2004 October

South African and Belgian draft licenses now available for comment

Glenn Otis Brown, October 19th, 2004

Two more countries join the International Commons discussion and drafting process today: South Africa and Belgium. Check out the drafts, subscribe to the lists, and congratulate your local Project Lead on making it all possible.

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Glenn Otis Brown, October 18th, 2004

A new site called P2P Politics is now live. The site enables anyone to select from a menu of video clips the ones that best express their view of the U.S. presidential elections, and then email links to those clips, along with a personalized message, to friends, family, and colleagues. It is like a cross between an online greeting-card service and a gallery of campaign advertisements, and all content is Creative Commons licensed and hosted at the Internet Archive. Learn more. (Like Creative Commons, the site is nonpartisan and seeking content from across the ideological spectrum; it looks as though their seed content is heavy on the incumbent, but they seem to be actively pursuing other viewpoints right off the bat.)

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Embedded License Lookup

Nathan Yergler, October 18th, 2004

We have a long-standing specification for embedding licenses in MP3 audio files which requires two pieces of information: a license claim embeddded in the audio file, and verification metadata hosted on a web page. While command-line tools for looking up the verification metadata have been available for a while, we have lacked an easy, drag and drop solution for examining an embedded claim and whether or not it verifies. No more.

ccLookup is tool available for Mac OS X and Windows which allows you to drop an MP3 file onto the program icon or running window in order to verify the embedded claim, if any. Downloads are available here.

While ccLookup is a step in the right direction, there’s still work to be done. Ogg support would be nice, and I’m sure there are features I haven’t thought of. Have a comment, suggestion or idea? Email me at nathan@creativecommons.org and let me know.

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Glenn Otis Brown, October 15th, 2004

MTV News blurbed the The WIRED CD today in anticipation of its release later this month.

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Building on the past

Neeru Paharia, October 14th, 2004

The ultimate: Carhenge. The image is under a Creative Commons license.

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Finding Licensed Content

Nathan Yergler, October 12th, 2004

If you can’t be bothered to open up your web browser and head over to our search engine, but still have a hankering for licensed content, there’s good news. Well, good news if you run Mac OS X. We now have a Creative Commons Search channel for Sherlock

You can connect to the channel at sherlock://drop.creativecommons.org/sherlock/ccsearch.xml. It still has some rough edges, and there’s definitely room for improvement. If you’re interested in helping, the code is available at the CC Tools SourceForge project. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.

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Art, not law — a new radio program

Glenn Otis Brown, October 11th, 2004

The Creative Remix, with host Benjamen Walker, is an hour-long “lawyer free” examination of the art, culture, and history of the remix. The hour kicks off with a musical analysis of DJ Dangermouse’s infamous remix of the Beatles and Jay-Z. Then we go back in time to check out the ancient Roman art of the poetry mash-up, or the Cento. Then we rewind to the 18th century to check out the birth of copyright and how it affected writers like Alexander Pope; and the early 20th century when the visual artist Marcel Duchamp used the remix to reinvent everything. We also take a field trip to the Mass Mocca museum of modern art to check out the exhibit “Yankee Remix.” Walker brings along a few grad students and a pair of curmudgeonly New England antique collectors to investigate different attitudes towards remixing.

In the second part of the program Walker speaks with three unique remix artists: The historical novelist Matthew Pearl, Gideon D’arcangelo (“The Walkman Buster”), and Cory Arcangel, a Nintendo hacker — and one of the youngest representatives at this year’s Whitney Biennial.

Benjamen Walker did the original music and sound design for our two animations. His weekly radio program “The Theory of Everything” can be heard on WZBC in Boston and, beginning Oct 31st, in San Francisco and on the Internet.

Listen to the show — it will enlighten even the confirmed appropriationist afficionado. If you like it, contact your local public radio station and tell them about this opportunity to provide their audience with a “lawyer free” look at the art form of the remix.

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Associated Press on Creative Commons

Glenn Otis Brown, October 10th, 2004

The AP has a very nice article on recent developments at Creative Commons.

Getting rights OK’d can be frustrating for artists, be they authors seeking to quote an essay or documentary filmmakers who’ve got snippets of pop songs playing in the background of key scenes. Artists and scholars who believe the current copyright system unduly stifles creativity are pushing a less restrictive alternative that they call the Creative Commons.

Driving the movement is the belief that we all benefit when creative minds are free to expand upon others’ work – that public discourse is hurt when too much of it is weighed down by the baggage of commerce.

Adherents of Creative Commons are a varied lot. They include MIT, the Beastie Boys, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, newspaper columnist Dan Gillmor and the British Broadcasting Corp.

I would take issue with that “baggage of commerce” bit, and re-write it like this: “Public discourse and commerce are hurt when too much is weighed down by the baggage of needless legal friction.” But otherwise it’s a gem.

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The WIRED CD: Future Tense

Glenn Otis Brown, October 9th, 2004

Future Tense with Jon Gordon has a nice radio story about the WIRED CD. Give it a listen.

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Creative Commons, eh!

Diane Cabell, October 7th, 2004

Bodies packed Bar 56 in Ottawa’s Byward Market last week for the launch of the first Canadian version of a Creative Commons license. Hosted by the University of Ottawa’s Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) and the Law & Technology Program, the event unfurled the CC banner to a jubilant crowd eager to support the cause.

Canadians let you know that they’re having a really good time at their parties. Greetings ranged from the hearty violence of a lumberjack’s bear hug to the sophisticated cheek-pecking of a Quebecoise. Unlike the hip reserve of the Wired concert event, or the casual certainty of CC San Francisco events, this crowd showed the honest pride of hardy mountaineers who have finally reached the crest. Perhaps this is because Ottawans are still close enough to the frontier to reflect the pioneer spirit. Satisfaction was rampant and celebration well-deserved.

Michael Geist and Pippa Lawson deserve credit for supporting the CC effort in Canada. CA project lead Marcus Bornfreund and his team of researchers are doing more than merely crafting a CC license that is truly Canadian. The next goal is to develop a license template that is less US-centric using terms that are more common internationally. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this energetic group of outstanding scholars.

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