Yesterday, Nature Publishing Group announced the launch of a new linked data platform, providing access to “20 million Resource Description Framework (RDF) statements, including primary metadata for more than 450,000 articles published by NPG since 1869. The datasets include basic citation information (title, author, publication date, etc) as well as NPG specific ontologies.” All datasets are published using the CC0 public domain dedication, which is not a license, but a legal tool that may be used by anyone wishing to permanently surrender the copyright and database rights (where they exist) they may have in a work, thereby placing it as nearly as possible into the public domain.
This is an excellent move by NPG, especially following an opinion piece they published in 2009 explicitly recommending open sharing and the use of CC0 to put data in the public domain, entitled, “Post-publication sharing of data and tools”:
“Although it is usual practice for major public databases to make data freely available to access and use, any restrictions on use should be strongly resisted and we endorse explicit encouragement of open sharing, for example under the newly available CC0 public domain waiver of Creative Commons.”
Many more organizations and institutions are using CC0 to release their data, which you can peruse at our wiki page for CC0 uses with data and databases. CC licenses are also used for data; read more about this and other issues plus an FAQ on CC and data at http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Data.2 Comments »
In other news:
Banner photo: "The Public, West Bromwich – Welcome to The Public Entrance Free" / ell brown / CC BY / croppedComments Off on CC News: Version 4.0 — CC License draft ready for public comment
We are pleased to post for public comment the first discussion draft of version 4.0. This draft is the product of an extended (and unprecedented) requirements gathering period involving input from CC affiliates, community and stakeholders. Thanks to all of you who contributed your valuable time and energy in the policy discussions and drafting sessions in support of this draft.
We crafted this first draft (v4.0d1) mindful of the overarching design goals first articulated at the 2011 Global Summit:
- Producing a 4.0 suite that addresses pressing challenges of important adopters, including those in countries where localized version of CC licenses have not existed, and never may, for any number of reasons;
- Maximizing interoperability, reducing license proliferation and promoting standardization where possible; and
- Longevity and ease of use.
We have also been mindful of supporting those for whom version 3.0 is working well. We will continue efforts to ensure those constituents are aware of our support throughout this process and our eagerness to see those implementations thrive.
We’ve documented and discussed all of these at length, and are excited to hear back from our community on how we can still better accomplish these goals. Here are some highlights of the major policy and drafting choices reflected in the draft, as well issues on which we would especially value your input. Join the discussion!
As anticipated, the license fully licenses database rights on the same terms and conditions as copyright and neighboring rights. We have heard no compelling reason for reversing course on this new policy, and all early feedback suggests this is a welcomed change despite questions about their utility. We have taken care to ensure that the license only applies where permission is needed and the licensor holds those rights.
Other copyright-like rights
Rights beyond copyright and neighboring rights are more complicated, however. We know from our community that other sui generis, copyright-like rights exist and more have been or will be proposed. These include press publisher rights in Germany and catalogue rights in Nordic countries. We remain concerned that these “ancillary rights” (the term coined for use in the draft) could undermine or interfere with expected uses of the licensed work, much as sui generis database rights (and their treatment in 3.0 and its ports) have vexed CC licensors and licensees in Europe for years.
We have taken the approach in this first draft of requiring waiver of those ancillary rights, but only if possible and then only to the extent necessary to allow the work to be used as intended under the license. (These ancillary rights do not include the traditional group of rights long excluded from CC licenses and reserved to licensors, such as trademark, privacy and personality rights, and similar.) We look to our community for input on this important policy choice.
Treatment of moral rights is the other central policy issue addressed in this draft. In 3.0 (unported) and a rough majority of the 3.0 ports, moral rights are generally reserved and unaffected by the license. Yet in other ports, those rights are reserved only where they cannot be waived, suggesting the licensor is waiving those rights where possible, and possibly without limitation. The difference is nuanced but not trivial, and merits consideration.
For purposes of this first draft, we have chosen a middle ground: where waiver is possible, a limited waiver (or non assert) is granted to allow the work to be used as otherwise permitted by the license. For all other purposes (or where a waiver or non assert is not permitted), those rights are fully reserved. This proposal draws heavily from the proposal made for 3.01, and is intended to re-start the discussion for 4.0 where that discussion left off. We look forward to hearing the views of our community on this proposal as well.
Proposals under development
A few policy decisions are still under consideration and will benefit from further public discussion before formal proposals are made. To the extent these decisions involve existing terms in 3.0, we have [bracketed] related provisions in the draft. These include technical protection measures and the definition of NonCommercial. On the former, discussion during the requirements gathering period was robust and productive, but not conclusive on any approach. We plan to use a portion of this public discussion period to curate use cases that will inform a formal proposal. Ideally, these use cases will be based on demonstrated needs (or lack thereof) by licensees for a change from the prohibition in 3.0. As for NonCommercial, more discussion is necessary if any of the current proposals or arguments for changing that definition are to be advanced. Consequently, we have left the definition unchanged in this first draft. On both of these issues, look for prompts from us on the license discussion list and this blog, and please contribute your voice to the discussion.
