The White Cube Remix

Cameron Parkins, January 13th, 2010

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Oslo’s RAM Galleri is currently showing The White Cube Remix, a “sonic art” exhibition that features a collaborative soundtrack created by 68 ccMixter community members.

The project began in November 2009 when Rolf Gerstlauer, exhibit curator at RAM, approached ccMixter users Sackjo22 and Gurdonark about creating a collaborative soundtrack for the exhibit. The pair released two tracks – The White Cube (accapella) and Winter Lights (ambient) – and asked the ccMixter community to build from there. From ArtistTechMedia:

Gurdonark and SackJo22 first composed and recorded ambient samples and spoken word source material, reflecting the central themes of this exhibition — light and winter in the north, which were then contributed to the ccMixter community for remix under a Creative Commons license. In less than one month, more than 94 original compositions, from ambient music to chill beats, were created by international music makers at ccMixter specifically for the White Cube exhibit.

SackJo22 and Gurdonark compiled a playlist of these 94 original compositions onto an mp3 player that [is] installed in the RAM Galleri, thus providing more than six hours of original music as a soundtrack for the White Cube exhibition.

All of the tracks created for the project are released under a CC Attribution license, allowing them to be freely shared and reused as long as the original creators are attributed.

RAM will be hosting a symposium tomorrow (January 14th) between 7-9PM CET to discuss the project generally, how the soundtrack was created, and its relation to participatory culture in a broader sense. For those not based in Oslo, you can watch the symposium online via a dedicated video feed (browser plug-in instillation required) – the required meeting ID number is 64858:

Contained In: The Continuous Production of the Ultimate White Cube?
Moderator: Carl Mattias Ekman (architect, scholar PHD AHO)

Participants:
Susan Joseph (ccMixter – initiator of the white cube remix project)
Robert Nunnally (ccMixter – initiator of the white cube remix project)
Emily Richards (ccMixter and ArtisTech Media)
Gisle Hannemyr (CreativeCommons.no)
Frode Gether-Rønning (IT-director, AHO)
Rolf Gerstlauer (architect, curator of the exhibition, professor AHO)

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FMA Guest Curator: Catching The Waves

Cameron Parkins, January 12th, 2010

Late last year we began reaching out to those working to expose and support CC-licensed music for help with our curator portal at the Free Music Archive. Our first guest curator was ccMixter admin Victor Stone, whose mix highlighted the talent of the ccMixter community. Now, we are happy to present the second mix in the series, featuring some incredible tracks selected by CC/netlabel music blog Catching The Waves:

I am deeply honoured to join in the fun at the FMA. My mix consists of some of the best tracks from some of the best albums that have been lassooed (SP) at CTW. It features lots of different genres, tempi and moods (rock, IDM, trip-hop, minimal, folk, ambient, etc.,) from as far afield as Germany, Japan, Colombia, the United States, France, Canada, Italy and the U.K. It was murderously difficult to whittle the mix down to a still unwieldy twenty tracks. It would be wonderful if people who were new to netlabels, and CC music in general, stumbled upon these songs and realised, as I did, that there’s a whole world of wonderful music just waiting to be discovered – and that it’s all free, legal and made by artists who want their music to be downloaded, copied and shared. Catching the waves can be fun…

You can listen to the whole mix at our FMA Curator Portal. Big thanks to Catching The Waves for the excellent selection!

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Be The Media: Independent Media Handbook Featuring CC Chapter

Cameron Parkins, January 11th, 2010

BeTheMedia2008webBe The Media is a book for anyone looking to create, distribute, and engage with digital media. Compiled by David Mathison, the book features articles on how individuals are taking control of their own media production and distribution (Part One: The Personal Media Renaissance) and how communities are developing around these producers to showcase their work (Part Two: The Community Media Renaissance).

The book features a chapter on Creative Commons and the Open Source movement, with essays from former CC General Counsel Mia Garlick and Free Software Foundation President Richard Stallman. This chapter, along with nine others, is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike license.

You can download the chapter on CC for free (registration required) and purchase the entire book at Be The Media‘s website – a recommended read for those invested in new methods of online creation and distribution.

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A Special Thanks to LuLu.com

Melissa Reeder, January 8th, 2010

The Creative Commons gratefully acknowledges support on behalf of Lulu.com in the form of a $50,000 annual five-year grant. The grant is from the Beal Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation. This substantial investment demonstrates Lulu’s commitment to participatory culture and we are particularly grateful for it.

Lulu was founded in 2002 to empower creators to succeed, to provide them with the tools and services to reach audiences without having to abide arbitrary rules and restrictions of the past. Since that time, the company has helped more than 1 million creators around the world and touched off a revolution that continues to reshape the publishing industry. Lulu has long been a supporter of Creative Commons and this financial contribution helps ensure a vibrant future.

“Lulu works every day to solve the problems of authors, educators, researchers and other content creators,” said Bob Young, Lulu’s founder and CEO. “We’re proud to support Creative Commons and its innovative solutions to this particularly complex issue. Its goal is the same as ours; to encourage and enable creators to bring their works to the world.”

