Pratham Books joins the Commons

Jane Park, November 25th, 2008

Pratham Books is a nonprofit publisher started by the Pratham Education Initiative, which, since 1994, has been working to secure primary education for every child in India. “Pratham Books is a not-for-profit trust that seeks to publish high-quality books for children at a affordable cost in multiple Indian languages. Pratham Books is trying to create a shift in the paradigm for publishing children’s books in India.”

While working with One Laptop Per Child and the Open Learning Exchange in Nepal, Pratham Books decided to contribute educational books and other content for use in low cost laptops and an open eBook library. They released six books under CC BY-NC-SA, and they are available for download at Scribd. The children’s books include titles like The Moon and the Cap, Annual Haircut Day, and books that make mathematics fun—translated into Neplai for local use. Pratham Books also has an imprint, Read India, that publishes more children’s books in many different Indian languages and at low cost to make them more universally accessible.

Currently, the format of the books are in PDF, but Gautum John of Pratham writes that this will soon change, as they are working on a platform to remix books and they will also be available in HTML. Check out their official blog post about it here.

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Eighth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival DVDs on Sale

Fred Benenson, November 25th, 2008

The Media that Matters 8th Annual Festival DVDs have officially gone on sale. There are a number of facts that make these DVDs exceptional in the festival and documentary world:

If you’re interested in submitting your work to the 9th Annual Media that Matters Film Festival, check out their submission page here. Either way, consider buying a DVD today!

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Announcing December’s CC Salon NYC / 6th Birthday Party

Fred Benenson, November 25th, 2008

CC Salon NYC Logo

UPDATE: We’ve officially too big for TOPP, so we’re moving the Salon to the For Your Imagination Loft. Details below.

Creative Commons turns 6 in mid-December, and we’ll be celebrating Salon style (as has been the tradition in NYC for CC’s birthdays in years past) at The Open Planning Project once again For Your Imagination on December 16th with a Salon and free beer. Since its our birthday there will be some special birthday surprises as well.

December’s Salon will feature presentations by Michael Galpert from Aviary.com (who was unable to make it to September’s Salon but is joining us this time), LimeBits’ Jonathan Marshall & Ted Metcalfe, Spot from the Electric Sheep CC-licensed screen saver, and a special musical performance from Sarah Elizabeth Foster, whose new CD is CC licensed.

Here are the details:


Tuesday, December 16th from 7-10pm
For Your Imagination Loft

22 W. 27th St., 6th Floor

New York, NY

The Open Planing Project
349 W. 12th St., 1st Floor

We’ll also have free (as in beer) beer for the reception afterward. If you’ve didn’t make it to any past CC Salons, don’t miss this one, and if you did, you’ll know to come early as space is limited.

RSVP to the event via Facebook or by e-mailing me: fred [at] creativecommons.org.

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State Shirt Call for Remixes/Samples and Shannon Plays Live

Victor Stone, November 24th, 2008

Over a year and a half ago the ccMixter community decided to stop having formal remix contests in part because in a CC context, the traditional format seemed outdated. In a typical remix contest an artist would post the stems to one song, retaining all the rights to the samples as well as the remixes produced by the entrants. After the contest deadline, the samples are typically taken off the web site in order to take them out of official circulation.

By contrast, on ccMixter, we’ve turned to a ‘call for remixes’ model where we get the artist to put the stems for an entire album into the Commons and keep it there. Therefore the concept of a ‘deadline’ seems mute. The best part is that the rights to the remixes are retained by the artist. This has proven to be much more amenable to the community and it has responded with 1,000s of remixes to calls by DJ Vadim, Bucky Jonson, Trifonic,Calendar Girl, Brad Sucks and Shannon Hurley.

Shannon exemplifies the new hybrid sharing+business model because when we she was ready to put together an album of remixes she licensed, for a fee, the remixes from the producers for the album “Second Light: The Ready to Wake Up Remixes” (AMIE Street, CD Baby and iTunes).

She will be performing the remixes with Ben Eisen on bass, Sam Cunningham on drums, and “my apple notebook” in Los Angeles on December 10th. This gig will be quite the party as ccMixter producer DJ Doughy will be flying from Kansas City, Mo. and I’ll be making a special trip to LA for this event as well. (There is a $12 charge at the door.)

Shannon Hurley Remix Album Release Party
Wed. Dec. 10th
8pm sharp, all ages
Genghis Cohen (map)
740 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
$12 admission

Our latest call has special significance because we’ve been trying to get indie star State Shirt for a while and he’s come through in a big way. Not only did he put his entire “This is Old” album, stems, a cappellas and all, into the Commons but his plan is to use the remixes themselves as source material for a new album of original music. State is a master songwriter who writes and performs in an “energetic and ridiculously catchy” way according to DoKashiteru who should know: his DnB smasher remix was an Editor Pick minutes after upload.

