Jane Park, September 15th, 2008

This month, the American Society of Cell Biology’s iBioSeminars added twelve new seminars to its original repertoire of twenty. The new seminars explore in depth topics such as “Odorant and Pheromone Signaling” and “Telomeres, Aging, and Cancer.” If you didn’t know already, iBioSeminars is the ASCB’s web seminar series featuring world-class scientists’ “on-going research in leading laboratories”.

Ron Vale and Bruce Alberts, two professors in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
and Biochemistry at UCSF, write:

On behalf of the American Society of Cell Biology, we would like to welcome you to view our exciting iBioSeminars web seminar series, featuring 12 new seminars from world-class scientists. Our mission is to provide free-of-charge seminars from leaders in the life sciences to students and researchers throughout the world. iBioSeminars highlight recent research from leading laboratories but also contain more extensive introductions than are typical of university seminars. iBioSeminars are thus accessible to advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students as well as to researchers who wish to learn about fields outside of their expertise. These free, “on-demand” seminars can be downloaded and viewed on a computer, an iPod or an iPhone, allowing you to view them anywhere – at work, at home, on a train, or in a classroom.

The ASCB plans on adding twenty new seminars each year, hopefully even making foreign language translations so that they will be even more globally accessible. iBioSeminars is licensed CC BY-NC-ND.

Comments Off on iBioSeminars

Common Craft

Cameron Parkins, September 15th, 2008

Common Craft is a company that makes videos which are “short, simple and focused on making complex ideas easy to understand.” These videos range in topic – from Twitter to social bookmarking to electing the U.S. President – and are made using a technique Common Craft calls Paperworks, a whiteboard-and-paper format that they believe “is designed to cut out the noise and stick to what matters.”

Common Craft make their videos available online for businesses to license as educational tools, but also share the videos widely under a CC BY-NC-ND license. There are definite advantages for businesses in getting the licensed versions, most notably portability and quality. Outside of this, the CC licensed Common Craft videos have garnered heightened popularity on YouTube and other sharing sites, increasing their name recognition and ubiquity – two factors that have hopefully been instrumental in expanding their growing list of custom-video clients. Common Craft have a great video posted on their licensing process that explains it all clearly and simply – making it not only informative but also a great example of their production style.

Comments Off on Common Craft

Adobe continues to do the right thing with XMP

Mike Linksvayer, September 12th, 2008

XMP is the format Creative Commons recommends for embedding metadata (such as licensing information) in most media file types. Frankly there isn’t much competition — embedded metadata is poorly supported, formats are balkanized, and nobody save Adobe (XMP’s developer) has had the willingness to work on a problem that can only be solved over many years (programmers have to build support into software people actually use) and a platform to drive initial adoption.

Fortunately Adobe’s long term efforts are paying off. More and more software supports reading and embedding XMP with more and more file formats. This only makes sense, as more and more people have the need to manage huge media collections that previously only media houses such as ad agencies needed.

Equally fortunately, Adobe continues to make the right moves toward keeping XMP open, ensuring it continues progressing toward being the universal means of embedding metadata in media files. Last year Adobe released the XMP software development kit under the permissive BSD software license. This directly enabled Creative Commons’ liblicense to use some of this code.

Now Adobe’s XMP product manager Gunar Penikis blogs that Adobe has posted a royalty free public patent license for XMP:

This will further remove barriers to the adoption and use of XMP and a metadata standard across our partner solutions and ecosystems. Which is really exciting because better interoperability results in a better customer experience when media is exchanged across applications and services.

This is especially welcome news for the free/open source software world, including again, the code Creative Commons develops — software patents can block development and distribution of open code (e.g., see media codecs), so it is reassuring that Adobe has added a patent license to its openness strategy for XMP.

Thanks to Adobe! Incidentally, Gunar Penikis spoke about XMP at the CC technology summit held in June. See the summit page for slides and video.

Comments Off on Adobe continues to do the right thing with XMP

Copyleft Festival 2008

Cameron Parkins, September 12th, 2008

The Copyleft Festival 2008 kicked off yesterday in Arezzo, Italy (located in Tuscany) with a great looking lineup of speakers and events. From CF2K8:

Four days full of debates, meetings, music and shows that speak about Copyleft and Creative Commons licences. From the 11th to the 15th of September, the city of Arezzo in Tuscany will be the capital of free circulation of ideas. The festival will take place in Arrezo’s two central squares and will host a bevy of guests including the collective of writers Kai Zen, the French mathematician Philippe Aigrain and new media expert Gabriele Lunati (who will explore copyleft and CC applied to music).

