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Democracy Now! – now under a Creative Commons license

Eric Steuer, November 19th, 2008

We just received some tremendously exciting news. Democracy Now! – the daily news program broadcast by hundreds of radio and television stations around the world (it’s also the source of a very popular podcast) – is now being offered under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. This includes not only new episodes, but also those in the show’s archive, dating back to the program’s beginnings in 1996. The show, hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, and originally created by Pacifica Radio (which has continued to provide critical support for the program since it became an independent production), is funded by listeners, viewers, and foundations who believe in independent media – an approach to doing things that we here at CC wholeheartedly respect (visit our fundraising drive for more on this). Democracy Now! was founded to report on issues and stories that the producers believe are underreported by mainstream news outlets. The program’s new usage terms are made clear via a Creative Commons license notice at the bottom of each episode’s page (see today’s conversation with Cornel West for an example).

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Cory Doctorow @ Locus Magazine: Why I Copyfight

Eric Steuer, November 17th, 2008

Author, blogger, and permissive copyright activist Cory Doctorow writes a regular column for Locus, a monthly magazine that covers science fiction and fantasy publishing. His current column, “Why I Copyfight,” is filled with thoughtful analysis of why writers are increasingly using open approaches to distributing their work. A year ago, Doctorow wrote a great piece about Creative Commons for Locus; both columns are highly recommended.

I was recently talking to a friend, D.K. Thompson, who has been posting pieces of a YA novel entitled Unbelievable Origin of Superspiff and the Toothpick Kid, for the past several months. We’d never talked directly about Creative Commons before, so I was particularly interested to hear that he was publishing the entire story via poscast under a CC BY-NC-ND license. He, like other authors I have met, told me that he’s using CC because it helps define clear usage permissions and extends the work’s reach. Superspiff is a lot of fun – you can download episodes from it on D.K.’s site.

Literary publishing is a quickly-changing field, with new distribution models emerging regularly. We’re always eager to hear about authors who are using our tools to achieve their desired ends. If you or someone you know is offering their novel, short stories, poetry, or other literature under Creative Commons licenses (or if you’re a reader who has enjoyed someone else’s work that has been made available under CC terms), we’d be grateful if you would point us to it in the comments section of this post.

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