2006 February

Teach: CC invites you to a special screening

Alex Roberts, February 14th, 2006

CC Presents: Teach

Elisabeth Shue and Creative Commons

invite you and a guest to a very special screening and celebration of the newly Creative Commons licensed film


by Davis Guggenheim
Presented in association with the Teachers Documentary Project

Friday, February 17, 2006

6 p.m. screening in the Rainbow Room Followed by a cocktail reception

The San Francisco LGBT Community Center

1800 Market Street, San Francisco

Seating is limited so please respond with acceptances only to: Anne N. Marino, CC Development Director, at 415-946-3068 or anne@creativecommons.org

Photo used under CC-BY license, http://www.flickr.com/photos/lainmoon/31172906/

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CC Talks With: Second Life

Mia Garlick, February 13th, 2006

CC BY-NC — Courtesy of Second Life

Second Life, the virtual world created in 2003, has recently been hosting various “free culture” related events in world. Mia Garlick caught up with Wagner James Au, who writes the blog New World Notes as an embedded journalist in Second Life, to learn more about these events and how people who are interested in Creative Commons in real life can get involved in CC and “free culture” events in Second Life.

Mia Garlick (“MG”): For those who don’t already know, can you explain a little about Second Life?

Wagner James Au (“WJA”): Second Life is a user-created 3D online world—almost everything you see in it was built with the internal building and scripting tools. Residents retain IP rights to all their creations, and can do with them as they please. As of today (February 10, 2006), there are well over 135,000 members, and it’s growing at nearly 5,000 a week.

MG: You recently had Creative Commons’ CEO & Chairman Lawrence Lessig appear, using his own special avatar, in Second Life. Can you give some background information about how this came about and also, why the Second Life community would be so interested in the issues & law of copyright and technology?

WJA: A longtime Resident, Eggy Lippman, is the proprietor of an SL history Wiki, and was helping a student of Professor Lessig’s with a research paper on the world. As Second Life’s embedded journalist, I run an ongoing book club series where I bring established authors into SL to discuss their books— Ellen Ullman, Cory Doctorow, and Thomas *Pentagon’s New Map* Barnett. Eggy suggested this as an idea for Larry to his student, the student brought it to Larry’s attention, Larry contacted me, I had a heart attack, but from there it was all logistics. Some ten Lindens and a handful of Residents jumped in to turn it into a huge event. Resident Lilith Pendragon created Larry’s avatar to eerily resemble him, while Falk Bergman imported the full text to Free Culture into a virtual edition of the book which can be read in–world—and thanks to his autograph technology, signed by Lawrence Lessig himself, at the click of a mouse. Check out these screenshots.

In a very real sense, Second Life exists as it does because of Lawrence Lessig. A few years ago, he advised Linden Lab to allow their subscribers to retain IP rights to whatever they built. The result of this has been an explosion of sustained creativity, with many Residents making all or some of their real life living by their imagination and efforts in SL. As I told the Linden Lab staff after Larry offered to appear in world, “This is like Thomas Jefferson suddenly returning to the US to see what his ideas had inspired.”

MG: Second Life recently held an in world meeting to discuss planning and ideas for “free culture” events. What lead to this meeting being held?

WJA: After Larry’s appearance in Second Life, which attracted a huge overflow crowd (easily 300 or more), there was a lot of enthusiasm for more events related to Free Culture, the Second Life group I created to reserve spots for that event. Fortunately, Larry told me he had a great time in Second Life and was willing to do more such projects, so we’ve taken it from there. That meeting a couple weekends ago was one of the first to plan future events, most of which will take donations to Creative Commons through the non–profit’s Paypal account (which has been set to Larry’s Second Life account.)

MG: What does Second Life and the Second Life community hope to grow out of these “free culture” meeting?

WJA: Speaking for myself, I’d love to see a more active relationship between the Second Life community of creators, who already “get” the philosophy of Creative Commons in an emotional and cultural sense, with Creative Commons the real world movement. I would want anyone passionate about a new kind of “rip, mix, burn” creativity to take their energies into Second Life, which is already a kind of 3D wiki built with those ideals.

MG: What can people who are interested in Free Culture issues do to participate in and assist the development of “free culture” in Second Life?

WJA: Well, first get a Second Life account and join the Free Culture group, already some 150+ strong. Within the Second Life interface, that’s as easy as clicking Find>Groups>entering “Free Culture” in the find slot, and clicking Join. Also drop by the Free Culture group forum in Second Life.com (you need your SL account info to get in): http://forums.secondlife.com/forumdisplay.php?f=265.

