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.Comments Off
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 VolunteerComments Off
Digium, 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.
Just think, the next time you get placed on hold, there’s a good chance you’ll be listening to some copyleft music!8 Comments »
The 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!1 Comment »
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.Comments Off
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)
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!Comments Off
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!Comments Off
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!1 Comment »
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?
- Permanence on the Web
- DMCA & ToS 101
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.
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?
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!Comments Off