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2009 May

FrostWire’s Creative Commons Focus

Fred Benenson, May 28th, 2009

legacy_screengrabFrostWire has been quietly promoting Creative Commons licensed musicians and content on the front page of their Bit Torrent and Gnutella client for quite a while now. Previous featured CC artists include ESPSIX, Mike Falzone, and CC veteran Brad Sucks.

Today the team announced that another up and coming artist, Danny “Legacy” Mcbride, is releasing his new album under our Attribution-NoDerivatives license so he can be featured on FrostWire. This was a smart choice for Legacy (and all of the highlighted musicians) as FrostWire boasts millions of active users which helps them garner substantial exposure they might not otherwise would have received.

Kudos to FrostWire for taking the proactive step of encouraging legal filesharing with CC in an otherwise murky climate. Check out the FrostClick blog for more featured artists and downloads.

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PlagarismToday on Why You Shouldn’t Write Your Own License

Fred Benenson, May 28th, 2009

Jonathan Bailey at PlagiarismToday has a great post dissecting the various issues raised by the bizarre “WE ARE COPYRIGHTED BLOGS” license he recently came across. Jonathan correctly recommends that you leave it to the professionals (Creative Commons is a good example :) to draft your copyright licenses:

This license displays some of the many hazards that people face when they try to craft their own copyright licenses. This is why, whenever possible, you should either use an “All Rights Reserved” license and grant permissions on a case-by-case basis, use a Creative Commons or other license that has been vetted and written by professionals or [an]other license that has been vetted and written by professionals.

And remember kids, just say NO to license proliferation.

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EFF Teaches Copyright, without an agenda

Jane Park, May 28th, 2009

When it comes to copyright, our youth are too often bombarded with extremes. The entertainment industry giants propagate a skewed perspective by launching anti-copying educational programs, leaving out much of the balanced information necessary to cultivating user’s awareness about her real rights to a resource. This results in students thinking that they can react in only one of two ways: by breaking the law in the face of overbearing restrictions, or by doing absolutely nothing at all with copyrighted works, effectively stifling the learning that comes of creatively engaging with them.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recognized this problem and went to work on a copyright curriculum that would not only be fair and balanced in perspective, but comprehensive in its scope by encouraging discussion and self-education. From the press release,

“Kids are bombarded with messages that using new technology is illegal… Instead of approaching the issues from a position of fear, Teaching Copyright encourages inquiry and greater understanding. This is a balanced curriculum, asking students to think about their role in the online world and to make informed choices about their behavior.”

ccLearn has taken a look at Teaching Copyright and we commend it. The curriculum is created and vetted by lawyers and promotes a balanced teaching perspective, clearing up much of the misinformation that is current industry propaganda. Like EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry says, “Today’s tech-savvy teens will grow into the artists and innovators of tomorrow.” We need to help them “understand their digital rights and responsibilities in order to create, critique, and comment on their culture. This curriculum fills an educational void, introducing critical questions of digital citizenship into the classroom without misinformation that scares kids from expressing themselves in the modern world.”

The entire curriculum and accompanying resources on the Teaching Copyright website are licensed CC BY, which appropriately encourages students, teachers, and anyone else to adapt it to various educational needs and contexts.

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Outreach to GFDL licensed wikis: migrate to CC BY-SA by August 1st!

Mike Linksvayer, May 27th, 2009

To take maximum advantage of Wikipedia’s migration to CC Attribution-ShareAlike, other wikis licensed under the GFDL should, where possible, migrate to CC BY-SA before the deadline set by the GFDL version 1.3 — August 1st.

Ideally all works under free (as in freedom) licenses should be freely remixable, greatly increasing the pull of the Free universe. Wikipedia’s adoption of CC BY-SA goes a long way toward that goal, and each additional wiki that can migrate by the deadline helps even more.

Benjamin Mako Hill (Wikipedian, Free Software Foundation board member, and one of the people crucial to making the migration possible) writes on the Wikimedia Foundation mailing list:

As the group with the most to lose and as the group that introduced the change at issue, the foundation and its broader community should devote as much time as possible to this issue in the next two months before it is too late.

I’m happy to see that work is already being coordinated here:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update/Outreach

As many people as possible should join in this effort and spread the word.

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Know of a GFDL licensed wiki not on the outreach list? Add it.
  • Participate in one of the wikis on the list? Help that wiki migrate, even just by alerting its community to the importance of migration.
  • Want to volunteer to help but aren’t sure where to start, or have other questions? Leave a note on the outreach talk page.
  • Spread the word about this effort to others who might be able to do one of the above.

It’s also worth noting that the outreach page calls out Appropedia as an example to follow. Appropedia actually took advantage of the GFDL 1.3 to migrate to CC BY-SA before the Wikipedia community vote concluded, and is an excellent and innovative wiki and community unto itself, focusing on appropriate technology for “collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development.”

Thanks to everyone who has and will help move this distributed free culture optimization procedure forward!

