50 Millionth View of TEDTalks

Jane Park, June 26th, 2008

Today TED announced the 50 millionth view of a TED talk, marking its success since it first launched online two years ago in June of 2006.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design—and it features talks by various speakers from Bill Clinton to Bono. However, the most viewed talks are actually given by persons previously unknown. They are ideas “flying on [their] own merit[s]”, says the executive producer of TED media according to TEDBlog. Almost half of TED’s audience comes from outside the U.S., establishing TEDTalks as a global presence. TED Curator Chris Anderson says,

“TED’s mission is to spread ideas, and we’re now doing that on a scale that was unimaginable two years ago. It’s clear there’s an appetite out there for big ideas and meaningful stories.”

Check out the Top 10 TEDTalks of all time; you’ll be surprised by the speakers and their subjects, with number one titled, “My stroke of insight,” by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor. And while you’re at it, check out Richard Baraniuk’s “Goodbye, textbooks; hello, open-source learning,” a talk by the founder of Connexions, a leading educational platform in the OER movement.

All TED talks are licensed under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND.


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REMINDER: CC Salon LA Tonight @ FOUND LA/7:30PM Curt Smith and Monk Turner Discuss CC/Music

Cameron Parkins, June 26th, 2008

Just a reminder that the CC Salon LA is back TONIGHT with Curt Smith, solo-artist and co-founder of Tears for Fears, discussing his decision to release Halfway, Pleased under a CC license and Monk Turner, an LA-based multi-instrumentalist (and former Featured Commoner) discussing how he has used CC licences and archive.org to release numerous concept albums that are unique not only in distribution but music style/aesthetic.

Per usual, the Salon will be taking place at the amazing FOUND LA Gallery (Google map) from 7:30PM – 9:30PM. As always there will be free drinks to round out the evening – don’t miss what is bound to be a great conversation on how CC licensees work on a practical level for musicians in particular but content creators in general.

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WikiHow Promotes Universal Edit Button

Tim Hwang, June 26th, 2008

Big news recently that our friends at Wikihow (and a growing list of other wiki projects large and small) are teaming up to promote and enable the Universal Edit Button (UEB), an extension for Firefox that automatically notifies users with an icon when a page is editable — like an RSS.

It’s a simple and great idea: at a quickly growing project like Wikihow, the UEB helps old contributors to more easily discover new places for collaboration and openly invites new users to take part in editing with a wiki community. We’re hoping here at CC HQ that the project takes off (and becomes standard!) to promote UEB’s ambition of “accelerati[ng] the editable web, and…society’s trend towards building valued common resources.”

As Mike was blogging about earlier this week — we’ve also enabled your Creative Commons site experience with the UEB, so you’ll be able to use the extension to easily find places to collaborate and contribute (including our recently launched Case Studies wiki project to collect notable CC projects and stories).

You can snag the extension here.

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Gilberto Gil on Democracy Now

Cameron Parkins, June 25th, 2008

Gilberto Gil by Joi Ito

Today’s Democracy Now! episode features an extensive interview with CC advocate and Brazilian Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil in which he speaks at length his experiences with CC licensing in regards to culture, medicine, and the process of “democratizing the distribution of intellectual property rights”. You can read or watch the interview here:

Yeah. The author laws, the author rights, I mean, they belong to—the way they are set and the laws are written and applied and everything, that all belongs to a previous period, you know, previous time, an analog, so to speak, an analog time. Now, the digital area, the digital era enable us to extend and expand cultural products and cultural goods and cultural possibilities to a level that we—we have to also rewrite and reshape the legal framework and the regulatory framework, so that it can adjust to the new possibilities. That’s what Creative Commons is about, bringing possibilities to manage their own work, you know, to the creators, so that the songwriters, the theater play writers, the book writers, and so and so, can have the possibilities to manage their own work and say—and determine what their work will serve for.

