Press Releases

CREATIVE COMMONS COPYRIGHT LICENSES LAUNCH IN SOUTH AFRICA

Raul, June 2nd, 2005

San Francisco, USA, and Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA, June 1, 2005 –
Creative Commons, a non-profit organization that offers free copyright
licenses and tools to creators to make their works available on more
flexible terms, unveiled a localized version of its innovative
licensing system in South Africa last week.

With South Africa offering Creative Commons licenses tailored for the
specifics of the legal system in South Africa, Creative Commons
licenses and tools are now available a total of 18 jurisdictions. The
organization already provides copyright licenses specific to
Australian, Austrian, Brazilian, Belgian, Canadian, Croatian, Dutch,
English & Welsh, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish,
U.S., Taiwanese and Spanish law, thanks to a global network of
artists, lawyers, and technologists.

Staff at Creative Common’s offices in San Francisco and Berlin worked
with Project Leads Heather Ford and Andrew Rens as well as the LINK
Centre at the University of Witwatersrand to adapt the standardized
licenses for use in South Africa. Heather Ford is a former Reuters’
fellow at Stanford Law School and the director of the Creative Commons
South Africa project. Heather has already built an energetic creative
community in South Africa around the Creative Commons licenses.
Andrew Rens is a South African attorney, who previously taught both
intellectual property and information and communications technology
law at the University of the Witwatersrand, and led the license
drafting process.

The launch of the South African Creative Commons licenses occurred in
conjunction with a conference sponsored by the LINK Centre entitled
“Commons Sense: Towards an African Digital Information Commons.”
Project leads from Creative Commons Brazil, Ronaldo Lemos, and
Creative Commons India, Lawrence Liang, presented on the topic of
“Open Content for the Developing World.” Creative Commons CEO &
Chairman, Lawrence Lessig also presented at the conference on the
topic of the “Global Momentum towards the Commons.”

“South Africa, along with Brazil, will prove to be the one of the most
important opportunities for the spread of Creative Commons,” said
Lawrence Lessig of the South African launch, “Already the energy and
awareness is far beyond anything we could have expected.”

About the LINK Centre:

The LINK Centre is the leading research and training body in the field
of information and communications technology (ICT) policy, regulation
and management in Southern Africa.

LINK focuses on capacity building in the public sector and development
arenas through quality training, applied research and consultancy
services necessary to maximize the benefits of the Information Society
and the Knowledge Economy. In addition to hosting the South African
chapter of Creative Commons, LINK is a founding partner in Research
ICT Africa!
For general information, visit here

For information about Creative Commons, South Africa, visit
here

About Creative Commons:

A nonprofit corporation founded in 2001, Creative Commons promotes the
creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works — whether owned or
in the public domain — by empowering authors and audiences. It is
sustained by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain,
the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network
Fund, and the Hewlett Foundation.

For general information, visit Creative Commons

Contacts:

  • Andrew Rens (San Francisco)
  • Legal Lead
  • Creative Commons, South Africa
  • andrewrens@yahoo.com
  • Heather Ford (Johannesburg)
  • Director
  • Creative Commons, South Africa
  • heather@creativecommons.org
  • Neeru Paharia (San Francisco)
  • Executive Director
  • Creative Commons
  • neeru@creativecommons.org
  • Christiane Asschenfeldt (Berlin)
  • Executive Director
  • iCommons
  • christiane@creativecommons.org

Press Kit here

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Creative Commons Content Sought for Innovative New Pilot of Mobile Television in Finland

Raul, May 26th, 2005

San Francisco, USA, and Helsinki, Finland – May 19, 2005 – Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a body of creative works free to share and build upon, announced today that Creative Commons licensed content is being sought as part of a pilot of an innovative new content service – mobile television.

The pilot is being conducted in Finland, a country renowned for its leading mobile technology innovation. Several Finnish companies, including Nokia and Elisa Oyj are participating in the trial with the support of Finnish authorities. The trial pilots IP Datacasting over DVB-H, which uses mobile broadcasting technology to deliver TV-like services to mobile devices. The aim of the pilot is to test mobile TV services and consumer experiences, as well as the underlying technology, with 500 users in the Helsinki capital region.

As part of the pilot, the Finnish experimental mobile television channel IndicaTV is seeking Creative Commons’ licensed video content. Initially, IndicaTV will be linking to Creative Commons licensed content that is submitted at an Internet archive site. From June 1, 2005, IndiciaTV will then select content that is submitted to the site and is of a high quality and suitable for the small screen, for broadcast via its mobile TV service. The pilot will run until June 20, 2005.

