2008 March

Creative Commons Participating in Google Summer of Code 2008

Nathan Yergler, March 18th, 2008

This year Creative Commons will once again be participating in the Google Summer of Code. Summer of Code is a program generously sponsored by Google which pays college students to work on open source projects. The application period for students begins Monday, March 24 and is open through Monday, March 31 (a complete schedule is available).

We have some background information in the wiki, including project ideas. I’m personally really hoping for a ground-up rewrite of the validator (project suggestions). Our list of ideas is small, so let your imagination run wild; if you have questions about an ideas we’re happy to answer your questions on IRC or the cc-devel mailing list.

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Simulated Comic Product hosts CC remix contest

Timothy Vollmer, March 18th, 2008

Simulated Comic Product is a great strip licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. Jump on over to the site to enter the remix contest that’s running until March 24:

To celebrate the upcoming book launch, we’re going to have a contest! Have you ever read an SCP strip and thought “I can do better than that”? Maybe you have an idea for a better punchline. Or maybe you could make it funnier by redrawing all of the panels in crayon. Or maybe you could combine panels from different strips to make something completely new. Now is your chance! Make an SCP remix, and post it in the comments to this post before the cutoff date on March 24.

An SCP poll will be posted to pick the winner, and the top three entries will be featured in a blog post. The author of the winning entry will get a free, signed copy of the book! Awesome.

More details here.

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Steve Trash is a “Rockin’ Eco Hero”

Timothy Vollmer, March 18th, 2008

Over the past 25 years, “illusionist, eco-entertainer and kid comedian” Steve Trash has been sharing tips with kids about what we can do to make the world just a little bit greener. Steve offers his book The Magic of Ecology as a free PDF download on his website. The book is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works license. Celebrating 10 years in print, The Magic of Ecology offers 22 magic tricks that illustrate ecological principles of science. Steve says the tricks are great for teachers and kids (both little and big), so check it out!

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Download issues #1-4 of the ccNewsletter

Michelle Thorne, March 18th, 2008

We are again indebted to the graphical talents of Atty. Michael Vernon M. Guerrero, Deputy Project Lead of Creative Commons Philippines, for his beautiful “retroactively created” remixes of issues #1-4 of our bimonthly newsletter. Moreover, there’s a crisp maiden issue of the CC Philippines newsletter that mustn’t be missed. Happy reading!

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Sir John Daniel comments on open education

Ahrash Bissell, March 17th, 2008

Carnegie Mellon University hosted a symposium last week titled, Opening Learning Interplay, focused on the relationship of learning sciences and open education. At a reception towards the end of the symposium, those of us who were present were treated to an excellent speech by Sir John Daniel, President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). Sir John specifically mentions the new education division for Creative Commons (ccLearn), and he admonished the broader open education community to not forget the big picture of our efforts even as we debate the legal and technical details that entail “openness”.

And he paints a brilliant picture of the promise of open education. He states,

“Open education broke open the iron triangle of access, cost and quality that had constrained education throughout history and had created the insidious assumption, still prevalent today, that in education you cannot have quality without exclusivity.

Each subsequent technology has made those economies of scale even more impressive and recast even more radically the iron triangle. Web distribution of learning materials is almost cost free. Electronic communication between students and institutions means that feedback, a vital part of learning, is faster and cheaper.

The result is that today the major obstacle to open education, because it is the major cost factor, is the creation of good learning materials. Here there are fewer technological short cuts, because the design of courses that are academically current, intellectually attractive and pedagogically efficient will always require serious investment of human brainpower. The answer is not to skimp on the brainpower, but to make the products of that brainpower more widely available.”

Read the full text of the speech on the COL site.

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Drip Releases “Identity Theft”, First Album in Phillipines Under CC License

Cameron Parkins, March 14th, 2008

Drip, a trip-hop group from the Philippines, will be releasing the first full-length Filipino CC licensed album, Identity Theft, this Saturday, 3/15, at 8PM at Magnet Café High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Identity Theft will be released under a CC BY-NC-SA license and will released as an enhanced CD containing song stems as a means to better facilitate remixers and DJs.

