2005 January

Australia Launch and River Boat Cruise

Neeru Paharia, January 19th, 2005

Over the last few days, I had the honor of attending the Creative Commons Australia launch which was celebrated by a two-day Creative Commons conference at the Queensland University of Technology Law School. The conference, entitled Open Content Licensing (OCL): Cultivating the Creative Commons, was well attended by many of Australia’s influencial thinkers in government, technology, the arts, and law. Brian Fitzgerald, head of iCommons Australia, and his many colleagues, put together an amazing crash course in Creative Commons, as well as the context from which we’ve emerged. It seemed that conference attendees left excited about the potential for Creative Commons to work within the Australian cultural environment.

Most exciting about this conference, was to see how energetic everyone was about Creative Commons, both in support, and in criticism — the mere fact that people felt so strongly about it was truly inspiring. I also had the pleasure of attending the first official Creative Commons river boat cruise — leave it to the Australians to show you a good time! Below are some images from the event and the cruise:

A scene from a conference lecture:

Head of iCommons Australia, Brian Fitzgerald, with conference organizers and Creative Commons researches, Cher Barlett and Amanda Campion:

Michael May, conference organizer and Creative Commons researcher (sporting a CC shirt and enjoying a beer):

A scene from the boat:

The other boat, which looked like our boat (taken with my new digital camera that I obviously don’t know how to use very well yet):

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CC Italy Launch Report

Mike Linksvayer, January 19th, 2005

Juan Carlos De Martin writes in with a report on last month’s Creative Commons Italy launch:

The Italian CC Licenses were launched in Turin on December 16th, with a
conference at the
Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli. Over 100
people crowded the attractive conference room of the
Fondazione, with several journalists in attendance to cover the event.

The first part of the program prepared by the iCommons Italy Affiliate
Institutions (University of Turin
Law School
coordinated by the Italian project lead, prof. Marco Ricolfi, consisted
presentations by Lawrence Lessig, who eloquently explained the
conceptual foundations of CC,
and by Christiane Asschenfeldt, who reported on the state of the art of
the iCommons project.

Marco Ricolfi then spoke about the process that produced
the Italian CC licenses, highlighting among the other things that like
elsewhere in Europe there is a need
for some adjustments to the role of collecting societies to second the
growing desire of authors to
distribute their works more freely. Juan Carlos De Martin, a computer
engineering researcher with IEIIT-CNR,
provided an overview of the CC technical challenges and stressed the
role of technology in
enabling the ‘Some Rights Reserved’ vision in cyberspace.

Talks that followed the lively discussion session were a selection
of the many proposals
submitted in response to a call made by the organizers back in October

The presentations touched a wide range of topics, including the
relationship between free software
and CC licenses (Alessandro Rubini), Radiodrome – a student web radio
experiment at the Politecnico di Torino
(Puria Nafisi and Jovi Berton), and a report on work in progress on CC
in a country next door to Italy,
Slovenia (Maja Bogataj Jançiç). The conference ended with
the words of an artist from another
neighboring country, France: Dominique, lead singer of the free rock
group Godon, explained
why Godon chose CC licenses to release their music on their web site.
For a complete list of all the talks, see the site of the event,
where most presentations (in English) will be available shortly.

The event was webcast live by IEIIT-CNR, using its free streaming
the Open Media Streaming project,
which supports handling of CCPL licensing metadata.

After the conference, attendees were invited to move to the near-by
Imbarco Perosino,
an attractive venue right on the backs of the Po river, for a
celebratory “aperitivo”,
followed by a “Creative Christmas” party that lasted into the night.

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Prix Ars Electronica Pictures 2004

Roland, January 18th, 2005

Last year, Creative Commons was awarded the Golden Nica by the organizers of the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria.

Some great pictures conveying a sense of the award ceremony’s atmosphere have been put online and can be found here.

There are also some webcasts of CC contributions to the Austrian launch conference (by Joi Ito, the Austrian team and myself).

Last Saturday, we had occasion to recall the event when Cornelia Sollfrank, an artist, film-maker and former Ars Electronica jury member, visited the Creative Commons office in Berlin to do an interview with Christiane for her new documentary on CC. Thanks are due to Cornelia, for all her interest and support for our cause.

