WpLicense 0.7.0: Now with Widget support

Nathan Yergler, August 1st, 2006

The folks over at Automattic, who are also some of the brains behind the WordPress blogging system, have developed Widgets for WordPress. Widgets are a way for users to easily customize their blog’s look and feel without dropping into HTML or PHP. WpLicense 0.7.0 has been released, and includes support for rendering your selected license as a widget. Full details, along with download links, are in the wiki, naturally.

Now if only WordPress.com would support WpLicense for their hosted blogs, even more happy WordPress users could be happy contributors to the Commons.

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Argentina’s Top Models

Mike Linksvayer, July 31st, 2006

Last year frequent ccMixter collaborator Pat Chilla was discovered via a podcast of his ccMixter uploads and got a deal to do music for the next three seasons of TV show America’s Top Model.

Coming full circle, or at least close to halfway around the globe, mariposaHD is a new HDTV show featuring Argentinian models, distributed via BitTorrent, and licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

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Copy, share, or die!

Mike Linksvayer, July 27th, 2006

Annalee Newitz has a fun suggestion:

I mean, it’s no accident that a horror movie like “The Ring” came out during the heyday of file sharing. Let’s think about it — the flick is about a haunted videocassette that will kill you unless you make a duplicate copy and show it to somebody else. It’s like a nightmare analog version of BitTorrent. If you do not share your media, you will die. Creative Commons really should do a cartoon parody of “The Ring.”

I’ve never heard of this movie though Wikipedia confirms the plotline. Clearly a multiple-plotline parody is in order:

  • Character one must copy DRM media or die. Circumvents DRM, goes to jail, attacked by gang, dies.
  • Character two must copy DRM media or die. Atttempts to circumvent DRM, fails, dies.
  • Character three must copy DRM media or die. Realizes circumventing DRM is criminal, has moral crisis but in the end does the right thing, dies.
  • Character four must copy CC licensed media or die. Makes copy, shares with friends and strangers, remixes, is remixed, lives long and prospers.
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Odd Job Jack files released under a CC license

Eric Steuer, July 26th, 2006

The fourth season of the animated series Odd Job Jack (featuring stars like Jason Alexander, John Goodman, Christian Slater, Molly Parker, and Jerry Stiller) began airing recently on Canada’s Comedy Network. The show is a riot – each episode follows a temp worker through a different employment misadventure (i.e. mortuary worker, security guard, “rodent wrangler”). This week, we heard the supremely cool news that the show’s creators are launching Free Jack, in which the master Flash files and bitmaps of every piece of art used in this season of the show are being released sunder the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Share, use, and remix the files to your heart’s content!

Why: We love animation and we just know you do too. We’re proud of Odd Job Jack and we’ve put lots of work into our show. Our art deserves to live beyond broadcast and who better to give a free gift to than the entire planet?

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Viewing Embedded Licenses with Epiphany

Nathan Yergler, July 26th, 2006

When you select a license using the Creative Commons license engine, we return a block of HTML you can place on your web page to mark that you’ve licensed your content. Included in that block of HTML is embedded metadata that programs can detect in order to determine which license you have selected. We’ve had an extension for Mozilla-based browsers, MozCC, for quite some time. Thanks to the work of an intrepid developer, Jaime Frutos Morales, we now have similar support for Epiphany, a web browser for the Gnome desktop environment. You can find download details and installation instructions in the wiki. Thanks, Jaime!

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ThinkFree in the office with CC and Flickr

Mike Linksvayer, July 26th, 2006

A new release of web-based office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation) ThinkFree Online adds the ability for users to mark their documents as CC licensed in ThinkFree’s DocExchange sharing portal. From ThinkFree’s announcement:

“We’re particularly excited to see Creative Commons features integrated throughout ThinkFree Online’s workflow. Creators using ThinkFree Office can offer certain rights to the public while retaining their copyright by choosing a Creative Commons license. Users can also reuse others’ licensed content through ThinkFree Online’s innovative advanced search and Flickr photo integration,” commented Mike Linksvayer, CTO of Creative Commons. “ThinkFree Online has opened up new possibilities, and we look forward to seeing how it develops in the future.”

The Flickr integration is particularly cool (see screenshot below), incorporating Flickr’s CC search into the ThinkFree UI and automatically adding attribution.

ThinkFree Office does not add a CC license notice to the document itself as does the Microsoft Office CC add-in — as noted above the chosen license is tracked in the DocExchange portal. We hope ThinkFree adds this capability, but the existing featureset is very exciting! Check it out.

Since the release of the Microsoft add-in we’ve gotten many requests for a similar OpenOffice extension and I expect to get more with this announcement. We don’t have the capacity to create such an extension ourselves (Microsoft created the MS Office add-in) but have gathered some information that should be useful for someone who wants to build an OpenOffice CC extension.

Watch this space for more “office” news!

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New Featured Commoner – MODfilms

Mia Garlick, July 25th, 2006

We have a new Featured Commoner — an interview with Michela Ledwidge of MODfilms by one of our Summer ’06 interns, Amy Rose. MODfilms produces “remixable” film content and technology aimed at new cinema platforms and is currently working on a film called “Sanctuary,” which will be released to the public under a CC BY-NC-SA license to enable remixes. As you can read in the interview, the concept of a remixable film caused at least one actors’ union considerable consternation. MODfilms’ experience provides an instructive insight into the challenges remix culture poses to, and faces in the light of, established industry arrangements.

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Mia Garlick, July 25th, 2006

As we all know, Creative Commons offers free license and tech tools to the creators for them to use to clearly signal to the public that some uses are permitted. But CC is also about more than just the actual licenses and tools — CC and the issues it raises and touches on engenders debate. We have tried to collate some of the more significant comments by, about and against CC at this ccDebate page on our wiki. As you can see, there was certainly no dearth of criticisms from a variety of different sectors in 2005 & in 2006, the discussion continues. If you think something should be included here that we’ve omitted, please email us & let us know. Many thanks to Amy who put this together!

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Philanthropy News Digest item on Creative Commons

Eric Steuer, July 25th, 2006

The Foundation Center’s Philanthropy News Digest has published a nice item on Creative Commons as this week’s On the Web profile. Check it out for a very clear and concise introduction to CC.

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Creative Commons at OSCON

Nathan Yergler, July 22nd, 2006

I’m heading to Portland, Oregon for O’Reilly Media’s Open Source Convention (OSCON) tomorrow. I’ll be presenting an updated and expanded version of my PyCon talk on Building Extensible Desktop Applications with Zope 3. The more I work with it, the more I realize that a better title would be Loosely Coupled, Component Based Development with Zope 3. So if you’re attending OSCON and curious about writing applications as a set of much smaller pieces using Python, stop by. Slides, example code and additional resources are available in the wiki on the talk page. See you there!

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