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2013 February

CC News: White House Supports Open Access

Elliot Harmon, February 28th, 2013

Creative Commons

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Law Books
Law Books
Kolinio Niumataiwalu / CC BY-NC-SA

We’re nearing the finish line for version 4.0 of the CC license suite. Find out what’s new in Draft 3 and what issues are stil being discussed.

School of Open
School of Open logo

Join the School of Open! Our first classes are officially launching on March 11, as a part of the Open Education Week celebration.

Seal of the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy
US Office of Science and Technology Policy
Public Domain

The White House has issued a groundbreaking directive supporting public access to publicly funded research.

Open Science Brainstorming
Open Science Brainstorming
Billy Meinke / CC BY

Creative Commons, PLOS, and OKFN hosted a course sprint last weekend to develop a new open science curriculum.

 

In other news:

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Join us in Buenos Aires for our Global Summit 2013

Jessica Coates, February 28th, 2013

Night over the bridge
Night over the bridge / Luis Argerich / CC BY

Finally the announcement you’ve all been waiting for – the Creative Commons Global Summit 2013 will be held from 21 to 24 August in beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This biannual gathering of CC friends and family will be co-hosted by our local Creative Commons affiliates, Fundación Vía Libre and Wikimedia Argentina and will take place at the San Martín Cultural Center. We’re particularly excited by the choice of Buenos Aires as the host city – not only because it is a world-renowned cultural hub and the home to some fabulous open access projects, but also because this is the first time our global community will meet in a Spanish-speaking country.

The event will bring together Creative Commons affiliates from the around the world with the CC board, its staff, key stakeholders, local representatives, and others interested in the present and future of the commons. Attendees will discuss strategies to strengthen Creative Commons and its worldwide community, learn about the latest developments in the commons movement worldwide, and showcase local and international projects that use Creative Commons licenses. Topics covered will include the implementation of open policies in areas such as government, education, culture, business, science, data, and more, as well as related topics such as free software, license development, collecting societies, and copyright advocacy. Watch for a call for papers/workshops/events soon.

The event is free for all attendees, although registration is required, and will include a Spanish-language stream to highlight the expertise of the local community. You can find out more information at our wiki site here.

We hope to see you in Buenos Aires in August.

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Debrief: Sprinting to Build an Open Science Course

Billy Meinke, February 27th, 2013

Course Sprint Welcome Sign
Photo by
Billy Meinke / CC-BY

Celebrating Open Data

Open Data Day 2013 can be described as a success. Why? Because hundreds of people participated in more than 100 events distributed across six continents all over the world, celebrating open data and all that we can do with it. Here at CC, we planned and executed a community-supported event to build open learning resources around the topic of Open Science, done in a hackathon-style sprint event that gathered people with diverse backgrounds and experience levels. An undergraduate student and a post-doc researcher, both from Stanford. An instructional designer from Los Angeles and an associate professor from Auburn University, plus a handful more of very talented people. Oh, and a mother and high school-aged daughter duo that simply wanted to see what “open” is about. We all connected to help build an open course to teach others about Open Science. Here’s how we did it.

Open Content for Learning

It’s worth mentioning that the course materials that were produced during the sprint will be openly licensed CC BY and shared so that their benefit to Open Education and Open Science are not restricted by legal boundaries. The material is being curated and will undergo a review process over the next couple weeks before being ported to the School of Open, a collaborative project by Creative Commons, P2PU, and a strong volunteer community of “open” experts and organizations. Though fitting the content to P2PU’s online course platform was in the back of our minds, time and consideration were largely placed on identifying important ideas that explain what Open Access, Open Research, and Open Data mean for Open Science, and how we can engage more “young scientists” (this is an ever-broadening term) in the ways of Open.

Course Sprinters
Photo by
Billy Meinke / CC-BY

The Net Works Effect*

Adding a layer on top of open content itself, which is elastic in nature, our approach to this hackathon-style event focused on being very lean, the type of event that can be run by anyone, anywhere, and requiring very few resources. We created a Google Drive folder and a set of publicly-editable documents to collect openly-licensed resources, map out a tentative module/lesson plan, coordinate communications between participants, and generally provide a single place to collaborate on Open Science learning materials. Connecting with other event organizers at the OKFN and PLOS, mailing lists, Twitter hashtags, and other forms of communication were established so that there was a support network for those who were organizing events and those who were interested in participating in Open Data Day events on some level. David Eaves, Rufus Pollock, Ross Mounce, and many others were loud and clear on the Open Data Day mailing list, making sure news about each event was passed around.

