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2009 April

Norwegian Minister Publishes Book under CC BY-SA

Michelle Thorne, April 16th, 2009

delte meningerFrom CC Norway:

Today, Norway’s Minister of Government Administration and Reform, Heidi Grande Røys, launched a new book, edited by the Minister, about sharing and the social side of computer networks.  The book is titled “Delte  meninger” (in Norwegian this has the dual meaning of “shared  opinions” and “conflicting opinions”). There is also a website dedicated to open, public debate about the issues raised in the book.

Both the website and the print edition will carry a ported Norwegian CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

The print edition of the book will be published by Universitetsforlaget and is the first instance of a major book in Norway that carries a Creative Commons license.

Delte meninger / CC BY-SA 3.0

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Second Round of the Noncommercial Use Study — “User” Questionnaire Launched

Mike Linksvayer, April 15th, 2009

Creative Commons is launching the second and final round of a survey intended to collect information on how people understand the term “noncommercial use”. As previously announced, this study is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and we are fortunate to have the help of a distinguished group of advisors and colleagues.

During the first phase of the study, which took place last fall, we focused on talking with and surveying creators, using a questionnaire that was fielded to a sample of US-based content creators, and also made available (in an expanded version) to anyone interested. See 1, 2, 3.

Now we want to hear about noncommercial use from the user’s perspective — recognizing of course that the creator/user distinction is itself worthy of study! Whether you consider yourself a member of the Creative Commons community, or are interested more generally in copyright, we hope you will respond. While answering all the questions can take a while, particularly if you have a lot to say, many people who participated last time found it an interesting and useful experience.

Note that we could not incorporate as many suggestions from the previous questionnaire (see comments on posts linked above) as we would have liked due to the structure of the study — we want to be able to compare data from the two phases of research, and to be able to do that, we have to retain the wording of certain concepts and questions.

While to our knowledge this is the first empirical research project to tackle understanding how people define “noncommercial use”, we hope it is only the first of many efforts to explore the many dimensions of the subject. We will release the raw empirical data collected and some early reports from the first (creator) questionnaire next week, and will release a report on the full study and all data this summer. We hope others will be able to mine and build on this data.

If you’ve read this far, we know you have an opinion, and we hope you understand that we’re trying to provide a way for you to share that opinion. What are your views? Please help us make the data set as robust as possible! Take the questionnaire (allow 15-25 minutes), and help us tell others about it.

Questions about the study or this poll may be sent to noncommercial@creativecommons.org.

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Czech Creators Celebrate Local Creative Commons Licenses

Michelle Thorne, April 15th, 2009

czech-flagCreators can now publish and share their creative works using CC’s free tools adapted to Czech language and law. CC Czech will be throwing an event to celebrate the launch in Prague’s DigiLab AVU on April 16 during the Multiplace festival.

CC Czech has gathered a lot of supporters since its inception last year. Besides the project’s institutional hosts, Iuridicum remedium, the National Library in the Czech Republic, and the Union of Independent Authors, CC Czech has also received endorsement from the Copyright Department of the Ministry of Culture and Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Charles University of Prague. The team reports:

The joint forces of lawyers, librarians, musicians, teachers, artists, geeks, journalists and other specialists delivered not only what we were aiming for – the localized CC deeds and legal codes – but also proof that the ideas behind CC echo in many areas both professional and amateur. From archiving original Czech web content, to educational materials, to works from independent music producers and performers, CC opens up a wide spectrum of possibilities. There is no doubt the today’s launch is only the beginning of the Czech Creative Commons story.

Our congratulations and gratitude to CC Czech Project Leads Marek Tichy, Lukáš Gruber, and Petr Jansa for their efforts in consulting with Czech creators and legal experts to adapt CC’s licenses and tools. The launch marks the fifty-second jurisdiction worldwide to offer localized Creative Commons licenses.

Read more in our press release.

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New Education Program Assistant

Jane Park, April 14th, 2009

Welcome to Alex Kozak, our new Education Program Assistant! Alex will be graduating from the University of California, Berkeley next month, with a BA in Philosophy. (That makes three former Philosophy majors at ccLearn.)

