Campaign Exclusive: Custom USB Drives & Unreleased Jonathan Coulton Album

Fred Benenson, November 17th, 2008

Mega Green FlashdriveThe ever innovative Brooklyn-based singer songwriter Jonathan Coulton has teamed up with Creative Commons to release his greatest hits compilation “JoCo Looks Back” on a 1gb custom Creative Commons jump drive to help support our 2008 campaign. If that weren’t enough, JoCo and CC have also included all of the unmixed audio tracks for every song on the drive. That’s over 700mb of JoCo thing-a-week goodness. Since all of JoCo’s music is released under our Attribution-NonCommercial license, this is an incredible opportunity for the public to remix and reuse his fantastic music. Song files are in 320kbps MP3 and unmixed audio tracks are in 256 VBR MP3.

We’ll be offering the drives exclusively at our $50 dollar donation level (and above) until December 31st. Also included are a CreativeCommons.net account, an OpenID identity, and a 2008 campaign sticker.

Jonathan also wrote a wonderful commoner letter speaking on how he, as a musician, uses Creative Commons to support himself and his career. Read it here.


Read More…

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Open Music Wire

Cameron Parkins, November 17th, 2008

Open Music Wire is a new initiative from Musik1 that promotes CC-licensed music from affiliated net-labels. Most readily seen as a music blog, OMW curates the music they feature on their home page in an effort to shine a light on the songs and artists they find particularly inspiring. All of the music on the site is released under a CC BY-NC-ND license.

OMW is still in beta, so many of the services aren’t fully launched. With that said, it is important to note that although there is a distinct emphasis on OMW’s affiliated net-labels, anyone can submit music to their Open Music Library as long as it is licensed correctly. Presumably, this music will not only be freely available but also pooled for the curated content on the main page.

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Stanford Courses Available via BitTorrent

Jane Park, November 17th, 2008

BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, has been embraced by Stanford University in distributing its online engineering courses. Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE) launched back in September, offering its open courseware under CC BY-NC-SA. Thanks to Ernesto at TorrentFreak for the tip:

“While some universities restrict the use of BitTorrent clients, others embrace the popular flilesharing protocol and use it to spread knowledge. Stanford University is one of the few to realize that BitTorrent does not equal piracy. They use BitTorrent to give away some of their engineering courses, with some success.”

Why does BitTorrent make sense for Stanford Engineering courses? Because unlike some of their OCW (Open CourseWare) counterparts, SEE offers more than just video lectures; Stanford Engineering Everywhere “provides downloads of full course materials including syllabi, handouts, homework and exams. Online study sessions through Facebook and other social sites are encouraged” (Stanford News Service). In addition to BitTorrent, the courses are also available via iTunes and YouTube.

You, too, can learn robotics!

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Kaltura: Open-Source Video Platform

Cameron Parkins, November 17th, 2008

Kaltura, an “open-source platform for video creation, management, interaction, and collaboration”, boasts a robust platform uncommon among web-apps that includes the ability to annotate, remix, edit, and share video collaboratively over the web.

Of particular interest to the CC-community is Kaltura’s decision to require that all user-submitted media be licensed under a CC BY-SA license, creating a community of true sharing and remixing that is in line with our Free Cultural Works guidelines. From Kaltura:

Kaltura’s open source platform enables any site to seamlessly and cost–effectively integrate advanced interactive rich–media functionalities, including video searching, uploading, importing, editing, annotating, remixing, and sharing. Kaltura’s goal is to bring interactive video to every site and to create the world’s largest distributed video network.

Kaltura are also funding open video work at Wikimedia, great news we posted earlier here.

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Twidox launches private beta

Jane Park, November 17th, 2008

Twidox, “a free, user generated online library of ‘quality’ documents,” launched their private beta today. The “private” beta can be accessed with a beta-code, which virtually anyone can obtain by registering. For readers of this blog, you can simply type in the beta-code “creativecommons” to check out Twidox.

Twidox is a content repository where anyone can upload and publish their work under a Creative Commons license, donate it to the public domain, or retain “all rights reserved” copyright. They have built in CC licensing, so you can easily tag your resources under the license of your choosing. Twidox’s focus is on:

  • academic papers and articles
  • research material
  • professional and industry specific documents
  • coursework and dissertations
  • data and statistics
Like Scribd, IssueLab, and a host of other platforms that have built in CC licensing, ccLearn encourages the open publication of educational materials on the internet. We will follow the progress and evolution of Twidox, who “[does] not see similar sites as competitors.” They state that “Rather than trying to compete with organisations such as the ‘Max-Planck Institute’ and ‘Frauenhofer Institute’, for example, we see them as potential co-operation partners and welcome partnerships.” They also differ from other content repositories in that they are working to cull content on a wider scale by collaborating with various European organizations, versus simply hosting individually contributed materials. So far, Twidox is working with the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking and also their Office on Drugs and Crime.

Twidox was founded by Nicholas and Daniel MacGowan von Holstein and Jan Deppe. The idea for Twidox began in a university when they began “discussing the difficulty of searching for relevant quality documents for research purposes (access to knowledge). The greatest obstacle lay in the relevance of search results returned from search engines, getting access to subscription-paying sites that did have relevant information and the vast number of websites from different organisations that held documents on the same subject.”