Before the event, a registration page was created for the course sprint. We offered a handful of in-person tickets for folks to come down to our office in Mountain View, as well as a number of remote participant tickets for those who were in different geographical locations. Google Hangout “rooms” were set up on laptop computers placed in physical conference rooms at the CC HQ, allowing remote participants to work in real-time with persons on the ground. To see a more detailed description of the day’s event, see the schedule document here.

Deliverables

So what did we make? The sprinters involved in the project collected and organized resources that explain common aspects of Open Science. The main sections (access, methods, data) were helpful in searching for content, but there was a great deal of overlap between sections, which highlighted the relationhips between them. Beyond the collection of resources, sets of tasks were built that are meant to guide learners out beyond the course and into the communities of Open Science, interacting with the ideas, technical systems, and people who are opening up science. The Introduction to Open Science course on P2PU is still in a lightly-framed state, but the plan is to include the course in the launch of the School of Open during Open Education Week, March 11-15. If you’re interested in helping make this transition or to help build or review other courses that we call “open,” come introduce yourself in the School of Open Google Group. Or check out what else is happening on P2PU.

Open Research Module of Course

Beyond the course itself, we’re going to take a look at the sprint process we used, and work out some of the kinks. This rapid open-content creation technique is manageable, low-cost, and builds the Commons. There’s enough openly-licensed content existing on the web to produce a range of learning experiences, so now it seems that it’s a matter of developing open technology tools to the point where we can build education on the web together, easily. For more information about this and other Open Education projects being worked on by Creative Commons, see this page.

We Got Together for Open

Thanks to those who were able to participate in the Open Science course, as well as those who contributed the planning documents leading up to the event. We’ve done well.

Related Posts

PLOS Sci-Ed Blog, Guest Post: Open Data Day, Course Sprints, and Hackathons!
David Eaves’ Blog, International #OpenDataDay: Now at 90 Cities (and… the White House)
Debbie Morrison’s Blog, A Course Design ‘Sprint’: My Experience in an Education Hackathon

Also: The Flickr album from the event can be found here.

*This phrase coined by P. Kishor here, describing the interconnectedness of Open Data Day events.

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School of Open will launch during Open Education Week

Jane Park, February 26th, 2013

As promised, the School of Open is launching its first set of courses during Open Education Week, March 11-15, 2013. This means that all facilitated courses will open for sign-up that week, and all stand-alone courses will be ready to take then or anytime thereafter. The School of Open is a community of volunteers developing and running online courses on the meaning and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, research, and beyond. To be notified when courses launch, sign up for School of Open announcements.

Facilitated courses

Facilitated courses run for a set period of weeks after sign-up. Four courses will be open for sign-up the week of March 11. They are:

  • Copyright 4 Educators (Aus) – A course for educators in Australia who want to learn about copyright, open content and licensing.
  • Copyright 4 Educators (US) – A course for educators in the US who want to learn about copyright law.
  • Creative Commons for K-12 Educators – A course for elementary educators who want to find and adapt free resources for their classes, and incorporate activities that teach their students digital world skills.
  • Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond – A course on how to edit Wikipedia articles, focusing on articles covering the open educational resources (OER) movement.

Stand-alone courses

Ten new courses will be ready to take at any time independently after March 11. They are:

  • A Look at Open Video – An overview of open video for students interested in developing software, video journalists, editors and all users of video who want to take their knowledge further.
  • Open up your institution’s data – A course for GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) professionals interested in opening up their institution’s data.
  • Contributing to Wikimedia Commons – A course to get you acquainted with uploading your works to the commons – a repository of openly licensed images from all over the world.
  • dScribe: Peer-produced Open Educational Resources – A course where you can learn the ins and outs of building OER together with your peers.
  • Open Science: An Introduction – A course for both seasoned and new researchers who want to learn what makes science “open”, how they can find/use/build on open scientific works, and share their contributions back to the commons.
  • Open Detective – This course will explore the scale of open to non-open content and how to tell the difference.
  • How to run an “open” workshop – A course to prepare people for the delivery of workshops on Free Culture, Openness and related topics in informal spaces.
  • Get a CC license. Put it on your website – A simple break-down of how to apply the CC license of your choice to your website so that it aligns with marking and metadata best practices.
  • Open habits: making with the DS106 Daily Create – An hour-long challenge about building openness into your daily routine.
  • Teachingcopyright.org (in Spanish) – A Spanish language course based on EFF’s http://teachingcopyright.org.

