Commons News

“I Am What I Learn” Video Contest for Students

Jane Park, October 2nd, 2009

Students over 13, including all struggling college students, have a chance to win $1,000 from the U.S. Department of Education in their “I Am What I Learn” video contest. eSchool News reports that “to get students invested in their education, President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have announced a new video contest, asking students to “inspire” them with their stories.”

I Am What I Learn” asks you to answer the question, “Why is your education important to fulfilling your dreams?” in two minutes or less, and submit it to them by the Nov 2nd deadline. Be sure to visit the site for more details and to check out Secretary Arne Duncan’s own video.

ccLearn encourages you to use CC licensed content for your videos, whether you need a neat soundtrack or image, and to release your own video under one of the Creative Commons licenses.

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A Brief Overview of U.S. Public Policy on OER from California’s Community Colleges to the Obama Administration

Jane Park, October 2nd, 2009

The Publius Project at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society offers a new essay on OER and public policy in the United States: A Brief Overview of U.S. Public Policy on OER from California’s Community Colleges to the Obama Administration . Written by Carolina Rossini and Erhardt Graeff, it does a great job of pointing out the major recent movements toward OER in state and federal governments, and thoughtfully evaluates the issues that each initiative brings to the table.

“This post draws significantly from an interview on August 10, 2009 with Hal Plotkin, a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Dept. of Education, who has closely followed and been involved with OER policies in California. The interview was part of research on the educational materials sector being conducted under the Industrial Cooperation Project at the Berkman Center at Harvard University. The research is part of a broader project being led by Prof. Yochai Benkler and coordinated by Carolina Rossini. In the research, we are seeking to understand the approaches to innovation in some industrial sectors, such as alternative energy, educational materials, and biotechnology. The intention is to map the degree to which open and commons-based practices are being used compared to proprietary approaches and what forces drive the adoption and development of these models.”

Like all content on the Publius site, the essay is available via CC BY-SA.

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dublab Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Cameron Parkins, October 1st, 2009

logo_listendublab, the nonprofit web radio collective we teamed up with to produce Into Infinity, is celebrating its 10th (!) anniversary during October. The celebration begins today with a ten-day series of events that includes live music, art installations, film screenings, and a variety of happenings that showcase dublab’s breadth and depth as an arts organization.

intoinfinity_artactionKicking off the festivities is Vibrant Visions, a retrospective of dublab’s original art projects including Into Infinity. The event runs from 7PM-11PM at Continental Gallery in Downtown LA (Google Map) and will feature live t-shirt printing, video booths, and a pop-up shop in addition to original art. The gallery will remain open (including the pop-up shop) Wednesday through Sunday, 12PM-8PM, throughout October.

For more information on dublab and Into Infinity, check out CurrentTV’s recent feature as well as a great write-up in the LA Weekly.

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Dutch Public Broadcaster VPRO Releases CC-licensed Documentaries

Fred Benenson, October 1st, 2009

VPRO Site

Paul Keller, one of our project leads for CC Netherlands just let us know about an exciting development from their public broadcaster, VPRO, who on Wednesday released 2 full length (and one more coming soon) documentaries under our CC-BY-NC-SA licenses. What’s great is that these documentaries are current pieces, not old selections from the back catalog or archives – they’ve all aired within the last 10 days. Additionally, VPRO is also offering DVDs of the films for sale.

The documentaries, available in both Dutch and English are available to download in an almost-HD resolution of 640 by 380, but are also posted on mininova.org here and here.

Here’s an excerpt from the project’s press release:

According to Bregtje van der Haak, coordinator of the VPRO’s Century of the City project, releasing these documentaries under a Creative Commons license contributes to efforts to better serve the VPRO’s public:

“We are producing a lot of documentaries that are of interest to specialized communities. In the case of urbanization this includes architects, urban planners and students. From research we know that a growing segment of the VPRO’s audience is watching less and less television but continues to highly value this type of content. By offering content for download we are increasing the life cycle of these programs and enable a whole number of new forms of re-use of our productions. As a public broadcaster we have the obligation to make our productions available to the public in an as flexible manner as possible.”

Congratulations to VPRO!

