Commons News

9th birthday of the CC license suite!

Jane Park, December 16th, 2011


Get Creative! (video)

Happy Birthday CC! Today marks the 9th birthday of the CC license suite, as Version 1.0 was launched in 2002. Since then, more than 500 million works on the web have been made available under one of the CC licenses, free for the public to reuse, remix, or redistribute.

This year we saw CC adoption or policy integration by some major organizations, including Europeana, YouTube, Wired.com, the U.S. Department of Labor, national and local governments in Brazil, in addition to many others. We also published The Power of Open, a book featuring successful stories of CC creators sharing knowledge, art, and data using Creative Commons, and held a global summit for CC affiliates and community members from around the world in Warsaw. There, we kicked off the initial Version 4.0 discussion for the CC license suite, the public discussion for which was announced last week and is now underway. Currently, we are joining efforts with many other open organizations to prevent SOPA from passing.

I could go on, but I’ll stop here to say, Happy Birthday CC! To celebrate, watch the video we launched with our license suite in 2002: Get Creative! — and consider donating to our Annual Campaign, going on now! Remember: Your CC donation will be matched through December 25.

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Creative Commons at an International Seminar and Expert Meeting in Moscow

Jonas Öberg, December 16th, 2011


Picture of Светлана Князева, Дендев Бадарч and Юрий Хохлов during the opening of the seminar / Михаил Федин / CC BY-SA

Creative Commons’ Russian affiliate Institute of the Information Society (IIS), in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies, organized an international seminar and expert meeting on the 6th of December in Moscow. As the CC Regional Project Manager for Europe, I participated in the event together with representatives from Creative Commons in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

The seminar was attended by industry participants, organizations and representatives from Russian governments and federal agencies, including the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, Ministry of Education and Science, Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications, Federal Antimonopoly Service, State Duma of the Russian Federation, Research Center of Private Law at the President of the RF and the Chamber of Commerce.

IIS legal experts have prepared an analytical report, Use of Creative Commons Licenses in the Russian Federation (pdf), which was presented at the seminar. It contains conclusions and recommendations for future activities aimed at introducing Creative Commons in Russia, including discussion of potential legislative changes aimed at enabling the licence locally. It also contains an annex with information and results from the CC Global Summit 2011 in Warsaw in September 2011.

Other sessions at the seminar included presentations by representatives of each of the CC jurisdiction teams present, as well as critiques of the CC licences by local academics and the local Wikimedia chapter, with much of the discussion focusing on 4.0. The day finished with a special UNESCO-hosted session on OER.

For Creative Commons, the seminar was an excellent starting point for our future work in Russia, and the participation of Creative Commons affiliates from the CIS countries shows that there is a clear interest in working together in the regions. As part of its work, IIS will now start providing input to the recently launched Version 4.0 process, as well as continuing its work to raise awareness of Creative Commons with Russian authorities.

It’s very exciting to see this region grow; I’m very happy to see that there’s now a discussion around the upcoming Version 4.0, its relevance for Russia and the possibility for Russia to participate in the shaping of this important license suite for sharing culture globally!

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Report from the 2011 Annual Creative Commons board meeting

Joi Ito, December 16th, 2011

The Creative Commons Board of Directors held its annual board meeting on 9 December 2011. Board members appointed for additional terms were Glenn Brown (Director, Business Development, Media at Twitter), Prof. Michael Carroll (Director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Washington College of Law, American University), Davis Guggenheim (film director and producer), Esther Wojcicki (journalist and educator), and Annette Thomas (CEO of Macmillian Publishing). Officers for the coming year were also appointed: Catherine M. Casserly (President and CEO), Mike Linksvayer (Vice President), Diane Cabell (Secretary), Ted Rose (Treasurer), and Diane Peters (General Counsel).

Due to the expansion and geographical distribution of the Board members, it has become increasingly difficult to schedule meetings; therefore, a smaller Executive Committee has been established to convene on a more frequent basis and the quorum for full Board meetings was reduced. One of the Executive Committee’s first agenda items will be a review of CC’s new strategic plan.

To bring more expertise to the Board’s activities, an Executive Advisory Council has also been formed that will be chaired by the CEO. The Council will include both Board members and non-Board members in order to acquire the strongest possible input for CC decision-making. The Council will also be able to establish Task Forces that can tap into the wider CC community to help address issues of specific interest.

