2007 October

Stick This In Your Memory Hole: CC Licensed Essay Collection

Cameron Parkins, October 8th, 2007

Aduki Independent Press, a boutique publishing company based in Melbourne, Australia, announced last week that one of their upcoming releases, Stick This In Your Memory Hole by Tristan Clark, will be made available under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial licence.

A collection of 37 essays, Stick This In Your Memory Hole uses satire, insight and the occasional foul language to critique the state of politics and society in contemporary Australia.According to CC Australia, this is the first case of a book being released independently by an Australian publisher under a CC license. From CCau:

As far as we are aware, this is the first case of a book being released independently by an Australian publisher under a CC licence. Sure, we’ve published a few books ourselves (including the excellent Open Content Licensing: Cultivating the Creative Commons), and rumour has it there are some self-publishing efforts. But Aduki seems to be the first independent publisher in Australia to get behind its author’s wish to truly share their book with the nation using CC.

Breaking out from the pack and taking the plunge into open content licensing isn’t an easy decision for a small publisher to make, and Aduki deserves to be congratulated. But, as they say in their press release, with its strong message in support of free speech ‘Stick this in your memory hole’ is the perfect book to begin with.

As Emily Clark of Aduki press puts it “We really liked the idea of giving people easy access and the right to use the work without seeking our permission as the book has an important message that needs to be shared.”

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Spread the word: Support Creative Commons 2007

Mike Linksvayer, October 8th, 2007

Last week we launched the Creative Commons annual fall fundraising campaign. Goal: US$500,000.

We also launched a redesigned creativecommons.org site (more on that below) and now have matching campaign buttons:

Support CC - 2007 Support CC - 2007 Support CC - 2007 Support CC - 2007 Support CC - 2007 Support CC - 2007 Support CC - 2007

Get one for your site or blog!

As you might guess from the buttons above, a map theme runs throughout the campaign, including on the super cool campaign t-shirts (there’s only one way to get one…), see right.

This includes the most immediately noticeable addition to the CC homepage: a dynamic donor map, showing where in the world contributions to the fall campaign are coming from (no personal information is exposed). One cool thing about the donor map is that it’s built with OpenLayers, a completely free software dynamic mapping library.

While maps make great eye candy, the most significant changes to the CC site fall into two categories: international exposure and information architecture.

We’re now aggregating CC jurisdiction project blogs on the CC homepage. Aggregated feeds will be available soon, and announced here. We’ll be doing a lot more in the coming months to shine a light on vital jurisdiction project activities.

Information architecture-wise we’ve made a bunch of small changes to make the CC site (actually sites) easier to navigate and use, with more coming. Three of note:

This now omnipresent set of navigation tabs is self-explanatory and points to the other two changes.

First, a completely revamped projects page. If you want a very concise guide to current and ongoing projects of CC (the organization), with pretty icons, go there. Of course most of the projects represent iceberg tips, both within the organization and beyond.

Second, the participate tab points to our wiki, now restyled to match the rest of the site. One of the cooler things we’re doing with the wiki is adding Semantic MediaWiki annotations. The short explanation is that this allows us to use information in the wiki as if it were in a database, without creating a custom database application. See a very early and trivial application of this on our content directories page.

A number of CC staff are directly responsible for the rollout of campaign and site refresh features, including Asheesh Laroia (OpenLayers integration), Jon Phillips (information architecture), Nathan Kinkade (sysadmin), summer intern Thierry Kennes (Semantic MediaWiki integration and Wiki theme work), Cameron Parkins, Rebecca Rojer, and Tim Vollmer (asset creation and wikifarming). Melissa Reeder, Eric Steuer, and Nathan Yergler provided fundraising, editorial, and technology oversight respectively. Alex Roberts imagined all of the visual concepts, made everything pretty, and wrote lots of the code.

The best ways to congratulate Alex & co. are to provide support for their continued work and spread the word.

Thank you!

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CC @ EFF Bootcamp Next Wednesday

Jon Phillips, October 5th, 2007

I’m giving a presentation about Creative Commons at Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) Bootcamp (for Web 2.0 workers on user-generated content) next Wednesday, October 10, 2007. Here is a summary:

EFF is hosting a one-day session for Web 2.0 workers who handle issues arising from users and user-generated content. From DMCA to CDA to ECPA, the law surrounding internet content can be confusing, especially for the folks who have to decide on the fly whether to let something stay up or take it down, or whether to give their customer’s name to the FBI agent on the phone. Let us help.

