Google Policy Fellowship

Creative Commons Licensing in the World of Philanthropy

Andrew Blanco, June 26th, 2012

Having been here at Creative Commons for a couple of weeks now, I’m excited to share what I’m working on this summer as a Google Policy Fellow.

A quick introduction: I’m currently a graduate student in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University. Before moving to Northern California, I lived in the Boston area where I worked at the Learning Games Network (LGN), a nonprofit spin-off of the MIT Education Arcade. While helping to develop a foundation-funded Open Educational Resource (OER) project at LGN, I came to appreciate the possibilities that open licensing can offer innovators in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.

The project I’m working on during my ten weeks here focuses on the use of Creative Commons licenses in the world of philanthropy. Our goal is to provide best practices that will help foundation leaders implement open licensing policies and ensure that the work they fund is available for others to build upon. This follows in the footsteps of last year’s Foundation Funding: Open Licenses, Greater Impact, published by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society as an updated version of its 2009 report, An Evaluation of Private Foundation Copyright Licensing Policies, Practices and Opportunities.

As the title of the Berkman Center’s update suggests, open licensing can be thought of as a force multiplier in the context of grant-making. Sharing the digital outputs of philanthropic investments under open licenses makes their reuse easier and increases their potential impact. If grantees produce documents, materials, or other content that could be applied in different settings or remixed in unanticipated ways that offer further social benefits, why not lower the barriers to these possibilities by automatically granting others permission (i.e., open licensing) to pursue these additional uses?

While a few foundations require or encourage their grantees to use open licenses in their work, this is not yet a standard practice. Some highlight their philosophies regarding open licensing, like the Shuttleworth Foundation and the Open Society Foundations, while others mandate specific licenses for selected programs or projects, like the Next Generation Learning Challenges initiative that’s funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Creative Commons encourages philanthropic funders to help lead the way for greater use of open licensing within the nonprofit sector. To learn what works and develop best practices, we’re reaching out to foundations that have already incorporated open licensing into their grant-making processes, analyzing existing policies and the documents used to communicate them, and talking with others in the field to better understand the challenges to broader adoption. Our final output will be sample copyright licensing policies for foundations that want to establish new expectations for sharing the intellectual works they fund, while also preserving flexibility for those instances where reserving more rights might still make sense.

If you’re a staff member at a grant-making foundation and would like to learn more about this project, please contact us at info@creativecommons.org.

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Apply for the 2012 Google Policy Fellowship with Creative Commons

Timothy Vollmer, December 13th, 2011

We’re happy to announce that for the fourth year Creative Commons will take part in the Google Policy Fellowship program. Submit your application by February 3, 2012.

The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests. Fellows will have the opportunity to work at public interest organizations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government, and more.

The 2012 Google Policy Fellow will receive a substantial grant to work at Creative Commons’ office in Mountain View, California. We are looking for motivated candidates with partially-developed ideas in exploring a particular interest/expertise area, short research project, or related activity within the broad spectrum of open licensing and the commons. Past Google Policy Fellowship projects have included an analysis of the WIPO development agenda in relation to its effect on access to public domain materials, crucial research on the welfare impact of Creative Commons across various fields, and an investigation of the characterization of Creative Commons within U.S. legal scholarship over the past 10 years. We are very flexible in accommodating project ideas that will be mutually beneficial to the candidate and CC. We are interested in a wide range of activities, which could include conducting original research, researching and developing educational materials, or assisting in the development of activities/projects useful to our wide-ranging global community. Potential topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:

Encapsulated research within our CC contribution-study project. Examples include:

  • Studying changing license adoption patterns in a specific community (can be quantitative, qualitative or comparative, with analysis depending on relevant applicant background)
  • Studying changing license adoption patterns within a specific platform
  • Studying the contribution of the platform in a specific context (applicant choice or our direction)
  • Studying the contribution of the CC network in a specific context
  • Studying CC’s contribution to the movement (with or without a human rights perspective; along the lines of expanding creation/data contribution to otherwise “distant” communities/persons/places/domains)
  • Studying CC’s contribution to novel cultural fields
  • For all the former: design DB (data gathering)

CC and the School of Open

  • Help design challenges/courses around CC licenses, with a particular focus on how to certify and assess expertise on CC licenses and topics.
  • Work would involve testing/evaluation with a user/creator community to measure effectiveness of courses.
  • Develop documentation/case studies for different user/creator communities.

