science commons

Report from the Creative Commons board meeting in Warsaw

Cathy Casserly, October 27th, 2011

CC’s Board of Directors met during the first day of the Global Summit on September 16, 2011 at the Primate’s Palace in Warsaw, Poland. Prof. Brian Fitzgerald was appointed as a Director of the corporation and to its Audit Committee. The Board also expressed its grateful appreciation to Alek Tarkowski and the CC Poland team for their excellent preparation of the Global Summit and to departing Vice President John Wilbanks for his outstanding accomplishments at Science Commons. Prof. Carroll reported on the success of the recent Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest noting that CC affiliates formed a significant portion of leading thinkers and activists in this field and pointed to the resulting Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest. The Audit Committee’s conflict of interest reviews were also ratified. The remainder of the meeting was dedicated to discussion of improvements to the board structure, fundraising, and strategic objectives.

This was the first time in six years that a CC Board meeting has been held in conjunction with an affiliate Summit event. It was a unique and immensely helpful opportunity for the Directors to make personal contacts with CC supporters and to share directly in the rich expertise and insightful perspective of the affiliate community.

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Commoner Letter #6: Stephen Friend of Sage Bionetworks

Allison Domicone, December 21st, 2009

Stephen Friend is the President, CEO, and co-founder of Sage Bionetworks. He was previously a Senior Vice President at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led Merck’s Basic Cancer Research efforts. Stephen is a committed advocate of Science Commons, the wing of Creative Commons dedicated to making the Web work for science. Stephen’s innovative work with Sage creating an open access bionetwork is inspiring and commendable, and we’re honored to have him write the sixth letter in the Commoner Letter series of this year’s fundraising campaign. We hope you will be inspired by his story of scientists coming together to grow a commons that will help speed medical innovation and discovery and will join him in supporting Creative Commons today.


Stephen Friend

Dear Creative Commoner,

I’m writing today as the President and co-founder of Sage Bionetworks, a new non-profit medical research organization. At Sage, we’re working to build a pre-competitive space for scientists, research foundations, and research institutions to collaboratively discover the way diseases really work in the human body.

I started my career as a doctor, treating kids with cancer. My experience there led me into a deep study of genetics, and into the use of software and computation to investigate diseases by filtering genome data. For a long time, the field has been dominated by a reductionist approach to disease, and by the idea that success would come to individual groups who gathered and mined their own self generated enclosed data and content.

With my scientific partner Eric Schadt, we built software and databases at Merck that assemble “globally coherent” data (like clinical outcomes, genetic variation, intermediate traits, drug reactions) into unified predictive models. We have proven that it works.

But after spending seven years building massive models of human disease it becomes clear to me that no single company, not even one as big as Merck, could possibly gather and integrate enough information to make the decisions we need to make about when and how to treat something as complicated as cancer or Alzheimer’s, or for that matter, cardiovascular disease.

It was going to take a collaborative effort. I saw inspiration in Wikipedia, in GNU/Linux, in systems that were capable of scaling far beyond the capacity of a single institution.

So I decided to leave Merck, and build the seed of an open, pre-competitive space in biology using what we’d done inside the company. Merck gave us more than $150,000,000 worth of work, software and data and supercomputers, and we launched this fall with funding from disease foundations and other donors.

Our goal is ambitious. We want to take biology from a place where enclosure and privacy are the norm, where biologists see themselves as lone hunter-gatherers working to get papers written, to one where the knowledge is created specifically to fit into an open model where it can be openly queried and transformed. To learn more, please look at our website at www.sagebase.org. We feel very fortunate to be working with the Science Commons project at Creative Commons on the construction of a scalable, open commons for biological research.

What Creative Commons is doing to build scalable communities who share – whether it’s creative works like photographs, stem cells, patents, or massive biological data like we’re doing at Sage – is essential infrastructure for the Web. Our goals at Sage won’t be realized if we can’t build a commons for us, for our users, for our patients.

I strongly urge you to join the fall campaign to support Creative Commons with a donation, and I also urge you to get out there and start licensing!


Stephen H. Friend
President, CEO and a Co-Founder, Sage Bionetworks

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Two great SF Bay Area events this Thursday! (10/15/09)

Allison Domicone, October 12th, 2009

Hey Bay Area friends – we’ve got two great CC events lined up this Thursday, one in Mountain View and one in San Francisco. Plus, a third event on Friday that is sure to be equally as great. We hope you can make it to one of them!


sclogo

Science Commons Salon: Creative Commons and LinkedIn are pleased to present an evening of thought-provoking discussions about Science 2.0 and strategies for faster, more efficient web-enabled scientific research. The evening will start with Pecha Kucha style talks. Following the opening talks, John Wilbanks will be moderating a discussion between Reid Hoffman and Joi Ito on Innovation in Open Systems.