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REMINDER: CC Salon NYC is Monday October 5th

Fred Benenson, October 1st, 2009

CC Salon NYC Logo

Just a quick reminder that October’s CC Salon NYC is Monday night!

We’ve got a brand new home for the Salons – the Open Planning Project has generously offered their incredible penthouse.

So come out to have some beers with the CC community watch some cool presentations, and meet some new faces in the free culture space.

October’s Salon will feature short presentations from Adam Clark Estes, director of citizen journalism at the Huffington Post Investigative Fund talking about how the HuffPo is using CC to fuel the future of journalism, Shelley Bernstein, Chief Technology Officer of the Brooklyn Museum discussing their amazing community and commons efforts, and myself discussing some current CC projects, achievements, and a sneak peak at what I’ve been working on for the Creative Commons Network.

Here are the details:

Monday, October 5th, from 7-10pm
The Open Planning Project
148 Lafayette St
Between Grand & Howard
New York, NY

We’ll have free (as in beer) beer. If you’ve didn’t make it to any past CC Salons, don’t miss this one, and if you did, you’ll know to come early as space is limited.

RSVP to the event via Facebook or by e-mailing me: fred [at] creativecommons.org.

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Jonathan Lethem’s CC Licensed Philip K. Dick Essay

Fred Benenson, September 30th, 2009

Crazy FriendNotable Brooklyn author Jonathan Lethem (Fortress of Solitude, Motherless Brooklyn, You Don’t Love Me Yet among others) just released an essay titled “Crazy Friend” (PDF download) under a CC BY-NC-ND license. The story is a fantastic read in and of itself, but we’re doubly excited that its CC licensed.

Here’s io9′s summary:

The essay, called “Crazy Friend,” is a winding, mildly obsessive tale of how Dick’s stories guided Lethem out of childhood, into a turbulent adolescence, and at last settled him in a career as a critically-acclaimed writer. He begins by talking about his boyhood relationship with two cool older girls who didn’t get why he thought Dick’s writing was so important, and ends by introducing us to Lethem’s life as a Dick fanboy and showing us snippets of his early writing about Dick (some interesting stuff). Ultimately, Lethem says, Dick is the archetypal “crazy friend” whom we’ve all known. And whom we all love.

Lethem has a new book coming out on October 13th called Chronic City and he’ll be doing an epic reading of the entire book around NYC city book stores starting October 16th.

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First Mobile Novel Launches in South Africa

Jane Park, September 30th, 2009

Mobile phones are the most popular means of communication among young adults in South Africa, as South Africans send 250 million text messages a day. This may be true for many parts of the world, where Internet connections are still in dial-up mode or even nonexistent. Through mobile phones, youth carry daily conversations via text messaging, as in some areas it is cheaper to send a text than to call.

Leveraging the popularity of mobile phones, the m4Lit project has launched the first mobile novel of its kind, or m-novel, in South Africa. Kontax, which follows the adventures of a group of teenage graffiti artists, is made specifically for mobile phones, and is available in both English and isiXhosa. It is being released chapter by chapter on a daily basis, with the first chapter already out. From the press release:

“The m4Lit pilot project aims to explore whether teens are interested in reading stories on their cellphones, whether and how they write using their cellphones, and whether cellphones might be used to develop literacy skills and a love of reading. Enter Kontax, an m-novel written on commission from the Shuttleworth Foundation by prize winning ‘mobilist’ Sam Wilson. Kontax is an m-novel made for mobile – and from 30 September readers will be able to access the dynamic teen narrative from their WAP-enabled cellphones, or from their computers. Every day another exciting chapter in the mystery plot will be told, with 21 chapters rolling out over 21 days. Teen readers will be invited to interact with Kontax as it unfolds on their cellphones: they can vote on and discuss the progressing plot, leave comments, download wallpapers and finally submit a written piece as part of a competition, with airtime prizes available for winning submissions.

…As part of the research component of this project, interviews with teens in Cape Town before and after the publishing of Kontax will establish to what extent this project changes South African learners’ attitudes to reading and writing, what learners think about m-novels, and whether the mobile medium as a literacy tool interests or excites them.

