Radiohead’s “House of Cards” video data published under Creative Commons license

Eric Steuer, July 14th, 2008

Today, Radiohead released a video for its song “House of Cards.” Directed by James Frost, it’s a beautiful, eerie clip, made with – wait for it – lasers (!), instead of cameras or lights.

[T]wo technologies were used to capture 3D images: Geometric Informatics and Velodyne LIDAR. Geometric Informatics scanning systems produce structured light to capture 3D images at close proximity, while a Velodyne Lidar system that uses multiple lasers is used to capture large environments such as landscapes. In this video, 64 lasers rotating and shooting in a 360 degree radius 900 times per minute produced all the exterior scenes.

The animation data used to make the video are licensed to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license at Google Code. This means you are free to use the data to make your own video projects, as long as you abide by the CC license’s conditions. (To be clear, the song and its accompanying video are not under CC license; the data used to make the video are.)

Very exciting stuff. We can’t wait to see all the interesting ways people use this material.

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Tribe of Noise Opens With BY-SA Licensed Music

Greg Grossmeier, July 14th, 2008

Tribe of Noise, a community driven music discovery network, is now open for all to join and participate.  Tribe of Noise, which was started by Hessel van Oorschot and Sandra Brandenburg in the Netherlands, allows artists to upload their works using the CC:BY-SA license.  The roots and goals of the project are related to the Open Source Software community which in turn influenced the license Tribe of Noise chose.

Tribe of Noise is using this license so the community can discover new music and develop new relationships with the participating artists.

Tribe of Noise banner

The artists that participate with Tribe of Noise will have many benefits including a personalized webshop along with legal and technical support in the future.  Participating with this project, as a user or artist, will help advance new methods of music creation along with appreciation and new plans for financial sustainability.

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Geograph British Isles Releases Torrents of Data

Greg Grossmeier, July 11th, 2008

The Geograph British Isles project, which aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometer of Great Britain and Ireland, has started releasing torrents of their photographs available for anyone to download and use.

The project has divided the area of Great Britain and Ireland into a grid with equal size squares and users can submit representative photographs for each square.  One of Geograph British Isles’ hope is that by incentivizing their users to submit high quality photos of their country they are encouraging them to get out and explore, learn, and appreciate their country more. Below is an example image from a square Longnor, Shropshire, Great Britain:

The stream at Longnor

CC:BY-SA – Adrian Bailey

Geograph British Isles is making available torrents of all images in the database, which currently has 860,000 images, in 50,000 image sections.  “Everything in the torrents — images and metadata — is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence, and the RDF file references the licence terms for each item in the volume.”

“If anyone would like access to lots of geolocated images, or is simply able to help us seed the torrents – be my guest!” – Paul Dixon, software developer for the project.

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BALUG July 15, P2P Media Summit Silicon Valley August 4 and more

Mike Linksvayer, July 10th, 2008

Two upcoming speaking engagements that should be fun, at least for me…

Next week Bay Area Linux Users Group in San Francisco. This should be fun because I’ve attended a bunch of BALUG meetings, mostly in the last decade, and due to location and great volunteers their speakers are a who’s who of open source, and my talk will include some material I covered at LugRadio Live USA in a talk a few months ago, which I think makes a number of points that ought to be better known regarding where free culture is relative to free software/open source. I’d love comments. See the LugRadio video and slides or better yet come to BALUG next week.

August 4 I’ll speak at the Distributed Computing Industry Association’s P2P Media Summit Silicon Valley in San Jose, exact topic to be determined. I’m really pleased to be speaking here, as in the past I’ve found distributed computing/P2P conferences to have the highest idea quotient of any in the vicinity (e.g., the first O’Reilly P2P conference in 2001, which eventually turned into ETech, and CodeCon) and I think there are many interesting questions and latent opportunities for P2P with the free/open world and vice versa — last year I barely touched on several of these in a workshop at the iSummit, and I really look forward to digging into these.

DCIA is offering a special member rate to P2P Media Summit attendees referred by Creative Commons. Regular conference registration is here. To get the special rate call DCIA Business Affairs/Sari Lafferty, contact information on the conference home page.

Thanks to BALUG and DCIA!

