Welcome Summer Interns!

Jennifer Yip, April 13th, 2009

We have finally concluded our rigorous search for summer interns. This year, we’ll be welcoming five students to work at the San Francisco office. Thanks to everyone who submitted an application. It was great to see such an incredible number of responses!

Please let me introduce:

  • Lee-Sean Huang will be the International Outreach intern for ccLearn. He is a first-year masters student at the Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
  • Joe Merante will work under our General Counsel as a Legal intern. He is a second year law student at New York Law School.
  • Michelle Hugard will work with the ccLearn counsel as another Legal intern. She is a second year law student from UC Davis School of Law.
  • Parker Phinney will be the Technology intern. He is a first year student of computer science at Dartmouth College.
  • Tomas Ashe will be the very fist Graphic Design & Media Development intern. He will be completing his final year at the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland.
  • Aurelia Schultz, our first Google Policy Fellow, will also be joining us this summer.

Also see our goodbye post featuring last year’s interns. If you’re interested an internship next year (2010), keep in mind that we’ll post a call for applications around February. Get your resumes into shape starting now! The strongest applicants have played leadership roles in Students for Free Culture chapters or been active contributors to other free culture and free and open source software projects — regarding the latter, we even have a few of our own to get involved with.

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Call for Remixes: Snowflake’s Earth Day Challenge

Victor Stone, April 13th, 2009

Creative Commons and Snowflake are proud to announce a call for remixes in honor of Earth Day 2009. Singer, musician and poet Snowflake has put all the stems, including the a cappella for her song Apologize into the Commons under an Attribution NonCommercial license, hosted on ccMixter, and is looking for remixes to be featured on her site on April 20th.

After all the remixes are posted, Snowflake will pick her favorite remix and include it as a surprise 11th track on her FanClub release “One or Ten” on April 20th. She tells us the remixer will be awarded producer royalties for the track as well.

In addition, Snowflake has generously offered to donate $200 to a green non-profit, to be chosen by the producer of her favorite remix of Apologize.

Snowflake is a long time and popular contributor to ccMixter and thinks “ccMixter embodies a significant evolution in synergistic sound. With creativity expanding from its source, our musical compositions gain color, speed and strength as we share, mix, and mash.”

Make sure to check out Snowflake at her new website that features both her ccMixter source tracks and five favorite remixes.

There’s not a lot time left to crank out the tunes so read more and download the sources at Snowflake’s Earth Day Call for Remixes.

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Australia Publishes CC Info Pack

Jane Park, April 13th, 2009

Through its Copyright Advisory Group, the Australian Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) has published a Creative Commons information pack online, a bundle of eight documents that distills the basics of CC licensing and the philosophy behind it. This pack is a great resource for educators and students, and we encourage you to use it in your schools by adapting it however you like.

The info pack includes concise and concrete answers to simple questions, like:

What is Creative Commons?
How to Find Creative Commons Licensed Material
How to Attribute Creative Commons Licensed Material

and more. Find all documents at their Smartcopying website, “The Official Guide to Copyright Issues for Australian Schools and TAFE.” All of them are licensed CC BY, the most effective and open license for open educational resources.

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Wikipedia community vote on migration to CC BY-SA begins now

Mike Linksvayer, April 13th, 2009



A community vote is now underway, hopefully one of the final steps in the process the migration of Wikipedia (actually Wikipedias, as each language is its own site, and also other Wikimedia Foundation sites) to using Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike as its primary content license.

This migration would be a huge boost for the free culture movement, and for Wikipedia and Creative Commons — until the migration happens there is an unnecessary licensing barrier between the most important free culture project (Wikipedia of course, currently under the Free Documentation License, intended for software documentation) and most other free culture projects and individual creators, which use the aforementioned CC BY-SA license.

To qualify to vote, one must have made 25 edits to a Wikimedia site prior to March 15. Make sure you’re logged in to the project on which you qualify, and you should see a site notice at the top of each page that looks like the image below (red outline added around notice).

licensing update site notice

Click on “vote now” and you’ll be taken to the voting site. [Update: If you see a different site notice, it’s because other important notices about the Wikimania conference are rotating with the vote notice. In that case you can go directly to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:SecurePoll/vote/1. For other Wikimedia sites, change en.wikipedia to the domain of the site in question.]

For background on the migration process, see Wikimedia’s licensing update article and the following series of posts on the Creative Commons blog:

Here’s a great “propaganda poster”, original created by Brianna Laugher (cited a number of times on this blog), licensed under CC BY. See her post, Vote YES for licensing sanity!