“The Nokia platform could inspire a different kind of television.” said Stanford Law Professor and Creative Commons Chairman Lawrence Lessig. “The Web is filled with content producers who are willing to share their work with the world. Creative Commons provides the tools to let people know it.”

Jonas Kronlund, project manager and representative of Elisa, one of the companies participating in the trial, explained the advantages of using Creative Commons licensed content on mobile television: “We are exited about using Creative Commons content because of the flexibility offered by Creative Commons licenses. People can instantaneously download Creative Commons licensed programs to their phone after they see it on mobile TV and share that content with their friends legally.”

Justin Cone, who created the winning entry “Building on Past” to
Creative Commons’ Moving Image contest, has already submitted his video to be used in the pilot. The Moving Image contest was held by Creative Commons in 2003 and invited people to remix content to produce a 2-minute video that explained Creative Commons’ mission. “Building on the Past” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

Creators who have applied a Creative Commons license to their video or those who are interested in doing so in order to participate in the pilot can find more information about how to submit their content here

About the Mobile Television Pilot
On 8 March 2005, Digita, Elisa, MTV, Nelonen, Nokia, TeliaSonera and YLE (the Finnish Broadcasting Company) started a unique mobile TV pilot in Finland.

Selected from TeliaSonera and Elisa mobile phone customers, the test users are able to view real-time TV and radio programs on a Nokia 7710 smartphone equipped with a special accessory to receive mobile TV broadcasts. The Nokia smartphone also enables direct links to the Internet for access to background information on TV programs or sports results. Test users have access to MTV, YLE and Nelonen programs as well as international theme channels such as CNN, BBC World, Euronews, Eurosport, ViVa Plus and Fashion TV. The pilot continues until 20 June 2005.

Elisa and TeliaSonera are responsible for customer service, invoicing and connections to the new interactive supplementary services. Digita has designed and built the digital TV network needed for the distribution of mobile TV services and will manage the network, while Nokia will develop the mobile TV service management and smartphones that can receive mobile TV broadcasts.

For more information about the pilot, visit
this page.

About Elisa
Elisa is a provider of a variety of telecommunication services
including versatile voice and data services, connections to the
Internet and content services, telephony solutions, customized
communication and ICT solutions, international communication solutions
and network operator services. Elisa is one of the pioneer companies
in mobile communication. In 1991 the world’s first GSM phone call was made on Elisa’s network.

  • Contact
  • Jonas Kronlund (Helsinki)
  • Project Manager
  • jonas.kronlund@elisa.fi

About Creative Commons
A non-profit founded in 2001, Creative Commons promotes the creative
re-use of intellectual and artistic works – whether owned or in the
public domain – by empowering artists and audiences. It is sustained
by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John
D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network Fund and
the Hewlett Foundation.

For general information, visit
Creative Commons

  • Contact
  • Neeru Paharia (San Francisco)
  • Executive Director, Creative Commons
  • neeru@creativecommons.org
  • Herkko Hietanen (San Francisco)
  • Creative Commons Finland Project Lead
  • herkko.hietanen@hiit.fi
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Creative Commons and Magnatune Announce Lisa DeBenedictis Remix Contest -– Winners to Receive Magnatune Recording Contract

Mia Garlick, May 24th, 2005

Be creative, be open, and give it your best shot. “Let your imagination run wild and get creative,” is the slogan from Magnatune and Creative Commons on their latest venture. Online record label Magnatune and non-profit creative licensing organization Creative Commons announce that they will co-host a digital music remix contest beginning in May of 2005 and will begin accepting entries on June 15, 2005. The contest will be hosted at ccMixter and features the music of Magnatune rock artist Lisa DeBenedictis, who will voluntarily have her work sliced, diced and mixed by contestants. Music samples and contest rules are currently posted at ccMixter, which will begin accepting remix submissions as of May 13, 2005. Among the prizes for the remix contest is the opportunity for the winner to appear on the Lisa DeBenedictis Remix Compilation album and be eligible for an assortment of cash prizes.

“Remixed music is an exciting new kind of musical art form emerging in the open environment of internet file sharing,” said Magnatune founder and CEO, John Buckman. “Anyone with a creative urge can take existing music tracks and change them into something completely new and different. “This kind of event helps artists to stretch their limits and gain access to a wider variety of great music” explained Magnatune founder and CEO, John Buckman “ and we expect some really fantastic remix arrangements to come out of the contest.”

