Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare

Jane Park, October 15th, 2009

The Center for Social Media at AU has released a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare. From the press release,

“OpenCourseWare, the Web-based publication of academic course content launched in 2002 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been lauded for making college-level courses available to anyone anywhere in the world for free. The movement has expanded to include offerings from some of the nation’s most selective universities including the University of Notre Dame and Yale University…

Now, educational organizations have a guide that simplifies the legalities of using copyrighted materials in open courseware—The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare. The code was developed by experts in media and fair use at American University and a committee of practitioners of open courseware from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, MIT, Tufts University, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, and Yale University…

The code aims to help OCW designers at U.S. educational organizations recognize situations to which fair use applies and situations that require they get permission from third-party rights holders.”

The complete code is available via CC BY.

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CASH Music Launch Fundraiser Raffle

Cameron Parkins, October 14th, 2009

cashlogoCASH Music, a nonprofit organization that builds “open tools and services to benefit artists and music organizations”, recently launched its first fundraiser in conjunction with a number of amazing artists and labels. An online raffle is at the core of their efforts with some incredible prizes available ranging from signed sheet music to vinyl test pressings to to an in-studio performance for 10 people.

Participating artists include Kristin Hersh, Deerhoof, Mission of Burma, MGMT, Xiu Xiu, Mayer Hawthorne, and Portugal The Man to name a few. Additional ways to donate come in the form of limited edition prints, a fundraiser t-shirt, and of course by donating directly to CASH.

We have talked about CASH numerous times before (including an interview with Executive Director Jesse Von Doom) about how they use CC to create openness and facilitate sharing within their projects. Be sure to check out their Creative Commons Portal and learn more about the organization at their website.

Also, speaking of fundraisers, don’t forget that CC is in the midst of our own. Help us reach our $500,000 goal – any and all support is appreciated. And if you donate over $75, you’ll be a proud owner of a very cool Shepard Fairey designed CC t-shirt!

(Full disclosure: CC’s Creative Director Eric Steuer is a CASH Music Board Member).

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New CC-Licensed Feature Length Films from Sweden & Italy

Cameron Parkins, October 14th, 2009

nopCreating a feature films is a massive undertaking, and it is for this reason that we’re always so impressed to hear of film makers using CC licenses. Two recent examples are Nasty Old People from Swedish director Hanna Sköld and Torno Subito from Italian Simone Damianiunder.

“Nasty Old People” was released under our Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license and Torno Subito is available under our Attribution-Noncommercial license. What’s great about these licenses is that they both allow and encourage legal sharing and remixing as methods for promotion and encouraging fan engagement. The results are already beginning to appear: fans of Nasty Old People have raised donations amounting to 10% of the film’s loaned budget, and they’ve also created a Portugese translation of the film’s subtitles.

Over the years, there have been a number of CC-licensed feature films released, and we do our best to keep up with them all on our film wiki page, but please add to the wiki if you come across something we’ve missed.

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Film Annex Helps You Make Money on Your CC Content

Fred Benenson, October 14th, 2009

Film Annex LogoFilm Annex is an online film distribution platform and and Web Television Network with million of viewers and thousands of filmmakers. Recently, the site launched CC license support (complete with ccREL expression via RDFa). This is fantastic news in and of itself, as it means there’s now more choice for creators looking for platforms that support CC licensing options. But Film Annex isn’t just another video hosting site. They’re helping filmmakers finance their productions through a unique blend of advertising and revenue sharing:

Film Annex Web TVs come with interactive players that are syndication-friendly. Web TV owners can maximize their income by syndicating their Web TV players with their content and ads (pre-rolls) on other websites. While these content providers receive 50% of the advertising revenues generated on their Web TVs, they earn another 33% upon syndication. Publishers also benefit from this revenue share as they receive 33% of the revenues upon syndication. Publishers are also given the option to become financiers or executive producers on a project if they choose to donate a percentage of their share to the content provider.

Since August 2009, twenty content providers benefited from the Film Annex Network and its ad revenue share. The amount generated on each Web TV per month has approximately been 350-1000 dollars. Film Annex’s short-term goal is to raise this number to 5000. In addition to promoting each Web TV individually, Film Annex mentions the new projects of the content providers on their respective Web TVs in order to raise awareness about them and receive audience support.

So if you’re a filmmaker looking for some return on your CC video, sign up for account and get uploading!

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Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band Goes CC!