I‘m speaking at 12:15 right before lunch. Come out to this event if you want to learn more about:

  • Defamation, harassment, and other accusations of bad behavior.
  • Fair use, free culture, and the right to remix.
  • Copyright take-downs and put-backs: Understanding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
  • How to respond to cops, crooks, and courts who want your customers’ communications and other private information.
  • How to avoid becoming the next Napster and stay on the safe side of the Copyright Wars.
  • The rights of anonymous speakers.
  • Porn, predators, and the pressure to police.
  • Lightning rounds on Creative Commons licenses, webcasting and what to do when you’ve been hacked.

Of course, please come out and ask me about anything under the sun including upcoming releases of LiveContent 2.0, where we are at with working on OLPC, and generally anything else CC-related.

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Chess Tactics: CC-Licensed Chess Guide

Cameron Parkins, October 5th, 2007

To many, chess is simultaneously fascinating and perplexing. Enter Ward Fonsworth’s Predator at the Chessboard, a free online guide to chess tactics, released under a CC BY-NC-ND licence. No longer will you be baffled by a Sicilian Defense or a Queen’s Gambit (UPDATE: although these two moves are essential to understanding the game of chess, the book does not cover them as they are openings and rather focuses on tactics in particular) – who knows, maybe someday you will even climb the ranks to Grandmaster.

Published initially Now published as a book, Predator at the Chessboard has information that is compelling for both the chess amateur and the advanced hobbyist alike. Freely accessible, it is an incredible resource for anyone with any interest in the wondrous game that is chess. This approach, in Farnsworth’s words, says “is an experiment in a particular way of distributing work to the world: online for free, and then also in a book-on-demand form for those who would rather read the material that way”. Time to brush the dust off my old board and utilize the all-powerful, yet very subtle, Réti Opening on an unsuspecting foe.

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CC Talks With: GiftTRAP

Cameron Parkins, October 5th, 2007

We’re going crazy over here at CC. Not only did we just go live with our website redesign, launch our 3rd Annual Fundraising Campaign, and get a new general counsel/vice president, we are also happy to announce the return of the “Featured Commoner” series to our blog!

“Featured Commoners” are people, groups, or tools that use CC licensing in unique and original ways. Short interviews will be posted to our blog, offering insight into the ways CC licences have helped these people and projects realize their respective goals.

Our first “Featured Commoner” in this new wave of interviews is Nick Kellet of GiftTRAP, a wonderful board game that we have talked about before here.


What’s GiftTRAP all about?

Isn’t gift-giving a gong show in your family? We all have funny stories about the gifts we’ve received and wondered, “What were they thinking?”. That’s what GiftTRAP is all about.

It’s an emotional intelligence game themed around giving gifts. Playing means you can drop hints about what you’d like, try and guess what your friends want or even give really bad gifts just for fun! It’s all about getting the “social” back into board games.

Some games are about winning and others are about taking part. GiftTRAP is an experience that’s all about great conversation and getting friends and family talking about things that matter. In GiftTrap, getting better is as important as winning.

Read More…

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COMMUNIA: public domain & alternative licensing experts convene in Europe

Michelle Thorne, October 5th, 2007


COMMUNIA, the European Thematic Network on the Public Domain in the Digital Age, held its kick-off meeting in Turin, Italy on September 28, 2007. The network consists of over 35 members from 21 countries who are dedicated to developing

“the single European point of reference for high-level policy discussion and strategic action on all issues related to the public domain in the digital environment, as well as related topics such as alternative forms of licensing for creative material (including, but not limited to, the Creative Commons licenses), open access to scientific publications and research results, management of works whose authors are unknown (i.e. orphan works).”

The COMMUNIA project, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Politecnico di Torino, will enrich the next 3 years with a productive schedule of thematic workshops and conferences, with the goal of maintaining a strong link between participants dedicated to analytical and practical results, including “the production of a book; an academic journal; a “best practices” guide for European research and reference centres on the topics covered by COMMUNIA; and a final strategic report containing policy guidelines that will help all the stakeholders – public and private, from the local to the European level – tacking the issues that the existence of a digital public domain have raised and will undoubtedly continue to raise.”