Contest entrants will have the opportunity to use Magnatune music to create their own remix compositions and submit their best works. Music samples will be posted on the CCMixter Web site beginning in mid-May. The contest will officially open on May 16 and will begin accepting entries, through July 31, 2005. More details regarding contest rules are available at ccMixter.

Lisa DeBenedictis is one of Magnatune’s more than 175 artists who enjoys 50-50 profit splitting and full rights to her music. A “one-woman operation,” she plays a variety of instruments including piano, guitar, keyboard, violin, oboe and mandolin. DeBenedictis is the sole writer, performer and producer of all her music. Her songs have been described as ethereal, fresh and original, earning her the comparisons other well-known female soloists including Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan. Prior to going solo, DeBenedictis performed in a rock duo called “Ring of Nine” and California Avant Rock duo “DirtyDirtyRockStar.” In addition to writing songs, Lisa composes instrumental music for film.

The concept of “open source” file-sharing originated in the computer software world, and has moved into music. Individual tracks, a drum or bass line within a recording, can be taken and remixed with other tracks to create a completely new composition. Other musicians can then modify, improve or add to the “source” without worrying about obtaining permission from the original artists. Unlike other illegal music remix contests where an artist’s work has been taken and sold without the artist’s permission, Magnatune and Creative Commons have partnered with Lisa DeBenedictis for this effort. Contest participants will be allowed to freely copy selected Magnatune music to produce their works.

Fellow Magnatune recording artist and CC Mixter contest manager Victor Stone, of the group “Four Stones,” has been remixing music for several years. “It is incredibly fun and inspiring to be able to use the best music and make it your own,” said Stone. “It makes remixing a natural extension of what composers have been doing for thousands of years.”

Producers often work for months to build their multi-layered remix compositions. Remix tracks can be highly sophisticated with limitless musical sound samples and layers.

Magnatune music is available for sharing through use of Creative Commons licensing. The Creative Commons license allows for free sharing and building upon existing works, be it musical, written, or images. “We have been using the Creative Commons copyright licensing very successfully,” reports Magnatune’s founder and CEO,said John Buckman. “Through open-source licensing we are able to offer a fair deal to our customers and musicians.” Unusual in the music industry, Magnatune splits profits from album sales with the artists and allows them to keep the rights to their music.

About Creative Commons
A nonprofit founded in early 2002, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works—whether owned or in the public domain—by empowering authors and audiences. It is sustained by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Hewlett Foundation. For more information, visit Creative Commons’ website or contact Neeru Paharia at neeru@creativecommons.org.

About Magnatune
Founded in 2003, Magnatune is an independent, online record label that hand selects its own artists, sells its catalog of music through online downloads and print-on-demand CDs and licenses music for commercial and non-commercial use. Based on the principle that “we are not evil,” the company offers fair-trade music to consumers by equally sharing all revenue from the sale of albums with artists and allowing artists to retain full rights to their music. All music can be previewed free of charge with a “try before you buy” philosophy. Customers can also choose how much they want to pay for the music with pricing ranging from $5-18 for a downloadable album or print-on-demand CD. Magnatune is a music business where everybody wins. For further information, please visit the Magnatune website or contact Teresa Malango at tmalango@magnatune.com or 510.289.3781.

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OPEN COPYRIGHT LICENSES OFFERED IN AUSTRALIA

Mia Garlick, May 19th, 2005

Creative Commons and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) introduce innovative copyright licenses to Australia

San Francisco, USA and Brisbane, AUSTRALIA  Jan. 19, 2005  Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that offers a flexible copyright for creative work, today unveiled a localized version of its innovative licensing system in Australia. The Creative Commons licenses afford authors and publishers an intermediate degree of protection over their photos, music, text, films, and educational materials under a “some rights reserved” copyright, in contrast to the traditional “all rights reserved.”

With the announcement, Creative Commons now offers free legal tools in a total of fifteen country-specific versions. The organization already provides copyright licenses specific to Austrian, Belgian, Brazilian, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, U.S., Taiwanese, Canadian, and Spanish law, thanks to a global network of artists, lawyers, and technologists.

Staff at Creative Commons’s offices in San Francisco and Berlin worked with project lead Professor Brian Fitzgerald of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia, to adapt the standardized licenses for use under Australian law.

Professor Fitzgerald, an internationally recognized expert in intellectual property and technology law, said, “Normally to use other people’s copyright you have to go through a time-consuming process to negotiate your legal rights. What we aim to do with Creative Commons is to be able to license or negotiate those rights through a website with the click of a mouse.”

