Cory Doctorow’s “For The Win”

Jane Park, May 11th, 2010


Longtime supporter of CC and NYTimes best selling author Cory Doctorow has released his latest work of fiction, For The Win, under a CC BY-NC-SA license. For The Win is about a virtual future of gamers, Big Sister, and shadow economies. Cory encourages you to remix the work and also to convert it to your favorite format. You can download the book for free, donate, or buy the book at his site.

His last book, Little Brother, was available for download under the same license and spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. For more on why Cory uses CC for his works, see his posts for Locus Magazine on Creative Commons and Why I Copyfight.

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Welcoming Annette Thomas and Melanie Cornwell to CC

Jane Park, May 10th, 2010

We are thrilled to announce today that Annette Thomas, CEO of Macmillan Publishers Ltd, has joined the Creative Commons Board of Directors, and that Melanie Cornwell, former Editorial Projects Director of Wired magazine, has joined CC staff as Vice President of Strategy.

Annette comes to the Creative Commons Board with many years of experience in publishing. She is the CEO of Macmillan Publishers, which deals with a wide range of science, education, and consumer fiction and nonfiction publishing. Prior to becoming CEO, Annette was the Managing Director of the Nature Publishing Group’s Nature Reviews series, which she helped establish as a major scholarly publisher. Annette is a member of the Verlagsgruppe von Holtzbrinck board of directors and a Governor of the Stephen Perse Foundation (Perse School for Girls) in Cambridge, UK. Annette received a B.S. in Biochemicaland Biophysical Sciences from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Yale University.

Melanie brings over 15 years of management, production and strategy experience to Creative Commons. While Editorial Projects Director at Wired magazine, she was the Executive Producer of Wired Science, a primetime PBS science series; daily Wired news reports on CBS Radio; and three documentaries about “WIRED NextFest” for the Discovery Channel. She produced the CC-licensed music video Keep on Dancing to Spoon’s “Don’t You Evah” and The WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share., a landmark 2004 CC CD featuring 16 artists such as the Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Gilberto Gil, My Morning Jacket and Danger Mouse. She also produced live events related to open issues, including “Who Owns Culture” with Jeff Tweedy and Lawrence Lessig and “The Battle Over Books: Authors and Publishers Take On Google Book Search.”

Creative Commons is very excited to work with Annette and Melanie on making knowledge easily, freely, and legally available to everyone.

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“Free Culture” officially introduced in the Czech Republic

Jane Park, May 10th, 2010


Over the weekend, the Czech Republic celebrated Liberation Day and officially introduced the complete Czech translation of Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture. The translation was the culminating work of fifty volunteers over three years, and was enabled by the CC BY-NC license of the original English publication. The Czech version is also available under the same license. Adam Hazdra, project initiator and coordinator, writes, “I hope it will contribute to the promotion of Creative Commons and free culture it aims to restore.”

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“Open Education” ccSalon Video Now Online!

Allison Domicone, May 7th, 2010

salon-sf

In case you missed this week’s Creative Commons Salon in San Francisco, you can now view it online thanks to our media sponsor, VidSF, who filmed and broadcast the event.

We heard from four stellar individuals involved in transforming the education landscape through the power of the internet and digital tools, such as open educational resources (OER). The presenters talked about their and other innovative projects rethinking what a textbook is, what a classroom can be, and how a person should learn. Especially enriching was the panel portion of the evening, when all four presenters came together for a thought-provoking discussion about the roadblocks to implementing a more open approach to education, from a policy perspective as well as in terms of practice, including the important issue of how to get teachers, already over-burdened, more involved in helping to build this pool of shared educational knowledge.

Watch the video now!

