Commons News

#cc10 Featured Platform: Europeana

Elliot Harmon, December 10th, 2012

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.

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CC at 10: Government Resources + Open Licensing = Win

Timothy Vollmer, December 10th, 2012

On this 10th anniversary of CC, there’s much to celebrate: Creative Commons licenses and tools have been embraced by millions of photographers, musicians, videographers, bloggers, and others sharing countless numbers of creative works freely online. One area of growth in use of CC licenses and public domain tools is for government works. Government adoption of Creative Commons may prove to be one of the most significant movements looking into the future. Said well by David Bollier, “Governments are coming to realize that they are one of the primary stewards of intellectual property, and that the wide dissemination of their work—statistics, research, reports, legislation, judicial decisions—can stimulate economic innovation, scientific progress, education, and cultural development.” If governments around the world are going to unleash the power of hundreds of billions of dollars of publicly funded education, research and scientific resources, we need broad adoption of open policies aligned with the belief that the public should have access to the resources they paid for. At a fundamental level, “all publicly funded resources [should be] openly licensed resources.”

CC licenses and tools have been implemented by government entities and public sector bodies around the world. And over the last few years, there’s been an increasing focus in governments aligning to the principle that the public should have access to the materials that it pays for. These funding mandates, which require that grantees release content produced with grant funds under an open license, has been a increasingly commons way for governments to support openness. Legislation involving the open licensing of publicly funded educational materials has been passed in Brazil, Poland, the United States, and Canada. The UK has championed an open access policy for publicly funded research under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. Governments in Australia and New Zealand have opted for comprehensive open licensing policies for all government-produced works, by default releasing public information and data under CC BY. The Dutch government has taken this one step further, opting to release government information directly into the public domain using the CC0 Public Domain Dedication.

In addition to governments, other publicly-minded institutions like philanthropic foundations and intergovermental organizations are supporting open licensing. Several foundations have already implemented or are considering requiring open licensing on the outputs of their grant funds, including the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation , the Open Society Foundations, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation already require their grantees to release content they build with grant money under open licenses. And CC continues to explore how to evaluate current copyright policies within the foundation world and suggest how foundations (and their grantees) can benefit from open licensing for their grant funded materials. Intergovernmental organizations like the Commonwealth of Learning and the World Bank have adopted open licensing policies to share their publications too.

Open advocates – whether it be in support of open sharing of publicly funded educational materials, open access to scientific research articles, access to a huge trove of cultural heritage resources from libraries and museums, or open licensing for public sector information and government datasets – have been increasingly active over the last few years, particularly in working to educate policymakers about the importance and benefits of open licensing. These efforts include the development of declarations such as the Budapest Open Access Initiative, Cape Town and Paris Declarations on Open Educational Resources, the Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, the Panton Principles, and many others. Advocates have been key in communicating the need for governments to consider open licensing, whether it be for federal agencies, governing bodies like the European Commission, or through multilateral negotiations such as WIPO. And the grassroots open community has been extremely active in raising awareness of open licensing, whether it be through the tireless work of CC Affiliates, the broad network of open data activists from the Open Knowledge Foundation, legal experts championing Open Government Data Principles, and persons participating in events from Open Access Week to Open Education Week to Public Domain Day. All of these actions have rallied around the common theme that governments and public bodies should release content they create or fund under open licenses, for the benefit of all.

Since the beginning of Creative Commons, governments and public sector bodies have leveraged CC licenses and public domain tools to share their data, publicly funded research, educational and cultural content, and other digital materials. Governments are increasingly leveraging CC licenses as part of their strategy to proactively share resources, promote effective spending, and champion innovation. A massive amount of work is ahead, and with a committed community of advocates, interested governmental departments, and open minded policymakers, we can together work toward a close integration of open licensing inside the public sector. If we do so, governments can better support their populations with the information they need, increase the effectiveness of the public’s investment, and contribute to a true global commons.

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Dublab Celebrates #cc10 with a New Music Mix

Eric Steuer, December 10th, 2012

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Creative Commons, our good friends at Dublab created an awesome #cc10 music mix. The continuous blend includes 22 tracks by esteemed artists like Bradford Cox, Lucky Dragons, Nite Jewel, Dntel, and Matthewdavid. The mix is available for free download and is available to the world under CC’s BY-NC license.

Creative Commons and Dublab have a long history of working together, and Dublab is behind a wide variety of amazing and inspiring CC-licensed music and visual art. Learn more by visiting Dublab’s website and reading about some of the projects Dublab and CC have collaborated on.

Below are the track listing and a SoundCloud widget for Dublab’s #cc10 mix. Download and share it!

