Commons News

AntWeb, Fedora Project, Wikitravel → CC BY-SA 3.0

Mike Linksvayer, November 9th, 2009

Demonstrating that June’s migration of Wikimedia sites to CC Attribution-ShareAlike as their main content liense was a signal of much greater interoperability among free and open content projects going forward and not merely an end in itself are recent announcements from the Fedora Project, AntWeb, and Wikitravel, all moved or moving to CC BY-SA 3.0. Each has a different story as to how and why they made the move.

The Fedora Project, best known for its community-centric and cutting-edge GNU/Linux distribution, but also committed to “leading the advancement of free, open software and content” (emphasis added, from the Fedora Project home page), has migrated all of its documentation and wiki content to CC BY-SA from the long-deprecated , via their contributor agreement. Among the reasons:

4. Other organizations that have content we can reuse in Fedora and contribute back to, such as Wikipedia and GNOME, have switched or are switching to the CC BY SA. Why does this matter? For one easy example, we can write a definitive history of Fedora, host it on Wikipedia as the upstream, then package it as part of the ‘about-fedora’ package.

5. If you’ve never looked at how much open content there is on e.g. flickr.com and Wikicommons, please look. For content authors, this is going from practically zero useful open media available to tens of millions of photographs, diagrams, and so forth that we can not only freely reuse, but we can contribute back to.

AntWeb, a project of the California Academy of Sciences that holds its own copyrights has changed its license from CC Attribution-NonCommercial to CC Attribution-ShareAlike, a change that has resulted in a major collaboration with Wikimedians and 30,000 ant images gracing Wikipedia articles. Waldir Pimenta guest-blogging with Brianna Laugher, writes:

I found the fantastic images from AntWeb, a project from The California Academy of Sciences, which aims to illustrate the enormous diversity of the ants of the world. I was especially happy to find that they were using a Creative Commons license — but soon after I was disappointed to find that the specific one they used (CC-BY-NC) was not appropriate for Wikipedia (or, more generally, free cultural works, and thus discouraged by Creative Commons itself).

So I sent them an email suggesting them to change the license. When they replied, I found out that they actuallly had been internally discussing license issues for quite a while. I kept in touch, and made sure to let them know the advantages of having their work showcased in such high-traffic websites as Wikipedia, Commons or WikiSpecies.

I like to think that my two cents helped in their decision, some time later, to not only change their license to CC-BY-SA, but also upload all their images to Commons themselves! This was part of their overall mission: “universal access to ant information”. Before, the AntWeb project focused only on digitization of content and development of the web portal; but now they also decided to “export” AntWeb content to improve access. Putting the images and associated metadata in Commons was an example their outreach initiatives.

Finally, Wikitravel, a very successful site that we’ve mentioned here many times (see founder Evan Prodromou’s letter in support of our 2007 fundraising campaign — which also works for 2009!) is building community consensus for upgrading from CC BY-SA 1.0 to CC BY-SA 3.0. Unfortunately 1.0 did not have an upgrade clause, a problem corrected in 2.0.

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That Was Fast! Canonical Matches $3000 of Your Donations!

Allison Domicone, November 9th, 2009

Canonical

Just five days ago we announced that Canonical would be generously matching every donation dollar for dollar for the next week – up to $3,000. Well, we met that goal in record time! Thanks to everyone who donated in the past five days and had your donation doubled – for a total of $6,000 going toward our annual campaign to sustain CC!

Many thanks to Canonical for their ongoing support of free culture and Creative Commons.

We still have a long way to go to reach our $500,000 goal for this year’s campaign, so please donate today and show your support for a culture of sharing!

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Moving on to Kickstarter

Fred Benenson, November 9th, 2009

Kickstarter LogoI started working full time for Creative Commons on June 2nd, 2008 just after finishing my masters at ITP. The last year and half has been an incredible experience as I’ve spent my time doing CC outreach, advocacy, and product development. But it is time for me to move on, and I’m excited to announce that starting December 1st, I’ll be working at NYC based start-up Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creators, and represents a refreshing way of thinking about supporting cultural production and creators. Most importantly, Kickstarter, like Creative Commons, offers a real mechanism for creators to connect with their supporters and share their work in a way that acknowledges the inevitabilities of digital media. Having launched and successfully funded my own project through Kickstarter, I know this platform works and I’m incredibly excited by its potential. But Kickstarter is also something that many of us in the free culture community have always dreamed of — a way to directly fund cultural production and its creators without resorting to leveraging scarcity and exclusivity.

I’m going to be doing very similar things at Kickstarter that I’ve been doing at CC: outreach, advocacy, some product, some community, some biz dev, and lots of pondering the future of culture and collaboration. But I’m also really looking forward to sharing a lot of the principles and relationships I developed at CC with my new colleagues, so if we’re currently working together on something, I’m sure we’ll still have plenty to talk about.

