2008 May

Grant Competition to Support CC Licensing Adoption in the South Caucasus

Michelle Thorne, May 16th, 2008

We are very honored to announce that our close collaborators, the Eurasia Partnership Foundation, has opened a grant competition to support the adoption of the Creative Commons licensing framework in the countries of the South Caucasus.

Proposals may be submitted for Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

From their website:

The initiative seeks to enable and popularize the legal sharing and reuse of cultural, educational, and scientific works in the countries of the South Caucasus through offering free and easy-to-use Creative Commons (CC) licensing framework to creators, artists, and educators, as well as other internet-based communities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. These goals will be achieved through exploring possibilities for implementing a consistent, robust and internationally accepted framework for intellectual property rights for web-based materials in the South Caucasus, adapting Creative Commons framework to conditions in the South Caucasus, and ensuring extensive stakeholder involvement and broad public awareness of the CC framework in the South Caucasus.

The deadline for applications in Georgia is May 29, 17:00, and a general pre-bid consultation seminar will be held at the EPF offices in Yerevan, Armenia on May 19, 17:00.

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Modiba Productions Presents Nation Beat Animation Contest

Cameron Parkins, May 13th, 2008

Nation Beat, a musical group that “bridges folkloric Brazilian rhythms with classic American roots music”, is set to release their sophomore album, Legends of the Preacher, on July 15th 2008. In conjunction with their release, Nation Beat and record label Modiba Productions are sponsoring an animation contest based on the band and their songs, with the animation assets released under a CC BY-NC license. From Nation Beat/Modiba Productions:

Entrants are asked to submit 60-90 second animated music video shorts featuring a track of their choice. Modiba will offer files from the album’s original artwork featuring the band members as cartoon characters. The files will be offered in both InDesign and Flash formats, and will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license, so that they can be used in animated videos by contestants. In addition to the $500 cash prize, the winning video will be featured on NationalGeographic.com, Nation Beat and Modiba’s websites, Myspace pages, and a variety of other media outlets.

To submit an entry, participants must upload their finalized videos to YouTube and send a link to info AT modiba DOT net. By CC licensing the animation assets, Nation Beat and Modiba Productions are able to facilitate an interactive and user-friendly means for fans to engage with Legends of the Preacher, all while retaining their commercial rights. This allows Nation Beat the ability to license their music outside of the competition and provides a means for enhanced fan interaction, two vital, yet often difficult to reconcile, methods of music promotion.


search.creativecommons.org screencast and i18n

Mike Linksvayer, May 12th, 2008

We’ve rolled out a few small changes to search.creativecommons.org:

  • The part of the interface we control is now translatable, and has five languages enabled now — Afrikaans, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, and Japanese. You can suggest translations here.
  • A screencast on using ccSearch with Firefox, including how to change your default search engine, and change it back.
  • Run a default search when the user switches search tabs with no query entered.

You can browse and checkout the code (GPL licensed) from our source repository.

Further improvements we’re thinking about (patches welcome; see source info above):

  • Conditionally show search engine tabs based on language. This requires us to learn of more CC-enabled search sites that allow filtering on license terms by changing the query URL. Look at (and add to) our wiki page on ccSearch integration for details.
  • Conditionally show search engine tabs based on user preference.
  • Provide some contextual help when user switches tabs without entering a query rather than running a default search.
  • A complete re-thinking of the interface, including the possibility of a unified metasearch instead of search engine tabs.

Remember, the code is available and GPL’d, so you can run your own version (modulo our trademark policy) in addition to helping us improve ours.

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Tune Rooms

Cameron Parkins, May 12th, 2008

Tune Rooms is “a music company that was created for Musicians and Music Fans alike” that aims to “enable music collaboration, promotion, and distribution on your terms.” This is accomplished through the use of ‘tune rooms’ in which users can upload different ideas, song sketches, and the like to the Tune Rooms webspace and allow others contribute to the song by adding new tracks. These ‘tune rooms’ are created in conjunction with musician profiles, blogs, and a variety of other Web 2.0 goodness.

Tune Rooms allows users to CC license their works, featuring the license prominently on each composition. To easily facilitate collaboration, users can choose from BY, BY-NC, and BY-SA licences, all of which allow the original work to be modified. CC licences make this type of collaboration possible by providing a legal framework for Tune Rooms to operate under – users’ works become fluid and malleable by using CC licences, something that is key to Tune Rooms’ focus on online collaboration.

If the promise of an exciting new platform for online music collaboration wasn’t enough to get you interested in Tune Rooms, they’re are also throwing a contest over the coming month with a grand prize of $1,000 in Musician’s Friend gift certificates. In order to be eligible, you must have a submission that includes three other Tune Rooms musicians and have your entry in by June 9th, with the winner decided on June 16th.

