MuseumPods Launches Creative Commons License Functionality

Fred Benenson, February 19th, 2009

Podcast Survey Excerpt

You’ll recall that we did a survey in collaboration with MuseumPods back in November asking basic questions about podcasting, MuseumPods, and Creative Commons.

We’ve decided to release a summary of the results from the survey as one big PNG file (785px × 5080px, 170kb). This file was created using the Summary function of Google Doc’s Form/Spreadsheet and contains a sampling of some of the long form data entered into the spread sheet, as well as plenty of pretty graphs and charts detailing the breakdown in responses that we received. Though by no means scientific, the data is still worth a look if you’re interested in talking about CC with your community.

More importantly, however, is that MuseumPods has incorporated CC licenses into their FeedMe product. FeedMe allows anyone to create a podcast feed for free, and now creators can choose what CC license they want to apply to their podcast. Sign up for FeedMe here, read our podcasting guide, and start podcasting with CC today!

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Commercially Licensed Music from Jamendo Pro

Fred Benenson, February 19th, 2009

Jamendo, the CC-only music store and community has launched Jamendo Pro for those seeking commercial music:

Jamendo pro offers event organizers an alternative to collective rights societies (ASCAP, MCPS, SOCAN…), which allows you to save the fees they apply, while enjoying a quality music catalog available by online streaming.

Jamendo Pro
Jamendo will also provide you with a certificate guaranteeing you do not have to pay any copyright fees. Check out the the respective pages for background music, public event music, music for audiovisual works, and music for websites and blogs.

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Live from the NYPL & Wired Present: Lawrence Lessig, Shepard Fairey, and Steven Johnson

Eric Steuer, February 19th, 2009

nypl_lessigfaireyjohnson1

New Yorkers – next Thursday, February 26, Wired and Live from the NYPL will bring together Lawrence Lessig, Shepard Fairey, and Steven Johnson for a discussion about Lessig’s new book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. The conversation will take place at 7:00pm at the Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library (5th Avenue and 42nd Street). Tickets are $25 for general admission and $15 for library donors, seniors, and students. This is Lessig’s final planned public discussion of remix and copyright issues, before he he heads to Harvard to direct the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. Lessig, Fairey, and Johnson will be on hand after the talk to sign their respective books and posters.

LIVE from the NYPL and WIRED Magazine kick off the Spring 2009 season with a spirited discussion of the emerging remix culture. Our guides through this new world—who will take us from Jefferson’s Bible to André the Giant to Wikipedia—will be Lawrence Lessig, author of Remix, founder of Creative Commons, and one of the leading legal scholars on intellectual property issues in the Internet age; acclaimed street artist Shepard Fairey, whose iconic Obama “HOPE” poster was recently acquired by the National Portrait Gallery; and cultural historian Steven Johnson, whose new book, The Invention of Air, argues that remix culture has deep roots in the Enlightenment and among the American founding fathers.

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CC Talks With: University of Michigan Library

Cameron Parkins, February 19th, 2009

Over the past year, the University of Michigan Library has shown itself to be particularly sensible in regards to open content licensing, the public domain, and issues of copyright in the digital age. The U-M Library has integrated public domain book machines, adopted CC licensing for their content, and independently had their Copyright Specialist, Molly Kleinman, articulate the importance of proper attribution in using CC licenses. We recently caught up with Molly to learn more about these efforts – primarily how they came to be and the results they have yielded – as well as discuss CC’s place in educational institutions at large and how CC and Fair Use interact in the academic sphere.

1library
Book, Suzanne Chapman | CC BY-NC-SA

What is your role at the University of Michigan Library? How does the University Library interact with the rest of the University?

I’m the University Library’s copyright specialist. I provide copyright and publishing assistance for faculty, students, researchers, staff, and librarians throughout the University of Michigan, and occasionally to the community at large. I handle questions on both sides of the copyright universe: people come to me as users of copyrighted works and also as creators with concerns about their own rights. At a university just about everybody is both a user and a creator, so I think it’s important to promote a balanced perspective on copyright. A big part of my job is teaching workshops and providing one-on-one consultations about copyright and scholarly publishing basics. I work with librarians all over campus to raise awareness about topics like fair use, Open Access, and author rights. I also support a number of the Library’s activities, including our institutional repository Deep Blue, the Scholarly Publishing Office, and Special Collections exhibits. People always ask if I’m an attorney… I’m not. I’m a librarian by training, and have a background in publishing. A law degree is useful when dealing with copyright, and it’s certainly necessary when you’re providing legal advice, but in many other situations it’s not essential. Copyright is messy and confusing and it makes a lot of people nervous and scared. Approaching these issues as a librarian allows me to explain things in “human readable” language instead of legalese. My goal is to demystify the law and empower students and faculty to advocate for their rights as both users and creators.
Read More…

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Do You Want CC In Facebook?

