Creative Commons Licenses Launch in Greece

Michelle Thorne, October 12th, 2007

We are proud to announce the successful localization of the Creative Commons licenses in Greece. The porting of the licenses to Greek law was headed by Legal Project Leads Marinos Papadopoulos and Prodromos Tsiavos, with support from Public Project Lead Theodoros Karounos.

The launch will be celebrated on Saturday, October 13, at the Ceremonies Hall in the University of Athens, with a keynote address from Prof. Lawrence Lessig.

Press Release

Event on Yahoo! Upcoming


University of Athens, photo by yuankuei licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.

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Thank You Six Apart and Live Journal

Melissa Reeder, October 11th, 2007

Last night at the CC Salon in San Francisco, Six Apart presented CC with an impressive donation raised entirely by their LiveJournal community through sales of permanent accounts. Over 600 people bought permanent accounts and chose Creative Commons as a recipient of a portion of that sale.

CC CEO Lawrence Lessig was on hand to accept the check. He praised Six Apart for being one of the very first companies to build a CC license option into content creation software. Six Apart is also one of the first implementers of our licensing widget integration with Six Apart’s TypePad hosted blogging service was demoed at the Salon.

Thank you Six Apart!

This was a great way to really kick off our 3rd annual fundraising campaign — a truly community driven contribution! Please join Six Apart and the LiveJournal community in sustaining Creative Commons.

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Version 3.01 – Public Discussion Launched

Lawrence Lessig, October 11th, 2007

Hello CC Community,

I’m writing to tell you about an update we are proposing to our current version of our licenses (3.0). Because the update is intended simply to make clear something we intended the license to mean, this version would be numbered 3.01.

As you know, in February 2007, after 9 months of public comment, CC released version 3.0 of our licenses. Section 4(f) of those licenses (the “Unported” licenses; this does not apply to ported jurisdiction licenses) addressed the question of moral rights. It stated:

Except as otherwise agreed in writing by the Licensor or as may be otherwise permitted by applicable law, if You Reproduce, Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work either by itself or as part of any Adaptations or Collections, You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author’s honor or reputation. Licensor agrees that in those jurisdictions (e.g. Japan), in which any exercise of the right granted in Section 3(b) of this License (the right to make Adaptations) would be deemed to be a distortion, mutilation, modification or other derogatory action prejudicial to the Original Author’s honor and reputation, the Licensor will waive or not assert, as appropriate, this Section, to the fullest extent permitted by the applicable national law, to enable You to reasonably exercise Your right under Section 3(b) of this License (right to make Adaptations) but not otherwise.

The intent of this clause, and the balance of the section it is located within, is essentially to leave moral rights untouched by our license. As the discussion about this change indicated, while many within our community would prefer a license that permitted creators to waive moral rights as they waive some of the exclusive rights granted by copyright, internationally, this is not a reliable posture for our licenses to take. In some jurisdictions, the act of purporting to waive moral rights might jeopardize the validity of the license. And in others, the rights can’t be waived at all.

Despite this intent, some — especially within the Wikipedia community — have read this clause to mean not that moral rights are untouched, but that moral rights are being enforced by the license. That was not our intent. Because this is an important point to have understood, we have therefore inserted a modification to Section 4(f) .

We have also integrated suggestions from jurisdiction partners including Japan to add clarity to the remainder of this section.

Hence, the new wording proposes the following modifications to section 4 (f):

Except as otherwise agreed in writing by the Licensor or as may be otherwise permitted by applicable law, ifOriginal Author, in those jurisdictions in which the moral right of integrity exists and by operation of local law constrains the freedom to adapt or collect licensed work, and You Reproduce, Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work either by itself or as part of any Adaptations or Collections, You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author’s honor or reputation. Where the Licensor is the Original Author of the Work, the Licensor agrees that in those jurisdictions (e.g. Japan), in which any exercise of the right granted in Section 3(b) of this License (the right to make Adaptations) wcould be deemed to be a distortion, mutilation, modification or other derogatory action prejudicial toviolate the moral right of integrity of the Original Author‘s honor and reputation, the Licensor will waive or not assert, as appropriate, this Section, to the fullest extent permitted by the applicable national law, as long as You do not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author’s honor or reputation, so as to enable You to reasonably exercise Your right under Section 3(b) of this License (right to make Adaptations), but not otherwise.