Thanks to pariSoma as always for the use of their wonderful space, and thanks to the evening’s presenters for their insight and expertise:

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CC Vietnam Celebrates Launch at OCWC Global Meeting

Michelle Thorne, May 7th, 2010

Today marks the celebration of the localized Creative Commons licenses in Vietnam, the fifty-third jurisdiction worldwide to adapt the Creative Commons licensing suite to national law. The Vietnam Education Foundation together with D&N International and Creative Commons have overseen the localization of the licenses in consultation with the Vietnamese public and key stakeholders in the jurisdiction.

The launch will take place at the Creative Commons workshop on May 7 at 1:00pm during the Open CourseWare Consortium’s (OCWC) fifth annual conference in Melia Hotel. The three-day OCWC event brings together educators, administrators, policy makers, and other interested participants to examine the capacity of Open CourseWare to effect large-scale educational improvement worldwide. Many Open CourseWare and Open Educational Resources (OER) use Creative Commons licenses to grant copyright permission to easily access, adapt, and discover the materials.

“At a time when Vietnam Is taking great efforts to improve education and strengthen its creative industries, I see the Creative Commons launch providing a firm foundation on which to build Vietnam’s education and creative sector in the digital age,” says Dr. Lynne McNamara, Executive Director of the Vietnam Education Foundation. “We greatly appreciate the support of the OCWC as well for making this event possible.”

“CC Vietnam led a masterful consultation with the Vietnamese public and incorporated that feedback into the licenses. The team continues to connect diverse expertise and passions for the betterment of the local community. Creative Commons looks forward to the many promising developments in this dynamic and dedicated region,” notes Diane Peters, General Counsel of Creative Commons.

The next phase of CC Vietnam will focus on building multi-stakeholder groups to promote legal sharing in a variety of fields, such as photography, education, and music. Institutions and individuals in Vietnam are welcome to contribute to developing a roadmap for the national project and to join the launch’s proceedings on May 7.

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Massively Multiplayer Game Ryzom Released as Free Culture and Free Software

Chris Webber, May 6th, 2010

Ryzom's Windfall
Ryzom's Windfall by Winch Gate / CC BY-SA

Today brings an exciting announcement… Winch Gate Properties Ltd. is releasing Ryzom, an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), with its code under the GNU AGPLv3 and its artistic assets under CC BY-SA.

Games are almost unique in how tightly the medium requires the interweaving of software and culture.  Amongst the many genres of video games that exist today, the MMORPG is probably the most complex and requires the most depth both on the side of the code and content.  Since Ryzom is a mature, well developed project, the scale of this release and its significance for both free culture and free software are both truly incredible.  In the words of Winch Gate’s own press release:

By freeing Ryzom code, Winch Gate is transforming the MMORPG marketplace and is setting a precedent for how gaming software should evolve–in freedom. The source code released totals over two (2) million lines of source code and over 20,000 high quality textures and thousands of 3D objects.

Some components aren’t released yet to the public (notably the music and sounds, although this is apparently in progress) and the world data for the main server isn’t being released to keep the player community from fracturing.  Notably also, the current tools for creating game data require proprietary software, but the Free Software Foundation notes that there are efforts under way to make these actions editable incorporating free software tools such as Blender.  However the components that are already available: the server code, the client code, and the many models, animations, textures and etc, already bring many great community opportunities.  The freeing of these resources opens them for study, modification, and incorporation into other works and games of compatible licenses.  And of course the existence of all these components also means that one can run a fully free-as-in-freedom virtual universe of one’s own.  If you ever dreamed of the carving of virtual worlds, here’s your great chance.

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Tenth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival: June 2nd, NYC

Cameron Parkins, May 3rd, 2010

Mark your calendars – Arts Engine is back with its annual Media That Matters Film Festival on June 2nd in New York City. The festival, now in its tenth year, showcases twelve social justice shorts selected by a fantastic jury of filmmakers and activists.

The premiere will take place at The Visual Arts Theater (Google Map) and will include not only the films featured but also a salon with some of the MTM presenting partners and a chance to meet the festival filmmakers. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance if you wish to attend in person.

