Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video

Cameron Parkins, July 9th, 2008

Building off their previous effort “Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video”, the Center for Social Media at American University recently released the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video, a document intended to inform those making online video of their basic fair use rights:

This document is a code of best practices that helps creators, online providers, copyright holders, and others interested in the making of online video interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances.

This is a guide to current acceptable practices, drawing on the actual activities of creators, as discussed among other places in the study Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video and backed by the judgment of a national panel of experts. It also draws, by way of analogy, upon the professional judgment and experience of documentary filmmakers, whose own code of best practices has been recognized throughout the film and television businesses.

As pointed out by the CSM, this is not a guide for “using material people give permission to use”, such as CC-licensed works which can be used in any way according to the specific license. Rather, it is a means to better understand the scope of fair use, an incredibly important legal principle for any content creator to understand. You can read more about the Code of Best Practices at Ars Techinca.

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The Metrics Project Now Live!

Tim Hwang, July 9th, 2008

Tim Hwang, Business Development Intern here. Along with Jon Phillips and many others, we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes and excited to announce today that we’ve officially launched the Creative Commons Metrics Project!

Recently, there’s been a growing academic interest in understanding how CC adoption is changing the creative landscape worldwide. Metrics is a wiki-project designed to bring together existing efforts and encourage collaboration on this emerging field of research.

You can read more details about the project on our Press Releases page, and can visit the project directly to browse what we’ve gathered so far (and contribute!).

(image: Giorgos Cheliotis’ chart of global CC adoption and permissiveness — learn more about his amazing work at the Participatory Media Lab)

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One Web Day is September 22nd

Fred Benenson, July 9th, 2008

I’m writing to you as the One Web Day Ambassador for July 9th 2008. One Web Day is a once-a-year celebration of all that is good about the Web. It’s organized by a non-profit team in New York City, but the celebrations take place all over the world. The Ambassadors project is designed to help spread the word about OWD and subsequently connect the relevant communities into the celebration.

This year’s One Web Day theme is participatory democracy. Given the current American political climate it is no surprise that participatory democracy and the web is such a hot topic. In March, CSPAN decided to release their streams under a license similar to CC’s BY-NC license. As the primary season was heating up, Creative Commons’ founder and former CEO, Lawrence Lessig implored the television networks to release the political debates for free. Taking Lessig’s point to heart, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Christopher Dodd all urged the DNC’s chairman Howard Dean to release their debates under Creative Commons’ Attribution license. Finally, CNN announced that they would release the debates for gratis online “without restriction.”

While it would have been ideal to see CNN release under a Creative Commons Attribution license, the steps were made in the right direction: towards opening and freeing the media that matters in our participatory democracy. Moreover, the whole exchange demonstrated the central tenets of how participatory democracy on the web works, and would probably not have been possible without the Internet.

So when September 22nd 2008 rolls around, give some thought to why and how the web is influencing our participatory democracy, and how you can play a role in celebrating its success on One Web Dayand don’t forget to make it to one the many parties!

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CC Talks With: Behance

Cameron Parkins, July 8th, 2008

Behance is many things – a creative network, an online magazine, a producer of creative tools, an index of creative professionals, and a purveyor of methodology for getting creative projects done. Perhaps it is better to think of Behance then as an organization that, in their own words, “designs products and services that empower the creative world to make ideas happen.”

The Behance Network is particularly compelling, acting as a means for creative professionals to meet and collaborate successfully in an online space. To better understand what Behance does we recently caught up with founder/CEO Scott Belsky and asked him some questions, in turn illuminating Behance’s overall philosophy, why they chose to include CC-licensing in their creative network, and what Behance can provide for those in the CC-community.

Firstly, can you give our readers some insight into your personal background? You graduated from Harvard Business School, spent some time working on Wall Street, and then made a jump into the creative world. What inspired this move?

I have always been fascinated by how people, teams, and networks are organized. I think that the importance of “organization” and productivity are underrated – especially in the creative community. There is so much emphasis on idea generation and innovation, and so little energy focused on how people get organized to actually make ideas happen.

Back in college, I did an independent study on “redesigning the resume” for creative professionals. During this experience, I realized that most creative potential is never recognized in the corporate world. And in artistic pursuits, creative people often fail to adequately represent their ideas and push them to fruition. After college, I spent about five years on Wall Street but in a rather untraditional job focusing on “leadership development and organizational improvement.” Eventually I left my job and starting searching for a way to apply my love for organization and productivity in the creative community.

In September 2006 I started to assemble a team – around the same time as I started business school. I am truly honored to work with such a talented and committed team – we design and develop all of our work ourselves. The first thing we did was interview hundreds of “uber productive” creative people and teams across industries (many of these interviews can be found at From all the research, we identified some of the MAJOR OBSTACLES to making ideas happen. We recognized a major need for a robust online platform for the creative community to organize itself. We also recognized the need for more productivity on an individual and team level.

For the past few years, our team has been developing products and services that empower the creative world to make ideas happen. Our mission, as a company, is to organize the creative world.
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Announcing July’s CC Salon NYC

Fred Benenson, July 8th, 2008

CC Salon NYC Logo

One of my favorite parts of my job as Creative Commons’ Culture Program Associate in New York is that I get to organize our Salons here. With that in mind, it gives me great pleasure to announce the next CC Salon NYC.