Most importantly, bring your passion for free culture to Second Life, for no matter what your specific interest, you’ll find others just as enthused. Already in the works are plans for bringing CC–themed film festival, music festivals, art festivals, and more, into Second Life itself. (Not to mention events that will feature Larry himself, in avatar form.) Come on in, contact one of the Free Culture officers, and join the fun.

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Looking to Extend Your ‘Real Life’ Free Culture Activities?

Mia Garlick, February 13th, 2006

Check out our new Feature on the Free Culture (“FC”) events and activities that are currently happening in Second Life and learn more about how you can become involved in some ‘in world’ CC & FC events…

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V-Fib: Free CC-licensed music compilations

Eric Steuer, February 10th, 2006

V-fib Recordings offers free CC-licensed compilations of underexposed music, from both the past and present. The Winter 2006 mix features great tracks from bands like Koester, A Don Piper Situation, and Rank Strangers. Check it out!

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Free Culture doc short

Mike Linksvayer, February 9th, 2006

Maggie Hennefeld and Thessaly La Force filmed a short documentary at last month’s NYC Free Culture Summit. The short, available for download from the Internet Archive under a CC Attribution 2.5 License, features among others
“retired activist and full time novelist” Cory Doctorow, CC staffers
Francesca Rodriquez and
Eric Steuer, and former CC intern
Fred Benenson letting people on the street know about free culture.

The Free Culture NYU blog has more.

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jamendo featured on French TV

Eric Steuer, February 9th, 2006

Sylvain Zimmer, founder and CTO of the awesome CC music site jamendo, reports on his blog that this past weekend, French television station TF1 ran a profile on jamendo, focusing on the artists who use the system, as well as the company’s use of Creative Commons licenses. It’s estimated that more than 10 million people saw the program. Congrats, jamendo!

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World’s largest protein database under CC BY-ND

Mike Linksvayer, February 9th, 2006

UniProt, the world’s largest protein database, is now available under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

Please see Science Commons’ database licensing FAQ concerning which elements of the database are under copyright and which are not.

The UniProt background page explains what the database is all about:

Protein sequence databases have become a crucial resource for molecular biologists, both as repositories for protein functional and structural data and as starting points for future experiments. The UniProt consortium aims to support biological research by maintaining a high quality database that serves as a stable, comprehensive, fully classified, richly and accurately annotated protein sequence knowledgebase, with extensive cross-references and querying interfaces freely accessible to the scientific community.

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The Streaming Suitcase

Eric Steuer, February 9th, 2006

The Streaming Suitcase is a brand new site developed by Adam Hyde, where you can find CC-licensed manuals on a variety of technical topics. Learn how to stream media over the internet, study Linux basics, or even build your own mini FM transmitter. The whole site is great, but one thing that especially struck us was Adam’s great illustration of his business model:

In part this is an experiment in developing a model for the sustainable development of professional online documentation and manuals released under Creative Commons. So if you need a manual to be written on streaming and associated topics, and you have a commissioning budget then write to me and I will write one. This means you get a manual, I get some cash to support my nomadic artist life, and others benefit from having a nice manual too.


Thanks to Paul Keller for the heads-up.

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Post Ya ‘Pellas

Mike Linksvayer, February 8th, 2006

Victor Stone just turned on a very interesting beta statistics page for our music remix site, ccMixter. Some stuff to note:

  • 81% of uploaded a cappella tracks have been remixed (and Victor says that percentage goes way up if you ignore recently uploaded tracks, which remixers haven’t had much time to work with yet).
  • J.Lang, ASHWAN, Pat Chilla the Beat Gorilla and fourstones are all on both the most sampled artists and top remixer list. Mixversations happen here.
  • teru is the remixer champion and Lisa DeBenedictis the lead vocalist.
  • Uploads and signups vary depending where we are in a contest cycle.

More traditional “charts” are coming. In the meantime listen to Ms. Vybe: Post ya ‘pellas at ccMixter and you just might get a remixer.

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Your textures in a movie

Mike Linksvayer, February 6th, 2006

Orange is an animated film project in the making to be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license, made with Blender, open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback.

The producers have put out a call for textures. If you’re a computer artist, accept the challenge. Rotten fish textures sound harder to me than grunge maps, but I’m no computer artist.

Thanks to Rob Myers for the pointer.

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