Commons News

Australian Government Commits to Open Access

Jane Park, May 17th, 2010

Earlier this month, the Australian federal government issued an official response to the Government 2.0 Taskforce report which recommended, among other things, that Australian Public Sector Information (PSI) should be released under CC BY as default. The response (licensed CC BY) included a commitment to the development of a comprehensive set of IP guidelines which would, in principle, follow the Gov 2.0 Taskforce recommendations. Via CC Australia:

Regarding the Gov 2.0 Recommendations 6.3-6.6, which state that Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) should be the default licence for PSI, the report provides “agreement in principle,” undertaking that the IP Guidelines will not “impede the default open licensing position proposed in recommendation 6.3.”

Since then, Australia has released three major government publications under Creative Commons licenses, the latest being their national budget under CC BY.

In fact, the last week has seen the release of three major Federal Government reports – the Budget, the Gov 2.0 response and the NBN Implementation Study – all under CC licences. This seems to be a great indicator that the government really means what it says – open access is going to be the default position for the Australian Federal Government from now on.

This marks an exciting time for the Australian government, as they move towards fulfilling their commitment to openness. For more information, see CC Australia’s post on the matter.

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RE/Mixed Media Festival 2010

Jane Park, May 17th, 2010


For those of you in the New York area (or looking to tune in from afar), an awesome event is taking place at the end of the month in Brooklyn’s Galapagos Art Space. The RE/Mixed Media Festival is a celebration of remix and collaborative creation, especially the kind that is enabled by Creative Commons licenses. From the announcement,

On Sunday May 30th at 2PM, Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn will play host to over 60 artists in a day-long celebration of remix and collaborative creation. Produced by The League of Independents (LOFI), the RE/Mixed Media Festival is a means of contributing to the ongoing conversation about remixing, mashups, creative appropriation, copyright law, fair use, and the freedom of artists to access their culture in order to add to and build upon it… Galapagos [will be transformed] into a multimedia art space for a full day/evening of remixed film, video, music, performance, sound, painting, photography and fashion. Panel discussions will include artists talking about the pros and cons of appropriation and collaborative art, moderated by social media activist and author, Deanna Zandt; a talk about DMCA takedowns with Elizabeth Stark and Kenyatta Cheese; and a panel on ‘Extending Game Culture’ featuring Jesper Juul, Paul Jannicola, and Kerria Seabrooke, and moderated by Josephine Dorado. The event is free and will also be streamed live on the festival’s website at www.remixedmedia.org.

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CC launches Catalyst Grants program!

Melissa Reeder, May 14th, 2010

We’re thrilled to announce our new Catalyst Grants program! We are investing up to $100,000 (via grants ranging from $1,000-$10,000) to provide seed funding to projects around the world devoted to increasing access and openness.

Our goal is to empower CC affiliates and other groups working to make knowledge easily, freely, and legally available to everyone, and we are especially interested in proposals that will help such projects scale their efforts and become more self-sustainable. The application deadline is June 30th. You will find more information and the application here.

From June 1-30, we’ll be raising $100,000 to seed the Catalyst Grants program. Your support will greatly enhance CC’s reach and impact. Please take this opportunity to be one of the first to support this important initiative, all you need to do is put Catalyst Campaign in the comment box when you donate. Thanks in advance for your support!

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Cory Doctorow’s “For The Win”

Jane Park, May 11th, 2010


Longtime supporter of CC and NYTimes best selling author Cory Doctorow has released his latest work of fiction, For The Win, under a CC BY-NC-SA license. For The Win is about a virtual future of gamers, Big Sister, and shadow economies. Cory encourages you to remix the work and also to convert it to your favorite format. You can download the book for free, donate, or buy the book at his site.

His last book, Little Brother, was available for download under the same license and spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. For more on why Cory uses CC for his works, see his posts for Locus Magazine on Creative Commons and Why I Copyfight.

