Commons News

CC10Musicians iPhone app from CC Korea

Timothy Vollmer, December 14th, 2012

CC Korea has given Creative Commons a cool 10th birthday present with the release of the CC10Musicians iPhone app (Android app coming soon). From CC Korea:

We introduce 10 teams of musicians sharing their music under a Creative Commons License. From Brazil to Iceland, from Hip-Hop to Indie Rock, discover awesome music from all over the genre, all over the world. CC10Musicians App allows you to listen to the 10 selected artists’ work on live streaming and share some spread-worth music with your Facebook and Twitter friends.

The app looks (and sounds) great, and is easy to use. Many thanks to CC Korea for a fantastic birthday gift!

cc korea

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Hatsune Miku Joins the CC Community

Chiaki Hayashi, December 14th, 2012

“Hatsune Miku has inspired thousands of people to create their own musical recordings and remixes. It’s fitting that she’d become CC-licensed, joining forces with a movement that lives to make sharing and remixing easier. I’m thrilled to welcome to welcome Hatsune to the ranks of CC-licensed works.”
–Catherine Casserly, Creative Commons CEO

“Crypton’s Hatsune Miku is an amazingly unique, inspiring and successful example of how sharing pulls together in community to empowers and explosion of creativity. It’s one of my favorite projects. I’m so excited that Creative Commons can now be part of that story.”
–Joi Ito, Creative Commons board member, Director at the MIT Media Lab

Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku / Crypton Future Media / CC BY-NC

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Creative Commons, we are happy to announce that Hatsune Miku has joined the CC community!

Hatsune Miku is the first and most famous virtual singer. What sets Miku apart from other “characters” is the original “remix-free” license for users. Since her debut in 2007, Miku have been remixed and cherished by fans, resulting in 170,000+ videos on YouTube, 95,000 songs, and 500,000+ artworks created by the community.

Hatsune Miku also played the major role at TOYOTA USA and Google Chrome TV commercials. She has performed sold-out shows with 3D images not only in Japan, but also in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Singapore. To deal with growing demands from the world, Crypton Future Media Inc., which gave a birth to Hatsune Miku and owes her character, has decided to adopt the CC BY-NC license on December 14th.

“The creative culture using Hatsune Miku and related community will spread worldwide by applying a CC license to the illustration of Hatsune Miku. I hope that this encourages cross-border collaborations among creators and enables them to deepen their understanding of each other’s culture and respect to creators through their works and creation.”
–Hiroyuki Ito, CEO of Crypton Future Media, Inc.

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CC10: Day 8

Elliot Harmon, December 13th, 2012


@ivanlanin

Wow. There are not one, but four five CC10 mixes of Creative Commons–licensed music!

That’s enough CC music to get you well into the weekend. Meanwhile, the German CC community is celebrating in Munich, and here on the blog, we’re celebrating the do-it-yourself spirit of the CC community.

CC Portugal’s Teresa Nobre explains the #cc10 Europe project and gives a little glimpse into the life of a CC European affiliate. And Jamendo’s Pierre Gérard talks about the history of Jamendo and encourages musicians to let their music be free.

Finally, we’re featuring The School of Open, CC’s new collaboration with P2PU, where anyone can create new courses. This year, The School of Open has grown from a simple idea into a vital resource for the open community.

Edited Dec 14 to add Bad Panda’s #cc10 mix to the list.

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#cc10 Featured Platform: Jamendo

Elliot Harmon, December 13th, 2012

Pierre Gérard

Pierre Gérard / Joi Ito / CC BY

Throughout CC’s tenth anniversary celebrations, we’re highlighting various media platforms with CC implementation. For today, we spoke with Jamendo cofounder and managing director Pierre Gérard.

If you’re not familiar with Jamendo, it’s a community of musicians and tool for discovering new music. Unlike most other CC-enabled platforms, CC is integral to Jamendo: every songs is licensed under CC. For many songs, users can purchase commercial rights through the Jamendo PRO service.

