George Eastman House, Bibliothèque de Toulouse Join Flickr Commons

Cameron Parkins, July 21st, 2008

Dans les jardins de Monte-Carlo | No known copyright restrictions.

Two more amazing photo collections have been added to the continuously growing Flickr Commons, one coming from the George Eastman House and the other from Le Bibliothèque de Toulouse. Both groups’ photostreams are absolutely amazing to pour over, offering stunning images from the turn of the century that are all released in the public domain. Again, in case you have missed any of our other posts on the Flickr Commons, some info below:

The key goals of The Commons are to firstly give you a taste of the hidden treasures in the world’s public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer. You’re invited to help describe the photographs you discover in The Commons on Flickr, either by adding tags or leaving comments

The rest of the institutions on the Flickr Commons have all recently added new photos as well, increasing the worth of an already phenomenal resource.

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Empowering economics of ‘net native’ music

Mike Linksvayer, July 20th, 2008

Lucas Gonze:

Now consider that internet music businesses have to compete for investment capital with internet businesses that don’t pay royalties. Craigslist, Google search, and Twitter do nothing but move bits around!

Lastly, returning to the conversation about netlabels the other day, I want to point out that netlabel and other net-native music doesn’t have a lot of listeners, but as long as it stays clear of copyright infringement it can have economics just like Craiglist, Twitter etc. Maybe not at that scale, but definitely at that level of profitability.

And I know that people on the business side of internet music see net-native music as a joke. That’s right big shots, I’m talking to you specifically. Make free and legal music popular enough for your traffic to scale and you can have the grail — an internet music product that makes sense as a business. Which is exactly what Phlow-Magazine is working on by slicking up the presentation of those sources.

Victor Stone comments on the above post:

Maybe not at that scale, but definitely at that level of profitability.

Does anybody, anywhere doubt that at some point

1) a ‘net native’ artist will actual break. iow, do we really think Brad Sucks has hit the ceiling?

2) when that artist breaks without any “industry” juice, not even sxsw, the margins will be ginormous, the flood gates will open.

These things are stupendously obvious things to me. Does anybody out there question these certainties?

Relatedly, Gonze posting on the cc-community list:

In reality, the benefit [of allowing commercial use] is to maximize upsales by empowering businesses to build support systems for your music.

I highly recommend following the blogs of Gonze and Stone if you want to know where ‘net native’ (and eventually most) music is going.

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ccLearn (bi)monthly update – July 18, 2008

Ahrash Bissell, July 18th, 2008

June slipped by before we knew what was happening, so this is a two-month update. These past two months have seen ccLearn giving a presentation at CSU Sacramento relating open education and universal design, attending the first CC tech summit, and plowing along on the various projects already underway. Also, we welcomed a summer intern, Grace Armstrong, who is coordinating with CCi and open education leaders in Latin America and beyond on holding meetings and identifying promising collaborative opportunities. More on this later this summer.

We have also released a great mapping tool for identifying upcoming open educational events, now found on ccLearn’s home page. What is unique about this tool is that the data are derived from a wiki-table, and anyone can contribute or edit event info. We encourage you to add any events relevant to open education that you may be aware of. We intend to re-purpose this tool for other mapping exercises as well, and since it is open source, like everything Creative Commons builds, you can also use it for your own mapping needs. One idea that has already been discussed is “mapping the open educational space” at the upcoming iSummit… this exercise could take many forms, and the open, collaborative nature of the wiki allows for a lot of creativity in how the map takes shape.

Look for other developments and research projects to come to fruition in the coming month. The days are getting shorter here in the Northern Hemisphere, but the fire season has just begun.

-Ahrash

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“then you win”

Cameron Parkins, July 18th, 2008

“then you win” is an initiative aiming to release a series of documentaries that focus on international development issues under a spectrum of CC licenses. The documentaries are produced by Loin de l’Œil, a voluntary association in France, and will be released under Yooook, an open content platform project under development run by Camille Harang. You can read more about the project here.

With active donations, “then you win” will move these documentaries from All Rights Reserved into more open licenses – from BY-NC-ND to BY-NC-SA to BY-SA. The more money donated to the project, the more open these documentaries become. The hope is that with a more open license (the project is already powered by a suite of open source solutions) the documentaries will gain more exposure, greatly increasing the impact they are able to achieve.

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ccMixter to the max Q&A; proposals due July 29

Mike Linksvayer, July 17th, 2008

May 29 we announced that we are accepting proposals for a new home for ccMixter, the innovative remix-oriented music community that Creative Commons has run since late 2004. The Request For Proposals was covered many places, including Advertising Age, Boing Boing, and WIRED as well as discussed on the ccMixter forums. Proposals are due July 29 and must be emailed to ccmixter-rfp@creativecommons.org. Questions are welcome at the same address.

We’ve received numerous questions since posting the RFP, which we’ve distilled into the Q&A below.