Creative Commons released the new legal tools, which are available free of charge from the Creative Commons website, at a conference at the QUT today. Lawrence Lessig, professor of law at Stanford University and chairman of Creative Commons, delivered a public lecture on open content licencing at the conference.

“It’s wonderful to see this organization become truly global,” said Neeru Paharia, Assistant Director of Creative Commons, who is visiting Brisbane for the launch. “We hope to localize the Creative Commons licences to other countries of the Asia-Pacific region very soon.”

The worldwide expansion of the Creative Commons is one of the main priorities of the San Francisco-based organization for 2005.

About Creative Commons

A nonprofit corporation founded in 2001, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works, whether owned or in the public domain, by empowering authors and audiences. It is sustained by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network Fund, and the Hewlett Foundation.

For general information, visit the Creative Commons website

Contact

Christiane Asschenfeldt(Berlin)
iCommons Director
Creative Commons
christiane@creativecommons.org

Neeru Pahari(San Francisco)
Executive Director
Creative Commons
neeru@creativecommons.org

Press Kit

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OPEN COPYRIGHT LICENSES OFFERED IN CROATIA

Mia Garlick, May 19th, 2005

Creative Commons introduces its innovative copyright licenses at the Free Culture Festival in Zagreb

San Francisco, USA and Zagreb, CROATIA  Jan. 19, 2005  Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that provides a flexible copyright for authors and artists, this week unveiled a localized version of its innovative licensing system in Croatia. The Creative Commons licenses afford authors and publishers an intermediate degree of protection over their photos, music, text, films, and educational materials under a “some rights reserved” copyright, in contrast to the traditional “all rights reserved.”

With the announcement, Creative Commons now offers free legal tools in a total of fourteen country-specific versions. The organization already provides copyright licenses specific to Austrian, Belgian, Brazilian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, U.S., Taiwanese, Canadian and Spanish law, thanks to a global network of artists, lawyers, and technologists.

Staff at Creative Commons’s offices in San Francisco and Berlin worked with project leads Tomislav Medak and Diane Kovaeeviae Remenariae of the Multimedia Institute (mi2), Zagreb, to adapt the standardized licenses for use under Croatian law.

Medak said, “In Croatia there was a powerful grass-roots free culture movement even before we started transposing the licenses into Croatian law. We hope to be able to build on the festival’s momentum to promote rapid license uptake.”

Creative Commons released the new legal tools, which are available free of charge from the Creative Commons website, at the Free Culture Festival in Zagreb, which featured an exhibition, various lectures, and a two-day concert that brought together representatives of the burgeoning local music scene and British artists from Loca Records. Lawrence Lessig, professor of law at Stanford University and chairman of Creative Commons, delivered a keynote speech at the festival.

“Many thanks to Diane and Tomislav for their terrific work,” says Glenn Otis Brown, Executive Director of Creative Commons. “The organization’s tremendous international growth is due entirely to our network of top-notch experts and volunteers worldwide. ”

The continued global expansion of Creative Commons is one of the main priorities of the San Francisco-based organization for 2005.

About Creative Commons

A nonprofit corporation founded in 2001, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works, whether owned or in the public domain, by empowering authors and audiences. It is sustained by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network Fund, and the Hewlett Foundation.

For general information, visit the Creative Commons website

Contact

Christiane Asschenfeldt (Berlin)
iCommons Coordinator
Creative Commons

Glenn Otis Brown (San Francisco)
Executive Director
Creative Commons

Press Kit

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CREATIVE COMMONS COPYRIGHT TOOLS NOW AVAILABLE IN SOUTH KOREA

Mia Garlick, May 19th, 2005

The Silicon Valley nonprofit releases South Korean versions of its innovative copyright licenses at the High Court in Seoul.

San Francisco, USA and Seoul, SOUTH KOREA, March 21, 2005 – Creative Commons, a non-profit organization that offers free, flexible copyright tools to the general public, today unveiled a localized version of its innovative licensing system in South Korea. The Creative Commons licenses are available (free of charge) from the group’s website http://www.creativecommons.org. – affording authors and publishers an intermediate degree of protection over their photos, music, text, films, and educational materials under a “some rights reserved” copyright, in contrast to the traditional “all rights reserved.”

With South Korea being the latest country to join its international effort, Creative Commons now offers free legal tools in a total of 15 country-specific versions. The organization already provides copyright licenses specific to Australian, Austrian, Brazilian, Belgian, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, U.S., Taiwanese, Canadian, and Spanish law, thanks to a global network of artists, lawyers, and technologists.