Bob was an initial investor in Creative Commons, and we’re grateful to have his continued support. If you too believe in the power of participatory culture, please join Bob and Lulu in investing in CC. Help us ensure a healthy, thriving global commons for future creators.

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To Shoot An Elephant Global Screening: Jan 18th, 2010

Cameron Parkins, January 6th, 2010

genesis_DARK_logoThe team behind To Shoot An Elephant, the award-winning CC Attribution-Share Alike CC Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike licensed documentary we learned about late last year, are organizing a global screening of the film for Jan 18th, 2010:

From the To shoot an elephant team we are calling on any individual, group or collective to organise a screening on the 18th of January 2010; it doesn’t matter where, at what time, or in what way it is done, the only condition being, that there is no charge or entry fee. Be it in a town square, a cinema, a theatre, cultural centre, school or college, the headquarters of a collective, social centre, squat centre…

You can obtain the film by purchasing the DVD, emailing the production team, or downloading the torrent. Learn more about the film, which focuses on turmoil in the Gaza Strip, as well as make a donation at the To Shoot An Elephant website.

UPDATE: The TSAE team has made the list of planned screenings available online.

UPDATE #2: The film To Shoot An Elephant is licensed under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike license – the film’s website is licensed under a CC Attribution-Share Alike license.

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Final campaign total: $533,898.68!

Melissa Reeder, January 6th, 2010

THANK YOU to everyone who donated to our annual fundraising campaign, who bought swag from our online store, and who helped spread the word to friends and colleagues asking for their support of CC over the past three months. Thanks to you, we were able to meet and exceed our goal, raising a total of $533,898.68 from individuals, family foundations, and companies around the world. We are honored to have so much support, despite a grim economic climate and amidst calls of support from so many worthy causes.

In the spirit of transparency, here’s a more precise breakdown of the funds we raised during this campaign. We had a greater number of donations from individual supporters – users, advocates, and friends of Creative Commons just like you – than in any previous year; 1,296 individuals from countries around the world contributed whatever amount they were able in support of the commons, giving a total of $234,798.68. While this number is larger than it ever has been before, it is still relatively tiny compared to the scope and breadth of Creative Commons and the number of users and CC licenses (over a quarter of a billion) that currently exist in the world. We’re hoping to see this gap narrow as Creative Commons becomes more self-sustaining, with our users and supporters giving enough back to the organization to support our core operations.

This year’s corporate support came from the following companies and totaled $237,500:
Attributor
Canonical
Consumer Electronics Association
Current Media
Digital Garage
eBay
Greenplum
Lulu
Microsoft Corporation
Seed
Tucows
Twitter
WhippleHill
wikiHow

We also extend a heartfelt thanks to the following family foundations for their contributions totaling $61,600:
Doug and Betsey Schwab Family Foundation
Elbaz Family Foundation
Harnisch Foundation
Vadasz Family Foundation
Markle Foundation
Lewis Foundation
Tom and Susan Rabon Charitable Foundation


We asked our supporters to fill out a questionnaire and tell us why they chose to support CC this year. Here is what a few of you had to say:

“I strongly believe in new ways of licensing creativity.”
“I believe the commons is important for culture and society.”
“CC is needed to change the creative world from being self protective to being open and sharing.”
“Because I fervently believe in personal freedom and CC is about Freedom.”

If you donated this year, but missed the questionnaire, I encourage you to fill it out so that we can continue to improve our fundraising and awareness efforts.

We always welcome your support. We expect 2010 to be a year of many exciting projects and milestones – you can help ensure that by donating, buying swag, licensing your creative works and using CC-licensed material.

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Honorary Doctorate Awarded to CC Founder Lawrence Lessig

Michelle Thorne, January 6th, 2010

The University of Amsterdam will present CC founder Lawrence Lessig with an honorary doctorate for his scholarship in cyberlaw and his advocacy to design a standard for open content licenses, Creative Commons. Prof. Bernt Hugenholtz of the Institute for Information Law (IvIR) will confer the degree on Prof. Lessig this Friday, Jan. 8.

The following day, Prof. Lessig joins several speakers at an academic symposium on open access publishing, organized by IvIR and Creative Commons Netherlands. If you cannot make the ceremony but would like to hear Prof. Lessig speak about copyright, you may find this recent talk of interest.

On behalf of the creators who’ve benefited from your remarkable work, thank you and congratulations, Prof. Lessig!

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Thank You to Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales

Mike Linksvayer, January 5th, 2010

Wikipedia also wrapped up a wildly successful fundraiser at the end of the year. See below for Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’ thank you letter to the community, reproduced in full under CC BY-SA, the license Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites migrated to last June. Note “support our friends” at the end — it is a great honor for CC to be in such esteemed company!

Wow. What can I say? Thank you.

We’ve just ended the most successful fundraiser in our history, $7.5 million USD raised in less than 8 weeks.