Events

In addition to courses, School of Open launch events are being held around the world in Germany, Kenya, Sudan, the U.S., and online. They are:

  • CC Kenya’s School of Open launch (Feb 23 in Riruta, Kenya) – CC Kenya introduced the School of Open at the Precious Blood Secondary School this past Saturday. They hope to introduce the concept of “open” to high school students all over the country and engage them in the use of Open Education Resources (OER). Read about their efforts so far and stay tuned for a guest blog post reporting on how it went!
  • Open Science Course Sprint: An Education Hackathon for Open Data Day (Feb 23 in Mountain View, US) – A sprint to build an intro course on open science also took place on Saturday. The debrief on that event is here.
  • P2PU’s School of Open meets Wikimedia (March 3 in Berlin, Germany) – As part of Open Ed Week, CC Germany and Wikimedia Germany are putting on a workshop to create and translate School of Open courses into German, and to brainstorm ideas for new German courses about Wikipedia.
  • Open Video Sudan (March 10-17 in Khartoum, Sudan) – Following on the open video course sprint in Berlin last year, the Open Video Forum is holding another open video course creation workshop in Sudan.
  • School of Open at Citizen Science Workshop (March 10 in Los Angeles, US) – School of Open will join the monthly Citizen Science Workshop at the LA Makerspace to introduce the School, talk about open science data, and present the new intro to open science course.
  • P2PU: A Showcase of Open Peer Learning (March 13 on the web) – This Open Ed Week webinar led by P2PU School of Ed’s Karen Fasimpaur will showcase some of P2PU’s best learning groups spanning topics from education to open content to programming to Spanish and more. Mark your calendars to join virtually on March 13 @ 3pm US PST / 10pm GMT.

Help us launch!

Here are 5 simple things you can do to get the word out to as many people as possible and make this launch a success:

For the next two weeks, we are reviewing and finalizing courses for launch. If you want to help with any of that, please join the School of Open discussion list and introduce yourself.


School of Open logo incorporates "Unlock" icon from The Noun Project collection / CC BY

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OERu: Distinctively Open

Paul Stacey, February 26th, 2013

While mainstream attention has been focused on MOOCs, the Open Educational Resource university (OERu) has been developing a parallel education offering which is distinctively open.

The OERu aims to provide free learning to all students worldwide using OER learning materials with pathways to gain credible qualifications from recognized education institutions.

Like MOOCs, the OERu will have free open enrollment. But OERu’s open practices go well beyond open enrollment.

The OERu uses an open peer review model inviting open public input and feedback on courses and programs as they are being designed. At the beginning of 2013, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority approved a new Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education to be developed as OER and offered as part of OERu offerings. OERu recently published the design blueprint and requested public input and feedback for the Open Education Practice elective, one of a number of blueprints for OERu courses.

OERu course materials are licensed using Creative Commons licenses (CC-BY or CC-BY-SA) and based solely on OER (including open textbooks). In addition, OERu course materials are designed and developed using open file formats (easy to revise, remix, and redistribute) and delivered using open-source software.

The OERu network offers assessment and credentialing services through its partner educational institutions on a cost-recovery basis. Through the community service mission of OERu participating institutions, OER learners have open pathways to earn formal academic credit and pay reduced fees for assessment and credit.

OERuBlogPostImage

Open peer review, open public input, open educational resources, open textbooks, open file formats, open source software, open enrollments – the OERu is distinctively open.

Congratulations to the OERu on its second anniversary and its upcoming international launch in November.

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White House issues directive supporting public access to publicly funded research

Timothy Vollmer, February 22nd, 2013

Today, the White House issued a Directive supporting public access to publicly-funded research.

John Holdren, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, “has directed Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.”

Each agency covered by the Directive (54 KB PDF) must “Ensure that the public can read, download, and analyze in digital form final peer reviewed manuscripts or final published documents within a timeframe that is appropriate for each type of research conducted or sponsored by the agency.”

