Mozilla releases Learning, Freedom & the Web (e)book

Timothy Vollmer, December 23rd, 2011

Anya Kamenetz and Mozilla have released a great book called Learning, Freedom & the Web. It details many of the activities and ideas generated at Mozilla’s eponymous festival held last year, “a 500 person meta-hackfest that took place in a Barcelona city square,” says Ben Moskowitz from Mozilla. The book features participant interviews, project highlights, photographs and blog posts from the festival, as well as related content from across the Web reflecting on ideas around learning, freedom and the Web. One CC-related project conceptualized at the Festival is OpenAttribute, a browser plugin that makes it simple for anyone to copy and paste the correct attribution for any CC licensed work. Learning, Freedom & the Web is available as PDF download, HTML5 web version, or printed book. The book is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) license.

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Kazakhstan and Rwanda: Two more CC Affiliates for 2011

Jessica Coates, December 23rd, 2011

Early morning in Almaty by Irene2005 / CC BY (resized) Volcano by johncooke / CC BY (resized)

As CC headquarters starts to wind down for the end of the year, it gives me great pleasure to announce two new CC Affiliates from Kazakhstan and Rwanda.

Led by Rauan Kenzhekhanuly and including Almas Nurbakytov, Nartay Ashim and Balashov Talgat, the Kazakhstan team is supported by Wikibilim, a non-profit organisation which is devoted to expanding the availability of free knowledge in the Kazakh language, focusing on forums such as the Kazakh Wikipedia. Wikibilim is supported by the Government of Kazakhstan and personally by the Prime-Minister Mr. Karim Masimov. The members of Wikibilim have a great deal of experience in the open community, and are working actively to promote open knowledge and free culture values in Kazakhstan, with a particular focus on increasing the quantity of Kazakh-language material available under open licences. Those who attended the recent Global Summit in Warsaw may have met Rauan and Almas, who were enthusiastic participants on behalf of their team.

The Rwanda team, led by Jacques Murinda and including Fred Byabagabo and Prosper Birama, is working in conjunction with the Open Learning Exchange (OLE), an NGO supported by the Rwandan Ministry of Education, which aims to provide universal access to basic education by 2015. The Rwandan team has been active in the CC Africa community for some time and is particularly focused on promoting open educational resources (OER) and open courseware (OCW) initiatives in the region.

We welcome both these teams to our affiliate network, and look forward to working with them as they develop the CC community in their regions.

This brings the total number of official CC affiliates at the end of 2011 to 72, the highest level since the project launched in 2002. A good start for our tenth birthday celebrations next year — see you all there!

Note – This article had previously incorrectly identified Wikibilim as the official representative of Wikimedia in Kazakhstan.

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9th birthday of the CC license suite!

Jane Park, December 16th, 2011


Get Creative! (video)

Happy Birthday CC! Today marks the 9th birthday of the CC license suite, as Version 1.0 was launched in 2002. Since then, more than 500 million works on the web have been made available under one of the CC licenses, free for the public to reuse, remix, or redistribute.

This year we saw CC adoption or policy integration by some major organizations, including Europeana, YouTube, Wired.com, the U.S. Department of Labor, national and local governments in Brazil, in addition to many others. We also published The Power of Open, a book featuring successful stories of CC creators sharing knowledge, art, and data using Creative Commons, and held a global summit for CC affiliates and community members from around the world in Warsaw. There, we kicked off the initial Version 4.0 discussion for the CC license suite, the public discussion for which was announced last week and is now underway. Currently, we are joining efforts with many other open organizations to prevent SOPA from passing.

I could go on, but I’ll stop here to say, Happy Birthday CC! To celebrate, watch the video we launched with our license suite in 2002: Get Creative! — and consider donating to our Annual Campaign, going on now! Remember: Your CC donation will be matched through December 25.

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Creative Commons at an International Seminar and Expert Meeting in Moscow

Jonas Öberg, December 16th, 2011


Picture of Светлана Князева, Дендев Бадарч and Юрий Хохлов during the opening of the seminar / Михаил Федин / CC BY-SA

Creative Commons’ Russian affiliate Institute of the Information Society (IIS), in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies, organized an international seminar and expert meeting on the 6th of December in Moscow. As the CC Regional Project Manager for Europe, I participated in the event together with representatives from Creative Commons in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

The seminar was attended by industry participants, organizations and representatives from Russian governments and federal agencies, including the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, Ministry of Education and Science, Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications, Federal Antimonopoly Service, State Duma of the Russian Federation, Research Center of Private Law at the President of the RF and the Chamber of Commerce.

IIS legal experts have prepared an analytical report, Use of Creative Commons Licenses in the Russian Federation (pdf), which was presented at the seminar. It contains conclusions and recommendations for future activities aimed at introducing Creative Commons in Russia, including discussion of potential legislative changes aimed at enabling the licence locally. It also contains an annex with information and results from the CC Global Summit 2011 in Warsaw in September 2011.

