Commons News

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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CC Chairman Joi Ito named new director of MIT Media Lab

Jane Park, April 27th, 2011


Joi ito by Dean Ornish / CC BY

The MIT Media Lab, known for its innovative, hands-on approaches in design, multimedia, and technology, has named Creative Commons Chairman and former CEO Joi Ito as its new executive director. In its article about the announcement, the New York Times notes Joi’s long-time support of open culture:

“Raised in both Tokyo and Silicon Valley, Mr. Ito was part of the first generation to grow up with the Internet. …[Joi] was also an early participant in the open-source software movement and is a board member of the Mozilla Foundation, which oversees the development of the Firefox Web [browser], as well as being the co-founder and chairman of Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that has sought to create a middle ground to promote the sharing of digital information.”

Joi also blogs about his new appointment, describing MIT Media Lab as a great fit:

“I really felt at home for the first time in many ways. It felt like a place where I could focus – focus on everything – but still have a tremendous ability to work with the team as well as my network and broader extended network to execute and impact the world in a substantial and positive way.”

Learn more about the Media Lab and Joi’s appointment at his blog.

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Using CC0 for public domain software

Mike Linksvayer, April 15th, 2011

The basic idea of Creative Commons, offering free copyright tools, is copied from the free software movement. However, CC licenses are not intended to be used to release software, as our FAQ has always said.

One important reason why Creative Commons licenses should not be used to release software is that they aren’t compatible with existing free software licenses, most importantly the GPL from the Free Software Foundation, which is used by over half of free software projects. A commons fractured by legal incompatibilities is a weak commons, and it would be deeply contrary to our mission to fracture the commons of software. (It should also be noted that the FSF helped unfracture the non-software commons by facilitating Wikimedia’s migration to CC BY-SA as the main content license of Wikipedia and its sibling sites.)

While the vast majority of contemporary free software is released under the GPL or another free software license, there is also a long tradition of public domain software, which was free before the term free software existed. Indeed, prior to the 1970s, copyright did not apply to software. Currently, SQLite, an embedded database that you almost certainly use, is probably the most popular software that is dedicated to the public domain.

There are a variety of public domain dedications used to release software, which is mostly not a problem — to the extent such dedications are well-crafted, they don’t present a legal interoperability problem. This means it is possible to improve the state of the art in public domain dedications without harming the ecosystem. (Though this doesn’t mean an infinite variety of public domain dedications is optimal — at the extreme having to determine whether a new dedication is well-crafted each time one encounters a new public domain work would make using public domain works unattractive.)

In addition to licenses, Creative Commons also offers public domain tools. In creating the CC0 public domain dedication, we did set out to improve the state of the art in public domain dedications, and we think we’ve been pretty successful. Users seem to think so — ranging from governments and institutions to musicians.

We hadn’t set out with CC0 to improve on public domain dedications for software. However, since the release of CC0, we’ve been approached a number of times about using CC0 to dedicate software to the public domain. While we were happy to hear of this unanticipated demand, we wanted to tread very carefully so as to not create any unintended consequences for the free software ecosystem. This led to discussions with the Free Software Foundation, the steward of the GPL and moral leader of the free software movement.

We’re really happy to announce that the Free Software Foundation has added CC0 to its free software licenses list (which includes public domain terms). As usual, the FSF’s language is extremely clear, so we simply quote two sections from their list:

CC0

CC0 is a public domain dedication from Creative Commons. A work released under CC0 is dedicated to the public domain to the fullest extent permitted by law. If that is not possible for any reason, CC0 also provides a simple permissive license as a fallback. Both public domain works and the simple license provided by CC0 are compatible with the GNU GPL.

If you want to release your work to the public domain, we recommend you use CC0.

[…]

Public Domain

If you want to release your work to the public domain, we encourage you to use formal tools to do so. We ask people who make small contributions to GNU to sign a disclaimer form; that’s one solution. If you’re working on a project that doesn’t have formal contribution policies like that, CC0 is a good tool that anyone can use. It formally dedicates your work to the public domain, and provides a fallback license for cases where that is not legally possible.

We’ve also added an entry to the CC0 FAQ about using CC0 to release software, which you ought read if you’d like to do that. If you’re only familiar with the way CC licenses and public domain tools are typically used on web pages and other media, be aware that with free software, the full license (or public domain terms) are usually included with the software. In order to make this easy to do, we’ve taken this opportunity to fulfill a longstanding request — plain text copies of the “legalcode” for CC0 and CC’s six main international licenses. See CC software engineer Chris Webber’s post for details.

Special thanks to Chris Webber and the FSF’s Brett Smith for their persistent work to make the CC0 software recommendation possible.

