Al Jazeera Launches Creative Commons Repository

Fred Benenson, January 13th, 2009

Al Jazeera Creative Commons RepositoryAl Jazeera is releasing 12 broadcast quality videos today shot in Gaza under Creative Commons’ least restrictive Attribution license. Each professionally recorded video has a detailed information page and is hosted on allowing for easy downloads of the original files and integration into Miro. The value of this footage is best described by an International Herald Tribune/New York Times article describing the release:

In a conflict where the Western news media have been largely prevented from reporting from Gaza because of restrictions imposed by the Israeli military, Al Jazeera has had a distinct advantage. It was already there.

More importantly, the permissive CC-BY license means that the footage can be used by anyone including, rival broadcasters, documentary makers, and bloggers, so long as Al Jazeera is credited.

There’s more information over at Al Jazeera’s CC repository, and in our press release. You can also add the Al Jazeera repository to your Miro feeds by clicking here.


DJ Z-Trip’s Victory Lap: The Second Obama Mix

Fred Benenson, January 13th, 2009

Shepard Fairey's ObamaAfter hearing his massively successful Obama Mix, contacted DJ Z-trip to create a new “Victory Lap” mix celebrating Barack Obama’s election for the inauguration. Just as he did with his original mix, Z-trip has licensed his new mix one under our Attribution license, allowing anyone to reuse, remix and share it, even commercially.

Download the mix at Z-Trip’s site.

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Lessig/Colbert remixes on ccMixter

Mike Linksvayer, January 12th, 2009

CC founder Lawrence Lessig appeared on the Colbert Report last Thursday talking about his latest book, REMIX. The segment was great, and hilarious, as is typical for Colbert — and double plus fun for copyright geeks and activists, as Colbert challenged the audience to not remix the interview “with some great dance beat, and then it starts showing up in clubs across America.”

Lessig pointed out on air that because he didn’t waive his joint copyrights to the segment, he and Colbert are joint owners, and either can exploit the work freely. In this case Lessig has published the interview under CC BY, allowing anyone to remix or even commercially exploit the work for free.

The interview “accapella” is up on ccMixter, where it is rapidly being remixed with great dance beats (see “samples used in:” on the right).

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Jamendo CC music picks for 2008

Mike Linksvayer, January 7th, 2009

The critical and commercial success of Ghosts I-IV from Nine Inch Nails continues to amaze … also see Read Write Web, Ars Technica and Digg for additional comments on the album’s breakthrough.

This is a good opportunity to celebrate that the world of CC music is amazing for its depth and growth, not only for singular successes. One of many indicators is that Jamendo is on the cusp of reaching 15,000 openly licensed albums. They’ve put out a call for best of 2008 lists. It turns out fans have been building such lists all year, which is great, as discovery is the challenge.

My discovered on Jamendo in 2008 list follows. Except for the last track, you probably won’t enjoy this much, but that’s not the point — there are lots of other people discovering CC licensed music (at Jamendo and elsewhere) — follow them and you could be too. Or, if you share my taste in noise music…

KORIZA (Komitet Operativnoy Razrabotki Industrialnyh Zennostey Avangarda) from Saint Petersburg, Russia. They've released one experimental mathcore single, New Orlean Sunset Club that is deeply satisfying but a little too mellow. They are supposedly working on "new material, that will be much more experimental, vanguard & violent." CAN'T WAIT.

Dr Pombo: Trastorno de la personalidad Rock electrónico psicodélico from Ermua, Spain. Recommed the track La mano de Dios.

Desarraigo of Ningúnlado (Nowhere), Mexico does very short, violent tracks with a drum machine, screaming, and GNU/Linux. On Polvo recommend Criadero De Polvo, which adds night sounds, a 46 second epic.

En Busca Del Pasto, an improvisational project from Madrid, Spain, has released 24 albums on Jamendo. Improvisación para dúo, Nº 4 («Pan y vino») is heavier on electronics and sampling than typical for EBDP. Parte segunda from that album is excellent.

Daniele Torelli of Reggio Emilia, Italy works with the electronic band Yue and put out We Don't Care (single), a snappy little song.