Incredible. But I’m not surprised.

In 2001, I took a bet on people, and you’ve never let me down.

You have created the largest collection of human knowledge ever assembled: 14 million encyclopedia articles in 270 languages, still growing and getting better every day. You have supported, funded and protected it.

Advertising doesn’t pay for Wikipedia. You do. Wikipedia is the fifth most visited website on earth – 340 million people last month – and we run our servers and pay our lean staff entirely with donations.

Your donations keep Wikipedia free to use and free of ads. Your donations keep spreading free access to knowledge all across the earth.

Thank you for everything you give to make Wikipedia a reality. I’ve been inspired by your comments, and feel privileged to witness your passion for Wikipedia.

  • “When I’m at a loss for answers in life, you are always here to rescue me!” – Lauren Sierra
  • “To my 6-year-old son, Wikipedia is a wonderful window into the world’s knowledge.” – Pilgrim Beart

  • “Wikipedia é muito importante para todos. É uma conquista da humanidade.” – Fernando Borba
  • “Wikipedia is all about fulfilling one simple need: immediate access to high quality information on any topic you can think of. That is why I’m glad to support it.” – Joao Nunes

It’s an amazing story. There’s nothing else like it.

And if you haven’t yet made a contribution to support Wikipedia, it’s not too late. You can still make a gift to support the free and open sharing of knowledge. Just click here.

I also encourage you to support our friends:

Thank you again.

Wikipedia forever,

Jimmy Wales

Founder, Wikipedia

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First Annual World’s Fair Use Day

Timothy Vollmer, January 5th, 2010

WFUD_logo2

The First Annual World’s Fair Use Day (WFUD) will be held on Tuesday January 12, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (with events kicking off Monday night). WFUD is being organized by Public Knowledge, and will bring together a wide variety of individuals and groups interested in fair use, including artists, scholars, policymakers, entrepreneurs, media professionals, and consumer advocates. Says PK:

World’s Fair Use Day is a free, all-day celebration of the doctrine of fair use: the legal right that allows innovators and creators to make particular uses of copyrighted materials. WFUD will take place at the Newseum in Washington D.C. on Tuesday January 12, 2010, and will be organized by Public Knowledge (PK), a Washington D.C.-based non-profit, consumer-advocacy group. PK works to ensure that communications and intellectual property policies encourage creativity, further free expression and discourse and provide universal access to knowledge. As part of its campaign to return balance to copyright law, PK hopes to use WFUD to educate the public about the importance of fair use in an information society.

The events are free and open to the public, but RSVP is requested. Come say hello at the CC table in between sessions on Tuesday. See PK’s preview of the festivities and the WFUD site for all the pertinent information.

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Public Domain Day 2010 and Beyond

Diane Peters, January 1st, 2010

Creative Commons has been celebrating Public Domain Day – January 1st – for several years, alongside many others who are similarly passionate about the value of the public domain and the need to prevent its demise. Each year on this day, copyright protection expires for millions of creative works, allowing those works to be used, repurposed and built upon by anyone, without restriction or need for permission.

This year we are excited to witness a growth in the number of organizations and websites dedicated to celebrating and promoting this day. COMMUNIA, the European Thematic Network on the Digital Public Domain and an organization in which Creative Commons is a member, has started a new website devoted to Public Domain Day that includes resources such as public domain calculators, information about countries’ copyright terms, and related information.  The “project aims at increasing public awareness of this celebration and educating about the Public Domain concept and its potentialities for spreading culture and knowledge worldwide.”

As well, the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University has several valuable web pages dedicated to Public Domain Day, including a detailed FAQ.  As the site explains, “On the first day of each year, Public Domain Day celebrates the moment when copyrights expire. The films, photos, books and symphonies whose copyright term has finished become “free as the air to common use” (quoting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis).

As Creative Commons embarks on its 8th year, plans are well underway to increase our focus and effort in the public domain arena.  Here are a few highlights of what you can look forward to:

  • In 2009, we launched the CC0 waiver, a tool that allows creators to effectively place their works in the public domain through a waiver of all copyright to the extent permitted by law.  This coming year, Creative Commons will publish for comment and adoption norms – non binding, community-based guidelines such as how to properly cite the author – to accompany CC0.  Look for more information about norms in early Spring.
  • As a complement to CC0, which is designed to add content to the public domain, in 2010 we will also be increasing development efforts on our public domain assertion tool.  This tool will enable members of the public and organizations such as libraries and museums to mark and tag public domain works available over the Internet.  Although long in the development cycle, the demand and desire for such a protocol endures.  Look for more information about our development plans soon.
  • As always, Creative Commons will continue its public domain work in other fora, such as COMMUNIA WG6 (Mapping the Public Domain).

These initiatives, together with those of many other like-minded organizations and individuals, are critical to the construction and maintenance of the public domain.  We hope you will join us in our efforts to build, preserve and make easily accessible this shared cultural resource.

Happy Public Domain Day 2010!

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