Educar adopts Creative Commons

Neeru Paharia, June 8th, 2005

Educar, one of the largest Spanish-language online communities, has recently adopted a Creative Commons license. Educar hosts education-related content and communities around it.

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Creative Commons South Africa Launch

Neeru Paharia, June 7th, 2005

Week before last, Creative Commons South Africa officially launched at the Commons-Sense: Towards an African Digital Information Commons conference in Johannesburgh. The launch event and conference, primarily organized by Heather Ford, South Africa Project Lead, and Andrew Rens, South Africa Legal Lead, was nothing short of spectacular.

The launch event on the night preceeding the conference was well attended by leaders in arts, technology, education, and government. South Africa-based band 340 Milliliters rocked the house alongside an art gallery of Creative Commons licensed works.

Following the launch began the 2-day Commons-Sense conference sponsored by the LINK Centre (at Wits University) and funded by the International Development Research Centre. The groundbreaking conference collected 120 leaders from around Africa, and the world, to talk about what a digital commons means specifically to the social and economic context of the continent. There was a terrific bill of speakers who addressed issues including access to knowledge, open access publishing, traditional culture IP, medicines, free trade agreements, and technology.

Specifically worth mentioning was a talk given by Eve Gray from the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, who discussed how HSRC’s early experiments with open access publishing paid off. As they made their research papers available for free download, the print revenues went up by 270%.


The conference was well reported on, with a crew of young journalists from the New Media Lab covering the blow-by-blow with blogs, images, and videos from the conference, in addition to a great article written in Business Day about the launch event.

There was much hope that this conference would be a jumping off point for greater activism in Africa using technology, and tools like Creative Commons as enablers for social and economic development.

Heather Ford, South Africa Project Lead:

The band, 340 Millileters rocking the house at the Creative Commons launch event:

The conference attendees:

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Free Culture Phase 2 Conference

Neeru Paharia, June 6th, 2005

A little late on the blogging (due to travel), but still worth reporting on:

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the Free Culture Phase 2 conference. The conference was organized by Malkia Lydia and Colin Mutchler (father of Creative Commons’ theme song My Life and Free Culture Tour), and sponsored by American University. It brought together a small number of diverse younger and older activists, including Freeculture.org, Downhill Battle, Listen Up, Third World Majority, Eyebeam, and many more. The diverse group struggled to understand what free culture truly means in the context of global economics, access to technology, and traditional knowledge. The group also shared ideas, art, and experiences using new media as a tool for social justice. Though it wasn’t clearly defined what Phase 2 might be, it was understood to me that the root of what everyone was doing came from a common passion for citizen self-determination and empowerment.

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Open Access Publishing Takes Another Step Forward

Mia Garlick, June 6th, 2005

Science Commons – a new project of Creative Commons that works to encourage sharing of scientific and academic knowledge – has launched an Open Access Law Program. The Program is designed to make legal scholarship “open access,” that is freely available online to everyone, without undue copyright and licensing restrictions. The Program involves an Open Access Law Author Pledge, Open Access Law Principles and an Open Access Law Model Publication Agreement.Our very own Chairman & CEO, Lawrence Lessig, is one of the first signatories to the Open Access Law Author Pledge. In addition, 21 important law reviews have adopted the Open Access Principles, or have policies that are consistent with them. Leading journals like such as Michigan Law Review, Animal Law, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Indiana Law Journal, Lewis & Clark Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Michigan State Law Review and, New York Law School Law Review, Texas Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and Wayne Law Review and Michigan State Law Review have signed on, as have all of the journals published by Duke Law School and Villanova Law School. More information about the Program is available at the Science Commons Program page. The Program is one part of the Science Commons Publishing Project, which is working to support open access to scholarly research in a wide range of disciplines including agriculture, entomology, biology, anthropology and now law.

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5+ hour documentary series CC’d

Mike Linksvayer, June 3rd, 2005

Jason Scott has created a five plus hour documentary series on Bulletin Board Systems. Prior to the commercial Internet local BBSes were “the net” for anyone without an Internet connection, typically only provided by major universities and research institutions. In short, BBSes are where many long time net denizens cut their electronic media teeth (including me in the mid to late 1980s) and BBS culture was an important input into today’s commercial Internet culture (BBS technology however has almost entirely been superseded).

I heard awhile ago that this documentary was in production and I’ve been eagerly awaiting its release. I’m now thrilled to learn that 1) it has been released, 2) under a Creative Commons license, 3) under a liberal Creative Commons license (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0), and 4) the creator has posted a great essay on how to make a great product and why he chose to CC license his great product.

Read Jasons’s essay and check out the DVD set. Proceed to enjoy, rip, share, remix and share again (and alike).