In this economy, it was no surprise that we had access to a great pool of highly-qualified candidates. Thanks to everyone who submitted an application, especially to those who were patient during the interview process. We were inspired by the number of committed persons in and outside of open education, and we are positive that all of them will move on to effectively fill positions relevant to their interests.

Please be in touch for future opportunities and news about the movement in general.

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Welcome Summer Interns!

Jennifer Yip, April 13th, 2009

We have finally concluded our rigorous search for summer interns. This year, we’ll be welcoming five students to work at the San Francisco office. Thanks to everyone who submitted an application. It was great to see such an incredible number of responses!

Please let me introduce:

  • Lee-Sean Huang will be the International Outreach intern for ccLearn. He is a first-year masters student at the Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
  • Joe Merante will work under our General Counsel as a Legal intern. He is a second year law student at New York Law School.
  • Michelle Hugard will work with the ccLearn counsel as another Legal intern. She is a second year law student from UC Davis School of Law.
  • Parker Phinney will be the Technology intern. He is a first year student of computer science at Dartmouth College.
  • Tomas Ashe will be the very fist Graphic Design & Media Development intern. He will be completing his final year at the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland.
  • Aurelia Schultz, our first Google Policy Fellow, will also be joining us this summer.

Also see our goodbye post featuring last year’s interns. If you’re interested an internship next year (2010), keep in mind that we’ll post a call for applications around February. Get your resumes into shape starting now! The strongest applicants have played leadership roles in Students for Free Culture chapters or been active contributors to other free culture and free and open source software projects — regarding the latter, we even have a few of our own to get involved with.

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Call for Remixes: Snowflake’s Earth Day Challenge

Victor Stone, April 13th, 2009

Creative Commons and Snowflake are proud to announce a call for remixes in honor of Earth Day 2009. Singer, musician and poet Snowflake has put all the stems, including the a cappella for her song Apologize into the Commons under an Attribution NonCommercial license, hosted on ccMixter, and is looking for remixes to be featured on her site on April 20th.

After all the remixes are posted, Snowflake will pick her favorite remix and include it as a surprise 11th track on her FanClub release “One or Ten” on April 20th. She tells us the remixer will be awarded producer royalties for the track as well.

In addition, Snowflake has generously offered to donate $200 to a green non-profit, to be chosen by the producer of her favorite remix of Apologize.

Snowflake is a long time and popular contributor to ccMixter and thinks “ccMixter embodies a significant evolution in synergistic sound. With creativity expanding from its source, our musical compositions gain color, speed and strength as we share, mix, and mash.”

Make sure to check out Snowflake at her new website that features both her ccMixter source tracks and five favorite remixes.

There’s not a lot time left to crank out the tunes so read more and download the sources at Snowflake’s Earth Day Call for Remixes.

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Australia Publishes CC Info Pack

Jane Park, April 13th, 2009

Through its Copyright Advisory Group, the Australian Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) has published a Creative Commons information pack online, a bundle of eight documents that distills the basics of CC licensing and the philosophy behind it. This pack is a great resource for educators and students, and we encourage you to use it in your schools by adapting it however you like.

The info pack includes concise and concrete answers to simple questions, like:

What is Creative Commons?
How to Find Creative Commons Licensed Material
How to Attribute Creative Commons Licensed Material

and more. Find all documents at their Smartcopying website, “The Official Guide to Copyright Issues for Australian Schools and TAFE.” All of them are licensed CC BY, the most effective and open license for open educational resources.

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Wikipedia community vote on migration to CC BY-SA begins now

Mike Linksvayer, April 13th, 2009


A community vote is now underway, hopefully one of the final steps in the process the migration of Wikipedia (actually Wikipedias, as each language is its own site, and also other Wikimedia Foundation sites) to using Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike as its primary content license.

This migration would be a huge boost for the free culture movement, and for Wikipedia and Creative Commons — until the migration happens there is an unnecessary licensing barrier between the most important free culture project (Wikipedia of course, currently under the Free Documentation License, intended for software documentation) and most other free culture projects and individual creators, which use the aforementioned CC BY-SA license.

