Commons News

Michael Moore: pirate my film, please

Matt Haughey, July 4th, 2004

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has recently gone on record stating that downloading and watching his films was fine as long as people didn’t try to make money off them. In a way, it’s a classic struggle between a filmmaker creating works he wants the world to see, while the studio that produced it would rather everyone pay to see it instead of downloading. Other directors have backed up his position and the current distributor is allowing the downloading to take place.

Here are Moore’s full quotes on the subject of 9/11 downloads:

I don’t agree with the copyright laws and I don’t have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people as long as they’re not trying to make a profit off my labour. I would oppose that. I do well enough already and I made this film because I want the world, to change. The more people who see it the better, so I’m happy this is happening. Is it wrong for someone who’s bought a film on DVD to let a friend watch it for free? Of course it’s not. It never has been and never will be. I think information, art and ideas should be shared.

Is this guy a movie director or one of our board members?

The increased exposure to his films, protection from commercial exploits, and general disagreement with current copyright sounds a lot like the reasons why Creative Commons was formed and why we have our licenses in the first place. Perhaps the next Moore film will be licensed, making the downloading legal from the start.

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A Wikipedia of Free Culture?

Mike Linksvayer, July 2nd, 2004

Q: How to plan a wiki?

A: Hash out ideas on a wiki.

So we set up a wiki and we’re holding a barn raising there. You’re invited.

Our objective is to plan a “Get Content” wiki, a scalable catalog of “some rights reserved” and “no rights reserved” works.

A truly international catalog of CC and PD works. A Wikipedia of Free Culture, democratically maintained and curated.

Can this work? We have a hunch that it can, but we’ve doubtless missed many solutions and innumerable problems.

What we have thought of is of course on the wiki, where you should go without further adieu and add your ideas.

Note for anyone excited about the idea: we’re planning at this stage. The wiki we’re using for the planning may not be the one we use to implement the “Get Content” wiki (do help us figure that one out) — so you may wish to curb your enthusiasm for raw cataloging just right now.

Now dive in!

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Australia Creative Resource Online

Neeru Paharia, July 2nd, 2004

Australia Creative Resource Online, a project funded by the Australian government, has launched its pilot site. Their aim is to create a digital junkyard, and have articulated a very compelling economic argument as to why this should exist. Currently, they are taking submissions for content, and are even willing to (selectively) digitize your content for free. They plan to go live in September, and will use Creative Commons Australia licenses.

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DJ Spooky’s new book Rhythm Science

Neeru Paharia, July 1st, 2004

DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller), early supporter of Creative Commons, has recently released his new book, Rhythm Science. The subject matter is very Creative Commons in philosphy as he explores ways to think about rebuilding culture. Here’s an excerpt from the site:

“Taking the Dj’s mix as template, he describes how the artist, navigating the innumerable ways to arrange the mix of cultural ideas and objects that bombard us, uses technology and art to create something new and expressive and endlessly variable.”

He’s also in the process of releasing Rebirth of a Nation, a remix of D.W. Griffith’s 1915 Birth of a Nation. Since the original film is from 1915, it is now in the public domain. More to come on this soon.

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Welcome Nathan Yergler

Mike Linksvayer, July 1st, 2004

Early last October we launched a revamp of the Creative Commons website, including the addition of a new technology challenges section. A few days later someone called Nathan Yergler wrote with questions concerning two of the challenges. A week later Nathan announced that ccValidator was ready for testing.

Since then Nathan has been our most prolific volunteer, adding Python and JavaScript language APIs for CC metadata, mozCC, and ccSaver to his portfolio. None of these have been throwaway projects. Nathan keeps making them better.

The last couple months Nathan has been working on ccTag for Creative Commons. Now we’re very pleased to announce that he has joined the Creative Commons staff as a software engineer. He’ll continue to create more and better CC tools, as well as help us with internal and external web projects.

How can you welcome Nathan? Try mozCC. If you can find a bug, send him a report.

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Open Media Streaming With CC Metadata

Mike Linksvayer, June 30th, 2004

The Open Media Streaming Project has added CC metadata support to their streaming audio server and player.

OMSP’s NeMeSi player displaying license info for a stream.

They say:

Please note that the CC stuff in the source code is in very alpha stage: no more than IETF’s-style “running code” to test a soon-to-be-released specification proposal for streaming Creative Commons licensing meta-data over RTSP/RTP protocols.

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Neeru Paharia, June 30th, 2004

Check out mobloguk, a great moblogging application that supports Creative Commons licenses. The system is very easy to use — you simply email images, audio, or text from your cell phone, or other device, to your own mobloguk email address, and it automatically gets posted on the site. You can even restrict your searches to Creative Commons licensed content. The source code is also under Creative Commons.

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Dave Kim and James Grimmelmann

Mike Linksvayer, June 30th, 2004

Dave Kim and
James Grimmelmann, hailing from Georgetown and Yale law schools respectively, are Creative Commons’ summer interns this year. They’re both doing great work. So great that we forgot to blog their presence until now.

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Wikipedia Publishing CC Metadata

Mike Linksvayer, June 30th, 2004

Wikipedia now publishes license metadata, using the Creative Commons license metadata vocabulary to describe the GNU FDL license.

Browsing Wikipedia with mozCC installed.

MediaWiki, the software that runs Wikipedia, now has support for CC metadata built in. WikiTravel, a CC-licensed world travel guide also already uses this capability.

Many thanks to Brion Vibber and
Evan Prodromou for adding CC metadata support to this important software.

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mozCC 0.8.0: Faster & More Fetching

Mike Linksvayer, June 30th, 2004

A major upgrade to mozCC, the Creative Commons metadata companion for Mozilla-based browers, is now available. This version looks better, fixes a performance problem with some pages, and sets the stage for version 1.0. See Nathan Yergler’s blog post for details.

Mozilla status bar: browsing a CC-licensed page.

Click on status bar icons, see metadata details.

Also see additional CC browser accessories.

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