The draft license has several new features deserving of attention and your feedback. Attribution and marking requirements are now centralized in a single location and clarified for ease of understanding and compliance. The collecting society provision is dramatically simplified, though operating in the same spirit as in 3.0. Overall, we have strived to simplify, better organize, internationalize and enhance usability whenever possible. We welcome your ideas for making this license still better in these respects and more.
We need your input!
One of our highest priorities is to ensure to the extent possible that the 4.0 licenses work seamlessly in as many jurisdictions, and for as many constituents, as possible. Please help us identify provisions that could be improved to operate better in your locale and for the communities of CC adopters you care about.
We have updated the 4.0 wiki with a special page dedicated to this first draft, where you can find the full draft of BY-NC-SA and a detailed chart comparing this draft to version 3.0, among other resources. The primary discussion forum continues to be the license-discuss list. We look forward to hearing from you!1 Comment »
This is one for all those interested in the use of CC licences by archives, broadcasters or news organisations.
CC Australia has just announced that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia’s largest public broadcaster and news service, has used Wikimedia Commons to release a selection of historically significant television news stories under CC BY-SA.
Much of the material on Wikimedia has been released along with other archival material to celebrate the ABC’s 80th birthday as part of the 80 days that changed our lives website. However, this is just part of a broader Open Archives project by the ABC which has released hundreds of archival objects, encompassing audio, video and photographic material, including many more news and current affairs broadcasts, for reuse under CC licences. All of this builds on the ABC’s social media site, Pool, which has been working with the CC licences for some time and which we’ve written about before.
While other news broadcasters are also making material available under CC licences, what makes this project significant is that the news segments that have been released aren’t obscure archival material or raw footage, but rather polished stories broadcast by some of the ABC’s premier current affairs programs about major events in Australian history. It includes, for example, news reports on the Apollo 11 moon landings, the Azaria Chamberlain case, and the floating of the Australian currency. Not to mention this 1974 footage of Arthur C Clarke predicting the internet, with uncanny accuracy.
The release of the material via Wikimedia Commons will act to encourage its reuse on Wikipedia, like this report on the introduction of World Series Cricket. This in turn will expose it to a far broader audience than the ABC’s own website, and encourage its dissemination further. As Angela Clark, Director of ABC Innovation, says in the press release, “sharing content in this way not only makes more ABC content available to everyone, it also facilitates creativity and the possibility of new audiences for the footage.”
Wikimedia notes that this is “the first collection of broadcast “packaged” footage released to Wikimedia Commons under a free license,” aka CC BY-SA, the same license Wikipedia uses. We’d love to hear about any other similar uses to add to our Case Studies wiki.2 Comments »
Update October 2012: We’ve removed the links to the Google Form and spreadsheet below. Please visit the OER Policy Registry’s permanent home at http://oerpolicies.org.
The open community shares a need for more information to help us with our work. We know, for example, that there are many policies supporting open education at institutions and governments throughout the world. Many of us know of some of these policies, but it would be extremely helpful if we had a single database of open education policies that the entire community could access and update.
To meet this goal, Creative Commons has received a small grant to create an “OER Policy Registry.” The Open Educational Resources (OER) Policy Registry will be a place for policymakers and open advocates to easily share and update OER legislation, OER institutional policies and supporting OER policy resources. We have begun to enter OER policies into the registry, but we need your help to make it a truly useful global resource.
The open movement is reaching a stage where we’ve had some real, concrete OER policy victories and there is the potential to achieve many more. Sharing our collective knowledge of existing OER policies, in the same way we believe in sharing educational resources, will help advocates and policymakers worldwide be more successful.
Please join the effort:
(1) Contribute any OER policies you know about via this Google form.
- We are collecting both legislative AND institutional (non-legislative) OER policies from around the world. Your form submissions will be added to the draft list of OER policies.
(2) Review the draft list of OER policies. (Google doc)
- If any entries need to be fixed, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(3) Pass on this call to your colleagues, lists, blogs, and other channels, to ensure that we get as much input as possible. As the OER movement is global, it is critical that we capture OER policies from around the world.
Anyone can add OER policies to the Google form through the next month. Beginning May 1, the OER Policy Registry will move to the Creative Commons wiki. At that point, anyone will be able to edit and update the OER Policy Registry on the wiki, and all contributions will be licensed under CC BY.
We’re starting with a Google form because (a) it’s easy and (b) wikis require you to create an account before editing, and that may be a barrier to participation.
