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2009 August

OER Copyright Survey now closed

Jane Park, August 31st, 2009

Thanks to all of you who filled out the OER Copyright Survey! The survey is now closed, with many thoughtful responses. Again, we appreciate your responses, among which was an overarching request to have the survey translated. We definitely hope and intend to broaden the survey to more countries and in more languages in the future, and are open to ideas and support. Please contact us if you, an individual you know, or a project/organization you are in touch with is interested in participating in the next stages of research. Participation can be anything from simply responding to the survey in your own language or helping to translate, organize, or analyze the data.

In the meantime, please take advantage of the user group currently active on OpenEd to continue the discussion. Also feel free to review and contribute to the survey notes.

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Back to School: Student Journalism 2.0

Alex Kozak, August 31st, 2009

As students around the world return to school, ccLearn blogs about the evolving education landscape, ongoing projects to improve educational resources, education technology, and the future of education. Browse the “Back to School” tag for more posts in this series.

In the minds of many students, back to school means back to the same old textbooks, tests, and classrooms. Instead of getting excited about learning new ideas on the forefront of human life and experience, students often dread returning to the old methodology in their classrooms.

But for journalism students in several California Bay Area high-schools, school in the 2009-10 year will mean becoming research collaborators in the world of Creative Commons licenses, copyright, and so called “new journalism”. After months of planning, ccLearn at Creative Commons will be partnering with 5 bay area journalism teachers to introduce and research how a copyright and Creative Commons-related curriculum influences (or not) the practices of budding journalists.

From the original announcement:

For journalism students, the digital age requires more than hands-on reporting, writing, and publication of stories. Students must also embrace the capabilities of the Internet for virtual collaboration, viral dissemination, and feedback loops that inform and deepen original stories. All of these web-based opportunities depend on knowledge and proactive application of open content licensing, such as with Creative Commons, and appropriate metatags and technical formats. Student Journalism 2.0 engages high school students in understanding legal and technical issues intrinsic to new journalistic practices. The lessons learned during this pilot project will be documented in anticipation of a national-scale, follow-up project.

In the initial phase of the project, we hope to develop a successful model for engaging journalism students with new ways of thinking about content, copyright, and their goals as journalists in the age of the Internet and viral communication.

And at the same time, we are hoping that projects similar to Student Journalism 2.0 will impact how students perceive their place in the developing information ecosystem. Whether they go on to become professional journalists, artists, bloggers, or participants in social media platforms, students will be armed with a firm understanding of copyright and licensing, and how their decisions in those areas affect how their work will get distributed, used, and then redistributed.

We want students, both in school and after, to become part of the information ecosystem rather than passive consumers of information products. This will lead to better pedagogies, higher quality teaching and learning materials, and a more informed society.

Visit the Student Journalism 2.0 website for more information.

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Frances Pinter from GOOD’s “We Like to Share” Series

Jane Park, August 31st, 2009

We’d like to point out GOOD’s latest interview from its “We Like to Share” series by Eric Steuer—”Frances Pinter on the (Academic) Value of Sharing.” Frances elaborates on Bloomsbury Academic‘s decision to license their academic publications via CC BY-NC, academics’ need for exposure, and the changing landscape in publishing,

“So much of academic output is now available on the web, and when you talk to academics they are not 100 percent happy with how difficult it is becoming to find their works. They are looking for tools; a digital means of selecting, filtering, and ranking the materials they are using and recommending. We are actually in a period of transition where we are still relying on the old, but wanting to experiment with the new. People like myself who spend a lot of time with the open access crowd can kind of forget there are a lot of academics who aren’t so vocal, who are primarily interested in producing their content, getting materials in front of their students, and getting their promotion and their recognition for work that they produce.

In this period of transition there is a lot of investment required in experimenting with new technologies. And with the experimenting of new technologies, we have to make sure the recognition and the openness is absolutely essential and part of it.”

The interview is also available in audio, and if you want to learn more about Frances and Bloomsbury Academic, be sure to check out the longer ccLearn interview with her from last year, as part of our Inside OER series.

All GOOD “We Like to Share” interviews are available to share via CC BY.

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Back to School Blog Week

Jane Park, August 31st, 2009

As students around the world return to school, ccLearn blogs about the evolving education landscape, ongoing projects to improve educational resources, education technology, and the future of education. Browse the “Back to School” tag for more posts in this series.

The last day of August also marks the start of the first week of September, and many schools in the northern hemisphere are opening their doors for the first time since spring, if they haven’t done so already. Parents are dusting off their kids’ backpacks, kids are tying on their squeaky new sneakers, and teachers and administrators are abuzz in the halls with preparations for the big week. In the U.S., back-to-school week has come to reach a significance usually reserved for spring in many countries, which is that for new life, a fresh start and chance to overshadow the past year’s failures with future successes.

