Commons News

1,200 screenings of CC-licensed documentary “An Island”

Jane Park, May 26th, 2011

AnIsland2_by_Antje_Taiga_Jandrig
by Antje Taiga Jandrig / CC BY-NC-SA

When Vincent Moon and Efterklang completed “An Island” earlier this year, they launched public-private screenings of the film, encouraging the public to host free screenings under the CC BY-NC-SA license. Over the next two months, 1,200 screenings took place at various locations around the world; this Google map and Flickr stream demonstrate the reach and scope of the film.

To follow the success of their initial distribution, Vincent Moon and Efterklang have announced a limited edition DVD package of “An Island” and a digital download that follows the Pay What You Can model used successfully in the past by bands such as Radiohead. You can pay what you can for the documentary and download it under CC BY-NC-SA at the website, where you can also order one of the limited edition DVD packages with a run of 5,000.

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U.S. Department of Labor seeks reviewers for TAACCCT applications

Timothy Vollmer, May 23rd, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor continues to seek qualified peer reviewers to evaluate the first round applications for the agency’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program.

The Department is seeking a pool of education and training professionals that includes individuals with experience in providing or administering fully online or technology-enabled programs, individuals who have knowledge of or experience with evidence-based learning, and individuals with reasonable knowledge in both areas to help evaluate these applications in mid to late summer, 2011.

Detailed information and instructions for consideration is contained in this information page (PDF). Interested volunteers should contact the Department by May 27, 2011.

Creative Commons will not participate in the review process. For more information about how CC is involved in supporting grant winners, see our TAACCCT page.

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Kwame Nkrumah University adopts CC Attribution for OER policy

Jane Park, May 11th, 2011

KNUST OER production workshop team<br />
KNUST OER production workshop team by bagaball / CC BY

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has adopted a university-wide open educational resources (OER) policy with CC Attribution as the default license for university material. KNUST’s “Policy for Development and Use of Open Educational Resources (OER)” (pdf) outlines the purpose, role, and process of OER production at the university, and specifically states that,

“Materials produced which do not indicate any specific conditions for sharing will automatically be considered to have been shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license.”

The policy is available at the KNUST website and, in line with their policy, is available for use under CC BY.

KNUST is a partner institution in the African Health OER Network and works closely with the University of Michigan Medical School and Dental School to develop and distribute health OER. KNUST OER is hosted at http://web.knust.edu.gh/oer but is also duplicated for use at the Open.Michigan and OER Africa sites.

You can help us improve the case study on KNUST here.

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CC News: Creative Commons Global Meeting 2011

Jane Park, May 6th, 2011

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

Creative Commons Global Meeting 2011

Since the last global meeting of the Creative Commons community in Sapporo, we’ve seen the launch of CC0 and the Public Domain Mark, and a half-dozen more CC affiliate jurisdictions with many more in the works. To celebrate this and many other CC milestones, we are holding our next global meeting on the 16-18th of September this year in Warsaw, Poland. Co-hosted by our CC Poland team led by Alek Tarkowski, the event will bring together affiliates from more than 70 jurisdictions, CC staff, and a number of CC Board members. In addition to gathering requirements for version 4.0 of the CC license suite, the meeting will consist of workshops and forums on CC community building and adoption efforts in key sectors such as education, public sector information, and data. Learn more.

CC Attribution required in government policy

We are excited to announce that Creative Commons has been awarded a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide support to successful applicants of the U.S. government’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. All grantee outputs will be released under the CC Attribution (CC BY) license. To assist grantees, Creative Commons, along with several partnering organizations, will provide expertise in open licensing, adoption and use, and more. Our technical services will offer a competitive advantage for organizations seeking TAACCCT grant funds and ensure that the open educational resources created with these federal funds are of the highest quality. Learn more.

More exciting developments in government and foundation policy

In addition to requiring CC BY for TAACCCT grantee outputs, the U.S. Department of Labor has also required CC BY for outputs of the Career Pathways Innovation Fund. The fund makes available up to $122 million to "continue DOL’s support for community colleges, with a particular focus on career pathway programs implemented by community colleges in partnership with other organizations in the community."

CC BY is also the chosen license for non-software outputs of the Next Generation Learning Challenges grantees, a multi-year program dedicated to improving college readiness and completion in the United States. You can see the full list of the Wave I winners here.

In other news:

  • The MIT Media Lab has named Creative Commons Chairman and former CEO Joi Ito as its new executive director.
  • The Free Software Foundation recommends CC0 if you want to release software into the public domain.
  • We now offer plaintext versions of CC licenses and the CC0 public domain dedication.
  • SimpleGeo and ChEMBL have jumped on the open data bandwagon.
  • The latest in CC music includes the bittersweet end of Learning Music Monthly (36 albums) and Nighty Night by 8in8, an all-star collaboration between Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and Damien Kulash from OK Go.
  • CC Salon Palo Alto on Open Services Innovation featuring Henry Chesbrough is now up for viewing. Keep an eye out for the next CC salon in June!
  • Lastly, you can still vote for Stormy Mondays' "Sunrise Number 1" (licensed CC BY-NC-ND) to be the first CC song played in outerspace on NASA's Endeavour mission!

