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2008 September

RDFa goes to W3C Proposed Recommendation

Mike Linksvayer, September 5th, 2008

Yesterday RDFa reached Proposed Recommendation status at the World Wide Web Consortium, the final stage before becoming a W3C Recommendation.

Using RDFa, one can make data in web pages rendered for humans also readable in a meaningful way by computers. This is important to Creative Commons, as we have always seen the promise of the Semantic Web to describe licenses and make works more findable and reusable, ironically it has always been difficult to bring the Semantic Web to the World Wide Web we’re all used to using and loving. RDFa is a crucial bridge to bring these worlds together.

Creative Commons, primarily through the efforts of Ben Adida, our W3C Representative (see a recent interview with him at the Yahoo! Search Blog), has been a major contributor to the development of RDFa since 2004. I strongly suspect the standard would have taken more than four years without CC’s contributions.

You can read an in-depth description of some of the early CC use cases for RDFa in a paper we released earlier this year, including machine-readable attribution and description of images and other resources included in web pages.

CC’s technology team, led by Nathan Yergler, is also a leading implementer of RDFa, which is now used throughout our open source projects, including our license chooser and license deeds.

Check out the RDFa wiki for tutorials, examples, and code.

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Ben Rosenbaum’s “The Ant King: and Other Stories” Released Under CC License

Cameron Parkins, September 5th, 2008



Ben Rosenbaum
, an American science fiction writer and computer programmer, recently released his latest collection of sci-fi shorts, The Ant King: and Other Stories, as both a print collection through Small Beer Press and a free download under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

The Ant King gets a seal of approval from CC evangelist/writer Cory Doctorow and the excerpts from the collection I have been able to read are magnificent. Rosenbaum is encouraging his readers to send in any derivative works they make so that he can post them online. He is simultaneously holding a contest for his three favorite derivative works, whose authors will receive a signed and “extensively doodled-upon” hardcover copy of The Ant King.

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Bloomsbury Academic Launches Creative Commons Only Publishing Imprint

Fred Benenson, September 5th, 2008


Bloomsbury Publishing, one of Europe’s leading independent publishing houses (you may have heard of their fiction series Harry Potter, among other fantastic fiction and non-fiction titles) announced today that it is launching an CC-exclusive publishing imprint called Bloomsbury Academic:

All books will be made available free of charge online, with free downloads, for non-commercial purposes immediately upon publication, using Creative Commons licences. The works will also be sold as books, using the latest short-run technologies or Print on Demand (POD).

The imprint will initially publish in the Social Sciences and Humanities building thematic lists on pressing global issues, with approximately fifty new titles online and in print by the end of 2009.

Congratulations and thanks go to Bloomsbury for continuing the tradition of open access in Europe by choosing our licenses for their new imprint.

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Idée Multicolr Search Now Includes 10 Million CC-Licensed Flickr Images

Cameron Parkins, September 4th, 2008

Idée Labs, the “technolgy playground” for image identification and visual search software company Idée, updated their Multicolr Search today to include 10 million CC-licensed images pulled from Flickr’s interesting images pool. The simple interface allows you to search Flickr according to a specific color palette (up to 10 colors total), shooting back 50 image sets that are aesthetically stunning.

Below are two purple/yellow palette sets taken from Idée’s announcement – the first image has a greater presence of yellows while the second emphasizes purples:

Check out Idée’s post about Multicolr Search to learn more about the tool or, better yet, experiment with it yourself. It is a ton of fun and a great way to find some really beautiful CC-licensed images.

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NYTimes Recommends CC for Free Music Downloads

Cameron Parkins, September 4th, 2008

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article titled “Free Music Downloads Without the Legal Peril ” in which they gave CC a nice plug:

Creative Commons is a site that helps copyright holders decide which rights they want to share — for instance making songs free for personal use and distribution, but not for sampling or commercial use. The five-year-old organization said it had licensed about 1 million songs, and lists them at creativecommons.org/legalmusicforvideos. One user of Creative Commons, the eclectic radio station WFMU-FM, posts legal in-studio performances at freemusicarchive.org.