In honor of CC10, Pierre and his team created a special #cc10 playlist of their top ten CC-licensed songs. Pierre had this to say about the playlist:

We looked back at these 8 years of existence for Jamendo; we have been blessed by the talent of so many artists that it’s hard to choose! They have made our catalog a very rich and diverse world of free music. Thanks to them, we were able to select popular songs created by artists from different parts of the world to create a playlist very diverse in terms of music genres. The most important was to choose artists that support and believe in Creative Commons, and all of these artists have promoted the concept for years.

Tell me a bit about the history of Jamendo. Was Creative Commons licensing part of your plan from the beginning?

Yes, CC licensing was in the first business model of the company. When we created Jamendo in 2004, we based our concept on free music for consumers and professional licensing, even though it took years to launch our licensing service (Jamendo PRO). Creative Commons was really the seed of Jamendo. We wanted to create a new model in the digital world where there are so many opportunities for artists to promote and share their music. We knew that some of them also have huge potential and would be able to generate revenue from their music.

Jamendo is unique among most of the media platforms we work with, in that all uploads are CC-licensed. Has that policy caused confusion among users?

Yes; we also need to evangelize and explain how CC licenses can be used. Some have been confused in the past because they were used to the “you-are-not-allowed policy” that stems from traditional copyright. The concept of CC is so much different and needs to be explained. But it’s quite easy and users understand that it is so much easier and fair.

We love hearing interesting reuse stories. Do you have any examples of tracks that got reused in surprising or amazing ways under the CC license?

We are often asked to participate in very interesting projects that are made possible by the openness of Creative Commons. We helped a Jamendo member create a compilation of CC artists in order to raise money for the victims of the tsunami in Japan. We’ve also worked with ccMixter to have our communities remix Christmas songs! Last year, we had the pleasure to see CC Spanish rock band Stormy Mondays win a contest organized by NASA and get its song “Sunrise Number 1” played in space in the Endeavour space shuttle!

What advice might you give a musician who’s unsure about sharing her work under a CC license?

There is nothing to lose and so much to gain! Music is everywhere and there is no actual way for an artist to prevent his or her music from being distributed. At the end of the day, “giving away your music for free” under a CC license creates more value in terms of fans, popularity and even money.

Where will the music industry be ten years from now? Will open licensing be the default?

It’s very likely that we see a strong growth in open licensing but I am not sure it will be the default. I like to compare open licensing with open-source software. The IT industry has seen a lot of changes since the launch of free licenses: new companies have emerged with new business models but the old ones are still there even though they’ve also had to evolve.

In 10 years, majors will still be there but they will also have learned some lessons. I am sure the place (or market share) of open licensing for music will grow with more and more artists publishing their music under CC and I hope that Jamendo will still play a big part in this new ecosystem.

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European CC Affiliates Celebrate #cc10 with a Mixtape of Inspiring CC-Licensed Music

Elliot Harmon, December 13th, 2012

Guest blog post by Teresa Nobre, Legal Project Lead at Creative Commons Portugal

One of the opportunities for Creative Commons to continue its rapid evolution is more collaboration between the various affiliates. In September, representatives of CC’s affiliates in 17 different European countries attended a regional meeting and discussed, among other things, Creative Commons’ 10th birthday. Most of the affiliates were already planning activities and events in their own countries; nevertheless, we felt that it was important to find a way to celebrate this important date as a regional network. Since the majority of the affiliates are volunteers, we cannot commit ourselves to carry out as many common actions as we would like. With other priorities in both the national and regional agendas, this activity could not require much planning and execution. The idea of creating a mixtape with Creative Commons–licensed music from around Europe – where each affiliate just had to suggest one or two tracks from her own country – seemed, therefore, a good option and got the general agreement of all those present at the meeting.