On Sunday the 14th, a ‘barcamp’ about new media and citizen journalism will take place from 11AM to 5PM. Space to debate, with round tables dedicated to open source/public administration, bank loans, music and CC-using professionals will also be available. Every day features book presentations, projections, shows.

Comments Off on Copyleft Festival 2008

High Resolution Photo of the Day

Fred Benenson, September 12th, 2008

Blogger and Director of Content Development @ blip.tv, Eric Mortensen, does a fantastic job of curating high resolution Creative Commons licensed photos. He uses Flickr’s ‘Favorite‘ function in an innovative way — all the work he favorites gets pushed to a RSS feed that you can subscribe to. Here’s a clip of the gallery he’s been curating for a while, with over 600 images, almost all licensed under CC:

Thank Eric, for showing how easy it is to showcase and curate the commons.


On Content Industries and Understanding Creative Commons

Fred Benenson, September 12th, 2008

A number of articles from CC insiders hit the blogs this week. I have one up at Media Rights, a site that focuses on social-justice documentaries and the activist filmmaker community. I focus my examples on how Creative Commons can help film makers reach greater audiences and media by framing them in light of the recent US Court of Appeals decision in our favor:

On August 13th, 2008 the United States Court of Federal Appeals handed down an opinion that further cemented the legal footing that gives “open content” licenses like Creative Commons (CC) their legal teeth. The decision of Jacobsen v. Katzer was monumental for the free culture and free software communities for a number of reasons. Public licenses, like CC’s six “Some Rights Reserved” copyright licenses and the one being litigated over, the Artistic License, grant rights to the public in general as opposed to a specific party. Where a private license between a filmmaker and a distribution company might stipulate that a particular distributor is given the exclusive rights to show a film, a public license might stipulate that anyone who comes across the film is allowed to show it so long as they give proper attribution and do not make modifications.

You can read my whole article here.

And over on BizCommunity.com, friend of the cause and South African lawyer Paul Jacobsen writes about some of the South African projects using Creative Commons in part 3 of his series about our licenses and the issues they implicate:

JoziKids, http://jozikids.co.za/, a wonderful child focussed website, uses Creative Commons licences to licence content created by its advertisers who create listings on the website rather than trying to take ownership of the content in order to provide the listings to visitors to the site. In this way Merle Dietrich strikes a balance between being able to publish rich listings on the site and not interfere unduly in the advertiser’s ability to exploit their content commercially outside the website.

Read on for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of Paul’s series.

Comments Off on On Content Industries and Understanding Creative Commons

CC in the TypePad Widget Gallery

Mike Linksvayer, September 11th, 2008

We mentioned last year that SixApart had developed a CC licensing widget for their TypePad hosted blogging service, but it’s worth mentioning again, because it’s a really nice implementation. The CC widget is now available via the TypePad Widget Gallery.

If you have a TypePad blog you can visit the gallery or the widget directly to easily add a CC license to your blog.

Also cool to note that SixApart was one of the very first companies to add a CC license option to a product (their stand-alone blogging software, Movable Type) back in 2003, and the TypePad widget was developed using CC’s LicenseChooser.js code.

Comments Off on CC in the TypePad Widget Gallery

Berkman Center for Internet & Society in San Francisco

Melissa Reeder, September 11th, 2008

If you’re around the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday Sept. 15th, definitely check out this event:
Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society is hosting a book talk and reception in honor of their newest publication Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser. We hope to see you there!

Special thanks to these sponsors: David Hornik of August Capital, the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, Creative Commons, Tod Cohen of eBay Inc., the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Stanford’s Center for Internet & Society, and Meg Garlinghouse of Yahoo! Inc.

