lead of CC Korea, but I’d more like to introduce myself as the first CC Korea volunteer than its lead as I am writing this letter, hoping you join with me in volunteering to help Creative Commons. Why? Because the powerful engine of sharing and open culture has already taken Creative Commons far beyond what I had initially expected. None of this would have been possible if not for the help of so many “Commoners.”

At the very beginning, I didn’t expect to see so many people come together to get Creative Commons values rooted in Korea in such a short time period. Over the past four years since the introduction to Korea, the suite of CC licenses has been growing from a mere foreign concept to become one of the most-sought public license tools among Korean users. And Creative Commons Korea in itself, once a small project led by selective members in the legal circle, has transformed into an open community for anyone sharing CC values and vision. To my great joy, I can say that every moment I’ve had with CC is a small miracle.

On top of that, this year will leave a meaningful footprint in the history of Creative Commons Korea, since it has registered as an independent legal entity, called Creative Commons Korea Association. As a not-for-profit incorporated association, it is expected to more actively engage in lowering barriers to collaboration and building infrastructure for the future of creativity.

Despite its belated start, Korean users have shown dynamic growth in adopting CC licenses. In an aim to create more CC-licensed content-friendly environments, CC Korea is leading national projects with the Korean government. One of them is a CC repository system, which would act as a hub for CC-licensed content archiving and searching for domestic users as well as Commoners around the world. CC Korea hopes to achieve our own technological understandings and customized experiences into localities. The repository system will consist of several sections, such as a search interface provided by a few big portal sites that have already introduced CC licenses into their blog or community sections, CC content metadata database provided by public sectors and OSPs, and CC content information collected by users. Taking this chance to promote open content, the Korean government is now looking for a way to open its content to the public under a CC license and is working on a comprehensive roadmap for CC services and technical projects.

But the most amazing thing is that the driving force behind all the advances so far has come from each and every voluntary contributor. Various sized projects in art, academy and education are ongoing thanks to those contributors. From an office worker to a teenage student, from the project lead to a brochure sponsor company, at the heart of CC Korea is those individuals’ great passion. This is what I really want to share with you.

From my daily life with Creative Commons, not only do I feel myself grow as I take part in laying a layer for a more open society, but I also experience how the power of “we” can really do something. That’s why I’m so thankful I could be a part of Creative Commons.

I hope you will join me in supporting Creative Commons.

Thank you.
Jay Yoon
CC Korea Project Lead

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Commoner Letter #2: Carl Malamud

Allison Domicone, October 19th, 2009

Carl Malamud is a technologist, author and public domain advocate, as well as a great friend and outstanding supporter of Creative Commons. Malamud founded and runs the nonprofit Public.Resource.Org, which works for the publication of public domain information from local, state, and federal government agencies. We’re honored to have such a fervent champion for the Commons writing the second letter in the Commoner Letter series of this year’s fundraising campaign.

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Photo of Carl Malamud by Joi / CC BY 2.0

My Fellow Commoners!

It isn’t that I don’t want to hear from you, I just want us to spend some quality time together instead of pushing paper.

Copyright laws solved one problem for a prior era, a way of marking a piece of content to indicate who the creator (or publisher) is. But, if you want to actually USE that content, under standard copyright law you or your lawyer send a letter, you get back a license agreement, you agree to terms, and you get rights to reuse the content. Every single use requires a new agreement. As they say, that doesn’t scale.

The genius of Creative Commons is a simple, universal way to let people know what they can do with your content without having to bother you each time. With the Internet, we’ve found that a whole class of uses of creative material makes sense, and with a Creative Commons license you can clearly tell people what it is they can do. Don’t care if people use your work as long as they’re not making money? Then use an Attribution-Non Commercial license from Creative Commons. Don’t care what people do as long as they give you credit? Commercial Use Allowed, Attribution Required is for you.

What is impressive about Creative Commons is that it scales. Public.Resource.Org, the non-profit I run, has published a boatload of content we get from the U.S. government: 90 million pages of documents, 1,000 videos, and a few handfuls of photographs. With the Creative Commons CC Zero and Public Domain tools, we have an easy way of telling people that they don’t have to ask permission to use this information.

So, while I’d love to hear from people, I just don’t want to have to deal with a stream of requests asking what they can do with the content we publish. With Creative Commons, that lawyerly, bureaucratic task has been taken care of, so when you do call, we can talk about something much more interesting. That’s why I’m a strong Creative Commons supporter, and that’s why I hope you’ll join me in supporting the Creative Commons 2009 Annual Campaign.

Carl Malamud
Public.Resource.Org

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Annual campaign kickoff — CC remix T-shirt by Shepard Fairey!

Melissa Reeder, October 5th, 2009

cc-shepard-fairey-logo-medium
Today marks the launch of Creative Commons’ 5th Annual Fundraising Campaign. This year, more than ever before, it is vital that we all support choice and sharing online. Truly, everyone benefits from a free and open internet, and we have only just begun to see how beneficial a culture of sharing can be.

We are reshaping history as we speak. Millions of CC supporters across the globe – creators, consumers, and advocates – have shown that they believe in the importance of universal access to information online. If we want future generations to enjoy the kind of rich culture that we all deserve, we must invest today in the future of creativity and knowledge.

This year we have set an ambitious goal of raising $500,000. To kick start our fundraising efforts, we are thrilled to announce a special-edition remixed Creative Commons T-shirt, designed by Shepard Fairey. Fairey is widely known for his ability to build off both his own work and the work of others to create something new and wholly unique, a quality that resonates deeply with CC’s mission.

We are a non-profit organization, and as such we are all too familiar with the challenge of securing the resources we need to continue our work. We’ve been inundated with news regarding how difficult it is to raise money in today’s economic climate. However, CC doesn’t see this as an obstacle; we see it as an opportunity – an opportunity to call communities across the globe to action.

This campaign is not exclusively about fundraising; it’s about supporting CC – as the original architects of the licenses so many have come to rely upon, and an organization whose mission you value and uphold – in whatever manner you are able. Help spread the word about CC, start or continue licensing your work and using licensed work, and/or give what you can. Any amount helps and all is greatly appreciated.

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