dublab Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Cameron Parkins, October 1st, 2009

logo_listendublab, the nonprofit web radio collective we teamed up with to produce Into Infinity, is celebrating its 10th (!) anniversary during October. The celebration begins today with a ten-day series of events that includes live music, art installations, film screenings, and a variety of happenings that showcase dublab’s breadth and depth as an arts organization.

intoinfinity_artactionKicking off the festivities is Vibrant Visions, a retrospective of dublab’s original art projects including Into Infinity. The event runs from 7PM-11PM at Continental Gallery in Downtown LA (Google Map) and will feature live t-shirt printing, video booths, and a pop-up shop in addition to original art. The gallery will remain open (including the pop-up shop) Wednesday through Sunday, 12PM-8PM, throughout October.

For more information on dublab and Into Infinity, check out CurrentTV’s recent feature as well as a great write-up in the LA Weekly.

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Dutch Public Broadcaster VPRO Releases CC-licensed Documentaries

Fred Benenson, October 1st, 2009

VPRO Site

Paul Keller, one of our project leads for CC Netherlands just let us know about an exciting development from their public broadcaster, VPRO, who on Wednesday released 2 full length (and one more coming soon) documentaries under our CC-BY-NC-SA licenses. What’s great is that these documentaries are current pieces, not old selections from the back catalog or archives – they’ve all aired within the last 10 days. Additionally, VPRO is also offering DVDs of the films for sale.

The documentaries, available in both Dutch and English are available to download in an almost-HD resolution of 640 by 380, but are also posted on mininova.org here and here.

Here’s an excerpt from the project’s press release:

According to Bregtje van der Haak, coordinator of the VPRO’s Century of the City project, releasing these documentaries under a Creative Commons license contributes to efforts to better serve the VPRO’s public:

“We are producing a lot of documentaries that are of interest to specialized communities. In the case of urbanization this includes architects, urban planners and students. From research we know that a growing segment of the VPRO’s audience is watching less and less television but continues to highly value this type of content. By offering content for download we are increasing the life cycle of these programs and enable a whole number of new forms of re-use of our productions. As a public broadcaster we have the obligation to make our productions available to the public in an as flexible manner as possible.”

Congratulations to VPRO!

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REMINDER: CC Salon NYC is Monday October 5th

Fred Benenson, October 1st, 2009

CC Salon NYC Logo

Just a quick reminder that October’s CC Salon NYC is Monday night!

We’ve got a brand new home for the Salons – the Open Planning Project has generously offered their incredible penthouse.

So come out to have some beers with the CC community watch some cool presentations, and meet some new faces in the free culture space.

October’s Salon will feature short presentations from Adam Clark Estes, director of citizen journalism at the Huffington Post Investigative Fund talking about how the HuffPo is using CC to fuel the future of journalism, Shelley Bernstein, Chief Technology Officer of the Brooklyn Museum discussing their amazing community and commons efforts, and myself discussing some current CC projects, achievements, and a sneak peak at what I’ve been working on for the Creative Commons Network.

Here are the details:

Monday, October 5th, from 7-10pm
The Open Planning Project
148 Lafayette St
Between Grand & Howard
New York, NY

We’ll have free (as in beer) beer. 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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Jonathan Lethem’s CC Licensed Philip K. Dick Essay

Fred Benenson, September 30th, 2009

Crazy FriendNotable Brooklyn author Jonathan Lethem (Fortress of Solitude, Motherless Brooklyn, You Don’t Love Me Yet among others) just released an essay titled “Crazy Friend” (PDF download) under a CC BY-NC-ND license. The story is a fantastic read in and of itself, but we’re doubly excited that its CC licensed.

Here’s io9’s summary:

The essay, called “Crazy Friend,” is a winding, mildly obsessive tale of how Dick’s stories guided Lethem out of childhood, into a turbulent adolescence, and at last settled him in a career as a critically-acclaimed writer. He begins by talking about his boyhood relationship with two cool older girls who didn’t get why he thought Dick’s writing was so important, and ends by introducing us to Lethem’s life as a Dick fanboy and showing us snippets of his early writing about Dick (some interesting stuff). Ultimately, Lethem says, Dick is the archetypal “crazy friend” whom we’ve all known. And whom we all love.

Lethem has a new book coming out on October 13th called Chronic City and he’ll be doing an epic reading of the entire book around NYC city book stores starting October 16th.