Back to our home countries, we relied on the network mailing list to get everyone involved. We did not nominate an official project lead and we did not establish any requirements other than the music being the affiliate’s preferred CC-licensed music. We could have decided to use the mixtape to promote just music licensed with one of CC’s free culture licenses (CC BY and CC BY-SA), but we wanted to get as many affiliates involved as possible and we knew that adding such limitation would only make searching for work more difficult. After all, only a very few of us work in the music industry (the others are lawyers, open content advisors, entrepreneurs, academic researchers, engineers, etc.) and not all of us are familiar with our national CC-licensed music.

Some affiliates went on asking for suggestions to their local communities and some even did contests to find their national CC-licensed music that would make into the compilation. Not all the European affiliates were able to get involved in the project, but those involved were really motivated and even found time to send contributions in respect to other European countries. In total, 16 affiliates worked together, devoting much more time than they initially thought they had available, to make this mixtape happen.

The resulting mixtape showcases the talent of 20 artists from 20 European countries: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. The tracks are from genres as diverse as electronic, folk, classic, drum & bass, rock, ska and tango, and they sound awesome together (despite the fact that they were compiled by a non-musician lawyer!). Give it a listen! It is available for download under various Creative Commons licenses at Free Music Archive, SoundCloud, and the Internet Archive. The album artwork is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

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CC10: Day 7

Jessica Coates, December 12th, 2012

Happy Birthday CC10
CC Happy Birthday CC10 / @saidRmdhani

On day 7 of our CC10 celebrations we have an exciting announcement: the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) has announced a 3.5 million dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a new program to help adult English language learners improve their language skills — Integrated Digital English Acceleration (I-DEA). Importantly, all online learning modules developed for I-DEA will be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution license — the most liberal of our licences, allowing all teachers around the country and the world to reuse, remix and reinterpret them.

In honor of this announcement, we focus on education for today’s CC10 featured platform and resource. We take a look at Open content licensing for educators, one of the many courses provided by Wikieducator, a community-developed resource of free elearning content – created by the public, for the public. The Open content licensing for educators course, an initiative of the OER Foundation, has been running all this week, training educators both how to make full use of the wealth of educational resources now available for free download under CC and other open licenses, and how to share their own materials with others.

We also celebrate a milestone by another great community-created platform, as Wikicommons hits 15 million files, just in time for CC10. Wikicommons is one of the world’s oldest and largest resources of CC licensing and public domain media, from photos to videos to sound files. It’s the source of all the media you find on Wikipedia, and its files are used extensively by cultural and educational institutions to share and create open education resources. Check out our post on this great achievement to see two videos by our friends at WikiAfrica, explaining how and why a cultural institution might want to share their resources on Wikicommons.

Finally – everyone should take a moment to appreciate the fabulous CC10 poster above by @saidRmdhani. It was produced by attendees to our Arab World Regional Meeting, which has been running all this week in Cairo, and finishes up today. Congratulations to all the attendees, and we can’t wait to hear more about your workshops.

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Wikimedia Commons Reaches 15 Million Files

Elliot Harmon, December 12th, 2012

17W Aug 14 1996 0124Z

17W Aug 14 1996 0124Z
United States National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration / Public Domain

Just in time for CC10, Wikimedia Commons just announced its fifteen millionth upload. That’s fifteen million files that anyone can reuse, remix, and share for commercial or noncommercial purposes, many of them licensed CC BY or CC BY-SA.

The fifteen millionth file, pictured to the right, is a public domain photograph of Tropical Depression Seventeen-W, produced by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In a way, the photo is the perfect distillation of why an archive like Wikimedia Commons is important. The photo was already in the public domain, but it’s more useful when catalogued in a well-maintained repository.

As Peter Weiss explained the significance of the announcement, much of the growth of the Wikimedia Commons collection can be attributed to adoption by galleries, libraries, museums, and archives (GLAMs). When cultural institutions share their collections in a form that others can access and reuse, everyone’s better off for it.

These two videos from WikiAfrica explain why a cultural institution might want to share artifacts in Wikimedia Commons, and how to do it.