Research and development of CC related toolkits and guides

  • Researching trends in CC usage, messaging around trends, development of high quality case studies and toolkits.
  • Depending on applicant interest and CC needs, could create for CC in government adoption/public sector information, CC and innovative business models, etc.

International activities

  • Translation projects (requires familiarity/experience with CC community)
  • Community management projects (requires familiarity/experience in community management skills; applicant could usefully work on volunteers or team-model working groups projects)
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Introducing the 2011 Creative Commons Interns!

Aurelia J. Schultz, June 22nd, 2011

Summer at Creative Commons is always an exciting time and this year we welcome two talented students to share it with us at our Mountain View office!

casey
Copyright and related rights waived via CC0

Casey Fiesler is this year’s Google Policy Fellow. A PhD candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Casey also attended Vanderbilt University Law School. Casey’s PhD work is in the area of Human-Centered Computing. Her work at Creative Commons this summer will involve intense research into how remix artists create and interact with copyright law and technology and how Creative Commons has changed the discourse around copyright law.

jorge
Copyright and related rights waived via CC0

Jorge Vargas comes to us from Bogota, Colombia where he has been an active member of the CC Colombia team. He is in his fourth year of law school at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota and also interns with the Colombian office of an international law firm. As this year’s legal intern, Jorge will be working on a variety of research projects and coordinating with our international Affiliate Network.

A huge welcome to both Casey and Jorge! And if you’re interested in an internship next year (2012), keep in mind that we’ll post a call for applications around February. Get your resumes into shape starting now!

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Apply for the 2011 Google Policy Fellowship with Creative Commons

Timothy Vollmer, November 23rd, 2010

We’re happy to announce that for the third year Creative Commons will take part in the Google Policy Fellowship program.

The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests. Fellows will have the opportunity to work at public interest organizations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government, and more.

Aurelia Schultz was Creative Commons’ 2009 Fellow, and worked on a project to analyze the WIPO development agenda in relation to its affect on access to public domain materials. She also developed draft strategic plans for CC’s engagement with WIPO as well as outreach in Africa. Aurelia is now Counsel at Creative Commons. Tal Niv was CC’s Fellow last summer, and she’s been continuing work as a Research Analyst on a key investigation into CC’s welfare impact. The 2011 Google Policy Fellow will receive a substantial grant to work at Creative Commons’ San Francisco office. Potential topics may include, but certainly not limited to:

  • Analyzing trends in license adoption, including identification and development of relevant metrics.
  • Coordinating with counsel to critically analyze the current state of public domain policy in U.S. and abroad. Develop a framework to help Creative Commons’ deploy messaging regarding public domain policy in U.S. and abroad.
  • Researching how the contemporary discourse of copyright, sharing, reuse, and remix has been shaped over the last eight years as a result of the Creative Commons project.
  • Investigating new opportunities for Creative Commons implementation in ‘uncontacted’ communities, institutions, artists, and mediums.
  • Working with Creative Commons’ international community and jurisdiction project leads on projects, research, and outreach.

Check out more details and the application, which is due by January 17, 2011.

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Welcome 2010 Interns and Google Policy Fellow!

Jennifer Yip, May 18th, 2010

Creative Commons is once again preparing to welcome a new batch of summer interns and another Google Policy Fellow. This year, three students will be working alongside the staff in the San Francisco office for ten weeks. Reginald Leones and Alessandra Garbagnati were chosen for the legal internship positions. Tal Niv was selected for the Google Policy Fellowship.

