Commons News

Innovations

Glenn Otis Brown, March 10th, 2003

This week we’ll roll out several potential innovations to our licenses, then call for your comments. First, we’ll post some proposed text for two new kinds of license options: “sampling” and “educational use.” Second, we’ll float some draft language that we’ve considered adding to our licenses as enhancements: an explicit safe harbor for search engines under our “noncommercial” condition; a clear distinction between privacy-enhancing encryption tools and over-reaching digital rights management; and a potential link requirement as an addition to our “attribution” provision.

We plan to post around one draft provision a day this week; by the end of the week, we’ll have upgraded our blog so that you can share comments with other readers. Please weigh in: Let us know if you think the proposed enhancements and options are worth it, and if so, how we might improve the specific language of each.

Note: We’re not changing or versioning the licenses — not yet, anyway. We hope through this process simply to vet publicly issues that a few of you have raised via email, and to explore how Creative Commons and our adopters might best work together as our project grows. After a healthy comment period, we’ll take stock and move on from there.

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Creative Commons at SXSW

Matt Haughey, March 9th, 2003

Today, Creative Commons metadata advisor Aaron Swartz joined blogger and author Cory Doctorow, programmer Brandon Wiley, Rice University‘s Chris Kelty, and Executive Director Glenn Otis Brown to talk about the Creative Commons at a panel discussion at the South By Southwest (SXSW) interactive conference. The panel covered issues surrounding the project, how people have used our licenses, and what comes next.

This afternoon, Creative Commons chairman and co-founder Lawrence Lessig will deliver a much-anticipated keynote.

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Commons Sin Fronteras

Glenn Otis Brown, March 5th, 2003

We are excited to announce today the launch of the International Commons project. The goal of the International Commons is to “port” our licenses to operate in the legal systems (and languages) of countries across the world.

Christiane Asschenfeldt, a copyright expert and the newest member of the Creative Commons team, will coordinate the effort from Berlin.

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Digital Dictionary of Buddhism

Neeru Paharia, March 3rd, 2003

Charles Muller has licensed the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism under a Creative Commons license. The dictionary is a compilation of Buddhist terms and texts — as well as names of temples, schools, and people — found in East Asian Buddhist canonical sources. The dictionary project, which began in 1986, is thought to be the most comprehensive compilation of Buddhist terms available in English today.

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Copyright Comics

Glenn Otis Brown, March 1st, 2003

Two new additions to our site help explain the how and why of using our licenses.

These comics walk the Creative Commons walk: our very own Neeru Paharia built them from Ryan Junell’s original artwork, which debuted in our Flash movie under a Creative Commons license, and from photographs taken and licensed by our webmaster Matt Haughey.

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Tim Hadley on licensing your weblog

Matt Haughey, February 26th, 2003

Last month, a few folks in the world of weblogs asked some good, hard questions about Creative Commons licensing of their works. (We covered that discussion here). At the time, Denise Howell put a request out to other lawyers to weigh in on the issue, and recently, attorney Tim Hadley did so.

Tim’s exhaustive analysis examines the ins and outs of applying a license to a weblog (specifically in the context of Movable Type’s recent support for Creative Commons licenses). He takes a long look, in particular, at the issue of license revocation and echoes our chairman’s take on the subject not long ago.

Tim has also posted a follow-up based on feedback and posts from other sites and is planning a complete revision of his first post on the subject — the goal being to cover as many sides of the issue as possible.

Thanks, Tim — and to the rest of you sparking discussion about the licenses.

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Cat Power + Creative Commons = Rock

Glenn Otis Brown, February 26th, 2003

Creative Commons will sponsor acclaimed singer-songwriter Cat Power (a.k.a. Chan Marshall) at the San Francisco NoisePop music festival this Wednesday, Feb. 26. Advanced tickets are sold out, but some tickets may still be available at the door (Bimbo’s 365) the night of the show.

Creative Commons staffers will be in the lobby handing out copies of our new “enchanced CD.” It’s hot off the press and features our Flash animation plus Creative Commons-licensed tracks by D.J. Spooky, Roger McGuinn, Dealership, The Walkingbirds, and Gamelan Nyai Saraswati.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian ran a cover story on Cat Power this week.

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Swarm Radio in the commons

Matt Haughey, February 25th, 2003

Brandon Wiley, an early developer of Freenet, unveiled his newest work at CodeCon. Using various cutting-edge peer-to-peer technologies, he’s developed a shared radio streaming system, dubbed Alluvium, that allows listeners to share their connections with others as they tune in. In a Register write-up today, Wiley mentions that the project may include spidering the web for Creative Commons-licensed music to play (all Creative Commons-licensed music can be webcast freely).

Wiley will be on a panel discussion featuring Creative Commons executive director Glenn Otis Brown and Metadata Advisor Aaron Swartz at the upcoming SXSW festival.

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Notable recent CC licensors

Matt Haughey, February 20th, 2003

In the world of weblogs, we’ve noticed a couple notable recent adopters of Creative Commons licenses. Jon Johansen, the teenage hacker that famously cracked DVD encryption so he could watch a movie he purchased on his computer, started a blog called “So Sue Me.” He was recently acquitted of charges he did anything wrong.

A great looking blog centered around the design of books, called Foreword, is another interesting new site carrying a Creative Commons license.

Also of note is Accessify.com, a site aimed at helping webmasters build websites that are accessible to everyone (which is also under a Creative Commons license). They offer articles and tools to help you attain Bobby and Section 508 compliance with your sites.

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Movie Mashin’ Mike Meyers

Matt Haughey, February 14th, 2003

Mike Meyers, star of the popular Austin Powers series, has just scored an unusual movie deal with Dreamworks that will allow him to make films from sampling earlier movies. DreamWorks will acquire the necessary rights so the actor can be digitally inserted in the old flicks.

Today, people practicing in music and movie “mash-ups” are usually operating in a muddy area of legality (or they do it illegally). How cool would it be if those of us without the backing of Dreamworks’ lawyers could do this sort of thing? Or, as we say in our demo movie, “Shouldn’t it be easier still?”

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