Nature Publishing Group launches free pre-print service for the biological sciences

Kaitlin Thaney, June 18th, 2007

From the Science Commons blog

“Today Nature Publishing Group launches Nature Precedings – a free document sharing service for the sciences. The service further enables scientists to share their preliminary findings and research in a free environment, while allowing authors to retain copyright in their work. All accepted contributions are released under a Creative Commons Attribution license, allowing for the material to be reused and redistributed as long as it is attributed to the author under terms specified.

This is the biological equivalent of the physics arXiv, but with a critical improvement. Placing pre-prints online solves the problem of an individual’s ability to access an article. But in the absence of an explicit copyright license, it’s unclear what that individual can actually do with the downloaded file. Nature’s choice to use CC-BY is a validation of the need to grant rights in advance to users, and of the CC-BY license in a truly Open Access service.

The launch of this Web service is a promising step towards further facilitating the dissemination and open exchange of information in the biological sciences. Precedings features submissions from biomedicine, chemistry and the earth sciences. The Web service fulfills the role of a preprint server but accepts a wider array of document types, including unpublished manuscripts, presentations, white papers and supplementary findings. Curators from Nature Publishing Group review all submissions. Acceptance is determined by the document’s relevancy to the field and legitimacy.

From Nature’s press release,

‘Helping scientists to communicate their ideas is central to Nature’s mission, and we are constantle seeking new ways to achieve this,” said Annette Thomas, Managing Director of Nature Publishing Group. “Precedings is an important new step for us and, we hope, the research community. We are particularly proud to have conceived and developed the service with the help of a group of such highly esteemed organizations; the British Library, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Science Commons, and the Wellcome Trust.’ […] “

More after the jump

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Bandwidth Music and Technology Conference

Cameron Parkins, June 16th, 2007

On August 17th and 18th, The Bandwidth Music & Technology Conference will take place in San Francisco, offering participants a chance to discuss “issues of interest to the music and technology communities, with a particular focus on the evolving musical experience”. Both Eric Steuer, CC’s Creative Director, and Mike Linksvayer, CC’s Vice President, will be speaking on the panel “Mano-A-Mano: DRM” (Saturday, Aug 18th, 11:30 AM).

From the Billboard Publicity Wire:

The Bandwidth Conference, with a focus on the evolution and nexus of music and technology, has announced speakers. The conference takes place August 17 and 18, 2007, in San Francisco, and explores the evolving musical experience, with panels on marketing, fan behavior, trends and future forecasts, and an examination of the ways people discover, purchase, interact with and are exposed to music.

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More ((c)urve)tm Music in the Commons

Victor Stone, June 16th, 2007

The (©urve)™* remix contest is well under way over at ccMixter with a steady of flow of entries. We are all very grateful to (©urve)™ artists from some of the best a cappellas ever put into the Commons in any language.

This morning’s hot entry is Madrugada(rmx) by savoyard.

This contest ends next week so get your entries in…

*remember: the ‘tm’ is for Talent Managment

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Jon Phillips at Pixelodeon

Cameron Parkins, June 14th, 2007

This past weekend, our very own Jon Phillips had the pleasure of speaking at The First Annual Pixelodeon Festival, an independent video festival that specifically celebrates global online video. From NewTeeVee:

While much of the discussion focused on how to make a business out of producing video content for online distribution, Creative Commons Jon Phillips’ presentation on new ways to think about copyright reminded me that it was ultimately a celebration of new tools and ideas for people making motion pictures online.

Jon was also interviewed by Ryan is Hungry, a wonderful videoblog that focuses on the environment and sustainability (check out the video here). In the interview, Jon goes into detail concerning CC’s mission as a whole and, more specifically, how CC and CC licenses pertain to vloggers. The folks at RIH draw a comparison between CC’s mission in relation to media development and the motivation behind sustainable living, a wonderful analogy that I haven’t previously thought of before.

You can check out a myriad of pictures from the festival here (including this wonderfully big CC logo). Similarly, you can see/download Jon’s presentation here, via the spectacular (which we have previously profiled).

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UNU Media Studio Program adopts CC licences for websites

Cameron Parkins, June 14th, 2007

The United Nations University (UNU) Media Studio Program announced today that they have adopted a CC Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) license for both their Media Studio and Online Learning websites. This phenomenal news is only strengthened by the desire that eventually, “the UNU will evolve into a 100% Creative Commons institution”. Although doing so would require a reworking of UNU’s intellectual property policy, a large task indeed, the intent to adopt CC licensing across the board at such an institution speaks millions for both the UNU and the CC movement as a whole.

Below is a quote regarding UNU’s announcement from Creative Commons founder and CEO Lawrence Lessig:

This is an extraordinarily important development. We at CC were very proud when MIT adopted CC licenses for all their courses (and by the end of this year, every MIT course will be online under a CC-BY-NC license). But I am especially proud than the UNU has taken this step. The UNU is, in my view, the most important international educational institution, symbolizing in practice and ideals, a world community. To see CC as part of that community is very rewarding to us, and our movement.

UPDATE: Added text for specific license being used.

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CC Israel

Cameron Parkins, June 12th, 2007

Concluding our series on the Creative Commons international jurisdiction projects comes news from CC Israel (CC-IL) concerning their various projects and initiatives. Again, we can’t thank you all enough for your support during our CCi Scholarship campaign – it was a truly overwhelming response and promises to make iSummit 2007 an event for the ages.

CC-IL was established in 2004, when Ohad Mayblum, then an Israeli LLM student at Stanford University, worked as a research assistant to Professor Lawrence Lessig. At Stanford, Mayblum learned about Creative Commons and suggested that an Israeli branch should be established at the Haifa Center of Law & Technology (HCLT) – HCLT Directors, Professor Niva Elkin–Koren and Dr. Michael D. Birnhack, agreed. The first CC-IL project leaders were Mayblum and Elad Wieder and as of November 2006, Nethaniel Davidi and Lital Leichtag have taken over, while Mayblum is responsible for legal assistance.

