2008 March


Cameron Parkins, March 7th, 2008

Thanks to Alessandro for alerting us to kunstderfuge, the largest resource of classical music in MIDI format online. kunstderfuge is a subsidiary of OnClassical, the CC-friendly Italian net-label we featured earlier here.

At kunstderfuge, there are complete piano works by Beethoven, Chopin, Haydn, Mozart, Bach, original piano rolls (including sacred hymns, medieval and renaissance music, and ragtimes), and much more, all available in MIDI format. The files have been produced by a variety of contributors and are ordered by composer, making them easily searchable.

Since 2004, many of these MIDI recordings have been released under a CC license. Just recently, kunstderfuge chose to release a plethora of new MIDI sequences under a CC BY-NC-SA license, meaning there are now a total of 2,192 MIDI files (13.3% of the entire collection) published under a license that allows you to use the files for any purpose outside of commercial intent. Very cool!

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IE8 and removing copyright barriers to collaboration with technology communities

Mike Linksvayer, March 6th, 2008

The first beta of Microsoft launched yesterday. Doubtless hundreds if not thousands of reviews of just this beta will be posted on the web, many critiquing or celebrating the browser’s implementation of various web standards.

However, one interesting item concerns specifications for standards developed alongside IE8:

For the OpenService Format and WebSlice Format specs, we’re using two separate Creative Commons vehicles to allow developers to freely use and build on our work.  We’re licensing our copyright in the OpenService Format Specification under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. This license lets others copy, distribute, modify and build upon the specification, even for commercial uses, as long as they simply give credit to Microsoft and license their own changes under the same terms.  This license is also consistent with the license adopted by the OpenSearch community, whose work relates to the OpenService Format spec.

We’re setting a new precedent with the WebSlice Format Specification by dedicating our copyright in it to the public domain using the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication, the first time we’ve used a public domain dedication in connection with one of our specs.  This allows anyone to freely copy, distribute, modify and build upon the specification for any purpose, without any additional conditions or obligations whatsoever. In this case, our public domain dedication is in keeping with the expectations of the hAtom Microformats community.

It’s cool that Microsoft not only released the specifications under liberal terms, but followed the lead of the relevant communities, ensuring that there are no copyright barriers to collaboration with those communities.

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Total Recut

Cameron Parkins, March 5th, 2008

Total Recut is an online social networking community for fans and creators of video remixes, recuts, and mash-ups that facilitates online collaboration between video artists. CC licensing is built in to their UI, allowing users to remix one another with relative ease, which in addition to their ‘materials section’ (comprised of CC licensed and Public Domain works) makes for a large body of content to pool from. From TotalRecut:

Total Recut is a social networking, video sharing and resources website for fans and creators of video remixes, recuts and mash-ups, where users can upload, view, share, rate and comment on user generated remixed video clips. Total Recut was created in June 2007 as a result of the Masters Degree project of an Irish graduate student, Owen Gallagher, who wrote his Masters Thesis on remix culture. The Donegal, Ireland based service uses embedding technology to display a wide array of video content, including movie trailer recuts, political remixes, machinima, subvertisements, music mash-ups and many others. The site also contains original material that users can remix including a large number of public domain videos and Creative Commons licensed clips.

Unregistered users of Total Recut are able to watch videos on the site, while registered users may submit an unlimited number of videos and make wiki style changes to any information relating to the content. The site offers social networking opportunities in the ability to add friends, comment on each others profiles, start personal video collections and send messages, as well as an active forum and blog, which users can contribute to freely. Users can also enter contests to win prizes, find tutorials and tools to help them create their own remixes, learn about the issues surrounding remix culture, including the balance between copyright and freedom of expression, download mobile content to their cellphones and connect with other like-minded individuals.

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Call for proposals: Computers, Freedom, and Privacy: Technology Policy ’08

Ahrash Bissell, March 5th, 2008

ccLearn is a participating member of the program committee for the upcoming conference on COMPUTERS, FREEDOM, AND PRIVACY: TECHNOLOGY POLICY ’08, to be held May 20-23, 2008 in New Haven, CT.

The conference covers many different themes, including a few near and dear to the heart of Creative Commons, such as social networks, digital education, copyright and fair-use, open access, and more. We encourage you to consider submitting a proposal and attending the conference! But act fast, deadline for most proposal submissions is in less than two weeks.

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Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears–A New Online Magazine for Elementary School Teachers

Jane Park, March 5th, 2008

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is the new online science magazine for K-5th grades focusing on polar issues wrought by global climate change. Developed by a host of contributors, including the Ohio State University with funding from the National Science Foundation (Research on Learning in Formal and Informal settings), the magazine will get much of its content from existing material in the National Science Digital Library. According to this article on NSDL’s website, the magazine will contain a multitude of resources, including online activities, images, text, and multimedia (podcasts, videos, “even a browseable Virtual Bookshelf” with children’s literature for classroom use).

The first issue is titled “A Sense of Place” and it’s already up for you to browse. In addition to the resources mentioned above, this issue offers quirky animations, links to web sites, printable and foldable book versions of its articles, and to top it off—a poetry lesson plan featuring work from students in Anchorage, Alaska.

