Commoner Letter #3 – Beth Kanter

Melissa Reeder, November 12th, 2007

This week’s Commoner Letter comes from Beth Kanter, an activist and strong CC supporter. Beth has shown her support in a variety of ways, all which help to spread the word about CC and how it has impacted her own work.

I am a trainer, coach, and blogger who works with nonprofits on how to use social media for social change. Creative Commons plays an important role in my professional life — whether I’m searching for Creative Commons licensed photos or music to use in my instructional materials or blogging about the innovative ways nonprofits are embracing the spirit of openness.

I recently read an article about fundraising on social networking sites. One particular quote jumped out at me, “The Facebook generation wears their causes like the way they wear their favorite fashion.” While technically, I’m probably over the legal age limit to be included in the Facebook Generation, after all I celebrated my 50th Birthday with 50th Photo Birthday Card Remix Contest, nonetheless I’m wearing one of my favorite causes as fashion on my blog this month.

Last month, I turned my blog pink in support of Breast Cancer. This month I turned it gray to match the colors of the Creative Commons logo. But that’s not all. I placed the photo of me wearing my newest Creative Commons T-Shirt on my Facebook profile and on Twitter, you’ll see the Creative Commons Logo with a donate message.


I have a strong interest in the future of my work and participatory culture. As an activist and evangelist for Creative Commons’ values and tools, I want to do my part in helping to ensure that our culture remains as free and accessible as possible.

That’s why I remixed the fundraising widget on my blog in support of the Creative Commons Annual Campaign. I hope you will do the same and donate too.

That’s how much I appreciate Creative Commons licensing, no – love Creative Commons.

So much so that I release almost everything I do under CC licensing – with the least restrictive license — the “BY.” That means I’ve made it easy to share my work with you and others. I’ve reaped the benefits too. My photos, my articles, my videos have literally traveled around the world. It’s helped me build an audience.

I want to make sure that my kids still enjoy this freedom when they grow up.

And I’m teaching my kids about Creative Commons too. Just the other day, my son had to create a slide show about beavers. So, we searched for CC licensed photos. I taught him the four different licenses. He’s only 8, but was able to not only tell his classmates about beavers, but also told them why and how he can use those photos from the Internet! He’s only 8 too!

So, join me in putting the CC widget on your blog, social networking profile, etc – and tell the world why you love Creative Commons. And, if you can – please consider making a donation to the Creative Commons annual fund this year.

Comments Off on Commoner Letter #3 – Beth Kanter

Fedora 8 Aids CC-Search in Firefox

Timothy Vollmer, November 11th, 2007

Fedora 8 has implemented a great feature within the Firefox browser that makes it even easier for users to find Creative Commons-licensed materials that they can share, remix and reuse. The pull-down menu right below the main search field is a quick way to filter search results to return CC-licensed open content. Congratulations to Fedora on a great release with 8. Go here to get Fedora 8 for your machine, where you can download either a full install or live media image.

Fedora 8 Firefox CC search

Fedora has been a supportive partner for the LiveContent project, which utilizes the ability to create custom LiveCD and LiveDVD spins. Keep an eye out for more news about LiveContent 2.0–test runs of the new LiveDVD are in the works, and lots of eyes will be needed to look it over. In the meantime, help build the Content Directories by adding your favorite CC-license-powered project to it. Help build the wealth of CC-licensed media for inclusion on the LiveContent distro!

1 Comment »

Cory Doctorow on How To Use CC-Licenses

Cameron Parkins, November 9th, 2007

CC evangelist Cory Doctorow has a new column up on Locus Online discussing “the fundamentals of using CC licenses for people who are interested in the idea but haven’t tried it yet”. The article outlines the different conditions available in any given CC-license, how the licenses are read (machine/human/lawyer), and takes note of the harmony between CC and Fair Use.

As an added bonus, Cory also gives a quick overview of copyright law, how we got to where we are today in terms of content control, and where CC-licenses fit into the debate. As always, his writing is clear as it is illuminating – for those of you sitting on the CC-sidelines not knowing how to jump in, behold the primer to end all primers.

Comments Off on Cory Doctorow on How To Use CC-Licenses

Netaudio Meet-up in Spain

Michelle Thorne, November 8th, 2007

netaudio.esCentre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona will be hosting Spain’s first national netlabel meeting from November 9-10th. Netlabels, the sleek and thriving record labels of the internet, focus on online distribution and promotion for music released primarily under Creative Commons licenses. London and Berlin have already organized great festivals dedicated to CC music and netlabels, and the event in Barcelona promises to be another success.

Spanish musicians and producers can expect a lively program with workshops on European netlabels, mixing techniques, and digital distribution under Creative Commons licenses, plus nights filled with performances by Angel Galán, Hermetico, Banding!, and many more.

Check out the website for more details.

Comments Off on Netaudio Meet-up in Spain

Catherine Casserly on Open Educational Resources

Mike Linksvayer, November 7th, 2007

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been a tremendous supporter of Creative Commons and our new educational division, ccLearn. The foundation’s newsletter just published a great interview with Catherine Casserly, their Program Officer for Open Educational Resources. Here are a couple excerpts:

Aren’t copyright laws an obstacle to all of this?

Traditionally, they have been. We’re trying to move to “copy left.” That’s really the term they use. It’s a concept of legal constructions that provide much more flexibility so the creator of content still owns it, and those using it must attribute it to them, but the owner can choose the ways they are willing to share it with others. A key player in this is Creative Commons, a non-profit corporation that Hewlett and other foundations support that helps people who create content define a range of legal control that allows certain shared use of their material.

