CC’s Future

Lawrence Lessig, December 28th, 2006

The story so far:

“Next week, a final letter with some final thoughts for CC.”

The story continued…

The hardest thing about pushing the work of Creative Commons is the thought that in 15 years, it will be impossible to explain just why this work was important — either because the worst would have happened, and the technologies that have encouraged the explosion of creativity we see just now will have been re-controlled, or because the best would have happened, and the balance that we’re pushing for will have been achieved, in both practice and law.

I’m famous for a certain sort of pessimism. But about this, I’m optimistic that it is the second sort of change that we’re most likely to see. The creative energy of the next generation will not be stopped. The technologies of creativity are not going to become insanely expensive again. And thus, in my view, the most likely future is one in which this potential for creativity will be reconciled with a copyright system that offers protection where that’s necessary to create great new works, without burdening the world of creativity that doesn’t depend upon copyright to flourish.

Creative Commons’ most important contribution will be to help transition to this more sensible world. As I’ve described in these past weeks, we have already built the infrastructure to help the “sharing economy” flourish. The tools we’ve begun to demonstrate at ccLabs will also help support the inevitable growth of a hybrid creative economy, where works are available freely in some contexts, but commercially exploited in others. Both bits of legal infrastructure will encourage creativity, while respecting authors’ rights. Both suggest a different balance the law might strike, when politicians begin to recognize why this difference is important.

But until the day when this point is obvious, it is critical that we all continue to push this voluntary, private effort to get artists and creators to signal to the world the freedoms they believe their work should carry. We need that signal not just in hundreds of millions of licensed objects, but in billions of licensed objects. We need it built into the infrastructure where every creative work gets made. And we need this as a signal and a practice: as an effort every creator makes to encourage a certain ecology of creativity.

Over the next year, working with our new Chairman, Joichi Ito, we will push the program of interoperability that we started last fall. We will push as well the project of integration into many more applications of creativity. And most importantly, we will launch an endowment of the Creative Commons core to guarantee that the central project of CC will forever survive. Or at least if not forever, until the point is so obvious that we all can move on.

Thank you again for the support you’ve given me over these past four years. And again, please help celebrate this transition by supporting us in this final week of our fundraising campaign. We need just $20,000 to reach our goal. If each of you asked just 5 of your friends to join, we would certainly make that number by December 31. And if we make that number, it will be much easier for me, after four very hard years pressing the message of CC, to see this project pass to a new, and I promise, fantastic leader.

With that final plea, the Lessig Letters end.

———————————-

This email is part of a weekly series written by Lawrence Lessig If you would like to be removed from this list, please click here

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Week 6 – CC Changes
Week 6 – CC Changes – Spanish Version
(Thanks to Maria Cristina Alvite for translation)

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2000 Jamendo albums and almost as many features

Mike Linksvayer, December 27th, 2006

Jamendo recently surpassed 2,000 albums released on the site. Look on the Jamendo stats page for a tale of growth and bandwidth, about half served by P2P. You can search every album, including filtering by license.

They’ve also been quietly rolling out feature after feature. Most recent and exciting is the ability to find Jamendo music similar to that of any artist you choose. While based on different concepts, this is now the second service that allows you to find CC licensed music similar to music you’re already familiar with (see OWL multimedia’s CC audio similarity search for the first). It is hard to overestimate the importance of such features for bridging the nostalgia and marketing advantages held by incumbents. The other important “feature” in this respect is tastemaking (see below).

Another recent feature added is a new and transparent artist donation system.

If you want to help build features like these, Jamendo is hiring a new developer.

See Jamendo CTO Sylvain Zimmer’s presentation at CC Salon Amsterdam for more about Jamendo.

Following my own exhortations to be a CC tastemaker, here are a few albums on Jamendo I’ve enjoyed recently:

Yue: electronic licensed under BY-SA.
 
