2006 May

Spread the Simuze Love, fight Death

Mike Linksvayer, May 17th, 2006

Ducth CC music site Simuze has created a CD titled Spread The Love featuring 19 excellent tracks (under various CC licenses — check the tracklist on the web or the CD cover) selected from the 640 contributed in the site’s ten months of public life so far. In addition to individual mp3 download links the entire album may be downloaded as a .zip file.

One of the featured tracks is from We Vs Death, which just released a new CD under the CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 license. Bjorn Wijers has a throrough post about the band and notes that this may be the first album in the Netherlands being sold in shops under a Creative Commons license.

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Getting to Version 3.0

Mia Garlick, May 17th, 2006

It’s that fun time again when we start contemplating versioning up the licenses. An outline of why we’re thinking about doing this and how CC proposes to do this has just been posted to the cc-licenses list. Please participate in the discussions on the cc-licenses list – you can sign up here.


Featured Commoner – Lulu

Mia Garlick, May 17th, 2006

Learn more about how you can publish your stuff via Lulu’s self-publishing service and how it incorporates CC-licensing in our latest Featured Commoner interview.

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CC Talks With: Lulu

Mia Garlick, May 17th, 2006

Lulu offers a publishing service for “digital do-it-yourselfers” to publish all manner of media including books, music, comics, photographs, and movies.

Lulu lets creators set the license terms, including Creative Commons licenses, for their works as part of the publishing process. Authors can also set the price at which they wish to sell their content. There is no set-up fee and no minimum orders.

Anyone can search for works published on Lulu by license type.

Lulu was founded by Bob Young, who was also the co-founder of Red Hat, a leading open source company. Mia Garlick from Creative Commons caught up with Stephen Fraser from Lulu to learn more about Lulu’s service and their use of Creative Commons licensing.

Creative Commons (“CC”): Lulu was started 4 years ago. Can you explain a little about the reasons that lead to Lulu being established?

Stephen Fraser (“SF”): After stepping down as chairman of his previous company, Red Hat, Bob Young created Lulu.com. His intention was to create a business model that fostered a more open marketplace for intellectual property, a marketplace that didn’t require creators to give up control of their content or the rights associated with that content.

Lulu.com provides on-demand publishing tools for digital content including books, ebooks, music, images, custom calendars, software and video. We are not a publisher, but a technology company giving individuals the power to publish independently. Most of our business comes from books, which can be printed on demand or downloaded. We are, I think, the largest print-on-demand service for books in the world at this point.

Self-publishing, of course, is not new. But new technology has changed the idea of self-publishing a great deal. Greater connectivity and access to tools for creating content have given individuals an unprecedented ability to produce and share their own media. Books–along with videos, music, software and other media–are now often created, distributed and owned by individuals rather than big companies.

One way to look at the changes brought about by Lulu.com in the publishing world is to compare Lulu to Blogger, LiveJournal or MySpace.com. Before blogging tools were available, individuals could still publish their own web sites; it just required a lot of effort. Blog technology (and more recently sites like MySpace.com) made it possible for anyone—of any age or technical ability—to publish and update a web site. The result was an explosion of content, much of it uninteresting, but taken together representing a media revolution. Similarly, before Lulu.com came along it was certainly possible to publish your own book. But by making book publishing technology free and accessible to anyone, Lulu.com has become part of a revolution (a revo-lulu-tion) in print publishing.

CC: Can you provide an overview of how an author, musician, filmmaker or photographer can use Lulu’s site to publish their work(s)?

SF: In the simplest terms, to publish something on Lulu.com a creator must register, choose to start a new publishing project, enter a project description that includes the copyright license information, upload a file, specify format and accessibility options, and then set the amount of money he or she plans to earn for each copy sold. For those interested in distribution but not profit, giving content away is also an option.

Publishing electronic content is quite straightforward, as is creating a photo calendar using your own digital images. Publishing a book is a bit more complicated, which—with over 1,200 new titles per week—doesn’t seem to slow people down much

From a technical standpoint, if you are a book publisher you will want to come to the process with your book already designed and typeset to one of Lulu.com’s available trim sizes. If you have access to layout software, creating your own PDF with the fonts embedded is ideal, but our system can also convert .rtf, .xml, .html,..doc files and the like into press-ready PDFs.

Once you have uploaded the body of your book, you can upload one .JPG for your front cover and another for your back cover, choose from a gallery of existing images, or create a wrap-around .JPG file with both covers and the spine of your book. As complicated as it is, we designed the Lulu publishing process to accommodate experts who design books professionally as well as complete novices, so it really offers quite a few options as you go along.

After you have made the content available, you (or, if you have made it publicly available, anyone else) can buy a printed copy. The order process is straightforward, and once ordered a book is manufactured and shipped within about three business days. Any book on Lulu.com can be ordered from anywhere in the world. As of this month, Lulu.com books ordered from Europe will actually be printed and shipped in Europe as well. The site is now available in French, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch as well as in English.

While publishing a book is free, at any point a book publisher can also choose to pay a fee to add an ISBN and global distribution to his or her title. Adding ISBN distribution allows the book to be sold through the worldwide web sites of retailers like Amazon.com and BN.com, and to be ordered by bookstores.

CC: Lulu’s Advanced Search lets members of the public search for works by copyright license including for works that they can: copy and distribute; use even for commercial purposes; and, modify, adapt, or build upon. A search by these license terms reveals some 300 works that are licensed on flexible terms including the Free Documentation License, the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license and Creative Commons’ Public Domain Dedication. Why did Lulu decide to include these specific license options in its publishing process?

