Commons News

Lessig’s free book still racking up the sales

Matt Haughey, July 27th, 2004

Stanford Magazine carries a story this month about our chairman and co-founder Lawrence Lessig‘s book which has just entered its third printing. This is interesting because the book is freely available online for download (under a Creative Commons license), and has been downloaded about 180,000 times. On the one hand an author can give away free content for folks to remake into audio books, translations, and other formats, and the author still gets paid through traditional book sales. Amazing how that works, and works so well sometimes. [via Copyfight]

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mozCC Updated, Upgrade Encouraged

Nathan Yergler, July 27th, 2004

I’ve just released an upgrade to mozCC. Everyone’s encouraged to upgrade, as this release fixes an embarassing bug which caused Mozilla and Firefox to lock up under certain situations (say, choosing a Creative Commons license). You can find the release annoucement and installation/upgrade instructions here.

Find another bug? Have a suggestion? Let me know!

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CC at OSCON

Nathan Yergler, July 27th, 2004

I’m attending the O’Reilly Open Source Convention this week in Portland, OR. The convention tutorials got started yesterday, and there’s great blog coverage, cataloged here. I’ll be attending tutorials today, and then the conference sessions for the remainder of the week. Track me down, tell me why you love CC and I’ll shower you with schwag. And by shower I mean “give you a button and a bumper sticker.”

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Musicians large and small on internet downloading

Matt Haughey, July 26th, 2004

CNN is currently carrying an interesting interview with musician Peter Gabriel. Gabriel always seems to be at the bleeding edge of technology, and he describes two of his net music ventures, On Demand Distribution, a backend company that works on music payment and fulfillment systems, and his pet project with Brian Eno, The Magnificent Union of Digitally Downloading Artists.

When asked why he has embraced the internet while record companies have feared it, Gabriel says:

A new world is being created — one is dying — and if artists don’t get involved, they’re going to get screwed, like they usually do.

At the other end of the musician spectrum, indie rock artists The Mountain Goats recently gave their stamp of approval to the Internet Archive’s hosting of their live shows. Frontman John Darnielle shares why he supports it:

I am totally in favor of tape trading, and file sharing never did anything wrong by me. People got into The Mountain Goats after downloading my stuff.

It’s great to see a superstar like Peter Gabriel continue to embrace and extend technology and it’s also great to see a small artist like The Mountain Goats realize new avenues to gain fans.

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Moving in with OSAF

Mike Linksvayer, July 26th, 2004

The CC team at OSAF
The CC team at OSAF: Nathan Yergler, Francesca Rodriquez, Mike Linksvayer, Neeru Paharia, Glenn Otis Brown, James Grimmelmann, and Matt Haughey.

Last week Creative Commons moved offices from the Stanford campus to San Francisco into the fantastic space shared by the
Open Source Applications Foundation,
Level Playing Field,
and parts of the Mozilla Foundation.
Mitch Kapor blogged a welcome for OSAF’s new roommates yesterday. We’re very fortunate.

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Molt Be

Glenn Otis Brown, July 24th, 2004

That means “very good” in Catalan. I was just browsing through the weblog subscriptions available in NetNewsWire tonight and came across the Catalan blog Sarcophilus.blog and got warm fuzzies: it’s available under a Creative Commons license. Half my family’s Catalan. Anyone know of other cc blogs catalas out there?

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Art Mobs in Slate

Matt Haughey, July 22nd, 2004

Slate is running a piece today entitled “Art Mobs” that takes a look at how collaboration between artists has changed as things move online. It covers graphical, film, and text pieces, but the best example is a song.

We’ve profiled MacJams before, the site built around sharing tracks for Apple’s Garageband users. They’ve got Creative Commons licenses built in and this slate article highlights the final track “Please Eat.” It is the fourth version of an earlier cut, and in the end four different musicians contributed 36 separate tracks to the final song.

I did some digging around and here is the original track, which is licensed under an Attribution license. If you’d like to further mash the track, the final track mentioned is under an Attribution-Noncommercial license.

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Flickr Featured Commoner

Matt Haughey, July 21st, 2004

This month’s featured commoner interview is up, which covers our interview with Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield. In it, he talks about Flickr’s unique features, their history, and why they’re using Creative Commons licenses.

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Eric Eldred in the Boston Globe

Matt Haughey, July 20th, 2004

In honor of the 150th anniversary for Thoreau’s Walden, Creative Commons co-founder Eric Eldred decided to share and print free public domain copies of Walden (here’s the Word doc version at Eldred’s own site) at Walden Pond, but was asked to leave.

The Boston Globe published an article about this yesterday, complete with a great photo of Eric sporting a Creative Commons t-shirt.

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Make anything on earth a derivative work

Matt Haughey, July 17th, 2004

Today while I was at a web conference, a speaker used an incredible MIT Media Lab project as a demo during a talk. Check out the I/O brush project. The project appears to be a camera that can take a photo still or video of anything you point it at, then the captured images can be “painted” on a virtual canvas. It’s essentially one giant derivative work creator.

Watch this Real Video demo of the I/O Brush in action

After you see it, you can see how incredible this technology is. I can’t imagine when something like this would be a cheap, easily available tool, but I can imagine that parts of the technology may eventually show up in something. It takes the concept of rip, mix, and burn to whole new levels, creating new art works from anything else (including copyrighted art, text, and trademarked logos) and I wonder what the legal landscape will be like when this technology is readily available. Can you imagine the scorn this product will get from publishing companies, movie studios, and the like?

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