ccSalon SF (6/24/09) Video Now Online

Allison Domicone, July 2nd, 2009

salon-sf

Thanks to everyone who came out last week for the ccSalon in San Francisco (check out the photos), and a special thanks, as always, to our generous venue host, PariSoMa. We had a great turnout, and amidst the friendly mingling and tasty refreshments, we got to hear from three stellar presenters discussing CC, culture, history, and digital storytelling – and now you can hear them too!* Check out the presentations (via Blip.tv) from:

Francesco Spagnolo, Director of Research and Collections at the Magnes Museum in Berkeley
Dave Toole, CEO and Founder, Outhink Media
Nancy Van House, Professor, UC Berkeley School of Information

We’re currently planning our next salon for mid-August, so stay tuned: check back on our wiki or join our events mailing list.

* A big thanks to summer intern Lee-Sean Huang for his time and video editing skills!

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ccLearn at the Whipple Hill User Conference 09

Jane Park, July 2nd, 2009

ccLearn presented on CC and Open Educational Resources at the WhippleHill User Conference yesterday in Boston. WhippleHill Communications is a company that started off more or less building websites for schools. As the Internet evolved, so did WhippleHill’s business model into a service one meeting schools’ online communication needs. WhippleHill targets independent high schools and is a for-profit. However, like a lot of companies who offer services around next generation web technologies, they promote open content and tools for their clients. They also host an annual user conference where they invite cutting edge initiatives to lead sessions on new media and technologies pertinent to the changing world. ccLearn had the opportunity to lead one of these sessions entitled, “Creative Commons and Open Educational Resources: How the world is changing and what you need to know to keep up” targeted mainly at education around CC and copyright for high school students.

The slide show is up under CC BY (except otherwise noted). We would like to acknowledge Jessica Coates’ slide show “Creative Commons in the Classroom” from which we co-opted some great slides!

Thanks again to WhippleHill and its President, Travis Warren, for the strong support!

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Carmen and Camille Launch “Mix. Promote. Sell.” Remix Campaign on Indaba

Eric Steuer, July 1st, 2009

carmenandcamille

Twin sister pop-rock act Carmen and Camille recently launched a very cool CC remix project with Indaba Music. They’ve made the audio stems from their previously unreleased song “Shine 4U” available under a Creative Commons Attribution license, and are encouraging people to use them in new songs. Since the stems are under CC’s most permissive license, you’re free to not only share but also sell and commercially license your remix, as long as you give the duo credit for supplying the source material.

The sisters, whose music has been featured on MTV’s TRL and who have licensed many of their tracks to shows such as The Hills, worked closely with Indaba on the project. Says vocalist/guitarist Camille, in the project’s press release:

“I think what makes us most excited about the outcome of this campaign is getting to hear our song redone in many different ways. We can’t wait to hear what people can add to the track. And the new versions of the song may bring us new fans that it would have taken us a long time to reach, which is great.”

We think these two have the right idea!

Upload your remix to Indaba Music through July 21st, 2009. Winners will be announced on August 14th; prizes include Camel Audio software, Sennheiser headphones, and pro memberships to Indaba Music.

Indaba tells us that entries are currently at the rate of about 1,000 per week, which means there’s a huge amount of music being created that will be available for all kinds of uses under the CC license that Cameron and Camille chose. We’d love to hear from anyone who ends up selling or commercially licensing their remix – if this applies to you, please shoot us a note at press@creativecommons.org.

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GOOD: “We Like to Share” interview series

Eric Steuer, July 1st, 2009

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This past December, I conducted a series of interviews with people about the value of sharing information and resources in their respective fields of work. The interviews were edited into a podcast for GOOD entitled “We Like to Share” that was made available to people who attended the GOOD December series of events in Los Angeles. Last week, GOOD began posting CC BY-licensed text versions of the interviews on its website and will roll out one a week over the next few months. The first interview is with Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook, who was the online strategist for the Barack Obama campaign. Check back at “We Like to Share” each Thursday (starting tomorrow) to read interviews with iconic sharers like Jimmy Wales, Chris Dibona, Frances Pinter, Jesse Dylan, and Curt Smith.