To qualify to vote, one must have made 25 edits to a Wikimedia site prior to March 15. Make sure you’re logged in to the project on which you qualify, and you should see a site notice at the top of each page that looks like the image below (red outline added around notice).

licensing update site notice

Click on “vote now” and you’ll be taken to the voting site. [Update: If you see a different site notice, it's because other important notices about the Wikimania conference are rotating with the vote notice. In that case you can go directly to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:SecurePoll/vote/1. For other Wikimedia sites, change en.wikipedia to the domain of the site in question.]

For background on the migration process, see Wikimedia’s licensing update article and the following series of posts on the Creative Commons blog:

Here’s a great “propaganda poster”, original created by Brianna Laugher (cited a number of times on this blog), licensed under CC BY. See her post, Vote YES for licensing sanity!

Indeed, please go vote yes to unify the free culture movement!

Vote YES! For licensing sanity!

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First Creative Commons Arab world meeting held in Qatar at Al Jazeera media forum

Donatella Della Ratta, April 12th, 2009

The first Creative Commons regional meeting in the Arab World was held a few weeks ago during Al Jazeera’s annual Media Forum in Doha, Qatar (14-16 March, 2009).

The Forum hosted the first ever face-to-face meeting of the Arab Project Leads (Ziad Maraqa and Rami Olwan from CC Jordan and Nafaa Laribi from CC Tunisia) with CC staff (Joi Ito, Donatella Della Ratta, Catharina Maracke, and Michelle Thorne), key media researchers, bloggers, CC enthusiasts and supporters from the region. The meeting, organized with the kind support of Al Jazeera, tackled many issues that are crucial for future developments of CC communities in the Arab World. Lawyers Stephanie Raye Safi from Khasawneh & Associates (Dubai), Samer Jamous from Talal Abu Ghazaleh (Qatar) and Mohammad El Said (Al Jazeera) gave input on the first ported Arabic license, now being finalized by CC Jordan.

The Arabic translation of the name “Creative Commons” took center stage of the discussion. Pros and cons were weighed whether to leave the name in English and transliterate into Arabic script, or if it should be translated with a proper Arabic word. The Jordanian translation “masha3″ was agreed to be the closest to the original English meaning, but for those who would still like to share their input, the public discussion is still open on the CC Jordan page, where you are encouraged to contribute. Other legal issues were debated, such as moral rights and fair use.

The discussion also focused on how to enrich community participation in the Arab World and develop initiatives in media, education, and general outreach. Everyone agreed that a key component for CC in the Arab World should be to foster content creation in Arabic and to encourage innovation in tools and software to speed up this process. With these plans and more underway, a community list will be started in English and Arabic. If you’d like to be in touch, please let us know!

The CC Al Jazeera day also featured a panel on “Building successful media projects in open networks”, moderated by CC’s CEO Joi Ito. Mohamed Nanahbay, former Head of New Media at Al Jazeera, presented the CC Al Jazeera repository, a website initiated by the channel to host broadcast quality footage, all distributed under CC BY. Mohamed explained how the footage has been used and remixed by different groups of people, including several TV channels that edited and re-broadcasted the material. Footage shot in Gaza last December is now available in the repository, and Al Jazeera announced in Doha that they plan to add more topics and genres before the summer. The panel also hosted a delegation of the European Broadcasting Union led by Nicoletta Iacobacci, Head of New Interactive, to learn more about how to use CC licenses in future broadcasting initiatives.

It was a very busy and interesting day, with plenty of insights and thoughts for the future development of open content and CC communities in the Arab world. A big thank to the Al Jazeera team, particularly Mohamed, Moeed, and the New Media team for their passionate support and the great work to make this happen. Shukran gezilan!

We hope to plan more events of those kind, and if you want to stay in touch with us on those topics, please write an email to donatella@creativecommons.org

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BBC Releases R&DTV Under CC

Fred Benenson, April 10th, 2009

R&DTV LogoTurning the tables, the BBC recently interviewed Digg’s Kevin Rose for their R&DTV series. R&DTV is a monthly program consisting of interviews with BBC developers and technology leaders. In conjunction to licensing the shows under our Attribution-NonCommercial license, the BBC is also releasing all of the content that got left on the cutting room floor in their “Asset Bundles.” This is a fantastic effort for the commons, so hats off to the BBC!

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