The Open Planning Project has graciously allowed us to use their loft space in the West Village for the salon and a reception afterward. July’s salon will feature presentations from Wikia Search, Livable Streets Network, and a special performance from comedian Max Silvestri (of Gabe + Max’s Internet Thing).

Here are the details:

Wednesday, July 23rd from 7-10pm
The Open Planing Project
349 W. 12th St., 1st Floor

We’ll also have free (as in beer) beer sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. Don’t miss this great opportunity to be a part of the CC community in NYC and learn about some great projects and people thinking about the issues we care about.

Follow the event via and RSVP via the Facebook event or e-mailing me – fred [at]

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OpenMoko Reports Success With CC’d CAD Files

Tim Hwang, July 7th, 2008

Great news coming out recently that our good friends over at the awesome open source mobile phone project OpenMoko have been seeing rapid success with releasing their CAD design files for the FreeRunner phone under the Creative Commons Share-Alike license. Their open design approach has spurred adoption, becoming the basis for the Dash Express car navigation device, and a popular platform for other projects such as the Debian-based WEphone. It’s gaining a lot of traction, and it looks like we’ll be able to look forward to even more successes on the open design front in the near future. Might have to pick one up for myself

This follows in the line of similar recent adoption successes seen by other businesses taking the strategy of making their CAD files open to the public like the award-winning OpenBook project that makes designs for their laptop available for anyone to use. We’re hoping that these examples set the stage for companies to take up the business opportunities available in CCing their product schematics.

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Digital Photo Pro Covers Creative Commons

Fred Benenson, July 7th, 2008

It has always been a goal of Creative Commons to integrate our licenses into communities of creators of all skill levels, from those of amateurs to those of experienced professionals. This is why it is wonderful to see the industry magazine Digital Photo Pro spotlight our licenses and the important implications that professional photographers should make when considering them:

CC also has developed an incredibly passionate following and has been adopted by the online imaging heavyweight Flickr, which boasts an image library of more than two billion photos. The growing CC community aims to get content owners to think about image rights and to garner community support behind copyright owners. Leveraging this growing movement, CC has been pursuing two larger objectives to increase respect for copyright holders and to create a licensing/interaction model that lawmakers can reference as an alternate to the existing copyright framework more fitting to modern photographer/photo-publisher interaction.

The article tackles the question of whether or not CC is “worth it” for photographers, professional or otherwise:

Is CC enough? Whether you’re a professional photographer or not, one should realize the answer to this question is an individual choice and hardly black or white. Assigning a CC license to your photographs can provide benefits in the form of exposure and search-engine optimization when links are provided in any resulting attribution.

Click here to read the full article.

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Freddie Stevenson

Cameron Parkins, July 7th, 2008

Freddie Stevenson, a British singer-songwriter, recently unveiled his new album, All My Strange Companions to some nice praise stateside. Released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, All My Strange Companions features melodic, acoustic-based, pop that is sharable/remixable as long as Stevenson is credited, it is noncommercial in intenet, and is released under the same license if altered.

Stevenson acts similarly web savvy in his coining of the term “Blong” which, according to Wikipedia, are “short, spontaneous songs written and recorded like a blog entry, that are then posted to his online blogs along with their accompanying lyrics”. Head to his MySpace to check them out.

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iSummit’08 schedule posted

Mike Linksvayer, July 7th, 2008

The iSummit, an annual conference that originally grew around Creative Commons, but has grown beyond CC to encompass related movements, has announced its 2008 schedule.

As befitting a conference dedicated to global digital culture and hosted by Sapporo, Japan, the schedule is very diverse, including tracks on open education, open business, local/global collaboration, openness in Japan, and most exciting to me, a concurrent commons research workshop.

One of the keynotes I’m particularly looking forward to is Rebecca MacKinnon on Free Culture and Free Speech: Why strong and vibrant free culture communities are important for freedom of expression, one of my favorite topics.

The announcement also includes this about remote viewing and participation:

And for those who can’t make it to the event – we’ll be documenting the highlights so that you can participate ‘remotely’. We’ll have liveblogging, lists of resources on the wiki which you can add to, in-depth articles, a Flickr feed of photos from all attendees, the keynotes will be streamed and will be available on our Youtube channel and Dotsub collection and a daily podcast will be made available. There is so much to do it’ll be like you are in Sapporo along with us!

You can get a “friend” button like the one above.

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Thoughtful notes on “Building an Australasian Commons”

Mike Linksvayer, July 6th, 2008

Wikimedia Commons editor and Australian Brianna Laugher wrote up some thoughtful notes on Creative Commons Australia’s recent conference:

Nonetheless, what can we learn from how CC conducts itself? I can’t speak for the other jurisdictions, but the Australian one is damn impressive. They do an incredible amount of gently-gently lobbying for the adoption of free content licenses and open access policies in a general sense, without only pushing their own licenses. They educate government, cultural and educational institutions about what CC is and how to use it. The Australian clinic started the Case studies project, which is a brilliant way of showcasing their successes and “normalising” the use of CC for organisations who are hesitant to jump on board. With this kind of index, they can easily find a similar-enough group that has already made the leap and make an assessment of how successful it was for them.

Yes, CC Australia is awesome.

As is Wikimedia Commons.

Brianna Laugher’s blog is always worth reading for insightful commentary and criticism of commons-building efforts — Australasian, Wikipedian, Creative, and more.

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