In acknowledgment, and perhaps in celebration, of all the back-to-school weeks around the world, ccLearn is blogging its own. In the spirit of back to school, we will be blogging daily this week on the various projects, old and new, that have flourished in the open education space, while setting milestones and advancing our stance on a few pressing subjects and news items to date. What’s been in the news: open textbooks, open courseware, peer to peer online initiatives, OER in Africa, copyright exceptions and limitations, education search, and the ever rapidly changing world of journalism and new media.

Please join us in blogging this week. Re-blog and re-tweet at will, and comment away!

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An Evaluation of Private Foundation Copyright Licensing Policies, Practices and Opportunities

Jane Park, August 28th, 2009

CC is pleased to announce that the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, in collaboration with the Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Institute, has recently published a new study entitled, An Evaluation of Private Foundation Copyright Licensing Policies, Practices and Opportunities, by Philllip Malone. From the announcement,

“This project… undertook to examine the copyright licensing policies and practices of a group of private foundations. In particular, it looked at the extent to which charitable foundations are aware of and have begun to use open licenses such as Creative Commons or the GPL for the works they create and that they support with their funding. We surveyed foundation staff and leaders and examined a number of examples where foundations have begun to take advantage of new licensing models. Based on the survey results, foundation experiences and additional research, we identified a variety of significant benefits that the use of open licenses can bring to foundations and their charitable goals. In particular, open licenses permit knowledge and learning to be widely shared and more readily adapted, improved or built upon, and allow those later improvements to be readily distributed. The result can be dramatically faster and greater access to research, information, technologies and other resources in ways that directly benefit foundations’ core missions and the public good.

The study sought to develop an analytical framework and set of factors that foundations can use to begin considering when and where the use of open licenses would further their mission and day-to-day work and where such licenses might not be useful or appropriate. It provides a great starting point for informed consideration of open licenses and the new opportunities they create for foundations and related organizations.”

This report creates an amazing opportunity for foundations to propel themselves into the future via open licensing and open technologies. Please read and share far and wide, as the entire study is open via CC BY.

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Anne Wojcicki and Sergey Brin Support CC with $500,000 Gift

Melissa Reeder, August 27th, 2009

Creative Commons is honored to have received an incredibly generous gift of $500,000 from 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. We are delighted that the couple recognizes the importance of Creative Commons and has decided to invest in our work to support sharing, collaboration, and the spread of knowledge and creativity. This gift – made in addition to the financial support that Google offers CC annually – will be used to support Creative Commons generally, with a focus on developing our Science Commons project, which Wojcicki and Brin are particularly excited about.

Today’s challenging economic climate has made it difficult for nonprofit organizations like Creative Commons to raise funds, making Wojcicki and Brin’s wonderful gift all the more appreciated. CC is busier than ever – we’re working with artists, scientists, educators, students, programmers, entrepreneurs, companies, universities, governments, and cultural institutions around the world to increase sharing and improve collaboration in ways that benefit all parts of society. As a nonprofit, we simply couldn’t do this work without the generous support of people like Wojcicki and Brin, as well as the other private donors, foundations, and corporations that enable Creative Commons to operate. For information about support for Creative Commons – including how you can get involved – please visit https://support.creativecommons.org.

Thank you to Ms. Wojcicki and Mr. Brin, from the Creative Commons staff, board, and community. We are very happy to have your support.

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3rd CC Community Call (8/18/09) recording now online

Allison Domicone, August 25th, 2009

We hosted our third community conference call last Tuesday, August 18. Donors were invited to join members of CC’s staff and board, including CEO Joi Ito and new Board Member Glenn Otis Brown, to hear updates from CC’s most recent board meeting, which included an overview of the steps we are taking to develop CC as a global organization, as well as progress on consolidating around the core Creative Commons brand. We also took questions and comments from participants. The call was a great success and a valuable opportunity to reach out to and connect with our supporters; we will continue to host community conference calls on a quarterly basis, and anyone giving $300 or more will be invited to take part.

An audio recording of the call is now available online. Thanks to everyone who participated, and as always, we would like to extend a big thank you to all members of our community for your continued support!

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Remix Open Ed 09

Jane Park, August 24th, 2009

This year’s open education conference was held in breathtaking Vancouver, BC and the ccLearn team (consisting of Lila Bailey, Ahrash Bissell, Alex Kozak, and myself) was there to soak it all in. Vancouver could be the emerald city, or an alternate reality to San Francisco, from whence three of us hail. This parallel universe yielded skyscrapers made of turquoise tinted glass, Lion’s gate (sea foam green instead of Golden Gate’s deceptive red), and a plethora of downtown eats and night life. The conference itself was located right next to the Vancouver Art Museum, home of the Dutch masters.

