Open Governance at Tomorrow’s Open Everything Berlin

Michelle Thorne, June 24th, 2009

oe-and-cc-small

It’s here again. Our monthly CC Salon + Open Everything Berlin event is on for this Thursday, June 25, and this time we’re talking about Open Governance.

How do open concepts translate into the political sphere? To what extent is democracy fueled by values such as transparency, access, and participation? What do open source projects teach us about other fields of governance?

The fifth CC Salon + Open Everything Berlin takes place within Seitensprünge, a Berliner event series about political communication. Speaking at the salon is CC Germany‘s Public Project Lead Markus Beckedahl, whose seasoned blog coverage is keeping the public abreast of Germany’s dawning internet censorship and other pressing political topics. Also joining us is Klas Roggenkamp from the German political discussion forum Wahl.de and media expert Ute Pannen, who will share commentary on open strategies used during the Obama’s campaign. We’ll also be hearing from Sebastian Sooth, who is reporting on open.nysenate.gov, a project with the New York State to give users direct access to its government data through APIs and original software.

Looks like we’ve got a lot of good topics ahead. Hope to see you there!

When: Thursday, 25.06.09, 20:00h

Where: newthinking store, Tucholskystr. 48, 10117 Berlin Mitte

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Our OVC Wrapup

Fred Benenson, June 23rd, 2009

Open Video Conference

We wanted to give big thanks to Ben, Dean, Elizabeth, Adi, and all the volunteers to helped make the fantastic Open Video Conference happen. Myself, Jane and Alex K were all in attendance on behalf of CC and we figured we’d post a wrap up about our experience at the conference.

At the CC Salon NYC / OVC Pre-party, I was able to record my conversation with Brett Gaylor, the director and creator of RiP! A Remix Manifesto which also screened at OVC. You can download our interview in ogg here, or mp3 here, available under a our Attribution license. Fans of Adam McHeffey will be happy to watch a YouTube video of his performance here. And last but not least, thanks to Erik Möller from the Wikimedia Foundation for guiding us through Wikipedia’s switch to CC-BY-SA.

And of course, we couldn’t forget about Blip.tv for supplying the beer at the salon, For Your Imagination Studios for the space, and Parker and Wesley for helping out with setup and breakdown. We couldn’t have done it without you guys!

As for the OVC itself, we were blown away with the focus and intensity in every panel and session. I repeatedly heard from attendees how nice it was to have 100% of a conference focused on an issue that typically receives only 10% of the attention. One of my favorite presentations was by Chris Blizzard from Mozilla showing of Firefox’s 3.5 Ogg Theora capabilities. Here’s a quick screen cast some of the capabilities Chris showed off at the conference:

On Saturday afternoon I gave a well packed luncheon presentation on Open Video, Metadata, and Creative Commons. You can download the slides from my presentation here.

Here’s a brief summary from Jane and Alex who attended on behalf of ccLearn:

OVC by Alex Kozak / ccLearn

OVC by Alex Kozak / ccLearn

ccLearn also attended the first ever Open Video Conference and had a blast. We think much of the OVC’s success is due to the fact that so much of it was relevant to openness in general that education naturally fit the bill. “Open Video in Education” especially blew us away by the diversity of forward thinking present in the room by both open education advocates and those with little to no experience with open educational resources (OER). Most everyone in the room, including the audience, were in agreement that open video and open technologies are essential to the future of education. The expressed concerns were more about how to convince the higher-ups at their institutions to see the light.

To reiterate, the session was not lacking in representation. Someone remarked how the variety of perspectives yielded a kind of “transformer panel.” From Bjoern Hassler (Cambridge University’s Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies) who set the tone in the beginning by assuming that it is (or should be) apparent to everyone that CC BY is the best license for OER, Tiffiny Cheng (Participatory Culture Foundation) who highlighted Miro, the open source free high definition video player, to UC Berkeley’s webcast.berkeley, the panel was diverse but consistent in their view that open video for education is essential, that CC licenses for that video is a given, and that—to quote an audience member’s words—“You have to do more than just tape lectures.”

Finally, you can also watch most of the main hall sessions on the Livestream feed page for the OVC, though Flash is required. We’re assured these will be available in Theora in short order.

Great job OVC, we’re looking forward to the next one!

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Wikipedia + CC BY-SA = Free Culture Win!

Mike Linksvayer, June 22nd, 2009

As anyone following this site closely must know, the Wikipedia community and Wikimedia Foundation board approved the adoption of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) license as the main content license for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites. A post about the community vote has many links explaining the history and importance of this move.


Detail of Win win relationship by Alex Brollo / CC BY-SA

Starting last week with English Wikipedia (there are over 700 Wikimedia sites in over 250 languages — the image to the right is sourced from one of them), the copyright notice on Wikimedia sites is being changed to CC BY-SA. See the Wikimedia Foundation Terms of Use.