Fred Benenson, October 14th, 2009

YOPOB

Photo via yopob.com, All Rights Reserved

Yoko Ono wants you to remix her track “The Sun Is Down!” whose stems are released under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial license. You can download the sample pack which includes the track’s vocal effects, loops of bass, drums, sound effects, and Tenorion files.

But Yoko’s also running a contest to find the 10 best remixes. Here are the details:

Create your own remix of “The Sun Is Down!” by Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, using as many or few of the samples from the pack and any original audio you wish to add.

When you have finished your mix, make an MP3 copy that’s as high quality as possible, but still under 10MB in size.

Email the MP3 of your mix, along with its name and your name, address, email and phone number to remix@YOPOB.com before 12 December 2009.

The Top Ten mixes will be decided by Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band.

The winners will receive special signed Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band prizes and will be featured on this site over the Xmas and New Year period.

Head over to Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band for the full contest details and to download the sample pack.

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Digital Open Winners Announced

Jane Park, October 14th, 2009

CC BY by the Digital Open

CC BY by the Digital Open

I blogged about the Digital Open in April, a new online community and competition that was accepting free and open technology projects from anyone 17 or younger through August. The competition was aimed at fostering an online and open community of youth by encouraging them to see the benefits of open source and open licensing.

Since then the jury has come in to announce eight grand prize winners. The first video profile is the Centralized Student Website from Fremont, California, by Raymond Zhong and Aatash Parikh. They’ve gone ahead and built a student portal for their high school, where virtually any school activity, especially student clubs, are accessed. Other winners include a Casa Ecologica in Spain and a Hybrid Airship. Be sure to check back for more videos.

Except where otherwise noted, all content on the Digital Open is available via CC BY. The Digital Open is the result of a joint partnership between the Institute for the Future, BoingBoing, and Sun Microsystems.

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Nobel Prize in Economics to Elinor Ostrom “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons”

Mike Linksvayer, October 12th, 2009

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded today to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson for their research on economic governance. Ostrom’s award is particularly exciting, for it cites her study of the commons. Commons? That sounds familiar!

Ostrom’s pioneering work mostly concerns the governance of common-pool resources — resources that are rivalrous (i.e., scarce, can be used up, unlike digital goods) yet need to be or should be governed as a commons — classically, things like water systems and the atmosphere. This work is cited by many scholars of non-rivalrous commons (e.g., knowledge commons) as laying the groundwork for their field. For example, a few excerpts from James Boyle’s recent book, The Public Domain, first from the acknowledgements (page ix):

Historical work by Carla Hesse, Martha Woodmansee, and Mark Rose has been central to my analysis, which also could not have existed but for work on the governance of the commons by Elinor Ostrom, Charlotte Hess, and Carol Rose.

Notes, page 264:

In the twentieth century, the negative effects of open access or common ownership received an environmental gloss thanks to the work of Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (1968): 1243–1248. However, work by scholars such as Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), and Carol Rose, “The Comedy of the Commons: Custom, Commerce, and Inherently Public Property,” University of Chicago Law Review 53 (1986): 711–781, have introduced considerable nuance to this idea. Some resources may be more efficiently used if they are held in common. In addition, nonlegal, customary, and norm-based forms of “regulation” often act to mitigate the theoretical dangers of overuse or under-investment.

Notes, page 266:

The possibility of producing “order without law” and thus sometimes governing the commons without tragedy has also fascinated scholars of contemporary land use. Robert C. Ellickson, Order without Law: How Neighbors Settle Disputes (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991); Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

In 2003 Ostrom herself co-authored with Charlotte Hess a paper contextualizing knowledge commons and the study of other commons: Ideas, Artifacts, and Facilities: Information as a Common-Pool Resource. It includes a citation of Creative Commons, which was just about to launch its licenses at the time the paper was written:

An example of an effective grassroots initiative is that taken by the Public Library of Science (“PLS”), a nonprofit organization of scientists dedicated to making the world’s scientific and medical literature freely accessible “for the benefit of scientific progress, education and the public good.”126 PLS has so far encouraged over 30,888 scientists from 182 countries to sign its open letter to publishers to make their publications freely available on the web site PubMed Central.127 By September 2002, there were over eighty full-text journals available at this site.128 Another new collective action initiative is the Creative Commons129 founded by Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle, and others to promote “the innovative reuse of all sorts of intellectual works.”130 Their first project is to “offer the public a set of copyright licenses free of charge.”131

The entire paper is an excellent read.

Congratulations to Elinor Ostrom, and to the Nobel Prize committee for making an excellent choice, highly relevant in today’s world. Hopefully this will only be the first of many grand prizes for the study of the commons.