Congratulations to Wikimedia Commons on this amazing milestone, and thanks for being a part of the CC family.

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$3.5 million grant funds creation of CC BY resources for adult English learners

Jane Park, December 12th, 2012

Just in time for Creative Commons’ 10th birthday celebration of its license suite, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) announced a 3.5 million dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a new program — Integrated Digital English Acceleration (I-DEA) — that will help adult English language learners improve their language skills while simultaneously providing career and college readiness training through technology-based tools and resources.

cc10
by blogefl / CC BY

The I-DEA program targets community college learners in the state’s lowest three levels of English as a Second Language courses, and aims to help learners achieve their language goals in tandem with career goals — with fewer hours of instruction than traditional programs that teach basic language skills separately from job-specific skills.

I-DEA derives its dual approach from the state’s I-BEST model (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training), which U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary Martha Kanter recognized as furthering adult education faster than any other program: “51 percent of I-BEST students completed a certificate in two years, vs. 14 percent of the comparison group…” (Change Magazine of Higher Learning).

A significant part of this grant is that all online learning modules developed will be made available openly under a Creative Commons Attribution license, allowing anyone to access, reuse, translate, and remix the modules as long as attribution is given. I-DEA learning modules will be added to the Open Course Library, Washington State’s collection of high quality CC BY-licensed educational resources for its 82 highest enrolled community college courses.

The grant also includes the creation of new technology tools, laptop computers on loan, Internet access, and online advising and tutoring. From the press release:

Among other goals, college and partner community-based organizations (CBOs) will create open source curriculum and identify best practices of technology-enhanced instruction that allow more students to be served with less in-class instruction. Courses and techniques developed with the grant will be open sourced, allowing colleges and CBOs in Washington and around the world to replicate I-DEA.

This is fantastic news that couldn’t come at a better time. Thank you for this birthday gift to CC! Thanks to the SBCTC for spearheading this initiative and to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for making it possible.

For more details, including a list of the initial 10 colleges to receive and implement the grant, see the press release (pdf).

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CC10: Day 6

Jessica Coates, December 12th, 2012

CC hearts cake
CC hearts cake / David Kindler / CC BY

Today, an exciting announcement. In honor of CC’s tenth birthday, our friends at Free Music Archive are launching a competition to find a new birthday song – one that can be shared and sung without paying a cent. Read about the contest and start working on your entry.

Keeping on the music theme, guest blogger Jason Sigal tells the story of Chris Zabriskie, a musician who opened a lot of professional doors when he decided to start licensing his music CC BY. And we highlight a Guide to Creative Commons produced by CASH Music, a nonprofit that builds open source tools to empower artists and their fans find a more viable and sustainable future for music.

Today’s also a big day for CC10 events, with 5 separate events on 3 continents – two US parties from CC friends Redhat (in Raleigh) and the Auraria Library (in Denver); talks and debates in London and Warsaw; and a classic CC Salon in Qatar with a special guest, CC’s CEO Cathy Casserly.

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A #cc10 Birthday Song Contest from Free Music Archive

Elliot Harmon, December 11th, 2012

Our friends at Free Music Archive have just announced a contest to dethrone one of the most notoriously copyrighted songs of all time. From FMA’s blog:

The Free Music Archive wants to wish Creative Commons a Happy 10th Birthday with a song. But there’s a problem. Although “Happy Birthday To You” is the most recognized song in the English language and its origins can be traced back to 1893, it remains under copyright protection in the United States until 2030. It can cost independent filmmakers $10,000 to clear the song for their films, and this is a major stumbling block hindering the creation of new works of art. The 1987 PBS Civil Rights documentary, Eyes on the Prize is but one notable example.

While this has made for many inspiring creative alternatives in film and restaurant chains alike, it’s time to dethrone that old ditty and create a new national repository of alternate Birthday song compositions. All submissions will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license so that they may be freely incorporated into new works of art as long as the artist and the Free Music Archive are properly attributed.

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