The Directive comes out after a multi-year campaign organized by Open Access advocates, and reflects a groundswell of grassroots support for public access to the scientific research that the public pays for. Of course, the White House Directive is issued on the heels of the introduction of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR). Both the Directive and the FASTR legislation are complementary approaches to ensuring that the public can access and use the scientific research it pays for.

We applaud this important policy Directive. While the Directive and FASTR do not specifically require the application of open licenses to the scientific research outputs funded with federal tax dollars, both actions represent crucial steps toward increasing public access to research.

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The Net Works Effect: Open Data Day 2013

Puneet Kishor, February 22nd, 2013

There are many ways we can measure the effect of the work we do — count the number of objects licensed with CC licenses, count the number of users who have used CC licenses, count the number of works created by reuse of works licensed with CC licenses, perhaps many other ways. But the one that is most immediately visible, and most satisfying, is seeing events of spontaneous openness appear as is for the international celebration of Open Data Day taking place tomorrow, February 23. Well, perhaps not so spontaneous, because organizing events takes planning, work, contacts, brainstorming, publicizing, and more.

Our own Billy Meinke is organizing an event at the CC HQ in Mt. View, and has also written more on the event here and around the world in a guest blog post on PLOS. Check it out, organize an event, or attend one near you. Heck, attend one far away by joining in over the web where possible. After all, that is how the net works.

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School of Open returns to Berlin for a workshop with Wikimedia Germany

Jane Park, February 20th, 2013

Wikimedia Office in Berlin

Wikimedia Office in Berlin / Hari Prasad Nadig / CC BY-SA

On March 2nd, the Creative Commons & P2PU School of Open will join forces with Wikimedia at the Wikimedia Germany offices in Berlin! As part of Open Education Week, CC Germany and Wikimedia Germany are kicking things off early with a workshop to introduce P2PU and the School of Open, and to create and translate School of Open courses in German, in addition to brainstorming ideas for new courses about Wikipedia as part of the School.

Event details

What: School of Open workshop
When: 2nd of March, 11 – 16:00
Where: Wikimedia Germany Offices, Obentrautstr. 72, 10963 Berlin
Who: Wikimedia Germany, Creative Commons Germany, P2PU community, all enthusiastic promoters of free knowledge with the desire to share their knowledge
RSVP: Space will accommodate up to 25 participants; please send an email to legal@creativecommons.de by Feb 27th so that we can keep track of who’s coming.
Language: Likely German

From Wikimedia Germany’s blog (and via Google translate),

“We want to start the year with a workshop with Creative Commons and the initiative “School of Open”! The initiative of Creative Commons and the Peer-2-Peer University (P2PU) aims to develop online courses that help you create free content and tools to use and develop. There are English courses on Wikipedia and the use of free content, but as of yet nothing in German. Also, the subject of “free educational content” is not yet represented in courses. So there is still much to do. As part of Open Education Week further work is required.

Together, we want to work intensively on the expansion of the existing courses. It will focus on tools and topics related to free access to knowledge. Anyone can create courses and remix existing courses on their own — but it’s best to share. After some brief input from Creative Commons, we will start working. So bring your ideas, and let’s share our knowledge!”

To participate, please RSVP to legal@creativecommons.de by February 27th!

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Apply now for 2013 Google Policy Fellowship at Creative Commons

Timothy Vollmer, February 19th, 2013

Update: Please be sure to apply at the Google Policy Fellowship website.

For the fifth year, Creative Commons will take part in the Google Policy Fellowship program. It’s fantastic to see that Google has expanded the number and diversity of groups involved in the fellowship program. This year there are participating organizations from Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America.

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 2013 Google Policy Fellow will receive a grant to work at Creative Commons’ office in Mountain View, California.

Past CC Google Policy Fellows have worked on a wide variety of projects. These have included surveying intellectual property and licensing policies of philanthropic foundations, 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.

We look 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. In 2013 we are particularly interested in working with fellows interested in supporting education and advocacy efforts around open policies so that publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources. One specific project we are looking for assistance on is the development of an Open Policy Network. We are very flexible in accommodating project ideas that will be mutually beneficial to the candidate and CC. The project work with CC will not be supervised by an attorney.

Please be sure to apply before March 15, 2013, and good luck.

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4.0 draft 3 published – final comment period underway

Diane Peters, February 14th, 2013

“… Civile”

“… Civile” / umjanedoan / CC BY

It’s a fitting start to CC’s second decade as a license steward that we are publishing for comment the third and final draft of version 4.0.

