Weblog

2007 May

Day 11: CC Colombia

Melissa Reeder, May 8th, 2007

The past 24 hours have been rather active as we close in on the end of the campaign. We’ve now received $27,240 in support for the CCi Affiliate scholarships! We’re so close and with your support we can meet this goal. Over the past 10 days we’ve traversed the globe and have heard incredible news about what is going on in the “commons” movement. Today’s story comes from Carolina Botero from CC Colombia. I will let her tell you what they’ve been up to because it’s rather impressive.

Spreading the idea of free culture has become the main focus of the CC Colombia team. After the launch of the ported licences in August 2006 the community and the interest in using CC licenses has experienced significant growth.

Musicians are committing themselves to this alternative way of spreading culture as exemplified by groups like Colombita or Calambuco. It’s not just the commitment of bands to use CC licenses but also the way Silvia O is using CCMixter or the way video artists like Videopopuli that are helping to educate people on the importance of CC licensing. Interesting examples of a Colombian netlabel using CC licences is Seriesmedia and of netradio is La Capsula.

The free software movement has been very supportive of our cause; and has assisted us by brokering opportunities to present talks about Creative Commons and free culture where ever the opportunity presents itself like during the last Latin American Installation Festival. People from the free software movement are also using the licences in their projects. For instance Essentia Libre journal, the first Colombian magazine about Open Technologies, Open Contents and Education, is published under Creative Commons BY-SA. According to it’s ideology Essentia Libre’s design is done using only Open Source applications like Scribus, Inkscape, Gimp and GhostScript because they want to really be consistent with the copyleft element on the Creative Commons license. Accordingly the magazine’s code is released facilitating others the complete recreation of the content.

The case of el Sistema de Información sobre Biodiversidad de Colombia (SIB), a public database of Colombian biodiversity information, is a perfect example of a public project that found a solution in Creative Commons.

In the educational sector, the Colombia Aprende website of the Ministry of Education is an important forum. This website explains and clarifies the possibilities of this new approach to teachers and researchers. The support of other leaders in the CC community has also been of special impact to the educational sector. For example, the presentation of Ariel Vercelli during the Learning Objects event in December 2006.

Special projects deserve special mention, the book “Palabras desde el silencio”, a compilation of stories from young deaf people is a beautiful example of the way communities start to find special use for Creative Commons, showing a path where licences have become an important tool to share.

In the field of journalism we should mention that El Tiempo, the most important Colombian journal, uses CC licences for their citizen journalism section, allowing bloggers to choose the way their content will be used in the web.

Participating in a broader research to find out the ways music circulates in developing countries also has been a great opportunity to place Creative Commons in our cultural environment and will certainly support future efforts.

Help send the people that are responsible for these innovative projects to the conference that is at the forefront of this movement. These discussions/debates need to happen and deserve to be as globally holistic as possible. Support this campaign today.

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First (former) head of government to blog under CC

Mike Linksvayer, May 8th, 2007

Nimrod Lev, a musician who has released many songs and videos under CC licenses, writes to tell us that former Israeli prime minister has decided (English) to publish his blog under the CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Israel license, after hearing from Nimrod about CC.

Thanks Nimrod!

For exciting and ongoing news about copyright and candidates for U.S. head of state, read recent posts on CC founder and CEO Lawrence Lessig’s blog.

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Day 10: CC Poland

Melissa Reeder, May 7th, 2007

We’re closing in on the end of the campaign. So far we’ve received amazing support from our community – $16,538! Over the next 4 days we need to raise $33,462 so that the CCi Affiliates can attend the iCommons iSummit. The following anecdote from Alek Tarkowski (one of CC Poland’s project leads) will help clarify why the work these volunteers do is so important to the healthy growth and vitality of the commons movement.

CC Poland began four years ago as a dream of two people, Justyna Hofmokl and Alek Tarkowski. Poland had been negligent when it comes to discussing progressive issues such as the relationship between culture, copyright and new media. CC Poland was a way to initiate these important discussions.

We started in 2005 by launching the Polish licenses which were prepared by experts from a leading Polish IP law institute at the Jagiellonian University. Since inception we have been promoting free culture and CC licenses among teachers and librarians, businessmen and highschool students, Ministry of Culture officials and avant-garde theater artists.

