Commons News

Donate now and The Miraverse will double your gift!

Allison Domicone, November 17th, 2010

The Miraverse is going to double the next $5000 given to Creative Commons! Starting right now, if you donate anything between $5 and $500 to CC, the Miraverse will match every dollar you give. The Miraverse believes no amount is too small and that everyone should give back to Creative Commons, so whatever amount you give to CC right now, your impact will be automatically doubled. Donate quick to make sure your gift gets doubled!

Here’s why the Miraverse supports CC:

The Miraverse is an environment for developing new media productions and reaching new audiences through increased participation at every level and at every step of the creative process. Without the past work–and success–of Creative Commons, there would be no legal basis from which we could presume to proceed. But because of their great work we can begin our venture with the confidence that millions upon millions now understand that copyright need not be the end of creativity, but a potential beginning of an infinite number of wonderful futures. We are delighted to support an organization that has laid the foundation for us, and we accept that the best way to ensure a better future for everything we do is to support those who are doing the best work today.

Join the Miraverse in supporting CC and have your donation automatically doubled. Can you give $25, $75, or $100 to support the future of creativity and the work of Creative Commons?

Comments Off

Letter from featured superhero Gautam John of Pratham Books

Allison Domicone, November 16th, 2010

I’m pleased to introduce Gautam John, one of our exceptional CC Superheroes, who will tell you in his own words why he supports Creative Commons and why you should too. Gautam John is Manager of New Projects at Pratham Books, a children’s book publisher in India that truly embodies a spirit of openness and innovation on the web. They’ve now released 105 children’s books (in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati) as well as loads of delightful illustrations under a CC-BY license so they can easily be shared and even remixed to create new content relevant to other languages and cultures. Here is Pratham’s story. Join Gautam in supporting Creative Commons with a donation today.


Gautam John

Gautam John

Donate

“As a children’s book publisher, we have always struggled to be as inclusive as we can. However, as a small non-profit, we do function under severe constraints of time, money and ability to live up to this ideal and it was the Creative Commons model of licensing that allowed us one of our biggest moments of joy — when our books were made available as Braille and Audio Books for print impaired children across the world. Without the Creative Commons licensing model and philosophy, we would not have been able to engage with multiple organizations to help build inclusion and scale.

At Pratham Books, we have a very simple mission – “A Book in Every Child’s Hand” and this drives all of our work and we constantly test what we do against this goal. The mission has two parts, one is to create more reading matter such that there is more available for children to read and the second really is a corollary – that we need to be able to get books to where children need it the most and that the books need to be culturally and linguistically relevant as well.

This is where our challenge lies – to massively scale the production of high quality, low-cost children’s books for a massively multi-lingual and multi-cultural market. Looking at this challenge it is fairly obvious that this is not a problem that any one organization can solve. The solution has to be scalable, flexible and catalyse our fundamental mission as well.

At this point, we realised that there were several internal questions to answer and some of them painfully introspective. Questions as to whether the books we create and distribute have to be a Pratham Book, whether it implied that every book must be paid for by either the reader or an intermediary and, from being a publisher, questions as to whether we are gatekeepers of content or content curators, how we could create infinite good with finite time and resources and most importantly, how we can create more value than we capture?

Having answered most of these questions using “openness” (whereby, we asked ourselves whether allowing unrestricted access to use and re-use our content furthered our mission) as a test and finding that it did fit our mission, the second set of questions to answer was more technical – how, as a small non-profit, do we do this and not find ourselves overwhelmed. It was at this point that we had a moment of realization – that reading is an extremely social activity and that there are communities and organizations who were more than ready to help us achieve our goals.

It was at this juncture that we hit upon the Creative Commons licensing model as one that would help us achieve many of our aims of flexibility, scalability and being able to help catalyse our mission of a book in every child’s hands. In particular, three things stood out – a shared value system of sharing and openness, a community that was deeply embedded in these ideals and, from our perspective, it was scalable because it allowed us to license content to multiple organizations and individuals, both known and unknown, with a one time effort of releasing them under a Creative Commons license as opposed to the traditional model which involves time consuming negotiations and discussions with each known organization or individual who wants to use our content.

