2008 June

VIA’s OpenBook Project Takes Off, Wins International Award

Tim Hwang, June 24th, 2008

Big news coming out this month on VIA’s OpenBook mini-notebook computer project which incorporates an “open design” approach that makes the CAD design plans for the device available to the public under the permissive terms of a Creative Commons BY SA license. The project invites customers to innovate and solicits suggestions from users on future iterations of the laptop. To spur involvement, they’ve even recently released a video that opens the laptop up and showcases the electronic guts that enable OpenBook’s users the flexibility to add modules and choose openly between wireless options.

Happy to announce that since we first reported on the laptop’s debut in May, the project has taken off. Engadget recently reviewed the product, writing simply that the OpenBook made “that Macbook Air look positively last century.” And, this month, before an international jury of design experts at this years Taipei Computex, the VIA OpenBook has taken home the Gold Award for Design and Innovation for 2008. Congratulations guys!

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ccLearn Counsel and Assistant Director

Jane Park, June 24th, 2008

ccLearn is seeking to fill a new position! Currently, we want someone who will help us in minimizing the legal barriers that stand in the way of open education. However, the new ccLearn Counsel and Assistant Director will not only work on the legal side of things;

“instead,this position will consist of substantial communications (written and verbal, formal and informal), networking and engagement with a diverse communities of interest, strategic planning regarding pursuits of greatest impact for ccLearn, and close collaboration on a variety of related initiatives with the ccLearn and CC staff. In addition, we have access to great intellectual and legal resources associated with our organization which can be leveraged as necessary. It is expected that the candidate for this position will play a significant role in helping ccLearn to achieve its global mission, and will serve as a primary spokesperson for ccLearn and the open education movement generally.”

To learn more or apply, see our Opportunities page!

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Creative Commons Launches Collaborative Global Case Studies Project

Jon Phillips, June 23rd, 2008

Over the past few months several of us at Creative Commons have been collaborating with our colleagues at Creative Commons Australia to create a collaborative system for promoting the great CC stories that will help the world understand how great Creative Commons licenses are for creative works. To highlight the global nature of this launch, it coincides with the CC Australia’s conference today (June 24, 2008), “Building an Australasian Commons” where this project is to be presented.

CC’s CEO, Joi Ito, said in the press release for this project that its important to realize that CC is not just a “cute idea,” but a crucial fact in the success of many businesses, artists, authors, and professionals. So, highlighted in the Case Studies Project are examples such as the Blender Foundation and their success with applying Creative Commons Attribution license to both of their Open Source 3D animations. Also, there are specific highlights on authors like NYTimes bestselling author Cory Doctorow’s overall usage of CC to support the dissemination of his books, all the way to detailed casestudies about Luxembourg-based (but global!) Jamendo and of course studies on Nine Inch Nails Ghost I-IV and The Slip album releases. Remember: The goal is to focus on the story of these successes.

We need your help.

We didn’t want to just build a system that is static like many corporate case studies that one might get at a conference and immediately chuck into the bin. Rather, we built this on top of our Semantic MediaWiki-based wiki (highlighted in the /participate page above) so that there is a simple human-readable form for adding and editing case studies that anyone out there may use. Since the system is a structured wiki, the data part of the system is sortable, queryable, and mashable. For example, here is a sort through the entire system alphabetically with four columns: pagename, Author, media format and country of the project.

Cory Doctorow by Joi Ito
Cory Doctorow by Joi Ito

This is an invitation to hop over to the Case Studies project right now, and help us make this project super solid. We need more case studies from around the world in any language. And, if you speak more than one language, please help by translating the casestudies. If there is something that bugs you about it, then help us out by committing: its a wiki! If you really want to be a saint, then direct your energy as well to our public roadmap for the project, jump onto our cc-community mailing list to express interest and chat with us on our IRC chat channel.

And, if that is not enough incentive to participate, Creative Commons Australia today has released at the Creative Commons Australia conference, “Building an Australasian Commons,” a printed booklet with 60 case studies from this system all professionally designed. There will be more printings of these case studies in the future which might include your contributions.

Look for presentations about this project at upcoming conferences this summer where newly added case studies will be highlighted on big projectors. Look for this project at Communia/CC Europe meetings June 30-July 1 in Belgium, FSCONS on October 25-26 in Gothenburg, Sweden and other conferences focusing on the local and global.

Hats off as well to all those who have helped including the project party: Jessica Coates, Rachel Cobcroft, Elliot Bledsoe, Timothy Vollmer, Cameron Parkins, Tim Hwang, Greg Grossmeier, and Michelle Thorne (who has Wikipedia real page!). There are many more that have helped as well. If you help, you get plugged!

Please help us by spreading the word on this project, blogging about Case Studies, and adding more to the system.

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Insecurity, CC-licensed film

Cameron Parkins, June 23rd, 2008

Insecurity is “an Australian-made independently-funded feature film” with a ‘hacker’ plot line at its core. As “everyone involved in [Insecurity‘s] creation are, to one degree or another, involved in the IT industry or some other nerd subculture”, the film aims to be as technically accurate as possible. Released under a CC BY-NC-ND licence, you can stream the film live or download it for free here. From Insecurity:

When offered four thousand dollars to break into a computer network, Leon (Peter Love) and Greg (Kurtis Wakefield) aren’t concerned with something as petty as morality.