[01] Carlos Niño & Miguel Atwood Ferguson – “8 Moons Blue”
[02] Nobukazu Takemura – (Unknown Title)
[03] Lucky Dragons – “13”
[04] Nite Jewel & Julia Holter – “What We See”
[05] Yoko K – “Into Infinity ‘Ear’ Loop #1″
[06] Golden Hits – “Pillowillow”
[07] Tujiko Go – “Into Infinity ‘Ear’ Loop #1″
[08] Yuk. & Teebs – “Estara”
[09] asonic garcia – “Endless Realm (Bun/Fumitake Tamura remix)”
[10] Dntel – “Guardian”
[11] Wake – “Duckbag”
[12] Javelin – “dublab decade jamz”
[13] DJ Lengua – “Waterbeat”
[14] Derrick Winston – “Jawhar”
[15] James Pants – “Tonight, By The Moonlight”
[16] Matthewdavid – “Jingle 3″
[17] Kentaro Iwaki – “Into Infinity ‘Ear’ Loop #5″
[18] Lucky Dragons – “Real Fire”
[19] High Places – (Unknown Title)
[20] Bradford Cox aka Atlas Sound – (Unknown Title)
[21] Feathers – “Eldritch”
[22] The Long Lost – “You Own Backyard”

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CC10: Day 4

Jessica Coates, December 10th, 2012


CC 10th Anniversary / Creative Commons Philippines / CC BY

On day 3 of our CC10 celebrations we focus on film.

David Evan Harris tells us about Global Lives, a collective of filmmakers worldwide building an open source video library of human experience.

We talk to Blake Whitman, VP of Creative Development at one of the world’s largest video sharing platforms, Vimeo, about why Creative Commons is an essential tool for creation in the digital age.

Finally, we delve into Blendernation, the free open source 3D animation community built around the Blender platform, with Renderfarm.fi‘s Big Buck Bunny Loves CC.

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#cc10 Featured Content: Global Lives Project

Elliot Harmon, December 9th, 2012

David Evan Harris

David Evan Harris / Joel Young / CC BY-SA

Video artist and activist David Evan Harris sees sharing as a key component of his work. “The fact that we use Creative Commons licenses to guarantee that our work is in the commons is an essential ingredient in the production itself,” he told me. “It communicates something to our volunteers and people who work with us. It communicates that it isn’t about enriching one person, and it’s not about producing a proprietary work that only a few people will see.”

David is the founder and executive director of the Global Lives project, an organization that produces videos documenting the lives of people around the world. The project’s first undertaking consists of ten videos – each following one person for 24 hours, with no cuts. Global Lives presents the videos in the form of gallery exhibitions, with the ten videos playing simultaneously. In essence, the visitor is creating her own remix of all ten videos by choosing what to watch as she wanders through the exhibition (if you were at the CC10 celebration in San Francisco, you got a taste of the exhibition on the fourth floor).

But Global Lives isn’t just a gallery exhibition: the videos are available online as complete, uncompressed downloads. Nor is it just art. Lately, in fact, David’s been most interested in its potential in the education world.

Global Lives

Global Lives / David Kindler / CC BY

Part of what’s striking about Global Lives is the possibilities for use that go far beyond its original context. Global Lives videos have been used by educators all around the world, some of whom have even gone so far as to create their own cuts of Global Lives videos to demonstrate certain ideas to their students – a video of all ten subjects eating breakfast, for example, or coming home from work. Peace Corps volunteers have used Global Lives videos as training before leaving on assignments. “One of our translators is a Malawian who lives in the UK, and she shows the Malawi video to her daughter as a bedtime story, so her daughter can get an idea of what it would be like to grow up in Malawi.”

Talking with David, his excitement about these uses is contagious. He showed me a mock up of a site redesign that he and his team are working on. In the new Global Lives site, users will be able to watch multiple videos at once, leave timestamped comments, and even create and share their own mixes of Global Lives content. It’s amazing to see so many possibilities for sharing and reuse grow out of a simple idea – that watching how people live helps you understand them.

Global Lives is now gearing up for a second set of videos – this one called Lives in Transit and focusing on the lives of people who work in transportation – and asking for donations through Kickstarter.

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#cc10 Featured Platform: Vimeo

Elliot Harmon, December 9th, 2012

In honor of Creative Commons’ tenth anniversary, we’re profiling several media platforms with CC integration. Vimeo has supported CC licensing since 2010, and has accumulated over two million CC-licensed videos. When I spoke with VP of creative development Blake Whitman, he told me that Vimeo’s staff and community had been talking about CC for years prior. “We knew that this would be perfect for the type of community that Vimeo has. There’s a lot of remixing going on, and it made a lot of sense for us to incorporate it. We thought it was a great web standard that needed to be solidified in our space.”