The kick-off meeting owes its success to the superb organization efforts of Italian CC Project Lead and COMMUNIA Network Coordinator Prof. Juan Carlos De Martin, Project Manager Andrea Glorioso, Ms. Maria Teresa Medina Quintana, Prof. Angelo Raffaele Meo, and Prof. Marco Ricolfi. Also part of the COMMUNIA Project team is Mr. Bernardo Parrella as online PR manager.


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CC Salon SF next Wednesday

Rebecca Rojer, October 4th, 2007

Mark your calendars: The next San Francisco CC Salon is Wednesday, October 10, from 7-9PM. Help celebrate the launch of our fall fundraising campaign and hang out with fellow CC supporters.

We’re back at Shine (1337 Mission St.) with a stellar lineup of presenters, including:

Check out the upcoming page for more info. Its going to be a great night and we hope to see you there!

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Boing Boing tv

Mike Linksvayer, October 2nd, 2007

From Boing Boing, one of the most popular blogs on the planet, and the one that more often than not scoops us (we don’t mind) on cool new content released under CC licenses: Boing Boing tv.

Apparently the lowercase “tv” is intentional, and yes, it’s licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial.

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Taking Stock of the Creative Commons Experiment

Mike Linksvayer, October 2nd, 2007

As Creative Commons approaches its 5th birthday it makes sense for papers to appear with titles like Taking Stock of the Creative Commons Experiment: Monitoring the Use of Creative Commons Licenses and Evaluating Its Implications for the Future of Creative Commons and for Copyright Law. This paper, presented a few days ago at TPRC 2007 (though not the final version), is from Giorgos Cheliotis, Warren Chik, Ankit Guglani, Giri Kumar Tayi. It offers an expanded and extremely interesting analysis expanding on that presented by Cheliotis this summer at our annual summit.

Read the paper or just skim for some neat graphs concerning CC license adoption and license mix against criteria such as region, wealth, population, and license launch date.

If you’re in San Francisco you can ask in person about this research as Giorgos Cheliotis will be one of the presenters at next week’s CC Salon. A full announcement for that event will be posted here soon.

Giorgos Cheliotis at iSummit 2007, photo by Dominick Chen licensed under CC BY.

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wikiHow Reaches 25,000 Articles

Rebecca Rojer, October 2nd, 2007

With the addition of “How to Make an Eiskaffee (Creamy Iced Coffee)” on September 21, the 25,000th article was added to wikiHow. wikiHow is a wiki whose community works to build and share the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Articles include everything from everyday tasks such as maintaining a vacuum cleaner and tying a necktie to less common activities like how to do a wall flip.

Launched in January 2005, wikiHow has since grown rapidly to become one of most popular sites on web. Every month over 5 million unique visitors come to the site, making it the 500th most popular site in the US and the 2000th internationally according to Alexa.

In keeping with its mission, wikiHow has actively worked to share its content and software with the world. All of the content is available under the CC-BY-SA-NC license and all its software modifications are available under the GPL. Some of wikiHow’s articles come preloaded on computers from the One Laptop Per Child project; all of their modifications to Mediawiki can be downloaded by anyone, and have been used by organizations such as UNICEF and MIT as well as developers all over the world.

wikiHow is a great example of the possibilities for participatory culture opened by Creative Commons licenses. According to wikiHow founder, Jack Herrick, “Creative Commons licensing has been a necessary ingredient of our success thus far. These licenses allow others to easily share, republish and modify our content which furthers our mission. In addition, the licenses provide our editors with the “Right to Fork”, which gives our community comfort that their work will always be freely available to them and others.”

Jack continues “I’m optimistic that one day wikiHow will offer accurate, helpful how-to instructions on almost every topic in almost every language. I’m looking forward to sharing a how-to manual in Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi, Japanese, Polish and many other languages we don’t currently serve. Fortunately Creative Commons licensing exists in all these languages and will help us along this path.”

Congratulations wikiHow! Support Creative Commons today so that the commons may continue to grow!


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