Big news: Microsoft Research has unveiled new add-ins for some of the most popular Microsoft products to make them more useful for the scientific community — including tools for creating, sharing and preserving research in the formats used by scientific publishers and digital archives. The suite of add-ins, described in detail here, includes the Creative Commons Add-in for Office 2007, which lets anyone embed a Creative Commons license directly into their documents.
Using the Creative Commons Add-in, you can choose from among the licenses available on the CC site to express your intentions regarding the use of your work. The embedded license links directly to its online representation at the CC site, while a machine-readable representation is stored in the Office Open XML document.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, reporting on the launch:
“Saying it wants to help scholars and publishers write, edit, and publish academic articles, this week Microsoft Corporation rolled out a set of new software tools to perform those tasks, as well as to navigate thorny copyright issues and find and share scholarly data. …
For example, the Article Authoring Add-in for Word 2007 enables authors to structure and annotate their documents according to formats that publishers and digital archives require. The articles can then be converted easily to formats that facilitate their digital storage and preservation. The company is offering the new software free to licensed users of Word and other Microsoft products.
The tool allows users to create documents in the widely used format developed by the National Library of Medicine’s free digital archive of peer-reviewed biomedical and life-sciences journal literature, PubMed Central. But users will also be able to shape the software to suit other formats because the code for the tool is openly accessible and freely adaptable. …
“We’ve never before addressed what we could put around Office, Excel, SharePoint, and our other programs to make them more useful for science,” said Tony Hey, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s external-research division. “For example, Word was not tailored for scientific papers. But we decided to see, Can we make it more useful in that way?”
He said the company is also responding to the demand for researchers to provide greater access to their findings, and even their research data. Already the National Institutes of Health requires that any publications from research it finances be placed in PubMed Central within one year of publication. The National Science Foundation has a similar requirement, as do Harvard University’s faculties of law and of arts and sciences.
Such developments have increasingly raised concerns about copyrights and fair reuse of archived materials. So to help authors, publishers, and databases embed information about copyrights and licenses in Microsoft Office documents, the company released another free product, called the Creative Commons Add-in for Office 2007.”
Science Commons visited the development team working on the add-ins in Seattle last year, and we’re excited to support this initiative.
“There are fundamental shifts taking place in how we manage the flow of scientific knowledge, and they bring demand for new tools that expand our choices for knowledge sharing and collaboration,” says John Wilbanks, Vice President of Science at Creative Commons. “We’re thrilled that Microsoft has taken these important steps to meet that demand.”1 Comment »
Photo by-sa Freddy B. Used with permission from Photographer.
I’m in Sapporo for the CC Legal Day, Commons Research Mini-conference which the Metrics Project is but part, and to further promote the CC Case Studies project. As Greg outlined so clearly last week and I presented at the launch of CC Singapore a few days ago, this project is doing quite well with 112 submissions from around the world assisted by a great system for supporting this community project, and even better brilliant people adding case studies daily!
Also, you kind readers might have noticed that we have launched and/or refreshed several projects over the last few weeks to prepare for a coming change. As of August, my role with Creative Commons will change from managing community and business development to being liaison in ongoing similar affairs. This also means that I will be spending most of my time on projects outside of Creative Commons — most still involve using Creative Commons licensing and technology.
I’m not leaving the culture of free and open, nor Creative Commons, both of which I have been involved with for some time. Rather, I will be, as of August 2nd, devoting most of my energy to projects I’ve been delaying or couldn’t do as effectively since I have been living and breathing Creative Commons. My job and peers at Creative Commons are amazing and working for CC, in my capacity at least which I can speak to, is a dream job. If anything, I will be pushing Creative Commons even more by action, projects, and facilitation in another capacity.