Today, CC Poland is a project run jointly by the Interdisciplinary Center for Mathematical and Computational Modelling, a research center of the Warsaw University, and Grynhoff, Woźny and Wspólnicy law firm. Justyna Homfokl and I are the project leads and Krzysztof Siewicz from GWW law firm is our legal lead.

We are especially proud of our first project, which was the open translation of Lawrence Lessig’s “Free Culture” into Polish. About a dozen translators and editors collectively translated the book, later published in print by a major educational publisher in time for the launch of CC Poland. The book’s first edition sold out and tens of thousands of CC-licensed copies have been downloaded from the internet. This project helped spread the idea of “free culture” and proves the feasibility of both collective translation and open publishing.

Currently we are participating in the creation of the “Enthusiasts Archive” (currently still in beta phase), an online archive of Polish amateur film from the communist era. The project started as an exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, created by two artists, Marysia Lewandowska and Neal Cummings, and Łukasz Ronduda, a curator from the CCA. Films from the archive were created by Polish amateur film “enthusiasts”, who made and exchanged movies in a model which we would describe today as commons-based. We are very happy that today these wonderful, and often forgotten, films are made available under CC licenses.

During a recent public consultation of the new Copyright Act in the Polish Parliament, among multiple collecting societies and entertainment industry representatives, only two organizations spoke about rights of users and the broader common good. Creative Commons Poland was one of the two, proving that in these two years we have become an important voice in the debate around culture and copyright in Poland.

Help Alek and all the other CCi Affiliates’ voices be heard at the global iSummit by giving towards the scholarship campaign today. We only have 4 days left. You can give by donating directly or visiting our store and picking up a CC t-shirt for yourself.

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Day 9: Worldwide growth

Mike Linksvayer, May 6th, 2007

iSummit 2005
iSummit 2005 group photo by Creative Commons / BY

isumm06 group photo
iSummit 2006 group photo by Fred Benenson / BY-SA


You determine what 2007 looks like.

More participation from our dedicated volunteers at the iSummit is not just a side effect of the last year’s growth, but a critical enabler of the spread of Creative Commons over the next year.

Creative Commons International affiliates are crucial to the success of the iSummit and of Creative Commons globally. The iSummit is the one opportunity each year for these dedicated volunteers drawn from universities and cultural institutes to learn from each other face to face and plan for the challenges and opportunities facing the movement in the next year. Enabling these volunteers to participate in the iSummit is truly the most leveraged way to support Creative Commons at this time.

Please help!

If you need more convincing, check out the profiles we’ve run of CC activities in Hungary, Taiwan, Chile, France, Catalonia, Spain, Malaysia, Peru, and Argentina (more to come) and letters from Creative Commons founder and CEO Lawrence Lessig.

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Day 8: CC Argentina

Mike Linksvayer, May 5th, 2007

So far we’ve profiled Creative Commons international volunteers in Hungary, Taiwan, Chile, France, Catalonia, Spain, Malaysia and Peru. Today we’ll stay in South America with Creative Commons Argentina.

Please donate in support of scholarships for our international project volunteers. Read letters from Lawrence Lessig explaining the campaign and an exciting new opportunity.

After the launch of Creative Commons Argentina the use of licenses grew up and many projects related with freedom of the cultural environment have emerged as a result. Ariel Vercelli, leader of CC Argentina and president of the NGO Bienes Comunes, describes that they are working hard in at least four areas:

(1) Creative Commons licenses in Argentina and other free licenses for all kind of intellectual works;

(2) Negocios Abiertos, a project to work, design and share open business models in Spanish;

(3) Aprender la Libertad, a project to work with digital commons and collaborative production of educational contents;

(4) Librecultura, to work together with the free culture movement from Argentina and Latin America.

From Bienes Comunes and Creative Commons local community, they are also planning other projects to work with commons in the bio/nano-technology. Together with other organizations, Bienes Comunes collaborates to protect natural environment and promote a balance of access of the common basic resourses.

For example, there are more than 40 albums with CC in Argentina; in Negocios Abiertos there is a video about that and uses of CC licenses for music in Buenos Aires. In the editorial field, during these months is starting Libros Abiertos (Open Books), a new initiative of books under free licenses for Latin America.