While my colleagues presented OpenEd (opened.creativecommons.org, the global open education community site we launched earlier this month), the OER Copyright survey, and cogitated on whether international copyright exceptions and limitations can support a global learning commons—I had the chance to run around with lots of people and talk to some of them. I was pleasantly surprised by the increase in diverse persons and locales represented, and I picked each of their brains for a few seconds with the help of my Flip cam.

The result is this video (blip.tv), which we hope you will enjoy and encourage you to remix! It’s all open via CC BY, including the soundtrack—laid with the album Ambient Pills by Zeropage (thanks to Jamendo). We also have lots of footage we didn’t include due to time constraints, so you may see snippier iterations down the line.

The video is also available at YouTube and Vimeo.

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Thank You to the 2009 Summer Interns!

Jennifer Yip, August 24th, 2009

Creative Commons has just concluded another successful summer internship program! This year, we welcomed six students to the San Francisco office:

Tomas Ashe was our very first graphic design intern, who came from the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland. Tomas spent the summer working on updating our presentations and presentation style; a fresh new board report; some exciting concepts for creativecommons.org; and some great new info flyers.

Lee-Sean Huang was the International Outreach intern, who spent the summer asking questions and designing solutions for our efforts to support this community, with particular attention to OpenEd. Open education is a global phenomenon, and is supported by a global community. His work on translation, compelling images, and other key messaging issues is helping to globalize our work and bring greater coherence to the many OER projects around the world. We will be publishing a report on Lee-Sean’s work and recommendations soon.

Michelle Hugard was a Legal intern, who will be beginning her third year at UC Davis School of Law this fall. Michelle was busy with building and populating the UCOP database, as well as analyzing university copyright ownership policies and drafting a report about them. Please watch for the publishing of this report, but feel free to contribute to the UCOP database now!

Joe Merante was our other Legal intern, who is also starting his third year at New York Law School this fall. Joe’s primary focus over the summer was researching accessibility policies of institutions publishing content believed to be in the public domain. His research and recommendations will inform Creative Common’s future work on the upcoming Public Domain Assertion tool. That tool will allow organizations and individuals to mark and tag works believed to be in the public domain with facts supporting that conclusion.

Parker Phinney was the Technology intern who came to us after his first year at Dartmouth College. Parker spent the summer giving much needed attention to the code and interface for search.creativecommons.org. Thanks to his work this summer we’ve cleaned up the interface, added support for Google Image search and identified and prototyped several opportunities for further improvements.

Aurelia Schultz was our first Google Policy Fellow, who completed her final year at Vanderbilt University Law School. Aurelia focused on two interrelated projects this summer. First, she analyzed the WIPO development agenda to determine possible strategic areas of overlap and coordination on understanding, marking and tagging the public domain. Aurelia has created a draft strategic plan for CC’s engagement with WIPO and its members at both a policy and project level. Read her recent blog post for most information about her work in this area. She also spent time developing a strategic plan for CC’s outreach in Africa. The plan includes recommendations on expanding our license porting projects as well as through participation by CC in local activities focused on education and the public domain. Aurelia is going to continue researching these policies for us this fall, thanks to Vanderbilt’s public interest initiative funding.

It was a pleasure having these fine students here at the Creative Commons office. On behalf of the CC staff, we thank you for your beautiful presentations, innovative thinking, and enthusiastic work ethic.

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New Video Pages and Blog Tags

Parker Higgins, August 20th, 2009

I’ve spent the last few months of Summer volunteering for Creative Commons, and in that time I’ve had a great opportunity to do a few little things that should make CC outreach and communication a little bit more effective.

First, I’ve been working a lot on the Videos section of the site, dealing specifically with promotional and informational CC videos. I’ve reorganized the Videos page on the Creative Commons wiki, finally putting together all the source assets and translation information in one place. That page may change a bit more in the coming weeks, but already it’s a lot clearer and easier for people who want to engage with the videos.

In addition to the wiki page, I’ve added a few links and a bit more information to the individual video pages on the main site. We hope that now the translation materials and source assets are displayed more prominently, people who are inspired will be enabled to jump in and translate or remix or mash up the videos.

The other major project I’ve been tackling this summer is adding “tags” to the CC weblog posts. As you’ll notice on the right of the main Commons News page, our most popular tags are visible are now visible, and each individual post has tags at the bottom of it, which you can click on for more posts tagged in the same way. For example, check out the Free Music Archive tag which displays all the posts related to WFMU’s Free Music Archive project. I’ve tagged a full year of CC posts and we will continue this habit going forward. This should make it easier to find things that we’ve blogged about that are especially relevant to your interests, as well as track related stories more efficiently.

These are just a few little projects I’ve had the pleasure of tackling as a CC volunteer. I hope it makes it easier for everybody to find their way around the site!

Parker Higgins, CC Volunteer

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