Weblog

2009 August

CC Hold Music? Yes, Really.

Fred Benenson, August 20th, 2009

digiumDigium, the parent company that hosts and maintains the open source telephony & PBX project called Asterisk, recently replaced the on-hold music featured in their distributions to CC BY-SA licensed works from OpSound. Using freely licensed CC music in open source projects has always made sense to us, but Digium’s John Todd discusses why they finally made the switch on the company’s blog:

In some nations (Australia and France, to pick two that have been brought to our attention) there are some who are claiming that we do not have the rights outlined above, and that our users therefore are in a similar situation where they may be in violation of license terms.

John goes on to explain that since CC licenses are easy to use, well defined, and accepted internationally, the choice was clear to them:

This is very far outside of Digium’s ability or interest to manage, nor do we wish to become involved in the protracted series of legal proceedings required to sort out this licensing issue. So we have chosen another path that is more clear to us: we will eliminate the files of questionable license from Asterisk, and replace them with music that has clearly defined and more acceptable licensing terms which are compatible with both the Asterisk license, and with any reasonable redistribution methods that might be used by others who re-package Asterisk.

(emphasis added)

Just think, the next time you get placed on hold, there’s a good chance you’ll be listening to some copyleft music!

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the dotmatrix project

Cameron Parkins, August 19th, 2009

logoThe dotmatrix project is a “collective of musicians, photographers, videographers & sound engineers” who organize, promote, and document monthly shows in Greensboro, North Carolina. DMP subsequently archive these shows online, distributing hi-quality videos, audio, and photos from the shows under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

A recent post on the DMP blog provides ample reasoning for their community’s commitment – a sincere love for the music being made in Greensboro and a desire to share these local talents with a broader audience. By releasing all of the digital archives under a CC-license, the DMP legally enables this sort of sharing while allowing the media created to be re-used as well:

Essentially, we’ve designed the parameters of our project to allow 16-year old Billy Nelson in Austin, Texas to mashup a track by The Bronzed Chorus with one by Laurelyn Dossett, while using DMP show pictures to use as b-roll for the music video […] I want to welcome a “Billy” with open arms into the DMP collective without even a hint of stodginess or protectionism. The same goes to a blogger who embeds our media in a post to expose the talent of the artists involved.

To learn more about the DMP, upcoming events, and learn more about the shows they have put on be sure to check out their website.

UPDATE: Sean from the DMP points out that while music is the focus of their formula, it wouldn’t exist with out the incredible efforts of their local media crew. As such, they hold bi-annual photo exhibits, with the next one happening in just a few weeks on September 4th!

3787079574_362fbc9fcb
Clement Mathematics, dotmatrixproject / Ioannis Batsios | CC BY-NC-SA

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Talis Angel Fund for Open Education

Jane Park, August 19th, 2009

Last week, Talis Education launched an angel fund for open education, called the Talis Incubator for Open Education. Talis Education is providing funds up to “£15,000 to help individuals or small groups who have big ideas about furthering the cause of Open Education. All Talis asks in return is that the project deliverables are ‘open sourced’ and the intellectual property returned back to the community, allowing it to be used freely. Talis won’t, and never will, exert any rights to the intellectual property or ideas that are funded.” From their announcement:

“Potential projects that could be funded under the scheme include:

* Creation and publication of Open Education Resources for others to use
* Creation of a new (or extension of an existing) open source software tool allowing educators to author content
* Creation of datasets related to the field of Open Education – for example, you could curate or publish data relating to all open syllabi as linked open data
* Conducting a research study of how Open Assessment could be applied to a particular subject area and submitting this to a relevant conference
* Working towards the creation and adoption of open standards and frameworks that support the adoption of Open Education.

Talis believe the principals behind Open Education are going to have a big impact on how education is accessed, assessed and certified in the future. Therefore, by joining in conversation with others who share this view, and helping ideas develop, Talis can work towards a future where everyone can use the web to share, use, and reuse knowledge openly.”

The funds are awarded in two rounds, with the first deadline being the end of the year—December 31, 2009. To submit a proposal, see their guidelines, which may change prior to September.

Check out the Talis Education site itself, licensed CC BY.

