YouTube Tests Download and Creative Commons License Options

Eric Steuer, February 12th, 2009

youtubelogo2YouTube just made an incredibly exciting announcement: it’s testing an option that gives video owners the ability to allow downloads and share their work under Creative Commons licenses. The test is being launched with a handful of partners, including Stanford, Duke, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UCTV.

We are always looking for ways to make it easier for you to find, watch, and share videos. Many of you have told us that you wanted to take your favorite videos offline. So we’ve started working with a few partners who want their videos shared universally and even enjoyed away from an Internet connection.

Many video creators on YouTube want their work to be seen far and wide. They don’t mind sharing their work, provided that they get the proper credit. Using Creative Commons licenses, we’re giving our partners and community more choices to make that happen. Creative Commons licenses permit people to reuse downloaded content under certain conditions.

Visit YouTube’s blog for information. And if you’re are a partner who wants to participate, fill out the YouTube Downloads – Partner Interest form.

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Reminder: CC Salon SF tomorrow (2/11/09)!

Allison Domicone, February 10th, 2009

salon-sf

We hope you’ll join us tomorrow evening at our CC Salon SF from 7-9pm at PariSoMa, located at 1436 Howard Street, San Francisco (map and directions). You’ll get the chance to meet the entire CC staff and hear about our latest projects on the international scene and in education, science, and culture. There will also be time for questions and discussion. Whether you’ve been a fan of CC from the start or you’re new to the world of free culture, this salon is not to be missed! Light refreshments will be provided.

Please note: The space is located up two steep flights of stairs, so if anyone is in need of elevator access, there is a freight elevator we can use. You will just need to buzz up when you arrive and let someone know.

We rely on the generosity of our community to keep us afloat, so we’ll be accepting donations for CC at the door. If you didn’t get a chance to support us during our fundraising campaign, now is your chance.

CC Salons 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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GreenXchange – a project of Creative Commons, Nike and Best Buy

Kaitlin Thaney, February 10th, 2009

Today, Creative Commons, in collaboration with Nike and Best Buy, announces a new project – GreenXchange – exploring how the digital commons can help holders of patents collaborate for sustainability. GreenXchange will be hosted inside the Science Commons wing of CC.

GreenXchange draws on the experience of Creative Commons in creating “some rights reserved” regimes for artists, musicians, scientists, and educators, but also on the hard-won successes of patent “commons” projects like the Linux Patent Commons, the BIOS project, FreePatentsOnline and the Eco-Patent Commons. We will examine how best to reconstruct the academic research exemption eliminated in the United States in the Madey v. Duke case, how to extend that exemption to corporate research, how private contract systems can be used to construct a commons for use in sustainability. There is also a technical component – we are very interested in how tools like ccMixter and the semantic web will allow for new methods of tracking use and re-use of patents and integration of shared patents into climate and sustainability model.

GreenXchange is very much an exploratory project. Our goal is to stimulate innovation in the operational space by increasing research use and rights through the some rights reserved model, and to extend the model itself all the way into standard commercial patent licensing for sustainability purposes. Our model is open innovation, our methods are those of the digital commons, and we are very excited to be working with our new partners to help them overcome “failed sharing” to help us all work towards a sustainable world.

For more information on the project, we invite you to check out the informational video over at Science Commons.

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Miro 2.0 Launches Today

Fred Benenson, February 10th, 2009

Miro Logo
Miro, the free and open source video player launched their 2.0 version today. The update has tons of new features that will help you explore video on the web, including YouTube HD, Hulu and the like. Dean writes on the Miro blog about the new chrome on 2.0:

  • A beautiful, all-new widget based interface
  • Browse while you watch– pop out any video to an external window (our number one requested feature)
  • Miro is now faster, more responsive, and lower memory use
  • You can add streaming sites like Hulu to your sidebar
  • You can add download sites like Archive.org or legaltorrents.com to your sidebar and download to Miro with a single click
  • Improved playlists
  • New compact, sortable list view
  • Better audio support

On top of the new release, Miro is rolling out a great new Miro Guide, which helps users find and download great content such as TED talks and NBC Nightly News.