As an organization, we did spend some time choosing a license and, from our perspective, a choice between openness and sharing which reduced to a choice between the Attribution and Attribution-Share-Alike license. We have decided that the Attribution license will be our default license with a fall-back to the Attribution-Share-Alike license in cases where needed. It is best said by P2PU “it emerged that our choice lay between two licences: Creative Commons Attribution and Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike …chose to use Creative Commons licences because Creative Commons have become a global standard and are supported by a large international community. Both licences are Free Culture licences and are more permissive than any of the other Creative Commons licences. In other words, the choice was not between two extremes but between two open licences at the same end of the licence spectrum.” Given that our goal was being as open as possible, it followed that our license choices were essentially around licenses that allowed for the greatest possible use and re-use because our initial hypothesis was, and continues to be, that being open allows us to fulfill our mission better than a traditional copyright model allows.

We now use Creative Commons licenses everywhere! We license entire books under CC-BY and CC-BY-SA licenses, we license our illustrations similarly and even photographs and other publicity material too. Over the last year we have been building the foundations for a social publishing model – where we curate communities that are passionate about reading and help us create content. Such a model rests on the idea of a participatory culture and an essential ingredient is a permissive licensing strategy – Creative Commons licenses offers us this, a large community with shared values and an ecosystem to tap in to.

While this licensing and publishing model works well in theory, it has been extremely heartening for us to see it come to life – our communities have created multiple derivative works ranging from iPad and iPhone applications, to porting our works to OLPC laptops, to creating entirely new books from existing illustrations and, my personal favourite, creating versions of our books for the print impaired – from DAISY and Braille books to rich audio books such that our mission truly does encompass every single child.

I firmly believe that we would not have been able to achieve what success we have had without the help of Creative Commons licensing. These licenses and the values that they stand for are vital to building and strengthening a digital commons from which we all benefit. I hope you will consider supporting Creative Commons and licensing content that you own or control such that we all benefit from the growth of the commons.”


Follow Gautam on Twitter.
Special thanks to Maya Hemant from Pratham Books for getting all content (books, images) up online and for managing the Pratham community.

Comments Off

BioMed Central Supports Our Superhero Fundraising Campaign

Melissa Reeder, November 15th, 2010

Super-Gulliver
Super Gulliver by BioMed Central / CC BY

This week we are proud to announce that BioMed Central is helping us with our Superhero fundraising campaign by providing us with in-kind advertising space on their network of sites and employing the charms and gab of their feisty mascot Gulliver, the open access turtle.

BioMed Central is a UK-based, for-profit scientific publisher specializing in open access journal publication. Open access is a global movement that is opening up the world’s scholarly journal publications onto the internet, free of charge, where the primary role of copyright is to assure that credit is given where due rather than to restrict the flow of knowledge.

BioMed Central, and its sister companies Chemistry Central and PhysMath Central, publish slightly over 200 scientific journals – and not only do they publish under Creative Commons licenses, they do so under the most liberal license – CC BY. Every single article, every single journal.

By our calculations, BioMed Central is one of the most successful business stories built on CC BY. It was founded in 2000, and has grown rapidly each year which resulted in an acquisition by Springer Science+Business Media in 2008. BioMed Central is a fantastic example of how serious business can be conducted in the digital content industry without applying analog business models.

If you believe that knowledge should be accessible, then join BioMed Central in supporting CC today!

Comments Off

We Met Hindawi’s Matching Giving Challenge! Thank You!

Allison Domicone, November 12th, 2010

Thanks to all who donated this week and had your gift automatically doubled by Hindawi! Your $3000 in donations have become $6000 thanks to Hindawi.

Here’s why the open access scholarly journal publisher supports CC:

“As an open access journal publisher we believe that it is important for our readers to be comfortable reusing and redistributing our articles without fear of violating any copyright restrictions, and Creative Commons licenses make it clear to readers what they can do with our content.”

Many thanks to Hindawi and all those who donated to our fundraising campaign this week. We still need your help to reach our $550,000 goal by December 31 so please donate today and show the world you care about an open, sharing world – online and off!

1 Comment »

CC Talks With: Robert Cook-Deegan of the Center for Genomics at Duke

Cameron Parkins, November 11th, 2010

Sharing becomes a slippery slope when it comes to genomics: we need massive amounts of data in order to understand the human genome, but issues of privacy, abuse, and the distrust of institutions stand in the way. So how do we resolve this?

We talked to Robert Cook-Deegan, the director of the Center for Genomics, Ethics, Law & Policy at Duke University, about how the field of genomics is poised for takeoff, the challenges it faces as it scales, and how CC can step in as a neutral institution that will save the day.


Robert Cook-Deegan
by Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy / CC BY

What is the link between GELP and CC?