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Welcoming Annette Thomas and Melanie Cornwell to CC

Jane Park, May 10th, 2010

We are thrilled to announce today that Annette Thomas, CEO of Macmillan Publishers Ltd, has joined the Creative Commons Board of Directors, and that Melanie Cornwell, former Editorial Projects Director of Wired magazine, has joined CC staff as Vice President of Strategy.

Annette comes to the Creative Commons Board with many years of experience in publishing. She is the CEO of Macmillan Publishers, which deals with a wide range of science, education, and consumer fiction and nonfiction publishing. Prior to becoming CEO, Annette was the Managing Director of the Nature Publishing Group’s Nature Reviews series, which she helped establish as a major scholarly publisher. Annette is a member of the Verlagsgruppe von Holtzbrinck board of directors and a Governor of the Stephen Perse Foundation (Perse School for Girls) in Cambridge, UK. Annette received a B.S. in Biochemicaland Biophysical Sciences from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Yale University.

Melanie brings over 15 years of management, production and strategy experience to Creative Commons. While Editorial Projects Director at Wired magazine, she was the Executive Producer of Wired Science, a primetime PBS science series; daily Wired news reports on CBS Radio; and three documentaries about “WIRED NextFest” for the Discovery Channel. She produced the CC-licensed music video Keep on Dancing to Spoon’s “Don’t You Evah” and The WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share., a landmark 2004 CC CD featuring 16 artists such as the Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Gilberto Gil, My Morning Jacket and Danger Mouse. She also produced live events related to open issues, including “Who Owns Culture” with Jeff Tweedy and Lawrence Lessig and “The Battle Over Books: Authors and Publishers Take On Google Book Search.”

Creative Commons is very excited to work with Annette and Melanie on making knowledge easily, freely, and legally available to everyone.

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“Free Culture” officially introduced in the Czech Republic

Jane Park, May 10th, 2010


Over the weekend, the Czech Republic celebrated Liberation Day and officially introduced the complete Czech translation of Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture. The translation was the culminating work of fifty volunteers over three years, and was enabled by the CC BY-NC license of the original English publication. The Czech version is also available under the same license. Adam Hazdra, project initiator and coordinator, writes, “I hope it will contribute to the promotion of Creative Commons and free culture it aims to restore.”

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“Open Education” ccSalon Video Now Online!

Allison Domicone, May 7th, 2010

salon-sf

In case you missed this week’s Creative Commons Salon in San Francisco, you can now view it online thanks to our media sponsor, VidSF, who filmed and broadcast the event.

We heard from four stellar individuals involved in transforming the education landscape through the power of the internet and digital tools, such as open educational resources (OER). The presenters talked about their and other innovative projects rethinking what a textbook is, what a classroom can be, and how a person should learn. Especially enriching was the panel portion of the evening, when all four presenters came together for a thought-provoking discussion about the roadblocks to implementing a more open approach to education, from a policy perspective as well as in terms of practice, including the important issue of how to get teachers, already over-burdened, more involved in helping to build this pool of shared educational knowledge.

Watch the video now!

Thanks to pariSoma as always for the use of their wonderful space, and thanks to the evening’s presenters for their insight and expertise:

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CC Vietnam Celebrates Launch at OCWC Global Meeting

Michelle Thorne, May 7th, 2010

Today marks the celebration of the localized Creative Commons licenses in Vietnam, the fifty-third jurisdiction worldwide to adapt the Creative Commons licensing suite to national law. The Vietnam Education Foundation together with D&N International and Creative Commons have overseen the localization of the licenses in consultation with the Vietnamese public and key stakeholders in the jurisdiction.

The launch will take place at the Creative Commons workshop on May 7 at 1:00pm during the Open CourseWare Consortium’s (OCWC) fifth annual conference in Melia Hotel. The three-day OCWC event brings together educators, administrators, policy makers, and other interested participants to examine the capacity of Open CourseWare to effect large-scale educational improvement worldwide. Many Open CourseWare and Open Educational Resources (OER) use Creative Commons licenses to grant copyright permission to easily access, adapt, and discover the materials.

