Cameron Parkins, June 23rd, 2008

We’re a bit late jumping on this one but in case you missed it the first time (like us) be sure to check out FontStruct, a free font-building tool that allows you to build your own fonts online and subsequently generate them as a high-quality TrueType fonts. While this in itself provides hours of bizarrely satisfying enjoyment (read a nice Slate article on why), FontStruct is of particular note in that all fonts created are released under a CC license of the creator’s choosing.

Although creators can choose to keep their fonts private, most do not – by incorporating CC licences and a ethos of sharing, FontStruct has built a community of rabid users around a seemingly obscure hobby where ideas are exchanged fluidly and modifications achieved easily. It should also be noted that FontStruct have an exemplary clear explanation of what permissions different CC licences give and retain, a major plus for any site looking to incorporate CC-licensing into their UI.

UPDATE: The Open Font Library is a similar site that allows users to upload fonts to release under the CC Public Domain Declaration – also home of the famous silkscreen font.

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CC Talks With: deviantArt

Cameron Parkins, June 23rd, 2008

Shockingly, we have yet to post anything on uber-online artist community deviantArt, who not only act as a creative outlet for over 7 million users but do so with CC licensing built into their UI. Our bad. Hopefully we can make up for lost blogging through an interview with Richard Hartley, Director of Community Development at deviantArt (and sometimes clown in disguise). Read on to learn more about the incredibly rich deviantArt community, how CC licences play a roll in user submissions, and future plans that include nothing short of global domination (seriously).

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

deviantART began on August 7th of 2000, primarily as a site to provide a space to allow deviants to upload various application skins for programs like Sonique, WInamp, WindowBlinds and so on. Soon after it became pretty obvious the community wanted more space to flex their creativity and more categories opened up for digital and traditional art all across the board. At this point we now have over 1700 different categories for every conceivable genre, sub genre and unique niche you could imagine, all at the request of our community. Back when it first began it was a small staff of people, less than ten, and now we currently have over 50 employees world wide as well as around 100 volunteers.
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CC Singapore License Draft in Public Discussion

Michelle Thorne, June 23rd, 2008

On behalf of CC Singapore (website), we are pleased to announce that the draft of CC BY-NC-SA adapted to Singaporean law (PDF) is now in public discussion. The CC Singapore team, lead by Anil Samtani and Giorgos Cheliotis and hosted at the Centre for Asia Pacific Technology Law & Policy (CAPTEL), has been working with Creative Commons International to port the licenses to local copyright legislation. A launch event to celebrate Singapore’s completed licensing suite is scheduled in for July 27th.

As part of the public discussion, we warmly invite you to join CC Singapore’s discussion list and share your comments with local and international legal experts.

Thank you and congratulations to CC Singapore!


Universal Edit Button

Mike Linksvayer, June 22nd, 2008

We’re proud that the Creative Commons wiki was one of the sites Universal Edit Button enabled upon the button’s launch last Thursday.

The idea is simple — add an icon in your web browser’s UI if the browser detects you can edit a page — just like the syndication icon that appears when your browser detects the availability of a feed you can subscribe to for updates.

Of course CC licensing nicely complements both syndication and editing.

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Copyleft Electronic Music

Cameron Parkins, June 20th, 2008

We leave you for the weekend with this wonderful mix from Braydon Givon Fuller. A great CC BY-SA licensed melange of freely licensed electro to listen to while you decompress from your week.


Jamendo Publishes 10,000th CC-licensed album!

Cameron Parkins, June 20th, 2008

Absolutely amazing news coming from CC-centric music site Jamendo in that they have just released their 10,000th CC-licensed album! From Jamendo:

Jamendo is the first global platform for music downloads under Creative Commons licenses. On Jamendo, thousands of independent artists authorise the sharing of their music. It’s free, legal and unlimited. Jamendo is also a community of artists and music lovers who share their passion, recommend music, create playlists and make Jamendo a benchmark destination for discovering new talent.

“It’s a symbolic figure of course, but it demonstrates the success of this new model for online music promotion that Jamendo has supported from the start and that is made possible by the considerable flexibility of the Creative Commons licences”, commented Laurent Kratz, cofounder and CEO. “We feel certain that the growth potential is huge. A simple illustration of that is the amazing creativity and talent of the thousands of artists who choose to share their music on Jamendo.”

It seems like only yesterday we were praising Jamendo’s ability to publish 2,000 albums and delighting over their 1 millionth download. Congratulations to all those involved!

UPDATE: Jamendo have also just inked deals with Bittorrent mega-aggregator isoHunt, providing users of the site streamlined access to all of Jamendo’s works, as well as a deal with media player maker Archos, who will be including Jamendo in their content portal.

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The Smithsonian Joins Flickr: The Commons

Cameron Parkins, June 20th, 2008

The Smithsonian has joined the Library of Congress, the Powerhouse Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum in releasing numerous (over 850 from the Smithsonian alone) photos from their archives online – free of copyright restrictions – to The Commons on Flickr. There are some absolutely stunning photographs available in high-resolution, ranging from portraits of artists, scientists, and inventors to photos of everyday people and places. Some info on The Commons 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

In similar news, a wonderful new group, Free Use Photos, has been created as a means for Flickr users to posts copyright-free photos. In lieu of a formal way for users to indicate public domain status for their photos, the creators of the group have decided to post information regarding CC0 in conjunction with clear language waving copyright to make clear that all photos posted to the group “are available for use by anyone” with “no need to give credit or to fear rights infringement.”