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Plaintext versions of Creative Commons licenses and CC0

Chris Webber, April 15th, 2011

Last Friday, we made plaintext versions of our core 3.0 (unported) licenses and CC0 available. This is something that some people have wanted for a long time. For example, Evan Prodromou made a draft of plaintext licenses a few years ago, but these never became official.

But now we do have official plaintext versions. Here’s a list:

For most works, plaintext legalcode doesn’t matter as linking directly to the deeds (say with the copy-paste output you get with the license chooser) is good enough, even ideal. And it’s important to note that the XHTML licenses are still the canonical versions. But for some projects plaintext legalcode may be a very good thing. For example, it is traditional practice in free and open source software projects to bundle your licenses along with your project. More and more FOSS projects are using Creative Commons licenses or CC0 for their non-software content, so having plaintext legalcode will probably be very useful in these instances. Additionally, some other projects which release their content in a way that is largely offline may benefit from plaintext legalcode.

If you need to provide licensing information about your work in a similarly plaintext way, you should follow this pattern:

<WORK'S NAME> (c) by <AUTHOR'S NAME>

<WORK'S NAME> is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

You should have received a copy of the license along with this
work.  If not, see <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>.

… replacing <WORK’S NAME> and <AUTHOR’S NAME> appropriately. (The first line in this example is optional.)

This push for an official plaintext legalcode release was spurred by the recent work with the Free Software Foundation on establishing the compatibility of CC0 with the GPL. It is important to note here that while CC0 is acceptable for software, Creative Commons licenses are not acceptable for software. The usage of plaintext legalcode as described in this post is intended for non-software content.

Copy / Paste Examples

For reference, here are some easily copy/pasteable examples of how you would annotate your works for all Creative Commons licenses, as well as CC0 (which is listed last).

CC BY 3.0:

<WORK'S NAME> (c) by <AUTHOR'S NAME>

<WORK'S NAME> is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

You should have received a copy of the license along with this
work.  If not, see <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/>.

CC BY-SA 3.0:

<WORK'S NAME> (c) by <AUTHOR'S NAME>

<WORK'S NAME> is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

You should have received a copy of the license along with this
work.  If not, see <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>.

CC BY-ND 3.0:

<WORK'S NAME> (c) by <AUTHOR'S NAME>

<WORK'S NAME> is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

You should have received a copy of the license along with this
work.  If not, see <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/>.

CC BY-NC 3.0:

<WORK'S NAME> (c) by <AUTHOR'S NAME>

<WORK'S NAME> is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

You should have received a copy of the license along with this
work.  If not, see <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/>.

CC BY-NC-SA 3.0:

<WORK'S NAME> (c) by <AUTHOR'S NAME>

<WORK'S NAME> is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

You should have received a copy of the license along with this
work.  If not, see <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/>.

CC BY-NC-ND 3.0:

<WORK'S NAME> (c) by <AUTHOR'S NAME>

<WORK'S NAME> is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

You should have received a copy of the license along with this
work.  If not, see <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/>.

CC0 1.0: (note, see here if using CC0 for software)

<WORK'S NAME> by <AUTHOR'S NAME>

To the extent possible under law, the person who associated CC0 with
<WORK'S NAME> has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights
to <WORK'S NAME>.

You should have received a copy of the CC0 legalcode along with this
work.  If not, see <http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/>.
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Creative Commons Announces Support Program for Department of Labor C3T Grantees

Timothy Vollmer, April 13th, 2011

Creative Commons is pleased to announce we have been awarded a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide support to successful applicants of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program with our partnering organizations Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative, CAST, and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

The free of charge technical assistance 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. The partnering organizations will provide the following areas of expertise: open licensing, learning and course design, professional development, and adoption and use. TAACCCT applicants interested in these free services should include boilerplate language in their proposal. This suggested language, as well as a high-level description of services, can be viewed at our TAACCCT information page.

Creative Commons is excited to participate in this groundbreaking effort and grateful to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its generous support in facilitating open learning.

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CC News: Creative Commons for Japan Relief

Jane Park, April 5th, 2011

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

March may be over, but the madness isn't! CC is helping to shape Japan relief efforts, moving offices, and playing an important role in open government.

Japan relief efforts use Creative Commons

Regardless of CC related efforts, we want you to do what you can to help Japan. But we also think it's pretty amazing that a number of great relief efforts are using Creative Commons licenses, and you can contribute to them. 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 stay warm in a cardboard house. You can help by contributing, editing, or translating articles on OLIVE – all available for reuse under CC BY. Read more about other CC relief efforts.