Yue - Live@NL 2006
 
MP3 192k Ogg 260k
MP3 192k Ogg 260k
# Track name
1

Before And After

2

The Tube

3

Out Of Sight

4

Oversize Factory

5

Lec Refrigeration Team

6

Why Not?

7

Icy

8

Astonishing People

Jamendo
Superjump: electropunk licensed under BY-SA.
 
SuperJump - ENERGIKKTEENS
 
MP3 192k Ogg 260k
MP3 192k Ogg 260k
# Track name
1

Sexteen n’ got a brand new Crossfade

2

When the musiKK sucks

3

In the Bus ( U R listening )

4

Never hold it ( never!! )

5

GUM

6

Everybody wants a piece of chocolate, everybody wants a piece of my cake.

7

All you think ( ? )

8

Haircut

Jamendo
Car Crash: indie rock licensed under BY-NC-SA.
 
Car Crash - Et le silence est entendu
 
MP3 192k Ogg 260k
MP3 192k Ogg 260k
# Track name
1

New medication

2

Si l’astronomie domine

3

On se tend

4

Octobre

5

Vatopian

6

Not For Fun

7

Gemini

8

In / Out

9

Comment faire le silence

10

Car Crash VI

11

Car Crash VII

Jamendo
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Magnatune video and stats

Mike Linksvayer, December 27th, 2006

Two different sorts of eye candy from Magnatune, a record label that uses CC licenses.

First, magnatune in six [6], a video featuring interviews with six Magnatune artists.

Second, a detailed post on 2006 sales and traffic statistics.

The chart above shows the number of music licenses sold each month. For more on the Magnatune business, see our interview with founder John Buckman.

Disclaimer: John Buckman recently joined CC’s board of directors and is running a Business Mixer for CC Entrepreneurs, but we were blogging about Magnatune long before he joined. :)

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Amazing entries in the Christopher Willits Remix Contest at ccMixter

Eric Steuer, December 23rd, 2006

Wow, some really killer tracks have been submitted to ccMixter’s Christopher Willits Remix Contest. Check out some of the entries here. Or better yet, sign up for an account and upload your own remix — you still have four days left, as the contest stops accepting entries on December 27. Don’t forget — the winner will have her or his remix featured on a CD compilation to be distributed with future issues of XLR8R magazine!

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A new way to search for CC licensed photos on Flickr

Melissa Reeder, December 22nd, 2006

Looking for a new way to search for CC licensed photos? We’ve just been informed about a tool that searches Flickr for CC licensed content based on their color hue and saturation. Now you can easily puruse the millions of CC licensed photos based on all your color palette needs.

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CC Business Mixer: Calling for Creative Commons Entrepreneurs

Francesca Rodriquez, December 22nd, 2006

Creative Commons and CC board member John Buckman will be hosting a CC Business Mixer on Thursday, Jan. 18th from 6pm-8pm at the Creative Commons offices in San Francisco. If you have an idea for a Creative Commons related business, this is your chance to present your idea to other like minded entrepreneurs and network with VCs. Have an idea you would like to present? Email John Buckman at johnbuckman@creativecommons.org.

Details: Creative Commons Business Mixer for CC Entrepreneurs
6pm-8pm, Thursday January 18th
Creative Commons
543 Howard Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco

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“Returning Author’s Rights: Termination of Transfer” Beta Tool Launched

Mia Garlick, December 21st, 2006

Creative Commons is excited to launch a beta version of its “Returning Authors Rights: Termination of Transfer” tool. The tool has been included in ccLabs — CC’s platform for demoing new tech tools. It’s a beta demo so it doesn’t produce any useable results at this stage. We have launched it to get your feedback.

Briefly, the U.S. Copyright Act gives creators a mechanism by which they can reclaim rights that they sold or licensed away many years ago. Often artists sign away their rights at the start of their careers when they lack sophisticated negotiating experience, access to good legal advice or any knowledge of the true value of their work so they face an unequal bargaining situation. The “termination of transfer” provisions are intended to give artists a way to rebalance the bargain, giving them a “second bite of the apple.” By allowing artists to reclaim their rights, the U.S. Congress hoped that authors could renegotiate old deals or negotiate new deals on stronger footing (and hopefully with greater remuneration too!!). A longer explanation of the purpose of the “termination of transfer” provisions is set out in this FAQ.