Other sessions at the seminar included presentations by representatives of each of the CC jurisdiction teams present, as well as critiques of the CC licences by local academics and the local Wikimedia chapter, with much of the discussion focusing on 4.0. The day finished with a special UNESCO-hosted session on OER.

For Creative Commons, the seminar was an excellent starting point for our future work in Russia, and the participation of Creative Commons affiliates from the CIS countries shows that there is a clear interest in working together in the regions. As part of its work, IIS will now start providing input to the recently launched Version 4.0 process, as well as continuing its work to raise awareness of Creative Commons with Russian authorities.

It’s very exciting to see this region grow; I’m very happy to see that there’s now a discussion around the upcoming Version 4.0, its relevance for Russia and the possibility for Russia to participate in the shaping of this important license suite for sharing culture globally!

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Report from the 2011 Annual Creative Commons board meeting

Joi Ito, December 16th, 2011

The Creative Commons Board of Directors held its annual board meeting on 9 December 2011. Board members appointed for additional terms were Glenn Brown (Director, Business Development, Media at Twitter), Prof. Michael Carroll (Director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Washington College of Law, American University), Davis Guggenheim (film director and producer), Esther Wojcicki (journalist and educator), and Annette Thomas (CEO of Macmillian Publishing). Officers for the coming year were also appointed: Catherine M. Casserly (President and CEO), Mike Linksvayer (Vice President), Diane Cabell (Secretary), Ted Rose (Treasurer), and Diane Peters (General Counsel).

Due to the expansion and geographical distribution of the Board members, it has become increasingly difficult to schedule meetings; therefore, a smaller Executive Committee has been established to convene on a more frequent basis and the quorum for full Board meetings was reduced. One of the Executive Committee’s first agenda items will be a review of CC’s new strategic plan.

To bring more expertise to the Board’s activities, an Executive Advisory Council has also been formed that will be chaired by the CEO. The Council will include both Board members and non-Board members in order to acquire the strongest possible input for CC decision-making. The Council will also be able to establish Task Forces that can tap into the wider CC community to help address issues of specific interest.

The 2012 preliminary budget was also approved.

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Urgent: more action needed to stop SOPA

Mike Linksvayer, December 14th, 2011

Update 12/16

The hearings are still going on; please keep calling, emailing, and otherwise spreading the word!


Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee will debate and potentially vote on SOPA, the Internet Blacklist bill that would break the Internet.

Our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have compiled a list of 12 actions you can take now to stop SOPA.

Do them.


Soon you’ll find a huge banner at the top of every page on the CC site protesting SOPA. The Wikimedia community is considering a blackout to bring massive attention to the danger posed by SOPA. Many others are taking action. What are you doing?

For background on the bill, why it would be especially bad for the commons, and links for news, check out our previous post calling for action against SOPA and a detailed post from Wikimedia’s General Counsel.

Finally, remember that CC is crucial to keeping the Internet non-broken in the long term. The more free culture is, the less culture has an allergy to and deathwish for the Internet. We need your help too. Thanks!

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Apply for the 2012 Google Policy Fellowship with Creative Commons

Timothy Vollmer, December 13th, 2011

We’re happy to announce that for the fourth year Creative Commons will take part in the Google Policy Fellowship program. Submit your application by February 3, 2012.

The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests. Fellows will have the opportunity to work at public interest organizations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government, and more.

The 2012 Google Policy Fellow will receive a substantial grant to work at Creative Commons’ office in Mountain View, California. We are looking for motivated candidates with partially-developed ideas in exploring a particular interest/expertise area, short research project, or related activity within the broad spectrum of open licensing and the commons. Past Google Policy Fellowship projects have included an analysis of the WIPO development agenda in relation to its effect on access to public domain materials, crucial research on the welfare impact of Creative Commons across various fields, and an investigation of the characterization of Creative Commons within U.S. legal scholarship over the past 10 years. We are very flexible in accommodating project ideas that will be mutually beneficial to the candidate and CC. We are interested in a wide range of activities, which could include conducting original research, researching and developing educational materials, or assisting in the development of activities/projects useful to our wide-ranging global community. Potential topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:

Encapsulated research within our CC contribution-study project. Examples include:

  • Studying changing license adoption patterns in a specific community (can be quantitative, qualitative or comparative, with analysis depending on relevant applicant background)
  • Studying changing license adoption patterns within a specific platform
  • Studying the contribution of the platform in a specific context (applicant choice or our direction)
  • Studying the contribution of the CC network in a specific context
  • Studying CC’s contribution to the movement (with or without a human rights perspective; along the lines of expanding creation/data contribution to otherwise “distant” communities/persons/places/domains)
  • Studying CC’s contribution to novel cultural fields
  • For all the former: design DB (data gathering)

CC and the School of Open

  • Help design challenges/courses around CC licenses, with a particular focus on how to certify and assess expertise on CC licenses and topics.
  • Work would involve testing/evaluation with a user/creator community to measure effectiveness of courses.
  • Develop documentation/case studies for different user/creator communities.

