I participated in Google’s excellent Summer of Code Mentor Summit last weekend and must send yet another big thank you across the blogosphere to Google for their support of our three successful Summer of Code sponsorships. Overall, last Saturday helped to forge the future of the Summer of Code project and to give everyone time to meet and informally form the future of Open Source.
Also, to all developers out there, the Creative Commons Developer Community still has many Developer Challenges still. It is never too late to jump into helping out because it is pretty much proven now that dedicated Open Source developers get rewarded in multiple ways.Comments Off on Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit
Matt Haughey, who was Creative Commons’ first designer, writes about an annoying encounter with copyright paranoia in a distinctly non-digital field:
Last year I moved into a new house with a big backyard, but the yard faces directly south, so it bakes in the summertime. I decided to find a local architect to help build a small shade patio off the back, and in the process I learned a lot about how far-reaching copyright law hits everyday people.
In addition to keeping homeowners from plans, in the future rulers and other measuring devices should be DRM-
endisabled so that plans may not be reverse engineered, otherwise architects will have no incentive to design new houses! Right?
A class of services that complements and builds upon the CC infrastructure includes assurance, provenance, registration, and warranty. Numly and RegisteredCommons are two currently pioneering organizations in this space.
Chris Matthieu of Numly started a descrption and comparison table for the space on the CC wiki. People from RegisteredCommons have added. Other experts or those merely interested are encouraged to contribute as well.
Both projects have or are working on search, Firefox integration, WordPress integration … the whole Web 2.0 bag of tricks. “Copyright 2.0” is what Chris Matthieu calls it.
iCommons did a Q&A with RegisteredCommons last month.Comments Off on Numly and RegisteredCommons
Check out the developer discussion to get a sense of the cool projects people are building on this GPL codebase.Comments Off on ccHost 3.1
Mark Glaser of the PBS site Media Shift wrote a great article about the use and adoption of CC licenses with in the Flickr community. Glaser used a CC licensed Flickr photo by photographer Kris Krug for a blog post that he was writing about Mark Cuban. Krug gave Glasner a ‘virtual high-five’ for doing so and correctly attributing Krug. “I think Creative Commons is a huge thing and I attribute a lot of my success to it,” Krug said. “Since the beginning I’ve given all my photos away on the Internet and they’ve been used by other bloggers and people all along the way and it’s gotten my name out there. So without going to photography school, and just networking with other photographers, and giving my stuff away with attribution, I’ve got my name out there, I’ve got a lot of incoming links to my website…I didn’t realize that I could make money on photography by giving away as much as I could, that I could build up a portfolio and reputation so I could get paid work.”
Some sharp guys over at Cogniview emailed me a couple of weeks ago, inquiring about embedding CC licenses in PDF files. Today I got a chance to look at the first fruits of that interchange, CCInfo. CCInfo is a plugin for Adobe Acrobat that lets you select and embed a Creative Commons license. Its Windows only right now, so if you’re a Mac developer or have graphic design skills, they’d like some help. Check out the download page for contact details.Comments Off on Embedding licenses in PDFs
So, with this email, Creative Commons launches its second (now officially) annual fundraising campaign. Last year, through the course of that first campaign, I wrote a series of letters explaining a bit about where Creative Commons came from, and where it was going. Those letters (creatively labeled “Lessig Letters”) are still available here. This year, I’m going to talk a bit less, and in my place, we’re going to tell the stories of some of the extraordinary Creative Commons projects that have been flourishing around the world.
But first, a bit of recap: Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation, dedicated to making it simpler for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. We provide free licenses that mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share the work, or remix the work, or both share and remix the work, as the author chooses.
We were motivated to begin this project about four years ago because we realized a point that’s obvious once you see it: that however important the “all rights reserved” model of copyright is to some creators, it is not the model that works for many, maybe most. Scholars, scientists and educators, for example, are also creators, but they don’t depend upon the perfect control of their work – deciding who can access it, or who can copy it, or who can build upon it – for them to have the incentive to create great works. Perhaps even more importantly, for the many who create for what our board member, Joi Ito, calls the “sharing economy,” “all rights reserved” makes little sense. The millions of photos on Flickr, for example, licensed under Creative Commons licenses are made available by people who want to make their creativity available to others without demanding payment upfront, or control over how their work gets used. These people are creators – some professional, but many amateur, where amateur doesn’t mean “amateurish,” but rather people who do what they do for the love of their work, and not for the money. Creative Commons provides free tools to help these creators create in the way that they think best.
Creative Commons launched the licensing project in December 2002. Within a year, there were more than 1,000,000 link-backs to our licenses (meaning at least a million places on the web where people were linking to our licenses, and presumptively licensing content under those licenses). Within two years, that number was 12,000,000. At the end of our last fundraising campaign, it had grown to about 45,000,000 link-backs to our licenses. That was December, 2005. In the first six months of 2006, that number grew by almost 100,000,000 licenses. In June, we reported about 140,000,000 link-backs to our licenses. We have hit a stride, and more and more of the net marks itself with the freedoms that Creative Commons helps secure.