Ariel Vercelli
Ariel Vercelli speaking at Día de weblogs 2006. Photo credit Irene.F / CC BY.

Give $75 or more to foster collaboration among our outstanding jurisdiction project volunteers and get a hip t-shirt!


Photo credit MikeBlogs (remixing cambodia4kids) / CC BY.

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Day 7: CC Peru

Melissa Reeder, May 4th, 2007

This marks the seventh day since the launch of the CCi Affiliate Scholarship Campaign. It has been an active week and we cannot thank you enough for your support. There are 6 days left to help meet the $100,000 challenge that we announced on May 2nd.

In terms of raising the initial $50,000 for the CCi Scholarship Campaign we are $34,132 away from this goal! We hope that you will continue to support CC by both giving to this campaign and spreading the word.

Today’s highlighted jurisdiction is CC Peru. This is an impressive project so here is Oscar Montezuma’s account of the work that they continually do to forward this movement.

“A few years ago Pedro Mendizabal, Katitza Rodriguez and me, started one of the more challenging projects we ever thought of: Creative Commons Peru. We were convinced that copyright laws needed more sense in the digital age and Peru could not be an exception. Heir to ancient cultures and a rich colonial tradition, Peru became the perfect spot for this new adventure. Located in the heart of the Inca culture, where ideas of community were the key to their everyday life, and boasting one of the finest and more diverse cuisines in the world were Peruvian cheffs (also called dish-jockeys) are great examples of the values that inspired Creative Commons international project and served us too as an inspiration for our main goal.

After sleepless nights and months of hard work, we had our CC launch and celebration (photos). We had the support of the private and public sector including the Peruvian Copyright Office (INDECOPI). After the launch, young lawyer and firm believer of the free culture movement, Rafael Salazar, joined us. The CC Peru team was growing. Many local musicians, writers, designers sent us thousands of emails asking about how to use CC Peru licenses. Guys from Alter Tempo became the first Peruvian band to use the licences and THEMIS-Revista de Derecho, a Law Review run by law students from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, launched a CD with legal articles and papers under CC licenses. A month ago we launched reference texts of the licenses in Quechua language, native tongue of the Incas and one of the official languages in Peru and spoken in many places in Andean South American regions.

CC is a vital project and we need your help in reaching this goal so that we can continue helping CC grow and spreading free culture worldwide.”

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Creative Commons for Newspapers, Scientists, Film students and Wikipedia SEOers(!?)

Mike Linksvayer, May 3rd, 2007

Four articles turned up yesterday all advocating use of different Creative Commons licenses in different contexts, nicely demonstrating the not-really-niche-anymore scope covered by Creative Commons.

Newspapers:

In GateHouse’s case, they’ve reserved the right to commercialize, the right to preserve the content’s integrity, and the right of attribution. [Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

It’s all “part of being a good partner on the web,” says Howard Owens, GateHouse Media’s Director of Digital Publishing. After GateHouse publications kept on receiving requests from local non-profit and community groups to republish GateHouse articles in their own newsletters, he pushed to license everything under Creative Commons, effectively stripping out the cumbersome request procedure and streamlining the whole process.

There was simply no downside to licensing content under Creative Commons, adds Owens, who believes it would work just as well for a large newspaper publisher as for a small one.

The “web is a network economy,” says Owens, “Everybody online should use Creative Commons.” Sharing content through hyperlinks and other means is built into the architecture of the web. As ad dollars continue to migrate online, and content becomes more and more open, it will be difficult to facilitate the sharing content unless newspaper publishers loosen their belts and use a license like Creative Commons that clearly defines what is and isn’t allowed.

We blogged about GateHouse Media a few months ago.

Scientists:

Scientists do not need, and indeed should not have, exclusive (or any) control over who can copy their papers, and who can make derivative works of their papers.

The very progress of science is based on derivative works! It is absolutely essential that somebody else who attempts to reproduce your experiment be able to publish results that you don’t like if those are the results they have. Standard copyright, however, gives the copyright holders of a paper at least a plausible legal basis on which to challenge the publication of a paper that attempts to reproduce the results— clearly a derivative work!