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears will be a valuable contribution to science education for Elementary students, something that has been lacking in the past. It will cover content across five departments: In the Field: Scientists at Work, Professional Learning, Science and Literacy, Across the Curriculum, and Polar News and Notes. The magazine is headed by a great team of contributors from various organizations, signifying change towards openness in the climate of education (perhaps a positive to counteract the negative in global climate change?). All content is offered under a Creative Commons License—CC BY-SA.

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CC Talks With: Indaba Music

Cameron Parkins, March 4th, 2008

Indaba Music, in their words, is “an international community of musicians, music professionals, and fans exploring the creative possibilities of making music with people in different places”. Enabling exciting forms of online musical creation, Indaba allows musicians to work with each other in ways that are both fresh and exciting, facilitating new and interesting means of collaboration. Unsurprisingly, Indaba is getting serious praise from the press and we thankfully got to chat with co-founders Matthew Siegel and Daniel Zaccagnino about what they are doing at Indaba and how it functions within the context of the CC-community (CC licensing options are built into their UI). Check out their responses below to find out more:

(Indaba logo (c) Indaba Media, LLC, All Rights Reserved)

What’s Indaba Music all about? What’s its backstory? How did it come about? Who’s involved?

Indaba Music is an international community of musicians, from amateurs to Grammy-award winners, all mingling and making music together online. We came up with the idea for Indaba after starting a non-profit label in college as a means to provide new opportunities for student artists and give them greater exposure. That experience led us to bigger ideas – the two most exciting of which were 1) the way the connectivity of the internet has given artists increased access to fans (and vice versa) and to each other, and 2) the spread of cheap digital production technology (in the form of inexpensive but high quality software and hardware). To us, this meant that there were more people creating music than at any other point in history, and there was an exciting opportunity to connect these music-makers with each other and offer them new possibilities for collaboration and discovery. That’s ultimately what Indaba is – a place where artists meet and create new music.
Read More…

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Cory Doctorow on Metropolis

Cameron Parkins, March 4th, 2008

This hit the net last week, but it took a little while for us to go through our various channels to figure out what was going on (i.e. if only I had taken German in high school). CC-evangelist Cory Doctorow was recently interviewed on the German show Metropolis (a product of the German-French network Arte) in which they chat about his novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (or Backup, as it is titled Germany) as well as “online freedom and surveillance, and science fiction”. The whole thing is CC licensed, so it is available for reuse if you so desire.

UPDATE: Cory’s second novel, Eastern Standard Tribe, has been published in German by Heyne (under the title Upload) with the text released under a CC BY-NC-SA license. Cory also recently did an interview about CC licensing and science fiction with the German net-show WatchBerlin.

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Creative Commons at SXSW Interactive

Eric Steuer, March 3rd, 2008

A few members of the Creative Commons staff are headed to Austin, Texas later this week to attend South by Southwest Interactive. If you’re going to be in town for it too, make sure to find us and say hello.

During the days of March 9, 10, and 11, we’ll have a booth at the trade show, which is a good place to visit us, ask us questions about Creative Commons, and pick up CC swag.

On the evening of March 10, we’re participating in a really cool event called Plutopia, which is EFF-Austin’s eighth annual “Interactive Tech Gathering of the Tribes.”

And on the afternoon of March 11, I’ll be moderating a panel called “New Media Powering Entertainment.” The panel’s page is a little out of date, but the discussion is slated to feature Robert Scoble (Fast Company TV), Carlton Evans (Disposable Film Festival), Tony Pham (Slide), and Daniel Graf (Kyte).

Hope to see you there!

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CC 2007 annual fundraising campaign: your feedback wanted

Melissa Reeder, March 3rd, 2008

Thanks again to everyone who participated in Creative Commons’ 2007 Annual Fundraising Campaign. We received financial support from individuals in 52 jurisdictions and many companies, totaling $601,976.

Your support, however you’re able to give it, is what sustains and drives CC. This was our third annual campaign (and the second I’ve been involved with) and I’d like to ask you for a favor. I would truly appreciate it if you would take a quick survey that will help us better design and implement our call for support for in 2008 and beyond. Your input and participation are greatly appreciated.

Also, check out our new T-shirt designs available at the CC Store – which remains open 24/7/366 (it’s a leap year!). Anything you do now to spread the word will assist future campaigns and more importantly the future of CC. Thanks!

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That Other Paper

Cameron Parkins, March 3rd, 2008

We were recently turned onto That Other Paper, an Austin based online-publication that focuses on technology and culture with its feet firmly planted in the CC-community. Not only do they license all their works under a CC BY-NC-ND license but they also release their library of professional photography under a CC BY-SA license. Similarly, Four Kitchen Studios, the company that owns and operates TOP, is an open-source design, development, and consulting firm with virtually all of their client and internal work licensed under the GPL. If that wasn’t enough, they are co-organizing BarCampAustin this year. Talk about “Free Culture cred“!

In related news, this is a good time to point out that CC will be representing at this years SXSW Interactive festival, with more details about when/where to come later in the week. We can’t wait to get back to Austin after the awesome time we had their last year and are looking forward to a stellar CC/SXSW experience.

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