SF: Hmmm. I just ran the same search and got about 370 or so items using one of the three standard CC licenses. But while we chose to offer those three licenses in the standard options, in fact anyone publishing content on Lulu.com can enter their own license description if they choose to do so; and many have. The standard options consist of what we perceived to be the most commonly requested licensing alternatives. We chose to leave the other licenses out of the standard choices just to make the process as simple as possible.

CC: How can an author who uses Lulu’s service choose to apply one of these licenses to their work?

SF: Choosing the license that will appear in your published item’s description page is one of the options appearing on the second page of the publishing wizard. As I mentioned, in addition to the standard options, creators are free to enter any text license they wish. Our system does not embed the license in the work, however, so a book publisher would want to insert the license terms on the copyright page of his or her book so that it appears in the printed versions.

CC: In Lulu’s experience, are some types of works are more likely to be flexible licensed than others?

SF: The greatest number of flexible licenses on Lulu.com are appear on content in the music category, where creators are most likely to be motivated by the desire to get exposure for their work. It’s also true that, apart from inhabiting a culture of sharing and creative reuse, many musicians use Lulu.com primarily as a means to host their files rather than as a marketplace for selling their music. That cannot be said of the community of Lulu authors, who by and large sell their work through Lulu.com.

CC: What kind of feedback, if any, has Lulu had from either authors or members of the public about the availability of this flexible licensing as part of Lulu’s publishing service?

SF: Demand from the creator community is the reason Lulu offers those licenses! Despite being early supporters of Creative Commons, we were slow to offer the licenses on our site because our team was so busy with other features. But eventually we had to make Creative Commons options available, because as a company we pay close attention to what members of the Lulu community talk about and request. While the flexibly licensed works constitute a minority of the total number of books published on Lulu.com, the folks who use them carry a lot of weight with us. As a technology, Lulu.com is designed around the principal of offering creators more control over the distribution and sale of their work. That means designing a system that gives authors, musicians, and others as many choices as possible, both in licensing and every other respect!

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CC in Flickr Advanced Search!

Mike Linksvayer, May 16th, 2006

Flickr rolled out a bunch of new features today, among them adding a Creative Commons-specific search to the Flickr advanced search page, fulfilling a new year’s resolution.

Now you can search the approximately 12.7 million CC-licensed photos on Flickr across all CC licenses or only those that allow commercial use or derivative works, just as you can search the web at Yahoo! advanced search.

Way to go Flickr!

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Saturday, May 20: SLOMO Video Festival premiere in Oakland, CA

Eric Steuer, May 16th, 2006

If you’re going to be in the Bay Area this weekend, come to the Lobot Gallery in Oakland on Saturday night (5/20/06) for the premiere of the SLOMO Video Festival. The show is a unique compilation of 100 one-minute-long slow motion videos by 85 artists and filmmakers. The majority of the collection is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license and the program includes work by LoVid, Matmos, Wiley Wiggins, Yoshi Sodeoka, Keith Fullerton Whitman, and Eddie Codel. Slomo was curated by Ryan Junell, who is the man behind CC’s ├╝ber-sharp logo and the co-creator of CC movies Get Creative and Reticulum Rex.

SLOMO Video Festival
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Lobot Gallery, 1800 Campbell Street, Oakland, California
Doors at 8pm // Screening at 9pm // Slowdance party until late!!!

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Free Culture talk in Second Life Thursday

Francesca Rodriquez, May 16th, 2006

Meet Fred Beckersted, who will speak on behalf of the
Free Culture.org student movement which was inspired by Professor Lawrence Lessig’s book, Free Culture. Fred’s talk, Free Culture and Second Life : Virtually Extending Free Culture’s Work and Goals, will discuss his involvement in RL DRM Protests, ccArt Show, and Film Remix contest. Anyone interested in discussing strategies on integrating free culture in SL are welcome. Come get a free virtual FreeCulture.org shirt too.

  • Date: Thursday, May 18, 2006
  • Time: 6:00PM – 6:45PM (45 minutes)
  • Location: Kula 4 (75,75)
  • Host: Genevieve Junot


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Adobe Labs wiki under CC BY

Mike Linksvayer, May 16th, 2006

Adobe Labs wiki has been up since last October under the liberal Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license and has become a great resource for information on recent Adobe (mostly former Macromedia) technologies.

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Toronto and Berlin CC Salons

Mike Linksvayer, May 11th, 2006

Last night’s CC Salon San Francisco was probably the best so far, with just the right mix of art, legal, and technology mixed in the three excellent presentations. If you’re involved in U.S. politics, or make art that critiques U.S. politics, you must check out Metavid, the first presenters — keyword searchable public domain footage from the U.S. Congress in high quality open format with cool remediator applications coming. Special thanks to the large contingent from the EFF in attendance, source of the evening’s most provocative questions.

Coming up May 16 there will be a CC Salon in Toronto and the 29th in Berlin. The next San Francisco Salon is June 14.

Info on starting your own salon.

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Jamendo 1k

Mike Linksvayer, May 11th, 2006

Jamendo recently passed the 1,000 album mark, more than doubling since the beginning of the year.

Congratulations! Jamendo is a great place to find CC licensed music. See their top albums by popularity and a search form on the side of that page that allows you to only see albums that match your licensing needs (commercial use, derivative works), just like Yahoo! and Google web searches for CC.

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