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The top of the commons 2016: Favorites from our community of commoners


2016 is almost at a close, and our global communities are as busy as ever. Around the world, diverse groups are working together to create meaningful connections and light up the commons. From announcements of new communities in Turkey and Panama to the best in music, photography, and open education from communities around the world, we’re pleased to present this year’s best from the commons as chosen by our affiliates and staff.


Vančo Džambaski is a photoactivist who publishes tons of HQ HR photos via flickr using CC BY-NC-SA. He attends events, mostly organized by civil society, as well as protests and demonstrations, and publishes albums of selected photos from each event. His photos are then used by media both local and foreign (incl. Global Voices), as well as social media users, and on the long run, he provided photos from historical events for some books even. We are working on spreading the CC idea amongst activists and independent media as a way for them to increase visibility.

Our Art is Free of Charge! 02.06.2016 #ColorfulRevolution by Vančo Džambaski CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

There are several nonprofit media outlets in Macedonia that use CC licenses (the first two are founded by Metamorphosis).


From the CC Uruguay team we would like to share 2 Year End Lists. From the content of the lists you’ll see that we love music and digitizing 😀

Top CC Licensed Uruguayan Albums of 2016:

1. Mux (by Mux)
2. Mapas Anatómicos (by Carmen Sandiego)
3. Registros akashicos (by Pau O’Bianchi)
4. Flor de Nadie (by Los extranjeros)
5. Carcasa (by Martes Mártir)

Top free software for digitizing public domain works:

1. Scantailor
2. Pi Scan
3. Tesseract OCR
4. ImageMagick
5. Pdfshuffle


Most Open Music Collective: Space Gambus Experiment (SGE)
Most Shared Creative Projects via Behance (with CC license): Chow Hon Lam
Most Proactive Commoner: Sinar Project
Emerging Commoner: Ezrena Marwan, Malaysia Design Archives
Most Active Open Source Community — Malaysia Open Source Community
Most Preferred Digital Libraries: Tan Sri Dr Abdullah Sanusi Digital Library, Open University Malaysia and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Library, Wawasan Open University


CC Indonesia’s Most Open Events in 2016 Lists:

  1. Media: Horison Magazine Uploaded 264 Editions of their Magazines to Wikimedia Commons (Licensed with CC BY-SA)
Horison magazine cover July 1966, CC BY-SA

2. Socialization: CC Indonesia’s first Law Faculty Socialization in Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta — CCID Activities Report Page Dated 15th of October 2016
3. OER: A governmental institution “Indonesian National Science Foundation’s Scientific Documentation Center” (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia: Pusat Dokumetasi dan Informasi Ilmiah, abbreviated as PDII LIPI) have started an initiative to use Creative Commons on each research products they publish. — CCID Activities Report Page Dated 2nd of November 2016:

Music: Top 5 CC Music Albums in 2016 Lists!

1. Frau — Parasite Lottery (Digital/Vinyl 7’’) (Yes No Wave Netlabel)
2. Peonies — Landscape (Compact Disc) (Masashi Records)
3. Low Pink — Phases EP (Compact Disc) (Kolibri Rekords)
4. Take — A Storyline (Cassette Tapes) (Rizkan Records)
5. Dialita — Dunia Milik Kita (Digital/Compact Disc) (Yes No Wave Netlabel)

Regulation: All Open License in Indonesia are freed from License Recordal Mandatory!

