Commons News

Down and Out relicensed today

Matt Haughey, February 12th, 2004

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Cory Doctorow’s first novel released a little over a year ago, has just been relicensed under an Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license. Previously the book did not allow derivative works and any “lost chapters” or comic versions were unauthorized. With this change in place, the door is wide open to people writing prequels, sequels, and side stories, you can make a movie, cartoon, or graphic novel, you can write songs for it, rewrite it in haiku, and/or turn it all into one giant flowchart, as long as your new Down and Out-inspired work isn’t released in a commercial context or sold.

Let the re-creativity begin!

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mozCC Gets Better and Gets Noticed

Mike Linksvayer, February 12th, 2004

mozCC, an extension for Mozilla-based browsers that exposes Creative Commons license metadata as you surf, got noticed by Slashdot last weekend. The resulting surge of new users brought new bug reports, fixes for which creator Nathan Yergler has already incorporated in mozCC 0.7.7 along with new features. The new version looks for license metadata in SMIL and SVG multimedia files in addition to HTML.

Install mozCC with the latest Mozilla Firefox browser for the best CC-enhanced browsing experience available.

mozCC was inspired by one of our technology challenges. The challenge remains open for non-Mozilla browsers (e.g., Safari, Opera, IE, hint, hint, hint).

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Creative Commons in Europe

Glenn Otis Brown, February 11th, 2004

Neeru Paharia, our assistant director, will be in Holland over the next few days to attend the Third Zwolle Conference, entitled “Optimal management of copyright: Making it happen,” on February 13 and 14. Neeru will also be checking in with friends of CC in Holland.

Meanwhile, iCommons coordinator Christiane Asschenfeldt will be visiting Switzerland over the next couple of days to speak about Creative Commons at the CERN Workshop Series on Innovation in Scholarly Communication.

If you’re at either event or nearby and would like to meet up with Neeru or Christiane, let us know.

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CC at SXSW

Neeru Paharia, February 11th, 2004

Keep an eye out for Creative Commons at the South By Southwest Music and Media Conference this March in Austin, Texas. We’ll be hosting two panels, announcing two projects that encourage collaboration and distribution of music and film. Details coming soon.

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Ads and Copyright

Glenn Otis Brown, February 9th, 2004

Never thought I’d say this, but the Super Bowl got me thinking.

Why shouldn’t every advertiser release every print, audio, or multimedia ad they create under a Creative Commons license? Choose BY-NC-ND, and make clear you’re protecting your trademark. Forget the cultural effect — I’m talking pure business: What principle drives someone to enforce the full copyright in a work they’d normally pay millions to get in front of people’s faces? Isn’t it irrational NOT to free up distribution completely? Or am I missing something?

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The insanely great MacBand

Matt Haughey, February 6th, 2004

Last month, Apple released Garageband at MacWorld, letting any budding musician create music from its suite of sophisticated but simple audio tools. Given the potential for thousands of musicians recording new songs at home, we knew it was a great fit for Creative Commons and we’re very happy to see a new community has sprung up around the software, at MacBand. They’ve just launched but have a system setup to categorize dozens of song styles and loops, with every song available under a Creative Commons license, letting you make remixes and new songs from others work. Garageband has the great potential to become a collaborative music tool and MacBand looks like a great way to facilitate that.

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Ron Suskind posts government public domain documents online

Neeru Paharia, February 5th, 2004

Government documents supplied by Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind for his book, The Price of Loyalty, are now available online. The site makes use of the Creative Commons public domain mark.

These documents, drawn from a collection of 19,000 files, are called “The Bush Files” and Suskind is encouraging other administration officials to contribute to the database, “to encourage more productive, fact-based public dialogues,” as stated on the website.

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Yaaar!: The Music Pirates’ Manifesto

Matt Haughey, February 5th, 2004

Once upon a time, Apple’s slogan “Rip. Mix. Burn.” meant “make as many copies as you want of your legally purchased music.” Now it means “make the limited number of copies we deem appropriate.” All that’s being ripped, mixed, and burned are fair-use laws

Annalee Newitz writes about the current state of P2P and DRM (digital rights management) in the latest issue of the SF Bay Guardian. She finds the landscape in downloadable music has changed significantly and lays down what it means for customers and the recording industry alike.

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Fading Ways Music, indie label, announces 2004 releases will be CC!

Neeru Paharia, February 4th, 2004

Fading Ways Music, an indie record label based out of Toronto, announced their 2004 releases will be sold under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike licenses. Fading Ways Music is the first internationally-distributed label to adopt Creative Commons licensing for its new physical CD releases. Fading Ways articulates its philosophy for open-licenses nicely on its mission page. Neil Leyton, the label’s manager, makes a great quote here: “Music Publishing as a concept is wrong. No one creates songs out of thin air.”

Fading Ways joins other labels, such as Opsound, Magnatune, and Loca Records that embrace Creative Commons licenses, enabling fans to rip, mix, and burn their favorite tunes without legal doubt.

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New Doctorow novel out under license

Matt Haughey, February 4th, 2004

Cory Doctorow, author of the acclaimed sci-fi book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, has a new novel out in stores called Eastern Standard Tribe. Like Down and Out, it is both available for purchase as well as for free download, under a Creative Commons license.

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