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ccSalon SF (8/12/09) Audio Now Online

Allison Domicone, August 18th, 2009

salon-sf
Thanks to everyone who made it out to our ccSalon in San Francisco last Wednesday. We had a great turn-out, excellent presentations and discussion on CC and open source, and refreshments, all of which made for a delightful evening in PariSoMa‘s inviting space.

Couldn’t make it to the salon? Fear not! You can now download and listen to the presentations, in addition to viewing the presenters’ slides:

Chris DiBona, Open Source Program Manager at Google. Audio | Slides (PDF)
Evan Prodromou, founder of Identi.ca. Audio | Slides (PDF)
Nathan Yergler, CC’s Chief Technology Officer. Audio | Slides (Slideshare)

We’re currently planning the next ccSalon SF for October, so stay tuned. Remember, the best way to stay on top of upcoming CC events from around the world is to subscribe to our events mailing list!

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Peer 2 Peer University sign-ups now open

Jane Park, August 18th, 2009

The sign-up phase of Peer 2 Peer University opened late last week during Open Ed 09 in Vancouver. What is P2PU? It’s “an online community of open study groups for short university-level courses. Think of it as online book clubs for open educational resources. The P2PU helps you navigate the wealth of open education materials that are out there, creates small groups of motivated learners, and supports the design and facilitation of courses.”

P2PU is launching its pilot phase in the fall with select courses ranging from “Behavioral Economics and Decision Making” to “Open Creative Nonfiction Writing” to “Poker and Strategic Thinking.” The awesome thing about P2PU is that the default for most course material is CC BY, which means that anyone can use, adapt, build upon, and redistribute the courses after the pilot phase–including setting up for more advanced courses down the line.

Sign-up for courses closes on August 26, so be sure to apply soon, as not all courses can accommodate more than a certain number of participants. Courses begin on September 9. See the official press release!

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OER Copyright Survey

Jane Park, August 17th, 2009

If you haven’t already, break up your Monday with the OER Copyright Survey. It only takes ten minutes, and it’s for a good cause—mainly to “gather information regarding the ways in which copyright law plays a role in, and perhaps acts as a barrier to, the practices of those who create or facilitate the production of Open Educational Resources (OER).”

From the survey page,

“Because most content remains “all-rights-reserved” under the traditional rules of copyright, it is often the case that the creators and producers of OER must confront questions as to when and if it is permissible to use content created by others when it is not offered under an open license. For example, an OER creator may want to incorporate a clip from a film into a lesson about film techniques, or an animated video illustrating a biological process into a lesson about that process. However, if the film clip or animation is protected by “all-rights-reserved” copyright, then the OER creator may be unsure how to proceed, or may wish to rely on some exception to copyright law that may apply under such circumstances.

It is our goal to develop a deeper awareness of the degree to which OER practitioners and users grapple with copyright law issues, and whether those issues pose barriers to the creation, dissemination, and reuse of OER. We hope that this initial survey will form the basis of a larger international study led by ccLearn.”

The survey closes on August 31, so fill it out soon!

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Wiki* milestones and mania

Mike Linksvayer, August 17th, 2009

ReadWriteWeb* writes that English Wikipedia just passed the 3 million article mark. While this is a great accomplishment that will surely be widely reported, RWW correctly highlights that “Wikipedia” is much more than the English site:

The family of sites as a whole has more than 13 million articles in more than 260 languages, not counting discussion pages and other errata.

As RWW also notes, Wikimedia Commons, the media repository sibling of Wikipedia, is about to pass the 5 million file mark.

And it just happens that the vast number of wikis hosted by the commercial wiki platform Wikia will cumulatively surpass the 3 million article mark soon.

All Wikipedia articles are now available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, all media hosted at Wikimedia Commons is under this or another free license or in the public domain, and most of the wikis hosted by Wikia are also under CC BY-SA, as are many other wikis, for example Wikitravel, WikiEducator, Planet Math, and Appropedia. Read about why this interoperability is a win for free culture.

Numbers alone are impressive enough and hint that Wikipedia has blown up the encyclopedia category and that other wiki projects will supersede other existing categories of cultural and educational artifact. However, the numbers only begin to tell the story. One place to see this unfold in highly concentrated form is Wikimania, the annual international conference of the Wikimedia Foundation. See the conference schedule, including panels featuring CC France and CC Taiwan co-founders Melanie Dulong de Rosnay and Shun-ling Chen (Authorship, Licenses, and the Wiki Borg) and me (OER Content Interoperability for WikiMedia platforms).