Staff at Creative Common’s offices in San Francisco and Berlin worked with Professor Suk-Ho Bang of Hongik University, Seoul and project lead Professor Dae-Hee Lee of the Inha Law School and the Korea Association for Info-Media Law (KAFIL) as Affiliate Institution to adapt the standardized licenses for use under Korean law.

“We are very happy to make Creative Commons a reality for artists, lawyers and Internet users here in South Korea”, says Professor Suk-Ho Bang. Professor Suk-Ho Bang and his team worked together with Judge Jongsoo Yoon to release the Creative Commons licenses in South Korea.

The Creative Commons South Korean licenses were launched at an official function at the South Korean High Court in Seoul. Chairman of the Creative Commons Board, Professor Lawrence Lessig, presented at the function and also discussed Creative Commons with judges from the South Korean High Court.

The ongoing global expansion of the Creative Commons project is one of the main priorities of the San Francisco-based organization this year.

About Korea Association for Info-Media Law (KAFIL)

KAFIL was found in 1996 by distinguished leadership of Judge Chan-Hyun Hwang. KAFIL focuses on information law issues. KAFIL is a unique organization in part because of its member composition. The majority of regular members are judges and public prosecutors and thus, it is situated as the leading law association in Korea, bridging academicians and legal professionals. KAFIL holds an annual symposium around June and three academic seminars at other times during the year. In addition, KAFIL hosts bimonthly case study workshops that enable debates among legal professionals on topical issues. KAFIL also published its own law journal on biannual basis.

For general information, visit KAFIL’s website

For information about iCommons Korea, visit Creative Commons Korea Project site

About Creative Commons

A nonprofit corporation founded in 2001, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works — whether owned or in the public domain — by empowering authors and audiences. It is sustained by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network Fund, and the Hewlett Foundation.

For general information, visit the Creative Commons website

Contacts

Professor Suk-Ho Bang (Seoul)
Inha Law School
bang5555@hotmail.com

Neeru Paharia (San Francisco)
Creative Commons
neeru@creativecommons.org

Christiane Asschenfeldt (Berlin)
iCommons
christiane@creativecommons.org

Press Kit

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Creative Commons Expands Internationally & Restructures Its Key Management Team

Mia Garlick, May 17th, 2005

San Francisco, USA, and London, United Kingdom – May 17, 2005 – Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a body of creative works free to share and build upon, today announced the launch of Creative Commons International. Incorporated in the UK as a nonprofit organization, Creative Commons International will provide support to the global network of collaboration partners of Creative Commons who have taken on the responsibility of translating the Creative Commons licenses.

To date, as a result of the efforts of our iCommons Executive Director Christiane Asschenfeldt, seventeen different countries – including Brazil, Croatia, Spain, Japan and South Korea – have translated, both literally and legally, the Creative Commons licenses for their local jurisdiction. Twelve other jurisdictions are currently in the process of porting the licenses and overall, Creative Commons is in talks with partners in 70 countries.

Creative Commons International will support Creative Commons’ international collaboration partners after they have launched their locally adapted Creative Commons licenses. This support will include porting Creative Commons’ technologies, such as ccMixter and ccPublisher, to these jurisdictions, representing Creative Commons’ interests in international fora and with significant content providers and artists associations to explain Creative Commons licensing and, thus, indirectly to increase the range of works made available under a Creative Commons license around the globe.

Creative Commons International’s new Executive Director is the former Project Director for the Creative Archive project at the BBC, Paula Le Dieu. Paula has considerable experience in broadcasting and online issues and originally worked in theatre. She is also a dual Australian-English citizen.

The Chairman of the Creative Commons International Board is Joi Ito, a citizen of Japan, and venture capitalist. Joi also serves on the Creative Commons Board of Directors.

Chairman Joi Ito said: “We expect it to be easier to develop a truly international movement if it is directed outside of the United States, and led by non-Americans. Creative Commons’ experience in Africa and Brazil demonstrates that post-launch work with artists is especially important. Organizations within these countries, dedicated to finding ways to support their own local artists, have begun to see Creative Commons as an important tool. By licensing content within the Creative Commons network, access to their creativity can be substantially increased.”

Neeru Paharia, who has served as Assistant Director of Creative Commons since 2002, has been promoted to Executive Director of Creative Commons. Neeru replaces former Creative Commons Executive Director Glenn Otis Brown who has accepted a position as inhouse counsel at Google. Creative Commons CEO and Chairman, Professor Lawrence Lessig, said: “While it is truly a loss to see Glenn go, we are fortunate that, as one of our alumni, we will still have the benefit of Glenn’s insight and experience. We are also fortunate to have Neeru as our new Executive Director because she has worked side-by-side with Glenn over the past three years to establish Creative Commons as a successful organization that speaks to the needs of creators and users of creative works. Neeru is therefore well-placed to maintain the continuity needed to continue to grow Creative Commons and flexibly licensed content.”