Genomics is completely dependent on a healthy mutualism between discovery science and practical application, yet the field is rife with conflict and deeply held ideologies and is rarely fertilized with empirical facts. Creative Commons is all about finding solutions that reduce friction in the intellectual property (IP) system and facilitate sharing of data and materials. So our roles are complementary and mutually dependent.

GELP is a corporate sponsor of Creative Commons–why do you think CC is important?

There are many academic centers with talent–we publish our own research at Duke, but we’re just not that good at putting things into action–but Creative Commons is the only place that is actually trying to get things done as a trusted nonprofit intermediary and catalyst.

I’m reminded of the epitaph on Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s grave: “She Saved the World. A Lot.” That’s what CC has begun to do in the world of art and writing; it’s helping save our culture from some of its own worst pathologies. It has the potential to do the same in science.

What do you see as CC’s role in the broader digital ecosystem? How does CC enable GELP to better innovate in that space?

The field of genomics is poised for takeoff. This is not pure hype. In 1999, there was no published human genome; by 2003 we had a reference human genome; by 2007 Craig Venter and Jim Watson’s genomes were on the Internet. Nature estimates that today, several thousand people have been fully sequenced.

But that information is useless if it is not compared to sequences of other people and organisms. What matters is genetic variation and how that maps to phenotype–whether a person is likely to get a disease or is prone to certain risks. If there was ever a field that depended on network dynamics, this is it. I can’t predict who will make the most valuable contributions to understanding my genome, but I sure want them to do a good job. And they can only do a good job if they have access to lots of other peoples’ genomes. This is hard because many people have the same concerns for privacy, fears of abuse, and distrust of institutions that I do.

How in the world are we going to solve this problem? I don’t know. But I do know that most research institutions and private firms are more concerned with mining what’s under their control already, rather than sharing and creating value collectively. The real value of genomic data is going to require information vastly beyond the control of any single institution.

We need Creative Commons because it is a trusted intermediary non-profit institution that will enable the dangerous dark innovation jungle to thrive despite the entrenched ideologies and conflicting interests of all the critters that live in it. We’re depending on you. May the force be with you.

Join Robert and GELP in supporting Creative Commons and help ensure a bright future for sharing in the field of genomics by donating to CC today!

Comments Off

CC to talk at Global Education Conference

Jane Park, November 10th, 2010


CC BY by Joi

The Global Education Conference is a week-long, online event hosting keynotes and various education tracks to “significantly increase opportunities for globally-connecting education activities and initiatives.” CC board Vice Chair, Esther Wojcicki, will give a keynote on “How to Spread Your Ideas Globally Using Creative Commons Licenses,” focusing on how CC licenses promote global sharing in education. The keynote is scheduled for November 15 at 10am PST and will be broadcast live via Elluminate. There is no need to register for the conference which will be held all next week, November 15-19. For a preview of Esther’s and other talks, see http://www.globaleducationconference.com/keynotes.html.

2 Comments »

Belgian Band Wins Case Against Theater for Infringing Use of CC-Licensed Song

Lisa Katayama, November 9th, 2010

The CC BY-NC-ND license held its own in a Belgian court last week when a band called Lichôdmapwa won a lawsuit against a theater company in Brussels that commercially used a modified, unattributed version of one of their songs in an advertisement. One of the band members happened to hear the song on the radio one day; he wrote to the theater company and attempted to settle off the books, but that didn’t happen–instead, the two faced each other in court.

The court acknowledged that the terms of the CC license very clearly stated that the song 1. can’t be modified 2. can’t be used for commercial purposes and 3. must appear with attribution. It shot down the defense’s claim that it wasn’t aware of the terms–they’re very clearly outlined on the site the song was downloaded from. For each violated condition, the band was awarded 1500€.

It’s always great to see how a CC license can really protect creative work against wrongful use. If you read French, you can read the full text of the case here.

Image of band, lichoblamont.jpg, licensed under a CC BY NC SA by Lichodmapwa

3 Comments »

Barcelona Events Wrap-up

Jane Park, November 9th, 2010


CC BY by mozillaeu

Since we last blogged about CC in Barcelona, we’ve been very productive. Two weeks worth of open events have yielded several talks around open educational resources (OER) search, discovery, and policy at Open Ed, recommendations and tools for greater open content reuse at the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival, and a 12 month plan for the future of the Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU).

