CC in The Art Newspaper

Cameron Parkins, June 6th, 2008

CC got a nice plug in a recent article in The Art Newspaper, highlighted in regards to the 36th Annual Conference on Legal Issues in Museum Administration that took place in early April:

Sharon Farb, associate university librarian at UCLA Library in Los Angeles, said that as museums put more images and content online, more users will ask to use it; she advises that museums not require licences for everything. Instead, they should make clear on their websites which content can be reproduced without permission, and should post all licence forms for those objects which require them. Virginia Rutledge, Vice President and General Counsel of the non-profit Creative Commons, San Francisco (CC), described the CC licence which piggybacks on existing copyright law to let copyright holders “signal when it is just fine” for a user to copy, or even alter, a work. The New Museum in New York, for example, uses CC licences to permit copying. The CC website posts six different licence forms to choose from, and tells you how to mark your content so users will know what copyright rules apply (

We are always looking to expand into diverse areas and having CC mentioned in a publication as widely read and as highly regarded as The Art Newspaper is amazing news for our efforts to engage with museums and the art world as a whole.

Similarly, Rebeca Tushnet has a thorough and thought provoking recap on her blog of the CC co-sponsored event “Who Owns This Image?: Art, Access, and the Public Domain after Bridgeman v. Corel” that took place at the end of April. The whole post is worth a read – it is great to CC being mentioned more and more in connection with mainstream cultural institutions.

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Cameron Parkins, June 6th, 2008

Musiquetes is a new collection of CC-licensed children’s songs by cultura lliure, the same group that published the amazing Música lliure and Música lliure II. The songs are released under a CC BY-NC license, ported for both France and Spain as the project is aimed at groups in both countries.

Supported by La Bressola, an association of Catalan schools in the south of France (where Catalan is spoken) who strive to keep the Catlan language alive, Musiquetes is being distrusted both online and through former Featured Commoner the Enderrock Group (who has placed the CD in their magazines). By freely licensing Musiquetes, cultura lliure are able to reach a wider audience, furthering their ideological goal through legally sound methods of distribution.

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Space still available for CC Technology Summit

Nathan Yergler, June 5th, 2008

Just a reminder that the first Creative Commons Technology Summit is coming up in less than two weeks. There’s still space to register if you’re interested in attending.

The list of panelists has grown; the full schedule is available in the wiki. We’re looking forward to great discussions around digital asset management, digital copyright registries and how CC technologies integrate with and enable them. And for those of you who aren’t in the Bay Area, we’re planning to make video from the day available online.

Hope to see you there.

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Experts in Norway adapt CC licenses to national law

Michelle Thorne, June 5th, 2008

Today the Nordic jurisdictions Denmark, Finland, and Sweden are joined by CC Norway in offering Creative Commons licenses legally and linguistically adapted to national law.

The CC Norway team is headed by Project Leads Gisle Hannemyr and Peter Lenda, who with Haakon Flage Bratsberg, Thomas Gramstad, Tore Hoel, and Vebjørn Søndersrød, coordinated the license porting process with Creative Commons International and conducted public discussion with local and international legal experts.

The Norwegian licenses, available at Version 3.0, constitute the forty-sixth localized Creative Commons licensing suite.

The launch of the licenses will be celebrated on Friday, June 6th at 10:00am during a press conference at Oslo University College. For more information, please read our press release in English and Norwegian.

Takk, thank you, and congratulations to CC Norway!

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Pamoyo: CC-Licensed Fashion

Cameron Parkins, June 3rd, 2008

The fashion industry has always been an interesting topic for those interested in copyright and creativity – appropriation, reusue, sampling, etc. are approached in a sometimes similar, yet often starkly different, manner than in other content industries. Styles thrive off of building on pre-existing trends, sometimes directly imitating an established look, and the market decides whether or not this reconceptualization is of worth. It is a debate that has unexpected depth and raises numerous interesting questions – TechDirt has a bevy of great articles that discus the issues more thoroughly.

Seemingly noting this debate, Berlin-based fashion label Pamoyo have decided to release the designs for their clothes under a CC BY-NC-SA license, allowing people to recreate Pamoyo’s styles at home as long as they don’t sell their creations. Similarly, someone can build upon one of Pamoyo’s existing designs – if they release the new design publicly they must do so under the same license, continuing the process of reuse and creativity.

Unrelated to CC but interesting nonetheless is Pamoyo’s decision to use either recycled clothing or organic cotton for the clothing, with a portion of all profits donated to German Environmental group Grass Routes. The designs haven’t been posted yet, but keep your eyes on this space as they should pop up soon (via SmartPlanet).


The future music label is…

Mike Linksvayer, June 3rd, 2008

Lucas Gonze, engaged in a blogversation about what music labels really are and what they can be in the future, doesn’t know, but has a suggestion for how a label might figure it out (emphasis added):

Mo bettah, Mr. Hands

Clustering is something labels are already doing. Blue Note is for jazz. Warp is for a particular kind of electronica. Matador, Sub Pop, Metal Blade…

Which brings me back to Ian’s proposal to Guy Hands: reconfigure your labels to be based around affinities and focused narrowly enough to serve roughly the same audiences from release to release. I’ll buy that this is an important thing to do, and the need is not going away. But I’m still skeptical that record companies can cannibalize their current business to do the right thing in this new niche, and in the meantime YouTube, Myspace, CC Mixter, and GYBO are doing fine without them.