Despite this admirable Congressional intention, the provisions are very complex and have not been frequently used. CC’s tool is intended to go some way towards redressing that. We have designed it to do several things:

• Raise awareness about the existence of these provisions
• Simplify the process for creators and their family members so they can more easily identify if an existing, long-standing agreement may be eligible for termination
• Connect people who may have a “termination interest” with lawyers who can assist them in exercising their termination right.

Unfortunately, the termination provisions are currently so complex and technical that this tool can only serve an informational role. Many aspects of the “termination of transfer” provisions require legal analysis which is impossible to code so we are working on linking the tool to legal referrals. This FAQ provides an explanation of the tool’s intended architecture.

At this stage, we have released the tool on ccLabs to get your input on its usability and functionality. Lest it not be sufficiently clear by now, let us repeat — it’s beta, it doesn’t generate useable results or connect you to a legal team just yet. Feel free to check it how it operates and give us your comments. We have set up a page on the Creative Commons wiki to gather comments.

To help those of you who don’t have a live case to test and who are unfamiliar with how the provisions work, we suggest you try one or more of the hypotheticals included on this page so that you can see the different aspects of the tool. Send us your feedback via the usual ccLabs methods or leave your comments on this page.

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New video: Wired’s CC concert f/ Girl Talk, Diplo, Peeping Tom and more!

Eric Steuer, December 18th, 2006

This past September, Wired hosted a sold-out concert in New York with all proceeds donated to Creative Commons. The show celebrated creative reuse and featured mash-up/remix artist Girl Talk, DJ/producer Diplo, and experimental pop supergroup Peeping Tom. The incredibly talented people at Missing Pieces created a mini-documentary about the event, which also includes portions of speeches delivered that night by CC’s Lawrence Lessig and Wired‘s Chris Anderson. The video is an awesome piece of work that does an amazing job communicating the power of remix culture. We’ve posted the clip to our Learn More page; you can also watch it by clicking this direct link.

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Help Build The Commons: Final days of the 2nd annual fundraising campaign

Melissa Reeder, December 18th, 2006

On behalf of Creative Commons I want to thank everyone that partook in celebrating CC’s 4th birthday this past Friday. There were celebrations in San Francisco, New York, Warsaw, Turin, Beijing, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Lisbon, as well as in Second Life. During the Second Life presentation Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons’ CEO and Chairman retired his position as Chairman by virtually passing the torch to Joi Ito.

This is an exciting time for Creative Commons as we move ahead. We will continue to work diligently on our licensing and technology infrastructure, and support the sharing economy.

In order to help grow and sustain our role in the global digital commons, Creative Commons needs your support. Over the past 2 months we at CC have asked you to show your support ideologically and financially – and you have overwhelmed us with your response. As we have entered the final days of this campaign we rely on you – our community – to help us reach our goal. We are 100,000 dollars shy of the 300,000 goal and have 2 weeks left to raise the money. This may seem daunting but we here at CC believe in our community, your support for our work and that the collective “you” will successfully see us through to the end.

So as Lawrence Lessig said earlier today “a simple click is all we need to get that going.”

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Final weekly CC swag photo contest winner

Melissa Reeder, December 18th, 2006

Today marks the last weekly winner for the first ever CC Swag Photo Contest. We have been encouraged and excited by everyone’s participation.

CC on LightThis weeks winner is yamabobobo, with the photo titled “CC on Light”. We at CC think this photo is visually and conceptually captivating.

This photo ends the weekly winners series and now we are faced with choosing the two overall contest winners. Due to the holidays and the weight of the decision at hand, we will be postponing the announcement till January 2, 2007. We will start the new year fresh with new imagery to help us promote both CC and the greater mission of a participatory culture – so stay tuned!

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