Following the premiere, the films will be available for purchase under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives license on region-free unencrypted DVDs. This allows activists, educators, fans, and audiences to host their own non-commercial screenings of the shorts without having to negotiate complex contracts with MTM and the many different filmmakers participating in the festival. Those interested should preorder a DVD, check out MTM’s DIY Screening Guide, and add themselves to the list of existing screenings.

Visit the festival’s site for details, schedules, and downloads. Also, check out the video that Creative Commons and Arts Engine collaborated on in late 2008 that explains how CC licenses have helped filmmakers in the Media that Matters festival (more info and download available here).

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Tune in LIVE to tonight’s ccSalon at 7pm PDT

Allison Domicone, May 3rd, 2010

salon-sf

Can’t make it to tonight’s Creative Commons Salon in San Francisco? No problem! You’ll be able to tune in virtually thanks to the talented and generous folks at VidSF, our media sponsors for the event.

Watch the salon live at http://parisoma.com from 7-9pm PDT.

Use Identi.ca or Twitter to join the conversation with hashtag #ccsalon.

On the evening’s agenda:
Presentations from 7:15-8pm

Panel and discussion from 8:15-9pm:

When: Monday, May 3, 7-9pm
Location: PariSoMa, 1436 Howard St. (map and directions). Plenty of street parking available. (Please note, the space is located up two steep flights of stairs, and unfortunately does not currently have 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 Facebook and Upcoming.

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Phase 2 Results of the CA Free Digital Textbook Initiative

Jane Park, May 3rd, 2010

Last Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger announced the results from Phase 2 of the California Free Digital Textbook Initiative. A total of 17 textbooks, including updated versions from Phase 1, were submitted, and 15 have so far been reviewed against California’s academic content standards. Of those fifteen, ten carry a CC license (CC BY-SA or CC BY), two carry a GNU FDL license, and one is in the public domain. All but two of the CC licensed textbooks met 100% of California’s state standards. Major contributors included a number of individuals, in addition to the CK-12 Foundation and Connexions, two OER organizations that have a default CC license (CC BY-SA and CC BY, respectively) on their educational resources.

According to the press release, “Students and teachers have the flexibility to use these resources in a number of ways. They are downloadable and can be projected on a screen or viewed on a computer or hand-held device. They can also be printed chapter by chapter and bound for use in the classroom and be taken home by students.”

This is true for the CC BY and CC BY-SA licensed textbooks, as these licenses allow not only reuse and reproduction, but adaptation, which allows one to edit, improve, remix, or translate the resource.

For the complete results of Phase 2 and the draft report, visit the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) website.

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Web 2.0 Expo: Creating a Culture of Sharing

Mike Linksvayer, May 2nd, 2010

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2010Thursday a panel at Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco explores an important question for anyone building or participating in a website premised on collaboration among users — Creating a Culture of Sharing — maximizing collaboration and minimizing conflict and other costs.

This is an important question not only for entrepreneurs and communities, but for the commons generally — the success of which depends significantly on the vibrancy of sites where the commons is built. So I’m happy to participate on this panel with representatives of two such sites — Jack Herrick of wikiHow and Emily Richards of ArtisTech Media (which has run ccMixter since last year). The panel will be moderated by Josh Crandall of Netpop Research, which conducted a study on noncommercial use with Creative Commons last year.

Previewing the panel, the Web 2.0 Expo blog has published an excellent interview with Jack Herrick, worth reading in its entirety. Excerpt:

Kaitlin: So, out with it – how do you create a “Culture of Sharing”? Or at least, what would your 1 minute elevator pitch be?

Jack: We like to call wikiHow “built to share“. And we do it three ways:

  1. Build trust with your community. At wikiHow we do this via open content licensing and building and distributing our open source software.
  2. Build software which enables sharing and collaboration. A common example of this is to have tools to allow others to easily republish content on other sites.
  3. Walk the walk. Be accessible to your community and practice the behavior of sharing, openness that you want your community to adopt.
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