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UNESCO publishes “OER: Conversations in Cyberspace”

Jane Park, June 30th, 2009

In case you missed it, last Friday UNESCO published “Open Educational Resources: Conversations in Cyberspace”, three years worth of documentation surrounding the UNESCO OER Community. From their announcement,

“Since 2005, UNESCO has been at the forefront of building awareness about this movement by facilitating an extended conversation in cyberspace. A large and diverse international community has come together to discuss the concept and potential of OER in a series of online forums.

The background papers and reports from the first three years of discussions are now available in print. Open Educational Resources: Conversations in Cyberspace provides an overview of the first steps of this exciting new development: it captures the conversations between leaders of some of the first OER projects,and documents early debates on the issues that continue to challenge the movement. The publication will provide food for thought for all those intrigued by OER – its promise and its progress.”

You can access the online edition at their wiki, licensed CC BY-NC-SA. You can also buy a print edition.

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Open Translation Tools 2009

Ahrash Bissell, June 30th, 2009

OTT09 group-photoLast week, in Amsterdam, approximately 70 people from around the world gathered in one big room to discuss the current state of affairs in open translation. We discussed open-source translation software, open and volunteer translation communities, openly licensed works – both translated and for translating, open databases for machine translation, and the intersection of translation with open education, open video, open business practices, and more.

It was a whirlwind of a time, and it was clear that everyone was excited about the pace of development and the promise of open translation for building cultural bridges, facilitating the free exchange of ideas, and empowering those who are not able to participate in the current linguistically and technologically dominant paradigms. Look for additional information on host Aspiration Tech’s site, and check out the new manual on open translation tools which was generated by a book sprint immediately following the conference.

If this meeting was any indication, we suspect that the benefits of permitting translations (through the application of an appropriate CC license, for example) will quickly be matched with both software and communities poised to leverage those permissions. Can we imagine a world where the language of origin serves to authenticate communications rather than hampering them?

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Snitchtown: The Photo Essay

Cameron Parkins, June 29th, 2009

Over at Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow points readers to Snitchtown: The Photo Essay, a wonderful adaptation of his essay, Snitchtown. Originally a CC BY-NC-SA licensed editorial on “the future of urban surveillance” – specifically the ubiquity of CCTV cameras found in the the UK – the new work, authored by Emma Byrne, is a photo essay that puts images alongside Doctorow’s words, specifically photos of CCTV cameras. Naturally, it is CC BY-NC-SA licensed as well.

These stories are inspiring for us as they show our licenses at work doing excatly what we intended them to – helping facilitate interesting and poignant reuse that make the original work richer. Even better is Doctorow’s reaction:

This is, I believe, my absolute favorite CC adaptation of my work to date; in that it’s the first adaptation that I prefer to my original.

A free PDF download of Snitchtown: The Photo Essay is available here.

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NY State Senate Goes CC

Fred Benenson, June 29th, 2009

If you’re reading the Creative Commons blog, chances are you’re aware of the fact that the United States federal government is not entitled to copyright protection for their works. If you didn’t know this, check out the Wikipedia article on the subject, or some of our past blog posts on the subject. This means that federal works are essentially in the public domain.

What you may not know is that works of American states, in contrast to works of the federal government, are actually entitled to copyright protection under U.S. law. This creates the very awkward consequence of states automatically holding copyright in the very state laws, rules and court decisions that bind their citizens, not to mention other types of content created by its employees who are paid from public coffers filled in part by their taxpayers. CC is not alone (check out legendary archivist Carl Malamud and his public.resource.org project for more info) in believing that all such works should belong to the public and reside in the public domain.

Needless to say, we think this is an enormous opportunity for proper application of our legal tools to free up state works.

This is why its exciting to see the New York State Senate adopt a Creative Commons License for the content on their website. The photos and text of NYSenate.gov are now available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license, and 3rd party content, such as comments and user submitted photos are available under our Attribution license. Furthermore, the Senate has used our CC+ protocol to allow all other uses (even commercial ones and non-attribution ones) of the content so long as it is not for political fund raising purposes. In other words, if you’re not doing political fund raising you’re allowed to do whatever you want with the content.