The only real questions are what complications can arise from hacking into a small home business, what’s wrong with the twenty year old daughter Madison (Zoe Tarling)…

… and what should Greg do when his friend can’t stop watching the girl on her own webcam – and without her knowledge.

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Cameron Parkins, June 23rd, 2008

We’re a bit late jumping on this one but in case you missed it the first time (like us) be sure to check out FontStruct, a free font-building tool that allows you to build your own fonts online and subsequently generate them as a high-quality TrueType fonts. While this in itself provides hours of bizarrely satisfying enjoyment (read a nice Slate article on why), FontStruct is of particular note in that all fonts created are released under a CC license of the creator’s choosing.

Although creators can choose to keep their fonts private, most do not – by incorporating CC licences and a ethos of sharing, FontStruct has built a community of rabid users around a seemingly obscure hobby where ideas are exchanged fluidly and modifications achieved easily. It should also be noted that FontStruct have an exemplary clear explanation of what permissions different CC licences give and retain, a major plus for any site looking to incorporate CC-licensing into their UI.

UPDATE: The Open Font Library is a similar site that allows users to upload fonts to release under the CC Public Domain Declaration – also home of the famous silkscreen font.

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CC Talks With: deviantArt

Cameron Parkins, June 23rd, 2008

Shockingly, we have yet to post anything on uber-online artist community deviantArt, who not only act as a creative outlet for over 7 million users but do so with CC licensing built into their UI. Our bad. Hopefully we can make up for lost blogging through an interview with Richard Hartley, Director of Community Development at deviantArt (and sometimes clown in disguise). Read on to learn more about the incredibly rich deviantArt community, how CC licences play a roll in user submissions, and future plans that include nothing short of global domination (seriously).

Can you give us some background on deviantArt? When and why did it start up? Who’s involved?

deviantART began on August 7th of 2000, primarily as a site to provide a space to allow deviants to upload various application skins for programs like Sonique, WInamp, WindowBlinds and so on. Soon after it became pretty obvious the community wanted more space to flex their creativity and more categories opened up for digital and traditional art all across the board. At this point we now have over 1700 different categories for every conceivable genre, sub genre and unique niche you could imagine, all at the request of our community. Back when it first began it was a small staff of people, less than ten, and now we currently have over 50 employees world wide as well as around 100 volunteers.
Read More…


CC Singapore License Draft in Public Discussion

Michelle Thorne, June 23rd, 2008

On behalf of CC Singapore (website), we are pleased to announce that the draft of CC BY-NC-SA adapted to Singaporean law (PDF) is now in public discussion. The CC Singapore team, lead by Anil Samtani and Giorgos Cheliotis and hosted at the Centre for Asia Pacific Technology Law & Policy (CAPTEL), has been working with Creative Commons International to port the licenses to local copyright legislation. A launch event to celebrate Singapore’s completed licensing suite is scheduled in for July 27th.

As part of the public discussion, we warmly invite you to join CC Singapore’s discussion list and share your comments with local and international legal experts.

Thank you and congratulations to CC Singapore!


Universal Edit Button

Mike Linksvayer, June 22nd, 2008

We’re proud that the Creative Commons wiki was one of the sites Universal Edit Button enabled upon the button’s launch last Thursday.

The idea is simple — add an icon in your web browser’s UI if the browser detects you can edit a page — just like the syndication icon that appears when your browser detects the availability of a feed you can subscribe to for updates.

Of course CC licensing nicely complements both syndication and editing.

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Copyleft Electronic Music

Cameron Parkins, June 20th, 2008

We leave you for the weekend with this wonderful mix from Braydon Givon Fuller. A great CC BY-SA licensed melange of freely licensed electro to listen to while you decompress from your week.


Jamendo Publishes 10,000th CC-licensed album!

Cameron Parkins, June 20th, 2008

Absolutely amazing news coming from CC-centric music site Jamendo in that they have just released their 10,000th CC-licensed album! From Jamendo:

Jamendo is the first global platform for music downloads under Creative Commons licenses. On Jamendo, thousands of independent artists authorise the sharing of their music. It’s free, legal and unlimited. Jamendo is also a community of artists and music lovers who share their passion, recommend music, create playlists and make Jamendo a benchmark destination for discovering new talent.

“It’s a symbolic figure of course, but it demonstrates the success of this new model for online music promotion that Jamendo has supported from the start and that is made possible by the considerable flexibility of the Creative Commons licences”, commented Laurent Kratz, cofounder and CEO. “We feel certain that the growth potential is huge. A simple illustration of that is the amazing creativity and talent of the thousands of artists who choose to share their music on Jamendo.”

It seems like only yesterday we were praising Jamendo’s ability to publish 2,000 albums and delighting over their 1 millionth download. Congratulations to all those involved!

UPDATE: Jamendo have also just inked deals with Bittorrent mega-aggregator isoHunt, providing users of the site streamlined access to all of Jamendo’s works, as well as a deal with media player maker Archos, who will be including Jamendo in their content portal.

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