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.Comments Off
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.Comments Off
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.Comments Off
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.
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).1 Comment »
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.Comments Off
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.
1 Comment »
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.
In celebration of Creative Commons’ tenth anniversary, we asked various friends of CC to write about their favorite CC-licensed works. Today, Jason Sigal tells the story of how Chris Zabriskie started licensing his music under CC BY and, in the process, opened new professional doors in his music career.
Happy 10th, CC! From the Free Music Archive
By Jason Sigal
The Free Music Archive is a curated library of music that wants to be shared, and Creative Commons makes it all possible. Our project was born out of a simple idea from the freeform noncommercial radio station WFMU: radio has always offered free access to quality music, and we all stand to benefit when others are encouraged to spread the word. We joined forces with a coalition of likeminded curators who specialize in everything from contemporary Indonesian netaudio to early cylinder recordings to Western classical, and we provide a platform for artists who utilize the full range of Creative Commons licenses.
Each element of the CC licensing suite is a powerful tool for musicians to leverage copyright in ways they find beneficial. For some, like Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, Creative Commons ensures that his re-recordings of public domain folk songs can be shared in a manner befitting the folk tradition. For the mythical 80s cassette underground duo Smersh, CC BY-NC-ND serves an archival purpose, as every digital copy ensures the preservation of sounds once confined to small batches of decaying analog tape. For the Russian duo Monokle & Galun and the Japanese netlabel Bunkai-Kei, CC BY-NC-SA encourages remixes like Creative Commons Compilation Data, where artists were challenged to make new songs by remixing other netlabel releases.
Creative Commons helps creators find each other, and we’re always inspired to hear about collaborations sparked by CC. Creative Commons also makes it possible to bypass what Lessig has termed the “permission culture,” and this is where things get really interesting. For example, we’re seeing a lot of innovative models from artists under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. Attribution is not part of traditional copyright, but since hyperlinks function as a form of online currency, it is a wonderful added protection afforded by the Creative Commons licensing suite.
Last year, Chris Zabriskie — an FMA artist who specializes in cinematic soundscapes, ambient piano compositions and minimal synth music — found the Attribution requirement so powerful that he decided to drop the NonCommercial clause from his work. In a post entitled Why I Went CC BY, he explained his reasoning: “There are 48 hours of new video being uploaded just to YouTube every minute. Somebody, somewhere, always needs music for their project. Let people do what they want with your music, and they’ll promote you.” His inbox was flooded with requests from fellow creators: “People with Etsy stores making videos to advertise their new, handmade products. Filmmakers who, while the goal of making their short film isn’t monetary, one day might press up some DVDs. And if that dude’s free Flash game gets really popular, he’ll want to sell it in the App Store.” He included some examples of work by “people I’m not going to sue,” and he keeps a list that now includes big names like the Cartoon Network, New York Public Library, Gizmodo, and Mashable alongside independent feature films and shorts. “Malleable Objects,” a short documentary on the artist Margaret Craig, is embedded below.
Zabriskie emailed the FMA earlier this year to describe how his decision paid off in ways he never expected: “I’ve scored several feature films, a number of shorts, and am doing a bunch of other contract work for people and projects all around the world.” Along with the new commissions, “a shocking number of folks from filmmakers to ad agencies to churches have been paying to license some of my existing stuff” either as a means to bypass the Creative Commons Attribution requirement, or simply because they have the means to support the music that helped make their work possible. Though he says he has no plans to leave his dream job, (which happens to include both music composition and video editing), Chris Zabriskie has allowed his music to spread freely to the point where he could afford to focus on music full time.
These are just a few of the many models made possible by Creative Commons licensing. Thanks to Creative Commons, creators have choices beyond traditional copyright. Over the course of the past decade, these choices have facilitated collaborations and spawned the creation of countless new works. Happy birthday, CC. We look forward to what the next ten years will bring!Comments Off
On Saturday, we toasted to 10 years of the Creative Commons licenses, which has enabled the sharing and reuse of roughly half a billion creative, educational, and scientific works.
Many others joined in to celebrate at events around the world, and are still celebrating through December 16 (the actual birthday of the CC license suite). You can see all of the pictures from these events at the CC10 Flickr pool.
With 350 people registered for the event, the celebration in San Francisco spanned three floors of the SF Planning and Urban Research Association downtown. Each floor featured different CC projects, including a video installation by the Global Lives project (consisting of ten videos – each following one person for 24 hours) and Dublab’s custom cc10 remix of CC licensed music and multimedia.
— dublab (@dublab) December 9, 2012
In addition, the food and drink was CC themed, starting with the CC cupcakes on the ground floor and ending with signature CC cocktails in the Remix Lounge on the top floor.
Longtime CC musician Colin Mutchler, one of CC’s original success stories, introduced Creative Commons co-founder Larry Lessig, who gave an unscripted speech expressing his appreciation for the past 10 years, followed by CC CEO Cathy Casserly who expressed excitement for the next ten. Cathy, Larry, and all other CC Board members were present for the festivities.
— Open Science Fedn (@openscience) December 9, 2012
Creative Commons continues to make a difference in all sectors of society. Please join in celebrating our 10th anniversary, and consider donating to help us celebrate many more years to come!Comments Off
Welcome to day 5 of CC10! Today, CC communities are celebrating in Stockholm and Haifa. And here on the Creative Commons blog, we’re discussing governmental and institutional adoption of CC licenses and public domain tools.
CC’s Timothy Vollmer acknowledges several achievements around the world in governmental CC adoption, and we revisit one of the biggest announcements of the year, Europeana’s decision to release its record data under the CC0 public domain waiver. Finally, browse the Open Data Handbook, the definitive legal and technological guide to open data from our friends at the Open Knowledge Foundation.Comments Off
Throughout the #cc10 celebrations, we’re highlighting different CC-enabled media platforms, to show the breadth and diversity of the CC world. Today, as we’re talking about governmental and institutional adoption of CC tools, it seemed appropriate to discuss Europeana, the massive digital library of European history and culture.
For people who get excited about open cultural data, one of the most exciting moments of 2012 came in September, when Europeana announced that it was releasing its metadata to the public domain under the CC0 waiver. This release of 20 million records represents one of the largest one-time dedications of cultural data to the public domain.
While the data was previously available through the Europeana website, dedicating it to the public domain multiplies its usability. From the press release:
This release, which is by far the largest one-time dedication of cultural data to the public domain using CC0 offers a new boost to the digital economy, providing electronic entrepreneurs with opportunities to create innovative apps and games for tablets and smartphones and to create new web services and portals.
Europeana’s move to CC0 is a step change in open data access. Releasing data from across the memory organisations of every EU country sets an important new international precedent, a decisive move away from the world of closed and controlled data.