Comments Off on Berkman Center for Internet & Society in San Francisco

The “Flexbook”

Jane Park, September 10th, 2008

We’ve all heard of the textbook. Some of us have read one or two in school. Others of us have stared blankly at pages filled with outdated information. Still, others of us are more resourceful and have used the bulky things to prop up rickety ends of tables. But all of us have had to carry one around at some point, which may or may not be the reason why our shoulders are slightly lower on the right. Well, according to the CK-12 foundation,

“It is that time of year where our nations school children are preparing their back packs ready to head back to start their new academic year. The contents of these bags has definitely evolved over years, considering now the average student’s back pack will contain more tech

nology than NASA had to take Apollo to the moon.

But one thing that has stayed constant is the good old fashioned text book. While it requires no batteries or boot up time, it still is the heaviest and most inflexible item in there.

Take for example, the current academic debate going on in the astromony world regarding the number of planets our solar system has. Is it 9, or is it 8?

“People in the know” decided that we actually have only 8 planets, based on the assumption that Pluto is too small to be a planet. Oh dear. Now we have all these text books that has the wrong information, and to make matters worse, depending on the State, it could take anywhere from 1 year to 6 to get it corrected. So not only are our children carry

ing around these heavy tombs, it turns out, the information inside of them is out of date!

The problem doesn’t end there, the same “people in the know” are being challenged by other “people in the know” and the Pluto debate is far from over.

But thats life. We live in an ever evolving world, where new discoveries are being made, old thinking rechallenged, as we increase our awareness and knowledge of the world and universe we inhabit. How is the humble back pack meant to cope?

The problem with our textbooks is that their granularity is simply too large. It only takes one paragraph to be wrong, for the whole book to have to be reprinted. So imagine when a whole discipline changes, in our Pluto example. They simply can’t take this level of change.

But here we are, asking our new students to carry around these tombs of outdated information in and out of school every day.

There has to be a better way no?”

It turns out there is a better way! The

The CK-12 Foundation‘s solution to the age-old problem of uneven shoulders. The Flexbook is a free and open source textbook platform where one can build and edit collaborative textbooks. This is the textbook of the next generation: “CK-12 allows one to customize and produce content by re-purposing to suit what needs to be taught, using different modules that may suit a learner’s learning style, region, language, or level of skill, while adhering to the local education standards. Flexibility + Textbook = Flexbook.”

All CK-12 content will be licensed CC BY-SA. We have been working with the CK-12 foundation for a while now and look forward to continuing collaboration. In related news, the Commonwealth of Virginia have also announced their partnership with the foundation to build an open physics flexbook for all of Virginia. Here is an excerpt from their press release:

“The Virginia Physics “Flexbook” project is a collaborative effort of the Secretaries of Education and Technology and the Department of Education that seeks to elevate the quality of physics instruction across the Commonwealth. Participating educators will create and compile supplemental materials relating to 21st century physics in an open–source format that can be used to strengthen existing physics content. The Commonwealth is partnering with CK–12 (www.ck12.org) on this initiative as they will provide the free, open–source technology platform to facilitate the publication of the newly developed content as a “Flexbook” — defined simply as an adaptive, web–based set of instructional materials.”

The resulting Virginia Physics Flexbook will also be available under CC BY-SA.

(Logos are © CK-12 Foundation.)

1 Comment »

Brad Sucks Releases “Out Of It”, CC-Licensed Pop/Rock

Cameron Parkins, September 10th, 2008

Brad Sucks, a CC-staff favorite musician, released his new album Out Of It this past Monday online, for free, and under a CC BY-SA license. From the Brad Sucks blog:

A lot’s changed since I started putting music on the Internet way back in 2001. Artist-endorsed free downloads were shocking. Flexible pricing was still an untested novelty. It was rare to find source files from artists and sharing music wasn’t encouraged by new artists.

Recently I was asked if I’d do anything different this time around […] and I honestly couldn’t imagine why I’d do things different. The only reason I, a dude who made an album by himself in a country basement, has had any sort of success is because people took it upon themselves to share my music with their friends. They remixed it, they used it in their videos, they played it on their podcasts, they included it in software and games and it took on a life of its own.

To coincide with the album release, ccMixter got Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan, authors of the “Indie Band Survival Guide” to conduct an interview with Brad Sucks. Brad is one of the most sampled artists over at ccMixter and the interview sheds much more light on his music in particular and opinions on the music industry as a whole.

Comments Off on Brad Sucks Releases “Out Of It”, CC-Licensed Pop/Rock

previous pagenext page