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2008 November

Aviary’s Remix Community

Fred Benenson, November 10th, 2008

UnzippedKitty.egg by meowza on Aviary

Aviary‘s mission is to “make the world’s creation accessible.” So it makes sense that they’ve baked Creative Commons licensing into their platform of live image editing applications. The site has launched with three distinct tools (with more to come) that help artists create and share fantastic images with the eventual intention of creating a new kind of market place to encourage commercial licensing of their CC licensed work through our new CC+ protocol. Aviary supports both our Attribution and Attribution-NonCommercial license.

One other feature that is unprecedented about Aviary is the ability to load other creator’s work directly into a new work, thus allowing for radically efficient in-platform remixing of content. Just think of what could happen if YouTube offered in-browser remix functionality for other people’s videos.

Sign up for an account today and start tinkering, or browse some of the amazing works already populating the community.

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CC in the Hong Kong Standard

Cameron Parkins, November 10th, 2008

There is a great write-up on CC in a recent edition of the Hong Kong Standard – the article coincided with the launch of CC Hong Kong, our fiftieth jurisdiction to enact license porting. Focusing on the wonderful anecdote of former Featured Commoner Colin Mutchler, how CC licenses work, and how CC is increasing collaborative efforts for Hong Kong residents, the article is a simple and clear introduction to CC for a new geographical locale.

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Tout de Suite Series: Author’s Rights

Cameron Parkins, November 10th, 2008

Digital Scholarship, a website run and maintained by information management expert Charles W. Bailey, Jr., recently published a fantastic article regarding author’s rights for their Tout de Suite series. The article aims to ”give journal article authors a quick introduction to key aspects of authorʹs rights” and is released under a CC BY-NC license. The document includes a wide range of information regarding CC, including information about how to license works, guidelines for proper attribution, and suggestions as to which license is best suited for academic journals (Bailey argues BY and BY-NC).

Bailey has published various other CC-related articles on Digital Scholarship, all released under a CC BY-NC license. For those looking to expand their knowledge of information studies, the site is an great reference.

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Kelly Link on Creative Commons

Cameron Parkins, November 10th, 2008

Author Kelly Link, renowned for her work in a variety of literary genres, is specifically noteworthy to the CC community for her decision in 2005 to release Stranger Things Happen, her first major collection of short stories, under a CC BY-NC-SA license. In a recent interview with The Nation, Link addressed this decision:

As a reader, I really prefer a book, an object. But I also really like the idea of being able to give stuff away for free. Up to a certain extent, the more you make something available, the more people pass it around. There are many, many, many more downloads of the collection, but sales for the physical book have never gone down. During the first year it was available online, the sales went up. It works the same way a library does.

One of the things about the Creative Commons is that it also meant that the stories, in terms of ideas or narrative, are up there and available to people who want to make other things out of them. A couple of the stories have been made into plays. Somebody took one of the stories and made an experimental music piece from it. I think she turned the prose of the story into a kind of Morse code and then set that into a score for cello. A lot of people have done podcasts of the stories. When I write, I’m constantly drawing from fairy tales or books that I love. This was a way to make the stories available to a larger community and enter into a larger conversation.

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wikiHow to support the CC fundraising campaign? wikiHow matching challenge!

Melissa Reeder, November 7th, 2008

Following Safe Creative’s lead, wikiHow has decided to help rally the community around supporting Creative Commons by issuing their own giving challenge. For the next two weeks, wikiHow will be matching every donation dollar for dollar, up to $3,000.

wikiHow is a collaborative writing project aiming to create the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. It is similar to Wikipedia in that thousands of volunteer editors from all over the world write, edit and maintain the articles.

As I stated in this month’s edition of the ccNewsletter, we need increased innovation and creative problem solving on a global level, now more than ever. wikiHow is one project working to help provide creative solutions to everyday problems. And the reason it works so well is because it was designed as an open system. Contributors are able to contribute and users are able to use and remix freely and legally because wikiHow is licensed with Creative Commons licenses.

We’re thrilled that wikiHow has decided to support CC in this way. There’s less than two months left in the campaign and we still have $434,495 to raise. Please take advantage of their generous offer and double the value of your gift.

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Curt Smith Discusses CC Licensing

Cameron Parkins, November 7th, 2008

Curt Smith – solo-artist, co-founder of Tears for Fears, and former Featured Commoner – recently spoke on Retro Rewind, specifically discussing his decision to use CC licenses on his latest album halfway, pleased. The interview is clear, concise, informative, and can be found on his blog.

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President Elect Barack Obama CC-Licensed Behind the Scenes Photos on Flickr

Cameron Parkins, November 7th, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama and his staff have been posting photographs to his Flickr photostream since early 2007. Their most recent set from election night offers an amazing behind the scenes look at a historic point in American history.


20081104_Chicago_IL_ElectionNight1032, Barack Obama | CC BY-NC-SA

All of the photos are released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, making them easily shareable and reusable. You can see more photos from the campaign trail here.

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C&RL News on introducing CC to college communities

Eric Steuer, November 7th, 2008

The current issue of College & Research Libraries News includes a great article entitled “The beauty of “Some Rights Reserved”: Introducing Creative Commons to librarians, faculty, and students.” It’s a clear and insightful round-up of the challenges that college campuses face when it comes to copyright, followed by an examination of the benefits of Creative Commons licensing in academic settings. The article also offers practical steps for people looking to teach faculty, researchers, students, staff, and librarians about CC’s tools and projects. The written piece is complemented by a podcast interview with the article’s author, University of Michigan copyright specialist Molly Kleinman, who has recently posted a series of very useful “CC HowTo” tips on her own site.

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Into Infinity Audio Mega-Mixer launches

Eric Steuer, November 6th, 2008

Into Infinity (see previous post) – the CC-licensed art and music exhibition produced by dublab in collaboration with Creative Commons – is going strong. Visit the project’s online home for regular additions by artists and musicians from all over the world. Everything on the site is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license that allows legal sharing and reuse – we’ve already seen some great remixes of the works, which we’re looking forward to presenting publicly soon.

For now, we’re pleased to announce the debut of the Into Infinity Audio Mega-Mixer, a soundboard that lets you create in-the-moment sound collages from all of Into Infinity’s 8-second audio loops. We’ll be adding more functionality and updates to the mixer soon – so stay tuned. In the meantime, have fun creating sound combinations!

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Designers Accord Web Community launches under CC BY

Eric Steuer, November 6th, 2008

Some very cool news from the design world: The Designers Accord, a community of more than 100,000 designers who are committed to environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible design practices (read more the project in GOOD Magazine’s interview with founder Valerie Casey) has launched an online platform for sharing design ideas. The Designers Accord Web Community is a collection of case studies, resources, methodologies, and best practices that have been created by designers and are intended for public use. All submissions and materials on the site are available under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This approach will enable the development of a body of freely-licensed design resources that can be used by people around the world, even for commercial purposes. A big bravo to the people behind this incredible effort!

If the Designers Accord community site was a traditional website, it might behave like a catalog or encyclopedia of best practices, cases studies, and references. Most likely, it would present a single voice to an audience of listeners.

It would be hugely helpful to all of us if that universal resource existed. But it doesn’t. Yet.

We can create this resource through our coalition. The reason we have the Designers Accord is that the creative community has yet to create a definitive set of instructions, or a clearly defined roadmap for fully integrating the principles of sustainability into our work. We are struggling through these difficult challenges together, and this site is a repository for content related to this journey.

Thanks very much to Katy Frankel for introducing us to the people at the Designers Accord and for her help in making this happen.

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