registry

Safe Creative enables creators to donate a portion of their sales to Creative Commons

Jane Park, March 8th, 2011

Safe Creative is a Spain-based global intellectual property registry that allows users to publicly assert and identify their rights over a work. Safe Creative supports CC licensing, so you can register* your existing CC-licensed works and license your new works that you register. Currently, Safe Creative has over half a million registered works and over 50,000 users. With their advanced search you can find CC-licensed works Safe Creative users have registered.

Recently, Safe Creative launched a new platform that allows creators to sell their works directly to users. As part of this new platform, Safe Creative has integrated the ability to donate a portion or all of your sales to two nonprofits: Creative Commons or Médecins Sans Frontières. After you register your work, you can choose to “Enable Licensing for Commons” and the percentage of the proceeds that you want to go to Creative Commons. A little info box explains CC to Safe Creative creators, and contains the following text:

Why would I want to donate a portion of my proceeds to Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that relies on the public’s support. If you have ever licensed your work under a CC license, or benefited from using the millions of free, CC-licensed works on the web, donating a portion of your proceeds will help to ensure that CC continues to develop, support, and steward the copyright licenses and tools that make sharing on the web possible.

Safe Creative has in the past supported Creative Commons by offering challenges during our annual campaign. It is cool that they have found a new innovative way to support Creative Commons as have others recently (if your company is interested in supporting our work, please get in touch) and we’re gratified to be one of two initial choices alongside Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

Check it out, and let us know what you think!

*Note that registration is not required to apply a CC license to your work. Publishing your work with a license notice, usually on the web, is all you need to do. In a sense, the web is the registry of CC-licensed works. However, digital copyright registries such as the one run by Safe Creative add value, especially to the extent registrations are exposed on the web, through making it easier to discover the provenance of works, and works themselves. These topics have been explored in depth at three CC technology summits, each of which Safe Creative has presented at.

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CC and the Google Book Settlement

Mike Linksvayer, November 16th, 2009

The is probably the copyright story of the year — it’s complex, contentious, involves big players and big subjects — the future of books, perhaps good and evil — resulting in a vast amount of advocacy, punditry and academic analysis.

It’s also a difficult item for Creative Commons to comment on. Both “sides” are clearly mostly correct. Wide access to digital copies of most books ever published would be a tremendous benefit to society — it’s practically an imperative that will happen in some fashion. It’s also the case that any particular arrangement to achieve such access should be judged in terms of how it serves the public interest, which includes consumer privacy, open competition, and indeed, access to books, among many other things. Furthermore, Creative Commons considers both Google and many of the parties submitting objections to the settlement (the Electronic Frontier Foundation is an obvious example) great friends and supporters of the commons.

We hope that a socially beneficial conclusion is reached. However, it’s important to remember why getting there is so contentious. Copyright has not kept up with the digital age — to the contrary, it has fought a rearguard action against the digital age, resulting in zero growth in the public domain, a vast number of inaccessible and often decaying orphan works, and a diminution of fair use. If any or all of these were addressed, Google and any other party would have much greater freedom to scan and make books available to the public — providing access to digital books would be subject to open competition, not arrived at via a complex and contentious settlement with lots of side effects.

Creative Commons was designed to not play the high cost, risk, and stakes game of litigation and lobbying to fix a broken copyright system. Instead, following the example of the free software movement, we offer a voluntary opt-in to a more reasonable copyright that works in the digital age. There are a huge number of examples that this works — voluntary, legal, scalable sharing powers communities as diverse as music remix, scientific publishing, open educational resources, and of course Wikipedia.

It’s also heartening to see that voluntary sharing can be a useful component of even contentious settlements and to see recognition of Creative Commons as the standard for sharing. We see this in Google’s proposed amended settlement, filed last Friday. The amended version (PDF) includes the following:

Alternative License Terms. In lieu of the basic features of Consumer Purchase set forth in Section 4.2(a) (Basic Features of Consumer Purchase), a Rightsholder may direct the Registry to make its Books available at no charge pursuant to one of several standard licenses or similar contractual permissions for use authorized by the Registry under which owners of works make their works available (e.g., Creative Commons Licenses), in which case such Books may be made available without the restrictions of such Section.

This has not been the first mention of Creative Commons licenses in the context of the Google Book Settlement. The settlement FAQ has long included an answer indicating a Creative Commons option would be available. Creative Commons has also been mentioned (and in a positive light) by settlement critics, for example in Pamela Samuelson’s paper on the settlement and in the Free Software Foundation’s provocative objection centering on the tension between the intentions of public copyright licensors and the potential for settlements to result in less freedom than the licensor intended.