So here’s my proposal to Guy Hands as to what he should do with EMI’s new music business.

Creative Commons has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) regarding the future of the site, and Victor has posted detailed comments on this. If I were EMI I would step in to operate CC Mixter. It’s a fully functional cluster of music makers with a strong hold on its niche. I don’t know how to monetize it at the scale EMI would need, but I do know that at least EMI would be in the game. Take over and learn how it works. Use the time to gain the institutional skills in managing community. This will take a while, but in a few years the Mixter community will have started to reverse colonize your company. And that’s EMI needs — to absorb the values and skills needed to manage clusters.

Also check out Lucas’ music blog, a very cool mix of the old and new — fresh guitar recordings of sheet music in the public domain (recordings under CC BY-SA) and an experiment in digital music packaging and of control of a musician’s identity on the web.

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CC Talks With: Modiba Productions

Cameron Parkins, June 3rd, 2008

Modiba Productions is an international music production/publishing company and record label that aims to combine a love for music and a fervor for activism. Focusing primarily on ‘afrocentric’ music, Modiba has been the source for two great CC-based contests over the past year and a half, one with Malian artist Vieux Farka Touré and the other with Brazilian band Nation Beat. We recently caught up with Modiba co-founder Eric Herman and were able to get some background on Modiba, what they aim to accomplish, and how CC-licenses have helped facilitate their goals in combining their passion for music and zeal for social activism.

Can you provide us with a bit of background on what Modiba Productions does? How did it get started? Who is involved?

Modiba Productions is a social activist music production company, record label, and publishing company focusing on international – primarily what we dub “afrocentric” – music. Our mission is to use the best in international music as a vehicle for the empowerment of Africa and its Diaspora. Jesse Brenner and I founded Modiba while we were seniors at Wesleyan University as a means of combining our passions for music and activism. We have grown into a working family that includes an operations manager, a graphic designer, a lawyer, and a staff of interns.
Read More…

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Wikimedia Commons Valued Images, curation and discovery

Mike Linksvayer, June 2nd, 2008

I’m fond of pointing out that discovery is perhaps the biggest challenge and opportunity faced by the cultural commons — however you want to define “commons” — public domain, Free, everything CC licensed, all of “Web 2.0”, or something else.

However you define it, the commons includes at least many thousands to many millions of cultural works in every obvious medium — too much for any individual to make sense of. So it’s always exciting to see major hubs develop and refine methods for curating and exposing the best of the commons.

In this vein Wikimedia Commons just rolled out a procedure for highlighting Most Valued Images. Wikimedia Commons already does a great job of highlighting quality images (see our post on their pictures of the year), but the usefulness of an image in the context of a digital encyclopedia is different than an image’s overall quality:

The quality images project aims to identify and encourage users who provide images of high technical quality to Commons. Featured pictures are the cream of the crop at Commons and is reserved for images of both extraordinary value and technical quality.

Valued images, on the other hand, are those that are the most valuable of their kind for use in an online context, within other Wikimedia projects. The technical requirements for valued images are typically much lower, as there is no concern about suitability for print usage. A built-in camera in a modern mobile phone should be sufficient if the subject is of high value and the photo illustrates it well at a viewing size of 480×360 pixels or equivalent. Valued images are less about technical quality and more about your ingenuity in finding good and valuable subjects which matter, and about the usability of the information on the image page.

It’s easy to see the usefulness of similar breakdowns in other projects. For example, on a music remix site such as ccMixter, the best fully mixed tracks are most enjoyable to listen to, but the best a cappellas and samples are probably the most valuable content in the sense that the former build upon and require the latter.

So this is a challenge to think about and implement improved curation and discovery in multiple dimensions throughout the commons.

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LibriVox: 1500 public domain audio books

Mike Linksvayer, June 2nd, 2008

Seven months ago we noted that LibriVox released their 1,000th public domain audio book. Now they’ve reached 1,500. That’s over 70 audio books released each month, and things are picking up — they released 115 in May.

Check out LibriVox, perhaps the most interesting collaborative culture project this side of Wikipedia — and everything on LibriVox is in the public domain, free for any use, without restriction.

LibriVox founder Hugh McGuire recently posted an explanation of why LibriVox audio books are dedicated to the public domain rather than released under a CC license:

So LibriVox is a small beacon of light in this policy question, slowly adding to the public domain while all around the public domain is shrinking. this is important in some broad sense beyond anything particular we do at librivox. at least I think it is.

The whole essay is well worth reading.

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Creative Commons Salon: Brisbane

Michelle Thorne, June 2nd, 2008

CC Australia recently announced that their second ccSalon will be held on June 24, 2008 in Brisbane:

After Building an Australasian Commons conference, stay on to experience Creative Commons in action at the second Australian ccSalon. Grab a drink and watch the CC Film and Video showcase, or peruse Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum’s Photo of the Day exhibition. Then get into the groove with music by Sydney performer Yunyu and Andrew Garton’s Terminal Quartet. The full program for the ccSalon can be downloaded here. The conference and the ccSalon are both free events, but please register beforehand with this form.

Interested in having a ccSalon in your neck of the woods? Learn more about what cities are upcoming and how to start your own!

Image: “ccSalonprogram © 2008. Creative Commons Australia. Some Rights Reserved. Except when otherwise noted, this work is licensed under CC BY 3.0 Unported. This was built upon the work of erin MC hammer (balladist). “inverted light.” CC BY 2.0 Generic.

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