Commons News

OYEZ Press

Glenn Otis Brown, August 7th, 2003

“Getting audio recordings of landmark legal arguments is becoming as easy as downloading the latest Snoop Dogg single.”

There are two nice pieces on the OYEZ project’s recent release of Supreme Court audio under Creative Commons licenses in the New York Times and AP today, among a few other places.

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Creative Commons & Brazil

Glenn Otis Brown, August 6th, 2003

iCommons has expanded to Brazil. The Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School, in Rio de Janeiro, will lead the effort.

FGV and Creative Commons also plan to begin work with the Brazilian Minister of Culture, world-renowned musician Gilberto Gil (!), to use the licenses to expand access to Brazilian culture.

Read the first porting (for readers of Portuguese).

Read the excellent annotation of the first porting (by project lead Ronaldo Lemos, in English).

Join the discussion.

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Make a movie. Win a computer. A DV Cam. An iPod.

Glenn Otis Brown, August 5th, 2003


The GET CREATIVE! Moving Image Contest.

Win a computer, a DV camera, or an iPod.

But first, read a description, the rules, and our list of amazing judges.

Then start getting creative.

It’s open-source messaging.

(Read the press release).

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Free Media

Matt Haughey, July 30th, 2003

As a part of the Texas Center for Educational Technology’s Web Library, Free Media is a storehouse of stock photos provided under a Creative Commons license primarily for educational purposes. They currently have over 400 high-quality images in a variety of categories, waiting for your reuse.


Wow, that was fast, part 2

Matt Haughey, July 29th, 2003

On Saturday, we posted about the Creative Commons licensing used by Scott Andrew and Shannon Campbell on their collaborative music project. They ended up creating two songs by Sunday morning and released them under a license.

Late Sunday night, Scott posted a link to the first derivative work made from it, a re-recording by previously featured content of the week singer/songwriter Erik Ostrom (using none of the same instruments that Scott and Shannon used, no less).

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Wow, that was fast

Glenn Otis Brown, July 29th, 2003

A big thank you to Lisa Rein, Joseph Lorenzo Hall, Chris Burkhardt, and the amazing Pho list for helping us make contact with Dave Allen.

And thanks to David Jacobs for showing Allen’s letter to us in the first place.

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Help Us Find Dave Allen, of the Gang of Four

Glenn Otis Brown, July 28th, 2003

A helpful reader spotted this great letter-to-the-editor in the Portland Mercury. It’s from a member of the influential punk & new wave band of the late 70s and early 80s, Gang of Four, but it could’ve been written by us.

Copyright is the issue! Our archaic copyright laws allow artists, musicians, and other creators to hang on to their rights for far too long before they enter the public domain. Today’s technology allows for any creator with a computer to manipulate any sound file available.

Mashing is one example, wherein a musician with a computer takes a song, pulls out the vocal melody, and literally mashes it onto another song. One great example is Madonna’s “Holiday” mashed with a Sex Pistols song. Technically it’s illegal but it’s also good fun and more interesting than a lot of schlock out there.

Today’s talented artists will always run afoul of current copyright laws because it’s an eternity before anything drops back into the public domain. So I say all you computer whiz musicians should go forth and grab a Gang of Four track and mash it onto a Christina Aguilera song just for the hell of it. I’d be pleased because it’s an inventive use of my copyrighted work. It’s the gatekeepers that are stifling creativity and innovation online.

Dave Allen

A call for help: Do any of you know how to get hold of Allen? And if so, could you please introduce him to us and our sampling license discussion? Thanks.


Pet Rock Star^s

Matt Haughey, July 25th, 2003

We’ve previously featured Scott Andrew, a musician and blogger, talking about his Creative Commons licensed songs.
Last year, he noticed a song by Shannon Campbell that he liked, which he began adding to, rearranging, and remxing. He emailed it to her, she liked it, and he posted it on his site (this was done before the Creative Commons started so he obtained permission before sharing the song).

Today Scott and Shannon are participating in a 24-hour charity event called Blogathon. The event asks weblog authors to pick a charity and post something regularly over a 24 hour period this weekend, while sponsors pledge money to the charity. Past blogathons have raised over $50,000 annually for hundreds of charities.

For their “Pet Rock Star^s” blogathon site, they’re accepting donations for Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, but they are planning to do something a little bit different with their blog. They’ve decided to collaborate on a new song, going from idea to finished product over the 24 hour period, posting every lyric idea, guitar riff, and communication between the two (Scott’s on the west coast, Shannon’s on the east coast — oh, and they’ve never met in person).

The coolest part? Every song chunk: the chorus, the drums, the guitar strums, will all be posted and released under a Creative Commons license, so you can play along too, adding your vocals, drums, or lyrics to create new versions. They’re already off and running, and it looks great so far.

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Common Content and Get Content launched

Matt Haughey, July 25th, 2003

The Common Content Registry of Creative Commons licensed works is now open and is filled with lots of great music, photos, educational materials, which are available for copying or re-use. If you’ve chosen a Creative Commons license for your work, you can register your work at Common Content so that others may easily find it.

In light of Common Content, and other projects working to facilitate re-use, Creative Commons has discontinued its Content Registry. All the records hosted here can now be found at Common Content.

To further facilitate re-use, Creative Commons also launched the new Get Content page, which lists various large portals that host Creative Commons licensed content, archived Featured Content of the Week records, and archived Featured Commoner interviews. Check it out, and start getting content for copying and re-use!


Creative Commons licensed site templates

Matt Haughey, July 24th, 2003

Neil Turner, a student designer and computer science student has released his great looking site’s template designs under an Attribution license. They’re downloadable and valid to XHTML 1.1 standards and look pretty easy to modify for your own use, as long as you give Neil credit.

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