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2006 November

CC Swag Photo Contest Winner #2

Melissa Reeder, November 20th, 2006

This weeks’ CC Swag Photo Contest winner was difficult to determine and we thank you all for your very creative submissions – but inevitably we felt compelled to support photography.

This weeks’ winning photograph was taking by Franz Patzig who resides in Germany and is an avid supporter of CC and Flickr (he boasts over 1000 photos!). We responded to his unique use of the CC, his composition, use of focus, and the decision to use black and white.

However, I would not be doing my job justice if I did not comment on these three stellar uses of remix shown here, here, and here.

Again thank you all for participating and remember there are only 4 more weeks remaining so tell your friends, and start shooting!

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CC as a Global Movement

Lawrence Lessig, November 16th, 2006

In my last letter, I described some of the ways CC technologies get integrated into Web 2.0 applications. Many of you wrote that you were surprised by the examples, and were especially excited that the applications reached so broadly internationally.

That response has led me to tell a bit more about CC as a global movement. For certainly the most exciting work in spreading CC is going on in cultures far from our headquarters in San Francisco.

So, this week, consider just three examples drawn from a pool of many more. In each, our tools for encouraging sharing are encouraging a much wider range of creativity.

Brazil

The first example comes from Brazil, at the site “Overmundo”

Overmundo is a collaborative website designed to spread Brazilian culture. Its distinction is that both its content and design are generated by its users. Users choose what should or should not be published on the website. They choose what goes on the front page. And everything made available on the site is licensed under a CC license.

The Overmundo tools give users the capacity to rate the quality of contributed content. This invitation to the site’s users has in turn inspired a community that has built a “cultural database,” with thousands of people sharing and making content available broadly. In less than 7 months, there have been more than 7,000 contributors from all over Brazil. The site has hosted a few million visitors, and is now, according to Technorati, among the top 7,000 websites in the world. The site’s traffic is growing by 20% per month, and there are more than 400,000 references to it recorded by Google.

The Netherlands

My second example focuses more on archives. From the Netherlands, the “Images for the Future” project is building a large-scale conservation and digitization project to make available 285,000 hours of film, television, and radio recordings, as well as more than 2.9 million photos from the Netherlands’ film and television archives. A basic collection drawn from the archive will be made available on the Internet either under CC licenses, or in some cases, in the public domain. The Government of the Netherlands, a long time supporter of the local Dutch CC project, will invest a total of 173 million Euros over a seven-year period. Their aim is to spur innovative applications with new media, while providing valuable services to the public.

The idea of an archive like this is not new. But the scale and values of this project are extraordinary. The Netherlands may be a small country, but if it is successful, the “Images for the Future” project may well be the largest archive of free culture available anywhere in the world.

South Africa

Finally, consider some magic from South Africa. ccMixter South Africa is leading a unique cultural remixing competition, drawing upon the work of creators from both Brazil and South Africa. The competition is part of the “culturelivre” project, which is a joint effort of Creative Commons in Brazil and South Africa.

To find samples for the competition, ccSA invited some of the most important custodians of musical heritage in South Africa – including the International Library of African Music (ILAM) – to produce short riffs using traditional African instruments. Among these instruments are the “Mutumba drums,” which are generally inaccessible on the Internet today. These drums were originally from Zimbabwe and were used to accompany spiritual ceremonies that include dancing, singing, clapping, and playing the mbira thumb piano. Young musicians entering the competition will remix these traditional sounds, and in the process, develop an understanding of the roots of music in both cultures. Ultimately, the team hopes that the competition will develop new sounds that young start-up musicians can use to advance their own musical careers.

In all of these cases, CC tools provide a legal platform to spread and build culture. That much we expected when we launched CC four years ago. The part I never expected, however, is the extraordinary community that this platform is inspiring internationally. CC has come to be about much more than just licenses, and certainly much more than any of us dreamed.

This email is part of a weekly series written by Lawrence Lessig about Creative Commons. If you would like to be removed from the list, please click here. Alternatively, if you know others who might find this interesting, please sign them up here.

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Creating a space where Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! can collaborate

Mike Linksvayer, November 16th, 2006

Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft have united to publish the Sitemap Protocol under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Sitemaps provide a way for webmasters to tell search engines how to crawl and index websites more intelligently. Obviously it is a huge win for search engines and webmasters if all agree to use the same protocol.

This is just a guess, but I imagine that agreeing to release the protocol under a CC license saved Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft many hours of legal haggling over copyright in the protocol. It is not a guess that this decision allows anyone, e.g., non-incumbent search engines, to publish and extend the protocol, without asking for permission from the incumbents.