Banner photo by x-ophCC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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Workshop on “Open Government: Open Data, Open Source and Open Standards”

Jane Park, May 5th, 2011

Open Government Data Venn Diagram
Open Government Data Venn Diagram by justgrimes / CC BY-SA

You are invited to attend a workshop titled Open Government: Open Data, Open Source and Open Standards, organized jointly by Dr. Hanif Rahemtulla, Horizon Digital Economy Research and Puneet Kishor, Creative Commons. The workshop will be held in conjunction with the annual Open Source GIS (OSGIS) Conference on June 21, 2011 in Nottingham, United Kingdom, and will take place at the School of Geography/Centre for Geospatial Science at the University of Nottingham.

This workshop builds on the Law and the GeoWeb workshop held recently at Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, and will bring together speakers from across industry, research and academia to contribute toward some of the fundamental theoretical and technical questions emerging in the Open Data space (i.e., how to mark up and release open data; licensing models for governments and how to interface them to other open source and commercial licensing regimes; conflicts between data protection and transparency and structuring access to data by different groups).

The following speakers and topics have been confirmed:

  • Dr. Peter Mooney, Geotechnologies Research Group, Department of Computer Science, NUI Maynooth (NUIM), Co. Kildare. Ireland. Producing and consuming open data
  • Professor David Martin, School of Geography, University of Southampton, Southampton. Mapping the UK population over time: a universe of new possibilities
  • Zach Beauvais, Talis. Linked data
  • Dr. Chris Parker (GeoVation and Community Propositions) and Ian Holt (Web Services), Ordnance Survey, Southampton. Tackling global challenges through open innovation and geographic information
  • Dr. Catherine Souch, Royal Geographical Society. The Open Data revolution and data literacy in higher education
  • Dr. Katleen Janssen, Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT (ICRI), Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. Privacy and legal implications of open data
  • Professor Derek McAuley, Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, University of Nottingham. Exercising our rights over information about us

Proceedings
Proceedings of the Redmond and Nottingham workshops along with selected longer papers will be published in a special issue of the open access International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research published by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Contact
Please register for the workshop at the main OSGIS web site.
For further information please contact either Dr. Hanif Rahemtulla or Puneet Kishor.

For more on Creative Commons and open data, see our wiki.

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DRM (a day against)

Mike Linksvayer, May 4th, 2011

Yellow banner -- May 4th, 2011: Day Against DRMToday is a good day to learn about Digital Rights Management, or more accurately Digital Restrictions Management:

Although DRM seems to no longer be the red hot issue it was a decade ago, it is still very much present, causing problems regarding fair use, lack of competition, privacy and security breaches, forced obsolescence, and more. DRM is often now involved in distribution of movies and books, to the great consternation of some librarians. Not listening to librarians puts our freedom and safety at risk.

A few things about DRM specific to Creative Commons:

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Wellcome Trust urges universities to take leadership in open scientific publishing

Diane Cabell, May 4th, 2011

Creative Commons plays an instrumental role in the Open Access movement, which is making scholarly research and journals more widely available on the Web. Last month, Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, spoke at Oxford University on the role of open access in maximising the impact of biomedical research. Wellcome is one of the world’s leading funders of scientific research. Walport’s lecture was the fourth in a series on scholarship, publishing and the dissemination of research presented by the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA). The series is designed to stimulate debate on the issues surrounding changes in scholarly communications.

In a reflection of the venue — Bodleian Library’s Convocation House where the, audience perched on the same 17th century seats as Charles II’s parliament — Walport traced the history of Western scientific publication noting that scientists have delayed dissemination of their findings for centuries. When Gallileo discovered the rings around Saturn Galilei, for example, he sent a coded summary of his findings to his competitors so that once his work became public he would be able to unmask the perpetrator should any of them try to steal his credit. Walport also reported that scientific publication was banned during certain periods as too dangerous for public consumption.

Scientists today are still highly dependent on attribution for their status. Publication in prestigious journals remains the prime determinant of a researcher’s employment and funding opportunities. Open access journals historically suffered a lack of prestige as their peer review procedures were perceived as less rigorous.* Open data faces similar barriers; while Wellcome and other major funders in the genome field have mandated deposit of data in open repositories, most of the larger scientific community continues to hoard findings until a desired personal value can be extracted.

Traditional commercial publication is not the only way to protect scientific reputations, however, and Walport urged academic institutions to take back their traditional responsibility for the dissemination of knowledge by promoting open access mechanisms that still address the researcher’s needs for attribution. The PLoS business model presents alternative funding approaches capable of supporting academic publication. Most importantly, academicians are recognizing that they themselves have been providers of the major value of publication – the actual peer review – a free service that could be as easily provided to open access publishers as to proprietary ones. Alternatives such as PLoS One’s post-publication peer review mechanisms by the scholarly community at large may also prove effective.

Walport believes that science is on the cusp of an historic change in regard to publication practices and advised the university to take an aggressive role in the open access movement.