Independent of the settlement, we happily noted a few months ago that Google had added Creative Commons licensing options to its Google Book Search partner program. This, like any voluntary sharing, or mechanism to facilitate such, is a positive development.

However you feel about the settlement, you can make a non-contentious contribution to a better future by using works in the commons and adding your own, preventing future gridlock. You can also make a financial contribution to the Creative Commons annual campaign to support the work we do to build infrastructure for sharing.

If you want to follow the Google Book Settlement play-by-play, New York Law School’s James Grimmelmann has the go-to blog. We’re proud to note that James was a Creative Commons legal intern in 2004, but can’t take any credit for his current productivity!

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CC Network “a truly inspirational approach”

Mike Linksvayer, August 5th, 2009

Chris Messina on OpenID: the unseen branded revenue opportunity:

What better way to both support Creative Commons and show off your patronage than by identifying yourself across the web with your very own unique, secure, privacy-protecting creativecommons.net OpenID (just like Zach Beauvais)?

For a mere $50 minimum donation ($25 for students), you can own a limited edition URL and profile from Creative Commons that identifies you to the world and provides a compelling revenue opportunity for the non-profit foundation.

While companies like SAP become OpenID providers for pedestrian reasons like simplifying authentication across their many different distributed web properties, Creative Commons is redistributing the brand equity and social capital their members have accrued over the last several years by letting people show and verify their affiliation to the organization.

With this simple example, we can start to see the symbiosis of making an intentional choice about identity: Creative Commons finds a new revenue opportunity and members of the community have a way to express their affiliation and promote the brand.

Perfectly explained. Do read the whole post, including the part where Messina calls CC Network “a truly inspirational approach”. Thanks Chris!

Also see Read Write Web’s take on CC Network, following up on Messina’s post.

CC Network also has other features that complement its identity and affiliation stories — see our posts from last fall launching the service, explaining our technical approach to CC Network’s OpenID security, and CC Network and web-centric copyright registries. On the last, see our CTO Nathan Yergler’s recent update from the third CC technology summit.

Inspired? Watch for exciting announcements from CC Network product manager Fred Benenson coming this fall — and join today!

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Registries and the public domain at the 3rd COMMUNIA Workshop

Mike Linksvayer, October 23rd, 2008

Monday the 3rd COMMUNIA Workshop on Marking the Public Domain: Relinquishment and Certification included a panel on marking and tagging public domain works, featuring presentations by Safe Creative‘s Mario Pena (Safe Creative’s approach to registering public domain works), Patrick Peiffer of the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg (and CC Luxembourg), Jonathan Gray (OKF), and me (certifying public domain works).

In the future we will work with Safe Creative and others on registry standards to ensure openness and interoperability — see both Mario and my slides for some of this.

Soon all presentations from the workshop will be available for download.

Remember that Safe Creative is generously matching contributions to the CC fall fundraising campaign. Thanks again to Safe Creative!

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Safe Creative wants to double your donation

Melissa Reeder, October 20th, 2008

Last Wednesday we launched the 2008 fundraising campaign, with the goal of raising $500,000 by the end of the year. I know — times are hard and that’s a lot of money. So, in order to give you more “bang for your buck,” so to speak, we’ve teamed up with Safe Creative to give you a way to double the value of your contribution. For the next 2 weeks, Safe Creative will be matching every donation dollar for dollar — up to $4000.

Safe Creative is a very cool project working to build a global intellectual property registry for creators to use (for free) to accredit the rights of their work. When you register your work with Safe Creative, you are given the option to CC license your work. So, if you want to register your work, which helps protect you as the creator, check them out. For more information (besides their website) check out the presentation that they gave at CC’s inaugural Tech Summit. We couldn’t be more excited to have them participate in this campaign — continuing to show the world their support for Creative Commons and for a global sharing culture. Show your support too by giving today!

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CC Network and Interoperable Copyright Registry Exploration

Nathan Yergler, October 16th, 2008

Yesterday we launched The Creative Commons Network as part of our annual campaign. On the surface the CC Network is simple: it acts as a premium for supporting Creative Commons and gives supporters a way to tell the world that they support CC and Free Culture. But it’s also designed as a platform for exploring digital copyright registries.  If you were at the CC Technology Summit in June (or watched the video from it) you saw that there are lots of people working in this “Copyright 2.0″ space. The conversations I’ve had about registries over the past year often start with the question, “how does someone with a photograph they downloaded off the web determine who owns it?”  That’s a question we want to be able to answer and that people such as Safe Creative, Registered Commons, Image Stamper, Attributor and others are working on different approaches to. But there’s an implied question underneath: “How do I take a photo and determine who claims to owns it? And how do I know if I should trust that claim?” That question of trust is one we’re looking at with the CC Network.