Creative Commons has also appointed Mia Garlick to be Creative Commons’ first General Counsel. Mia will work with Creative Commons’ domestic and international offices to oversee legal strategy and advise on the general legal issues that arise for Creative Commons in working towards its goal of encouraging the spread of flexibly licensed content. Mia joins Creative Commons after several years of working in private practice as an intellectual property lawyer.


About Creative Commons

A non-profit founded in 2001, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works – whether owned or in the public domain – by empowering artists and audiences. It is sustained by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network Fund and the Hewlett Foundation. For general information, visit the Creative Commons website


Contact

Neeru Paharia (San Francisco)
Executive Director, Creative Commons
neeru@creativecommons.org


Paula Le Dieu (London)
Executive Director, Creative Commons International
paula@creativecommons.org


Press Kit

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Creative Commons Unique Search Tool Now Integrated into Firefox 1.0

Glenn Otis Brown, November 22nd, 2004

CREATIVE COMMONS’ ONE-OF-A-KIND SEARCH ENGINE DEBUTS, HERALDING NEXT-GENERATION WEB SEARCH FEATURES

EXTRA: The new Mozilla Firefox 1.0 browser ships with the Silicon Valley nonprofit’s new search technology, allowing users to comb the web for royalty-free content.

SAN FRANCISCO, USA November 22, 2004 Creative Commons today unveiled an updated beta version of its search engine, which scours the web for text, images, audio, and video free to re-use on certain terms a search refinement offered by no other company or organization today.

Creative Commons’ announcement coincides with the Mozilla Foundation’s release of its industry-leading browser, Firefox 1.0, which now features the Creative Commons search technology in its toolbar alongside such leading search services as Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, eBay, and Dictionary.com.

“The Creative Commons search engine helps companies, educators, and artists find content they can re-use without having to call a lawyer, and it offers authors and artists who want to share their work a competitive advantage toward having their work discovered online,” said Neeru Paharia, assistant director of Creative Commons and the search engine’s product manager.

For example, a documentary filmmaker could use the Creative Commons engine to search for “images of the Eiffel Tower free for noncommercial use,” and incorporate any or all of the many photographs indexed. A DJ seeking songs free to remix or mash-up could browse listings of MP3s by their legal terms. An entrepreneur seeking illustrations for her slideshow presentation could reduce costs and liability by using a Creative Commons image-specific search. An educator building course materials could include texts and videos found by the engine.

What distinguishes the Creative Commons engine from other search services is that all of the above are possible without the hassle of rights-clearance, licensing requests, or royalty payments.

At the core of the Creative Commons search engine are two key innovations, one legal and one technological. First, Creative Commons offers authors and artists a simple, standardized way to mark their work as free to share or transform, on certain conditions. By applying a Creative Commons copyright license and (cc) notice to her work, an author invites the world to make certain uses of it without giving up her copyright. Rather than the traditional “all rights reserved,” a Creative Commons license declares “some rights reserved.”

Second, and complimentary to this free legal tool, is Creative Commons machine-readable translation of the copyright licenses. When an author affixes the (cc) copyright notice to her webpage or MP3 or image file, it is automatically marked with Creative Commons “metadata” as well. It is this metadata — akin to a library catalog card describing a particular book — that the Creative Commons search engine then reads, processes, and presents to users as it crawls the web for their search requests.

The search engine was developed with the help of Nutch.org, an open-source search developer. See http://nutch.org.

Creative Commons metadata is based on a language known as Resource Description Framework (RDF) using Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) as an interchange syntax, designed and standardized by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Web standards-setting body.

The beta search engine indexes just under one million web pages, but Creative Commons expects it will soon index the full five million pages known to carry Creative Commons licenses today.

“Creative Commons will keeping working with Nutch.org and other metadata initiatives to index more document types and offer domain-specific and reuse-specific searches,” said Mike Linksvayer, Chief Technical Officer of Creative Commons. “For example, to find music with a certain tempo or works that incorporate a specific piece of film footage.”

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Creative Commons Copyright Tools Now Available in France

Glenn Otis Brown, November 22nd, 2004

CREATIVE COMMONS COPYRIGHT TOOLS NOW AVAILABLE IN FRANCE

The Silicon Valley nonprofit releases French versions of its innovative copyright licenses at the National Assembly in Paris.