Working for Creative Commons has been fantastic, and I really couldn’t have imagined a better way or a better group of people to spend the last couple of years with, so it is not without some sadness that I’m leaving. So let’s stay in touch! Find me on twitter, check out my blog, or just drop me a line at fcb at fredbenenson.com.

See you on the ole tubes!

Fred

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Behance Network Creative Roundup

Cameron Parkins, November 5th, 2009

Artists and creatives of all types are sharing some incredible CC-licensed content on The Behance Network.

Levi van Veluw showcases miniature landscapes built on a human canvas in Landscapes (BY-NC-ND); Glenn Jones offers ideas for future t-shirts (BY-NC); L Filipe dos Santos highlights illustrations with See. Saw (BY-NC-ND); Si Sott offers a poster series in Silent Records (BY-NC-ND); and Iain Crawford shares his stunning still photography (BY-NC).

It is fantastic to see this kind of up-take with our licenses, and Behance is only one of the many content directories that use our tools to help increase sharing and reuse. For more info on Behance, be sure to read our intervew with founder/CEO Scott Belsky as well as explore the Behance Network itself.

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Excerpt from See . Saw Series by L Filipe dos Santos | CC BY-NC-ND

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Preparing Your Educational Resources for DiscoverEd

Jane Park, November 5th, 2009

ded-sbsIn July, CC Learn officially launched DiscoverEd, a search prototype that provides scalable search and discovery for educational resources on the web. We blogged about it again during Back to School week, emphasizing the future of search and discovery of educational resources and how we hoped DiscoverEd would catalyze efforts in that direction. Since then, we have been working with various organizations and projects who want to include their resources into DiscoverEd, and through all the back and forth about feeds and mark-up–essentially what’s required to get your stuff included for greater discovery–we realized we could streamline the process by putting some necessary information into a brief document.

Preparing Your Educational Resources for DiscoverEd is second in the CC Learn Step by Step Guides series, which is part of our larger Productions schema. It is a basic guide for those interested in preparing their resources for inclusion into search engines like DiscoverEd that utilize structured data. It is targeted at people or institutions interested in making their digitally published educational resources more discoverable. Though the document contains technical language and sample XHTML and RDFa, it’s really not all too complicated. Basically, you just need one of the right feeds to start, which you can then copy and paste the link of into ODEPO (the Open Database of Educational Projects and Organizations). ODEPO is hosted on OpenED, the community site for open education. It’s a wiki, so anyone can create an account and add their project or organization to the database.

But the guide explains all that, (as does the DiscoverEd FAQ) and the alternatives–which include contacting us directly. DiscoverEd already pulls from a number of institutions and repositories, and as it expands we hope to improve its search capabilities. Any feedback is welcome.

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Canonical Wants to Double Your Donation!

Allison Domicone, November 4th, 2009

Canonical
Almost a month ago we launched the 2009 fundraising campaign, with the goal of raising $500,000 by the end of the year. Despite the daunting economic climate, we’ve set our goal high, and we’ll need everyone who cares about CC to pitch in whatever they can. So, in order to make your dollar go a little farther when you give a gift to CC, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Canonical, who’ll generously match every donation dollar for dollar for the next week – up to $3,000! Donate now to help us meet the challenge!

Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu project, was founded in 2004. The headquarters are in Europe, with over 200 employees working in 23 countries. Their mission is “to realize the potential of free software in the lives of individuals and organisations,” which they do by delivering the world’s best software platform and ensuring its availability to everyone.

From Jono Bacon, Canonical’s Ubuntu Community Manager: “Canonical are really happy to support the Creative Commons, an organization at the corner-stone of an ethos that we share in the Ubuntu world and that we are proud to support.” Likewise, we feel that Canonical’s mission could not be better aligned with our own, and as such we’re thrilled to partner with them on on this matching challenge.

Join Canonical in investing in the future of creativity and knowledge and give what you can today!

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Polish Ministry Creates Incentives for Sharing

Michelle Thorne, November 3rd, 2009

The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (MKiDN) just announced a range of grant programs for the year 2010, including the program “Cultural Education”. Thanks to the efforts of the Coalition for Open Education (KOED) and the cooperation of Ministry officials, the program includes for the first time incentives to release educational content under free licenses. Grant proposals will receive up to 10% of all possible points for making project results publicly available, with additional points given to projects “publishing works online with a right to re-use, for instance through one of the free licenses.”

The Ministry’s Cultural Education program is the first of its kind in Poland to encourage grant recipients to freely and publicly share educational content. The program, with a budget of 11,5 million Polish zloty (about 4 million Euro), will fund educational projects that promote creativity and self-expression, as well as provide children and youth with extra-curricular artistic education.

KOED is coalition formed by one of CC Poland’s affiliate institutions, the Interdisciplinary Center for Modelling at University of Warsaw, and colleagues Wikimedia Polska Association, Foundation Modern Poland, and the Polish Librarians Association. We blogged about its inception in January 2009.