I might humbly suggest that one place to look for the next generation of such research is the Free Culture Research Workshop, held October 23 at Harvard. In July we posted the CFP.

If you want to support the commons in practice right now, I suggest a donation to our 2009 fundraising campaign!

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Two great SF Bay Area events this Thursday! (10/15/09)

Allison Domicone, October 12th, 2009

Hey Bay Area friends – we’ve got two great CC events lined up this Thursday, one in Mountain View and one in San Francisco. Plus, a third event on Friday that is sure to be equally as great. We hope you can make it to one of them!


sclogo

Science Commons Salon: Creative Commons and LinkedIn are pleased to present an evening of thought-provoking discussions about Science 2.0 and strategies for faster, more efficient web-enabled scientific research. The evening will start with Pecha Kucha style talks. Following the opening talks, John Wilbanks will be moderating a discussion between Reid Hoffman and Joi Ito on Innovation in Open Systems.

When: Thursday, October 15th, 6pm
Where: LinkedIn Campus, Mountain View. (map and directions).


salon-sf

ccSalon SF : Creative Commons, KALW, and Chicago Public Radio’s Sound Opinions are pleased to present Chicago Tribune music critic and author Greg Kot in conversation with music journalist David Downs . Kot’s new book, Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music, explores the changing face of the music industry. Downs and Kot will discuss the book, as well as how digital sharing and participatory culture are shaping how music is created and consumed. Audience questions and discussion will follow the conversation.

When: Thursday, October 15, 7-9pm
Where: PariSoMa, 1436 Howard St. (map and directions). Plenty of street parking available. (Please note, the space is located up two steep flights of stairs, with no elevator access.)

Light refreshments will be provided, and since we rely on the generosity of our community to keep us afloat, we’ll be accepting donations for CC at the door.

Check out the event posting on Upcoming and let us know you’re coming on Facebook. We hope to see you there!


booksmith_photo

On Friday, Greg Kot will also be doing a reading, talk, and book signing at the Booksmith on Haight St. in San Francisco. If you’ll be missing the salon with Greg on Thursday, we encourage you to check out Friday’s reading! A handful of CC staff will be at the event, so be sure to say hi! Friday, October 16th, 7:30 pm.

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CC Talks With: A chat with Stephen Downes on OER

Jane Park, October 12th, 2009

A prominent member of the open education community, Stephen Downes is a researcher, blogger, and big thinker in open education and access related issues. He frequently debates with other open education advocates via the medium of the Internet, once in a while meeting up in person at conferences to hash out more of the same. I thought I might capture his slice of insight into the future of open educational resources and how he views them evolving in an ideal world.

CC BY-NC by Stephen Downes

CC BY-NC by Stephen Downes

So I caught up with him via Skype; and though different operating systems and timezones may have jumbled some of our conversation, I was still able to catch most of his words, if not the heart of his views. Below is our chat transcribed, in more or less the same fashion as it progressed.

Read More…

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Dealing with Legally Incompatible Content in OER

Jane Park, October 12th, 2009

Last month, ccLearn published “Otherwise Open: Managing Incompatible Content in OER“. For those of you who never got around to reading the paper, it basically provides an overview of the problem posed by the incorporation of “all-rights-reserved” materials into otherwise open educational resources (OER). It also explores ways of dealing with this problem and the trade-offs involved in relying on jurisdictional copyright exceptions and limitations, such as fair use or fair dealing. As the paper is intended to spur further inquiry and research globally, “Otherwise Open” does not offer concrete solutions to the problem right now.

However, the average OER creator cannot afford to wait, especially if they value their work as part of a global learning commons. In order for OER to be global, the copyright of the OER must be viable across jurisdictions. OER that are available under a CC license are global, as CC licenses are effective worldwide. But the inclusion of third party content that is not under the same terms of the license changes the global nature of OER, potentially walling it off from use in other countries. Thus, ccLearn has developed some practical recommendations and alternatives for those OER creators who are concerned with the global reach and impact of their works.

ccLearn Recommendations – Dealing with Legally Incompatible Content in OER

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are defined by the use of a Creative Commons license and are generally created by those who would like to share their work globally. However, some creators find the need to consider the costs and benefits of incorporating third-party materials with incompatible licenses into their “otherwise open” OER. This document recommends ways of managing or avoiding the problems that will arise.”

This and all ccLearn Recommendations and productions are licensed CC BY.

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