The 2012 preliminary budget was also approved.

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Urgent: more action needed to stop SOPA

Mike Linksvayer, December 14th, 2011

Update 12/16

The hearings are still going on; please keep calling, emailing, and otherwise spreading the word!


Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee will debate and potentially vote on SOPA, the Internet Blacklist bill that would break the Internet.

Our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have compiled a list of 12 actions you can take now to stop SOPA.

Do them.


Soon you’ll find a huge banner at the top of every page on the CC site protesting SOPA. The Wikimedia community is considering a blackout to bring massive attention to the danger posed by SOPA. Many others are taking action. What are you doing?

For background on the bill, why it would be especially bad for the commons, and links for news, check out our previous post calling for action against SOPA and a detailed post from Wikimedia’s General Counsel.

Finally, remember that CC is crucial to keeping the Internet non-broken in the long term. The more free culture is, the less culture has an allergy to and deathwish for the Internet. We need your help too. Thanks!

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Apply for the 2012 Google Policy Fellowship with Creative Commons

Timothy Vollmer, December 13th, 2011

We’re happy to announce that for the fourth year Creative Commons will take part in the Google Policy Fellowship program. Submit your application by February 3, 2012.

The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests. Fellows will have the opportunity to work at public interest organizations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government, and more.

The 2012 Google Policy Fellow will receive a substantial grant to work at Creative Commons’ office in Mountain View, California. We are looking for motivated candidates with partially-developed ideas in exploring a particular interest/expertise area, short research project, or related activity within the broad spectrum of open licensing and the commons. Past Google Policy Fellowship projects have included an analysis of the WIPO development agenda in relation to its effect on access to public domain materials, crucial research on the welfare impact of Creative Commons across various fields, and an investigation of the characterization of Creative Commons within U.S. legal scholarship over the past 10 years. We are very flexible in accommodating project ideas that will be mutually beneficial to the candidate and CC. We are interested in a wide range of activities, which could include conducting original research, researching and developing educational materials, or assisting in the development of activities/projects useful to our wide-ranging global community. Potential topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:

Encapsulated research within our CC contribution-study project. Examples include:

  • Studying changing license adoption patterns in a specific community (can be quantitative, qualitative or comparative, with analysis depending on relevant applicant background)
  • Studying changing license adoption patterns within a specific platform
  • Studying the contribution of the platform in a specific context (applicant choice or our direction)
  • Studying the contribution of the CC network in a specific context
  • Studying CC’s contribution to the movement (with or without a human rights perspective; along the lines of expanding creation/data contribution to otherwise “distant” communities/persons/places/domains)
  • Studying CC’s contribution to novel cultural fields
  • For all the former: design DB (data gathering)

CC and the School of Open

  • Help design challenges/courses around CC licenses, with a particular focus on how to certify and assess expertise on CC licenses and topics.
  • Work would involve testing/evaluation with a user/creator community to measure effectiveness of courses.
  • Develop documentation/case studies for different user/creator communities.

Research and development of CC related toolkits and guides

  • Researching trends in CC usage, messaging around trends, development of high quality case studies and toolkits.
  • Depending on applicant interest and CC needs, could create for CC in government adoption/public sector information, CC and innovative business models, etc.

International activities

  • Translation projects (requires familiarity/experience with CC community)
  • Community management projects (requires familiarity/experience in community management skills; applicant could usefully work on volunteers or team-model working groups projects)
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Your CC donation will be matched now through Dec 25

Jane Park, December 13th, 2011

Exciting news! The Brin-Wojcicki Foundation is offering Creative Commons a big boost as 2011 wraps up. The Foundation has generously offered to match dollar-for-dollar all donations up to $100,000 now through December 25th.

If you needed another reason to show your support for Creative Commons, take The Brin-Wojcicki challenge and help CC claim the full $100k, while showing your support for openness and sharing on the Internet. Go ahead, donate now!

The Brin-Wojcicki Foundation was started by Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google and his spouse, Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of the online genetics firm 23andMe. Anne’s mother Esther Wojcicki is Vice Chair of the Creative Commons Board of Directors and a long-time teacher at Palo Alto High School.