CC is in contact with other projects that collect similar information, including UNESCO, CoL, the Florida Distance Learning Consortium, EU OCW and a project in New Zealand. We will add OER policy data they gather as it becomes available. If anyone knows of other efforts to gather OER policies, please send them to Anna Daniel (email@example.com) and we will reach out to them too.
If you have any suggestions or feedback on the content and/or framework, please let us know.Comments Off on OER Policy Registry: Request for Help
CC is seeking a new Communications Manager! If you have run successful web campaigns while working with diverse stakeholders and community members from around the world, this job may be for you. We want a savvy web and social media expert that is familiar with open practices and tools, and can engage the individual CC creator to the organizational adopter. The Communications Manager will work closely with the entire CC team (affiliates + staff + open community) to set a robust communications agenda and strategy for Creative Commons, including planning the 10th birthday celebration of our license suite — coming up later this year!
This is an excellent opportunity to create organizational change and broaden the appeal of CC to untapped fields. The ideal candidate will be adept at distilling complicated subject matter to lay audiences. If interested, please view the full job description at our opportunities page, and send your cover letter and CV to “firstname.lastname@example.org” with the subject heading of “Communications Manager Application.” No phone calls, please. This position is based in Mountain View, California.
We will no longer be accepting applications after 11:59 p.m. PDT, Friday, April 27, 2012.2 Comments »
Creative Commons is once again seeking a bright, enthusiastic student to intern at its Mountain View office for ten weeks this summer. The student will have the opportunity to work with CC staff and international volunteers on various real-time projects.
This year, Creative Commons is looking for an intern to work on a number of specific projects in support of our worldwide affiliate community.
The intern will be supervised by the Affiliate Network Coordinator and work with our remotely-based Regional Project Managers to facilitate collaborative projects among our global volunteer network and to support our regional activities more generally. Assigned tasks and projects will vary depending on skills, experience and organization needs. However, it is anticipated that over the course of the ten week period the intern will undertake tasks along the following lines:
- Assist with the production of educational toolkits and standardised materials on specific topics/domains
- Audit existing resources and materials internationally for contribution to toolkits
- Coordinate group translation of identified documents
- Recruit affiliates for working groups and coordinate activities
- General support of affiliate communications, consultation and coordination
This position would suit those with experience, qualifications or an interest in community management, communications or a similar field. Knowledge of, or involvement in, the free/open culture movement would be a plus. Other than the Affiliate Network Coordinator, the intern would primarily be interacting with internationally-based staff and volunteers, so some late night and early morning work may be required.
In addition to contributing to real-time work projects, the intern will be invited to participate in external meetings, staff meetings, inter-organization competitions and discussions, and potential evening events. Staff will encourage the intern to also self-organize visits to local organizations, and to find ways to connect with various community members.
If you are a currently enrolled student (College, Graduate level, or somewhere in between) interested in applying, please read the above description carefully and follow the instructions below. You can find more details on our Opportunities page.
- Internships are open to students enrolled across the spectrum of disciplines;
- Internships are open to students at different levels of academic study including undergraduate, graduate and PhD. programs, although preference will be given to more experienced students.
- Internships are open to international students who are eligible to work abroad from an accredited university and/or through a third-party work-study program.
- Ability to work independently, as part of a team, and across teams.
- Excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills.
- Fluency in English required, second language competency a plus.
- Familiarity with the open movement and issues relating to copyright, technology, and creativity on the Internet a plus.
- The internship will last for ten weeks from approximately June to August 2012.
- The internships are full-time, temporary positions (no benefits).
- Applicants should plan on spending the summer at Mountain the View, CA office.
- Please also be ready to assist with general office tasks in addition to focused projects.
Creative Commons offers a stipend of US$ 4,000, if not otherwise covered by grant funding. If your school offers a stipend for work-study or internships, this factor is figured into the compensation. This stipend may not be sufficient to cover living expenses in the bay area. No other benefits are provided. Interns must make their own housing, insurance, and transportation arrangements.
How to apply
If you are a college or graduate student interested in our internship program, please send us your:
- Cover Letter explaining your interest in Creative Commons, in the position, and any other relevant experience not covered in your résumé.
- Two References: Please include email and phone number.
Applications and questions can be sent to “email@example.com” with the subject heading of “Community Support Intern.” No phone calls, please.
The application deadline for Summer 2012 is 11:59 p.m. PDT, Friday, April 9, 2012. Thank you for your interest in our organization.Comments Off on Creative Commons Summer Internship 2012
Today we’re pleased to announce that Athabasca University, BCcampus, and the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic have joined together to re-establish a CC affiliate team in Canada. All three organizations will take part in the official relaunch at the Creative Commons Salon Ottawa: Open Data on Friday, March 30.
