Commons News

Firefox 4

Mike Linksvayer, March 22nd, 2011

Firefox 4 is officially released today by our friends at Mozilla, and it is awesome. Install or upgrade now.

In large part due to Mozilla’s leadership over the years, the Open Web is in good health. Open standards and open formats are becoming the norm. This means anyone, anywhere can develop innovative applications that will work in any modern browser, without asking anyone for permission or paying any fees.* See Mitchell Baker (chair of the Mozilla board) on why Firefox is more than just a great browser.

Note that CC Search is no longer included by default in the Firefox search bar dropdown list. This is eminently reasonable from a user experience and business perspective, about which we’ll post more soon. If you want to add CC Search to your search bar, you can do so from the CC Search beta interface; feedback encouraged.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone at Mozilla and everyone who benefits from Mozilla’s work — that means all 2 billion people who currently have access to the net, and hopefully soon the 5 billion people who do not yet have access — understand why any barrier to participation is a barrier too high.

* Except where content and data are concerned; that’s where Creative Commons comes in. Today let’s celebrate the openness of the web at the standards/protocols/formats layer.

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Japan relief efforts use Creative Commons

Jane Park, March 22nd, 2011

Last week we asked you to help support the Japanese relief effort. We would also like to highlight alternative ways you can help by pointing you to a few relief efforts that are using CC licenses.

OLIVE for quake survivors
OLIVE is a Wikipedia-like site that provides much-needed information for quake survivors in various languages. With thousands of people displaced from their homes in Japan, many are surviving in make-shift homes and shelters, with scant resources. OLIVE provides practical and creative ways on how to best utilize available resources, such as how to make a dish from a plastic bottle or empty can, how to preserve body heat with polystyrene or newspaper, and how to stay warm in cardboard house. You can help by contributing articles to OLIVE or translating existing articles–all of which are under CC BY.

Music compilations where 100% of proceeds are donated to Red Cross and other charities
Two projects are calling for net musicians to submit their music, graphic design, video, and photography for compilations where all proceeds will be donated to charitable organizations helping Japan, like the Red Cross. InternetLabel is calling for music submissions by April 1st and for art submissions by April 11. The InternetLabel compilation will be released under a CC BY-NC-SA license. Impurfekt, which is focusing specifically on art influenced by Japanese culture, is calling for submissions by April 15. The Impurfekt compilation will be released under a CC BY-NC-ND license.

Architecture for Humanity
Architecture for Humanity, a strong supporter of CC license use in its Open Architecture Network and for crisis recovery centers for Haiti and New Orleans, is asking for support for similar reconstruction building efforts in Japan.

OpenStreetMap
OpenStreetMap set up a disaster information sharing site at www.sinsai.info in Japanese, in addition to an English landing page for the disaster where you can contribute to improving map data for Japan. Like all its data, OpenStreetMap’s data set for the Sendai region is available under CC BY-SA.

Google Person Finder
Although it doesn’t use CC, the Google Person Finder is an open source Google app that was developed in response to the Haiti earthquake and that has been adapted for the missing person database for Japan. You can use the Google Person Finder to search for loved ones, and find out more about how it works here.

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Please do what you can to help Japan

Lawrence Lessig, March 18th, 2011

Dear Fellow Creative Commoner:

A week ago, Japan suffered its most devastating earthquake and tsunami in modern history. This disaster has left thousands of people dead, many others injured and displaced, and an estimated 1.5 million more without access to power. Furthermore, the compounding catastrophe with the country’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant will affect the environment for decades.

Japan has long been at the core of the Creative Commons movement. It was the first country to port our licenses. Many of the most important commoners, including Yuko Noguchi, Chiaki Hayashi, Tomoaki Watanabe, Dominick Chen, and CC’s chairman, Joi Ito, have come from Japan.

All of us send our prayers to the Japanese people. But if you can send more than prayers, it would mean a great deal. Japan needs urgent help. Please do what you can. Your support will help in concrete ways, and will also be critical to raising the spirits of the Japanese people as they face the challenges ahead.

There are several worthy aid organizations to select from on Google’s Crisis Response page. And please consider contributing to Architecture for Humanity’s Japanese reconstruction effort.

Thank you,

Lawrence Lessig and the Creative Commons Team

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State of Play: Public Sector Information in the United States

Jane Park, March 8th, 2011

As part of our blog series for the European Public Sector Information Platform (ePSIplatform) on the role of Creative Commons in supporting the re-use of public sector information, we have researched and published the State of Play: Public Sector Information in the United States.