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CC is looking for a Director of Strategic Partnerships

Jane Park, December 12th, 2011


Donor Strategy cake / HowardLake / CC BY-SA

Creative Commons is looking for a Director of Strategic Partnerships! The Director of Strategic Partnerships will be responsible for building and executing a comprehensive fundraising strategy, focusing mainly on individual and corporate donations. This position will report directly to the Controller and work very closely with the CEO and Board of Directors.

The Director will join our team and office in Mountain View—a collaborative, community-building atmosphere grounded in an environment of mutual respect and trust. Ideal candidates are familiar with open source technology, copyright, and issues relating to creativity on the Internet, not to mention 5-7 years of nonprofit development experience and a successful track record in short and long-term strategic planning and implementation, including recruitment and maintenance of past, present and potential donors. See the full job description at our opportunities page.

Please email any inquiries, your cover letter and résumé to jobs [at] creativecommons.org with the subject heading of “Director of Strategic Partnerships Application.”

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CC News: Public Discussion Launches for Version 4.0 of the CC Licenses

Jane Park, December 12th, 2011

Stay up to date with CC news by subscribing to our weblog and following us on Twitter.

Public Discussion Launches for Version 4.0 of the CC Licenses

We are pleased to announce the beginning of the public discussion process that we expect to result in version 4.0 of the Creative Commons license suite. The 4.0 discussions held at the 2011 Global Summit confirmed for CC the need to commence the 4.0 discussion process now if we wish to consider issues relevant to important would-be adopters in a timely manner. As explained following legal sessions at the Summit, version 3.0 is working (and will continue to work) really well for many adopters, but the reality is different for others. Read more.

Stop [U.S.] American censorship of the Internet

The SOPA and Protect IP bills threaten every site on Internet, but would especially harm the commons. While standard public licenses like CC have lowered the costs and risks of legal sharing and collaboration, SOPA and Protect IP would drastically increase both the costs and risks of providing platforms for sharing and collaboration. Sites ranging from individual blogs to massive community projects such as Wikipedia to open education repositories to Flickr and YouTube could be in jeopardy if a single possibly infringing item causes an entire domain to be taken down. Read more.

 

Wired.com now releasing photos under CC Attribution-Noncommercial

We are thrilled to relay Wired.com’s announcement that from now on all Wired.com staff-produced photos will be released under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial license (CC BY-NC)! Wired.com’s Editor in Chief Evan Hansen says, “Creative Commons turns ten years old next year, and the simple idea of releasing content with “some rights reserved” has revolutionized online sharing and fueled a thriving remix culture. At Wired.com, we’ve benefited from CC-licensed photos for years — thank you sharers! Now we’re going to start sharing ourselves.” Read more.

In other news:

  • In related data news, Europeana has published its Licensing Framework, which supports re-use of data and content through CC legal tools (CC0, the Public Domain Mark, and CC BY-SA), providing guidelines for their appropriate applications.
  • The German UNESCO Commission released a practical guideline to open content licenses, featuring the CC license suite as its primary example.
  • A recent study by the Australian National Data Service found that the benefits of free and unrestricted public sector information (PSI) outweighed costs.
  • The first Spanish CC movie (in Catalàn) premiered in Spanish cinema. Check out "Interferències" under CC BY-NC-SA.
  • Creative Commons was at WIPO, represented by CC Costa Rica at the 8th Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • Lastly, this is just a friendly reminder that the White House wants your input on Public Access to Data and Publications by January 2, 2012.

Banner photo crop of "Trent Reznor" by Wired Photostream – CC BY-NC.

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Version 4.0 – Public Discussion Launches

Diane Peters, December 9th, 2011

We are pleased to announce the beginning of the public discussion process that we expect to result in version 4.0 of the Creative Commons license suite.

Timeliness and Opportunity

The 4.0 discussions held at the 2011 Global Summit confirmed for CC the need to commence the 4.0 discussion process now if we wish to consider issues relevant to important would-be adopters in a timely manner. As explained following legal sessions at the Summit, version 3.0 is working (and will continue to work) really well for many adopters, but the reality is different for others. The treatment of sui generis database rights in the 3.0 licenses continues to be a show-stopper for many, including governments in Europe. This fosters an environment in which custom licenses proliferate, inevitably resulting in silos of incompatibly-licensed content that cannot be maximally shared and remixed. But there exist still other reasons for pursuing 4.0 at this time, including the desire to adjust the licenses to more fully support adoption by intergovernmental organizations and those looking for a more internationally-oriented license suite.


