Weblog

2004 December

CC Brazil: The Movie

Matt Haughey, December 17th, 2004

Earlier this spring, Creative Commons staff went down to Brazil to oversee the launch of one of the first country-specific licenses. There was a big event attended by Gilberto Gil, the Minister of Culture for Brazil, and a film crew followed everyone around for a couple days. The result is a nice little 11 minute film on the process of the licenses, the impact it could have on their culture, and reactions from the launch event. Watch it at the Internet Archive, and if you have your own videos like this to share, be sure to try out our CC Publisher app to add your films to the Archive as well.

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Neural.it

Neeru Paharia, December 16th, 2004

To coincide with Italy’s launch of their own Creative Commons licenses, I’ve gotten word that 5000 pages on neural.it will be licensed. More on the Italy launch event later.

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Duke Law School’s Arts Project Moving Image Contest

Neeru Paharia, December 16th, 2004

Duke Law School, Center for the Study of the Public Domain, has posted the eight finalists to their Arts Project Moving Image Contest. The contest asked entrants to create short films demonstrating some of the tensions between art and intellectual property law, and the intellectual property issues artists face, focusing on either music or documentary film. The judges (including our own Glenn) are selecting three winners from among these finalists, and the winners will be announced on January 15, 2005. They are also asking for your vote, from which they will give People’s Choice awards.

All of the finalists are licensed under Creative Commons licenses, and the videos range from the account of a documentarian trying to cover army recruiters in the North Carolina Piedmont, to a Polish animator’s science fiction vision of music’s apocalytic future, from a college student’s efforts to make a Public Service Announcement about the Civil Rights movement, to a dissection of the law behind “Supersize Me.”

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Happy 2nd Birthday Creative Commons!

Neeru Paharia, December 16th, 2004

Today marks the second anniversary of the first release of Creative Commons licenses. What an amazing two years it has been — we can only hope the coming years will be as extraordinary.

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The Fine Art of Sampling Contest

Neeru Paharia, December 16th, 2004

Today we launched a new site, and a new contest. Check out CC Mixter to win a chance to be on the next Fine Arts Militia album featuring Chuck D, or a chance to be featured on the Creative Commons release, THE WIRED CD: Ripped. Sampled. Mashed. Shared. Sample The Beastie Boys, David Byrne, DJ Danger Mouse, and many others to win!

The Fine Art of Sampling Contest, builds off November’s release of the THE WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share., which contains sixteen tracks licensed under Creative Commons Sampling licenses. The licenses allow you to sample the tracks into your own musical creations, without legal hassle.

To demonstrate how easily songs can be sampled, mashed, and shared, we built a new site/application called CC Mixter, thanks in part to the work of veteran music mixer, Victor Stone, and WebJay creator, Lucas Gonze. CC Mixter has all the WIRED CD tracks plus loops from each song. And when you upload your own mashup, the site is able to track connections between songs, so you can quickly see everyone that used that same sample in their own work, and everyone that cut up one of the WIRED CD songs.

The site also lets you connect to other people — say for example, find me all the musicians who like jazz music, you can review tracks, and there’s a forum to post questions and comments. We’re also happy to announce we’re getting the CC Mixter software ready to release as open source software, so that anyone can build their own related community around any kind of content, be that video, fan fiction, educational materials, or whatever you want.

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CC Torrent Hosting

Mike Linksvayer, December 16th, 2004

Torrentocracy has announced a free BitTorrent hosting service for Creative Commons licensed content: Prodigem.

Download one of the beta torrents currently available. Send an email to Torrentocracy creator Gary Lerhaupt to request an upload account.

Update: Download all of the Duke Law School Arts Project Moving Image Contest finalists via one torrent at prodigem.

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Copyright and attribution

Mike Linksvayer, December 15th, 2004

Crooked Timber has a post today on copyright and attribution that cites Creative Commons:

In short, the informal economy of academic attribution is much more like the kind of alternative economy that, say, Creative Commons
is trying to create than it is like the copyright industry. Academics
are usually happy when others rip, remix or even parody their work – as
long as the remix artists acknowledge them by name. Similarly, the Creative Commons licenses now include a requirement for attribution as standard
(it used to be optional, but 97-98% of Creative Commons users wanted it
in their licenses, so that the CC crowd decided that it was easier to
make it the default). The requirement that people not plagiarize (i.e.
that they not use others’ work without attribution) presents no
problems whatsoever for ‘free culture.’

