LugRadio Live USA 2008 and LugRadio licensing

Mike Linksvayer, February 23rd, 2008

LugRadio (LUG stands for Linux User Group) brings their “rock-conference” to San Francisco April 12-13. Registration is only $10:

LugRadio Live USA 2008 brings together over 30 speakers across three stages, 30+ exhibitors, a range of BOF sessions, debate panels, lightbulb talk sessions, demos and much more, all wrapped up in the unique event that the UK incarnation has become known for, combining an incredibly loose, social, inclusive, and amusing atmosphere — if you are new to LugRadio Live, it is nothing you will have seen before.

The show will also see a large number of exhibitors, which will be announced in the coming weeks, with plenty to see and do. In addition to this, the LugRadio team will be recording a live performance of their cult-hit podcast, which has over 20,000 listeners, in front of the LugRadio Live USA 2008 audience – like the UK event, this is always quite a spectacle, and excellent fun for all involved.

Here’s the abstract of the talk I’m slated to give:

Free culture: how many years behind free software?
Where is free culture/open content c.2008 in its development relative to free software/open source? 1983, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2004? Do users of culture require the same freedoms as users of software? How free software people can aid and abet free culture and vice versa.

Incidentally, the LugRadio podcast has been working to effect a switch from the most restrictive CC license (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives) to one of the most liberal (Attribution-ShareAlike) and this month made the announcement in the form of an essay, well worth reading. Excerpt:

After four years of glorious LugRadio goodness, it become apparent that this occasionally caused complications. People have asked us: can I chop out just the bit where you read my email out and put that on my website? or, can I cut out this interview and show that to people involved with the project I was talking about without them having to listen to the rest of the show? Can I put an episode on the cover CD for my computer magazine? We’ve always said yes to requests like these — we’ve never refused a request to do something different with the show — but after some chatting away in the orbiting LugRadio Command Satellite, it became apparent that this process would be rather easier if people who wanted to do creative things with the show could do so without asking for permission first.

Jono Bacon, one of the people behind LugRadio and LugRadio Live, has made previous appearances on this blog.

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RetarDEAD Theme Song CC-Licensed

Cameron Parkins, February 22nd, 2008

Go here now to listen to the wonderfully absurd theme song to RetarDEAD, a soon-to-be released low budget indie monster film (mp3 located near page bottom). The theme song is released under a CC BY-NC license, allowing for remixing pleasure. Via BoingBoing:

Evil has come to the Butte County Institute of Special Education, and its students will never be the same. Armed with a fatal hyper-intelligence serum, the mad Dr. Stern single-handedly transforms a quiet community into an army of flesh-eating zombies. It’s a showdown of limb-chopping, head-bursting proportions as Stern’s nemesis, F.B.I. agent Susan Hannigan, and the local sheriff’s department take on the zombie plague in the ultimate battle royale. In short, it’s sort of like “Flowers for Algernon” meets “Night of the Living Dead.”

Jello Biafra, former lead singer of the Dead Kennedy’s plays the town’s mayor. I also sing the theme song duet with Girl Trouble lead singer Kurt “KP” Kendall – and as a backup singer in the “Retardettes.” The song has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License, so it is free and available for remixing.

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Copyright Panel in NYC: “Is Intellectual Property Dead?”

Cameron Parkins, February 22nd, 2008

This Tuesday, Feb 26th, the New York City Bar Association will be hosting a panel discussion titled, “Is Intellectual Property Dead? The Revolt of Students for New Directions”. The speaker list is phenomenal (including CC alumni Fred Benenson) and the panel promises to illuminate the issues a new generation of content creators/consumers face in relation to copyright law. From NYCBar:

Students for Free Culture has chapters in at least 35 universities across the country. Many of the groups are branching out beyond access to music copyright. The issues are far more than piracy. Can the students lead us, in terms of public policy, to a new copyright direction in which copyright law will not make some users criminal?