Indeed, please go vote yes to unify the free culture movement!

Vote YES! For licensing sanity!

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First Creative Commons Arab world meeting held in Qatar at Al Jazeera media forum

Donatella Della Ratta, April 12th, 2009

The first Creative Commons regional meeting in the Arab World was held a few weeks ago during Al Jazeera’s annual Media Forum in Doha, Qatar (14-16 March, 2009).

The Forum hosted the first ever face-to-face meeting of the Arab Project Leads (Ziad Maraqa and Rami Olwan from CC Jordan and Nafaa Laribi from CC Tunisia) with CC staff (Joi Ito, Donatella Della Ratta, Catharina Maracke, and Michelle Thorne), key media researchers, bloggers, CC enthusiasts and supporters from the region. The meeting, organized with the kind support of Al Jazeera, tackled many issues that are crucial for future developments of CC communities in the Arab World. Lawyers Stephanie Raye Safi from Khasawneh & Associates (Dubai), Samer Jamous from Talal Abu Ghazaleh (Qatar) and Mohammad El Said (Al Jazeera) gave input on the first ported Arabic license, now being finalized by CC Jordan.

The Arabic translation of the name “Creative Commons” took center stage of the discussion. Pros and cons were weighed whether to leave the name in English and transliterate into Arabic script, or if it should be translated with a proper Arabic word. The Jordanian translation “masha3″ was agreed to be the closest to the original English meaning, but for those who would still like to share their input, the public discussion is still open on the CC Jordan page, where you are encouraged to contribute. Other legal issues were debated, such as moral rights and fair use.

The discussion also focused on how to enrich community participation in the Arab World and develop initiatives in media, education, and general outreach. Everyone agreed that a key component for CC in the Arab World should be to foster content creation in Arabic and to encourage innovation in tools and software to speed up this process. With these plans and more underway, a community list will be started in English and Arabic. If you’d like to be in touch, please let us know!

The CC Al Jazeera day also featured a panel on “Building successful media projects in open networks”, moderated by CC’s CEO Joi Ito. Mohamed Nanahbay, former Head of New Media at Al Jazeera, presented the CC Al Jazeera repository, a website initiated by the channel to host broadcast quality footage, all distributed under CC BY. Mohamed explained how the footage has been used and remixed by different groups of people, including several TV channels that edited and re-broadcasted the material. Footage shot in Gaza last December is now available in the repository, and Al Jazeera announced in Doha that they plan to add more topics and genres before the summer. The panel also hosted a delegation of the European Broadcasting Union led by Nicoletta Iacobacci, Head of New Interactive, to learn more about how to use CC licenses in future broadcasting initiatives.

It was a very busy and interesting day, with plenty of insights and thoughts for the future development of open content and CC communities in the Arab world. A big thank to the Al Jazeera team, particularly Mohamed, Moeed, and the New Media team for their passionate support and the great work to make this happen. Shukran gezilan!

We hope to plan more events of those kind, and if you want to stay in touch with us on those topics, please write an email to donatella@creativecommons.org

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BBC Releases R&DTV Under CC

Fred Benenson, April 10th, 2009

R&DTV LogoTurning the tables, the BBC recently interviewed Digg’s Kevin Rose for their R&DTV series. R&DTV is a monthly program consisting of interviews with BBC developers and technology leaders. In conjunction to licensing the shows under our Attribution-NonCommercial license, the BBC is also releasing all of the content that got left on the cutting room floor in their “Asset Bundles.” This is a fantastic effort for the commons, so hats off to the BBC!

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Free Culture Conference 2008 Videos & T-Shirts

Fred Benenson, April 9th, 2009

Free Culture Conference Video
Before working for Creative Commons full time, I was a student activist in the Students for Free Culture movement. I’m still on the board of the organization (though this will change shortly as I am not seeking reelection in the upcoming board race), and I helped work on the Free Culture Conference 2008 at Berkeley. The Free Culture @ Berkeley team did a smash-up job of running the conference and recording all of the video for archival purposes and now all the videos are available online.

There are some really fantastic talks in here, including a keynote interview with John Lily Mozilla, Anthony Falzone on Fair Use, and many more. Check out the blip.tv channel here and download all the Attribution licensed videos.

sffc-shirts-by-patrick-moberg-300x142

We also commissioned a design for free culture t-shirts from Patrick Moberg. We are now retailing them through a modest PayPal storefront here for $20 + S/H, and all proceeds will go to help Students for Free Culture grow. The shirt designs are CC licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike, so feel free to download the files and make your own!