When: Thursday, October 15th, 6pm
Where: LinkedIn Campus, Mountain View. (map and directions).


salon-sf

ccSalon SF : Creative Commons, KALW, and Chicago Public Radio’s Sound Opinions are pleased to present Chicago Tribune music critic and author Greg Kot in conversation with music journalist David Downs . Kot’s new book, Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music, explores the changing face of the music industry. Downs and Kot will discuss the book, as well as how digital sharing and participatory culture are shaping how music is created and consumed. Audience questions and discussion will follow the conversation.

When: Thursday, October 15, 7-9pm
Where: PariSoMa, 1436 Howard St. (map and directions). Plenty of street parking available. (Please note, the space is located up two steep flights of stairs, with no elevator access.)

Light refreshments will be provided, and since we rely on the generosity of our community to keep us afloat, we’ll be accepting donations for CC at the door.

Check out the event posting on Upcoming and let us know you’re coming on Facebook. We hope to see you there!


booksmith_photo

On Friday, Greg Kot will also be doing a reading, talk, and book signing at the Booksmith on Haight St. in San Francisco. If you’ll be missing the salon with Greg on Thursday, we encourage you to check out Friday’s reading! A handful of CC staff will be at the event, so be sure to say hi! Friday, October 16th, 7:30 pm.

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Tonight at the Commonwealth Club (SF)

Kaitlin Thaney, July 28th, 2009

From the Science Commons blog

Commoners and digerati alike will come together tonight at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco for a vibrant discussion on the intersection of science and the Web. The event, “Making the Web Work for Science”, will be moderated by Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media, joined by panelists Stephen Friend (Sage), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), and our own John Wilbanks (Science Commons).

The night will be dedicated to the idea of bringing Web efficiencies to scientific research – a core theme seen in our work and thinking here at Science Commons. We now have the tools and understanding to bring together open research and data on a global scale, embedded with the freedoms necessary to be able to fully utilize it. Come help us further discuss this concept with some of the top names in the Bay area tech community as well as open science advocates.

The event (currently sold out, but stay tuned) kicks off at 6 p.m. with a networking reception; the main event beginning at 6:30. A private reception will follow. Tickets are $8 for Commonwealth Club members, $15 for non-members, and $7 for students with valid ID.

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NIH Open Access mandate made permanent

Kaitlin Thaney, March 17th, 2009

Over on the Science Commons blog, Thinh writes:

The NIH Public Access Policy, which was due to expire this year, has now been made permanent by the 2009 Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law last week.

Last year, Science Commons, SPARC, and ARL jointly released a White Paper authored by our board member Mike Carroll called “Complying With the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy,” explaining the new NIH-mandated PubMed deposit requirement and questions that grant recipients should consider in designing a program to comply with it. At that time, the new mandatory policy had just taken effect, and many recipients were still learning how to comply. Nevertheless, the results were dramatic. Prior to NIH’s mandatory deposit requirement, under a voluntary policy NIH began in 2005, the compliance rate in terms of deposits in PubMed had been very low (4%, as published in an NIH report to Congress in 2006). Shortly after the adoption of the new mandatory policy, submissions spiked to an all time high, prompting an NIH official to project compliance rates of 55-60%. Just take a look at this NIH chart, and note the sharp rise after the policy took effect in early 2008.

In a subsequent White Paper that Science Commons and SPARC jointly issued, our recommendations included looking beyond compliance with the new policy and taking this opportunity to develop comprehensive institutional deposit and public access policies, such as Harvard’s open access policy.

Making the NIH Public Access Policy permanent will provide scholars and institutions with much needed certainty and impetus to focus on implementing these requirements within their institutions. It also creates a opportunity for scholars, universities, and the research community to take a broader look at their institution’s scholarly publishing and open access policies, not only as it applies to deposit in PubMed, but also as it applies to their own institutional repositories and scholarly communities.

We will work with our collaborators to develop further policy and legal briefings for university and public research institutions who are studying these issues. Look for that this summer.