I also asked Blake to recommend some of his favorite CC-licensed videos on Vimeo. Two of those are embedded in this interview; the rest are listed below.

Tell me more about how CC licensing fits into the Vimeo community.

The beginnings of Vimeo were really about sharing and collaboration, doing projects together, and sharing life’s moments. It’s evolved over time – as we added HD and other featured that attract higher-end creators – but that ethos has always stayed the same. We’ve always given users the option to make their vidoes available for download. It’s important that when people make their content available for download, there’s a clear way for the creator to indicate how they’d like that content to be used.

For a long time, we didn’t have that. You could make it explicit in the description that there was a CC license on it, but since it wasn’t built into Vimeo, it wasn’t being used consistently. When people download videos, they should know what the rights are that the creators are intending.

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

How much did you publicize the CC implementation? Were there any hiccups or pushback from the community?

There’s always a period of learning for anything new, but we work very hard to make it clear. It’s crucial that people understand how the licenses work – and not just for videos. I want users to understand CC licensing on a deeper level, as a part of sharing on the Internet at large.

Do you think that Creative Commons has changed the Vimeo community’s attitudes about sharing?

It’s always changing and evolving, as smaller communities within Vimeo expand and contract and branch out.

People are open willing to share, and CC is a model that makes sense. Look how many people are allowing their content to be used for commercial purposes. And that’s pretty amazing, that people are that open to allow for people to make money from the stuff that they create, as long as they’re cited. That’s great, and I think it’s really important.

Everything is a Remix Part 1 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Blake’s favorite CC-licensed videos on Vimeo:

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CC10: Day 3

Elliot Harmon, December 9th, 2012

cc10
cc10 / Webbstjärnan.SE / CC BY

Welcome to Day 3 of #cc10. Today, Commoners are celebrating in Mexico City and Jakarta, and here on the Creative Commons blog, we’re celebrating Creative Commons in science.

In his guest blog post, John Wilbanks applauds sharing where you might not expect it, explaining how the world’s largest pharmaceutical company used open data sharing to make a huge step in malaria research.

Today’s featured platform is the Public Library of Science (PLOS). PLOS CEO Peter Jerram explains how open licensing is key to the sharing and development of scientific knowledge.

Finally, a trip to the origins of CC and an amazing example of the possibilities of international sharing: it’s the Kazakh translation of Larry Lessig’s Free Culture.

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#cc10 Featured Platform: Public Library of Science

Elliot Harmon, December 9th, 2012

Throughout the #cc10 celebrations, we’re profiling online platforms with Creative Commons integration. Today, Public Library of Science (PLOS) CEO Peter Jerram discusses the role that PLOS and Creative Commons play in the open access movement.

Shared Facts and Open Access: A PLOS Salute to Creative Commons

By Peter Jerram

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” This quote, attributed to the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, is usually applied in the political arena as a warning to partisans about allowing ideology to trump more objective, quantitative realities – things like a country’s GNP, its unemployment rate or balance of trade. Without a foundation for dialogue built on the same basic facts, self-governance falters, he warned.

Moynihan’s core idea works equally well to describe the realities facing those of us involved in scientific discovery and publishing where the sheer size of today’s biomedical and environmental challenges makes collaborative research based on a shared set of facts an absolute necessity. Indeed it is not enough to just share those facts, we must be also able to share, and collaborate over ideas, claims, and arguments, for science to function effectively.

Roughly a decade ago, the founders of PLOS, Pat Brown, Harold Varmus, and Michael Eisen, recognized the importance of unrestricted and immediate access to the scholarly record in biology, medicine and related fields. That’s why, from the onset of its publishing efforts, PLOS applied the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) to all its articles. Under this license, authors retain ownership of copyright, and allow anyone to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and copy the content as long as the original authors and sources are cited. No permission is required from the authors or from PLOS for subsequent researchers to take these findings, add a novel element, and move to the next critical stage of discovery. CC BY is a revolutionary legal tool that continues to enable the Open Access movement to accelerate scientific discovery on every continent. This rapid growth is reflected by the fact that PLOS ONE is now the world’s largest online journal.

We believe that this movement from limited access to an era of open science, fueled by the exponential growth of the internet, has as great a potential for advancing the tools and capabilities of our research as did the determination of the structure of the DNA molecule by Francis Crick and James D. Watson in 1953. Indeed, without openness and data sharing across public and private sector labs and national borders, there would have been no Human Genome Project.

The advent of Open Access set the stage for the development of new methods for designing clinical trials and advancing personalized medicine through endeavors such as the European Union co-funded ACGT (Advancing Clinico-Genomic Clinical Trials on Cancer). In 2010, this consortium completed its creation of an open source translational data infrastructure documenting clinical trials for cancer for the benefit of both oncologists and cancer researchers. Among other advances, the ACGT knowledge grid assisted in bringing about major progress toward a cure for a pediatric cancer of the kidneys known as nephroblastoma.