Research and development of CC related toolkits and guides

  • Researching trends in CC usage, messaging around trends, development of high quality case studies and toolkits.
  • Depending on applicant interest and CC needs, could create for CC in government adoption/public sector information, CC and innovative business models, etc.

International activities

  • Translation projects (requires familiarity/experience with CC community)
  • Community management projects (requires familiarity/experience in community management skills; applicant could usefully work on volunteers or team-model working groups projects)
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Your CC donation will be matched now through Dec 25

Jane Park, December 13th, 2011

Exciting news! The Brin-Wojcicki Foundation is offering Creative Commons a big boost as 2011 wraps up. The Foundation has generously offered to match dollar-for-dollar all donations up to $100,000 now through December 25th.

If you needed another reason to show your support for Creative Commons, take The Brin-Wojcicki challenge and help CC claim the full $100k, while showing your support for openness and sharing on the Internet. Go ahead, donate now!

The Brin-Wojcicki Foundation was started by Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google and his spouse, Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of the online genetics firm 23andMe. Anne’s mother Esther Wojcicki is Vice Chair of the Creative Commons Board of Directors and a long-time teacher at Palo Alto High School.

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CC is looking for a Director of Strategic Partnerships

Jane Park, December 12th, 2011


Donor Strategy cake / HowardLake / CC BY-SA

Creative Commons is looking for a Director of Strategic Partnerships! The Director of Strategic Partnerships will be responsible for building and executing a comprehensive fundraising strategy, focusing mainly on individual and corporate donations. This position will report directly to the Controller and work very closely with the CEO and Board of Directors.

The Director will join our team and office in Mountain View—a collaborative, community-building atmosphere grounded in an environment of mutual respect and trust. Ideal candidates are familiar with open source technology, copyright, and issues relating to creativity on the Internet, not to mention 5-7 years of nonprofit development experience and a successful track record in short and long-term strategic planning and implementation, including recruitment and maintenance of past, present and potential donors. See the full job description at our opportunities page.

Please email any inquiries, your cover letter and résumé to jobs [at] creativecommons.org with the subject heading of “Director of Strategic Partnerships Application.”

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CC News: Public Discussion Launches for Version 4.0 of the CC Licenses

Jane Park, December 12th, 2011

Stay up to date with CC news by subscribing to our weblog and following us on Twitter.

Public Discussion Launches for Version 4.0 of the CC Licenses

We are pleased to announce the beginning of the public discussion process that we expect to result in version 4.0 of the Creative Commons license suite. The 4.0 discussions held at the 2011 Global Summit confirmed for CC the need to commence the 4.0 discussion process now if we wish to consider issues relevant to important would-be adopters in a timely manner. As explained following legal sessions at the Summit, version 3.0 is working (and will continue to work) really well for many adopters, but the reality is different for others. Read more.

Stop [U.S.] American censorship of the Internet

The SOPA and Protect IP bills threaten every site on Internet, but would especially harm the commons. While standard public licenses like CC have lowered the costs and risks of legal sharing and collaboration, SOPA and Protect IP would drastically increase both the costs and risks of providing platforms for sharing and collaboration. Sites ranging from individual blogs to massive community projects such as Wikipedia to open education repositories to Flickr and YouTube could be in jeopardy if a single possibly infringing item causes an entire domain to be taken down. Read more.

 

Wired.com now releasing photos under CC Attribution-Noncommercial

We are thrilled to relay Wired.com’s announcement that from now on all Wired.com staff-produced photos will be released under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial license (CC BY-NC)! Wired.com’s Editor in Chief Evan Hansen says, “Creative Commons turns ten years old next year, and the simple idea of releasing content with “some rights reserved” has revolutionized online sharing and fueled a thriving remix culture. At Wired.com, we’ve benefited from CC-licensed photos for years — thank you sharers! Now we’re going to start sharing ourselves.” Read more.

In other news:

  • In related data news, Europeana has published its Licensing Framework, which supports re-use of data and content through CC legal tools (CC0, the Public Domain Mark, and CC BY-SA), providing guidelines for their appropriate applications.
  • The German UNESCO Commission released a practical guideline to open content licenses, featuring the CC license suite as its primary example.
  • A recent study by the Australian National Data Service found that the benefits of free and unrestricted public sector information (PSI) outweighed costs.
  • The first Spanish CC movie (in Catalàn) premiered in Spanish cinema. Check out "Interferències" under CC BY-NC-SA.
  • Creative Commons was at WIPO, represented by CC Costa Rica at the 8th Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • Lastly, this is just a friendly reminder that the White House wants your input on Public Access to Data and Publications by January 2, 2012.

Banner photo crop of "Trent Reznor" by Wired Photostream – CC BY-NC.

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