Let’s start at the beginning. When you select a license, Creative Commons doesn’t store that selection; it’s up to you, the owner to publish that information. To help you with that we generate some HTML you can paste into your web page that includes the license. Including that HTML is essentially a claim of ownership; it says “I’m offering this work under a license, and I can do so because I own the necessary rights to do so.” It may say other things, too, such as how you want to be attributed for re-use, but everything else hangs off that ownership claim. To date, short of contacting the creator directly to ask for some sort of verification, you’ve had to rely on context to help decide whether you trust the claim: is the claim published on site who’s name matches the name of the author or is it on a public, anonymous host like geocities? What’s my risk profile look like? The CC Network adds another piece of information to the decision making process.

A CC Network account has two relevant pieces: a badge you can include on your page that points back to your profile and a simple work registry where you can claim works you’ve created and made available under a CC license. The badge [unsurprisingly] includes embedded metadata that associates your CC Network profile with the work it’s on.  The work registration pages also include metadata about that relationship.  So now we have two pieces of information — one from each side — making mutually reinforcing assertions, so we have reason to trust the claim.  By itself this is just a claim of ownership — it still doesn’t tell us who owns the work.  After all, why wouldn’t I just create an account for my favorite band on the CC Network, post some of their tracks on my site and claim they’re licensed? This is where supporting CC financially can help you as a creator.

When you give to CC, your name is verified by PayPal and that information is passed back to us when the transaction completes. We store that with your profile as your name and display it on the license deeds when someone clicks through from a registered work. So when you’ve licensed your work, registered it with the CC Network and added the badge, your name — verified by making a contribution — shows up on the license deed.


Following a link from the licensed, registered work to the deed displays network membership information.

Following a link from the licensed, registered work to the deed displays network membership information.

If this were the end of the story it’d be of limited interest: another one-way, closed system for solving the problem. The most exciting part of this (for me) is that this system doesn’t actually rely on CC licenses or the CC Network at all — it’s all driven by metadata published with the work (on the network badge in this case) and with the registry (on your CC Network profile). We think the CC Network is a pretty good start but you can easily imagine other implementations that add even stronger assurances of identity: maybe one site implements web of trust, or another requires that creators show up in person with identification before becoming members. Yet another might also provide insurance backing up the claims. And applications — of which the license deeds are only one — can communicate this information to users, boosting their trust in the claim being made.

Since the beginning Creative Commons has made machine readable license information a “first-class” representation of the licenses. Because of that history and your support, we’re now in a position to continue building an infrastructure that allows creators flexibility and choice. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll join CC now and support the commons.

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TechSummit Video Now Online

Greg Grossmeier, July 9th, 2008

Creative Commons held our first TechSummit at Google last month.  This event included an update and overview of Creative Commons technologies, panels featuring other leaders in open digital rights technologies, and a look at the future, including the role of digital copyright registries.  If you are curious of who all the speakers were you can still find the list on the TechSummit informational page.  Many presenters’ slides are also available from that page.

For those that could not attend the Tech Summit can now view the entire event online thanks to Google (who graciously hosted the event for us).  There are four 1-hour long videos available and they are broken up by sessions.  You can find session topics and presenters on the TechSummit information page.

The videos -

Video 1:

  • Welcome and mini-keynote (Joi Ito)
  • Talk: Introduction to ccREL (Ben Adida)
  • Panel: Current CC, Science Commons, and ccLearn technology initiatives

Video 2:

Video 3:

  • Panel: Developers of digital copyright registries and similar animals

Video 4:

  • Plenary: “Copyright 2.0″ technologies and digital copyright registries: what next?

Thanks to all who participated!

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Numly and RegisteredCommons

Mike Linksvayer, October 19th, 2006

A class of services that complements and builds upon the CC infrastructure includes assurance, provenance, registration, and warranty. Numly and RegisteredCommons are two currently pioneering organizations in this space.

Chris Matthieu of Numly started a descrption and comparison table for the space on the CC wiki. People from RegisteredCommons have added. Other experts or those merely interested are encouraged to contribute as well.

See a Numly record for Chris’ original description of Numly on the CC Wiki and a record on RegisteredCommons.

Both projects have or are working on search, Firefox integration, WordPress integration … the whole Web 2.0 bag of tricks. “Copyright 2.0″ is what Chris Matthieu calls it.

iCommons did a Q&A with RegisteredCommons last month.

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