The State Shirt call is: “Remix Me So I Can Remix You

He says: “Creative Commons is the perfect antidote for a collapsing landscape still clinging to traditional copyright. I hope more artists discover that freedom, flexibility, collaboration and community are now an option. I also hope that my fellow ccMixters would want to get involved with me, in both the creation and re-creation of music.”

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CC + MIT + Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Melissa Reeder, November 24th, 2008

On Dec. 12th, 2008, CC will be pairing up with two of the most influential and innovative institutions in the “open” movement: MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

For those of you interested in the tech side of Creative Commons, MIT’s CSAIL is hosting CC’s second Tech Summit from 9-4:30. The first Tech Summit, held at Google this past summer, was a complete success; those archived presentations are here.

And for those of you interested in CC generally, CC and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society have joined forces to bring you the panel discussion: “The Commons: Celebrating accomplishments, discerning futures.” Panelists include James Boyle, The Public Domain; Lawrence Lessig, Remix; Joi Ito, Free Souls; and Molly S. Van Houweling, Creative Commons’ first Executive Director. Jonathan Zittrain, of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, will moderate. A reception will follow at 7:30 pm. Details are here.

We hope you will join us in celebrating Creative Commons’ sixth successful year and the culmination of our 2008 Annual Fundraising Campaign, “Build the Commons.” This event is open to the public, but because we’re closing in on the end of our campaign, we encourage you to bring your check books (or cash rather) and help sustain CC by donating at the door!

Space is limited. Please RSVP by December 1st to Melissa Reeder, Development Manager, at melissa@creativecommons.org.

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Guide to Creative Commons Media for Videographers

Cameron Parkins, November 24th, 2008

Eugenia Loli-Queru recently published a Guide to Creative Commons Media for Videographers, providing a great overview of what videographers should look for in CC-licensed media. Lol-Queru gives background on our license conditions (explaining what each one means for videographers in particular), discusses sources for CC-licensed music, and touches on some general practices and marking standards videographers should abide by. It is a solid guide for anyone looking for free and open media to use in online video and something all CC-using videographers would do well to read.

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Restiform Bodies remix contest – winning submissions to be released on vinyl

Eric Steuer, November 24th, 2008

My friends in the hip-hop/electronic trio Restiform Bodies recently announced a remix contest to celebrate the release of their new album, TV Loves You Back, on anticon records. All of the acapella tracks from the album are offered under a Creative Commons BY-NC license, so you can sample them, remix them, and mash them up. The contest is open until January 1, 2009, and the group will choose two submissions from the contest to include on an upcoming RB vinyl remix album.

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Tribe Of Noise Launches One Billion Fans Project

Cameron Parkins, November 24th, 2008

Tribe Of Noise, a community driven music site that uses a CC BY-SA license for all uploads, recently launched a new project, One Billion Fans, to help promote their growing pool of artists. Musicians, fans, and companies can all log in to support their favorite artist over the coming months with the winner being featured on the digital billboard at Times Square. Voting ends on February 28 – be sure to head to the One Billion Fans website to sign up and help promote!

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Microplanet Creative Commons

Mike Linksvayer, November 24th, 2008

Last week we mentioned that you can follow short updates from Creative Commons on the microblogging services twitter and identi.ca.

Identi.ca has a feature allowing you to view (or subscribe via a feed) all microbloggers a particular account subscribes to. So we’ve made the CC identi.ca account subscribe to the microblogs of CC jurisdiction project leads, staff, board members, and interns, creating a microblog version of the Planet Creative Commons blog aggregator.

Visit http://identi.ca/creativecommons/all to see.

We’ve also used Kent Brewster’s identi.ca badge to embed the feed in the sidebar of Planet Creative Commons.

Also see our post from July, when identi.ca launched, on how the service is pushing comprehensive openness — free software and free culture.


Pluto-Charon system / European Southern Observatory / CC BY

(Pluto and Charon are dwarf planets. See our recent post on freely licensed images from ESO for more.)

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The Growing Hybrid Business of Music Sharing

Fred Benenson, November 24th, 2008

One of the things we’ve become very interested in finding more examples of are creators who are using our licenses in combination with traditional business models. For example, many musicians (including our recent Commoner Letter author Jonathan Coulton) sell copies of their CC-licensed music. This may seem cognitively dissonant but in practice it makes perfect sense, as a CC-licensed piece of music simply announces what you can do once you get your hands on it, and it certainly doesn’t restrict the original creator from selling it to you.

Some of the most robust instances of this behavior are musicians who have released CC-licensed material on iTunes, Amazon, and Magnatune. Ambient Electronic artist Kirsty Hawkshaw has done this with her album The Ice Castle, which has a presence in all three stores, but also indicates that is under CC’s Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. In the cases of iTunes and Amazon, the stores themselves are not using the CC license, but are selling the work via the rights they have under their direct agreement with the copyright holders – Hawkshaw and her label, Magnatune. For more about how CC licenses can work in tandem with other agreements, visit our page that describes CC+.

We’d love to hear and see more examples of this kind of hybrid business thinking utilizing our licenses. Do you know of any others? If so, just drop a comment on this post, or contact us any other way. Thanks!

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