Weblog

2006 November

BloodSpell

Alex Roberts, November 28th, 2006

BloodSpell is a feature-length machinima movie written and directed by Hugh Hancock and produced by Strange Company. The fantasy film uses the game engine behind the popular RPG Neverwinter Nights and is currently being released in serial form, with short episodes hitting the Web every two weeks. BloodSpell is licensed under CC’s Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, so that people can share it and use it to create fan fiction, remixes, and other derivative works.

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Creative Commons Birthday Party

Melissa Reeder, November 28th, 2006

Creative Commons Turns Four!

Please join us on Friday, December 15, 2006, from 9pm until 2am, to celebrate Creative Commons’ birthday!

Raise a glass and toast the four years that CC has worked to promote and enable a participatory culture. CC’s big day is being hosted by the good people at Songbird – the supercool open source media player that’s taking the Web by storm.

Songbird is located at 777 Florida Street, Suite 300 in San Francisco, CA. The entrance is on 20th Street.

There will be an open bar, courtesy of Cooley Godward Kronish. There will also be a Special CC Birthday Brew, available for five dollars a bottle, courtesy of the “Free” Beer guys of Superflex.

Music will be provided by DJs Aus, Deckard, and Oonce Oonce.

Since we’re in the midst of our annual fundraising campaign, we’ll be asking for a small donation at the door. Please contribute whatever you can to show that you support CC’s work.

The details:
What: Creative Commons Turns Four!

When: Friday, December 15, 2006, 9pm until 2am
Where: Songbird – 777 Florida Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA

Please RSVP to party@creativecommons.org by December 8th as space is limited.

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How I learned to stop worrying and love Creative Commons

Mike Linksvayer, November 27th, 2006

Photojournalist Andrew Heavens on How I learned to stop worrying and love the Creative Commons:

Time and distance have allowed me to reflect on the many benefits of learning to stop worrying and start loving the liberating effect of Creative Commons.

On the personal side, lots of good things have come out of the fact that my cast-off photos are swimming around the internet with a CC license attached. People have written in checking to see if they can use them in textbooks, calendars, Ethiopian restaurant menus, novelty Amharic greeting cards. (How often do you get the chance to illustrate a line of novelty Amharic greeting cards?) Some of these contacts have resulted in further paid work. Some have resulted in the offer of free food if I am ever passing through New York and want to pop in to a certain Ethiopian restaurant. Others have resulted in nothing financial at all.

Lots of good things have also happened beyond the personal side. As I said earlier, one of the most frustrating things about press photography is the short lifespan of your photographs. You put yourself in a risky situation to record what you consider to be an important, newsworthy event. The resulting pictures flash up on newspaper pages, TV screens and Yahoo! News for a day or so. And then they disappear.

The greatest thing that Creative Commons does is give your work an extra lease of life. After the news event has passed on, the photographs are still out there, waiting for someone else to pick up on them, give them a new meaning and use them in a different setting.

Check out Andrew’s photos on Flickr.

Via Ethan Zuckerman, who has similar words of wisdom:

If you make media, it’s to your great advantage to have your creation live as long as possible. If you make money off of media, you’ve got this incentive as well – once we understand that the scarce commodity is a viewer’s attention, not access to the airwaves, it doesn’t matter if someone is paying attention to your work early or late in the work’s lifespan. What matters is the number of different contexts in which someone can find your work. Breaking news? Fodder for political activists? A long lifespan digital work can be both and more. Won’t it be great when documentaries can be, too?

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CC Swag Photo Contest Weekly Winner

Melissa Reeder, November 27th, 2006

So it’ s week three of the CC Swag Photo Contest and we openly acknowledge our excitement with the amount of participation! Even though we had some awesome entries this week, unfortunately we could only declare one winner.

Creative Commons

Tim Fritz, photographer and CC supporter from the US has won week three of the CC swag photo contest with his photo “Creative Commons.” Fritz illustrates CC’s mission with his clever use of shallow depth of field. Who knew just one rubber band could say so much? Congrats Tim!

