Negativland and you build the sampling license; Creative Commons facilitates

Matt Haughey, May 23rd, 2003

We’ve just flipped the switch on a discussion area for public participation as part of our new project development process (image). We’re using mailing lists to facilitate the discussion of new license options, our International Commons project, and metadata strategies.

We kicked off the new model today with development of a sampling license, with discussion driven by Negativland, masters of the cultural remix and veteran dwellers of the fault lines between law and art. Join the effort.

We’ll roll out several other lists in the coming weeks.

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On Warranties: Part III

Glenn Otis Brown, May 20th, 2003

The keen eye of Professor Karl-Friedrich Lenz found what appears to be a discrepancy between the warranty provision of Creative Commons’ licenses and our own policies page, which reads in part:

This website provides general information about legal topics but it does not provide individual legal advice. Creative Commons Corporation is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. Using this website or sending us email does not create an attorney-client relationship. Creative Commons provides this information on an ‘as-is’ basis. Creative Commons makes no warranties regarding the information provided on this website, and disclaims liability for damages resulting from its use.

Lenz is right that this language is unduly confusing. We meant this language not to exempt Creative Commons from the copyright warranties in the license that governs our site. Rather, this disclaiming language was meant to apply back to the sentences immediately preceding it — the text warning that we do not provide legal advice — and not to copyright status of information on the site, generally. New language on our policies page makes this distinction clearer:

This website provides general information about legal topics but it does not provide individual legal advice. Creative Commons Corporation is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. Using this website or sending us email does not create an attorney-client relationship. Creative Commons provides this general legal information on an ‘as-is’ basis. Creative Commons makes no warranties regarding the general legal information provided on this website, and disclaims liability for damages resulting from its use.

To recap:

(1) Yes, our copyright licenses’ warranty provision applies to Creative Commons, just as it does anyone else using our licenses.

(2) The disclaimer on our policies page is intended to refer only to the “general legal information” provided on our site, and now more clearly does so. (Thanks to Prof. Lenz.)

(3) It’s worth noting that the licenses’ copyright warranty, on the one hand, and our disclaimer regarding general legal information, on the other, serve the same goal: to remind every licensor that the decision to use or not to use a license is a serious matter, and ultimately a decision for the licensor alone.

(4) As I said in my last post, we’re reconsidering the warranty issue. Until we take a decision, the warranties apply. To us, too.

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Publishers Weekly

Press Robot, May 15th, 2003

O’Reilly Marks 25 Years, Looks to Tech Future,” by Calvin Reid

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Ars Technica

Press Robot, May 15th, 2003

O’Reilly adopts Founding Fathers’ copyright terms,” by Jon Stokes

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Extreme Tech

Press Robot, May 15th, 2003

Spreading the Digital Word,” by Radhika Kaushik

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San Jose Mercury News

Press Robot, May 15th, 2003

Grants promoting unfettered innovation,” by Dan Gillmor

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InfoWorld

Press Robot, May 15th, 2003

Tech Books to Enter Public Domain,” by Dennis O’Reilly

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New Scientist

Press Robot, May 15th, 2003

Customised copyright licences going global,” by Will Knight

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On Warranties: Part II

Glenn Otis Brown, May 15th, 2003

In response to the ongoing discussion of our licences’ warranty provision, I’ve decided to raise the issue at our upcoming board meeting.

Meantime, please keep fleshing out what you think our approach to warranties should be. The how is as important as the why. Is there any disadvantage to making a quitclaim-style warranty optional (as opposed to the standard)? Do you think we should have some type of warranty in the licenses, or rather abandon the idea altogether?

Soon we can move the conversation over to our forthcoming Discuss page, where we’ll host a variety of archived email lists dedicated to public development of innovations, license versions, iCommons, and more. For now, please keep posting your comments here. And thanks.

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Color Blender

Matt Haughey, May 14th, 2003

Web Developers and designers looking for that perfect color might want to check out Eric Meyer’s Color Blender, recently released under a Creative Commons license. You input two colors and specify how many midtones you’ll need, and it does the rest. Since it’s written entirely in javascript, you can download it and use it yourself.

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