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Loops: Solo Dance, CC-Licensed

Cameron Parkins, February 22nd, 2008


Loops is an amazing new project, created collaboratively between the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and The OpenEnded Group, to release Merce Cunningham’s choreography for his solo dance Loops under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

By releasing Loops under a CC-license, anyone is able to perform, reproduce, and adapt it for non-commercial purposes. Simultaneously, the digital artists of The OpenEnded Group (Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar, and Paul Kaiser) will release a digital portrait of Cunningham, also entitled Loops, as open source software. This artwork derives from a high-resolution 3D recording of Cunningham performing the solo with his hands and promises to provide ample substance for derivative works.

The public release of the Loops project will take place this Tuesday, February 26 at 6:30 PM in the Merce Cunningham Studio. The event is co-hosted by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and will include a presentation of the choreography and digital artwork, remarks from Merce Cunningham as well as Paul Kaiser and Marc Downie of The OpenEnded Group, and a reception. The choreography and code will be released simultaneously online the same day.

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Nebraska Library Commission adds CC-licensed books to collection

Timothy Vollmer, February 22nd, 2008

Congratulations to the Nebraska Library Commission for spearheading an initiative to add Creative Commons-licensed book editions to the library collection. Michael Sauers, Technology Innovation Librarian for the Commission, was asked, “Why don’t libraries start cataloging and offering CC-licensed works?”

The NLC staff went to work cataloging and then posting electronic versions of CC-licensed works like Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Steven Poole’s Trigger Happy to the library’s web server. Patrons can now access these and other CC-licensed books from the online library catalog. Sauers adds that some of the CC-licensed titles were also printed as spiral-bound books so they could be added to the library’s physical collection.

The Nebraska Library Commission now offers nine CC-licensed electronic titles, and hopes to add more. This is fantastic news, and we encourage other libraries to follow their lead. It’d be great for Michael and the NLC to document and share the specifics of the cataloging process so other libraries can try it too!

Check out some photos from the NLC.

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License drafts from Ecuador & Norway enter public discussion

Michelle Thorne, February 21st, 2008

We are very pleased to announce that the public discussion of localized license drafts has begun in Ecuador and in Norway:

It is a great pleasure to invite all interested parties to join the teams in Ecuador and Norway in discussing these drafts adapted to their respective jurisdictional law.

For their progress and dedication thus far, we would like to thank the CC Ecuador team, lead by Dr. Juan José Puertas Ortega and Carlos Correa Loyola, and team members Dra. Patricia Pacheco Montoya and Abg. Verónica Granda González, with support from the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja.

Our warmest congratulations extend as well to CC Norway, whose Legal Lead Peter Lenda and Public Lead Gisle Hannemyr, along with their Legal Advisory Board and affiliate institution Oslo University College, have demonstrated extreme thoughtfulness and commitment in producing the first draft of the CC license ported to Norwegian law.

We welcome your participation in the discussion of these two license drafts!

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SciVee Television

Jane Park, February 21st, 2008

Since Science Commons blogged about SciVee last August, the “YouTube for science research” has expanded. If you haven’t already, check out this science television for adults. It’s not your typical science programming–you won’t see Bill Nye the Science Guy here–but you could definitely learn a thing or two on this site promoting open science research.

SciVee Television fosters networking between science professionals, or anyone that wants to share their research. You can create “pubcasts” by presenting your published scientific article in a video. The goal is to improve your research by sharing your research–a novel concept?

All uploaded content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (CC BY).

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Puerto Rico Launches Localized Creative Commons Licenses

Michelle Thorne, February 21st, 2008

On Feb. 22 in San Juan, the University of Puerto Rico Cyberlaw Clinic will host the launch of Puerto Rico’s localized Creative Commons licenses, marking the forty-fourth jurisdiction worldwide to port the Creative Commons licensing suite. The event will be held at 7:00pm at U.P.R.’s School of Law, featuring an exhibition by Puerto Rican artists, a promotional CD release, and keynote by Creative Commons Chairman Joichi Ito.

