2008 May

Google Doctype, an Encyclopedia of the Open Web

Jane Park, May 22nd, 2008

Google recently launched Google Doctype, a wiki-style encyclopedia for web developers of the open web, a “web built on open standards: HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and more.” Anyone with a Google account can contribute and edit. Currently, the wiki consists of HOWTO articles on web security, DOM manipulation, CSS and style, tips and tricks—in addition to code for developers. 

All articles, reference pages and other prose content is licensed CC BY

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Creative Commons presents ccREL at Semantic Technology 2008

Nathan Yergler, May 22nd, 2008

Ben Adida and myself are attending the Semantic Technology 2008 conference today where we presented on ccREL, the Creative Commons Rights Expression Language (slides).

ccREL provides a framework for describing licenses and how they relate to creative works. In addition to the conceptual framework for describing licenses, ccREL also provides concrete recommendations for marking works using RDFa and XMP. Look for more announcements in the coming months about how we’re using ccREL to increase the opportunities for re-use of CC metadata.

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Joi Ito/Ryuichi Sakamoto/bb.tv 150

Cameron Parkins, May 21st, 2008

For the 150th episode of the fantastic Boing Boing tv, Xeni et al. have digi-traveled to Japan, visiting CC CEO Joi Ito to learn how to hunt for and prepare bamboo shoots. Accompanied by a wonderful score from Ryuichi Sakamoto, the video is CC BY-NC licensed and a soothing way to begin your day. You can read about how the whole project came to fruition on Joi’s blog, including a pretty amusing anecdote about finding CC-licensed music (I, for one, think Cornelius would make wonderful musical accompaniment to bamboo hunting).

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ccLearn monthly update – 21 May 2008

Ahrash Bissell, May 21st, 2008

Work on tools and resources that we hope will help to enable engagement with open education continues here at ccLearn. We’re getting into the testing phase for the Universal Education Search project, and we are currently writing a first report on licensing policy diversity among open educational projects and web sites.

ccLearn attended the Berkman at 10 anniversary conference in Boston this month. Creative Commons was essentially birthed at the Berkman Center (Harvard University), so the ten year anniversary provides an interesting reference point for considering how things have changed in that time. It is safe to say that practically everything has changed, at least with respect to the relationship of society and the Internet. For many people, the Internet is no longer a special feature of computing; instead, it IS computing. As social networks, mobile computing, and digital media become ever more integrated into our daily lives, the question of what we want that landscape to look like becomes ever more important. Is this a landscape of blockades and digital hazards, dominated by litigation and enforcement of a code that was developed over many years of pre-digital societies? Or is this a landscape of open pathways and possibilities, predicated on the notion that openness and transparency drive diversity and opportunity. Obviously, we here at ccLearn opt for the latter option.

We hope that everyone who discovers ccLearn and the open education movement will help in spreading the ideas and practices that define our collective work. We continue to engage with all interested parties, spanning commercial and non-commercial efforts, pre-K through lifelong learners, and all manner of initiatives that strive to improve educational access and opportunity worldwide.

Our resources pages continue to grow, and hopefully questions and concerns you might have about the open education movement are addressed there. If you have a specific question or comment, or some suggestions for additional useful resources for our site, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Spring seems to be flying by!


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Podington Bear and Single Frame Films

Cameron Parkins, May 21st, 2008

Podington Bear, a musical artist known for releasing 3 songs a week during 2007 – all under a CC BY-NC license – recently began an exciting new project titled Sound of Picture. The project finds Podington Bear scoring ‘single-frame films’, adding an atmospheric/mood driven musical piece to a particular photo he has taken. These compositions are all similarly licensed, allowing for free sharing and reuse with hopes of commercial licensing intact. From WIRED’s Listening Post:

“The idea is that I take a picture and write a score for it,” wrote Podington Bear, whose only known portrait appears above. “It’s very simple. The hope of course is that they enhance each other, or that it provides a means of entry to those not generally inclined to listen to atmospheric music, or for that matter, those who do not visualize things when listening to music. It’s a bit different than my former output. The compositions tend to be short, simple, & experimental. Conspicuously beat-less.”

Podington Bear allows free non-commercial use of these compositions under a Creative Commons license, but one of his goals is to license them commercially (perhaps the images and their associated adjectives will helpproduction companies find a song that suits the feel they are going for). The Bear has had some recent success in this area, licensing songs to the This American Life television series and the video blog Rocketboom.