Gil goes on to discuss his decision to CC licenses his music, the experience of bringing CC to Brazil with the help of CC founder Lawrence Lessig, and his opinions in general about culture and creativity in a digital age. A great interview that is free to share through Democracy Now!’s decision to release all their original content under a CC BY-NC-ND license.

UPDATE: Gil is also currently on tour, with upcoming dates across the United States and Europe.

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Improbable Research Collections

Cameron Parkins, June 25th, 2008

Improbable Research, a collective of scientists who are less Enrico Fermi than they are Eric Idle, recently launched Improbable TV, a series of weekly episodes on eclectic topics (ranging from a guide to folding a drawing of a flea to become “a working replica of James Watts’ steam engine” to an invention designed to prevent bank robberies) that are injected with just enough humor and quirkiness to appeal to PHDs and well-intentioned amateurs alike.

All the episodes are released under a CC BY-NC-ND license allowing for the videos to be posted wherever as long as it is in a noncommercial setting. Improbable takes care of putting the videos on YouTube but encourages the public to put the videos where the see fit otherwise. This, according to Improbable, carries specific advantages to potential re-posters:

1. These three-minute videos introduce people to topics that seem bizarre or unlikely. Some of those people, having become suddenly curious, will be keen to see YOUR seriously good introduction to any subject that’s even vaguely related.

2. People who enjoy finding the unexpected (including, now and then, unexpected re-appearances of a few favorite characters) just might keep coming back to your site to see the next episodes of Improbable Research.

You can read more about their licensing choice here, including the ability to modify episodes through “a special (and simple) arrangement” if Improbable are contacted directly (via NewTeeVee).

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OpenMusicContest: submit your entry by July 15th!

Michelle Thorne, June 25th, 2008

The doors are now open for submissions to the fourth OpenMusicContest (OMC), one of the largest live concerts for CC-licensed music. Participants may submit tracks of any musical genre by July 15, 2008. Stylistic diversity is desired, and all entries must be licensed under one of the six Creative Commons licenses.

The organizers of the event, the AStA student organization from Philipps University in Marburg, explain that the OMC offers an attractive prize for its participants: artists score a large performance alongside a noteworthy headliner plus space on a sampler featuring the best tracks of the contest. A gratis promotional CD will also be published in the magazine LinuxUser.

The OMC concert will take place in Marburg, Germany on October 17, 2008.


VIA’s OpenBook Project Takes Off, Wins International Award

Tim Hwang, June 24th, 2008

Big news coming out this month on VIA’s OpenBook mini-notebook computer project which incorporates an “open design” approach that makes the CAD design plans for the device available to the public under the permissive terms of a Creative Commons BY SA license. The project invites customers to innovate and solicits suggestions from users on future iterations of the laptop. To spur involvement, they’ve even recently released a video that opens the laptop up and showcases the electronic guts that enable OpenBook’s users the flexibility to add modules and choose openly between wireless options.

Happy to announce that since we first reported on the laptop’s debut in May, the project has taken off. Engadget recently reviewed the product, writing simply that the OpenBook made “that Macbook Air look positively last century.” And, this month, before an international jury of design experts at this years Taipei Computex, the VIA OpenBook has taken home the Gold Award for Design and Innovation for 2008. Congratulations guys!

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ccLearn Counsel and Assistant Director

Jane Park, June 24th, 2008

ccLearn is seeking to fill a new position! Currently, we want someone who will help us in minimizing the legal barriers that stand in the way of open education. However, the new ccLearn Counsel and Assistant Director will not only work on the legal side of things;

“instead,this position will consist of substantial communications (written and verbal, formal and informal), networking and engagement with a diverse communities of interest, strategic planning regarding pursuits of greatest impact for ccLearn, and close collaboration on a variety of related initiatives with the ccLearn and CC staff. In addition, we have access to great intellectual and legal resources associated with our organization which can be leveraged as necessary. It is expected that the candidate for this position will play a significant role in helping ccLearn to achieve its global mission, and will serve as a primary spokesperson for ccLearn and the open education movement generally.”