Reg lives in Sydney where he is completing his combined BSc and LLB degree at the University of New South Wales. On the completion of his degree, he will commence as a graduate clerk at the Sydney law firm, Freehills, where he has been working as a paralegal in their IP division.

Alessandra is a second year law student at UC Hastings College of the Law. She is currently completing the Intellectual Property concentration and will be the editor-in-chief of Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal this coming year.

Tal is a PhD student at UC Berkeley law school’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy program. Her research and interest revolves around copyright and collaborative works of authorship, cyber-policy and innovation.

We are looking forward to kicking off another productive with the addition of these great minds in a few short weeks!

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Our 2010 Google Policy Fellowship

Fred Benenson, November 13th, 2009

Google Policy Fellowship Header

We’re very excited to announce that Creative Commons will once again be part of Google’s Policy Fellowship for the summer of 2010, and we’re looking forward to filling the big shoes of our 2009 policy fellow, Aurelia Schultz.  Just like last year, the Google Policy Fellow will receive a substantial grant to work at Creative Commons’ San Francisco Office on the following issues (but this is certainly not an exhaustive list of the things we’ll have you thinking about):

  • Synthesize statistics garnered from recent studies focusing on international license adoption. Fellow will be expected to generate and investigate diverse theses relating to license choice, adoption, and use.
  • Coordinate with counsel to critically analyze the current state of public domain policy in US and abroad. Develop a framework to help Creative Commons’ deploy messaging regarding public domain policy in US and abroad.
  • Research and analysis of how the contemporary discourse of copyright, sharing, reuse, and remix has been shaped over the last six years as a result of the Creative Commons project.
  • Investigate new opportunities for Creative Commons implementation in ‘uncontacted’ communities, institutions, artists, and mediums.
  • Work with Creative Commons’ international community and jurisdiction project leads on projects, research, and outreach.

Check out more details and the application, which is due by December 28th, 2009.

UPDATE: Google has extended the application deadline to January 25th, 2010, allowing you an extra month to get your application together!

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Thank You to the 2009 Summer Interns!

Jennifer Yip, August 24th, 2009

Creative Commons has just concluded another successful summer internship program! This year, we welcomed six students to the San Francisco office:

Tomas Ashe was our very first graphic design intern, who came from the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland. Tomas spent the summer working on updating our presentations and presentation style; a fresh new board report; some exciting concepts for creativecommons.org; and some great new info flyers.

Lee-Sean Huang was the International Outreach intern, who spent the summer asking questions and designing solutions for our efforts to support this community, with particular attention to OpenEd. Open education is a global phenomenon, and is supported by a global community. His work on translation, compelling images, and other key messaging issues is helping to globalize our work and bring greater coherence to the many OER projects around the world. We will be publishing a report on Lee-Sean’s work and recommendations soon.

Michelle Hugard was a Legal intern, who will be beginning her third year at UC Davis School of Law this fall. Michelle was busy with building and populating the UCOP database, as well as analyzing university copyright ownership policies and drafting a report about them. Please watch for the publishing of this report, but feel free to contribute to the UCOP database now!

Joe Merante was our other Legal intern, who is also starting his third year at New York Law School this fall. Joe’s primary focus over the summer was researching accessibility policies of institutions publishing content believed to be in the public domain. His research and recommendations will inform Creative Common’s future work on the upcoming Public Domain Assertion tool. That tool will allow organizations and individuals to mark and tag works believed to be in the public domain with facts supporting that conclusion.

Parker Phinney was the Technology intern who came to us after his first year at Dartmouth College. Parker spent the summer giving much needed attention to the code and interface for search.creativecommons.org. Thanks to his work this summer we’ve cleaned up the interface, added support for Google Image search and identified and prototyped several opportunities for further improvements.