San Francisco, USA and Paris, FRANCE, Nov. 22, 2004 — Creative Commons, a non-profit organization that offers free, flexible copyright tools to the general public, today unveiled a localized version of its innovative licensing system in France. The Creative Commons licenses afford authors and publishers an intermediate degree of protection over their photos, music, text, films, and educational materials under a “some rights reserved” copyright, in contrast to the traditional “all rights reserved.”

With the announcement, Creative Commons now offers free legal tools in a total of eleven country-specific versions. The organization already provides copyright licenses specific to Austrian, Brazilian, Dutch, Finnish, German, Japanese, U.S., Taiwanese, Canadian, and Spanish law, thanks to a global network of artists, lawyers, and technologists.

Staff at Creative Commons’s offices in San Francisco and Berlin worked with project lead Melanie Dulong de Rosnay of the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches de Science Administrative (CERSA) and the Université Panthéon Paris Assas II to adapt the standardized licenses for use under French law. Ms. Dulong de Rosnay, a researcher at CERSA, specializes in European technology and information society law.

“Our mission was to bring the great spirit of the Creative Commons licenses to France,” said Ms. Dulong de Rosnay. “In doing so, we sought to preserve the key elements of the original US licenses while paying due regard to the specifis of the French law, such as in the cases of contractual law and moral rights. A wide-ranging public discussion has enabled us to come up with some great solutions balancing legal requirements and our new approach.”

Creative Commons released the new legal tools, which are now available free of charge from the Creative Commons website, at a conference in the French National Assembly in Paris on Friday, November 19. The event featured speakers from the media, academia, and the large community of volunteers who coordinated the French legal porting process.

“The concise translation and the superb legal research at CERSA have made possible this important launch in Europe,” said Glenn Otis Brown, executive director of Creative Commons. “Many thanks to Ms. Dulong de Rosnay for her splendid work.”

The global expansion of the Creative Commons project, which is chaired by Lawrence Lessig of Stanford University Law School, is one of the main priorities of the San Francisco-based organization this year.

“After France, we look forward to adding two more big EU countries to the list of available licenses before the end of the year,” said Christiane Asschenfeldt, the International Commons Coordinator, based in Berlin. “Thanks are due to the friends of Creative Commons around the world.”

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Creative Commons Poised for New Growth Phase with Key New Hires and Expansion into Science

Matt Haughey, November 10th, 2004

The Silicon Valley nonprofit takes on
new personnel as it prepares to explore a Science Commons, continue its
rapid international expansion, and build upon the precocious success of
its first two years.

SAN FRANCISCO,
USA November 10, 2004 Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to
expanding the range of creative and intellectual works free to share
and build upon, today announced the creation of two new staff positions
as the organization makes the transition from meteoric start-up to
online institution and begins applying its model to scientific research.

Silicon
Valley veteran Mark Resch joins Creative Commons as its overall Chief
Executive Officer, while entrepreneur and metadata expert John Wilbanks
joins as the Executive Director of Science Commons, a newly formed
branch of the organization.

Creative Commons’ long-time core
staff, led by Executive Director Glenn Otis Brown, Assistant Director
Neeru Paharia, and international affairs directors Christiane
Asschenfeldt and Roland Honekamp, will continue on in more specialized
versions of their roles. Under this leadership team, the number of web
pages carrying Creative Commons copyright licenses has grown from zero,
in December 2002, to around five million today. The nonprofit now
offers its free legal tools in nine different languages, with around
three dozen more translations in draft. The organization’s most recent
accomplishments include the sampling- and copying-friendly licensing of
the WIRED CD, a 16-track album featuring the
Beastie Boys, David Byrne, and other top artists, as well as the debut
of a unique semantic-web search engine, which now ships with Mozilla’s
industry-leading browser, Firefox 1.0.

“In just two years,
Brown and Paharia have led the Creative Commons team from the basement
of Stanford Law School to the cover of WIRED,”
said Lawrence Lessig, chairman of Creative Commons and professor of law
at Stanford, referring to the November issue of the magazine. “As the
new overall CEO, Resch brings a specific and
crucial skill-set to Creative Commons at this phase in its growth. The
core staff are now free to focus on their intense substantive workload,
while Resch will help the expanded organization become a broad and
stable movement.”

“Wilbanks’s addition as leader of the new
Science Commons branch also marks a very exciting new phase,” said
Lessig, “as the Creative Commons model is tested in unchartered areas
of intellectual endeavor.”