Fred Benenson, February 19th, 2009

Yesterday, we posted about Facebook’s recent Terms of Service ordeal and how it demonstrates the need for human readable legal deeds. Now, Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is asking the Facebook community for feedback on a Facebook Bill of Rights. We think this is a great opportunity for you, our community, to let Facebook know how the social network should use and license your content.

Do you think Facebook should support CC licensing options for user photos and other content? Now is the time to let them know. As of this post, the official group “Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities” has almost 75,000 members and 800 topics on the discussion board, so don’t hesitate to make sure your voice gets heard. Also, relevant is Miguel Barrera Maureira’s group “Why not include Creative Commons in Facebook TOS?

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The Value of Human Readable Deeds

Fred Benenson, February 18th, 2009

By now you’ve probably heard that Facebook modified their Terms of Service and after facing a huge community backlash, returned them to their original state. Most of the issues at play were outside the scope of what we work on at CC, but the incident brings up something that we are very much interested in: human readable legal deeds.

Whether you believe Facebook was acting in their users’ best interest, or if you think the social network’s lawyers were trying to slip something past their community, one thing is clear: the meaning behind the change in Facebook Terms of Service was not explicit to its 175 million users, and they weren’t happy with it. Put simply, Facebook’s Terms of Service were not human readable.

One way of thinking about Creative Commons is that we give a user-interface to copyright law through our human readable deeds, machine readable metadata, and lawyer readable licenses. The human readable deed (which you will be familiar with if you’ve ever clicked on a CC badge) allows users and authors of content to clearly understand what rights the public has to use a work and what obligations to the original creator must be upheld. More specifically, human readable license deeds, CC’s metadata infrastructure and our brand all work together to avoid the kind of confusion and panic Facebook’s amended Terms of Service caused. By using a CC license as the default license for a platform, such as on the free-as-in-speech microblog community Identi.ca, both administrators and users can be clear about how their work will be reused by the public because CC licenses are a standard now adopted by millions of people.

Communicating to your users about how their work will be used is an ongoing and crucial responsibility of all online community leaders and CC licenses are designed to alleviate this responsibility by clarifying copyright questions for authors, users, and platforms alike.

If anyone at Facebook is interested in implementing CC licenses for user content, get in touch.

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CC Licensing Your Dissertations

Jane Park, February 17th, 2009

PhD students slave for years on researching, writing, and drafting a final product, usually text, that marks the culmination of their candidacy for the highly esteemed doctoral degree. This product is then reviewed by a tenured member of the faculty in their domain of expertise, or a small committee of said members. Upon passing this review, the student is finally rewarded the title of “Doctor” along with its perceived reputation. The dissertation, unfortunately, usually falls to the wayside and is, for the most part, never read again.

Furthermore, because most dissertations are fully copyrighted, these significant pieces of work cannot be reproduced or redistributed for future students’ research. So why not do the obvious? Why not work with copyright law and publish your dissertation under an open license, thereby increasing its exposure to the world, academic or otherwise?

Two UC Berkeley graduates from the School of Information have gone ahead and taken a stab at doing this by CC licensing their dissertations. In the words of The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s independent, student-run newspaper:

This license opens up many possibilities in the academic world such as free online course readers, zero cost educational multimedia, gratis online tutorials-even the price of paper textbooks could be drastically reduced. Perhaps more important than cost, however, by using Creative Commons you are essentially “paying it forward” by sharing your intellectual output with the academic community because future generations of scholars will have greater access to your work.

Two recent Berkeley students to file their dissertations using a Creative Commons license are Joseph Lorenzo Hall and danah boyd. Hall navigated through much bureaucratic red tape, but found that most of his difficulty came from simple formatting issues, not any ideological disagreement by the univerisyt. Another School of Information graduate, danah boyd, also filed her dissertation under Creative Commons shortly thereafter.