Kayode Yussuf, cc Nigeria

1. Favorite CC Academic Resources: National Open University of Nigeria
2. Favorite CC Law Research Resources: Young African Research Arena
3. Favorite CC Licensed Movie : RUN, a short documentary film focusing on child marriage in Nigeria.
3. Favorite Open Source Community: Free Software and Open Source Foundation for AfricaWiki Africa


My Favorite CC Profiles from this year:

  1. Re:vive’s creative interpretations of archival music with top electronic musicians: Reviving archives through remix. This interview was interesting not only because the project itself is dynamic and wide-reaching, but also because Gregory Markus is a thoughtful representative for creative archival uses and reuse/remix.
  2. Agile uses of CC0 for information literacy in Letters for Black Lives and the Refugee Phrasebook. Letters for Black Lives remains one of our most popular interviews to date because the project spread so rapidly and is a topical and compelling story. The Refugee Phrasebook is equally inspiring and wide-reaching: Teaching language skills to incoming refugees is such a crucial project, and this is an excellent use of CC0 data to create an agile and effective spread of data and information.
  3. Most creative use of CC in nontraditional objects: Make My Pattern. This was one of the first interviews I did at CC, and it was so fun! Joost’s project is so innovative and his adoption of the licenses is always changing for his audience. I love the way that he’s thought through using CC on patterns and physical objects, as well as the way he discovered his community in “sewcialism.”
  4.  CC and the concept of the commons in fine art: Caroline Woolard’s artistic practice. I met Caroline at a lecture she gave at the Oxbow school last year and was bowled over by her thoughtful conceptual vision. She has a strong artistic viewpoint and her work speaks volumes to community creation and the concept of the commons.
  5.  Information activism and CC: Freedom of the Press Foundation. The work for press freedom has never been more important, and Trevor Timm’s interview was prescient for the current moment, particularly as it concerns privacy and transparency in government and the press.
  6.  Creating cross-cultural connections: Maya Zankoul’s use of CC and illustration in Lebanon. My mom loved this profile of Maya Zankoul, a popular Lebanese blogger and illustrator. Her use of clever storytelling and beautiful illustrations invite people to step into her captivating and colorful world.


Turkey had its official launch in 2016!


Tomasz Mikołajczyk, CC0


Favorite CC photographer: Diego Gómez Hoyos. Biodiversity pictures from Latin America

Diego Gomez, “Hypsiboas rufitelus” CC BY-NC 2.0


Favorite CC photographer: Yluux

Elton Nunez, San Juan y San Miguel, CC BY NC-ND 4.0

Favorite CC Music: EEEEKs
Favorite CC film: Al margen
Most Open Music Collective: Fran
CC things or objects: Rodi the robot
Most Shared Creative Projects: Fotociclo
Most Active Open Source Community: HacklabAsu
Journalistic illustrations with CC: El Surtidor


Top OER blog posts of 2016

  1. Pondering the future of open in Nigeria: Jane Frances Agbu of the National Open University of Nigeria
  2. How can educators find and use OER in their classrooms?
  3. Active OER: Beyond Open Licensing Policies
  4. Cultivating a culture of Knowledge Sharing, by Fiona McAlister
  5. Open Textbooks 4 Africa (and exploring open textbooks in Uganda)
  6. Isla Haddow-Flood on How Wikipedians are changing the narrative around Africa


  1. CC Film:
  2. CC Artist:
  3. CC Projects:
  4. CC Ilustrations:
  5. Our CC Lawyers:
  6. CC Community:


Top 5 CC sites for New Zealand

Geonet. Lists NZ earthquakes in real time. Had 250 million hits on 14 November 2016, the day of New Zealand’s recent 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura Earthquake. All content CC BY licensed. Look at

Land Information New Zealand Data Service. Lists all public data released, including maps and aerial images. All content CC BY licensed. Look at Publishes tens of thousands of open government datasets for central, regional and local government in NZ and internationally. Provides detailed metadata including CC licensing.

Digital New Zealand. Search engine for New Zealand culture, connecting people to over 30 million digital items from 200 content partners. Active advocate for CC licensing. Go to

Collections Online, Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand). Offers 30,000 high resolution images, including over 14,000 under a CC BY NC ND licence, allowing legal re-use for “homework, on your blog, print it and hang it on your wall”. Also offers 17,000 images with No Known Rights restrictions. Go to

This year’s winner of the GIF IT UP contest, created by Jeff Gill and Kristen Carter using material from Europeana.
Posted 20 December 2016