Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 Report

Jon Phillips, May 12th, 2007

As noted elsewhere, myself (Jon Phillips) and Alex Roberts, CC’s brilliant graphic designer, attended the spectacular Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 (LGM2007) in Montreal last weekend, which I highly recommend for others to check out next year!

The highlight for me is always to see my friends and to make new acquaintances like Tina Piper from CC Canada. Also, Alex and I met up with Evan Prodromou, from Wikitravel.org amonst other projects, to talk shop about CC, the state of the web, and to sample Montreal’s famous dish, poutine.

I wanted to underline how key it is for all those in Open ____ (Open Content, Open Source, Open etc) get together at some point to see each other physically, as often its only virtually. Also, while LGM2007 had a large demographic of Open Source developers working on graphics applications, there was much discussion about open content, standards such as XMP and what projects like Inkscape, Gimp, Scribus and Krita are going to work on as projects and inter-project.

Please check out my slides from the presentation I gave about the concept of creating Open Content Libraries beyond Wikipedia and Internet Archive, to the point where every niche, locale, special-interest, and so forth, and so on, might create a library to house whatever media one sees fit. In this possible future, the importance is not one major silo for content, but many different silos that rely on open standards and Creative Commons licenses for auto-negotiation for the machines to work out so that us humans can get what we want.

In future posts, I will explore these concepts more as they relate to business and how to implement this future through standards like the Sample Pool API that ccHost-powered, ccMixter.org uses.

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CC Italy

Mike Linksvayer, May 12th, 2007

Continuing our series highlighting the excellent work being done by Creative Commons international jurisdiction projects, today we present Creative Commons Italy.

Since the launch of version 2.0 of the Creative Commons Licenses at the end of 2004, the Creative Commons Italia Working Group, based at the Politecnico of Torino and composed of people from a number of different backgrounds – computer engineers, lawyers, social scientists – has been disseminating information on CC both on-line, through the CC Italy website (up to 600.000 hits/month), and off-line, by organizing two national conferences (Torino, 2005 and 2006) and speaking at many events, in Italy and abroad, including the Shareconference on E-Learning, the ICT Law International Conference, the Home Made Festival and the Milano Film Festival.

Creative Commons Italia members have been involved, either formally or informally, in many projects aimed at making creative content and culture more easily shareable.

Among these projects – some still ongoing – it is worth mentioning that La Stampa, one of the largest national Italian newspapers, has opened the archives of its prestigious supplements – TuttoLibri, TuttoScienze, TuttoSoldi – and put the content under a Creative Commons license: 1, 2, 3.

Last, not least, the fact that Creative Commons Italia is hosted by the Politecnico di Torino means that the interaction between law and technology is not only a theoretical concept; the Internet Media Group of the Department of Automatic and Computer Engineering, co-directed by Juan Carlos De Martin (who is also the Italian public lead of Creative Commons) has developed and is still working on on the first server for streaming audio/video content on the Internet that is able to understand Creative Commons metadata and clearly inform the user on the freedoms that s/he can enjoy when listening to a web radio or looking at a video-on-demand movie.

Finally, Juan Carlos De Martin and Marco Ricolfi have recently founded at the Politecnico di Torino the NEXA Center for Internet and Society, the first Italian academic think-tank for the advancement of technological, juridical and economic understanding of the Internet.

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CC India

Melissa Reeder, May 11th, 2007

The Creative Commons international scholarship campaign ended successfully today. We cannot thank you enough for all your help and support. Over the past two weeks we have profiled Creative Commons international jurisdiction projects to highlight the importance to the movement.

Although the campaign has ended, we still have some great stories remaining, which we’ll post over the next few days.

CC India marches ahead
CC India was recently and very successfully launched at IIT Bombay on January 26 [Republic Day of India], 2007. Joichi Ito and Catharina Maracke represented Creative Commons. We also had presentations from Nandu Pradhan, President and Managing Director of Red Hat India, film director Anurag Kashyap, Professor Deepak Phatak of IIT Bombay, legal lead Lawrence Liang and project lead Shishir Jha. For more info check out the press release and Joi Ito’s blog post. There were two workshops organized for the event.

CC India is planning to focus on three specific areas: Educational institutions and organizations, non-governmental organizations and younger artists in the media and entertainment industry. We have already succeeded in persuading a large educational initiative set up by the government: National Programme on Technologically Enhanced Learning [NPTEL] to actively consider using Creative Commons as an option for releasing content. The main objective of NPTEL is to enhance the quality of engineering education in India by developing curriculum based video and web courses. This program is being carried out by IITs (Seven), IISc Bangalore and other premier institutions as a collaborative project. Over 500 courses are finally expected to be developed under this program. Several other organizations are actively thinking of using CC licenses for their documentation.

We are also developing case studies to examine how CC licenses can be productively used for building robust models for the publishing, telecommunications, music and movie industry. We hope to keep the CC-India flag flying high. Lawrence Liang of Alternative Law Forum and a member of the iCommons board is the Legal Lead and Shishir Jha, Faculty at IIT Bombay is the project lead for CC-India.