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Digg Upgrades to the CC0 Waiver

Fred Benenson, May 27th, 2009

Digg!Joining the likes of Flickr and the Personal Genome Project, Digg has now chosen our CC0 Waiver for their content. Daniel Burka writes on the official Digg blog about their choice:

As of today, we’ve taken that one step further by upgrading our public domain license to the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) [waiver]. The CC0 [waiver] expresses that content posted on Digg is public domain even internationally. A minor point maybe, but our previous public domain [dedication] was only clear within the USA. When a friend from Creative Commons suggested that we move to a CC0 license, to even more clearly affirm our intentions, it seemed obvious. And, as we try to always do when we change something that affects the content that you (our users) submit to Digg, we’re trying to keep you informed about it.

Congrats to the Digg team for taking the step in the right direction for the public domain! Read more about why using CC0 for your public domain content is important here and here.

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The Official Ninth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival is June 3rd in NYC

Fred Benenson, May 27th, 2009

mtm9

Every year, Arts Engine produces the fantastic Media That Matters Film Festival. The festival awards and screens a dozen social justice shorts each year and then releases them for sale under our Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license on region-free unencrypted DVDs. This allows educators, fans, and audiences to arrange their own non-commercial screenings of the shorts and help promote them without having to spend time negotiating with MTM and the many different film makers participating in the festival.

This year’s Official Ninth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival is happening next Wednesday, June 3rd in NYC but there are hundreds of screenings organized all around the world. In conjunction with the NYC festival, there will be an impACT salon featuring the festival’s presenting partners that begins an hour prior to the screening at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Visual Arts Theater.

Check out the official site for details, schedules, and downloads.

Also of interest may be the video Creative Commons and Media That Matters collaborated on in late 2008:

You can download the video and learn more about it on its video page.

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Cadyou Takes CC to CAD & Digital Design

Fred Benenson, May 27th, 2009

Cadyou
All sorts of interesting things show up in our Twitter search feed, and yesterday we were thrilled to come across Cadyou via @sketchupshop. Cadyou is a community launched by Tom Moor in late 2008 whose goal is to create a resource of free, high quality files for everyone to use, available in the Public Domain and under Creative Commons licenses. One interesting component of Cadyou’s content is its moderation policy:

Unlike many websites which let user upload their own content, cadyou is moderated ensuring that each file made available reaches quality standards, is tagged well and has great thumbnails so it is easy to find what you need.

Sign up today for unlimited free downloads!

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Yahoo Brings CC Filters to Image Search

Fred Benenson, May 26th, 2009

Forgive me, but a picture (screen shot) is worth a thousand words (searches):

Yahoo Image Search

Today, on Yahoo’s Search Blog, Polly Ng and Anuj Sahai announced the addition of CC license image filtering options to their image search and also explained why CC licenses are so important for finding images online:

Finding a great image online elicits a little thrill, but it can be tricky – if you’re looking for a pic to pop into a presentation or illustrate a Web page, you need to know if you’re allowed to use that photo, and how you can use it. Today, Yahoo! Image Search is launching a Creative Commons license filter that allows you to simply and quickly find images that are available for reuse.

When you use Yahoo! Image Search, you’ll now see a checkbox for Creative Commons allowing you to filter for images from Flickr that can be used commercially or that can be modified (remixed, tweaked, or built upon) with restrictions set by the image’s creator.

Congrats to the Yahoo! team for extending CC even further into their platform!

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Teaching About Copyright and Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

Jane Park, May 26th, 2009

Last November, the Center for Social Media at AU released a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education, which followed on the heels of a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video. These guides were aimed at clearing up many of the urban myths surrounding copyright, especially when it came to classroom use of copyrighted materials.

Now, the Media Education Lab at Temple University has produced excellent resources based on the original guide to help teachers teach about copyright and fair use in their classrooms. Resources include lesson plans, Powerpoint slides, videos, case studies, podcasts, and FAQs. The lesson plans iterate on topics from the code such as “Understanding Copyright”, “The Cost of Copyright Confusion”, and “Defining and Applying Fair Use”.

What tickles me: that in order to find out just what you can do with these resources, you get to view and use them first—Learning fair use via fair using! To use these resources in your classroom or study group (or for simply personal edification), check them all out here.

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Jamendo reaches 20,000 albums

Mike Linksvayer, May 25th, 2009

Congratulations to Jamendo:

20,000 albums? We can hardly believe it!

Well, it seems like just a few months ago we were celebrating 10,000 albums published on jamendo and this weekend we passed the 20,000 album mark!

Actually, it was 11 months ago to be precise. Look at it this way and you’ll understand why we’re the first to be impressed with the figures: it will have taken jamendo 3 years to gather 10,000 albums, and then just under one year later, that number has doubled!

It’s pretty safe to say we’re going strong. And even safer to say it’s all thanks to you: artists, members and everyone contributing to spread the word of free music!

You can see those 20,000 albums broken down by license at jamendo.com/creativecommons.

Speaking of “we can hardly believe it” and collections of CC licensed media, I recently noticed a post on this blog from 2005:

We’re also happy to see growth at Flickr has gone way beyond our expectations to nearly 1.5 million photos licensed for reuse.

Two months ago Flickr reached 100 million CC licensed photos.

Congratulations to Jamendo and may today’s surprise only hint at an astounding future.

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