To learn more or apply, see our Opportunities page!

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Creative Commons Launches Collaborative Global Case Studies Project

Jon Phillips, June 23rd, 2008

Over the past few months several of us at Creative Commons have been collaborating with our colleagues at Creative Commons Australia to create a collaborative system for promoting the great CC stories that will help the world understand how great Creative Commons licenses are for creative works. To highlight the global nature of this launch, it coincides with the CC Australia’s conference today (June 24, 2008), “Building an Australasian Commons” where this project is to be presented.

CC’s CEO, Joi Ito, said in the press release for this project that its important to realize that CC is not just a “cute idea,” but a crucial fact in the success of many businesses, artists, authors, and professionals. So, highlighted in the Case Studies Project are examples such as the Blender Foundation and their success with applying Creative Commons Attribution license to both of their Open Source 3D animations. Also, there are specific highlights on authors like NYTimes bestselling author Cory Doctorow’s overall usage of CC to support the dissemination of his books, all the way to detailed casestudies about Luxembourg-based (but global!) Jamendo and of course studies on Nine Inch Nails Ghost I-IV and The Slip album releases. Remember: The goal is to focus on the story of these successes.

We need your help.

We didn’t want to just build a system that is static like many corporate case studies that one might get at a conference and immediately chuck into the bin. Rather, we built this on top of our Semantic MediaWiki-based wiki (highlighted in the /participate page above) so that there is a simple human-readable form for adding and editing case studies that anyone out there may use. Since the system is a structured wiki, the data part of the system is sortable, queryable, and mashable. For example, here is a sort through the entire system alphabetically with four columns: pagename, Author, media format and country of the project.

Cory Doctorow by Joi Ito
Cory Doctorow by Joi Ito

This is an invitation to hop over to the Case Studies project right now, and help us make this project super solid. We need more case studies from around the world in any language. And, if you speak more than one language, please help by translating the casestudies. If there is something that bugs you about it, then help us out by committing: its a wiki! If you really want to be a saint, then direct your energy as well to our public roadmap for the project, jump onto our cc-community mailing list to express interest and chat with us on our IRC chat channel.

And, if that is not enough incentive to participate, Creative Commons Australia today has released at the Creative Commons Australia conference, “Building an Australasian Commons,” a printed booklet with 60 case studies from this system all professionally designed. There will be more printings of these case studies in the future which might include your contributions.

Look for presentations about this project at upcoming conferences this summer where newly added case studies will be highlighted on big projectors. Look for this project at Communia/CC Europe meetings June 30-July 1 in Belgium, FSCONS on October 25-26 in Gothenburg, Sweden and other conferences focusing on the local and global.

Hats off as well to all those who have helped including the project party: Jessica Coates, Rachel Cobcroft, Elliot Bledsoe, Timothy Vollmer, Cameron Parkins, Tim Hwang, Greg Grossmeier, and Michelle Thorne (who has Wikipedia real page!). There are many more that have helped as well. If you help, you get plugged!

Please help us by spreading the word on this project, blogging about Case Studies, and adding more to the system.

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Insecurity, CC-licensed film

Cameron Parkins, June 23rd, 2008

Insecurity is “an Australian-made independently-funded feature film” with a ‘hacker’ plot line at its core. As “everyone involved in [Insecurity‘s] creation are, to one degree or another, involved in the IT industry or some other nerd subculture”, the film aims to be as technically accurate as possible. Released under a CC BY-NC-ND licence, you can stream the film live or download it for free here. From Insecurity:

When offered four thousand dollars to break into a computer network, Leon (Peter Love) and Greg (Kurtis Wakefield) aren’t concerned with something as petty as morality.

The only real questions are what complications can arise from hacking into a small home business, what’s wrong with the twenty year old daughter Madison (Zoe Tarling)…

… and what should Greg do when his friend can’t stop watching the girl on her own webcam – and without her knowledge.

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