The article mentions some other free music alternatives (such as promos on iTunes and Amazon MP3) and although it doesn’t exactly nail what we do – we haven’t licensed any songs ourselves, that is all thanks to YOU in the CC community – it is great to be featured regardless.

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SF Salon – CC & Citizen Media – Open Request for Presenters!

Allison Domicone, September 4th, 2008


Attention citizen media advocates and organizers! Our next CC Salon in San Francisco will focus on CC in the realm of citizen media, and this time, we’re trying something a little different: we’re making an open request for presenters! With so many organizations and projects currently tapping into a more democratic and open approach to information sharing, we feel this is a perfect time to spotlight such innovative approaches to media.

The Salon will be held on Wednesday evening, November 12, just post-election, a fitting time to explore the ways in which Creative Commons can help facilitate the exchange of ideas (political or otherwise) through citizen journalism and other forms of media. Presentations should be 10 to 15 minutes long, allowing time for questions and discussion at the end, and may include a variety of media (including film, sound bytes, power point, etc.). We will accept presentation requests until September 30, at which time we will choose two that we feel best exemplify a spirit of open and shared culture.

Be sure to spread the word to citizen media organizations and projects that are either located in the Bay Area or have representation there.

For more information and to submit a presentation request, please send an email to salon@creativecommons.org.

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CC Salon LA TONIGHT! Xeni Jardin and GOOD Magazine

Cameron Parkins, September 3rd, 2008

One last reminder that we are hosting the latest CC Salon LA tonight (9/3/08). Details below:

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Picasa Now Supports Creative Commons

Fred Benenson, September 3rd, 2008

This week Google threw its hat into the photo-commons ring with by announcing its newly upgraded Picasa Web Albums service. Users of Picasa now have the option to individually license their photos on the site under any of our six licenses, and can also set their profile to default to a particular one:

Just look for edit button next to the “All Rights Reserved” text on the right side of any photo page, and the “Photo Usage & Licensing” section in your profile settings (requires Google Account) to set a default license.

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Joi Ito Discusses CC in Business Week

Cameron Parkins, September 3rd, 2008

Joi Ito, CC’s CEO, recentlly sat down with Business Week to discuss Creative Commons, our mission, and how our licenses work the way they do. The article has an obvious focus on the business potential of CC licences but touches on the implications our licences have in the arts and education as well. It’s a great write up and hopefully gives a bit of context about where we are right now and where we are headed in the near future.

Outside of CC, the article talks at length about Joi’s upcoming photography book, FREESOULS. FREESOULS features photography Joi has taken over the past year of individuals, both well known and lesser known, that had few or no images of themselves publicly available under a CC licence or in the Public Domain. The book and the images therein are being released under a CC BY license and many of the photos already available online under the same terms.

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Assessing the Commons: Social Metrics for the New Media Landscape

Melissa Reeder, September 3rd, 2008

Hopefully, everyone that supports CC also knows that we’re a non-profit organization. As such, we rely on individual, corporate, and foundation support to sustain our operations. This past spring, CC submitted a proposal called Assessing the Commons: Social Metrics for the New Media Landscape to the Social Science Research Center (SSRC). This grant would fund CC and Giorgos Cheliotis of CC Singapore and the National University of Singapore to conduct research on the “global patterns of CC license use, as well as develop metrics showing penetration and impact of open licensing, per jurisdiction and globally.” Sadly, it was denied, but they saw great promise in it, along with a number of other projects.

Because they saw so much promise in projects they were unable to fund, they decided to start their Honorable Mentions page. They are using this hub as a way to pitch these projects to other interested foundations. Check out our project, and feel free to pass it along to anyone you think might be interested. To indirectly support this project by supporting CC’s operations, please visit our donate page.

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