Commons News

Illegal Art, Illegal Imagination

Glenn Otis Brown, January 8th, 2003

An interesting piece in the New York Times today discusses “Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age,” an exhibition dedicated to works built in part from other copyrighted works — without permission.

By sign-of-the-times coincidence, I participated in a panel yesterday entitled “The Illegal Imagination,” at the Future of Music Coalition’s superb summit in Washington D.C. Co-panelists Gigi Sohn (Public Knowledge), Siva Vaidhyathan (NYU), musician Alfonzo Blackwell, and moderator Ira Glass (This American Life) and I discussed precisely the same issues. Aided by spirited audience participation (one of the many great hallmarks of the FMC gathering), we discussed hip-hop and sampling, the ever-growing world of “mash-up” media, and copyright’s influence on creativity, generally.

“Though copyright law can make for arcane discussion,” writes the Times‘ Chris Nelson, “popular culture has brimmed with the subject of late.”

And brim it will. As readers of this blog already know, few can afford to consider copyright “arcane” for much longer. Whether you’re an artist, a fan, a coder, or a casual web-surfer, knowing the ins and outs of copyright — for better or worse — is already part of getting by in the wired world. Copyright’s not just for lawyers anymore.

Glenn Otis Brown

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Prentice Hall to Publish Bruce Perens ‘Open Source’ Books

Glenn Otis Brown, January 7th, 2003

Innovative content licensing seems to be catching on — even beyond the efforts of Creative Commons.

Prentince Hall PTR recently announced that they’ll publish a series of technical books under open-content licenses. Read the Slashdot story.

Kudos to Bruce Perens for brokering the move, and to Prentice Hall for joining O’Reilly and Associaties in the elite club of enlightened commercial publishers.

(You’ll recall that the O’Reilly folks recently adopted our Founder’s Copyright, under which they’ll release certain copyrights into the public domain after 14 years, with an option to renew for another 14 — just as the Framers’ of the U.S. Constitution would have had it.)

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Nominate a Commoner

Glenn Otis Brown, January 6th, 2003

Do you know someone using a Creative Commons license for a unique or compelling project? We like to profile such Featured Commoners, and we’d like your suggestions. Email us.

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People Like Us in New York City

Glenn Otis Brown, January 6th, 2003

UK-based media artist (and Creative Commons license adopter) People Like Us will perform in New York City this week. On January 8th, People Like Us (a.k.a. Vicki Bennett) will screen the intriguingly titled “We Edit Life” at Subtonic. On the 12th from 5pm to 7pm EST, People Like Us will hit the airwaves with WFMU, available at 90.1 or 91.1 on your dial or via webcast at WFMU’s site.

Creative Commons had the honor of featuring People Like Us at our recent license release party in San Francisco. Check out the works People Like Us has already released under Creative Commons licenses.

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Creative Commons at Future of Music Coalition Summit, Washington, Jan. 6

Glenn Otis Brown, December 31st, 2002

The Future of Music Coalition will host their third-annual Policy Summit January 4 through 7 in Washington D.C. The FMC3 summit will bring policymakers, academics, lawyers, activists — and, of course, a number of premier musicians — together for a discussion of artists’ rights and technology’s influence on the music industry.

Glenn Otis Brown, Creaitve Commons Executive Director, will appear on a panel, “The Illegal Imagination,” on Monday, January 6, along with “This American Life” host Ira Glass, writer and lyricist John Perry Barlow, musicians Doug E. Fresh and Alonzo Blackwell, Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn, and NYU professor Siva Vaidhyanathan (author of Copyrights and Copywrongs and the forthcoming The Anarchist in the Library). See the full program schedule.

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Intellectual Baggage — The Good Kind

Glenn Otis Brown, December 30th, 2002

For some particularly excellent commentary about Creative Commons licenses, check out Denise M. Howell’s Bag and Baggage, one of the snappiest law-and-tech blogs out there. Denise chronicles her own experience applying one of our licenses to her blog and addresses readers’ questions about the licenses, among other things.

As our chairman has pointed out in his own blog, it’s just this sort of community participation and reporting that the Creative Commons model will rely on. So thanks to Bag and Baggage and the many others out there revving up the discussion.

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Do the Shirky

Glenn Otis Brown, December 30th, 2002

Clay Shirky, prominent web thinker and investor, has released essays from his email newsletter NEC (Networks, Economics, and Culture) under a Creative Commons attribution license. Here’s how to subscribe to the list if you haven’t already.

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New Weblog and RSS Feed

Ben Adida, December 26th, 2002

Just in time for the new year, we’re pleased to announce the new Creative Commons Weblog and associated RSS feed.

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Art News Online

Press Robot, December 25th, 2002

Net Gains,” by Carly Berwick.

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The Seattle Times

Press Robot, December 25th, 2002

Online Power to the People is Expanding,” by Paul Andrews.

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