Working Out Creative Anxieties

Mia Garlick, January 15th, 2006

William Patry, a partner at Thelen Reid & Priest, New York City, specializing in copyright trial litigation and appellate advocacy and formerly copyright counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary and also formerly a Policy Planning Advisor to the Register of Copyrights, mused recently on the influence artists feel both from their contemporaries and predecessors. Patry has apparently been reading Harold Bloom’s book The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry and quotes Bloom that:

“…self-appropriation involves immense anxieties of indebtedness, for what strong maker desires the realization that he has failed to create himself? Oscar Wilde, who knew he had failed as a poet because he lacked strength to overcome his anxiety of influence, knew also the darker truths concerning influence.”

Patry has also been reading Benjamin Kaplan who observed:

“Copyright is in danger of stifling such wrestling with ourselves and with our predecessors: by seizing on all appropriation as a legal — and moral– shortcoming — we fail to appreciate the creative process, and will end up the poorer for it.”

Patry concludes that copyright is often pitched as a battle between copyright owners and copyright users but argues that it should perhaps more appropriately be viewed as involving “issues with other authors, and within ourselves” and that we should facilitate the working out of creative anxieties. This can also be described as the derivative works paradox — when can you say that a work is truly original and when is it a derivative work?

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Battelle’s #1 2006 prediction

Mike Linksvayer, January 14th, 2006

John “Searchblog” Battelle’s #1 prediction for 2006 (emphasis added):

1. Someone, and I do not know who, will make a big pile of Big Media video assets freely available on the web – and not via Google Video. This will be a major studio, or television company, which will realize that once you free content, content will come back to you in mashed up and remixed glory that has – holy smokes! – real business models like advertising and retail attached. The deal will be simple: anyone can download, rip, and mix this video, but if you plan to make money from it – even selling ads next to it – you have to cut a deal with the mother ship. The company that does this will be heralded as either visionary, lunatic, or both.

Attribution-NonCommercial, anyone?

Battelle posted his predictions December 21, so perhaps this observation is a bit late, but this year is less than four percent over…

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CC’s Ts are part of the Flickr zeitgeist

Mia Garlick, January 13th, 2006

So we at CC love to watch Flickr. We love to watch the number of CC-licensed images grow and grow…We love to check out recent images that are posted to Flickr from people in different places about the things that they are witnessing on a day to day level – whether it’s the snowstorms on the East Coast of the US, the latest Burning Man or more serious events such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina or the London bombings. The photos uploaded to Flickr in many ways reflect the different daily zeitgeists in different parts of the globe. So we’re thrilled to learn that our Creative Commons’ t-shirts are Flickr worthy and becoming part of the daily Flickr zeitgeist. And, of course, these photos are CC-licensed.

This one is BY-NC-SA 2.0; BY=bigmick….and you’ll be pleased to know, that it’s not too late for you to get your own version of Creative Commoner 2005 T.

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Free Summit in the Village Voice

Francesca Rodriquez, January 11th, 2006

This weekend Free will be holding its first New York City Regional summit in New York. In this week’s Village Voice, the Education Supplement features Fred Benenson, Creative Commons’ former intern and president of the NYU Free Culture chapter and Inga Chernyak, co-founder of NYU’s Free Culture club, in
Code Warriors: Free Culture takes flight at NYU. If you are in New York City this weekend, head over to the summit. Check out the scheduled events here.

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Discussion Draft – NonCommercial Guidelines

Mia Garlick, January 10th, 2006

So the topic of what constitutes a “noncommercial use” under those Creative Commons licenses that contain the NonCommercial license option has been a perennial source of debate over the years. Shortly after I first started with Creative Commons, I posted an interpretation of “noncommercial” to the cc-education list which was consistent with that community’s understanding of the term but which then seemed to cause considerable consternation on the cc-licenses list. This also lead to what may be able to be described as one of the most comprehensive noncommercial use cases list in the history of, well, a lot of things.

To reconcile the otherwise potentially different views of different CC communities and try to clarify some of the easier and more realistic use cases, we at CC and through our international network of affiliates have been working over many months (with the invaluable assistance of one of our summer interns – Laura Lynch who spent her summer on the issue – on trying to draft possible guidelines on what does and what does not constitute a noncommercial use. Obviously, it’s not possible to define noncommercial for every single situation. However, we have attempted to craft these guidelines to resolve some of the more common and pressing questions about what is and what is not a noncommercial use in the CC world.

These guidelines have undergone tremendous internal debate and discussion amongst staff and our international affiliates. They have been considerably improved and revised in the process so, particularly in light of the most recent discussion on the list we thought now would be a great opportunity to expand the debate and invite more analysis, debate and discussion from all of you who are also heavily involved in the practices and application of CC licenses.

Please note – these guidelines are not set in stone; they are a draft subject to debate, discussion and refinement by all those who adopt CC licenses and use CC licensed content, ie. you. Let us know what you think – these guidelines have been posted here. Join the discussion here.

Update: An online version of the current draft of the guidelines are available here and a PDF is downloadable from this page.

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Calling All Independent Filmmakers in the Bay Area

Mia Garlick, January 10th, 2006

Bay Area Video Coalition, Independent Television Service and the Center for Social Media are hosting an event on Friday February 24, 2006 on the topic of “What Fair Use Really Means For Independent Filmmakers.” Promising to expose the “secret side” a copyright law, the event includes a showing of Untold Stories, a short video produced at American University ’s Center for Social Media about the problem of rights clearance for documentary filmmakers, and a discussion with filmmakers, programmers, and legal experts about such topics as: What’s “fair” in quoting or appropriating something without paying for it? What are the implications of Fair Use on freedom of expression and distribution? How can I reduce production and legal costs and follow the law? How do I deal with the exploitation of my material? What is the best way to navigate the law safely?”

Panelists will include:Patricia Aufderheide, Director, Center for Social Media, American University; Fred Von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation; Jack Walsh, independent filmmaker and Co-Director, National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture; Donald Young, Director of Broadcast Programming, Center for Asian American Media; Claire Aguilar, Director of Programming, Independent Television Service. Wendy from BVAC tells me that the event is free and no registration required. Also, check out (if you haven’t already) the Center for Social Media’s Documentary Filmmaker’s Statement of Best Practice in Fair Use.

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mozCC gets Flock-ed

Nathan Yergler, January 6th, 2006

There’s an update to mozCC available. You can find all the gory details here, but suffice it to say you really should upgrade. This release fixes a couple of naggling bugs, and adds support for Flock. Flock is a browser based on the Mozilla Firefox codebase which integrates several interesting tools to make your browsing experience more seamless. Ideas? Suggestions? Write them down and we’ll see what we can do.

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Lessig Letters in Catalan

Mia Garlick, January 6th, 2006

Ever wondered what Lawrence Lessig sounds like in Catalan? In addition to having Maria Cristinia Alvite and the project translating the Lessig Letters into Spanish, we are also privileged to have Ignasi Labastida i Juan, the project lead for CC Spain, translating the Lessig Letters into Catalan. Thank you Ignasi!

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