“At a time when Vietnam Is taking great efforts to improve education and strengthen its creative industries, I see the Creative Commons launch providing a firm foundation on which to build Vietnam’s education and creative sector in the digital age,” says Dr. Lynne McNamara, Executive Director of the Vietnam Education Foundation. “We greatly appreciate the support of the OCWC as well for making this event possible.”

“CC Vietnam led a masterful consultation with the Vietnamese public and incorporated that feedback into the licenses. The team continues to connect diverse expertise and passions for the betterment of the local community. Creative Commons looks forward to the many promising developments in this dynamic and dedicated region,” notes Diane Peters, General Counsel of Creative Commons.

The next phase of CC Vietnam will focus on building multi-stakeholder groups to promote legal sharing in a variety of fields, such as photography, education, and music. Institutions and individuals in Vietnam are welcome to contribute to developing a roadmap for the national project and to join the launch’s proceedings on May 7.

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Massively Multiplayer Game Ryzom Released as Free Culture and Free Software

Chris Webber, May 6th, 2010

Ryzom's Windfall
Ryzom's Windfall by Winch Gate / CC BY-SA

Today brings an exciting announcement… Winch Gate Properties Ltd. is releasing Ryzom, an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), with its code under the GNU AGPLv3 and its artistic assets under CC BY-SA.

Games are almost unique in how tightly the medium requires the interweaving of software and culture.  Amongst the many genres of video games that exist today, the MMORPG is probably the most complex and requires the most depth both on the side of the code and content.  Since Ryzom is a mature, well developed project, the scale of this release and its significance for both free culture and free software are both truly incredible.  In the words of Winch Gate’s own press release:

By freeing Ryzom code, Winch Gate is transforming the MMORPG marketplace and is setting a precedent for how gaming software should evolve–in freedom. The source code released totals over two (2) million lines of source code and over 20,000 high quality textures and thousands of 3D objects.

Some components aren’t released yet to the public (notably the music and sounds, although this is apparently in progress) and the world data for the main server isn’t being released to keep the player community from fracturing.  Notably also, the current tools for creating game data require proprietary software, but the Free Software Foundation notes that there are efforts under way to make these actions editable incorporating free software tools such as Blender.  However the components that are already available: the server code, the client code, and the many models, animations, textures and etc, already bring many great community opportunities.  The freeing of these resources opens them for study, modification, and incorporation into other works and games of compatible licenses.  And of course the existence of all these components also means that one can run a fully free-as-in-freedom virtual universe of one’s own.  If you ever dreamed of the carving of virtual worlds, here’s your great chance.

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Tenth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival: June 2nd, NYC

Cameron Parkins, May 3rd, 2010

Mark your calendars – Arts Engine is back with its annual Media That Matters Film Festival on June 2nd in New York City. The festival, now in its tenth year, showcases twelve social justice shorts selected by a fantastic jury of filmmakers and activists.

The premiere will take place at The Visual Arts Theater (Google Map) and will include not only the films featured but also a salon with some of the MTM presenting partners and a chance to meet the festival filmmakers. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance if you wish to attend in person.

Following the premiere, the films will be available for purchase under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives license on region-free unencrypted DVDs. This allows activists, educators, fans, and audiences to host their own non-commercial screenings of the shorts without having to negotiate complex contracts with MTM and the many different filmmakers participating in the festival. Those interested should preorder a DVD, check out MTM’s DIY Screening Guide, and add themselves to the list of existing screenings.

Visit the festival’s site for details, schedules, and downloads. Also, check out the video that Creative Commons and Arts Engine collaborated on in late 2008 that explains how CC licenses have helped filmmakers in the Media that Matters festival (more info and download available here).

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