Beth Noveck, former United States deputy CTO of open government and now a Professor of Law at New York Law School, provides an excellent overview of the report, noting that it is “an excellent report on open data in the United States” and “provides a concise and accurate primer (with footnotes) on the legal and policy framework for open government data in the US.” Abstract:

State of Play: Public Sector Information in the United States
This topic report examines the background of public sector information (PSI) policy and re-use in the United States, describing the federal, state and local government PSI environments. It explores the impact of these differences against the European framework, especially in relation to economic effects of open access to particular types of PSI, such as weather data. The report also discuss recent developments in the United States relating to PSI re-use, such as Data.gov, the NIH Public Access Policy, and new open licensing requirements for government funded educational resources.

The report is published on the ePSIplatform and also on our wiki (pdf). It complements our previous report, Creative Commons and Public Sector Information: Flexible tools to support PSI creators and re-users; both are available under CC Attribution.

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Safe Creative enables creators to donate a portion of their sales to Creative Commons

Jane Park, March 8th, 2011

Safe Creative is a Spain-based global intellectual property registry that allows users to publicly assert and identify their rights over a work. Safe Creative supports CC licensing, so you can register* your existing CC-licensed works and license your new works that you register. Currently, Safe Creative has over half a million registered works and over 50,000 users. With their advanced search you can find CC-licensed works Safe Creative users have registered.

Recently, Safe Creative launched a new platform that allows creators to sell their works directly to users. As part of this new platform, Safe Creative has integrated the ability to donate a portion or all of your sales to two nonprofits: Creative Commons or Médecins Sans Frontières. After you register your work, you can choose to “Enable Licensing for Commons” and the percentage of the proceeds that you want to go to Creative Commons. A little info box explains CC to Safe Creative creators, and contains the following text:

Why would I want to donate a portion of my proceeds to Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that relies on the public’s support. If you have ever licensed your work under a CC license, or benefited from using the millions of free, CC-licensed works on the web, donating a portion of your proceeds will help to ensure that CC continues to develop, support, and steward the copyright licenses and tools that make sharing on the web possible.

Safe Creative has in the past supported Creative Commons by offering challenges during our annual campaign. It is cool that they have found a new innovative way to support Creative Commons as have others recently (if your company is interested in supporting our work, please get in touch) and we’re gratified to be one of two initial choices alongside Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

Check it out, and let us know what you think!

*Note that registration is not required to apply a CC license to your work. Publishing your work with a license notice, usually on the web, is all you need to do. In a sense, the web is the registry of CC-licensed works. However, digital copyright registries such as the one run by Safe Creative add value, especially to the extent registrations are exposed on the web, through making it easier to discover the provenance of works, and works themselves. These topics have been explored in depth at three CC technology summits, each of which Safe Creative has presented at.

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CC News: Where did our $ come from in 2010?

Jane Park, March 7th, 2011

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

Where our $ came from in 2010

In an exercise in transparency and graphic design, we illustrate the source of the hands that fed us, including yours. We’re a nonprofit organization that happily provides our tools for free, and we rely on you, our international community of users and advocates to help us continue our work. With so many worthy causes in the world vying for your support, we are so grateful to all who have kept CC afloat and going strong for the past 8 years. We’d love to see these numbers grow, just as CC license adoption and use of our tools has grown steadily since 2002. Check out the full visual break-down of 2010 funds.

Open Attribute, a ridiculously simple way to attribute CC-licensed works on the web

open-attribute-small

For evidence that CC tools are laying the groundwork for a more open web, look no further than Open Attribute, “a suite of tools that makes it ridiculously simple for anyone to copy and paste the correct attribution for any CC licensed work.” The Open Attribute team (which includes our super stellar CTO Nathan Yergler) launched browser add-ons for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome last month. Thanks to the magic of CC REL, the add-ons pull the metadata around a CC-licensed work to produce a formatted attribution that users can copy and paste wherever they need to. Learn more about how it works.

Have your own Creative Commons project? Learn how to get it funded

We are never short on good ideas, but how many of those ideas actually turn into something tangible? Now’s your chance to get serious with “Getting your CC project funded,” a free, online course set to run in April. The course consists of a series of workshops and seminars that will take you through the steps from an initial idea to having a finished project proposal for submission, including assistance in identifying and finding funding bodies and collaborations relevant for your project. You provide the idea; the course provides the guidance to turn it into a proposal that can’t be refused. Learn more.

In other news:

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2011 Summer Legal Internship

Aurelia J. Schultz, March 2nd, 2011

Creative Commons is once again seeking a bright, enthusiastic student to work at the international headquarters office for ten weeks this summer. Students have the opportunity to work with CC staff and international volunteers on various real-time projects. Assigned tasks and projects will vary depending on the intern’s skill & experience, as well as organization needs. If you are a currently enrolled law student interested in applying, please read the descriptions carefully and follow the instructions below.

