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On Content Industries and Understanding Creative Commons


A number of articles from CC insiders hit the blogs this week. I have one up at Media Rights, a site that focuses on social-justice documentaries and the activist filmmaker community. I focus my examples on how Creative Commons can help film makers reach greater audiences and media by framing them in light of the recent US Court of Appeals decision in our favor:

On August 13th, 2008 the United States Court of Federal Appeals handed down an opinion that further cemented the legal footing that gives “open content” licenses like Creative Commons (CC) their legal teeth. The decision of Jacobsen v. Katzer was monumental for the free culture and free software communities for a number of reasons. Public licenses, like CC’s six “Some Rights Reserved” copyright licenses and the one being litigated over, the Artistic License, grant rights to the public in general as opposed to a specific party. Where a private license between a filmmaker and a distribution company might stipulate that a particular distributor is given the exclusive rights to show a film, a public license might stipulate that anyone who comes across the film is allowed to show it so long as they give proper attribution and do not make modifications.

You can read my whole article here.

And over on, friend of the cause and South African lawyer Paul Jacobsen writes about some of the South African projects using Creative Commons in part 3 of his series about our licenses and the issues they implicate:

JoziKids,, a wonderful child focussed website, uses Creative Commons licences to licence content created by its advertisers who create listings on the website rather than trying to take ownership of the content in order to provide the listings to visitors to the site. In this way Merle Dietrich strikes a balance between being able to publish rich listings on the site and not interfere unduly in the advertiser’s ability to exploit their content commercially outside the website.

Read on for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of Paul’s series.

Posted 12 September 2008