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First Mobile Novel Launches in South Africa

Jane Park, September 30th, 2009

Mobile phones are the most popular means of communication among young adults in South Africa, as South Africans send 250 million text messages a day. This may be true for many parts of the world, where Internet connections are still in dial-up mode or even nonexistent. Through mobile phones, youth carry daily conversations via text messaging, as in some areas it is cheaper to send a text than to call.

Leveraging the popularity of mobile phones, the m4Lit project has launched the first mobile novel of its kind, or m-novel, in South Africa. Kontax, which follows the adventures of a group of teenage graffiti artists, is made specifically for mobile phones, and is available in both English and isiXhosa. It is being released chapter by chapter on a daily basis, with the first chapter already out. From the press release:

“The m4Lit pilot project aims to explore whether teens are interested in reading stories on their cellphones, whether and how they write using their cellphones, and whether cellphones might be used to develop literacy skills and a love of reading. Enter Kontax, an m-novel written on commission from the Shuttleworth Foundation by prize winning ‘mobilist’ Sam Wilson. Kontax is an m-novel made for mobile – and from 30 September readers will be able to access the dynamic teen narrative from their WAP-enabled cellphones, or from their computers. Every day another exciting chapter in the mystery plot will be told, with 21 chapters rolling out over 21 days. Teen readers will be invited to interact with Kontax as it unfolds on their cellphones: they can vote on and discuss the progressing plot, leave comments, download wallpapers and finally submit a written piece as part of a competition, with airtime prizes available for winning submissions.

…As part of the research component of this project, interviews with teens in Cape Town before and after the publishing of Kontax will establish to what extent this project changes South African learners’ attitudes to reading and writing, what learners think about m-novels, and whether the mobile medium as a literacy tool interests or excites them.

Global perspective
In inviting interaction from and discussion amongst its teenage readers, Kontax is aligned with leading global trends, and follows the success of audience participation in story writing found in Japan, where teens have been reading and writing novels on their cellphones in this way for a number of years. The popularity of the m-novel is clearly evident in Japan, where six out of the top 10 fiction best sellers in 2008 were m-novels that had later been printed in book form. The evolution of digital media has had a profound impact on the literacy practices of teenagers from east to west – in the USA, research has shown that through their computers today’s teens are reading and writing more than ever, not formally but on blogs, MySpace pages and via instant messages. Increasingly, SMSes and chats on their cellphones also form part of the “reading” and “writing” of digital literacy.”

Read the press release for more information. And if you happen to be in South Africa, you may want to attend the book launch at “the Book Lounge in Cape Town on Wednesday 30 September at 18h00. All are welcome, but should please RSVP to either booklounge@gmail.com or 021 462 2425.”

All Kontax content and story images are licensed CC BY-SA. Kontax is written by Sam Wilson and the m4Lit project is spearheaded by Steve Vosloo, 21st Century Learning Fellow for the Shuttleworth Foundation.

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Beatpick and Umedia Bring CC-Licensed Music To Italian National TV

Cameron Parkins, September 29th, 2009

logoNet label and music licensing company Beatpick has teamed up with Umedia, an Italian start-up, to provide Creative Commons-licensed music for Universication, a new TV series focusing on media and technology within the Italian university system. The show is broadcast across Italy, meaning that around 130 CC-licensed tracks will be played on Italian National TV throughout the show’s tenure.

Beatpick is also providing its CC-licensed music catalog for productions posted to Ustation, Universication’s online hub for user-generated video. These productions will take advantage of the free and open terms allowed by our licenses, giving student filmmakers an opportunity to use music within their productions legally.

Many of these videos will be broadcast on TV – by utilizing Beatpick’s catalog throughout Umedia have streamlined the process, allowing content to flow easily from non-commercial to commercial venues.

You can see a trailer for Universication online. Be sure to check out CC Italia’s post on the collaboration for more info.

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Announcing October’s ccSalon SF! (10/15/09)

Allison Domicone, September 28th, 2009

salon-sf

Creative Commons, KALW, and Chicago Public Radio’s Sound Opinions are pleased to present Chicago Tribune music critic and author Greg Kot in conversation with music journalist David Downs. Kot’s new book, Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music, explores the changing face of the music industry. Downs and Kot will discuss the book, as well as how digital sharing and participatory culture are shaping how music is created and consumed. Audience questions and discussion will follow the conversation.

When: Thursday, October 15, 7-9pm
Where: PariSoMa, 1436 Howard St. (map and directions). Plenty of street parking available. (Please note, the space is located up two steep flights of stairs, and unfortunately does not currently have elevator access.)