You know, only a very small number of professors ever make money on textbooks. Everyone thinks they are going to hit, but most don’t. I suppose if you’re one of the few, you might give up some revenue stream by making a text available in this way. We’re looking into making these books available for free to those who can’t afford them. And there are other models emerging. There’s a for-profit company planning to make textbooks available for free and makes its money selling the supplemental materials like flashcards for mobile phones.

But intellectual property issues have been huge and will continue to be a factor.

Look into your crystal ball. What do you think all this will look like in another decade based on advances in technology and current trends?

We can’t even imagine what the technology will look like in ten years. I think we’ll have a vast library of available knowledge and alternative ways for people to get access to higher education. I think we’ll have institutions that grant credentials for this learning. And I hope we’ll have students who engage in learning in rewarding ways that make them creators of knowledge. And it’s through that creation that they learn. That will be a big turning point.

Read the whole interview.

Thanks to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and our other supporters! Please join them.

Comments Off on Catherine Casserly on Open Educational Resources

CC, Open Access, and moral rights

Kaitlin Thaney, November 7th, 2007

From the Science Commons blog:

“A question that we often see in connection with the use of Creative Commons licenses in OA publishing is how the Creative Commons licenses, (and in particular CC-BY) affect moral rights. One example is this post on the topic by Peter Suber.

From the perspective of moral rights, the Creative Commons licenses start with a simple proposition: They don’t affect moral rights. The Creative Commons FAQ says that, “All Creative Commons licenses (with the exception of Canada) leave moral rights unaffected.”

Although we are frequently used to talking about concepts such as “moral rights” as if they are the same everywhere, most lawyers are well aware that all laws are local, meaning that they have jurisdictional limits and variations. […]

[…]  So one question comes up a lot: how is it consistent to have a license (such as CC-BY) that allows derivative works to be made while at the same time recognizing that the author reserves his moral rights? Isn’t any derivative work an infringement of moral rights, when they exist? […]”

To read this post in its entirety, click here.

Comments Off on CC, Open Access, and moral rights

CC Salon London

Michelle Thorne, November 7th, 2007

CC Salon London

CC Salon London is back and hosting its final event of 2007, dedicated to more discussion and debate on the subjects of art, technology, copyright and free culture:

“This time round we’ll be joined by Jordan Hatcher (blog), a lawyer and legal consultant specializing in intellectual property and technology law, who will present and discuss his work on a new report entitled ‘Snapshot study on the use of open content licenses in the UK cultural heritage sector’. This study primarily examines the use of the Creative Archive (CA) and Creative Commons (CC) licenses among UK museums, libraries, galleries, and archives. The key objective has been to get a snapshot of current licensing practices in this area in 2007, and Jordan will report on his findings.”

The Salon will be held from 7PM – 11PM at: The Crown and Anchor, 22, Neal St, Covert Garden London WC2H 9PS, on the 20th of November 2007.

The event is open to all with no registration, but if you like, you can register for CC Salon London on Facebook or Upcoming.

Comments Off on CC Salon London

We are looking for PR help!

Jennifer Yip, November 6th, 2007

As you might already be aware, Creative Commons’ fifth anniversary celebration is next month. This milestone provides us with a great opportunity to let the world know about all of the amazing things our community has accomplished over the past few years. As such, we’re looking for a public relations expert to work with us on a program to get the most media impact out of our anniversary as possible.

We’re looking for someone to start working with us on this ASAP, so if you or someone you know has solid PR experience (as well as significant familiarity with CC’s community and work), please take a look at our proposal request and send us some information about how you’d help us fulfill our goals.

Comments Off on We are looking for PR help!

Steal This Film (Part Two)

Michelle Thorne, November 6th, 2007

ShareThe League of Noble Peers has done it again. Steal This Film Part II, the appropriately named sequel to Steal This Film Part I, is coming soon (if not already) to a tracker near you. The film, although regrettably not under a CC license, features interviews with Lawrence Liang, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Fred von Lohmann, and Aaron Swartz, among others.

Its opening message:

“Do not seek permission to copy this film. Anyone who fails to redistribute this film, or by inaction, prevents others from distributing it, faces ostracism.

All devices capable of being used to share this film should be so deployed. We ask the audience to remain vigilant in promoting such activity and report docile consumption to cinema staff. Thank you.”

Don’t worry — some viewers were already found camming it at the premiere.

Image from Steal This Film Part I

Comments Off on Steal This Film (Part Two)

Is your art for the 21st century?

Mike Linksvayer, November 5th, 2007

Author Cory Doctorow, asked for the millionth time “What’s the deal with giving away your stuff for free?” by Joel Turnipseed guestblogging at, covers the the usual economic and ethical grounds, and also comes up with something new and wonderful (emphasis added):

But then there is the artistic reason: we live in a century in which copying is only going to get easier. It’s the 21st century, there’s not going to be a year in which it’s harder to copy than this year; there’s not going to be a day in which it’s harder to copy than this day; from now on. Right? If copying gets harder, it’s because of a nuclear holocaust. There’s nothing else that’s going to make copying harder from now on. And so, if your business model and your aesthetic effect in your literature and your work is intended not to be copied, you’re fundamentally not making art for the 21st century. It might be quaint, it might be interesting, but it’s not particularly contemporary to produce art that demands these constraints from a bygone era. You might as well be writing 15-hour Ring Cycle knock-offs and hoping that they’ll be performed at the local opera. I mean, yes, there’s a tiny market for that, but it’s hardly what you’d call contemporary art.

Also check out Doctorow’s recent Commoner Letter penned as part of the CC fall fundraising campaign and of course his books, which you can indeed download and share for free under CC licenses.

Comments Off on Is your art for the 21st century?

previous pagenext page