It is imperative that as CC India and the other CC jurisdictions grow and become more influential that they have access to each other and their contemporaries so that they can discuss and debate issues that they encounter within their own jurisdiction and the larger world. Thank you for your support in making this happen.

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Scholarship campaign ends successfully: $200,000 raised

Melissa Reeder, May 11th, 2007

I have exciting news! Not only did we meet the $50,000 goal for the CCi Scholarship campaign we also met the $100,000 matching challenge — raising $200,000 in total.

We met this challenge through the significant support of:

and most importantly you — our community.

We look forward to keeping you updated on the iSummit and its outcomes.

For all of you that are interested in staying up to date on all the cool things that are happening in the CC sphere via email, we’re resurrecting the CC Newsletter. This bi-monthly newsletter will be launched on June 1. If interested sign up here.

Thanks to all for making this campaign a success and helping us meet this incredible challenge.

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Day 13: CC Germany

Melissa Reeder, May 10th, 2007

The past 13 days have been unbelievable. The support that you have shown CC and the CCi volunteer affiliates has been phenomenal. Tomorrow marks the end of the campaign so we’re making one final push to help us reach our goal. As always there are several ways to help us reach this goal: shop at our online store, make a donation directly, or just help spread the word by telling people that you think would be interested in helping us reach our goal.

Over the past 13 days we’ve heard stories from around the world. Today’s story however comes from our second home base – CC Germany. Creative Commons International, the international arm of CC, is based in Berlin – so it’s fitting that the final push to meet our $50,000 goal is highlighted by CC Germany’s story.

CC Germany

One of the first jurisdictions to port the CC core licenses was Germany. Germany strongly emphasizes moral rights and is rather regulated, in most cases to the benefit of creators, compared to what is common in other countries.

With a very active open source community and the ever growing network of bloggers, podcasters, netlabels and young artists it is not surprising that there is strong awareness for alternative licensing in Germany. The latest examples for this was the hugely successful re:publica conference in Berlin, where Creative Commons was a hot topic.

CC licenses in action could also be seen at the Open Music Contest of Marburg University’s Student Union. This was their third year of hosting it and this year’s contest was officially supported by Lawrence Lessig (who is presently on sabbatical in Germany). The contest facilitated such good work that they needed to produce a double sampler to make sure that all the winning bands were featured.

The Mobile film festival is where CC-licensed cellphone clips can be submitted and voted on through a website. Other CC related projects include OMDB.org, a user generated open media database which was recently launched and is growing by the hour, as well as the award winning IP law website irights.info and also various regional user groups that are forming throughout the country.

CC Germany itself is presently building up an affiliate team from all academic fields as well as a network of supporters. At Saarland University law students can now choose a seminar on Creative Commons within their curriculum. Next month Creative Commons will be featured in the german open source / TYPO3 magazine named T3N. We have also begun versioning the german CC licenses to 3.0, including a re-translation of the entire texts.

The growth and success of CC is partly due to the internationalization of our licenses and the education and dissemination of the importance of “free culture” by these affiliates. Please contribute to the campaign.

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How to piss off the Industry for Fun and Profit

Mike Linksvayer, May 9th, 2007

Magnatune founder and CC board member John Buckman is giving a presentation today (and again next month) in London provocatively titled How to piss off the Industry for Fun and Profit.

Check out John’s slides (PDF) (licensed under CC Attribution).

Piss Off Presentation3B

I’ll give away the the big picture answer below, but do check out the whole presentation:

What makes a great business idea?

It really annoys an established industry who is making a lot of money

and

it’s legal

and

it gets you excited to get out of bed every morning.

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Day 12: CC Sweden

Melissa Reeder, May 9th, 2007

The end of the campaign is near and we have received phenomenal support from our community. And for that we thank you. We still need to raise $22,460 in the next three days. If 45 people give at the $500 level we will reach our goal. If you’re looking for a unique present for someone then give them the gift of reassurance that the future of the Internet and their digital rights are being protected. Support this campaign in their name and I’ll send them all the swag that comes with the donation and list their name on the website.

Continuing our CC international jurisdiction project profiles, today we present Creative Commons Sweden.

Creative Commons Sweden originally began in 2004 but ran into difficulties and stalled. In February 2005 the project was transferred to the University of Göteborg where Mathias Klang (then a PhD student) and Karl Jonsson (then a law student) took over the project.

On 30 November 2005 the licenses were launched and since then Mathias (now Dr Klang at the University of Göteborg) and Karl (now a law clerk at the Court in Malmö) have been actively promoting the licensing through lectures, media articles and fielding questions from the public.

Since their launch, the Swedish licenses have been used on music CDs, in a music competition, for online media and the first European CC licensed PhD thesis.

The Creative Commons Sweden project plans to continue its work in promoting the licenses, supporting the development of open access to knowledge by promoting the use of licenses among researchers and to develop a better cooperation between other CC jurisdictions, in particular the Nordic countries.

Help CC Sweden and the other CCi Affiliates by sending them to the conference that will facilitate the debate and conversation that will fuel the work that they do in their own jurisdictions.

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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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