* Thanks ReadWriteWeb for all your awesome CC coverage!

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Creative Commons Panels @ SXSW 2010

Fred Benenson, August 17th, 2009

SXSW
The SXSW Interactive Festival is always a great opportunity for us to connect with our community and up and coming projects. That’s why we’re excited to announce our 3 panel suggestions for SXSW 2010:

  • Can You Copyright a Tweet?
  • What happens if someone sells your tweet on a t-shirt? Or when CNN puts it on their 24 hours news network? These question may initially appear ridiculous, but when authors are penning entire books through their microblogs these are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Join us for a mostly serious look at the implications raised by reuse, syndication and commercial exploitation of microcontent.

  • Permanence on the Web
  • Hard drives fail, DVDs crack, and jump drives get lost. We can store our data in the cloud, but AOL just deleted Geocities and now Kodak is threatening to remove your albums if you don’t pay them. Sites like Archive.org and Google’s cache represent a partial solution to the problem, but how do we encourage the preservation of a permanent web? What are the laws and ethical issues involved with archiving other people’s content?

  • DMCA & ToS 101
  • Hear from industry experts and lawyers who have crafted the terms for sites you use everyday so that the next time you meet with counsel, you’ll be a little more prepared and won’t accidentally trigger a user insurrection.

If you have a minute, go and take a moment to go and vote the panels — your support will make a difference. Thanks!

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Google Books adds Creative Commons license options

Eric Steuer, August 13th, 2009

Some very exciting news for authors, publishers, and readers: Today, Google launched a program to enable rightsholders to make their Creative Commons-licensed books available for the public to download, use, remix, and share via Google Books.

The new initiative makes it easy for participants in Google Books’ Partner Program to mark their books with one of the six Creative Commons licenses (or the CC0 waiver). This gives authors and publishers a simple way to articulate the permissions they have granted to the public through a CC license, while giving people a clear indication of the legal rights they have to CC-licensed works found through Google Books.

The Inside Google Books post announcing the initiative talks a bit about what this all means:

We’ve marked books that rightsholders have made available under a CC license with a matching logo on the book’s left hand navigation bar. People can download these books in their entirety and pass them along: to friends, classmates, teachers, and so on. And if the rightsholder has chosen to allow people to modify their work, readers can even create a mashup–say, translating the book into Esperanto, donning a black beret, and performing the whole thing to music on YouTube.

The project launched with a terrific starter collection of CC-licensed books that includes: 55 Ways to Have Fun with Google by Philipp Lenssen; Blown to Bits by Harold Abelson, Ken Ledeen, Harry R. Lewis; Bound by Law? by Keith Aoki, James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins; Code: Version 2 by Lawrence Lessig; Democratizing Innovation by Eric von Hippel; Federal Budget Deficits: America’s great consumption binge by Paul Courant; The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain; Little Brother by Cory Doctorow; and A World’s Fair for the Global Village by Carl Malamud.

Stay tuned for further announcements – as the project expands to include more authors and publishers, Google Books plans to add the ability for people to restrict searches to books they can share, use, and remix.

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CC on the Free Music Archive

Cameron Parkins, August 12th, 2009

fma-logo
It has been just over four months since the Free Music Archive launched as a destination for high-quality, freely licensed music. Since that time, the site has developed an avid community and grown to include a number of fantastic curators all while expanding upon the site’s initial catalog to host over 11,000 tracks. All told, the FMA has, in a very short time frame, become an indispensable destination for music lovers looking for freely-licensed music to download, share, and reuse.

The FMA has always offered and promoted CC licenses as a means to share the majority of music uploaded to the site. Today we are ecstatic to announce that CC has joined the FMA’s curatorial ranks! We’re celebrating with 50 great tracks that will be both familiar to the CC community while hopefully offering some new names as well. The launch is split into two mixes – our FMA Inaugural Mix and The WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share.

We’ll be doing regular updates to our collection over the coming months and our next featured mix will highlight some of the great community-driven artists and collaborations found at sites like ccMixter, Jamendo, Beatpick, Sutros, and more. We are on continuous lookout for great CC-licensed music to add to our page and would love to hear your suggestions on tracks and artists in the comments.

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