Download Miro 2.0 for Windows, OS X, or Linux here.

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Access to OER Discussion Launched

Jane Park, February 9th, 2009

by the UNESCO Open Educational Resources Community today. For those of you who don’t know, the UNESCO OER Community is an international online community “[connecting] over 700 individuals in 105 countries to share information and discuss issues surrounding the production and use of Open Educational Resources – web-based materials offered freely and openly for use and reuse in teaching, learning and research.” (We blogged about them last October.) The new discussion will run for three weeks and is open to all. From their community’s wiki:

OER is seen as having the potential to extend access to knowledge worldwide, but there exist certain barriers to its achieving this objective. Access is one potential barrier – and a crucial challenge.

Although our initial interaction on the issue started with the consideration of limited or no connectivity, lack of electricity was identified as an even more basic barrier to access to OER. However, there are many other potential barriers or constraints and it will be useful to identify the range of them, for there are emerging solutions or approaches that would mitigate the problems. Developers of OER will benefit from having these in mind – donors and other agencies may be able to contribute to addressing them.

This week the discussion will focus on “Identification and description of the main problems associated with access, and an initial development of a classification scheme.” The discussion is already underway, moderated by Bjoern Hassler, a senior research associate at the University of Cambridge, so if you have something to say, go join it now!

All content on the UNESCO OER Community wiki is licensed CC BY-SA. Like ccLearn, UNESCO’s work on open educational resources is generously supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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Announcing February’s CC Salon NYC

Fred Benenson, February 9th, 2009

CC Salon NYC Logo

Creative Commons Salons in NYC have been building momentum and it is now time for our February salon. Come out to have some beers with the CC community (don’t worry, we’ll open it up early this time) watch some cool presentations, and meet some new faces in the free culture space. Since we’ve outgrown our original space, The Open Planning project, February’s Salon is back at For Your Imagination‘s loft space.

February’s Salon will feature presentations by Bre Pettis on Thingiverse.com‘s CC integration, blip.tv’s CEO Mike Hudack demoing new features of the CC-friendly video site, and co-CEOs Dan Zaccagnino and Matt Siegel from Indaba Music, talking about their recent work on Colbert v. Lessig remix shenanigans.

Here are the details:

Tuesday, February 24th from 7-10pm
For Your Imagination Loft
22 W. 27th St., 6th Floor
Between Broadway & 6th Ave.
New York, NY

We’ll have free (as in beer) beer for the reception afterward. If you’ve didn’t make it to any past CC Salons, don’t miss this one, and if you did, you’ll know to come early as space is limited.

RSVP to the event via Facebook or by e-mailing me: fred [at] creativecommons.org.

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CC Q&A and the joy of being reused

Mike Linksvayer, February 8th, 2009

We mentioned late last year that Jeremy Keith’s CC BY licensed photo was used in the film Iron Man. While that was particularly notable, Jeremy is a prolific user of CC licenses for his photos and other materials, garnering many reuses. A graphic design student asked him a series of 15 questions about CC. He blogged the answers, which are well worth reading. Here’s the lead in:

I’ve found that releasing my Flickr pictures under a Creative Commons licence has been very rewarding. My pictures have been used in all sorts of places and most people are kind enough to drop me a line and let me know when they use one of my photos. Say, for example, that the site More Than Living wanted to illustrate the article entitled What is a manbag? with a very fetching picture of Richard.

Go read the rest.

Uwe Hermann (who we’ve mentioned in the past as a curator of CC licensed music) also just posted about reuse of his photos:


Sugar / Uwe Hermann / CC BY-SA

Even with my humble, and not really widely-known little photoblog, you can already see the Creative Commons license’s effects on media sharing and remixing/reusing kick in. Quite a number of my photos have already been used by other people for various different purposes (blogs posts, articles, even album covers), including some of the “bigger” sites such as the Wall Street Journal Blog or Cult of Mac

Read Uwe’s whole post.

Even some of my mediocre photos have been reused, and I admit to getting a small kick out of it.

