We’re taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what’s at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation.
Today’s topic is about supporting fair use, a legal doctrine in the United States and a few other countries that permits some uses of copyrighted works without the author’s permission for purposes such as parody, criticism, teaching, and news reporting. Fair use is an important check on the exclusive bundle of rights granted to authors under copyright law. Fair use is considered a “limitation and exception” to copyright.
One area of particular importance within limitations and exceptions to copyright is the practice of text and data mining. Text and data mining typically consists of computers analyzing huge amounts of text or data, and has the potential to unlock huge swaths of interesting connections between textual and other types of content. Understanding these new connections can enable new research capabilities that result in novel scholarly discoveries and critical scientific breakthroughs. Because of this, text and data mining is increasingly important for scholarly research.
Recently the United Kingdom enacted legislation specifically excepting noncommercial text and data mining from copyright. And as the European Commission conducts their review of EU copyright rules, some groups have called for the addition of a specific text and data mining exception. Copyright for Creativity’s manifesto, released Monday, urges the European Commission to add a new exception for text and data mining, in order to support new uses of technology and user needs.
Another view holds that text and data mining activities should be considered outside the purview of copyright altogether. The response from the Communia Association to the EU copyright consultation takes this approach, saying “if text and data mining would be authorized by a copyright exception, it would constitute a de facto recognition that text and data mining are not legitimate usages. We believe that mining texts and data for facts is an activity that is not and should not be protected by copyright and therefore introducing a legislative solution that takes the form of an exception should be avoided.” Similarly, there have been several actions advocating that “The right to read should be the right to mine.”
Whether text and data mining falls under a copyright exception or outside the scope of copyright, it is clearly an activity that should not be able to be controlled by the copyright owner. But unfortunately, that is exactly what some incumbent publishing gatekeepers are trying to do by setting up restrictive contractual agreements. One example we’ve seen of this practice is with the deployment of a set of “open access” licenses from the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM), many of which attempt to restrict text and data mining of the licensed publications. In jurisdictions such as the United States, users do not need to ask permission (or be granted permission through a license) to conduct text and data mining because the activity either falls outside of the scope of copyright or is squarely covered by fair use.
Ensuring that licenses give copyright owners no more control over their content than they have under copyright law is a fundamental principle of CC licensing. That’s why the licenses explicitly state that they in no way restrict uses that are under a limitation or exception to copyright. This means that users do not have to comply with the license for uses of the material permitted by an applicable limitation or exception (such as fair use) or uses that are otherwise unrestricted by copyright law, such as text and data mining in many jurisdictions.
Today’s topic of fair use rights reminds us that “for copyright to achieve its purpose of encouraging creativity and innovation, it must preserve and promote ample breathing space for unexpected and innovative uses.” To liberate the massive potential for innovation made possible by existing and future types of text and data mining, we need user-focused copyright policy that enables these new activities.
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On January 21, I’ll be joining Free Music Archive’s Cheyenne Hohman for a free webinar on how to find and use CC-licensed music in your video projects. Join us for a great discussion.
If you make videos, or you make music for videos, or you just like learning new stuff, tune in tomorrow to our webinar! We’ll be allowing a few guests in to our Hangout and then broadcasting for everyone else.
The webinar will begin at 3PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 21st.
Special guest and Creative Commons expert Elliot Harmon will be co-hosting with Cheyenne. We’ll show you around the Free Music Archive (including where to find license and contact info for artists), run through the basics of Creative Commons licenses and how to use CC tracks in videos, and show you how you can license your work under Creative Commons (spoiler: it’s easy!).
We’re looking forward to seeing you there! If you can’t make it, we’ll be archiving the webinars (slides and videos) to our site in the FAQ section.
Next week, we’ll host one for K-12 teachers, and in early February we’ll have one for you musical types.
Guest blog post by Teresa Nobre, Legal Project Lead Creative Commons Portugal
We didn’t need much. It was the release date of the State of the Commons report and on the CC affiliates mailing list, the discussion was centred on the annual fundraising campaign. CC Finland mentioned that we could celebrate CC’s 12th birthday with music and CC Denmark immediately proposed a new CC Birthday Mixtape. On the other side of the Atlantic, Elliot Harmon replied: “The mixtape was awesome. I think it would be a great project.”