CC headquarters moves to Mountain View, California!

New CC Office
New CC Office by Creative Commons / CC BY

Spring is a time for change, as evidenced by our office move. We're not leaving our hearts in San Francisco, however; we're taking them plus our innovative spirits with us to Mountain View, California. As of April 1, the CC headquarters will be located in downtown Mountain View to be closer to all the activity brewing in Silicon Valley. Read more.

State of Play: Public Sector Information in the United States

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 a great overview, 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.” Read more.

In other news:

  • Have an idea for a CC project? Learn how to develop a proposal and apply for funding at the P2PU "Getting your CC project funded" course! Deadline to apply is April 13.
  • The annual Open Education Conference is calling for research proposals by May 13.
  • Safe Creative, a Spain-based global intellectual property registry that allows users to publicly assert and identify their rights over a work, now enables creators to donate a portion of their sales to Creative Commons.
  • CC talked with BCcampus on open educaton and policy. BCcampus is the institution that provides educational technology and online learning support to British Columbia’s 25 public colleges and universities.
  • CC CEO Cathy Casserly receives the President's Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence.
  • Firefox 4 was officially released by our awesome friends at Mozilla.
  • NYTimes best-selling author Cory Doctorow talked up CC in a recent feature by the BBC: "How free translates to business survival."
  • Lastly, we are hosting a CC Salon Palo Alto on Open Services Innovation. The April 25 event is free and open to all, but advance RSVP is required, so reserve your spot now!

Banner based on illustration by Jennifer ChongCC BY 2.0.

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CC Salon Palo Alto: Open Innovation (4/25/2011)

Allison Domicone, March 30th, 2011

Creative Commons is pleased to present with Hewlett-Packard (HP) Labs the next CC Salon: Open Services Innovation, at the HP campus in Palo Alto on Monday, April 25, from 6-8pm. This CC Salon will feature two speakers from HP Labs as well as author of Open Innovation and Berkeley professor Henry Chesbrough to discuss the topic of open services innovation as it relates to collaboration between businesses, universities, and in research in ways that spur creativity and maximize impact. Following a networking and refreshment hour, our speakers will each give a brief presentation sharing their personal work and experience. We will close with a period of questions and discussion from the audience. The event is free and open to the public, but due to security we are requiring that all attendees register in advance for this event.

Our speakers for the evening include:

Henry Chesbrough, Executive Director of the Center for Open Innovation at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He is known as “the father of open innovation”, due to his book, Open Innovation (Harvard Business School Press, 2003). This book was named a “Best Business Book” by Strategy & Business magazine, and the best book on innovation on NPR’s All Things Considered. Scientific American magazine named him one of the top 50 technology and business leaders in recognition of his research on industrial innovation. His most recent book, Open Services Innovation (Jossey Bass, 2011) analyses open innovation in services’ contexts. It was favorably reviewed in The Economist, and is being translated into several languages.

Rich Friedrich, Director of the Strategy and Open Innovation Office in HP Labs. Leading a global team, Rich is responsible for the strategy and portfolio management of HP’s central research organization, applying Open Innovation to amplify and accelerate research investments, and technology transfer so that the company can monetize these technologies. In his strategic role he is responsible for research investments in nano-technology, exascale computing, cyber security, information management, cloud computing, 3-D immersive interaction, sustainability, social computing and commercial digital printing. HP’s Open Innovation program is recognized as the only global, open, competitive innovation program that has established deep and impactful research collaborations between industry and academia.

Jamie Erbes, Director, Services Research Lab, HP Labs. Jamie joined HP’s Office of Strategy and Technology in 2008 as the Chief Technology Officer for Software & Solutions where she supported the company-wide software strategy for Business Technology Optimization (BTO), HP’s IT management software, and Communications & Media Solutions, with offerings for the CME industry. In this role she helped create a forward-looking vision for cloud services and their impact on Enterprise IT management.

Monday, April 25, 2011, 6-8pm.
HP Labs (1501 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304 | Map).
Park in front of Building 3 Upper and enter lobby to sign in.

Special thanks to HP Labs for generously agreeing to host this event.

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We are moving!

Jennifer Yip, March 29th, 2011

As of April 1, the CC HQ will be moving into a new office space. We will be located in downtown Mountain View to be closer to all the activity brewing in Silicon Valley. Please be aware that we will be packing on Wednesday, March 30, and moving on Thursday, March 31. It may take us an extra day or two to answer inquiries during the following week or so, as we settle into the new space.

Please update our contact information in your records:

444 Castro Street, Suite 900
Mountain View, CA 94041

Tel: 650.294.4732
Fax: 650.965.1605
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