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Stanley the Whale

Cameron Parkins, May 20th, 2008

Stanley The Whale is a CC-powered e-zine that is “dedicated to bringing forth amateur talent from all corners in as many different mediums of art as can be fit within” a particular online space. Focusing on the work of amateur photographers, writers, artists, and game-designers who are hoping to expand their fan base, all submissions are released under a CC BY-NC license, enabling the content to be reused broadly as long as it attributes the creator and remains noncommercial in intent. If you are a a content creator looking for a place to be seen and heard who also chooses to CC license your work, peruse what STW has to offer – it looks poised to be a positive place for up-and-coming creators looking to get their feet wet in the world of online publication.

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Publius Project Explores the Rules of Cyberspace

Jane Park, May 20th, 2008

Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society launched a new project last week: Publius. The Publius Project is a Web 2.0 version of the Federalist Papers, a collection of passionate essays written in support of the U.S. Constitution–mostly signed “Publius”. 

The Publius Project “brings together a distinguished collection of Internet observers, scholars, innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, technologists, and still other experts to write short essays, foster a public dialogue, and create a durable record of how the rules of cyberspace are being formed — with a view to affecting their future incarnations.”

The most recent essay, posted today, is titled “Muddling Through Internet Governance”. All essays are signed by their authors and licensed CC BY.

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Cameron Parkins, May 20th, 2008

Rifflet, described by Gizmodo as “Twitter for Music”, is a new website that pushes musicians to post their unfinished song – a unique melody, bass line, guitar riff, drum beat, etc. – for the rest of the Rifflet community to hear, build upon, and recontextualize. From Rifflet:

A rifflet is a piece of a song–a bass line, a guitar riff, a drum beat or something else entirely. Share your rifflets and combine them with others, or even upload a finished song. Here’s the catch: every rifflet must be less than 60 seconds. The idea is to only upload a part of a song, or an idea for a song, or just a couple of guitar chords you think are cool. Then, you can download parts of other people songs (like a drumbeat) that you can combine with your ideas. If you’re a dj, you can use all these great pieces of proto-songs for remixes without worrying about royalties or copyright restrictions, because these sounds are all on this site for the purpose of being remixed.

Rifflet has CC licensing options built into its UI to facilitate this method of online collaboration, allowing users to embrace the spectrum of CC licenses in publishing their work(s). This integration is exactly what CC is meant for in that it easily facilitates the conscious sharing and reuse of works in a manner that remains legally sound without becoming overbearing for non-legal minds.

With this said, Rifflet’s implementation could improve in two main ares. Firstly, it would be helpful for these licences to be more prominent on Rifflet’s home page (license choice is only visible after you click on a track) . Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Rifflet should look towards CC Mixter’s “Uses Samples From” widget (see the right side of this page) in providing attribution for rifflets that are turned into full songs.

These are minor, albeit important, changes that would greatly increase Rifflet’s functionality for its users. Thankfully, these changes are more technical than conceptual – the core idea behind Rifflet remains true to the goals of the CC community in providing a fluid and open place online for people to share, reuse, and build upon other people’ works.

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Malaysian Artistes for Unity

Michelle Thorne, May 20th, 2008

pete was juggling tomatoes. bored. so he telephoned a few friends instead. “how about getting together to make an anti-racism song and music video?” all said yes without hesitation. not because pete threatened them with a rusty knife. only because they love malaysia.

And so began Malaysian Artistes For Unity, a collaboration which has since swelled to over 150 active members working with creative, non-partisan projects to build awareness and tolerance in Malaysia.

The group, in close partnership with Creative Commons Malaysia, has released a lovely video to share their cause. Shot in Kuala Lumpur and co-directed by Yasmin Ahmad, the video features a colorful cast of well-known Malaysian artists singing “Here In My Home,” a song written and co-produced by Pete Teo from CC Malaysia’s board of directors. The text is in four languages and speaks to the diversity and vibrancy of Malaysia’s cultural communities.

The video and audio files are available to download under CC BY-NC-ND and CC BY-NC-SA. Furthermore, Unleash Creativity for UNITY, a spin-off project by Muid Latif and Digital Malaya, has been developed to encourage CC-licensed remixes of the video and other works to share and spread art in Malaysia.

free download


Creative Commons 1979

Mike Linksvayer, May 18th, 2008

Denver Gingerich writes about a 1979 feature article about copyright that appeared in the University of Waterloo’s Gazette:

I found it especially neat that the Gazette includes this note: “Editorial material may be reprinted freely; credit would be appreciated.” This seems similar in intent to the Creative Commons Attribution license (possibly with a No Derivative Works clause). From what I’ve seen of recent newspapers, a license that allows free
redistribution is seldom used anymore. I wonder why that is.

Denver put the whole feature on his website.

Previously: Creative Commons 868 and 1967.

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