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Comments Period Drawing to a close for Draft License Version 2.5

Mia Garlick, May 29th, 2005

The comments period announced here for the minor tweak to the attribution language across all of our core licenses proposed for version 2.5 is drawing to a close. As befits a minor tweak, there has not been a tremendous amount of criticism or issues raised with the revised suggested language. Some important comments, however, raised some complex issues and require some discussion.

Firstly, concern was expressed that the attribution language would interfere with copyright notices; that because the attribution could now be, not to the author, but to a wiki or a university or funding entity, that this would cause a removal of copyright notices. This tweaked attribution language, however, does not to impact a copyright notice. The tweaked attribution language does not require attribution to follow copyright ownership or copyright notices. Who owns copyright in a work is a separate matter (a behind-the-scenes matter, if you like) between the parties involved in the process of creating the work. So, for example, an author may own copyright in an article they prepare but the agreement between the author and the institute that funded the work requires some form of attribution that acknowledges that the work was produced with funds from the institute. Similarly, an author may wish to be credited as the author of the work for reputational purposes but their university actually owns the copyright to their work, pursuant to their employment agreement. In the case of wikis, attribution can be to the wiki but each author may still own copyright to their contribution to the wiki (unless there is a separate agreement transferring ownership to the wiki). Finally, journals, particularly open access journals, may wish to be acknowledged as the source of first publication of the work even though they publish the article under only an exclusive or non-exclusive license (and do not take an assignment of title). It should also be noted that the status of copyright notices and the issue of correctly identifying the copyright owner(s) of a work are no more complex under the tweaked attribution language than under the existing attribution language. Under the existing attribution language, credit had to be given to the author; however, as noted above, due to employment relationships or other contractual relationships, the author may have transfered title to the work to some other party and retained only the right of accreditation.

Secondly, there was concern that the tweaked attribution language was somehow proscriptive – that it now dictated to wikis how they had to structure attribution. This is not the case. The tweaked attribution language contains “and/or” language – thus, it allows a variety of different attribution posssibilities – to the author, to a wiki, to an author and a publisher, to an author and a wiki – as many parties as the author or licensor see fit.

This minor tweak is important to enable flexibility in attribution and thereby facilitate a larger number of adopters, including those who have more complex requirements regarding attribution – such as wikis and academic journals. Consequently, Creative Commons is working to give effect this change as soon as possible. If anyone has any additional concerns, please feel free to contribute them to the discussion taking place here. We are looking to close the comments period on Tuesday May 31, 2005.

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CC in Yahoo! Advanced Search

Mike Linksvayer, May 27th, 2005

Yahoo! Search for Creative Commons is now part of the Yahoo! advanced search page:

Way to go Yahoo!

(Now close to 16 million pages linking to a CC license.)

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Register for the ILAW Conference at Harvard University/Berkman Law Center, June 22-24, 2005

Raul, May 27th, 2005

Cambridge, Mass. will be the site for this year’s Internet Law Program. Our very own Lawrence Lessig, CC Chairman and CEO, will be one of several notable professors and scholars of the Internet who will be lecturing on the ever-developing landscape of Internet law. No prior background in the subject of Internet Law is required; however, American lawyers may be eligible for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit. To register and/or download a program brochure please visit the Berkman Center website here

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Ready, Steady, Remix!

Raul, May 26th, 2005

Creative Commons and online record label Magnatune will co-host a digital music remix contest beginning in May of 2005 and will begin accepting entries on June 15, 2005. The contest will be hosted at ccmixter and features the music of Magnatune rock artist Lisa Benedictis, who will voluntarily have her work sliced, diced, and mixed by contestants. Music samples and contest rules are currently posted at ccmixter. Among the prizes for the remix contest is the opportunity for the winner to appear on the Lisa DeBenedictis Remix Compilation album and be eligible for an assortment of prizes.

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Tweaking CC’s Standard Attribution Language – An Invitation to Comment

Mia Garlick, May 21st, 2005

So a new license draft has been posted here. The changes relate to our standard attribution language and the plan is that they take effect across all of our core licenses. The new version will be 2.5 because it is a minor change. We are in the process of working through other revisions to the licenses that will form the basis for version 3.0 but this change is needed now to take account of the demands of wikis & the open access journal community.

Many of you have given comments on the beta wiki license which have been very useful. The difference between this license draft and the beta wiki is that attribution in this draft can be to the author and/or one or more other parties. The beta wiki license only permitted attribution to the author *or* another party or parties. Also, we have included an additional example in the brackets to make it clear that one of the attributed parties may be a journal.

For a more detailed explanation of the changes, check out this posting to our licenses discussion list. You can join the discussion here.

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