The outreach effort to non-Wikimedia wikis to take advantage of this migration opportunity is ongoing. Help if you can. One very important milestone was reached June 19, when most wikis hosted by Wikia (there are thousands, including some big ones) converted to CC BY-SA.

Hooray for Jimmy Wales, founder of both Wikipedia and Wikia! (Note the two organizations are unrelated.) CC is fortunate to also have Wales as a member of our board of directors. Without his vision, this unification of free culture licensing would not have been possible.

Here’s to a huge win for Wikipedians, all of free culture, and everyone who made it possible! Already the licensing change is enabling content to flow between Wikipedia and other projects. Will you interoperate? See a post on my personal blog for a long-winded conjecture about long-term impacts of the licensing change.

Finally, note that this is only one instance of the Wikipedia community showing great foresight and leadership. For example, clearly the Wikipedia community’s steadfast commitment to open formats played a major role in giving open video (effectively meaning Theora) a chance for wide adoption, which it now appears on the verge of. Hooray for visionary free culture communities and many wins to come!

Addendum 2009-06-30

Erik Moeller writes on the Wikimedia Foundation blog that the licensing update has been rolled out on all Wikimedia wikis:

Perhaps the most significant reason to choose CC-BY-SA as our primary content license was to be compatible with many of the other admirable endeavors out there to share and develop free knowledge: projects like Citizendium (CC-BY-SA), Google Knol (a mix of CC licenses, including CC-BY and CC-BY-SA), WikiEducator (CC-BY-SA), the Encylcopedia of Earth (CC-BY-SA), the Encyclopedia of the Cosmos (CC-BY-SA), the Encyclopedia of Life (a mix of CC licenses), and many others. These communities have come up with their own rules of engagement, their own models for sharing and aggregating knowledge, but they’re committed to the free dissemination of information. Now this information can flow freely to and from Wikimedia projects, without unnecessary legal boundaries.

This is beginning to happen. A group of English Wikipedia volunteers have created a WikiProject Citizendium Porting, for example, to ensure that high quality information developed by the Citizendium community can be made available through Wikipedia as well, with proper attribution.

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Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase, round 3, announced

Greg Grossmeier, June 22nd, 2009

The next release of Ubuntu is only about 4 months away, but you have even less time to submit your best CC-licensed song, video, or photograph to be included on every Ubuntu install that goes to millions of users. The Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase is an open competition for anyone interested to submit their work. The deadline, however, is July 16th, 2009.

At the heart of Ubuntu’s ethos is a belief in showcasing free software and free culture.

Canadian Clouds

Above is the winning image for the last Free Culture Showcase. To see the other past winners, check out this page: Previous Free Culture Winners.

Good luck to all the participants and be sure to check out the Free Culture Showcase website when the winners are announced!

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Free Software Foundation introduces RDF for GNU licenses

Mike Linksvayer, June 22nd, 2009

We’re very happy to note that the Free Software Foundation has introduced RDF for GNU licenses. This means the FSF has described each of its licenses at a high level in the same “machine readable” framework that CC uses to describe our licenses.

CC worked with the FSF to extend our vocabulary for describing copyright licenses in RDF, but it’s key to understand that no collaboration was required. They could have extended our vocabulary without asking or published their own without reference to ours, leaving it to third parties to describe mappings between the two (also using RDF). As with free software, using the semantic web means users have the freedom to innovate without asking for permission. Perhaps it is no surprise that cutting edge semantic web software tends to be free software. It feels like there may be under-exploited connections to be drawn between the free software and semantic web communities, e.g., hinted at in Evan Prodromou’s keynote at the FSF’s LibrePlanet conference, somewhat as it feels there may be under-exploited connections between the free software and free culture communities.

Less philosophically, we hope this small affordance helps others build tools which make it easier to find and use free software. For example, this list of free software hosting facilities is only the tip of the iceberg, and rapidly growing due to the rise of distributed version control systems. More project metadata will help computers help make sense of it all.

It’s also worth noting that RDF descriptions of licenses such as CC’s and now the FSF’s give users an additional tool to use to find and manage information, in contrast with Digital RightsRestrictions Management, which gives the publishers of information a tool to abuse users. For more on the latter, of course see the FSF’s Defective By Design campaign.

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CC infopacks, Government 2.0 and more from CC Australia

Mike Linksvayer, June 22nd, 2009

If you’re looking for excellent, brief, printable materials explaining various aspects of Creative Commons, check out CC Australia’s CC Infopacks. They’re also linked from our documentation wiki, and all licensed for remixing with your own course or other materials (of course).

Also congratulations to CC Australia project lead Brian Fitzgerald, Seb Chan, Head of Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies at the Powerhouse Museum, and former CC General Counsel Mia Garlick on their appointments to Australia’s Government 2.0 Taskforce.

To stay ahead of the curve, subscribe to CC Australia‘s feed (note CC AU also spearheaded our case studies project) as well as those of other CC jurisdiction projects, which you can find aggregated on Planet Creative Commons.

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Adam Curry wins again!