You can learn more about the release and Drip here.


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Sound Copyright

Mike Linksvayer, March 14th, 2008

Creative Commons licenses help creators (and users) opt for reasonable copyright by offering (and using) creative works under “some rights reserved” terms, expanding the commons where the default is “all rights reserved”.

We also offer tools to mark works that are in the public domain — and are working on a major upgrade of those tools — with a goal of making public domain works more available and more usable, effectively expanding the “no rights reserved” portion of the commons.

However, there’s nothing CC tools can do to protect against the stunting of the public domain through fiat, such as the retroactive extension of copyright terms. This is why many friends of CC are involved in efforts like Sound Copyright, a petition to the European Union to stop the retroactive extension of copyright in sound recordings from 50 years to 95 years.

Read about why retroactive copyright extension is bad policy — it offers miniscule incentive for the creation of new works while imposing large costs on the preservation and use of existing works. As a beneficial side effect, you’ll better understand the milieu from which Creative Commons arises and why the voluntary adoption of reasonable copyright through tools like ours are crucial to ensuring the existence of a viable commons — an open, participatory culture — for future generations.

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Science Commons news: Response to STM statement on author addenda

Kaitlin Thaney, March 14th, 2008

Science Commons Counsel Thinh Nguyen has posted a response to a recently released statement by STM (the trade association for scientific, technology and medical publishers) on author addenda. This is an issue near and dear to our hearts, due to our Scholar’s Copyright work. Here’s an excerpt:

“[…] [STM] recently released a statement this March called “Statement on journal publishing agreements and copyright agreement ‘addenda.'” It dismisses concerns of scholars, scientists, and universities that publisher copyright agreements leave authors without sufficient rights to share or re-use their own articles as “rhetorical.” The statement suggested that “standard journal agreements” already allow authors to retain rights that various copyright addenda, like the ones offered by Science Commons, SPARC, MIT, and others, were designed to address. Thus, they seem to suggest, the addenda are superfluous at best.

However, despite their insistence that “most” journal publication agreements “typically” allow authors to retain some combination of rights, the reality is that there is no “standard” publication agreement.  […]

[…] Copyright addenda are needed because most authors don’t have a lawyer, much less a whole legal department or law firm (as most publishers have) to parse the legal language of publication agreements for them. They also don’t have the time to search through journal Web sites for hard-to-find policies and to stay up to date with journal policy changes. By attaching a standard addendum, scholars can ensure that they retain those rights that they expect to have without having to be a lawyer themselves. With more private and public funders mandating open access, scholars need now more than ever greater clarity and transparency.”

For more, see the original post over at Science Commons.

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Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts Film Festival

Eric Steuer, March 13th, 2008

An update on Nine Inch Nails’ new CC-licensed album, Ghosts I-IV. Today, NIN’s Trent Reznor announced the launch of the Ghosts Film Festival project on YouTube. Reznor describes it as an “expansion of the Ghosts project into the visual world.”

The concept is for you to take whatever tracks you feel inspired by from Ghosts and create what you feel should accompany them visually. You will be able to see all of the submissions, and a team of us (including me) will be sorting through them and setting aside ones we feel are exceptional. Eventually (within a couple of months?) we will present a virtual “film festival” with me and some special guests presenting selections of your work.

Remember: an easy way to add Creative Commons license data to videos you upload to YouTube is in the “About This Video” field. Check out the page for Spoon’s “Don’t You Evah” for a good example.

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CC-licensed behind-the-scenes stills from Spoon’s new video

Eric Steuer, March 13th, 2008

The cool new video for Spoon‘s “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb” was co-created by Ryan Junell – who you may know from his work on CC’s popular “Get Creative,” “Reticulum Rex,” and “Wanna Work Together?” clips, as well as for designing the Creative Commons logo. Check out some CC-licensed behind-the-scenes stills from the production on Ryan’s Flickr account.


Image via Flickr user telethon, available under CC BY-SA.

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