While this is a somewhat novel approach to using our licenses, and indeed grants citizens rights to works they don’t currently have, it is only the first step. In the future, CC would love to see more states pushing their work into the public domain (and their policies into synchronicity with those of the federal government), for example by using our public domain waiver, CC0.

If you know of a state using CC licenses, add it to our wiki page on government uses of CC, or just let us know.

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Copyfraud and CC ignorance

Mike Linksvayer, June 27th, 2009

Yesterday the Register posted an article by Charles Eicher on the topic of copyfraud — asserting copyright where it doesn’t exist, or asserting more restrictions than copyright grants. A very important topic — true copyfraud diminishes the commons, either in the sense of propertizing the public domain, or effectively reducing the scope of uses not restricted by copyright.

Unfortunately, the article merely uses this interesting and important topic as a jumping off point for hyperbole. On the public domain and copyfraud, comments on the article offer far more insight than the article itself.

Eicher has in the past called advocates of Creative Commons “freetards”. Apparently he finds name calling more interesting than research, for on the third page of his copyfraud article he demonstrates willful ignorance on the topic of Creative Commons:

Now Creative Commons seeks expanded authority to administer the Public Domain, by issuing a “Creative Commons Public Domain License,” as if it was a sublicense of its own invention. Creative Commons is trying to expand its licensing authority over not just newly created works, but all public domain works.

flickr-commons-no-known-restrictionsCreative Commons does not have any “authority to administer” the public domain, whatever that means. Our public domain tools are not licenses — there is no “Creative Commons Public Domain License”. CC0 is a waiver that allows a copyright holder, to the extent possible, to release all restrictions on a copyrighted work worldwide. The Public Domain Certification facilitates clearly marking works already in the public domain as such. We also don’t have “licensing authority” over newly created works. All of our tools are voluntary and have an over-arching goal of expanding the commons, more specifically the public domain in the case of CC0 (as much as possible) and the Public Domain Certification (the effective public domain, by making existing public domain works more clearly marked, including with metadata, making them more available and discoverable).

Public domain licensing is still not available to any Flickr user. This forces everyone, from individuals to large public institutions, to contribute their works to the “Flickr Commons” under a CC license, even if the works are clearly in the public domain. Flicker is enacting a blatant power grab on behalf of Creative Commons. They are establishing an extra-legal licensing monopoly, imposing an illegal copyright license structure on free works. And this is the most pernicious effect of copyfraud: it exploits the public domain to aggregate monopoly power for private interests.

Except for the first sentence (regarding which, Creative Commons encourages Flickr to offer a public domain option for all users) all of the above paragraph is blatantly false. Images part of Flickr Commons are not under any CC license. The site’s easily accessible usage statement says No known copyright restrictions. Ideally the site might use a more affirmative public domain assertion, but it is impossible to characterize the statement as a CC license or as copyfraud.

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The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age

Jane Park, June 26th, 2009

HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) announced a new report called, “The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age,” now available at MIT Press. The report is in response to our changing times, and addresses what traditional educational institutions must know to keep up. From the announcement,

“Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg in an abridged version of their book-in-progress, The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age, argue that traditional institutions must adapt or risk a growing mismatch between how they teach and how this new generation learns. Forms and models of learning have evolved quickly and in fundamentally new directions. Yet how we teach, where we teach, who teaches, and who administers and serves have changed only around the edges. This report was made possible by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in connection with its grant making initiative on Digital Media and Learning.”

A central finding was that “Universities must recognize this new way of learning and adapt or risk becoming obsolete. The university model of teaching and learning relies on a hierarchy of expertise, disciplinary divides, restricted admission to those considered worthy, and a focused, solitary area of expertise. However, with participatory learning and digital media, these conventional modes of authority break down.”

Not coincidentally, one of the ten principles for redesigning learning institutions was open source education: “Traditional learning environments convey knowledge via overwhelmingly copyright-protected publications. Networked learning, contrastingly, is an “open source” culture that seeks to share openly and freely in both creating and distributing knowledge and products.”

The report is available in PDF via CC BY-NC-ND.

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