Mark Resch brings to the new CEO

position a wealth of experience developing successful start-up projects
into mature firms. He is chairman and co-founder of the interactive
system maker Onomy Labs, Inc. and was President and CEO of Commerce Net,
a nonprofit industry consortium that addressed critical enablers of
Internet commerce. At Xerox, Resch developed new Internet business
opportunities and managed http://xerox.com
worldwide. Resch was also co-founder and Vice President of Operations
at Luna Imaging Inc., which created large interactive photography
databases and was funded by the Getty Trust and Eastman Kodak.

Wilbanks
comes to Creative Commons from a Fellowship at the World Wide Web
Consortium in Semantic Web for Life Sciences. Previously, he founded
and led to acquisition Incellico, a bioinformatics company that built
semantic graph networks for use in pharmaceutical discovery.

Structurally,
the Creative Commons corporation will consist of three parallel
projects working in concert and overseen by Resch and chairman Lessig:

  1. Creative
    Commons the existing organization that focuses on copyright and
    cultural subject matter like music, images, and educational materials;
  2. International Commons the effort to adapt Creative
    Commons’ legal tools to various countries’ legal systems (over 50 and
    counting); and
  3. Science Commons a project to build on Creative Commons’ work in open-access scientific publishing (like MIT’s
    Open Courseware and the Public Library of Science) and apply Creative
    Commons’ voluntary “some rights reserved” approach to patents and
    scientific data.

Functionally, both Science Commons
and Creative Commons will overlap with International Commons, and
current staffers will enjoy roles that span the various sections of the
organization.

Brown, for example, who coined the phrase
“some rights reserved” to describe Creative Commons’ middle-ground
approach to copyright, will continue to coordinate messaging strategy
and act as the organization’s main staff attorney. Paharia, who
directed the development of Creative Commons one-of-a-kind search
engine and its innovative MP3-tagging protocol, among other projects, will continue to coordinate business and technology development.

Brown, anticipating Creative Commons’ rapid growth in 2004, first proposed the creation of Resch’s CEO position over a year ago.

“Our
growth has exceeded even our most optimistic expectations,” said Brown,
“but by mid-2003 it was already clear that our extremely lean team had
created a movement that would require new skill sets at various levels
of the organization. We’ve been looking forward to focusing on our
substantive legal and cultural projects full-time, and Mark Resch’s
managerial expertise will help Creative Commons further accelerate its
sustained and stable growth.”

About Creative Commons

A
nonprofit founded in early 2002, Creative Commons promotes the creative
re-use of intellectual and artistic works—whether owned or in the
public domain—by empowering authors and audiences. It is sustained by
the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D.
and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Hewlett Foundation.

For general information, visit <http://creativecommons.org>.

About Mark Resch, the new CEO of Creative Commons

Mark
Resch is deeply interested in the mutual interaction of society,
business, and technology. He is Chairman and co-founder of interactive
system maker Onomy Labs, Inc. Resch was President and CEO of Commerce Net,
a nonprofit industry consortium that addressed critical enablers of
Internet commerce. At Xerox Corporation, Resch was developed new
Internet business opportunities and managed http://xerox.com

worldwide. Resch was co-founder and Vice President of Operations at
Luna Imaging Inc., creator of large interactive photography databases,
funded by the Getty Trust and Eastman Kodak. As Vice President and
Director of Computer Imaging at CRSS Architects, Inc. Resch integrated CAD,
GIS, FM, and Visualization software to render data and space. As
Director of Graphic Arts at Computer Curriculum Corporation, Resch
supported the creation of more than 3,000 hours of interactive
courseware for students at risk. Resch was assistant professor of
Computer Art in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and drafted its MFA
degree. Resch served as co-chair for the Association for Computer
Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Graphic and Interactive
Techniques (SIGGRAPH) in 1993, and has served on numerous non-profit
boards.

Resch is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and holds a BA in History from Grinnell College and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About John Wilbanks, Executive Director of the Science Commons

John
Wilbanks comes to Creative Commons from a Fellowship at the World Wide
Web Consortium in Semantic Web for Life Sciences. Previously, he
founded and led to acquisition Incellico, a bioinformatics company that
built semantic graph networks for use in pharmaceutical discovery.
Before founding Incellico, John was the first Assistant Director at the
Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and also
spent time in Washington, DC, USA as a
legislative aide to U.S. Representative Fortney (“Pete”) Stark.
Wilbanks holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Tulane University.

Contact

Glenn Otis Brown (San Francisco)

Executive Director, Creative Commons
415.946.3065
glenn@creativecommons.org

Press Kit
http://creativecommons.org/presskit/

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