The Creative Commons Puerto Rico team is lead by Hiram A. Meléndez-Juarbe, Carlos González-Yanes, and Chloé Georas, who coordinated the porting process and public consultation with local and international legal experts. In preparation for the public discussion, a memorandum was prepared by the 2006-2007 class of the University of Puerto Cyberlaw Clinic to analyze the role of moral rights in Puerto Rico’s mixed legal tradition. The memorandum is available for download.

Congratulations CC Puerto Rico!

Press Release

Event on upcoming


Image Left: Untitled, by Chloé Georas licensed under CC BY-NC-ND. Image Right: Untitled, by Maribel Garrastazu licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

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Approved for Free Cultural Works

Mike Linksvayer, February 20th, 2008

Approved for Free Cultural WorksWe’ve just added the seal you see at right to Creative Commons licenses that qualify as Free Culture Licenses according to the Definition of Free Cultural WorksAttribution and Attribution-ShareAlike. Public domain is not a license, but is an acceptable copyright status for free cultural works according to the Definition.

One obvious way to think of the definition is as an application of the principles of free software to content. These demand the freedom to modify without any discrimination against uses or users, which means that Creative Commons licenses containing the NonCommercial or NoDerivatives terms do not qualify. Of course you don’t have to agree with the definition of freedom used by the free software movement and the Definition of Free Cultural Works, and even if you do agree, there may be reasons for using a more restrictive license in some cases. However, this seal and approval signals an important delineation between less and more restrictive licenses, one that creators and users of content should be aware of.

A very practical reason users should be aware of these distinctions is that some important projects accept only freely (as defined) licensed or public domain content, in particular Wikipedia and Wikimedia sites, which use the Definition of Free Cultural Works in their licensing guidelines. Indeed, clear marking of qualifying CC licenses as free is one of the issues to be addressed for a potential migration of Wikipedia to CC Attribution-ShareAlike.

This added signaling is part of an ongoing effort to distinguish among the range of Creative Commons licenses — never say the Creative Commons license, as there is no such thing. Our license deeds have always communicated the distinct properties of each license with icons and brief descriptions. In December of 2006 we added a more subtle free/less free signal — green and yellow background graphics (compare Attribution to Attribution-NonCommercial) — and began suggesting license buttons that include license property icons, so that one has an immediate visual cue as to the specific license being used without clicking through to the deed.

We hope to address further suggestions from the community and roll out further improvements in CC license deeds and the license chooser in the near future — stay tuned!


3-D Internet for Learning Summit: What’s Missing?

Jane Park, February 20th, 2008

3D Conference Screen Shot

Image: Screenshot of IBM Learning Summit, Active Worlds Browser 4.1

© 1995-2007 Active Worlds, Inc.

ccLearn was a participant in the just-concluded 3-D Internet for Learning Summit, which took place over a period of two days in three separate sessions: the Kick-Off Event, What’s New Here Forum?, and What’s the Big Challenge? It was hosted by IBM, ASU SkySong, The Federation of American Scientists and the Kauffman Foundation. The conference occurred in a customized 3-D space, IBM’s Active Worlds Center for Innovation specifically designed for the event. The virtual experience was enhanced with main and side chats, a conference call linking 60+ callers from around the globe, and a Powerpoint presentation, which could be viewed off-line or in the Center. For those accelerated multi-taskers, there were additional screens bordering the outer edges of the conference area where you could link to even more info about 3-D internet and education.

Aside from the fun of making your avatar fly or do karate, you could ask questions via phone or chat that would be answered directly by the panel, a group of business professionals who had a lot to say about the emerging 3-D space. Most opted to join in on the collaborative chat, though, demonstrating the importance of “self and anonymity”, a concept of the second session–What’s New Here Forum? Anonymity allows people to ask questions and be more forward than they usually might be. At the same time, self still plays an important factor as people usually choose and modify avatars to look as much like them as possible. In total, 300 or so avatars were present, all representing real people behind real computers around the world.

There is obviously a lot of excitement about the potential of virtual environments to enhance or improve access to learning, and ccLearn expects to be active in conversations and considerations of interoperability issues and barriers to those possibilities.

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