Global perspective
In inviting interaction from and discussion amongst its teenage readers, Kontax is aligned with leading global trends, and follows the success of audience participation in story writing found in Japan, where teens have been reading and writing novels on their cellphones in this way for a number of years. The popularity of the m-novel is clearly evident in Japan, where six out of the top 10 fiction best sellers in 2008 were m-novels that had later been printed in book form. The evolution of digital media has had a profound impact on the literacy practices of teenagers from east to west – in the USA, research has shown that through their computers today’s teens are reading and writing more than ever, not formally but on blogs, MySpace pages and via instant messages. Increasingly, SMSes and chats on their cellphones also form part of the “reading” and “writing” of digital literacy.”

Read the press release for more information. And if you happen to be in South Africa, you may want to attend the book launch at “the Book Lounge in Cape Town on Wednesday 30 September at 18h00. All are welcome, but should please RSVP to either booklounge@gmail.com or 021 462 2425.”

All Kontax content and story images are licensed CC BY-SA. Kontax is written by Sam Wilson and the m4Lit project is spearheaded by Steve Vosloo, 21st Century Learning Fellow for the Shuttleworth Foundation.

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Beatpick and Umedia Bring CC-Licensed Music To Italian National TV

Cameron Parkins, September 29th, 2009

logoNet label and music licensing company Beatpick has teamed up with Umedia, an Italian start-up, to provide Creative Commons-licensed music for Universication, a new TV series focusing on media and technology within the Italian university system. The show is broadcast across Italy, meaning that around 130 CC-licensed tracks will be played on Italian National TV throughout the show’s tenure.

Beatpick is also providing its CC-licensed music catalog for productions posted to Ustation, Universication’s online hub for user-generated video. These productions will take advantage of the free and open terms allowed by our licenses, giving student filmmakers an opportunity to use music within their productions legally.

Many of these videos will be broadcast on TV – by utilizing Beatpick’s catalog throughout Umedia have streamlined the process, allowing content to flow easily from non-commercial to commercial venues.

You can see a trailer for Universication online. Be sure to check out CC Italia’s post on the collaboration for more info.

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Announcing October’s ccSalon SF! (10/15/09)

Allison Domicone, September 28th, 2009

salon-sf

Creative Commons, KALW, and Chicago Public Radio’s Sound Opinions are pleased to present Chicago Tribune music critic and author Greg Kot in conversation with music journalist David Downs. Kot’s new book, Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music, explores the changing face of the music industry. Downs and Kot will discuss the book, as well as how digital sharing and participatory culture are shaping how music is created and consumed. Audience questions and discussion will follow the conversation.

When: Thursday, October 15, 7-9pm
Where: PariSoMa, 1436 Howard St. (map and directions). Plenty of street parking available. (Please note, the space is located up two steep flights of stairs, and unfortunately does not currently have elevator access.)

Light refreshments will be provided, and since we rely on the generosity of our community to keep us afloat, we’ll be accepting donations for CC at the door.

Check out the event posting on Upcoming and let us know you’re coming on Facebook. We hope to see you there!

If you can’t make it to the salon on Thursday (or even if you can!), we’re excited to also announce that the following evening, Greg will be doing a reading, talk, and book signing at the Booksmith on Haight St. in San Francisco. Come out to one of San Francisco’s premier independent bookstores for a more intimate evening with Greg. Friday, October 16th, 7:30 pm.

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The Guardian Talks With CC CEO Joi Ito

Cameron Parkins, September 25th, 2009

joi
Headshot B&W, Photo by Mizuka | CC BY

The Guardian just posted a great interview with CC CEO Joi Ito that, while focusing broadly on Joi’s work as an entrepreneur, spends substantial time discussing his role at CC.

The piece touches on a number of topics including how CC interacts with businesses, our commitment to RDFa, and how our licenses can be used:

The advantage of the range of Creative Commons licences is that it can be tweaked as the creator likes. “Typically a professional musician will choose a licence that prohibits commercial reuse to protect their income, which usually comes from copyright. But for instance a photographer, and especially an amateur photographer, may want to be well-known, so they focus on attribution. Documentary producers often say ‘no derivatives’ because they don’t want the story to change, but will allow commercial use so that movie theatres can show their work.”

Be sure to read the interview at the Guardian’s website or check out the full transcript here. You can also listen to the interview as part of the Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast.

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