A video of Walport’s presentation will be posted shortly on the oxford scholarly communications debate website.

*Corrected from “Open access journals do not yet share that prestige as they rarely include peer review mechanisms.

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36 monthly albums & more new music under Creative Commons

Jane Park, May 2nd, 2011

In the world of music, Creative Commons licenses continue to be used by upcoming and established musicians for everything from remix contests to album-a-month projects. And since CC-licensed music may be blaring from outerspace for the first time in history on NASA’s Endeavour mission, we thought it would be a good time to do a round-up of the recent developments in Creative Commons music land.

Learning Music Monthly

Two years ago, L.A.-based musician John Wood and CC-friendly record label vosotros launched Learning Music Monthly, an album-a-month musical series. Every month, John Wood wrote, recorded, mixed, and mastered an album—and made each album available as part of a tiered subscription service that ranged from a donation-based digital option (available for download under a CC BY-NC-SA license) to a $60 package that included handmade albums delivered to your mailbox, limited edition stickers, bonus albums from friends of LMM, and even personalized birthday songs! These extras inevitably evolved as the project scaled, but the albums kept coming, an impressive feat for John Wood and his friends.

After three seasons and 36 albums, LMM has finally come to an end. In celebration, vosotros has created an excellent 37 song Learning Music compilation entitled, “An End Like This,” blogged over at the Free Music Archive. Additionally, all of the albums are archived for continuous discovery and remix at the LMM site.

R.E.M.

A great example of new, open distribution models, LMM is only one of many musicians and projects encouraging participation and remix under CC licenses. Earlier this year, R.E.M. launched a CC remix contest for “It Happened Today” on SoundCloud, one of the web’s easiest platforms for sharing your CC-licensed originals and remixes. Stems from the song were released under CC BY-NC-SA, and remixes were uploaded to SoundCloud under the same license. You can check out all remixed versions of the song here and read more about what went down at CC Australia’s coverage of the contest.

Paul Simon

Indaba, a hub for musical collaboration online, also continues to work with an expanding and interesting array of musicians for its artists remix contests. A recent contest featured Paul Simon’s latest single “Love Is Eternal Sacred Light,” soliciting fan remixes under CC BY-NC-ND.

Nighty Night by 8in8

And the latest treat is Nighty Night by 8in8, an all-star collaboration between Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and Damien Kulash from OK Go. The group set out to make eight songs in eight hours, and released the resulting album under CC BY-NC. You can read Neil’s account of the song-making process at his blog and buy the album at Amanda Palmer’s bandcamp page. Initial proceeds will go to berkleecitymusicnetwork.org, a charity dedicated to fulfilling kids’ musical potential.

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Cable Green joins Creative Commons as Director of Global Learning

Timothy Vollmer, May 2nd, 2011


Cable Green and family / CC BY

Creative Commons is pleased to welcome Dr. Cable Green as Director of Global Learning. Most recently, Green was the Director of eLearning & Open Education for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, where he provided leadership on strategic technology planning, openly licensing and sharing digital content, growing and improving online and hybrid learning, and implementing enterprise learning technologies and student support services. One innovative project, the Open Course Library, creates low-cost, digital, openly licensed (CC BY) instructional materials for 81 high impact community college courses. Cable holds a BS (international affairs) from Lewis and Clark College, MPC from Westminster College, and a MA (communication) and PhD (educational technology) from Ohio State University.

As Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons, Green will be responsible for setting strategic direction and priorities to build a global movement that will enable robust and vibrant practices and policies for free sharing of education and learning assets. Cable will lead Creative Commons’ recently-announced project to provide technical assistance to winning grantees of the Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community and Career Training Grant program.

“We’re honored and excited to be joined by Cable, and we expect that his experience, passion, and vision for OER will greatly amplify the impact that Creative Commons continues to make in open education around the world,” said Cathy Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons.

Please join us in welcoming Cable to CC!

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Creative Commons Global Meeting 2011

Jane Park, April 27th, 2011

Since the last global meeting of the Creative Commons community in Sapporo, we’ve seen the launch of CC0 and the Public Domain Mark, and a half-dozen more CC affiliate jurisdictions with many more in the works. To celebrate this and many other CC milestones, we are announcing our next global meeting, to be held the 16th-18th of September this year in Warsaw, Poland, co-hosted by our CC Poland team led by Alek Tarkowski.

The event will bring together affiliates from more than 70 jurisdictions, CC staff, as well as a number of CC Board members. The meeting will mark the beginning of requirements gathering for version 4.0 of the CC license suite, and promises workshops and forums on CC community building and adoption efforts in key sectors such as education, public sector information, and data. Planning is already underway to maximize opportunities for affiliates to meet with the Board and other key stakeholders over the course of the event. As September draws nearer, more information, such as scholarships and funding for affiliates as well as ways the community can contribute ideas for events and sessions, will be announced here on our blog.

We look forward to contributions from our community over the next several months to make this event as successful and productive as possible. A sincere thanks to both the CC Australia and CC Poland teams for submitting compelling proposals for co-hosting the event in response to our solicitation!

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