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Agrega, the New Educational Digital Object Platform

Jane Park, June 19th, 2008

Agrega, a new educational initiative promoting internet in the classroom, is a collaborative effort on the part  of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Social Politics and Sports,, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, and the Autonomous Communities and Autonomous Cities of Spain (CC.AA). Agrega is Spain’s new educational digital object platform, “which consists of a central repository and other autonomous repositories which have educational content for non-university level centres.” Its emphasis is on content creation and development for primary and secondary educators by providing a space where various digital content of Spain’s Civil Service and the private sector are joined. One way of “commonizing” the content is to catalogue it under common criteria and thereafter to share these cataloguing efforts in Agrega. This will serve to expand the pool of online educational content available to Spanish educators and students, particularly in the fields of finance education and teacher training. The website offers engaging tutorials on how to search for, download and view content on Agrega, in addition to a content catalog.

The digital educational materials in Agrega can be used and adapted according to CC-BY-NC-SA.

And also in Spanish, thanks to ccLearn intern Grace Armstrong:

Agrega, el nombre de la nuevo iniciativa española que busca promover el internet en el aula, es un esfuerzo colaborativo por parte de, el Ministerio de Educación, Política Social y Deporte español, el Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio y las Comunidades y Ciudades Autonomas. Agrega es la nueva plataforma de objetos digitales educativos de España y consiste en “un repositorio central y otros de carácter autonómico de contenidos educativos para centros de nivel no universitario”. Su énfasis está en la creación y desarrollo de contenidos curriculares para profesores de la enseñanza reglada no universitaria y pretende proporcionar un espacio para juntar los varios contenidos del Servicio Civil de España y el sector privado. Una manera de “comunizar” el contenido es de catalogarlo bajo criterios comunes y después de compartir eses trabajos de organización en Agrega. Así servirá de aumentar el fondo común de contenidos educativos disponibles a profesores y alumnos, especialmente en las áreas de la educación financiera y la formación pedagógica de profesores. El sitio brinda tutoriales que muestran como buscar, bajar y ver el contenido de Agrega, ademas de un catálogo de contenidos.

Se puede usar y adaptar los materiales educativos digitales de Agrega segun los terminos de la licencia CC-BY-NC-SA.

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CC Salon LA (6/26/08): Curt Smith and Monk Turner Discuss CC/Music

Cameron Parkins, June 19th, 2008

CC Salon LA is back NEXT WEEK (6/26/08) with an awesome lineup to get your summer CC brain cells churning at warp speed!

Joining us will be Curt Smith, solo-artist and co-founder of Tears for Fears, who will be discussing the decision to release his most recent album Halfway, Pleased under a CC license. Also presenting will be Monk Turner, an LA-based multi-instrumentalist (and former Featured Commoner) who has been using a combination of CC licences and to release numerous concept albums that are unique not only in distribution but music style and aesthetic. Both will talk about musicians in general, their personal decision to use CC licences, and how using CC licences can have promotional, ethical, and artistic impact beyond traditional copyright.

The Salon will be taking place at the wonderful FOUND LA Gallery (Google map) from 7:30PM – 9:30PM. Follow the event on Upcoming, mark attending on Facebook, but most importantly don’t miss out on 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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Australian Version 3.0 drafts in public discussion

Michelle Thorne, June 18th, 2008

ccau v3.0In preparation for the Building an Australasian Commons conference next week, the CC Australia team has released two ported Version 3.0 license drafts for public discussion: Attribution (BY) and Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA).

CC Australia is focusing the discussion on these two particular licenses because they are 1) the simplest license (BY) and 2) the most complex (BY-NC-SA). These two licenses also contain almost all the relevant legal language from the remaining four licenses (BY-SA, BY-NC, BY-ND, BY-NC-ND).

CC Australia has done a magnificent job in explaining their approach to Version 3.0 and highlighting some key revisions (see also):

Rather than writing the licences as a straight translation from the Unported (ie non-country specific) licences provided by Creative Commons International, we’ve instead decided to base them on the excellent licences produced last year by our friends in New Zealand, which they in turn based on the England and Wales licences. The great thing about these licences is that they’re written in plain English rather than legalese – which means they’re much easier for non-lawyers to understand.

There have also been some modifications to improve the readability of the licenses:

We’re also adding some clarifying language on the licensing of derivative works to the BY and BY-NC (Attribution-Noncommercial) licences which isn’t in either the Unported licences or the New Zealand licences – so we wanted to see what people thought about this.

Like the New Zealand and UK licences we are basing the new Australian licences on, our v3.0 licences are very simply drafted. A lot of the language is drawn directly from the Unported licences, however it has been simplified and rearranged to make it easier to understand and follow.

This includes another neat idea:

The main feature is a series of lists that set out clearly what users can do, what they can’t do, and what they must do. Other than that, they contain the same basic statements as to disclaimers, warranties and introductory materials that are included in all the CC licences.

As did the other jurisdictions who have implemented Version 3.0, CC Australia is working hard to ensure that their ported licenses align with the Unported licenses. One notable exception affects the strict requirement to include a URL link to the respective CC license every time a work is used. CC Australia explains the change:

We’ve followed the UK and NZ example by loosening this up a bit, to allow you to provide this reference to the licence in any manner reasonable to the medium you are working in. This ensures, for example, that someone playing a song on their radio station can attribute the CC licence just by mentioning it, and perhaps providing a link on the station’s website, without breaching the licence. You could arguably do this under the Unported licence too, but we wanted to make it clear.

The community is discussing these issues and more on CC Australia’s mailing list. Come join the conversation!

Image: “ccauv3.0-feedback” © 2008. Creative Commons Australia. Some Rights Reserved. This work is licensed under CC BY 2.5 Australia License.

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