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Expanding the Public Domain: Part Zero

Diane Peters, March 11th, 2009

Creative Commons has spent a lot of time over the past year or so strategizing, and worrying, about the current state of the public domain and its future. In particular, we’ve been thinking about ways to help cultivate a vibrant and rich pool of freely available resources accessible to anyone to use for any purpose, unconditionally.

Our copyright licenses empower creators to manage their copyright on terms they choose. But what about creators who aren’t concerned about those protections, or who later want to waive those rights altogether? Unfortunately, the law makes it virtually impossible to waive the copyright automatically bestowed on creators. The problem is compounded by the fact that copyright terms vary dramatically and are frequently extended. Additionally, new protections, like the creation of sui generis database rights in the EU, are layered atop traditional rights, making an already complex system of copyright all the more complicated. In combination, these challenges stand in the way of the vibrant public domain that CC and many others envision.

Today at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology conference, our CEO Joi Ito will formally introduce the first of two tools designed to address these challenges. CC0 (read “CC Zero”) is a universal waiver that may be used by anyone wishing to permanently surrender the copyright and database rights they may have in a work, thereby placing it as nearly as possible into the public domain. CC0 is not a license, but a legal tool that improves on the “dedication” function of our existing, U.S.-centric public domain dedication and certification. CC0 is universal in form and may be used throughout the world for any kind of content without adaptation to account for laws in different jurisdictions. And like our licenses, CC0 has the benefit of being expressed in three ways – legal code, a human readable deed, and machine-readable code that allows works distributed under CC0 to be easily found. Read our FAQs to learn more.

CC0 is an outgrowth of six years of experience with our existing public domain tool, the maturation of ccREL (our recommendations for machine-readable work information), and the requirements of educators and scientists for the public domain. Science Commons’ work on the Open Access Data Protocol, to ensure interoperability of data and databases in particular, informed our development of CC0. It should come as no surprise that several of CC0’s early adopters are leading some of the most important projects within the scientific community.

The ProteomeCommons.org Tranche network is one such early adopter. “Our goal is to remove as many barriers to scientific data sharing as possible in order to promote new discoveries. The Creative Commons CC0 waiver was incorporated into our uploading options as the default in order to help achieve this goal. By giving a simple option to release data into the public domain, CC0 removes the complex barriers of licensing and restrictions. This lets researchers focus on what’s most important, their research and new discoveries,” said Philip Andrews, Professor at the University of Michigan.

Another early adopter of CC0 is the Personal Genome Project, a pioneer in the emerging field of personal genomics technology. The Personal Genome Project is announcing today the release of a large data set containing genomic sequences for ten individuals using CC0, with future planned releases also under CC0. “PersonalGenomes.org is committed to making our research data freely available to the public because we think that is the best way to promote discovery and advance science, and CC0 helps us to state that commitment in a clear and legally accurate way,” said Jason Bobe, Director of Community.

John Wilbanks, CC’s vice president for science, follows Joi Ito at Etech with a presentation addressing the role of CC0 in promoting open innovation.

Building CC0 into a universally robust tool has required the efforts and dedication of many over the course of more than a year. CC jurisdiction project leads in particular provided us with meaningful forums in which to openly discuss CC0′s development. They also provided jurisdiction-specific research critical to our understanding of public domain around the world. This support was invaluable to the crafting of a legally sound public domain tool for use everywhere. An overview of CC’s development and public comment process can be found on the CC wiki, together with links to our blog postings summarizing key policy and drafting decisions.

About the second tool that we refer to above, stay tuned. Funding permitting, we plan to roll out a beta public domain assertion tool this coming summer that will make it easy for people to tag and find content already in the public domain — increasing its effective size, even if due to copyright extensions works are not naturally added to the public domain.

Note, one small improvement we’re introducing with CC0 is that its deed and legalcode are located at http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/. The forthcoming public domain assertion tool will also be rooted under this directory. Thanks to everyone who reminded us that the public domain is not a license, and public domain tools should not be under a “licenses” directory!

A word of thanks to our pro bono legal counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Latham & Watkins. Their legal review and analysis provided the heightened level of rigor that users of our licenses and legal tools have come to expect from Creative Commons.

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GreenXchange – a project of Creative Commons, Nike and Best Buy

Kaitlin Thaney, February 10th, 2009

Today, Creative Commons, in collaboration with Nike and Best Buy, announces a new project – GreenXchange – exploring how the digital commons can help holders of patents collaborate for sustainability. GreenXchange will be hosted inside the Science Commons wing of CC.