In the US, another exciting Open Access biomedical research model exists in Cancer Commons, founded by Marty Tenenbaum (a PLOS Board Member) with the aim “to engage cancer researchers, patients, and physician in order to reduce delays in getting promising investigational drugs into the clinic and knowledge back to the patients.” A recent Cancer Commons project led to the determination of four molecular subtypes in lung cancer tumor cells. Working with shared data and clinical methodologies, researchers correlated these subtypes with different genetic aberrations and drugs that may potentially treat them. The resulting research paper, A Novel Classification of Lung Cancer into Molecular Subtypes, was published in PLOS ONE in 2012.

The work of Creative Commons ensures that these projects can use the papers we publish without requiring the additional time and cost that asking special permissions would require. It ensures that translators and educators know they are free to use the research we publish and it allows Wikipedia editors to enrich this critical reference work with text and resources from the research literature. On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, PLOS salutes Creative Commons for its pioneering work in establishing the legal and technological tools that enable Open Access science publishing to flourish.

Peter Jerram is the CEO of PLOS.

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#cc10 Featured Content: John Wilbanks on GlaxoSmithKline

Elliot Harmon, December 8th, 2012

John Wilbanks

John Wilbanks / Nick Vedros / CC BY-SA

In celebration of Creative Commons’ tenth anniversary, we asked various friends of CC to write about the role that open licensing plays in their fields. Today, John Wilbanks shows how the world’s largest pharmaceutical company made a big step in malaria research by sharing its data openly.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is perhaps not the first name most think of when they think of Creative Commons. Large pharmaceutical companies aren’t always the avant-garde commoners.

Yet in 2010, GSK made an amazing move. They took a set of 13,500 chemicals that their internal screens had shown to be active against malaria and put them in the public domain under CC0. They also made sure the data were technically available by depositing the set at a government data repository.

This isn’t how it’s usually done in the pharmaceutical industry, needless to say.

But something beautiful has happened in the intervening years. Something that is totally natural to those of us who live and breathe the commons, something mindboggling to those who don’t.

The data are being used to try to find a cure for malaria. By people who would otherwise be locked out of the process. A nonprofit foundation invested in a lab to take some of the compounds forward for investigation. They’re working together in an open lab notebook. And now 400 of the best candidate drugs are available as a “malaria box” that anyone can request to work on their optimization.

It’s still a long way from a cure for malaria. Drug discovery is hard, mainly because we don’t understand biology well enough to predict what’s going to happen with most compounds when we put them into practice. Our bodies are too complicated for the businesses trying to cure them.

But this is a methodological revolution: deploying the commons as an organizational structure to deal with that complexity. And it was driven, in the beginning, by the moment that the world’s largest pharmaceutical company became a commoner.

Compounds of Interest in Update
Compounds of Interest in Update / Matthew Todd / CC BY-SA

John Wilbanks currently runs the Consent to Research project (CtR), a massive clinical research study in which people take the data they can gather about their own health and donate it for computational analysis. Mr. Wilbanks is also one of the founders of the Access2Research petition. As part of CtR, Mr. Wilbanks is a Senior Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a Research Fellow at Lybba, and supported by Sage Bionetworks. Mr. Wilbanks has worked at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the World Wide Web Consortium, the US House of Representatives, and most recently Creative Commons. Mr. Wilbanks also started a bioinformatics company called Incellico, which is now part of Selventa.

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CC10: Day 2

Jessica Coates, December 8th, 2012

On day 2 of CC10 we focus on what makes CC more than just a bunch of licenses – our community.

We give a long over-due introduction to Creative Commons for those who haven’t met us yet, with a favorite resource from one of our global volunteer affiliates: CC Qatar presents Meet Creative Commons. At the same time, we discuss CC’s geek-cred with Josh Wattles, adviser to one of our oldest artist communities – deviantART – and we examine how a simple licensing decision can create community around a work, with Gautam John of Pratham Books.

Most importantly, today we get our CC10 community parties started. Not 1, not 2, but 3 separate birthday events are happening around the world tonight. CC Berlin brings us keynotes, talks, interviews and a DJ, in a party themed around the success and impact CC has built over the past 10 years. Meanwhile CC Belgium is rebooting itself with a showcase of Creative Commons artists and projects. And finally, CC Headquarters has its own party in San Francisco, where CC staff, Board and community members will participate in interactive exhibits, live remixing (brought to you by Global Lives and Dublab) and general good-cheer. We’ll have a tweet wall at the event – so if you want to be part of it, just tweet us your birthday wishes after 5pm San Francisco time tonight.

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