In addition to contributing to real-time work projects, the intern will be invited to participate in external meetings, staff meetings, inter-organization 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.

Eligibility

  • The internship is open to students enrolled in law school, pursuing a JD, LL.B or LL.M. Ph.D candidates in area particularly relevant to CC’s work will be considered.
  • The internship is open to international students who are eligible to work abroad from an accredited university and/or through a third-party work-study program.
  • The internship will focus on intellectual property and copyright as relates to creative works shared on the internet.

Internship terms

  • The internship will last for ten weeks from June 6 to August 12.
  • The internships are full-time, temporary positions.
  • Applicants should plan on spending the summer in Mountain View, CA.
  • Please also be ready to assist with general office tasks in addition to focused projects.

Compensation

Creative Commons offers a stipend of $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

Please see our Opportunities page for full details and information on how to apply.

Applications and questions can be sent to:

Aurelia J. Schultz (Miss)
Counsel
aurelia[at]creativecommons.org
fax: 415.278.9419

The application deadline for Summer 2010 is 11:59 p.m. PST, Friday, March 18, 2011.

Thank you for your interest in our organization. Please NO phone calls.

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Ireland License Draft Enters Public Discussion

Aurelia J. Schultz, March 2nd, 2011

The newest license draft adapted to Irish law is ready for public discussion. A previous version of this license was published and opened for discussion and we are now seeking comments on the latest revised version.

To contribute a review or question regarding the license draft adapted to Irish law, please visit the BY-NC-SA 3.0 license draft page and click on the wiki’s discussion page to share your thoughts. You are also welcome to join and write to the CC Ireland mailing list, which will run in parallel to the wiki.

The public discussion is an open forum where everyone – from lawyers to active license users, from linguists to translators — is invited to contribute and improve the license texts. Comments should be submitted as soon as possible to allow enough time for review, so we encourage you to post to the list before the end of March 2011, when the discussion is scheduled to close.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Project Leads Darius Whelan and Louise Crowley with the support of University College Cork. We look forward to the discussion!

While CC is winding down porting as we prepare for version 4.0, we’re excited to see this work come to fruition given CC Ireland’s extensive work on the licenses. A huge thank you to the entire CC Ireland team for all their hard work.

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Learn how to get your Creative Commons project funded

Jane Park, March 1st, 2011

If you are serious about a Creative Commons project idea, you may be interested in the free, online course, “Getting your CC project funded,” set to run in April. The course consists of a series of workshops and seminars that will take you through the steps from an initial idea to having a finished project proposal for submission, including assistance in identifying and finding funding bodies and collaborations relevant for your project. You provide the idea; the course provides the guidance to turn it into a proposal that can’t be refused.

The course will be run by Jonas Öberg from the Nordic CC network, a lecturer at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden with extensive grant writing and reviewing experience with the European Commission and several Nordic cultural foundations. “Getting your CC project funded” will run on the Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) in April, and we especially invite CC Affiliates and friends to participate!

As with all P2PU courses, the course is free to take. Though only 15 active participants will be accepted into the course, the entire course, material, and other information, including the proposals which you write in the course, will be open for anyone to follow on the P2PU platform under the CC BY-SA license.

You can read more at http://p2pu.org/general/getting-your-cc-project-funded. You may start brainstorming at anytime, but official sign-up opens March 31.

If you already have experience writing and reviewing funding proposals… you may be interested in joining the team of expert external reviewers. More info on the current team is available on our wiki. If interested, please contact Jonas directly or janepark [at] creativecommons [dot] org. Though the course itself will be run in English, project proposals may be written and reviewed in English, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Russian and Bulgarian. More languages may be added depending on the final team of reviewers.

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Creative Commons sponsors WikiSym 2011

Jane Park, February 24th, 2011

We are thrilled to announce our involvement in the 7th annual WikiSym, International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration. WikiSym explores the impact of wikis, open resources, and open technologies across all sectors of society, including education, law, journalism, art, science, publishing, business, and entertainment.

WikiSym 2011 will be held in Mountain View, California on October 3-5. You don’t want to miss this conference. WikiSym draws an international group of leading thinkers from industry, non-profits and academia. Last year’s WikiSym 2010 in Poland was packed with exciting people and ideas. WikiSym 2011 is gearing up to be the best gathering on open collaboration ever held.

Creative Commons is an official sponsor of the event, and we will be presenting some of our ideas on Open Educational Resources (OER) and open content in general.

Want to present your ideas at WikiSym 2011? The program will include: research papers, workshops, panel discussions, poster sessions, demos, and a doctoral symposium. See the call for participation page for details and deadlines. Be sure to follow their blog and Twitter account for updates leading up to the event.

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