On Jan. 28, the Dean of the Graduate Division committed to make Creative Commons licensing available to future students. All students interested in contributing to the effort to make education more affordable and accessible should consider using Creative Commons instead of traditional copyright.

Both danah‘s and Joseph‘s dissertations are licensed CC BY-NC-ND and are respectively entitled “Taken Out of Context — American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics” and “Policy Mechanisms for Increasing
Transparency in Electronic Voting
“.

We hope that other institutions and individuals will also embrace the significant benefits gained by CC licensing academic outputs such as dissertations. For one thing, CC licensing increases your creation’s visibility, even if by only a small margin at first. It lets current and future students access and read (and even derive, based on the specific CC license you choose) your work so that they can build and improve upon it—all the while giving credit where credit is due, namely, to you.

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Help Portishead Find a New Business Model

Cameron Parkins, February 17th, 2009

2101339030_b5c7dc19d1
portishead @ atp, obo-bobolina | CC BY-NC

Portishead, an experimental-pop group and pioneers of the early 90s electronica movement, announced yesterday that they are now “free agents”, having completed their three record deal with Island Records. The band is looking at new ways to sell their music and are reaching out to their fans for advice:

with the world being the way it is there are lots of options open……but if you lot have any bright ideas of how we should sell our music in the future lets us know , why not!

i dont think that were into giving out music away for free to be honest…it [...] takes ages to write and we have to heat our swimming pools…..!!!

While Portishead mention an aversion to giving away music for free, our thoughts immediately turned to a CC+ licensing model similar to what Nine Inch Nails used in marketing Ghosts I-IV and The Slip this past year. NIN gave away their music for free under a CC BY-NC-SA license, but they also found immediate and substantial financial return as well as seeing their long-term sales flourish.

NIN achieved this by selling different versions of the same content; there was the initial free download of the first nine tracks of Ghosts, but fans could also purchase a $5 download of the whole album, a $10 2xCD set, a $75 DVD box set, and finally, a limited edition $300 ultra-deluxe box set signed and numbered by Trent himself, all of it CC licensed. Given the notoriety of Portishead fans, something tells us that if the band were to offer a $300 unreleased album in an ultra-deluxe box set in conjunction with freely licensed versions of the same music, it would probably sell out just as quick as NIN’s 2,500 copies did.

So let Portishead know that there are indeed ways to make money while giving music away for free – its all about connecting with their fans via CC, and giving them an easy way to support the band.

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Australian public broadcaster releases first material under CC

Michelle Thorne, February 17th, 2009

From CC Australia:

A couple of days ago the [Australian Broadcasting Corporation's] excellent collaborative media site, Pool, posted a recording of genetics professor Steve Jones talking about Darwin’s life and work under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial licence. As far as we’re aware, this is the very first time material from the ABC archives has been released under a Creative Commons licence.

And this is just the beginning. Pool plans to release a whole series of ABC archival materials for remixing as part of its its Gene Pool project.

We’re all very excited here at CCau. The ABC has, almost without question, the largest historical audiovisual archive in Australia. Just think what we can do with it.

We’re excited as well. Last year we conducted a round-up of broadcasters implementing CC, and twelve months later, with exemplary license usage by Al Jazeera and now ABC’s Pool project, it seems the broadcasting world is poised for more. Stay tuned and enjoy exploring the remixable, high-quality material.

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The Pursuit of Efficient Copyright Licensing

Mike Linksvayer, February 16th, 2009

Herkko Hietanen, project lead for CC Finland, has made his 320 page dissertation available online under the CC BY-NC-ND license, titled The Pursuit of Efficient Copyright Licensing — How Some Rights Reserved Attempts to Solve the Problems of All Rights Reserved:

The dissertation contributes to the existing literature in several ways. There is a wide range of prior research on open source licensing. However, there is an urgent need for an extensive study of the Creative Commons licensing and its actual and potential impact on the creative ecosystem.

Indeed! Congratulations to Herkko, and may his book inspire more such research.

dsc05168.jpg
Herkko Hietanen at the 2008 Nordic Cultural Commons Conference (slide in the background is a graph of some jurisdiction’s copyright law) / CC BY

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