2008 January

The Future of Ideas is now CC Licensed

Rebecca Rojer, January 16th, 2008

Lawrence Lessig, our CEO, just announced that his book The Future of Ideas is now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. With this news, all of Lessig’s books are now freely licensed. Accolades to Random House, the publisher, for taking the brave and exciting step of sharing this work with the commons.

Read more about it on the Lessig blog or download the book for free.

The Future of Ideas cover

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CC0 beta/discussion draft launch

Mike Linksvayer, January 15th, 2008

CC0 is a Creative Commons project designed to promote and protect the public domain by 1) enabling authors to easily waive their copyrights in particular works and to communicate that waiver to others, and 2) providing a means by which any person can assert that there are no copyrights in a particular work, in a way that allows others to judge the reliability of that assertion.

As announced on CC’s 5th anniversary, today we are announcing a beta of the CC0 user interface and technical specification and discussion drafts of the CC0 legal tools:

The CC0 Waiver will enable the author or owner of a work to affirm the copyright and related or neighboring legal rights that he or she has in a work, and then to fully, permanently and irrevocably waive those rights. By making this waiver, the Affirmer effectively dedicates all copyright or related legal interests he or she held in the work to the public domain – “no rights reserved”. The CC0 Waiver (United States) will be an effective legal tool within the US and any other jurisdictions with equivalent law. It will also be offered as a template indicating the scope of most of the rights that must be covered in other jurisdictions in order to effect an equivalent dedication to the public domain. Some jurisdictions may need to address additional rights, for example “sui generis” database rights and specific rights to data.

The CC0 Assertion will provide a means by which any person may assert that there are no copyrights in a work, within a system that permits others to judge the reliability of the assertion, based on the Asserter’s identity and other information the Asserter may provide. The CC0 Assertion (United States) is intended to address copyright status under US law. The Assertion may not be appropriate for Works created in or whose copyright status is governed by the law of other jurisdictions.


As with our existing core legal tools (six licenses ranging from Attribution to Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives), we want the CC0 waiver and assertion legal tools to be valid worldwide and eventually ported to many jurisdictions worldwide to take into account the nuances of copyright law in those jurisdictions. Our strategy and schedule for accomplishing these goals will be based on feedback from our international project jurisdiction leads, who are responsible for the same process for our existing tools.


One of the use cases for CC0 is the Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data, also announced in conjunction with CC’s 5th birthday. In addition to fulfilling the protocol’s legal requirements, the CC0 technical infrastructure will also support the assertion of non-legal community norms in conjunction with a work, beginning with the norm of citation in the context of science.


Feedback on the legal tools should be directed to the cc-licenses mailing list. Only subscribers may post and the list is moderated so that off-topic posts do not burden subscribers. To join go to http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-licenses

Similarly, technology feedback should be directed to http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-devel

General comments may be directed to http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-community

These discussions will be summarized at http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CCZero_Feedback


The CC0 beta and drafts referenced above are only intended to be used for testing and feedback. The beta/discussion period will last a minimum of one month and most likely include several incremental betas and drafts, depending on community feedback.

If your organization plans significant support for CC0 upon its release for production use, please contact press@creativecommons.org concerning potential coordination.

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liblicense 0.5: first stable version of C library supporting CC metadata

Asheesh Laroia, January 15th, 2008

With the help of Hubert Figuiere, Nathan Yergler, Peter Miller, Scott Shawcroft, and Jason Kivlighn, I’m happy to finally announce a new version of liblicense. Summary: Now this is really worth using.

For those just joining us now, liblicense is a library to make it easy to add CC metadata support to desktop and server side software you write. The biggest reason to choose liblicense rather than handling CC metadata yourself is that we (huge thanks to Jason and Hubert) have written handlers for many file formats. We use Hubert’s Exempi library that is derived from Adobe’s Free/Open Source XMP library.

The two major driving factors on this release were making it crash less and providing a stable interface (API and ABI) for others to build upon. Earlier versions of liblicense would crash on invalid files. Also, crucially, this release has metadata inside the library, called “shared object versioning,” indicating what features the library supports.

As always, you can reuse this under the terms of the GNU LGPL. It’s interoperable with our metadata panel for Adobe applications, supports embedding into files ranging from JPEG to MP3 to Ogg Vorbis, and is available from SourceForge.net. It is written in C and comes with bindings for Python and Ruby. Finally, thanks to Venkatesh Srinivas for his tireless help.

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2008 Science Video Collection and Remix Challenge

Jane Park, January 15th, 2008

If you have access to educational science videos for kids (or if you even want to make your own), ccLearn encourages you to participate in the 2008 Science Video Collection and Remix Challenge! Check out the website for official details, but here’s the important stuff. Deadline is March 31, 2008. The grand prize includes:

  • $2,000
  • an OLPC laptop
  • winning producer material featured on laptops and press materials worldwide

Venkatesh Hariharan / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo by Venkatesh Harihara / CC BY-NC-SA

One Laptop Per Child and Intelligent Television are working to bring educational video to kids (namely 8 to 16 year-olds) who don’t have it. Your submissions will help to increase the amount of great educational video content available as part of the Open Education movement.

Basically, anyone can enter—kids, students, teachers, filmmakers, working people with time on their hands… The aim is to gather as much existing scientific video material as we can; this is the first stage of the competition. All contributed video material must be openly licensed (CC BY, CC BY-SA ), which means it can be copied, distributed, transmitted, and adapted by others.

There are other prizes too, which will be awarded by an international panel of judges. After you submit the prime material, the remixing stage will be announced. Remember, it’s all about the best science archives. Happy gathering!