This success has been primarily built by thousands of volunteers across the world who have worked to launch Creative Commons projects locally, and worked to spread our movement to artists and educators internationally. But it is supported by the contributions of many more. Each year we ask more to join this movement in both ways. These letters are invitations to join in the support for Creative Commons.
The plea for support in these letters will be subtle. (We’ve perfected subliminal email.) But if you’d like to opt out of these letters, just click here . Alternatively, if you know others who might enjoy this weekly missive, click here and we’ll invite them to join as well. And if you’d like to just get it over, and donate, click here
Next week, I’ll talk a bit more about the values behind our movement. And the week following that, the first story from the front lines of CC.
Comments Off on A Report on the Commons
There will be (at least) four Creative Commons talks October 27.
Three in Toronto at the 5th annual Seneca Free Software & Open Source Symposium:
Nathan Yergler on Little “s” Semantic: Exploring Metadata About the Web,
Jon Phillips on ccHost: Open Service and Media Hosting with Creative Commons software,
and CC Canada joint project lead Marcus Bornfreund on Why Share?.
FSOSS features many other great speakers in a tight schedule, including workshops with Mozilla developers on the 26th and a workshop on open source for educators on the 28th.
The same day I’ll be speaking at the first BoCon, an open source/open culture conference held at the Visual Arts Collective in Boise, Idaho. The conference runs the 27th and 28th and features several talks on open source and culture as well as performances, with an emphasis on Nerdcore, including MC Plus+!
Toronto is cheap ($30), Boise is free ($0, as in free beer). Attending all sessions and festivities of both is priceless.Comments Off on CC tech, Toronto and Boise
This week marks the launch of Creative Commons’ second annual fundraising campaign. Last year, we experienced phenomenal support from our community - with over $250,000 donated.
This year’s campaign boasts multiple ways to support CC. You can show your support directly - by making a donation and/or purchasing CC swag at our online store; or indirectly - by including a “Support CC 2006” button in your website, blog, etc. This year, we are offering a new T-shirt, new and improved vinyl stickers and hipster buttons. Check out the options at our new support pages.
Similar to last year’s campaign, our CEO & Chairman - Larry Lessig - will again be initiating the “Lessig Letters” series, but this time the twice-monthly emails will come from some of the Creative Commons international affiliates and will highlight the exciting things happening around CC licenses and tools in their jurisdictions. These letters will be sent to our mailing list so if you think that you may not be on it and wish to receive these emails please subscribe
For those of you who gave last year and wonder what your support achieved, below is a very brief overview:
- From January 2006 to July 2006 there was a growth from 40,000,000 to 140,000,000 linkbacks to our licenses!
- Creative Commons licenses were ported and launched in Bulgaria, Malaysia, Denmark, Mexico, Peru, Mainland China, Colombia and Malta.
- We initiated discussions about Version 3.0 of our licenses. The proposed Version 3.0 amendments clarify aspects of our licenses in response to important community feedback and, significantly, spin-off a US license and a treaty-based international license.
- We commenced the monthly CC Salon, which is a small get together for people interested in the ideas and issues surrounding CC and the global digital commons, here in San Francisco. This model spread virally and there are now Salons happening in Toronto, Berlin, Beijing, Warsaw, Seoul, Johannesburg, and coming soon in New York as well.
- Our ccMixter site continued to showcase the dynamism of remix communities. One of the remix tracks from ccMixter was included in the lonelygirl15 video phenomenon that swept the Internet and mainstream media. We also hosted various remix contests on the site including the Fort Minor Remix Contest and the Crammed Discs Remix Contest.
- We established a presence in Second Life, the 3D virtual space in which users can participate in building on the digital landscape and socializing within a market economy. We hosted various talks on the topic of free culture and copyright, showcased an in world remix art contest and, most recently, hosted a concert with Popular Science Magazine during which in world residents grooved to the beats of Melvin Took, Kourosh Eusebio, Etherian Kamaboko, Slim Warrior, Jaycatt Nico, Frogg Marlowe, Cylindrian Rutabaga and Jonathan Coulton. Second Life is unique among virtual worlds because it allows residents to own the rights to their own creations. Thanks to SL resident and Linden Lab staff member “Zarf Vantongerloo,” an in world Creative Commons license generator makes it possible for users to affix the appropriate legal code to their in-world creations that allows sharing and remixing.
- ccHost, the engine that powers ccMixter, has been developed to support all media types while retaining the key strengths of ccMixter - the ability to track the files’ genealogy. ccHost won the Linux World Product Excellence Award for “Best Open Source Solution in August 2006.
- ccPublisher 2.2 was refined and now has the capacity to make it easier for repository operators other than the Internet Archive to develop a customized version of ccPublisher that will upload works to another repository for hosting Creative Commons licensed work. There are currently 5 translations of ccPublisher that were developed by some of our volunteer international supporters - we can never thank you enough.
- In June 2006 Microsoft released a Creative Commons plug-in that can be downloaded and gives users of their Microsoft Office Suite the ability to CC-license their Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents.
That is just an overview of the many things your support has helped Creative Commons achieve over the past 12 months. Stay tuned to learn more about CC around the world and about what we have planned for the next 12 months that your continued support can help us realize.Comments Off on Creative Commons Launches 2nd Annual Fundraising Campaign