We look forward to seeing collaborations occurring between Twidox and organizations with similar aims.
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Reminder: CC Salon SF this Wednesday (11/19/08)

Allison Domicone, November 17th, 2008

To the Bay Area CC community: we hope you can make it to our next CC Salon SF this Wednesday, from 7-9 pm. The theme is “CC and Citizen Journalism,” and we’re very excited about the presenters we’ve got lined up:

From Wikinews: Volunteer Coordinator Cary Bass and Bay Area “Wikinewsie” volunteer Jon Davis will talk about their experience at Wikinews, a global citizen journalism effort and project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

From Spot.us: David Cohn, who has been involved with myriad citizen journalism projects, the likes of which include NewAssignment.net and his current endeavor, Spot.us – a crowdfunding journalism project of the nonprofit Center for Media Change.

Music for the evening will be provided by DJ qubitsu.

The Salon will be at Shine Bar (21+): Map and directions.

For more information, contact salon [at] creativecommons.org

Remember: CC Salons are community-driven and can pop up anywhere. We encourage you to consider starting a salon in your area!

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Robin Chase of ZipCar and GoLoco on “Cooperative Capitalism”

Eric Steuer, November 17th, 2008

Robin Chase, co-founder and former CEO of car sharing service Zipcar, and current CEO of online carpooling service GoLoco recently wrote a great post entitled “Time for Cooperative Capitalism” on her blog, Network Musings. In it, Chase describes the need for developing systems that enable the easy and efficient sharing of resources – both online and in the physical world – with a focus on collaborative financing, infrastructure, and consumption. She also offers a simple formula for people, companies, and institutions looking to engage in this approach.

1. Identify excess capacity.
2. Build a platform for others to share/engage with this excess capacity.
3. Appreciate unanticipated benefits

Check out Chase’s TED Talk from 2007 (the video is under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license) that explores some of these same ideas, specifically in ways that apply to transportation.

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Thingiverse Launches with Stellar Commons Implementation

Fred Benenson, November 17th, 2008

PASCSR by nickfarr under CC BY-SABre Pettis, the uber-DIY hacker of NYC’s Resistor space and self-replicator guru Zach Hoeken are launching Thingiverse today.

Thingiverse is an “object sharing” site that enables anyone to upload the schematics, designs, and images for their projects. Users can then download and reuse the work in their projects using their own laser cutters, 3D printers, and analog tools. Think of it as a Flickr for the Maker set.

Besides implementing our licenses, Bre and Zach have also gone the distance and allowed users to license works under the GNU GPL, LGPL, and BSD licenses, as well as allowing them to release works into the public domain. Thingiverse uses our license wrappers for each of these licenses thereby enabling automatic indexing by machines like search engines.

Pushing the envelope even further, Thingiverse also fully implements our RDFa specification (just take a look at the source of any page with a CC license to see RDFa in action) for expressing licensing and authorship information on the semantic web. This means that aside from telling machines that a work is licensed under CC, Thingiverse also tells machines the title of a work, its author, and other interesting semantic information.

If you’re looking for a fantastic example of how to implement the commons on a platform designed for sharing creativity, look no further than Thingiverse.

(The Polyalphabetic Substitution Cipher Slide Rule by nickfarr under CC BY-SA)

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Cory Doctorow @ Locus Magazine: Why I Copyfight

Eric Steuer, November 17th, 2008

Author, blogger, and permissive copyright activist Cory Doctorow writes a regular column for Locus, a monthly magazine that covers science fiction and fantasy publishing. His current column, “Why I Copyfight,” is filled with thoughtful analysis of why writers are increasingly using open approaches to distributing their work. A year ago, Doctorow wrote a great piece about Creative Commons for Locus; both columns are highly recommended.

I was recently talking to a friend, D.K. Thompson, who has been posting pieces of a YA novel entitled Unbelievable Origin of Superspiff and the Toothpick Kid, for the past several months. We’d never talked directly about Creative Commons before, so I was particularly interested to hear that he was publishing the entire story via poscast under a CC BY-NC-ND license. He, like other authors I have met, told me that he’s using CC because it helps define clear usage permissions and extends the work’s reach. Superspiff is a lot of fun – you can download episodes from it on D.K.’s site.

Literary publishing is a quickly-changing field, with new distribution models emerging regularly. We’re always eager to hear about authors who are using our tools to achieve their desired ends. If you or someone you know is offering their novel, short stories, poetry, or other literature under Creative Commons licenses (or if you’re a reader who has enjoyed someone else’s work that has been made available under CC terms), we’d be grateful if you would point us to it in the comments section of this post.

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Spain’s Version 3.0 goes live

Michelle Thorne, November 17th, 2008

Creative Commons Spain and Catalonia has successfully completed its versioning of the ported Creative Commons licensing suite to Version 3.0. The six standard Creative Commons licenses are now legally and linguistically adapted to Spanish law and available in Castilian, Catalan, and Basque, with a Galician translation coming soon and now Galician.

CC Spain and Catalonia is lead by Ignasi Labastida i Juan and in affiliation with the renown Universitat de Barcelona, The Spanish community continues to rank among the most frequent and permissive license users, and the country hosts numerous CC-powered projects and proponents, including the collaborative Freesound database, netAudio.es and its associated netlabels, several departments of the Catalan government, and institutions like Universitat de Girona with dedicated open resources for research and learning.

“Version 3.0 of the licenses is more robust and clarifies some aspects related to moral rights and rights collective management,” explains Ignasi Labastida i Juan. “We now have many users, but there is still a lot of work to do to explain the meaning of using a CC license in specific fields.”

Creative Commons International, a project of Creative Commons, continues to work with legal experts and professionals around the world to ensure the licenses’ global interoperability and their jurisdictional legal certainty.

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