There are still 2 weeks to go, so please support CC and our mission of helping enable a participatory culture by using your photographic skills and innate creativity.

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What if The Beatles had used Creative Commons Licenses?

Mike Linksvayer, November 27th, 2006

Dave’s Imaginary Sound Space has a highly amusing and informative review of this year’s Beatles news: What if The Beatles had used Creative Commons Licenses? Yes, much of the news is copyright related.

Vi[v]a Victor!

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Tucows pledges $5000 towards CC’s Annual Campaign

Melissa Reeder, November 22nd, 2006

Tucows, the Toronto based internet services company, has just announced its pledge of $5,000 towards Creative Commons 2007 goal of 300,000.

“Tucows provides back office solutions and wholesale internet services to a global network of more than 6000 web-hosting companies, ISPs and other service providers worldwide.” They were the first to provide software on a “freeware” or “shareware” basis.

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ccSalons: San Francisco, Beijing, Warsaw, Toronto, New York … and now – Brisbane!

Mia Garlick, November 22nd, 2006

The CC Australia team are holding their first ccSalon. Like the other ccSalons, the ccAu Salon will be a public exhibition/performance/expo of how artists are using Creative Commons licences and material worldwide. The ccAu event will feature CC-licensed material by a range of Australian artists, including a live audio/visual mash up including music by collapsicon and hybrid arts music ensemble collusion, with music and visuals by Andrew Garton of Toysatellite.

Everyone is welcome to attend, it’s free entry and kicks off at 6pm next Wednesday November 29, 2006 at the Block, QUT Creative Industries Precinct, corner of Musk Ave and Kelvin Grove Rd, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane – which is a great venue. If you need more information, contact Elliott Bledsoe or Jessica Coates or you can phone them on (07) 3138 9597.

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Digital Garage Pledges 30,000 to CC’s 2007 Fundraising Goal

Melissa Reeder, November 22nd, 2006

Digital Garage, the innovative business that operates Technorati Japan and Web 2.0 Inc. has pledged 30, 000 dollars towards Creative Commons’ $300,000 fundraising goal for 2006. They have also pledged an additional 20K towards the annual iCommons iSummit that will take place this summer, a project that which they supported last year as well.

Digital Garage’s business model is based on the balance of its core strengths – Information, Marketing, and Financial Technologies. They initiate and support new and creative strategies and solutions and we are honored to be associated with those ideals. Their continued support is greatly appreciated and we look forward to working with them in the future.

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Feature FLOSS

Mike Linksvayer, November 21st, 2006

Creative Commons has always recommended and used free and open source licenses for software. We have long provided a deed and metadata wrapper for the GPL.

Occasionally we’ve highlighted free software that complements CC licensed media, free software that we create, and pragmatic and philosophical correspondences between free software and free culture. Alex, Jon, and Nathan were added to CC staff in part on the strength of their contributions to free software projects.

Until now we haven’t had a section of our website dedicated to explaining and showing examples of free and open source software, as we have for CC-licensed audio, images, video, text, and educational materials. Undertandable given that CC licenses are not recommended for software, but an oversight given the synergies between free culture and free software and that the relevant FAQ item is easily overlooked.

Visit creativecommons.org/software or click on “software” from the Creative Commons home page. Look for software “featured commoners” as well as more exciting CC integration with media player, content creation and publishing software in the coming months!

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Free (format) videos

Mike Linksvayer, November 20th, 2006

All of the videos on our support page are now available as Ogg Theora files. Theora is a high quality video codec that is not patent encumbered. You can read about free formats on Wikipedia. As to why you should care, read Jimmy Wales’ two year old blog post on Free Knowledge requires Free Software and Free File Formats.

Thanks to those who bugged us about making all videos available in Theora format, most recently Matt Lee, the FSF‘s webmaster, and to Alex for figuring out how to transcode the audio track from the last video we had yet to convert (answer: build ffmpeg2theora from source with support for the needed codecs compiled in, duh!)

Watch (any platform!)

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