So that Section 4(f) in version 3.01 Unported licenses would read:

Except as otherwise agreed in writing by the Original Author, in those jurisdictions in which the moral right of integrity exists and by operation of local law constrains the freedom to adapt or collect licensed work, and You Reproduce, Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work either by itself or as part of any Adaptations or Collections, You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author’s honor or reputation. Where the Licensor is the Original Author of the Work, the Licensor agrees that in those jurisdictions (e.g. Japan) in which any exercise of the right granted in Section 3(b) of this License (the right to make Adaptations) could violate the moral right of integrity of the Original Author, the Licensor will waive or not assert this Section, to the fullest extent permitted by the applicable national law, as long as You do not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author’s honor or reputation, so as to enable You to reasonably exercise Your right under Section 3(b) of this License, but not otherwise.

We invite discussion about this clarification on our licenses list. And assuming the discussion doesn’t reveal any problems with the change, we hope to version in this small way soon.

We are all grateful to the help of the community in helping us to see this problem.

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GNOME in Boston, 2007

Asheesh Laroia, October 11th, 2007

We love to see Creative Commons metadata everywhere. Thanks to the work of Scott and Jason this summer, we now have a library called liblicense and some demos for how to integrate that with desktop applications in GNOME and KDE, the two most-used Free Software desktop environments.

So I went to the GNOME summit last weekend in Boston. Owen Taylor organized this meeting, mostly of developers who have been working on the core of GNOME or widely-used GNOME apps, but the group was very friendly to newcomers like me.

I gave a lightning talk on liblicense and our metadata in general. People asked great questions, ranging from, “Does any distribution ship this yet?” to “Can liblicense help users see which licenses are compatible?”. To mention a few presentations that stuck out in my mind, I saw talks on the famous Online Desktop, Lennart Poettering’s Mango Lassi, and a granular desktop privileges system called PolicyKit. Though I didn’t see a presentation, Hanna Wallach‘s work on pushing machine learning into the desktop struck me as being right on target. Debian, Novell, RedHat, OLPC, and other organizations were represented, and of course the people themselves were talkative and interesting. Later on, I was pleased to see that Owen recalled my interest in software freedom and RDFa.

While I was in town, I met with Harvard Free Culture at an OLPC listening party they were having. I also had dinner with developers of the Miro video player. I stayed with the generous Mako Hill. After years of knowing him on IRC, I finally met Matt Lee, the chief GNU webmaster. It was great seeing all these GNOME hackers and revisiting the rich Free Culture and Free Software communities in Boston.

By and large the attendees paid more attention to their laptops than to presentations. But at the wrap-up, everyone was alert when an attendee asked, “Shall we do this again next year?”. “Yes!”

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CC Salon SF Tonight

Rebecca Rojer, October 10th, 2007

Please join us tonight, Wednesday, October 10, for the San Francisco CC Salon. Stop by Shine (1337 Mission St.) from 7-9PM to help celebrate the launch of our fall fundraising campaign, hang out with fellow CC supporters, and learn about CC topics. Our presenters include:

Check out the upcoming page for more info. See you tonight!

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TempoStand: CC Music Platform

Cameron Parkins, October 8th, 2007

TempoStand is an online musical portal that promotes independent bands, artists, and musicians in India by using CC-licenses. TempoStand records tracks for groups and then releases these recordings under a CC-India BY-SA License, allowing people to remix and redistribute the tracks as they see fit. From TempoStand:

TempoStand is a platform to promote independent musicians in India. It is starting its journey from Ahmedabad from 15th April, 2007. Every musician, every singer, every rocker, every tabla wadak is invited. We record your music for free (no hidden costs) and use a creative commons license for your music. TempoStand’s objective is to promote you and take your music across the world.

As more and more musicians and record labels begin to use CC-licences to openly promote their content, we will likely see an influx of material that would otherwise not be nearly as visible. TempoStand has already amassed an incredible amount of quality recordings, and as they continue to add more content, the long-tail of digital music becomes more and more a reality.

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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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