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ccLearn Workshop Video Now Live at OSL

Jane Park, May 12th, 2008

In April I blogged about Open Source Lab‘s fourth official workshop featuring ccLearn’s Executive Director, Ahrash Bissell. The Open Source Lab has now posted a video of the workshop at their blog. The workshop focuses on recent developments within open education, including but not limited to the impact of open licensing, as Ahrash emphasizes the grander scale of the movement.

The video, like all content on OSL’s blog, is licensed CC BY-NC-SA.

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ccHost 4.5 and 5.0beta

Mike Linksvayer, May 10th, 2008

Two new releases of ccHost today, the remix-oriented media hosting software that drives ccMixter:

4.5, the final release from the 4.x tree. 4.0 was released March 6 last year.

5.0beta is the code that has been running on ccMixter for several months (5.0alpha was available in February.) The missing piece needed to make 5.0 final is updated administrator documentation.

The software is licensed under the GPL and downloadable from sourceforge or our source repository.

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Building Commons and Community

Cameron Parkins, May 9th, 2008

Building Commons and Community, a book written by the late Karl Linn on his experience “creating neighborhood spaces for communities and by communities”, has been released under a CC BY-NC-ND license. From New Village Press:

Landscape architect and child psychologist Karl Linn (1923-2005) was a beloved, down-to-earth, visionary leader of grassroots community building, who brought life to economically disenfranchised neighborhoods in cities from Boston to Berkeley. His book documents the creativity and ingenuity of working-class citizens, students and volunteer professionals who transformed derelict vacant lots and drab institutional settings into colorful and lively community commons in Boston, New York, Newark, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Louisville KY, Pittsburgh, Columbus OH, Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco and Berkeley.

It seems quite fitting that someone who was noted for “leadership in the field of grassroots community building” would have their final work released under terms that allow for the free redistribution of ideas and information. You can purchase Building Commons and Community at New Village Press and Amazon.

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CC-Licensed Twitter Music Project

Cameron Parkins, May 9th, 2008

The Twitter Compilation Album is the end result of 34 different people meeting over Twitter and coming together to produce a CC-licensed album of unique and interesting music, all without meeting en masse in the same physical space. Most of those involved made music while others created pictures and provided server hosting. The end product has been released under a CC BY-NC-SA license and is absolute cat nip for those who are interested in online collaboration through new media tools.

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Neuro Net Recordings

Cameron Parkins, May 9th, 2008

Neuro Net Recordings is an online techno-music distribution project based out of Japan that houses over 80 pieces of CC BY-NC-ND licensed music at Archive.org. Founded in 1994, NNR has been pushing free and open licences in some form since before CC was even a blip of an idea and represents an interesting case study in regards to CC-licensed music distribution online. From jj1bdx:

NNR had the free online distribution policy from the beginning: NNR had the non-exclusive distibution rights of the music files in the various available formats on the Internet. It was quite similar to the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, which means preserving the author’s credit, non-profit use only, and changes not allowed during redistribution.


In the age of iTunes and Amazon.com MP3, no professional musician can survive without distributing their music online. Streaming music radio stations like Soma FM are doing competitive business. Many people in the so-called music industry, however, still do not accept online media, and I feel quite sad about it. I’ve already been fed up with the stagnated copyright issues in Japanese music scene either. So I decided to quit distributing NNR files on my own in 2004. Fortunately, archive.org generously provides the storage space and other goodies to the free-music distributors, so I decided to put NNR and my music pieces there in 2007.

You can read more about NNR history here – it is fascinating to read about a group that has been working with new methods of distribution for so long while many in the music industry are still discussing a return to DRM.

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Cameron Parkins, May 9th, 2008

Apture is a new tool for bloggers that allows “content creators the power to find and incorporate relevant multimedia items directly into their pages” by adding links and small navigator windows to pages and posts automatically. Better understood in practice (see screenshot below), Apture seems poised to add incredible functionality to web pages that, while incorporating linking, remain relatively static. From The Washington Post (who have integrated Aprture’s technology into two of their blogs, The Fix and Celebrtitology):

When readers hover over an Apture linked term in an article, an elegant floating box emerges with a menu of related material chosen by the site’s editors. This technology gives readers the ability to quickly access relevant, in–depth coverage that caters to individual interests. Clicking an item in the floating box menu opens a small window where readers can view an article, video or photo gallery, while continuing to stay on the original page.

Apture is noteworthy due to its effort to increase interactivity online, but it is equally important to note that it does so through the use of open source tools and CC-licensed media. By default, Apture searches Flickr for images tagged with CC-licenses and Wikipedia content with a GFDL license. When an author links to Wikipedia images, Apture parses over a thousand Wikipedia licenses which it displays in the UI before a link is created. This reliance on free and open media in conjunction with an enhanced end-user experience bodes well for the spread of CC-licensed media and is phenomenal news for creators and consumers of web based text.

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