Before getting to the Q&A, check out (or come back to) some cool ccMixter and related developments over the last month: new site features galore, new developer features, a call for remixes from Shannon Hurley, a new weekly show featuring MC Jack in the Box’s ccMixter picks and of course lots of great new music.

ccMixter RFP Q&A

Why is CC doing this?

This is answered clearly (if dryly) in the RFP (emphasis added):

ccMixter.org was launched by CC in November 2004 to demonstrate legal mixing and reuse of music content, one area in which CC licenses have found firm footing and support. CC believes that ccMixter.org has fulfilled its initial mission of concretely demonstrating “legal reuse.” However, running a community music site is not one of CC’s core competencies, and accordingly, CC’s Board of Directors has decided that ccMixter should be transitioned to another person or entity with the necessary resources and expertise for ccMixter to continue to grow and reach its full potential.

In other words, we think ccMixter has the potential to “blow up” — in the right hands.

Does CC own all IP contained in proposals?

No. Section 3.2(c) of the RFP says, “All RFP responses, supporting materials, and other documentation submitted with responses will become the property of CC.” Our intent is not that CC become the owner or assignee of any intellectual property conceptualized or contained in a proposal response, only that CC needs to retain a record and copy of everything that’s submitted (for audit purposes, etc.).

What did Lessig really mean by “free”, “no ads”, “.org”, and “no variances”?

Appendix B to the RFP restates (verbatim) the criteria articulated by Larry Lessig for spinning out ccMixter to a new home.

“Free” means the entity does have to provide current ccMixter services at no charge, but does not prohibit it from providing “pro” services to users at another, related site. The related site can be linked to from the ccMixter website.

“No ads” means the free ccMixter site cannot have ads.

“.org” means the site will be served from a “.org” domain, but more importantly, have a “no ads” face, though the site content could be served from other domains as well, consistent with the license(s) the content falls under.

“No variances” will be considered from the spirit of the principles Larry articulated, but admittedly those principles leave some room for interpretation. We may need to refine those points in negotiation depending on the ideas contained in the proposals. But the over-arching and guiding intent is to ensure the ccMixter website remains a community environment where remixers can do their thing, legally, and not suffer abuse or feel that the essence of their community or the terms governing their participation have changed. We’re happy to review proposal ideas and drafts and provide feedback on whether the direction envisioned is tenable. This isn’t a matter of throwing one over the transom and hoping it isn’t immediately disqualified … if you’re interested in submitting a proposal, let’s talk.

What is the activity level of the site?

Probably the best window into how the site is used is on the ccMixter stats page.

Over the last 30 days, ccMixter has 333,871 pageviews in 58,158 visits from 39,234 visitors (according to Google Analytics).

Alexa, Compete.com, and Quantcast provide publicly available traffic indicators.

How much does it cost to run ccMixter?

The technical answer is that the site currently runs on one box, currently hosted at ServerBeach for $229/month, including bandwidth (2000GB/month). A <$10/month Dreamhost account is used to help with bandwidth. The other cost, much larger, has been its people. That basically means Victor (who has to date performed services at well below market rate) and a small amount of legal/finance/hr/management overhead from CC.

All this said, the question we encourage proposers to be thinking about is not “what does it cost CC, a non profit, to run ccMixter today?” The circumstances of our development and maintenance of the site in its current form should only inform, not drive or be relied upon in determining, costs going forward.

The question you really should be asking is “what would ccMixter cost [your name here] to run?”, which will be largely determined by your vision for its future.

The reason is simple. For almost every case, the current cost to CC does not translate to what ccMixter would cost somebody because the CC infrastructure of lawyers, accountants, tech staff, etc. would all need to replicated. And the “market value” of the very valuable work Victor performs at a cut rate for CC almost certainly will not translate to your real world scenario.

So the answer to this inquiry really depends in what kind of infrastructure you have at your organization, and even more importantly on your vision and plans for the site.

Remember, proposals are due July 29 to ccmixter-rfp@creativecommons.org! Please read the RFP carefully if you are considering submitting.

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Digital Copyright Slider

Jane Park, July 17th, 2008

Thanks to The Wired Campus, I stumbled across this nifty digital copyright tool developed by the American Library Association’s Copyright Advisory Network (in the Office for Information Technology Policy). The ALA Copyright Advisory Network is dedicated to educating librarians and others on copyright, something that is no simple matter, since, “with copyright, there are no definitive answers.”

Check out the digital copyright slider. The tool itself is pretty simple. You basically slide the arrow up and down the years starting from “Before 1923″. The boxes on the left (Permission Needed? and Copyright Status/Term) tell you whether a work is still copyrighted or whether it’s now in the public domain, free for you to use and repurpose any way you like. Unfortunately, actually figuring out the copyright status of a work isn’t so simple as dragging your mouse—most of the years seem to be marked by a fuzzy period of “Maybe”. For example, say John Doe wrote and published a poem between 1964-1977 and you are able to find a copyright notice—you still can’t really figure out whether the copyright still applies. And if you can’t find a copyright notice? Well, you just don’t know then either. The same answer (don’t know) seems to apply to a lot of years here…