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Trent Reznor on NIN’s Business Models and the Future of Music

Fred Benenson, April 9th, 2009

For Digg.com‘s fourth Digg Dialogg, Kevin Rose interviews NIN’s front man Trent Reznor with questions submitted by the Digg community. Not surprisingly, the top rated question refers to NIN’s choice to use Creative Commons licenses when releasing his two recent albums. One of those albums, Ghosts I-IV, topped Amazon MP3 as the best selling album of 2008.

Trent & Kevin

NIN’s experiments in music publishing were not accidents. In the interview, the soft-spoken Reznor carefully articulates the reasoning for his new forays as well as his advice for up-and-coming artists. NIN has a huge fan base and a lot at stake here; these are not academic rants with no practical interests at stake, but rather the actual beliefs of a working, career musician whose career depends on their success. If you watch one interview about the future of music, this should be it.

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“Creative Commons Movement Steps Up” in Malaysia

Michelle Thorne, April 9th, 2009

here-in-my-home

CC Malaysia Board Member Muid Latif writes to us about his team’s recent press coverage and community outreach. For one, The Star, the largest newspaper in circulation in Malaysia, interviewed CC MY in an extensive article “Creative Commons movement steps up”. It features, among others, the team’s proud achievement “Here in my home”,  a CC-licensed video shot last year in Kuala Lampur with Malaysian Artistes For Unity.

“Given the ‘viral’ nature of the project, it was important that we legalised free downloads and ­subsequent dissemination of the song and video,” [the song’s composer Pete Teo] said.

“CC allowed us to do this without going to lawyers and drafting expensive and verbose traditional licences, every time someone wanted permission to use the song or video in their projects,” said Teo.

Fifty two people were involved in the project, including filmmakers, ­dancers, singers, producers, musicians, actors, ­entrepreneurs, designers, ­footballers, activists, celebrities and students.

CC Malaysia has also been busy putting on a workshop during the Kuala Lumpur Design Week to teach artists how to find, use, and create CC-licensed works. The team curates a Flickr group, called MyCC, which hosts monthly “Best CC Work” contests and other meet-ups.

Screenshot from “Here in my home” by Malaysian Artistes For Unity / CC NC ND 3.0.

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Winner of “One Billion Fans” contest announced

Mike Linksvayer, April 9th, 2009

Last fall we posted about the One Billion Fans contest run by the music website TribeOfNoise. Today the winner has been announced (pdf press release) — Dereck Rose, a Jamaican-born singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist.

Congratulations to Dereck Rose, the jury-selected winner, and the other top ten finalists (I can actually recommend the top vote getter, Bleeemo)!

Also congratulations to TribeOfNoise for pulling off the contest. To be completely blunt, the site looks more crassly promotional than many sites hosting music under CC licenses. However, just as bluntly, there’s a need for hard core promoters of freely licensed music (note that “hard core” modifies “promoters”) — judging by promotions for mass market music, that’s needed for mass market success, and there’s no reason freely licensed music shouldn’t compete in such arenas.

TribeOfNoise is also more innovative on the licensing front than most sites. All music on the site is available under CC Attribution-ShareAlike. Here’s an explanation sent last month from Hessel van Oorschot, the site’s “Chief of Noise”:

Artists like Moby, Nine Inch Nails and Radio Head made the first moves towards an alternative form of music distribution. A Dutch company called Tribe of Noise takes it one step further. At Tribe of Noise, composers upload their music under a Creative Commons license and allows companies to download, remix and commercially use the music FREE and 100% legal.

ARE THEY MAD?
WHY DO MUSICIANS GIVE AWAY THEIR MUSIC FOR FREE TO COMPANIES?

“While the traditional music industry is still in the repressive mode by introducing digital rights management and sending out the watch dogs, we rather think in solutions for like-minded spirits”, says Sandra Brandenburg, founder of Tribe of Noise. “It was not difficult to find thousands of independent artists worldwide who believe in sharing their music, and who actually encourage fans and professionals to freely distribute and build upon their work.”

“We take the Darwinist approach; adapt and you will survive. So instead of resisting change and become extinct you want to embrace change. People are going to share music, so give them something to share. Simultaneously the artist builds an inner circle of valuable contacts. Game developers ($50 billion industry), advertisement agencies ($750 billion industry) and others are more than willing to pay for music. Getting Exposure is the name of the game.”

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