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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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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