Thus, if you want to find out more about what I will be doing, you know where to find me. And, if I’ve been working with you, your business, your community, and/or organization, firstname.lastname@example.org still works (and will so). I am continuing work on a couple of projects that have not launched in relationship to Open Library/PDWiki project. I also am on-demand still for speaking at events and conferences globally – particularly in Asia since I will be spending most time in China from August – December 2008. I’m still on the books and will facilitate any discussions to the appropriate people. I’m more excited that ever to keep growing the commons!Comments Off
photo from the craft economy
The Craft Economy, a Canadian band we have talked about before, recently got back in the news in regards to their latest CD-stapling adventure. The band has taken to the streets of Toronto, stapling 150 packages that contain a CD of two CC licensed (BY-NC) tracks as well as a message regarding recent Canadian legislation on Bill C-61. From The Craft Economy blog:
We’re handing out / sending / posting a bunch of CDs this weekend, throughout Toronto and the Hillside Festival in Guelph, that have a demo of Menergy and The Crash, The Wagons, The Dying Horses on it (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 license, to bring attention to Bill C-61 (and yeah, some upcoming shows, and yeah, our upcoming CD – but really, that’s a good thing).
We think fighting C-61 is important, and we think you should as well. We’ve posted this before, but do some research on this bill. It’s a mess [...] Bill C-61 is going to change the way you get to listen and watch the videos and music you pay for [...] The Craft Economy has licensed our music, including this CD, using the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 license. This license gives you the freedom to share our music with your friends and enemies, and remix and use it in new and creative ways, provided you attribute the work back to us, and you don’t make money off our work. It’s fair for you and us. This is the way art should work.Please do more reading on C-61 at the following links. A fair and civil future relies upon us, and our action.
You can read the full statement on their website (DISCLAIMER: one instance of NSFW language).Comments Off
CASH Music, an acronym for ‘Coalition of Artists and Stakeholders’, has been an impressive member of the CC community since they debuted late last year. Part music label, part creative community, CASH Music has major plans to change the landscape of contemporary artistic output with a particular focus on the dialogue between content creators and consumers. They already have some amazing projects out under their moniker and with more on the way, we decided to catch up with CASH Music partner Jesse Von Doom to learn more about CASH’s goals, their business model, and what they have in store for the future.
Can you give our readers some background on CASH Music? How did it begin? Who is involved? On a broad level, what are you trying to accomplish?
CASH is an acronym for Coalition of Artists and Stake Holders. The name was chosen to reflect the goals and the people involved. The idea was born in a simple conversation between Kristin Hersh and Donita Sparks about achieving sustainability in the currently volatile music world. Their managers, Billy O’Connell and Robert Fagan respectively, continued the conversation and became the first two partners in what would be CASH. At the time I was running a graphic and web design firm with my business partner, Jack McKenna. A few business connections and friends-in-common later, Jack and I started working for CASH and quickly became partners ourselves.
Since then we’ve won the support of seasoned advisors, organizations like Creative Commons, and some talented artists. But it still goes back to that first conversation between Kristin and Donita. We’re trying to help find healthy sustainability for artists while giving listeners more of a stake in the music for a new and better experience.
If you have only been reading the updates on the international Creative Commons blog (this one) about the Case Studies project you have been missing some important news.
Creative Commons Australia, the leaders in the Case Study project, have just released the first draft version of the Case Studies book pdf: Building an Australasian Commons. This is one high quality book that show cases all of the Australian Case Studies. A huge “Congrats!” goes to Rachel Cobcroft and everyone else who has put so much time into this project and produced such a wonderful tool for all to use.
If you like this book enough that you want to print your own copy, GO FOR IT! However, for those of you that will want to print a large number of these my advice is to wait; there will be a newer more finalized version soon which will make some changes you will want.
Now, go add your own Case Studies to the project wiki so that the next version might have YOUR case study included!
Original Creative Commons Australia announcement here: LINK .Comments Off
An interesting article in today’s Los Angeles Times focuses on Sean Tevis, a Kansan Democrat running for state legislature who, like many in the political process, found fundraising to be his biggest obstacle. Frustrated by his inability to generate funding, Tevis turned to popular webcomic XKCD for inspiration, creating his own comic that offered his opinions on political issues. The comic, and the content on the rest of Tevis’ site, is released under a CC BY-NC-ND license.
