Say Thank You to the People Who Make Creative Commons

Glenn Otis Brown, December 14th, 2004

Like everything we celebrate, Creative Commons is about team creativity and team sweat.

As promised (relatively) recently, I want to pause this end-of-the-year holiday season to say thanks to some of the people who have made Creative Commons possible. The people I have in mind here are the ones whom I work with every day.

In a series of posts to follow, I’m going to write a little bit about the people we all have to thank for Creative Commons. The posts will only trickle out, as I’ll have irregular Net access, but they’ll be here.

I hope you’ll take the opportunity, if you’re a CC fan, to say thanks to the people profiled here, whether in the blog comments, or privately at the email address provided. For this occasion, at least — though let’s not limit it to that — I think it’s more important to pass fond words on to the people make CC happen than to contribute to Creative Commons, or to join the Commoners Club, or to license your work. If you have a favorite anecdote about the person profiled, or if you have a special thanks to them (and I know you do), pass it on.

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The Mainstream Mash-Up

Glenn Otis Brown, December 14th, 2004

The Mainstream Mash-Up” makes it onto the New York Times’ list of great ideas of 2004. Question #1: Where is Creative Commons here? Don’t they read WIRED at the NYTimes? Question #2: How “mainstream” is a concocted mash-up between Linkin Park + Jay-Z? Hats off to them for innovating, but this is just the tip of the iced-down Rolex.

Watch the Fine Art of Sampling contest, starting here soon, for the real deal.

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Fashion, Music, and the Law

Glenn Otis Brown, December 14th, 2004

According to one journalist, fashion has borrowed from music, with interesting legal results.

An upcoming conference at USC asks if music can borrow back from fashion in a similar way.

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The Fine Art of Sampling Contest

Neeru Paharia, December 13th, 2004

On December 15, 2004 Creative Commons will launch the Fine Art of Sampling Contest. The contest intends to build off of the WIRED CD, where contestants will be challenged to sample the WIRED CD song(s) they love most, into their own creation of musical genius. Look for the announcement here on December 15th!

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New Year’s Resolutions, 2004: How’d We Do?

Glenn Otis Brown, December 13th, 2004

At the turn of 2004, we laid out our New Year’s Resolutions for Creative Commons. The year’s not quite up, but I’m going offline soon, so I thought it would be a good time to check in on our progress. I’m happy to report that the state of the Commons is strong. (If I personally had accomplished this many of my own New Year’s Resolutions this year, I’d be a rich, talented, patient, cancer-curing, movie star-dating, Pulitzer-winning upstanding citizen by now. As it is . . . there’s always next year.)

Make worry-free sampling and re-creativity mainstream.

Sixteen sampling-friendly tunes — including the Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Gilberto Gil, Chuck D and more — on the cover of WIRED magazine is a good start, yes?

Make 25 country-specific sets of iCommons licenses available.

Right now we offer 11, and by the end of the January we’ll offer 14. Another 12-15 are poised to go live very soon. Given that the 25-country figure was a little bit nuts (2 sets of licenses per month), iCommons progress has been a massive success and easily one of the most exciting things we’ve done. Hats off to Christiane, Roland, and all the iCommons volunteers worldwide.

Explore Science Commons.

Underway. Much more coming at the turn of 2005.

Version licenses.

Done, and thanks to you, a huge improvement.

Begin Save-a-Book campaign, revive out-of-print books.

This got shelved for the time being, though some planning has gotten underway.

Debut metadata search engine prototype.

Done. And it ships with the amazing Firefox browser. We are all indebted to Mike, Neeru, Matt, and

Unveil CC-Mixter — Friendster for musicians.

Done, and on the verge of some very cool applications — watch this space this week.

Launch “Anatomy of a Film” project.

Done. More interesting uses of this approach soon.

Build licenses into at least two applications per medium: photography, audio, film, text. (Adobe XMP plug-in to debut soon.)

Let’s see: Flickr, SnapGallery, Moveable Type, Squarespace, Manila,, YMDI, Ticketstubs, WinkSite, plus DMusic, Soundclick,, and others I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Great progress thanks to the tech team and Neeru.

Make “some rights reserved” household phrase.

Not quite household, but 800,000 Google hits isn’t too bad.

We’ll put up our 2005 Resolutions just after the New Year.

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UNLIMITED song hosting offered for Mac musicians

Press Robot, December 13th, 2004

Songs uploaded to the service must meet specific terms and conditions,
and the content is made available using a Creative Commons license, which
from MacWorld – San Francisco,CA,USA

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Fragile digital music or fragile rights?

Mike Linksvayer, December 13th, 2004

Andreas Bovens suggested looking at this comment on a Slashdot story on the future of digital audio.

You may be able to pick up the gist of the comment thread from the punchline:

Maybe the problem isn’t that the music is fragile, only that your rights are. Maybe the solution isn’t worrying so much about “backups,” but making sure that you give your money to someone who respects their customers.

The respectful party above is our favorite non-evil record label, Magnatune, but the moral of the story — make sure your rights aren’t fragile, especially when your hardware is — works in favor of any CC-licensed content.

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Internet Archive’s Brewster Kahle live on C-SPAN today: 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT

Mike Linksvayer, December 13th, 2004

While you’re watching the Internet’s über librarian check out ccPublisher, our desktop app that makes it easy for you to add your CC-licensed audio and video to the über library for free.

Keep an eye out for future installments of C-SPAN’s Digital Future. Creative Commons chair Lawrence Lessig will entertain on March 3 next year.

As part of the Library of Congress “Digital Future” series, The Internet Archive‘s Brewster Kahle will be giving a talk, “Univeral Access to Knowledge,” carried live on C-SPAN later today, at 6:30pm eastern time, 3:30pm pacific. A following Q&A session will also include emailed questions. Details here, and at the Digital Future series page.

(That’s 23:30 UTC, and C-SPAN offers live Internet streams of their broadcasts.)

[Via Gordon Mohr.]

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Northern California Association of Law Libraries

Glenn Otis Brown, December 9th, 2004

Yesterday I had the chance to talk to a workshop the Northern California Association of Law Libraries put on here in San Francisco. Organized by Frances Jones, Director of the California Judicial Center Library (we met back at the American Association of Law Libaries conference in Boston not long ago), the workshop included great talks about the area’s law libraries and the state of copyright law by the Honorable James J. Marchiano, the Presiding Justice for Division One of the California Court of Appeal (First Appellate District) and Mary Minow of Lloyd Auerbach of LexisNexis did a helpful overview of copyright research tools, and I did an update on Creative Commons’ recent progress.

Librarians could well be the best audience there is for topics like these, not only because they really seem engaged with what you have to say, but also because they, as our appointed stewards of culture, have so much to teach the rest of us.

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WINKsite goes CC!

Neeru Paharia, December 8th, 2004

WINKsite, a publishing and community platform that helps creators bring their content into the mobile environment, has recently launched the Creative Commons Mobile Library, containing Creative Commons licensed works that can be viewed from mobile devices. The initial group of content contains a selection of books licensed under Creative Commons licenses, and is set to experience rapid growth because publishers now have the option to choose a Creative Commons license when enabling their content for mobile viewing. This is expanding Creative Commons into a HUGE new domain: first the Web, then file-sharing, and now Creative Commons on your mobile device. Go WINKsite!

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