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Manybooks.net Supports Multi-format Texts for Multi-venue Reading

Timothy Vollmer, January 15th, 2008

With the advent of more ebook reading devices, sites like Manybooks.net are providing a useful service in transforming digital materials into a variety of electronic formats that can be read by several different ebook readers and mobile devices. All of the 19,000+ ebooks on Manybooks are available for free. Many works are originally sourced from Project Gutenberg, a longstanding project to release books in the public domain as digital texts.

Check out this interesting article that identifies how Creative Commons licensing can help give authors another way to promote their writing. From Jim Higgins:

Using a Creative Commons license, for example, creators can choose to release electronic copies of their books for readers to try, while retaining their rights to publish in print format and to sell their stories for adaptations. Some top-notch speculative and sci-fi and fiction writers have released free electronic editions of their books with a Creative Commons license, including Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross and James Patrick Kelly. Beyond promoting new work, some writers have used Creative Commons licenses to give out-of-print works a free electronic afterlife.

At the moment, Manybooks.net hosts about 130 Creative Commons works in multiple formats. You can find another cache of CC-licensed books and other texts over in our Content Directories. Help us add more CC-licensed reading materials by signing up as a wiki contributor and filling out an easy form.

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Participatory Media Lab launch with ccMixter analysis

Mike Linksvayer, January 14th, 2008

Giorgos Cheliotis‘ group at Singapore Management University has launched a site for their Participatory Media Lab, featuring a working paper on ccMixter reuse patterns titled Remix Culture: Creative Reuse and the Licensing of Digital Media in Online Communities (pdf) and including data and visualizations from this and earlier research on open content, previously blogged here last October and June.

At Asia and Commons in the Information Age (ACIA) this weekend Giorgos will present on Licensing Attitudes in Asia and (mis)Perceptions of Free Culture.

I’m very eager for additional researchers to take a serious look at all aspects of the use and reuse of CC licensed works. My talk at ACIA will be on this subject: Toward Useful CC Adoption Metrics.


Philippine Launch Celebration: a vibrant member of the global commons

Michelle Thorne, January 13th, 2008

Following the unveiling of the Philippine localized Creative Commons licenses in December, citizens will gather on January 14th in Manila to celebrate in full the public launch of the country’s completed licenses and its strides towards fostering the global commons movement. The launch activities are scheduled to take place from 1:00pm to 9:00pm at the Arellano University School of Law.

Highlights include: an orientation to projects from the Philippine Commons, a local initiative to promote alternative licensing, free and open source software, open education, and free culture; the public presentation of the CC Philippine Licensing Suite Version 3.0, which has been available online since its soft launch December 15, 2007; and the CC Philippines Concert featuring more than six local rock bands.

Article about CC & the launch event in the Manila Times by CC Philippines Project Lead Atty. Jaime N. Soriano

Event on Yahoo! Upcoming

Creative Commons Press Release


© 2008. Berne Guerrero. Some Rights Reserved. Except when otherwise noted , this work is licensed under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ph/

Built upon the works of:
Beth Kanter (cambodia4kidsorg). “What A Second Grader Knows About Creative Commons”. BY 2.0 Generic;
Peter Shanks (BotheredByBees). “CC swag XI”. BY 2.0 Generic;
Emil Alviola. “scratch-this”. BY 2.0 Generic.

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Linux Format Interviews Red Hat’s Jack Aboutboul

Timothy Vollmer, January 10th, 2008

Check out this great Linux Format interview (pdf download) with Red Hat Community Engineer Jack Aboutboul. Jack and the folks at Red Hat’s Fedora Project have been leaders in producing quality free and open source software, and have been central in helping CC build LiveContent. Jack says,

“Fedora’s dedication to opening everything is not just for hackers – it has a wider importance in that our approach is an agent for social change. That’s the reason that we love to work with Creative Commons, as it pushes copyright reform: and the changes that are needed there will effect everyone, way beyond those of us who like to hack our computers.”

He goes on to say: “Whether we innovate ourselves, or can enable and encourage others to do so, that’s important. Putting the tools into people’s hands is what we do.” Well put, Jack. Creative Commons works hard to emulate this idea in the development of free, easy-to-use tools that allow creators to share their creativity with the world.

Thanks again to Linux Format for sharing the article!

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New York Times Continues Polling Place Photo Project

Timothy Vollmer, January 9th, 2008

Signs in the snow
Photo by Jodi Sperber / CC BY-ND

The New York Times has reignited its Polling Place Photo Project, a “nationwide experiment in citizen journalism that encourages voters to capture, post and share photographs of this year’s primaries, caucuses and general election.” All participant photos are published under a Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives license. This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the author.

Alongside the photos, contributors are encouraged to submit additional information like polling place descriptions, voting conditions and personal experiences. The Times says, “By documenting local voting experiences, participants can contribute to an archive of photographs that captures the richness and complexity of voting in America.” Browse some of the photos and then help document democracy by sharing your own.

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LiveContent Available Through On-Disk.com

Timothy Vollmer, January 8th, 2008

Creative Commons is now offering LiveContent through the Open Source product distribution service On-Disk.com. On-Disk sells a variety of software packages conveniently contained on a CD or DVD. On-Disk provides “burn-on-demand” service and works with open source and smaller software and media developers — “helping low-budget or no-budget organizations publish their software and digital media products with no out of pocket expenses.”

On-Disk is currently carrying LiveContent 1.0 and will roll in 2.0 upon its release. In addition to CC’s distros, the site offers various flavors of Linux as well as educational and productivity applications. On-Disk aims to support the non-technophiles among us by helping bridge technology gaps:

“We tend to assume everyone can download, install or stream live media. However, a large percentage of computer users have trouble with basic operations. Offering a CD or DVD increases the number of people able to participate.”

Naturally, users can still download the CC LiveContent ISO for free from the Fedora site and then burn the image to a disc.

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