After releasing the comic, Tevis quickly saw his empty war chest fill up, with thousands of people donating small amounts that eventually amassed the politician over $90,000. While much of this success is due to Tevis’ knack for humorous writing, it also has to do with the fact that he’s distributing his content under terms that keep it sharable and easier to evangelize.Comments Off
CC’s Business Development team Jon Phillips and myself got a chance to meet up a few weeks ago with the awesome staff over at the Spain-based SafeCreative project. They’re working to build a free and open global intellectual property registry that allows users to publicly assert and identify their rights over a work. The project supports CC licensing, and it’s definitely making important strides in authenticating creative works.
Mario and his team have been gaining lots of traction in the recent months, and we’re excited to announce today that they just put out a call for all you law-techie geeks types out there who are interested in getting involved and helping to building bridges from their project to communities in the US. The job would involve posting on their English blog, translating over some of their FAQ’s, and helping to field questions from users. If you’re interested, details are available here.Comments Off
We are delighted to announce the successful localization of the Creative Commons licenses in Singapore, the 47th worldwide to do so. The CC Singapore team, led by Associate Professor Samtani Anil and Assistant Professor Giorgios Cheliotis, has worked under the auspices of the Centre for Asia Pacific Technology Law & Policy (CAPTEL) and in collaboration with Creative Commons International to port the licenses to Singaporean law.
The launch event will be celebrated on Sunday, July 27, at the International Symposium on Electronic Art. The ceremony will be followed by several panels organized by CATPEL and Creative Commons Singapore on copyright issues in digital media and a keynote address from Professor Lawrence Lessig. For more in information we invite you to read our press release.
Congratulations, CC Singapore!
The Miro team have put their summer video intern, Parker Higgins to work launching two new channels for the open-video application:
The goal of these channels is to showcase interesting and entertaining material from all over the internet that’s been released under open licenses. Free Culture TV is more specialized, and will contain programming from the Free Culture movement: documentaries, lectures, or short films that address the struggle against a permissions-based society. Yes, We’re Open! will have all kinds of entertainment, from feature length movies to documentaries, shorts, music videos, and anything else you can imagine, all openly licensed.
Miro defines ‘openly licensed’ as:
… an alternative to the “all rights reserved” associated with copyright. When people assign an open license to their work, they are giving the public certain rights, like the freedom to copy and distribute, or to remix and mash up, depending on the terms of the license. One popular example are the Creative Commons licenses, which are applied to many of the videos in these channels.
If you don’t already have Miro installed, download it here. Once you’re set up, click on the following links to automatically subscribe to the channels that Parker is curating:
Most importantly, if you have content to submit to either of the channels, get in contact with Parker.1 Comment »
Jamison Young is a musician who records endlessly and plays live as often as he can. Young releases all his music under a CC licence, some through ‘fairplay’ label (and former Featured Commoner) Beatpick, who helped get Young’s track “Memories Child” into the soundtrack for new feature film “The X-Files: I Want to Believe“. We Caught up with Young and asked him some questions regarding his decision to use CC licences and what his current and future plans are – read on to find out more.
Can you give our readers a bit of background about yourself and your music?
I’ve been writing, performing and recording songs for a while, yet its only in the last five or so years that I have settled down enough to get some kind of career going with what I do. I play live, although mostly based in Europe and that is where I’m based – I’m originally from Australia.
What are your influences?
Any song that lets me escape, songs from the 60′s, 70′s, 80′s of all types and also contemporary artists like Beck. I like songs that I can listen to again and again yet still stay fresh. Learning about copyright and Creative Commons has given me a new view on my influences though.
What licenses do you use and why?
I licensed the songs from the album “Shifting Sands Of A Blue Car” under a Creative Commons Attribution license. When I look at the amount of self published art that is used commercially compared to published content and then look at how much quality self published content is available online, less restrictions for my music makes more sense for me. Also, a lot of home creators that use a song might want to use the content in conjunction with a services like youtube or myspace, and who can say if these services are a commercial or non-commercial from the user of the contents point of view.