Mike Linksvayer, June 18th, 2009

This post is written and translated by Paul Keller of CC Netherlands, first posted in Dutch on the CC Netherlands blog earlier today. Regarding one of the quotes below, to be clear, note CC licenses do not override fair use.

Adam Curry wins again!
by Paul Keller

In 2006 Adam Curry initiated and won the first ever lawsuit centering around the use of a Creative Commons licensed work (English). Back then the Dutch gossip-mag ‘weekend’ had published photos from Curry’s flickr account without asking Curry for permission and the Amsterdam court of first instance decided that this use was explicitly prohibited by the non-commercial condition of the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license that Curry uses for his Flickr pictures.

One would assume that other gossip-mags would learn from this and refrain from using photos from Adam’s Flickr stream, but exactly that happened 2 weeks ago when ‘Privé‘ used another picture to illustrate an article without Adam permission. As in the previous case Adam immediately reacted, this time by demanding that the publisher of Privé pay him a compensation for the unauthorized use or he would take them to court. Back then Adam wrote:

Instead of taking them directly to court I added twist this time, and gave them the option of paying 5000 euros directly to the War Child Foundation and my legal costs. Failure to comply by June 2nd and I will take them to court. It’s national news, lead story on the 6:30 news and all that good stuff :)

According to a public response from the magazine’s editor, they will ‘see me in court’ as they believe they have ‘fair use’ rights because of the picture’s ‘news value’. Pretty funny coming from a gossip rag.

While the deadline set by Curry passed without an official reaction from Privé it turns out that the defiant reaction form the magazines editor was not worth the paper it was printed on. Today Adam received a mail from from his lawyers indicating that Privé has settled along the terms provided by Curry in order to avoid the court hearing that was scheduled for the 23rd of June [translation from Dutch original by Creative Commons Netherlands]:

Dear Adam,
the conflict between Telegraaf Tijdschriften Groep (“TTG”), the publishers of among others Privé and yourself has been settled in your favor.

TTG wil pay you an amount of compensation and TTG has signed a declaration (backed up by a penalty) that in the future they will no more infringe on copyrights held by Adam Curry in photos published by him on www.flickr.com. You will donate the compensation received to Warchild and STOP AIDS NOW!.

Given the above, the court hearing scheduled for the 23rd of july will not take place.

Creative Commons congratulates Adam Curry with this victory that once again illustrates that when necessary the Creative Commons licenses offer enough legal protection against unauthorized used of the licensed works. Thanks again Adam!

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Remix My Lit: Through The Clock Workings

Cameron Parkins, June 18th, 2009

through-the-clocks-workingsRemix My Lit – a Brisbane based, international remixable literature project – just released their first publication, Through the Clock’s Workings. Billed as the world’s first remixed and remixable anthology of literature, the whole project is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license and is available as a free digital download (PDF) or as a hardcopy purchase through the Sydney University Press e-store. More from CCau:

Those who have been following our blog will remember the beautifully simplistic premise of the Australia Council funded Remix My Lit project – take stories from 9 prominent Australian authors, release them for remixing under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike licence, and see what happens.

Through the Clock’s Workings gives us a taste of the result. Published by the Sydney University Press, this anthology brings together the original 9 stories – from authors such as James Phelan, Cate Kennedy and Kim Wilkins – with 13 of the best remixes [...] the diversity is great – there are poems, abridgements, gender switches, complete re-imaginings. Even the cover of the the book you can see above is a remix of the stories by the excellent artist Ali J.

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ccSalon SF next Wednesday (6/24/09)

Allison Domicone, June 18th, 2009

salon-sf

We hope you can join us next Wednesday for June’s ccSalon SF! We’ll be exploring the digital intersection of art, history, and culture, and how CC can play a defining role in enriching all three. Our presenters for the evening:

* 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.

When: Wednesday, June 24, 7-9pm
Location: PariSoMa, 1436 Howard St. (map and directions).
The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served! More information at the ccSalon SF page of our Wiki.

Check it out on Upcoming and Facebook. We hope to see you there!

Remember, ccSalons are global events, and anyone can start one, no matter where you live. We encourage you to check out our resources for starting your own salon in your area.

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CAPL, the Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon

Jane Park, June 18th, 2009

CAPL, the Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon originally founded at Washington and Jefferson College in 2003, re-launches today. From the announcement email:

“CAPL is a free, online, non-commercial visual glossary comprised of authentic photos for language and cultural instruction and research. Created at Washington & Jefferson College, CAPL seeks to provide teachers and learners with high-quality authentic images for their classrooms and teaching materials. Additionally, it provides researchers in applied linguistics, visual cognition, and automated image recognition with a database of high-quality culturally authentic images they can use in their research. At the core of CAPL is the generous creative commons license.”

CAPL is based on the premise that “visual perception is culturally determined and visual cognition varies from culture to culture.” It asks the question, “Is a house really a Haus, is pain really хлеб, and when we see red cabbage, is it really red?” To find out, go check out CAPL for yourself!

All CAPL images are licensed CC BY-NC.

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