Aurelia Schultz was our first Google Policy Fellow, who completed her final year at Vanderbilt University Law School. Aurelia focused on two interrelated projects this summer. First, she analyzed the WIPO development agenda to determine possible strategic areas of overlap and coordination on understanding, marking and tagging the public domain. Aurelia has created a draft strategic plan for CC’s engagement with WIPO and its members at both a policy and project level. Read her recent blog post for most information about her work in this area. She also spent time developing a strategic plan for CC’s outreach in Africa. The plan includes recommendations on expanding our license porting projects as well as through participation by CC in local activities focused on education and the public domain. Aurelia is going to continue researching these policies for us this fall, thanks to Vanderbilt’s public interest initiative funding.

It was a pleasure having these fine students here at the Creative Commons office. On behalf of the CC staff, we thank you for your beautiful presentations, innovative thinking, and enthusiastic work ethic.

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Welcome Summer Interns!

Jennifer Yip, April 13th, 2009

We have finally concluded our rigorous search for summer interns. This year, we’ll be welcoming five students to work at the San Francisco office. Thanks to everyone who submitted an application. It was great to see such an incredible number of responses!

Please let me introduce:

  • Lee-Sean Huang will be the International Outreach intern for ccLearn. He is a first-year masters student at the Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
  • Joe Merante will work under our General Counsel as a Legal intern. He is a second year law student at New York Law School.
  • Michelle Hugard will work with the ccLearn counsel as another Legal intern. She is a second year law student from UC Davis School of Law.
  • Parker Phinney will be the Technology intern. He is a first year student of computer science at Dartmouth College.
  • Tomas Ashe will be the very fist Graphic Design & Media Development intern. He will be completing his final year at the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland.
  • Aurelia Schultz, our first Google Policy Fellow, will also be joining us this summer.

Also see our goodbye post featuring last year’s interns. If you’re interested an internship next year (2010), keep in mind that we’ll post a call for applications around February. Get your resumes into shape starting now! The strongest applicants have played leadership roles in Students for Free Culture chapters or been active contributors to other free culture and free and open source software projects — regarding the latter, we even have a few of our own to get involved with.

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2009 Google Policy Fellowships

Fred Benenson, April 2nd, 2009

We’re excited to announce the recipient of our Google Policy Fellowship for the Summer 2009 is Aurelia Schultz of Vanderbilt University Law School. You’ll hear more about what she’ll be working on shortly.

We also wanted to extend our congratulations to Brian Rowe, our 2008 CC legal intern for nabbing Public Knowledge‘s GPF position. You can read about all the other fellows over at the Google Policy blog. Congratulations to all the fellows and thanks again to Google for sponsoring such a fantastic program!

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REMINDER: CC’s Google Policy Fellowship Deadline is December 12th

Fred Benenson, November 24th, 2008

Just a quick reminder that applications for Creative Commons’ Google’s Policy Fellowship for this coming summer are due December 12th, so if you haven’t applied yet, don’t miss the deadline!

The Google Policy Fellow will receive a substantial grant to work at Creative Commons on the following issues (but this is certainly not an exhaustive list of the things we’ll have you thinking about):

  • Write case studies about projects and creators that have implemented Creative Commons licenses and analyze strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for each; paying particular consideration to cultural and genre differences.
  • Synthesize statistics garnered from recent studies focusing on international license adoption. Fellow will be expected to generate and investigate diverse theses relating to license choice, adoption, and use.
  • Coordinate with counsel to critically analyze the current state of public domain policy in US and abroad. Develop a framework to help Creative Commons’ deploy messaging regarding public domain policy in US and abroad.
  • Survey the current legal and non-legal opinions with respect to the ‘strong vs. weak’ copyleft debate and how it relates to differences between mediums (photography, music, etc.) in order to establish guidelines and uncover precedent for our ShareAlike licenses.
  • Research and analysis of how contemporary the discourse of copyright, sharing, reuse, and remix has been shaped over the last six years as a result of the Creative Commons project.
  • Investigate new opportunities for Creative Commons implementation in ‘uncontacted’ communities, institutions, artists, and mediums.

Check out more details and the application here.

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