This is not a new affiliate so much as a re-ignition of our existing Canadian community. Since 2004, a number of volunteers, interns and affiliate leads have supported and promoted CC and the use of open licenses generally in a Canadian context. This new team, representing three organizations spread across the geographic and cultural expanse of Canada, will be a key asset to support and lead the CC activities of this community.
Through public outreach, community building, tools, research, and resources this team will work with a network of open supporters to maximize digital creativity, sharing and innovation across Canada. The work of CC Canada is aligned with the overarching vision of Creative Commons — to help provide universal access to research and education, and full participation in culture to drive a new era of development, growth and productivity.
Whether you’re an artist, teacher, scientist, librarian, policymaker or just a regular citizen, Creative Commons provides you with a free, public, and standardized set of tools and licenses that create a balance between the reality of the Internet and the reality of copyright laws. CC Canada joins over four hundred other affiliates working in seventy-two jurisdictions around the world in supporting the use of Creative Commons infrastructure. Collectively this global network is creating a vast and growing digital commons of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.
Be sure to check out the CC Canada roadmap on the wiki. Congratulations to the CC Canada affiliate team!3 Comments »
We just posted a new job at our opportunities page: a chance to be Counsel at Creative Commons! The Counsel will work closely with the rest of our awesome in-house legal team, and provide legal support for all facets of CC’s work. This position involves a challenging blend of specialized international copyright work and more customary corporate legal work associated with any in-house legal position. Job duties include legal research, analysis particularly as relates to international copyright, drafting and maintaining internal legal policies, practices, and documents for the organization (including trademark, privacy, employment, grant agreements, and more), and strategy development and public outreach related to CC’s legal tools and programs. See the full job description.
To apply, email your cover letter and résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading of “Counsel Application.” No phone calls, please, and good luck with the rest of your job search!Comments Off on Job opportunity: Counsel at Creative Commons
Creative Commons licenses are enabling an international partnership of accredited universities, colleges and polytechnics to provide free learning opportunities for students worldwide with pathways to formal academic credit. The OER university (OERu) will create a parallel learning universe for learners who cannot afford a tertiary education by offering CC-licensed courses — with the opportunity to acquire formal academic credit at greatly reduced cost when compared to full-tuition studies. The OERu will assemble courses from existing open educational resources (OER) under CC licenses, reducing the overall cost of development. It has adopted the Free Cultural Works approved licenses (CC BY and CC BY-SA) as the default for OERu courses.
The OER Tertiary Education Network, the force behind the OERu, includes an impressive line-up of education providers, including: Athabasca University, BAOU (Gujarat’s open university), SUNY Empire State College, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, NorthTec, Open Polytechnic, Otago Polytechnic, Southern New Hampshire University, Thompson Rivers University, University of Canterbury, University of South Africa, University of Southern Queensland, and the University of Wollongong. BCcampus and the OER Foundation are supporting the network as non-teaching partners. These founding OERu anchor partners are accredited institutions in their respective national, provincial or state jurisdictions, which means that the OERu will be able to provide formal academic credit towards credible degrees in Africa, Asia, Oceania and North America — all using CC-licensed courses. Senior executives of the network have facilitated agile and rapid progress targeting the formal launch of the OERu operations in 2013. (More on that here.)
The OERu anchor partners have shortlisted eight university- and college-level courses to be developed as prototypes for refining the OERu delivery system:
- College Composition
- Art Appreciation and Techniques
- Regional relations in Asia and the Pacific
- A Mathematical Journey
- General and Applied Psychology
- Critical Reasoning
- Why Sustainable Practice
- Introduction to Management
Collectively, these courses — all first year courses except for Critical Reasoning, which is a 2nd year-level course in Philosophy — will carry credit towards a Bachelor of General Studies, the inaugural credential selected at the OERu meeting in November 2011. Two of the courses will be based on existing course materials under CC BY from U.S. Washington State’s Open Course Library project and the Saylor Foundation.
The OER Foundation has been trailing technologies and delivery approaches of large OER courses to help inform the design and development of these prototype courses. One such course is Open Content Licensing for Educators, which was designed as a free online workshop for educators and learners to learn more about OER, copyright, and CC licenses. The course materials, also under CC BY, were developed collaboratively by volunteers from the OER Foundation, WikiEducator, the OpenCourseWare Consortium and Creative Commons, with funding support from UNESCO. In January, Open Content Licensing for Educators was conducted online with 1,067 participants from 90 different countries — demonstrating the success of a large, collaborative, and high quality OER project. The OERu model will build on successes such as these, and demonstrate how CC licenses can maximize the return on investment in education at a massive scale.
Kudos to Wayne Mackintosh and all of his colleagues at OERu. Well done!
To learn more, visit WikiEducator.2 Comments »