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NIN case study video: Connect with Fans + Reason to Buy

Mike Linksvayer, February 6th, 2009

Techdirt’s Mike Masnick gave a great case study lecture on Nine Inch Nails’ music business successes at MidemNet last month. He describes the “formula” as:

Connect With Fans (CwF) + Reason To Buy (RtB) = The Business Model ($$$$)

Toward the end of the video he explains CwF also means “Compete with Free” and RtB means “Return to Business” as an alternative to prosecuting fans.

Offering creative work under a CC license (as NIN has done with its last two albums) is a way to powerfully signal an intention to connect with fans and that the creator has returned to business. This doesn’t absolve a creator from the need to provide interesting reasons to buy that compete with (or perhaps rather complement) free, which NIN has done in spades.

Another good point Masnick makes at the end of the presentation is that the model works for large and small creators. A few years ago, often I’d hear people comment that tools like CC licensing were only useful for artists that weren’t well known and needed to take extreme measures to promote their works. Ironically, more recently, and especially following NIN’s successes, I see comments that open music can only work for bands that already have a rabid fan base. Obviously both can’t be true, and it turns out neither is. See some of Masnick’s previous posts on open music business models (here’s a recent one with lots of links back) for more.

If Masnick’s lecture inspires you as an artist to try the model, go for it — for additional inspiration check out Jonathan Coulton’s letter for CC’s recent campaign (because he writes eloquently about how essentially the model Masnick describes has worked for him, not because he’s asking for donations to CC, though you can make those too). If you’re inspired to help document and explain successful applications of the model, we’d love for you to help expand the CC case studies project, which is going to get much bigger this spring.

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Wikipedia Loves Art Launches this Weekend

Fred Benenson, February 6th, 2009

Following up the success of Wikis Take Manhattan, a new project, Wikipedia Loves Art is launching this weekend:

Wikipedia Loves Art is a scavenger hunt and free content photography contest among museums and cultural institutions worldwide, and aimed at illustrating Wikipedia articles. The event is planned to run for the whole month of February 2009. Although there are planned events at each location, you can go on your own at any time during the month.

I had the opportunity to chat with Wikipedia’s founder and CC board member, Jimmy Wales about why Wikipedia Loves Art is so important. Check out the video on blip.tv (apologies for the lack of professional lighting).

Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia Loves ArtThe project is coordinated by the Brooklyn Museum, with the participation of the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum (New York), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Historical Society, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Taft Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum. In all, there are 15 different museums and cultural institutions participating.

Sign up and go have fun helping the public domain grow on Wikipedia!

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Updates from CC in the Arab World

Michelle Thorne, February 4th, 2009

More than a year ago, Free Culture advocate Anas Tawileh analyzed the state of Arabic content online. His portal Arab Commons has grown modestly but steadily since its launch in 2007, offering 11 full textbooks in Arabic, plus magazines, podcasts, poetry collections, and a number of art works — all within a few months. For a language with 200 million speakers, however, Anas and his colleagues in the Arab World were determined to match scale and build a larger pool of open Arabic content. But how?

A critical first step came when CC Jordan announced the public discussion of the first Version 3.0 draft in Arabic, a necessary move to improve the licenses’ legal certainty in court and prompt wider adoption in the Middle East.

Now, with the unparalleled release of Al Jazeera’s Gaza footage under CC BY, the Arab World is poised for more. In Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah already created the Initiative for Arabic Digital Content, which recently held a two-day workshop on “Open Arabic Content” in Riyadh. CC legal expert Rami Olwan from Jordan was in attendance, discussing the licensing system and meeting supporters. Ziad Maraqa, co-Project Lead from CC Jordan, spoke yesterday in Damascus at the iCommunity FOSS Workshop, a notable gathering for the Syrian Free Software community.

With initiatives like these, Creative Commons in the Arab World will no doubt continue to grow. After the Jordan CC licenses launch, other jurisdictions are ready to follow. There is still a lot of translation and outreach work to be done, so if you would like to get involved, you can contact Donatella Della Ratta, our Arab World Media and Development Manager, and learn more.

With that, a huge thank you to the recent event organizers for inviting CC to participate, and thank you to the many individuals already helping promote Free Culture in the Arab World!

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