Adding to the commons is win-win for current and future players, large and small. Don’t forget that Creative Commons needs your support to continue providing and developing licenses and tools that create an environment where win-win solutions for large and small are not only available, but the obvious right thing to do. In this too, follow Google’s lead. :)

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Avatar Chess in Second Life

Jennifer Yip, November 15th, 2006

Barney Boomslang and Bibi Book have brought the game of chess into the virtual world. Play or watch on Thursday, November 16 at 4pm PST. Find us at our usual spot on Kula 4. Residents may sign up to participate in the 32-player game by wearing a chess piece outfit and moving across the board. Join the “Avatar Chess” SL group, and contact Barney to play for the white team or Neit Tackleberry to compete on the red side. Timed moves will maintain the game pace. Brush up on your chess strategy and tactics, or just take snapshots!

avatar chess

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Magnatune founder John Buckman joins Creative Commons board

Eric Steuer, November 15th, 2006

Creative Commons is pleased to announce that Magnatune Records founder John Buckman has joined our board of directors.

Magnatune Records is an Internet-based record label that uses Creative Commons licensing to gain wider audiences for its music. Magnatune currently represents over 220 recording artists and released its 500th album in October 2006.

Buckman had this to say: “I’m thrilled that Creative Commons has asked me to contribute at this level. Through Magnatune I’ve been trying to show how the commons can help businesses succeed in a commercial sense. I have a lot to say about how CC principles can be applied successfully to the for-profit world.”

Creative Commons’ CEO, Lawrence Lessig, said this: “The next challenge for CC is to figure out how the sharing economy can complement a traditional commercial economy. John’s expertise in this area will be hugely beneficial.”

You can read more about this news in our press release.

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New at ccMixter: Christopher Willits Remix Contest

Eric Steuer, November 15th, 2006

Today, Creative Commons, XLR8R magazine, and Ghostly International launched the Christopher Willits “Colors Shifting” Remix Contest on ccMixter. The winning remix will be featured on an XLR8R Incite CD compilation, which will be included with a future issue of XLR8R magazine. The contest ends on December 27, 2006 — visit the contest site for more information!

Also, don’t forget about Cursive’s Bad Sects Remix Contest going on through January 31, 2007. The winner of that contest will have their remix featured on the b-side to an upcoming Cursive single.

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CC Salon NYC this Friday, Nov. 17

Eric Steuer, November 14th, 2006

This in from CC pal Fred Benenson, current CC Salon NYC organizer:

New York City’s next Creative Commons Salon is Friday November 17th, 6:30pm at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge St. between Broome and Grand in the Lower East Side). This salon features Megan Miller from PopSci.com who will be discussing and presenting Popular Science‘s recent foray into the digital world known as Second Life. Tim Schwartz from the Museum of the Moving Image will also be joining us and discussing the recent projects and digital exhibitions at his museum.

So drop by on Friday for some cheap drinks, and come ready to talk about the Commons in NYC. This is the last salon of the year, as our December salon is combined with a special birthday party for Creative Commons on Friday, December 15th.

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Sun Microsystems Donates 25,000

Melissa Reeder, November 13th, 2006

We are pleased to announce that Sun Microsystems has pledged $25,000 towards our annual fundraising campaign goal of $300,000. They have chosen to continue their support  of Creative Commons and the broader vision of  a participatory culture, a culture to which both institutions are committed. Sun’s vision everyone and everything participating on the network means that “when people are networked, they share, they interact, and they solve problems.” We thank Sun for their continued support as we will be able to continue realizing the mission of helping to enable a participatory culture, a global digital commons, for another year.

 

If you too support our mission, either by way of your personal convictions, your work, or your company’s mission and feel committed to our cause please visit our “Support Creative Commons” page or contact our Development Coordinator, Melissa Reeder, to determine the best way for you to support the work of CC.

 

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CC Swag Photo Contest Week 1 Winner

Melissa Reeder, November 13th, 2006

Today’s winner of this week’s CC Swag Photo Contest is Naufragio. We applaud his use of the CC and showing his CC pride. Good job Naufragio!

To all our CC supporters who are considering entering the CC Swag Photo Contest, do not be discouraged! There are 5 weeks remaining, that means 5 more weeks of winners to be announced! This photo in no way shapes the context of this contest – we are open to all entries as long as the work supports both your vision of CC and CC’s mission by using CC Swag. Whether that swag is purchased in our store (which goes directly to our annual campaign), acquired over time by attending CC events, or belongs to a friend is entirely up to you and will not be considered by the judges.

Creative Commons wants to thank all the participants and to encourage everyone to continue shooting, uploading

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CC audio similarity search

Mike Linksvayer, November 13th, 2006

OWL multimedia has launched an audio similarity search engine stocked with 10,444 CC-licensed tracks from ccMixter and Magnatune, with many more to come from other CC supporting sound repositories.

You can search OWL via search.creativecommons.org but its real power is finding new music through music. The OWL website allows you to choose an mp3 on your hard disk, which will be used to show you tracks that sound similar to the mp3 you provided. You can select a segment of a track to search on and of course you can limit your search to tracks with licenses that permit uses you require, e.g., commercial or derivative use.

This should be an amazing resource for music discovery in general and remixers in particular — try it out!

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