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Printing Thom Yorke’s Head

Fred Benenson, November 2nd, 2009

tom_yorke_headWhen we blogged about Radiohead releasing the data from their video for “House of Cards” last year, we weren’t really sure what fans were going to do with the 400 megabytes representing the visual data from the video. But now, thanks to Thinigiverse, we have an awesome example of what’s possible when CC licenses encourage people to share and build upon each others work.

User Serratiago has used Blender to convert the original data from the Radiohead video into a set of coordinates that can be printed into a real-life 3D sculpture of Thom Yorke’s head. Since the original data is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, that means Serriago’s derivative is as well. What’s great about this story is that Serratiago didn’t need to ask Thom Yorke, Radiohead, or anyone for permission to make and distribute his work, as the Creative Commons license had already established it!

So if you own a 3D printer, you can download the data and get started. If you need a 3D printer, you should check out MakerBot, an open source project brought to you by the guys behind Thingiverse.

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Jamendo PRO Partners with International Hotel & Restaurant Association

Cameron Parkins, November 2nd, 2009

jamendoLast month, Jamendo PRO and the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA) announced a new partnership that will bring Jamendo PRO’s vast catalog of CC-licensed music to IH&RA members for use as background music.

IH&RA members comprise around 300,000 hotels and 8 million restaurants, making this an incredible case study for how CC-licensed content can be monetized on a large scale. Artists that distribute their music through Jamendo PRO will receive half of the revenue generated from the licensing – these are the same artists who use Jamendo, the open music sharing site, to distribute CC-licensed recordings for free to the public under CC-licenses of their choosing.

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Commoner Letter #3: Jay Yoon of CC Korea

Allison Domicone, November 2nd, 2009

Creative Commons owes much of its success to the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who have helped port, translate, and propagate CC licenses in over 50 jurisdictions worldwide. CC Korea, under the leadership of Project Lead Jay Yoon, has achieved some incredible things since its inception, and continues to be a beacon of participatory culture in Asia and across the globe. We are honored to have Jay Yoon, who has already given so much of his time and talent to CC, show his support in the third letter of the Commoner Letter series for this year’s fundraising campaign.

Subscribe to receive future Commoner Letters by email.


JayYoon
Dear Creative Commoner,

I am Jay Yoon and the first Creative Commons volunteer in Korea. Officially, I am the project lead of CC Korea, but I’d more like to introduce myself as the first CC Korea volunteer than its lead as I am writing this letter, hoping you join with me in volunteering to help Creative Commons. Why? Because the powerful engine of sharing and open culture has already taken Creative Commons far beyond what I had initially expected. None of this would have been possible if not for the help of so many “Commoners.”

At the very beginning, I didn’t expect to see so many people come together to get Creative Commons values rooted in Korea in such a short time period. Over the past four years since the introduction to Korea, the suite of CC licenses has been growing from a mere foreign concept to become one of the most-sought public license tools among Korean users. And Creative Commons Korea in itself, once a small project led by selective members in the legal circle, has transformed into an open community for anyone sharing CC values and vision. To my great joy, I can say that every moment I’ve had with CC is a small miracle.

On top of that, this year will leave a meaningful footprint in the history of Creative Commons Korea, since it has registered as an independent legal entity, called Creative Commons Korea Association. As a not-for-profit incorporated association, it is expected to more actively engage in lowering barriers to collaboration and building infrastructure for the future of creativity.

Despite its belated start, Korean users have shown dynamic growth in adopting CC licenses. In an aim to create more CC-licensed content-friendly environments, CC Korea is leading national projects with the Korean government. One of them is a CC repository system, which would act as a hub for CC-licensed content archiving and searching for domestic users as well as Commoners around the world. CC Korea hopes to achieve our own technological understandings and customized experiences into localities. The repository system will consist of several sections, such as a search interface provided by a few big portal sites that have already introduced CC licenses into their blog or community sections, CC content metadata database provided by public sectors and OSPs, and CC content information collected by users. Taking this chance to promote open content, the Korean government is now looking for a way to open its content to the public under a CC license and is working on a comprehensive roadmap for CC services and technical projects.

But the most amazing thing is that the driving force behind all the advances so far has come from each and every voluntary contributor. Various sized projects in art, academy and education are ongoing thanks to those contributors. From an office worker to a teenage student, from the project lead to a brochure sponsor company, at the heart of CC Korea is those individuals’ great passion. This is what I really want to share with you.

From my daily life with Creative Commons, not only do I feel myself grow as I take part in laying a layer for a more open society, but I also experience how the power of “we” can really do something. That’s why I’m so thankful I could be a part of Creative Commons.

I hope you will join me in supporting Creative Commons.

Thank you.
Jay Yoon
CC Korea Project Lead

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