In January of 2007, CC-IL completed localizing the CC 2.5 licenses. Although some of the license adopters (about 23,000 works use CC-IL) have yet to upgrade their old CC licenses to the latest version, CC-IL are in the process of locating those users and are encouraging them to both adopt the new licenses and take an active part in their local community.

Similarly, since last January, CC-IL have been vigorously updating their website in an attempt to make it more attractive, dynamic and up to date. CC-IL use their website to chart their progress, their projects with other organizations and, mainly, to post about local events. CC-IL has also begun featuring Israeli websites that use CC licenses on a monthly basis, creating a better connection between the authors and the community while giving the authors a sense of satisfaction.

The main goal for CC-IL in 2007 is to increase awareness of CC licensing options among Israeli authors, artists, and creative minds. By the end of the year, CC-IL intend to launch an Israeli version of ccMixter, complete in Hebrew and supported by a generous grant received from the Israeli Information Society (ISOC-IL). ISOC-IL joins the “Hamakor” (English) association (“The Source” in Hebrew) in supporting CC-IL’s goal for localizing CC applications (ccPublisher and ccHost) so that Israelis can easily use the applications with ease.

In order to promote CC’s mission, CC-IL are in the process of producing a few short films in order to increase awareness of the importance of CC licenses. CC-IL also plan on having a small conference in the coming weeks, at which CC-IL will discuss the Israeli licenses and their different uses, presented by interesting guests that have been able to use them in different ways. CC-IL are also hoping to throw the first CC Israel party, coinciding with the launch of the new ccMixter Israel website.

Most of CC-IL’s activities and projects are covered by the media, especially in dominant Israeli news websites like,,, and more. In addition, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has adopted a CC-IL license for the contents of his blog. Netanyahu’s use of CC comes at the time that the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) is discussing a new Copyright Act, and is a powerful statement from such a high profile politician.

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CC Bulgaria

Cameron Parkins, June 11th, 2007

With iSummit 2007 kicking off at the end of this week (June 15th), it seems only appropriate to wrap up our series highlighting the phenomenal work being done by Creative Commons international jurisdiction projects. Two stories remain, and today we present Creative Commons Bulgaria.

CC Bulgaria, in cooperation with six international partners, including CC Sweden, is actively working on initiative, aiming to bring to life an open and accessible platform for knowledge and educational materials about Free Software and Open Standards. The initiative is called SELF Project — an acronym for Science, Education and Learning in Freedom. The SELF platform aims to bring together universities, training centers, Free Software communities, software companies, publishing houses and government bodies to centralize, create and disseminate information, educational and training materials on Free Software and Open Standards.

The SELF platform will simultaneously be a knowledge base and a collaborative production facility. On the one hand, it will provide information, educational and training materials that can be presented in different languages and forms: from course texts, presentations, e-learning programs and platforms to tutor software, e-books, instructional and educational videos and manuals. On the other hand, it will offer a platform for the evaluation, adaptation, creation and translation of these materials. The production process of such materials will be based on the organizational model of Wikipedia. In short, SELF will be a web-based, multi-language, free content knowledge base written collaboratively by experts and interested users.

All educational materials on the SELF Platform will be available under free licenses, which allow unlimited use for any purpose, modification, and distribution. Special attention will be paid to the CC-BY license, as the attribution clause specifies that the authors of a document must be attributed in all future versions of the document. Attribution is an important aspect of the SELF project as it allows everyone working with the SELF platform to garner a positive reputation through recognition of the materials they have contributed to.

In addition to an already impressive platform, sitting on the newly established SELF Advisory Board are both Heather Ford and Lawrence Liang.

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More media from CC Salon Seoul and upcoming CC Salon info

Cameron Parkins, June 8th, 2007

Following up on our previous post comes even more media from the most recent, and wonderfully amazing, ccSalon in Seoul. The theme, “Code Can be an Art”, was engaged through a media-jam encouraging those in attendance to create art from code, presentations by local artists and DJs, as well as a panel discussion focusing on the question “Could code be widely regarded as an artform?”. Follow the link to see video as well as an amazing interactive piece created from media generated at the Salon.

The success of CC Salon Seoul only further illuminates the notion that anyone can start a CC Salon wherever they’d like, helping CC spread. In the near future, there is the upcoming London CC Salon as well as both the July and August CC Salons in San Francisco.

Involving CC in local communities is essential to CC’s growth as a movement, but we need your help! If you want to set up a CC Salon in your area, let us know and we can send some schwag your way.

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Mike Linksvayer, June 5th, 2007

April’s most sophisticated Flickr/CC mashup yet has relaunched with angel funding as with cool tools to find and reuse CC licensed photos in lightboxes, cards, and more.

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Science Commons in the news

Kaitlin Thaney, June 5th, 2007

From the Science Commons blog

Information World Review and SPARC’s Open Access Newsletter both feature pieces this month highlighting a new set of online tools recently released by Science Commons and SPARC. The toolkit aims to help authors retain critical rights over their scholarly works.

From IWR’s article, “Commons copyright targets scientists”, which was posted today:

“[…]’This is about authors’ rights,’ said John Wilbanks, vice-president [for] Science Commons. ‘Right now, authors trade the most important rights – like the right to make copies of their own scholarly works – to traditional publishers. That trade has led to an imbalanced world of restricted access to knowledge, skyrocketing journal prices, and an inability to apply new technologies to the scholarly canon of knowledge.'”

More after the jump

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