Between these events and elsewhere, CC will be heavily represented at the very important Euroscience Open Forum (Barcelona), OSCON (Portland), CC Salon New York, and iSummit’08 (Sapporo). And I have to mention Wikimania (Alexandria), which I will attend … sadly, next year, though there will probably be no more interesting and relevant conference in this time period.

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Esther Wojcicki Joins Creative Commons Board!

Tim Hwang, July 10th, 2008

Great news being released today that Esther Wojcicki, prominent education innovator, has officially joined the Creative Commons board! We’re thrilled (and lucky) to get her experience and advice on all our developing education related initiatives.

You can read all the details at our press releases page.

(photo courtesy Joi Ito, CC BY)

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Participate In Flickr User CC Licensing Study!

Tim Hwang, July 10th, 2008

Our good friend and new media sociologist Alek Tarkowski from CC Poland has been working hard to compile data for a new report on Flickr user patterns and content licensing. This’ll be a great boost for deepening our developing case study, and will go a long way to supporting our ongoing efforts to develop an understanding of how creators release their works.

But he needs your help to gather data! You can get a link to his short survey here. Definitely worth the few minutes.

For more on CC Poland’s work check out their site.


Opera Web Standards Curriculum

Cameron Parkins, July 10th, 2008

Opera Software, know for their browser of the same name and a strict adherence to web standards, recently released 23 articles of their Web Standards Curriculum for free under a CC BY-NC-SA license, with 30 more to follow in the coming months. The WSC is intended to teach “standards-based web development, including HTML, CSS, design principles and background theory, and JavaScript basics” and has the approval of a variety of organizations including Yahoo! and The Web Standards Project.

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CC Talks With: LegalTorrents

Cameron Parkins, July 10th, 2008

LegalTorrents, “an online community created to discover and distribute Creative Commons licensed digital media”, recently revamped their website to include a stronger community focus as well as a more fluid user experience. We caught up with Jonathan Dugan to find out more about what LegalTorrents can offer those in the CC-community and why CC-using content creators should look to LegalTorrents as a means for online distribution.

Can you give us some background on LegalTorrents? When and why did it start up? Who’s involved?

Simon Carless started LegalTorrents in 2003 and focused on hand-selected, high quality content that was legal to share and distribute. In November 2007, I partnered with Simon to rebuild the site under a new company called Matson Systems.

Since then we’ve grown a small team to build and maintain the site. In addition to our initial goal of distributing high quality content, we also plan to build a community of people interested in finding and sharing this media, and supporting content creators though voluntary financial sponsorship.

The team and their biographies are at our website.
Read More…

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TechSummit Video Now Online

Greg Grossmeier, July 9th, 2008

Creative Commons held our first TechSummit at Google last month.  This event included an update and overview of Creative Commons technologies, panels featuring other leaders in open digital rights technologies, and a look at the future, including the role of digital copyright registries.  If you are curious of who all the speakers were you can still find the list on the TechSummit informational page.  Many presenters’ slides are also available from that page.

For those that could not attend the Tech Summit can now view the entire event online thanks to Google (who graciously hosted the event for us).  There are four 1-hour long videos available and they are broken up by sessions.  You can find session topics and presenters on the TechSummit information page.

The videos –

Video 1:

  • Welcome and mini-keynote (Joi Ito)
  • Talk: Introduction to ccREL (Ben Adida)
  • Panel: Current CC, Science Commons, and ccLearn technology initiatives

Video 2:

Video 3:

  • Panel: Developers of digital copyright registries and similar animals

Video 4:

  • Plenary: “Copyright 2.0” technologies and digital copyright registries: what next?

Thanks to all who participated!

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Redefining the Book: Carnegie Mellon and Team Up

Fred Benenson, July 9th, 2008

ETC Press has just launched as an “academic, open source, multimedia, publishing imprint.” The project is affiliated with the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University and is in partnership with When authors submit their work to ETC they retain ownership of it but they also must submit it under either an Attribution-NoDerivativeWorks-NonCommercial or an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

ETC press then posts the works to where they are available for purchase in its hardcopy form, or free download. While the project focuses specifically on writing about entertainment technology, it is easy to see ETC’s model scaling to publishers of other topics and genres.

Check out ETC’s current titles to download or buy here.


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