The sort of copyright that we need is something like an “Attribution-Share Alike” Creative Commons license. We absolutely should not have, nor should journals have, any sort of exclusive right to prevent reuse of our papers. But we do need credit and citation.

Film Students (PDF):

2) The issue of auteur theory is easily solved through the use of CC licenses.
      a. As USC doesn’t believe in auteur theory, CC licenses would allow all
          students who worked on a given film the same rights towards free
          distribution.
3) CC licenses allow for commercial restriction while allowing for free distribution
   and the ability to allow others to freely build upon work.
      a. It can be assumed that commercial viability is of utmost concern to SCA
          (in comparison between SCA’s IP policy and that of LMU) in continuing
          to allow special agreements with SAG and local insurance companies
               i. CC licenses can specifically allow for that commercial restriction [Attribution-NonCommercial]

Wikipedia SEOers:

Don’t add photos to entries that are not Creative Commons licensed because those will get removed because of copyright infringement. Not just any Creative Commons license will do. It should allow for commercial use. [Attribution or Attribution-ShareAlike]

Apart from the CC recommendation, this last article really points to the benefits of the Wikipedia community. Normally ‘search engine optimization’ is associated with people basically attempting to scam the search engines’ anti-spam defenses, but most of the article’s tips on participating in Wikipedia are for the good — it’s hard to get any value out of Wikipedia without adding value for others, i.e., it’s hard to scam the Wikipedia community.

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Day 6: CC Malaysia

Melissa Reeder, May 3rd, 2007

The past 24hrs have been very active for the CCi Scholarship Campaign! I cannot stress how important participating in this campaign is and the opportunity at stake. A $100,000 matching challenge does not present itself very often so it’s critical that we meet this goal. We appreciate your support so much and hope that you will continue to support CC in the future.

Over the past five days Mike and I have recounted stories from Hungary, Taiwan, Chile, France, and Catalonia & Spain. Today’s anecdote comes from CC Malaysia. They are currently hosting a multi-media online competition which runs through June 25th. Submit your work here.

According to CC Malaysia project lead Alina Ng the competition was initiated as a way to support and bring global attention to local talent and creative communities. Here’s more about this story and the competition from the source.

“This is a very exciting time for CC Malaysia because there is more interest in the project (CC). People are realizing that sharing their creative work contributes toward greater growth and development.”

The contest has 3 categories: music (original and remix), film (animation and live action), and still imagery (photography and digital art). There will also be the “People’s Choice Award” for each category – these winners will be chosen by popular online vote. Winners will be announced at the CC Malaysia First Anniversary Party in July.

On April 28th CC Malaysia hosted a one day photography workshop at the Cyberjaya Lodge that was lead by a reknowned photographer. More than 100 people participated throughout the day. Their work was judged and awards were handed out as the close of the day. Check out some of the photos taken at the workshop and some other beautiful pictures of Malaysian life and culture are available here.

We are also very pleased that Pete Teo, an internationally known Malaysian musician, songwriter and composer, who licenses some of his music through Creative Commons and who is on the Creative Commons Malaysia Board, won the 2007 Malaysian Music Industry Annual Awards. We thank him for supporting our project (despite his busy schedule, he agreed to judge our competition) and we are so proud of him. Way to go, Pete! So, all in all, Creative Commons Malaysia is growing well and we are very excited and really happy with this growth.

Please contribute to the Creative Commons International scholarship fund so we can send more awesome CC volunteers like Alina Ng to the iSummit to learn and plan for the challenges and opportunities of spreading the commons globally in the next year — and take advantage of the new $100,000 matching fund.

Showing off one of the available premiums for donors, here are our favorite models. Photo by cambodia4kidsorg, licensed under CC BY.

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Day 5: CC Catalonia & CC Spain

Melissa Reeder, May 2nd, 2007

Today marks a turning point in the campaign to fund the CCi Affiliates thanks to a VERY generous donor. It also marks the first time that we’ve highlighted two jurisdictions in one day. Both of these jurisdictions and projects are very active so it is my pleasure to post this lengthy yet amazing and inspirational account from Ignasi Labastida. I’ve been so touched that there is nothing else to say on my end. Except to please help support CC by giving to the campaign and telling others to help support us as well.