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Attention Networks: you can use free video, too

Matt Haughey, December 14th, 2004

George Hotelling has a good idea for those network news shows covering the big Google/University public domain scanning story: there is a great video clip of the Internet Archive’s sophisticated scanning equipment available for public domain use right here, and anyone can use it.

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Elvis did to who?

Mike Linksvayer, December 14th, 2004

Lucas Gonze has a way with words:

Can I just say this? Napster politics are brutally boring. The action right now is in making the music and video owned by the major labels and film studios archaic and unpopular. We’re going to do to those properties what talkies did to silent films, what political bloggers did to Dan Rather, what Elvis did to Mantovani. Our stuff is better, that’s how we’re going to win.

Forcibly liberating that old stuff is a painfully stupid strategy. The more unauthorized filesharing you do, the more attention you give those old cutural fiefdoms, the more money you generate to sue you with. It is a total waste of time.

Creative Commons is of course the antithesis of forcible liberation. You can choose to participate in free culture, or not.

The legal tools and technology for free culture are loosed. Free content is burgeoning (ex: 83,360 licensed tracks on Soundclick, now).

As many others have pointed out, the immediate challenge is discovery. Who will be our Elivses? Who will find and promote them?

By the way, a Mantovani fan site. No disrespect intended, you just may not have heard of this great star of pop music, pre-Rock’n'Roll.

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(cc) People: Nathan Yergler

Glenn Otis Brown, December 14th, 2004

In October 2003, our website redesign included a new page called Technology Challenges, where we invited volunteer developers to tackle some tough coding projects that could help the cause. Within a couple of weeks, some dude named Nathan Yergler had picked a couple of formidable challenges off like sitting ducks.

First was CCMoz, the Firefox browser plug-in that detects our machine-readable licenses and displays the legal information by icon in the browser progress bar. This means that if you’re looking at a page of photographs, for example, that carries one of our “Some Rights Reserved” icons, you can glance at the browser footer and know how you can legally use the photos without clicking through to the license. The CCMoz plug-in makes an author’s intentions instantly transparent, further reducing the transaction costs of creative re-use online.

Next, Nathan built CCValidate, which takes the next step for the code-savvy: it confirms that the machine-readable license is kosher. It’s sort of like a spell-check for metadata. Which frankly, given my tech literacy, is beyond me, but people tell me it’s really cool. (I dig spell-checkers, even in languages I don’t understand, so I sort of get it.)

Pretty soon it was clear we just had to hire the guy. And since then he’s only continued to crank.

Next, with Neeru’s and Mike’s and Matt’s guidance, Nathan built CCPublisher, the tool that could become the coolest of all Creative Commons apps. Already, Publisher lets anyone running Windows or Mac or Linux to simply drag and drop a music or video file they want to Creative Commons license onto a desktop icon, which then does three things: (1) It offers you the copyright license of your choice, (2) embeds the corresponding metadata into the file, and (3) zaps the newly freed bundle of creative joy off to the almighty Internet Archive, where it is hosted, in perpetuity, for FREE. You have no website? You have no clue how use FTP? Who cares. Use CCPublisher. Get your work seen and heard. Pay nothing. Have a beer. Toast to Nathan Yergler. And watch as Publisher gets slicker still and extends to handle a wider range of file formats in the coming months. (With more cool tools in the works.)

I’ve met Nathan face-to-face only twice, as he telecommutes from Indiana, and I look forward to the day when we can convince him to up and move into the Creative Commons lair in San Francisco. In person I’ve learned Nathan also has a great sense of humor. Or at least he always seems to laugh heartily when I say things. Which could have many interpretations, now that I think of it.

Whatever the explanation for that last bit — thanks, Nathan, for everything.

PS — If you’re in a company that needs a ridiculously good coder, I hope you have the pleasure of working with Nathan. But not just yet. He belongs to the Commons for now.

Pass a fond word on to Nathan.

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