Light refreshments will be provided, and since we rely on the generosity of our community to keep us afloat, we’ll be accepting donations for CC at the door.

Check out the event posting on Upcoming and let us know you’re coming on Facebook. We hope to see you there!

If you can’t make it to the salon on Thursday (or even if you can!), we’re excited to also announce that the following evening, Greg will be doing a reading, talk, and book signing at the Booksmith on Haight St. in San Francisco. Come out to one of San Francisco’s premier independent bookstores for a more intimate evening with Greg. Friday, October 16th, 7:30 pm.

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The Guardian Talks With CC CEO Joi Ito

Cameron Parkins, September 25th, 2009

joi
Headshot B&W, Photo by Mizuka | CC BY

The Guardian just posted a great interview with CC CEO Joi Ito that, while focusing broadly on Joi’s work as an entrepreneur, spends substantial time discussing his role at CC.

The piece touches on a number of topics including how CC interacts with businesses, our commitment to RDFa, and how our licenses can be used:

The advantage of the range of Creative Commons licences is that it can be tweaked as the creator likes. “Typically a professional musician will choose a licence that prohibits commercial reuse to protect their income, which usually comes from copyright. But for instance a photographer, and especially an amateur photographer, may want to be well-known, so they focus on attribution. Documentary producers often say ‘no derivatives’ because they don’t want the story to change, but will allow commercial use so that movie theatres can show their work.”

Be sure to read the interview at the Guardian’s website or check out the full transcript here. You can also listen to the interview as part of the Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast.

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Opening Education–the little things you can do

Jane Park, September 25th, 2009

By now, you’ve heard and/or used the term OER (Open Educational Resources) a ton of times. Whether you’re an advocate for open education, promoting the use, reuse, and adaptation of openly licensed educational materials, or an everyday user of them because you find them convenient and effective for your teaching or learning needs, you have contributed in some way to improving the educational landscape for everyone, everywhere.

But there’s a lot of little things you can do to improve education and the educational process no matter who you are and where you’re located. These are things you do all the time as part of your professional or personal routines, such as filling out forms about your job or project, writing up summaries or abstracts on papers you’ve researched, or describing and tagging photos (aka adding metadata). These activities are also integral to the functioning of many open education projects, which depend on efforts from online communities consisting of persons like ourselves. A list of these projects are growing on OpenEd’s volunteer page, which currently points to projects like dScribe and AcaWiki. If your project could use help on a specific activity, please add it here! OpenEd is a wiki; anyone can edit.

dScribe needs descriptions for their medical images
dScribe has created over 200 images to aid instructors in their teaching, but they need to be made discoverable first! You can help by adding tags and short descriptions for one or two images. All images and their accompanying info will be licensed CC BY.

AcaWiki could use those summaries and abstracts you’ve written
AcaWiki makes summaries and literature reviews of peer-reviewed academic research available to the general public via CC BY, allowing people like us to easily find desired information. If you’ve written summaries and reviews for papers before, now’s the time to make them useful by uploading those files to AcaWiki. And if you regularly research and write up abstracts for class or for your own good, you can easily make uploading them a habitual part of the process. It only takes a couple of extra clicks.

We also encourage you to add your project or organization to ODEPO, ccLearn’s Open Database of Educational Projects and Organizations. Not only will this make your project more discoverable, it will enable better research across the landscape of open education related projects.

For other ways to get involved, see OpenEd’s Get Involved space.

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Online store relaunched! Now with shopping cart, fan photo gallery

Allison Domicone, September 25th, 2009

CCStickersoneyes

black and white buttons

superfrank

If you have not yet stocked up on any of our cool CC swag, now is the time to do so! We’ve relaunched our online store, now with shopping cart capabilities so you can order as many stickers, T-shirts, lapel pins, and buttons as you wish! All T-shirt sizes are fully restocked as well.

And, since CC would be nowhere without the valuable support and positive energy of our friends and fans, we want to feature YOU on our store site. Send as many pictures as you like of your CC swag (on you, your friends, your pets, in nature – get creative!) to store[at]creativecommons.org as an attachment or URL, and be featured in our online photo galleries. Check out the shining faces of these very well-dressed CC fans.

Head over to the online store today and pick up some swag for you or your friends. Not only will you be supporting CC, but you’ll be able to spread the word about us to all you meet!

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