Catalonia

A year ago, CC Catalonia was involved in an amazing project called Música lliure aimed to emulate the success of the Wired CD. The release of the double CD with music magazines Enderrock, Folc and Jaç, has instigated a huge debate amongst musicians about distribution. Conxita, one of the bands featured on the first CD has won an award for her first album released under a CC license. This year dozens of bands have opted to CC license their work and utilize platforms like musicalliure.net or netlabels like Costellam.

The debate about Creative Commons has also reached the Catalan government as they are considering publishing departamental works. Both Australia and the UK have recognize the benefit and potential of the CC licensing infrastructure. The Justice Department and its web sessions are a good example of this approach.

Another amazing project is Barcelona Visio hosted by the Barcelona City Council website and developed by Deboom. This project offers the space to show your point of view of Barcelona as you captured it with your camera.

Freesound is a high profile project that came out of a Catalan university. The project has received many awards this year but maybe the most impressive story is that Alonso Cuaron’s last movie “Children of Men” featured content found on Freesound.

Yet another way to show how far your work can go when you share it.

Spain

The copyright debate in Spain is alive and well. It is currently being fueled by the fact that the modification that the Spanish IP law went through last July left it with some gaps. The use of levies is the main point of discussion but copyleft and new methods of knowledge dissemination are being addressed as well. And of course, CC Spain is significantly involved in these discusssions.

We explain how the commons movement philosophy and the use of the licenses is applicable to more than just authors but institutions as well. We help to spread the word but without authors (individuals and institutions) continuing to illustrate the importance and relevance of CC – we will be nothing.

Lately the main advice seekers have been musicians. Most of them are very disappointed in the traditional publishing process and are seeking new models of distribution and renumeration. There are a number of netlabels and portals, such as Miga-label, Dpop, Autoeditados, dedicated to helping musicians. The bands that began to release their music under a CC license like Stormy Mondays or Lamundial.net are not alone anymore. The adoption rate of CC licensing is growing exponentially, as illustrated by musicalibre.info, another good portal to find good music.

High profile stories of CC licensed content come from other genres besides music as well. For instance the short movie “Lo que tu quieras oir” has reached the top of the rankings on YouTube. Guillermo Zapata, the director of the short, has been very vocal about the link between making content “open” and achieving success.

Traficantes de sueños, a publisher company based in Madrid is another brilliant example of how to publish good books under free licenses. Last September they published a copyleft manual for those interested in this issue.

The CC success stories within art, science, and content in general are numerous and I could write at length about all of them. But I think that this anecdote is best to leave you with:

There is a small village in Andalusia, Niebla. A few weeks ago I was introduced to the San Wabalonso school and the work that the children and teachers are accomplishing together. If I was to share one thing from that experience it is this statement (translated) “We build learning for the free knowledge society. Many hands together, even small ones, can make huge things.” I can not add anymore.

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An Exciting New Challenge: $100K in Matching Funds for iSummit

Lawrence Lessig, May 2nd, 2007

Last week, I wrote to ask you to help us raise scholarship funds to help CCi Affiliates’ participation in the iCommons iSummit. Our goal was to raise $50,000 for the CCi Scholarship Fund in a two week period.

I’m writing you today to inform you of an amazing opportunity that makes more urgent our need for your help. A donor has GENEROUSLY offered to give $100,000 towards the iCommons iSummit, if we are able to raise $100,000 to match that gift by May 10th. This gives us nine days to raise a lot of money.

I think we will be able to raise at least half of the $100,000 that we need from some long time supporters of Creative Commons. But this makes meeting our goal of $50,000 from the community even more important. Many of you have contributed already (I know, because I get the job of writing thank you letters!). But if you haven’t, or if you know others you might persuade to help, now is the time. It is my goal to get the broadest range of participants to this Summit. If we can raise the $50,000 in scholarship funds we’ve targeted, we certainly will.

About the iSummit

The iSummit is an annual gathering of the world’s leading intellectuals, authors, lawyers, artists and technologists on the cutting edge of Internet policy. This year’s iSummit will be held in Dubrovnik, Croatia from June 15th – 17th. The invition is open to the public. Conference registration is $500. For more information please visit the official iSummit page.

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