I was on a train on my way to Porto to attend an OER policy project workshop. That activity and the follow-up to it were the things where I had to focus my attention on in the next few days. Composed exclusively by volunteers, most of the affiliate teams struggle with time management. We want to participate in as many activities as possible, but we have to be cautious. Before I could censor myself, I let the crew know that I “wouldn’t mind” organizing it again. Jewel by Zoe Leela was already playing in my media player, filling me with pride for our first adventure in the CC music world.
A couple of weeks more passed before someone asked if we were still going to do it. Of course we are! Time runs fast and if we were really going to do it, this had to be a quick community action. Limiting the mixtape to CC Europe was out of the question. This time we wanted to feel the European multiplicity, but we also wanted to get lost in Asian sounds, get African vibes, and go clubbing in the Americas. We sent an email around to the affiliates global network and in a little bit more than 1 week we had received over 60 nominations from 25 countries.
We are certain that had the deadline been longer, we would have received many more suggestions. But we couldn’t be happier with the astounding response of the affiliates and with the involvement of the regional coordinators in the action. And the final result couldn’t be better: the CC Affiliates Mixtape #1 not only showcases new music talent but also includes artists which are huge names in their own countries, such as Dead Combo (Portugal), the Mendes Brothers (Cape Verde), the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, or BNegão and the Seletores de Frequências (Brazil). Yep, it seems that the music world is turning CC!
The CC Affiliates Mixtape #1, comprising 25 CC-licensed tracks from 25 different countries, is available for download under various Creative Commons licenses Free Music Archive and Internet Archive. Enjoy your listening!Comments Off
Children’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. [front] / Boston Public LIbrary / No known copyright restrictions
The OPENPediatrics program at Boston Children’s Hospital announced the launch today of a new open educational resource (OER), a multimedia library
“An important part of our production process is the addition of high quality animations and illustrations to our didactic and procedural videos,” said Steve Carson, Director of Operations for the program. “Until now these resources have been embedded in our videos and only accessible to clinicians. Now, inspired by MIT OpenCourseWare and other OER projects, we are making the animations and illustrations available under open licenses and in downloadable formats to encourage wide usage.”
The initial 48 animations and illustrations are among the hundreds that will eventually be made available. The first set of resources illustrates key concepts of airway management, respiratory care, neurology, clinical procedures and other areas of pediatric care. The animations and illustrations have all been peer reviewed for accuracy. In the coming months, OPENPediatrics will continue publishing animations and illustrations from its back catalog as well as from newly released videos and other resources. The multimedia library is the second publicly available resource from OPENPediatrics, joining a collection of World Shared Practice Forum videos, which share global perspectives on key aspects of pediatric care.1 Comment »
It’s a new year, and Creative Commons and the Open Policy Network are excited to work with the inaugural group of fellows at the Institute for Open Leadership. The Institute for Open Leadership–or IOL–is an effort to cultivate new leaders in open education, science, public policy, and other fields on the values and implementation of openness in licensing, policies and practices. The rationale for the Institute is to educate and empower potential open advocates within existing institutional structures in order to expand and promote the values and practices of the idea that publicly funded resources should be openly licensed.
We received nearly 100 high quality applications and selected 14 fellows for the first Institute. The fellows come from around the world (12 countries), and reflect a wide range of institutions–from community colleges to government ministries to public radio.
We’re hosting the in-person portion of the Institute in California next week. It’s important that the Institute help fellows move from theory to reality: a major component of the program requires fellows to develop, refine, and implement a capstone open policy project within their home institution. Creative Commons and the open community will provide mentorship and guidance throughout this process. As the fellows build and eventually implement their policy projects, we’ll ask them to share their progress, challenges, and successes. We also plan on running a second Institute for Open Leadership outside of North America – in late 2015.Comments Off
Photo: Claudia Cristiani de Creative Commons El Salvador en el #CPSLV1 / Sara Fratti / CC BY 2.0Comments Off
Congratulations to CC Norway on the Norwegian translation of 4.0! This is the second published official translation of the license suite.
We’re excited to see this work progressing as more people are able to use the CC licenses in their own language. Look for a few translations from outside the Nordic region—including some involving teams from several continents!—in the near future.1 Comment »