CC BY, Version 3.0

The consequence of not addressing these challenges now is one of opportunity — bridging these differences sooner rather than later (where possible) is always advisable, especially if a more inclusive commons may result. For those fond of version 3.0, rest assured that CC will continue to support existing and future implementations and adopters that rely on those licenses. We will take pains not to create a 4.0 suite that undermines or otherwise presents challenges for those communities.

Process – Discussion Forum – 4.0 Wiki

Importantly, for the first time in CC’s history we begin the versioning process without publishing a draft of the new licenses for review. This is intentional, and it is designed to ensure we hear from the community first. During this 2-3 month requirements gathering period, we urge everyone with a proposal, concern or other input to please put it forth, as our goal is to make the first draft as comprehensive as possible. We will alert the community when the requirements period draws to a close, expected to be mid-February 2012. As in the past, we will publish at least two drafts of the licenses before finalizing, which we anticipate will occur late 2012.

As with past versioning efforts, the central discussion forum will be CC’s license discuss list (subscribe now). New to the 4.0 process, however, is a dedicated group of wiki pages (accessible through the main 4.0 wiki page) where topics and proposals under discussion on that email list will be documented, annotated, and evaluated. We have pre-populated the wiki pages with several of the issues we expect to address during this process, framing key topics to help shape the discussion and including known and anticipated proposals related to each. Among others, we expect healthy debates regarding the treatment of moral rights, the definition of NonCommercial, scope of ShareAlike, treatment of sui generis database rights, and much more. The issues are organized by topic with cross-references to related issues throughout the wiki, but there is also an open forum (the Sandbox page) where you should be encouraged to suggest other topics you feel are important to discuss for version 4.0 (a few placeholders already exist).

For a fuller description of CC’s objectives, the process and expected schedule, visit the 4.0 wiki homepage.

We encourage everyone who is interested in the future of Creative Commons, and open licensing generally, to participate in this process. The more voices that chime in to raise issues and debate the merits of various proposals, the stronger version 4.0 will be, helping us achieve our goal of creating a set of robust licenses that will endure long into the future. If you have an opinion about how to simplify CC’s attribution requirements, for example, or any of the other important issues we plan to examine during the process, please post your suggestion to the CC license discuss list (subscribe today) and add it to our 4.0 wiki. We look forward to hearing from you.

Support CC

The Version 4.0 process and many other activities are supported by contributions from our community. As a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools, Creative Commons has always relied on the generosity of both individuals and organizations to fund its ongoing operations. Please consider donating to our Annual Campaign, going on now. Thank you.

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Safecast: Global sensor network collects and shares radiation data via CC0

Jane Park, December 5th, 2011


INTERPOLATION MAP / Lionel Bergeret, Safecast / CC BY-NC

One week after the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Diachi plant in March, the Safecast project was born to respond to the information needs of Japanese citizens regarding radiation levels in their environment. Safecast, then known as RDTN.org, started a campaign on Kickstarter “to provide an aggregate feed of nuclear radiation data from governmental, non-governmental and citizen-scientist sources.” All radiation data collected via the project would be dedicated to the public domain using CC0, “available to everyone, including scientists and nuclear experts who can provide context for lay people.” Since then, more than 1.25 million data points have been collected and shared; Safecast has been featured on PBS Newshour; and the project aims to expand its scope to mapping the rest of the world.

“Safecast supports the idea that more data – freely available data – is better. Our goal is not to single out any individual source of data as untrustworthy, but rather to contribute to the existing measurement data and make it more robust. Multiple sources of data are always better and more accurate when aggregated.

While Japan and radiation is the primary focus of the moment, this work has made us aware of a need for more environmental data on a global level and the longterm work that Safecast engages in will address these needs. Safecast is based in the US but is currently focused on outreach efforts in Japan. Our team includes contributors from around the world.”

To learn more, visit http://safecast.org. All raw data from the project is available for re-use via the CC0 public domain dedication, while other website content (such as photos and text) are available under CC BY-NC.

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