This draft has been long in the making, but we think it’s all the better for the extended discussion and drafting period, and therefore that much closer to finalization and realizing its full potential as an international license suite.

New in Draft 3

Much of our attention since publishing draft 2 has been focused on improving the license in ways tied to key objectives we had in mind when this process started a little more than a year ago.

Sui generis database rights – a weighty factor in our decision to version – are now handled more thoroughly and clearly. The changes introduced in draft 3 will be of particular benefit for data projects and communities forced to manage the complexities of licensing those rights in addition to copyright. The 4.0 suite will provide more certainty about application of the license and the obligations of re-users of data where those right apply. The revisions also reinforce CC’s policy of combatting the expansion of sui generis database rights beyond the borders of the few countries where they exist. Those rights and obligations remain safely confined.

Interoperability has been a second, important objective of this versioning process. Our BY and BY-NC licenses have never specified how adaptations may be licensed. This is a source of confusion at times for users, especially for those remixing materials under a variety of licenses whether within or external to the CC suite. In draft 3, we have introduced provisions specifying how contributions to adaptations built from BY and BY-NC licensed material must be licensed. The rule we introduce should be intuitive for most (and has always been true), and will be easily recognized by others because of its foundation in copyright. We are eager to hear feedback on whether it’s a workable rule in practice. If so, then these new provisions will clear the way for increased interoperability between those two licenses and other public licenses.

We have also introduced a number of features to better ensure that works can be reused as the licenses (and licensors) intend. We recognize that licensors are often required or encouraged to apply technological protection measures when distributing their works through large platforms, and that those TPMs can prevent the public from using the CC-licensed work as the license permits (reproduce, modify, share, etc.). The license is now clear that if users choose to circumvent those measures in order to exercise rights the CC licenses grant, the licensor may not object. In some situations others (such as the platform provider) may have the right to object, and in some circumstances and jurisdictions doing may still be a criminal offense. Our licenses do not help in those situations (and should not be relied upon to protect users in those cases). But at least between licensors and those reusers, circumvention is expressly authorized.

Several other changes have been introduced to improve the smooth functioning of the licenses, including a few worth highlighting here:

  • Although we have decided not to pursue a proposal that would have required licensors to offer representations and warranties, we now prominently highlight important before-licensing considerations that encourage rights clearances and proper marking of third-party content. These practices and considerations have long been promoted by CC. Placing them in closer proximity to the licenses educates licensors and encourages responsible licensing practices, and alerts the public to the limitations of the licenses.
  • The license now includes a mechanism that allows for automatic reinstatement of the license when a violation is cured within 30 days of discovery, while preserving a licensor’s right to seek remedies for those violations. This was a popular request, particularly by institutions wanting to use high-quality CC-licensed content in important contexts but who worried about losing their license permanently for an inadvertent violation.

Public Discussion – Featured Topics

In this third discussion period, we will be returning our attention to ShareAlike compatibility, the centerpiece of our interoperability agenda. We will take a harder look at the mechanism necessary to permit one-way compatibility out from BY-SA to other similarly spirited licenses like GPLv3, and whether one-way compatibility is, in fact, desired. We will also develop compatibility criteria and processes, though that may not conclude until after the 4.0 suite is launched. We expect to explore the introduction of a compatibility mechanism in BY-NC-SA similar to that already present in BY-SA. Draft 3 incorporates the changes that would accomplish all of this, if the decision is made to pursue these actions following vetting with our community.

Internationalization will also be a highlight of this discussion period. We will be making a final push with our legal affiliates to fine tune the legal code so the licenses operate as intended and are enforceable around the world. As part of this, we expect a full discussion on the new interpretation clause that establishes a default rule for how the license should be interpreted.

Other topics we will be covering include attribution and some finessing of those requirements. And as publication time draws nearer, we will also be having discussions about the license deed and related matters. You can find a complete list of open topics, a list of changes in draft 3 and a side-by-side comparison of Draft 2 and Draft 3 (237 KB PDF) on our 4.0 wiki, as well as downloads and links to all six draft licenses.

We look forward to hearing from you in this final comment stage. Check out all six of the 4.0d3 licenses, and join the CC license development and versioning list, or contribute ideas directly to the 4.0 wiki.

Thanks again for a productive comment period. Thanks for the many valuable contributions to date!

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