Props to the ALA for illuminating the incredible complications in US copyright (yeah, that’s right—this sliding scale also only applies to works published within the US). And double props for licensing their tool CC BY-NC-SA. I leave you now with this thought:


Photo licensed CC BY-NC by Nancy

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Archive.org Releases Improved Uploading Interface

Tim Hwang, July 17th, 2008

Prominent Free Culture activist, ROFLCon-ite, and close CC friend Dean Jansen blogged recently about Archive.org’s new absolutely amazingly easy-to-use new interface for uploading media. As he writes,

This is great news, as Archive.org has historically been notoriously difficult to publish to. I’m encouraging them to go one step further and add easily accessible RSS links (with media enclosures) for users, categories, searches and so forth. This will turn Archive.org into an amazing free 1-stop (non-profit) publishing platform for independent podcasters and video bloggers alike.

Very cool. It currently only works for things less than 100 MB, and for anything larger, there’s the Creative Commons Publisher Tool. Check it out!

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CC Salon LA Follow-Up

Cameron Parkins, July 17th, 2008

3 weeks ago we had an amazing experience putting on the CC Salon LA. Presenters Curt Smith and Monk Turner spoke eloquently about why they have used CC and it seemed a shame that their words were constricted solely to the space of FOUND Gallery. Thankfully we recorded the presentations and, after editing for brevity, we were able to post them online. Check them out below:

Curt Smith’s Presentation:

Monk Turner’s Presentation:

All the videos are released under a CC BY license and you can download them in their raw format at either vimeo or blip.tv. Similarly, we will be posting the unedited presentations to Archive.org in the coming days. You can also see a Flickr photoset of the night.

CC Salons are one of the best ways we have found for people to better understand how CC works and what we do – hopefully by taking these presentations online, they can educate an even wider audience.

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Seesmic Adds Creative Commons License Support

Jon Phillips, July 16th, 2008

Super cool video conversation site Seesmic just rolled out its most requested feature today, Creative Commons licensing of course! Seesmic added all 6 primary licenses as option and CC Attribution 3.0 as default license for videos uploaded. “This means you determine how other people can use your content. Your choices are now between six combinations of Creative Commons licenses, and “All Rights Reserved,” says Jeremy Vaught from Seesmic.

Joi already beat me to the punch in blogging about this and posted up a video. If you head over to my site or Joi’s and you can see also the video that Loic shot with me at the CC office in San Francisco yesterday.

And, if you head over to Seesmic’s main page right now, they have a community video discussion with a fair use and copyright expert (~3:30 PM PST).

Tim “ROFLcon” Hwang and I have been working with Seesmic to add this over the last few weeks and they rocked it out pretty quick! Joanne and Loic followed up with me noting where they added CC support, which is cool for others in similar position to note as well because Seesmic relies heavily at present on Flash video (like Youtube and others) and Flash-based interface elements:

  • Either logged in or out you see a link where it says’s Some Rights Reserved at www.seesmic.com
  • When a community member goes to post a video there is a small icon that defaults to the Attribution license, but one may click, scroll down to see the other license options and learn more.
  • Community members also access CC on their profile page and in the embeddable player, where the license option links out to the selected CC license deed page.
  • You can read more about our announcement at http://blog.seesmic.com/.
  • Also added to CC our Terms of Service (ToS) with links to CC’s site where appropriate: http://www.seesmic.com/docs/TOS.html

As such, IANAL, and CC doesn’t provide legal support. These are just notes on how Seesmic has integrated CC licensing.

CC integration should be rewarded with traffic, right! Head on over there and start posting videos. Oh, and if you want to know the verb form of Seesmic, its to Seesmic.

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CC Talks With: Curt Smith

Cameron Parkins, July 15th, 2008

Curt Smith, solo-artist and co-founder of Tears for Fears, presented at the most recent CC Salon LA on why he chose to release his new album, “Halfway, pleased“, under a CC license. He spoke so eloquently we wanted to commit his words to text – as such, we bring you the latest in our Featured Commoner series.


Credit: Justine Ungaro, CC BY

Can you give us a bit of background on your musical/artistic trajectory? Many of our readers may be familiar with Tears for Fears, the band you gained notoriety in, but may be less familiar with your equally impressive solo career. Please speak to both.

Roland and I have been in bands together since we were 13 years old. We signed our first record deal at 18 with a band called Graduate, which lasted all of a year until we decided we didn’t like being in a band and left to form Tears For Fears. I left the band in 1990 as I wasn’t enjoying it any more and moved to New York.

After a few years on the periphery of the industry, in radio and TV, I met Charlton Pettus through a mutual friend. He convinced me to start writing and performing again and a band called Mayfield was born. The idea was to get back to the basics and rediscover the pure enjoyment and musicianship that attracted me to this career in the first place. We primarily played in New York and released an album cunningly entitled “Mayfield”.

In 1998 my wife’s work brought us to Los Angeles, Charlton would follow about a year later. Around the time of the birth of my first daughter in 1999 I started writing the songs for what would later become “Halfway, pleased”.
Read More…

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