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Creative Commons at Australia Launch

Neeru Paharia, January 15th, 2005

I’ll be at the Creative Commons Australia launch next week at the Queensland University of Technology, as well as making brief visits to Melbourne and Sydney. I’d love to visit with any organizations or groups interested in Creative Commons while I’m there. Drop me a line if you’re around and would like to discuss Creative Commons in Australia.

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London Commons

Mike Linksvayer, January 13th, 2005

Own It is a new service which offers free intellectual property advice for London’s creative people. They’ve published an excellent six page Creative Commons factsheet, which is itself licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license and provides a working demonstration of giving reused work attribution (see footnote, page 2).

They’re also offering a free seminar for film, video and TV professionals on January 25: Creative Commons, copyright, contracts.. and you!

Hosted by Channel 4’s IDEASFACTORY, this free Own It talk for film, video and TV professionals covers copyright and design law for film, video and TV businesses, including a special overview of the new Creative Commons licences and how they can be applied to the film, TV and new media industry.

As of this writing, 73 of 84 seats are already taken. Better hurry if you’re in London.

Links via Rob Myers, who effuses:

The CC weblog is an amazing
resource. Well worth a place in your RSS


And if you can spare any
money at all, do help support CC. They are doing an excellent job, and their
t-shirts are cool :-)


Thanks Rob!

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Al Gore & Science Commons

Glenn Otis Brown, January 13th, 2005



A surprise visitor, one Al Gore, dropped in on our landlord and friend Mitch Kapor today, and we commoners took the opportunity to tell the former Vice President about Creative Commons and Science Commons. When Mark Resch presented Mr. Gore with a new Science Commons t-shirt and explained the concept, Gore said that it reminded him of something called the Public Library of Science. When we told him that PLoS is, indeed, under a Creative Commons license, he said, “Well, now, good for you.”

Nice guy, that Al Gore, and impressively in-the-know.

Above, Neeru Paharia with Al Gore. Below, our new CEO Mark Resch and me with the former VP and Senator.

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Patently Open Science

Mike Linksvayer, January 12th, 2005

MIT Technology Review just published an article that nicely ties together three related news items: IBM’s release of 500 patents for use in open source developments, Bill Gates’s “communist” screed, and Science Commons.

The article misleads on one point:

The Creative Commons licenses allow writers, artists and musicians to put their work into the public domain while still retaining some rights to how it is used and redistributed.

Creators retain their copyright with a Creative Commons license. Dedication to the public domain is a separate option. Here’s what our choose a license app says:

With a Creative Commons license, you keep your copyright but allow people to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit — and only on the conditions you specify here. If you want to offer your work with no conditions, choose the public domain.

Despite this quibble, the article is a good read, particularly if you (or a friend) haven’t followed these recent events. Read it now. We live in interesting times!

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Invitation: CC Germany and CC Austria Licence Uptake Network Event

Roland, January 12th, 2005

The CC project leads of Austria and Germany cordially invite all active CC supporters – as well as those who would like to get involved in the future – to attend a workshop on how to promote CC licence uptake in the German-speaking countries. The workshop will take place on 20th January 2005 in Berlin.

The preliminary agenda of the meeting can be found on the German CC mailing-list. You can subscribe to the list here.


Ort: Creative Commons International Office,
Gipsstr. 12, 10119 Berlin, Tel. 030 – 27874087

Anmeldung und weitere Informationen über:

Ellen Euler, Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Informationsrecht, Prof. Dr. Thomas Dreier, Uni Karlsruhe, Project Lead Deutschland, Tel. 0721-2042709, E-mail: euler@ira.uka.de

Anmeldeschluss: 19.01.2005

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Roland, January 12th, 2005

Yesterday evening iCommons was invited to give a lecture about CC at download-culture.org, a student-run initiative of the University of Luneburg, Germany.

Chiming in with current discussion in other countries, I was subjected to an interesting exchange about the role collecting societies should play in affording authors and musicians greater individual choice with regard to the precise terms under which they license their works.

The talk’s webcast will be archived on download-culture.org. Many thanks to the enthusiastic organizers of the event.

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WordPress CC

Mike Linksvayer, January 11th, 2005

Firas has created a Creative Commons plugin for WordPress, perhaps the most popular open source blog software.

Now you can add a CC license to your WordPress blog with just a few clicks.

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