Open Ed 2010

In addition to an excellent talk by board member Cathy Casserly, CC staff members Nathan Yergler and Timothy Vollmer both gave talks that led to fruitful side conversations that will be helpful going forward. Nathan’s talk on “Search and Discovery: OER’s Open Loop” spurred conversations about one of the underlying issues of OER search, which is, “how do you (software, crawlers) know what’s an OER and what is not?” Timothy Vollmer’s talk on the “iNACOL survey: An inquiry into OER projects, practices, and policy in U.S. K-12 schools” identified how OER is being used in K-12 online education and investigated the existing OER models at the state, district, and school level. The survey revealed the widespread knowledge of OER among the respondents, but also ongoing questions about the funding models and professional development needs to alert other teachers and administrators about the process and benefits of exploring OER. On the whole, survey respondents were optimistic about the potential for OER, wanting to see it implemented for a wide variety of functions, including the development of digital textbooks to replace hard copy texts, as a component in building better assessment mechanisms, to augment learning materials for struggling students, credit recovery, independent study, college prep and tutoring, special education, library tutorials, and to provide opportunities for students to engage in content and classes that the school doesn’t offer.


CC BY by tvol

Mozilla Drumbeat Festival: Learning, Freedom, and the Web

CEO Joi Ito gave a keynote and CC’s International Project Manager (and Drumbeat Festival program co-chair) Michelle Thorne worked closely with Mark Surman and other Mozillans to make this event happen–a huge shout-out to all the Mozilla volunteers! The Peer Learning Lighthouse tent, organized by CC Superhero Delia Browne, Alison Jean Cole (P2PU), and myself, focused specifically on overcoming barriers to reuse of CC licensed content and a future School of Copyright & Creative Commons at P2PU. One of the coolest outcomes of this tent was tech specifications around a CC attribution generator, a browser and platform plugin that would export the metadata around a CC licensed work to produce a formatted attribution. University of Michigan’s Molly Kleinman and our CTO Nathan Yergler, in collaboration with Mozilla, are working to make this tool a reality. Discussions on the School of Copyright & Creative Commons revolved around increasing global and linguistic reach of the Copyright for Educators courses, and also adapting the course for librarians, policymakers, and creators.

P2PU Workshop

All P2PU-produced content is under CC BY-SA. In order to more effectively educate P2PU participants and course organizers, the P2PU community are planning to integrate copyright and CC license education into its orientation process, in addition to emphasizing the P2PU value of openness as part of a “social contract” at the beginning of every course, which will be revised to explicitly call out the license. Additionally, the revamped P2PU platform will introduce values and licensing in the latest stage at the sign-up phase.


CC BY-SA by kiyanwang

Of course licensing was far from the only issue that was talked about. Governance, nonprofit incorporation, sustainability, course formats and content, quality control, research, and more were heavily workshopped, and all outcomes from the workshop are available at the P2PU wiki, under CC BY-SA of course. Immediately after the workshop, the P2PU techsprint, involving volunteer developers and designers, produced the next iteration of the P2PU platform–which you can preview here.

1 Comment »

ccNewsletter: Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Wants You to Support CC!

Allison Domicone, November 9th, 2010

https://creativecommons.net/donate

Our fall fundraising campaign is fully underway, and we'd like to start off this month's newsletter by encouraging all of you who use or support Creative Commons to donate today so we can continue to provide you with great tools for sharing and remixing on the web!

Read More…

Comments Off

Hindawi wants to double your donation! What are you waiting for?

Allison Domicone, November 9th, 2010

Hindawi, open access scholarly journal publisher, wants to double your donation to Creative Commons! Starting right now, Hindawi is matching every dollar of the next $3000 given to CC. That means if you donate $10, $25, $75 to CC right now, your impact will be automatically doubled thanks to Hindawi. Judging by how fast we met wikiHow’s challenge a couple weeks ago, you should donate quick to make sure your gift gets doubled!

Here’s why Hindawi has chosen to support us this year and why they’re challenging you to join them in giving to CC:

“As an open access journal publisher we believe that it is important for our readers to be comfortable reusing and redistributing our articles without fear of violating any copyright restrictions, and Creative Commons licenses make it clear to readers what they can do with our content.”

Join Hindawi in supporting CC and have your donation automatically doubled. If you’ve haven’t yet given to our fundraising campaign (or even if you already have!), now is your chance. It’s easy, and you’re just a few clicks away from showing the world you care about an open, sharing online (and offline) world.

Comments Off


Page 64 of 393« First...1020...626364656667...8090...Last »