GreenXchange draws on the experience of Creative Commons in creating “some rights reserved” regimes for artists, musicians, scientists, and educators, but also on the hard-won successes of patent “commons” projects like the Linux Patent Commons, the BIOS project, FreePatentsOnline and the Eco-Patent Commons. We will examine how best to reconstruct the academic research exemption eliminated in the United States in the Madey v. Duke case, how to extend that exemption to corporate research, how private contract systems can be used to construct a commons for use in sustainability. There is also a technical component – we are very interested in how tools like ccMixter and the semantic web will allow for new methods of tracking use and re-use of patents and integration of shared patents into climate and sustainability model.

GreenXchange is very much an exploratory project. Our goal is to stimulate innovation in the operational space by increasing research use and rights through the some rights reserved model, and to extend the model itself all the way into standard commercial patent licensing for sustainability purposes. Our model is open innovation, our methods are those of the digital commons, and we are very excited to be working with our new partners to help them overcome “failed sharing” to help us all work towards a sustainable world.

For more information on the project, we invite you to check out the informational video over at Science Commons.

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Update: CC Salon SF venue announced

Allison Domicone, January 29th, 2009

salon-sf

We’re delighted to announce that the next CC Salon SF (Wednesday, February 11, from 7-9pm) will be held at PariSoMa, located at 1436 Howard Street, San Francisco (map and directions). We extend our sincerest thanks to the generous folks at PariSoMa for offering up their lovely space! We hope you’ll join us in making our first evening in these new surroundings a warm and lively one. Light refreshments will be served.

We’ll have the entire CC staff under one roof, and the evening’s program includes brief presentations from:

Mike Linksvayer, Vice President
Eric Steuer, Creative Director
Catharina Maracke, Director, Creative Commons International
John Wilbanks, Vice President, Science Commons
Ahrash Bissell, Executive Director, ccLearn
Joi Ito, CEO

Following the presentations, we’ll open the floor to questions and discussion. Whether you’ve been a fan of CC from the start or you’re new to the world of free culture, this salon is not to be missed!

You can also check it out on Upcoming!

We rely on the generosity of our community to keep us afloat, so we’ll be accepting donations for CC at the door. If you didn’t get a chance to support us during our fundraising campaign, now is your chance.

CC Salons are global events, and anyone can start one, no matter where you live. We encourage you to check out our resources for starting your own salon in your area.

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CC Salon SF 2/11/09

Allison Domicone, January 22nd, 2009

salon-sf
For February’s salon, we’re thrilled to have the entire CC staff under one roof, coming from as far as Los Angeles, Dubai, Boston, and Berlin, and as near as SF’s SOMA district, to speak about what they’ve been up to internationally and in the realms of science, culture, and education. Whether you’ve been a fan of CC from the start or you’re new to the world of free culture, this salon is not to be missed.

The salon will be held on Wednesday, February 11, from 7-9pm. Location TBD. For location info, please check back at http://wiki.creativecommons.org/San_Francisco_Salon

From 7-8:15pm, we’ll have brief presentations from:
Mike Linksvayer, Vice President
Eric Steuer, Creative Director
Catharina Maracke, Director, Creative Commons International
John Wilbanks, Vice President, Science Commons
Ahrash Bissell, Executive Director, ccLearn
Joi Ito, CEO

At 8:15pm, we will open the floor for questions and discussion.

Come meet the members of CC’s fabulous staff for a fun-filled evening of presentations, conversations, and mingling. We hope to see you there!

Check it out on Upcoming!

CC Salons are global events, and anyone can start one, no matter where you live. We encourage you to check out our resources for starting your own salon in your area.

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Report from Creative Commons’ December 2008 board meeting online

Mike Linksvayer, January 13th, 2009

CC CEO Joi Ito notes that we’ve just posted a summary of CC’s December 2008 board meeting:

Highlights included the CC Network, progress with the Free Software Foundation with respect to CC and the GFDL, CC0, integration with additional tools such as Picasa, the “Defining Noncommercial” study, partnership with the Eurasian Foundation, the fall fund-raising campaign, website updates, updates from Science Commons and ccLearn and the launch of four new jurisdictions – Romania, Hong Kong, Guatemala and Singapore.

See our June 2008 board meeting summary, or for more excitement, video of the Berkman/CC event from the night before the December board meeting. Video from the CC tech summit of the same day will be up very shortly.

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