Merci-Merci does lo-fi slow dance punk from La Rochelle, France. Souvenirs d'un océan disparu's Océan Pacifique is a very pleasant listen.

Tom Fahy led a prolific group of musicians in St. John's, Canada. Fahy died June of this year, a huge loss for music. The group's output of 70 albums on Jamedo ranges stylistically from instrumental rock to jazz to classical, with many variations. Some recommendations include Endgame: A Tribute to Bobby Fischer, instrumental rock, hear Defence; Hotel, raga influenced jazz, Epilogue; Little Fatty: Studies in Atonality, classical, Little Fatty No. 1; and 1986, instrumental rock, Miss Rose Tells The Future. [Edited March 2013; see note below]

Telemetrics Callsign 65:41 Noise and samples from Whitehouse, Ohio, USA. 25 minutes of easy on the ears listening.

Jamison Young, a musician and activist from Australia but based in Prague, Czech Republic, had a surprise this year from Shifting Sands Of A Blue Car when its Memories Child was featured in the X-Files: I Want to Believe movie. Not my usual type of music, but it grows on you. No reason for it to not be in heavy rotation on a supermarket PA near you.

Individual tracks listed above are assembled at All are available under CC BY or CC BY-SA.

Update (March 28, 2013): Tom Fahy‘s music is no longer available on Jamendo, but it is now hosted on Internet Archive. We’ve updated the links to the Internet Archive listings.

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Google releases Browser Security Handbook under CC BY

Mike Linksvayer, December 17th, 2008

Last week Google published a 60 page equivalent Browser Security Handbook under the CC Attribution license:

In hopes of helping to make the Web a safer place, we decided to release our Browser Security Handbook to the general public. This 60-page document provides a comprehensive comparison of a broad set of security features and characteristics in commonly used browsers, along with (hopefully) useful commentary and implementation tips for application developers who need to rely on these mechanisms, as well as engineering teams working on future browser-side security enhancements.

Although this may sound dry, the handbook is effectively a highly readable and fascinating explanation of many of the reasons the web and web browsers work as they do. Highly recommended for deep reading by anyone remotely involved in web development, and for skimming by everyone else.

Hopefully publication under the most liberal CC license, allowing republication, modification, and commercial use, so long as credit is given, will help this important content find its way into developer, educational, and training resources around the world.

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Open Milton

Jane Park, December 11th, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday John Milton! The poet that English majors belabor and grow to know so well turned 400 earlier this week, and to celebrate, the Open Knowledge Foundation launched Open Milton. What is Open Milton?

Open Milton is “an open set of Milton’s works, together with ancillary information and tools, in a form designed for reuse. The Open Milton project has two main objectives:

  1. Provide the works of John Milton, along with textual apparatus and tools all in an open form.
  2. Deliver this material as a knowledge package that allows for easy deployment, redistribution and reuse. 

Specifically [they] provide a full open set of Milton’s works along with ancillary material, a variety of tools and a python API. In addition to the works themselves there is a chronology, statistics, a concordance and search facilities.”

The great thing about Open Milton is that it is a specialized resource, organized and pieced together in novel and thoughtful ways—but it doesn’t prevent you or anyone else from tinkering with it, adding to it, and making it better. Why? Because it’s licensed under CC BY and therefore discoverable (machine-readable), even if it doesn’t conform to some aggregator’s notion of a proper resource. Open Milton is an excellent example for self-publishing; anyone can give their work the advantage of open licensing.

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Australia’s census going CC BY

Michelle Thorne, December 8th, 2008

In a small, easy to miss post, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has made a very exciting announcement. They’re going CC – and under an Attribution-only license, no less.

From the ABS website:

Creative Commons provides a spectrum of licensing for the use of intellectual property between full copyright and public domain – in essence ‘some rights reserved’. The ABS is poised to introduce Creative Commons licensing for the majority of its web content.

The relevant Creative Commons logo (which will link to the Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence) will be included at the bottom of every page on the ABS website.

The ABS conducts the annual Australian census and is the holder of all official Australian statistical data. CC Australia explains, “The ABS been providing all its resources for free for a number of years, but under a limited re-use license. The decision to go one step further and allow complete reuse of its material – even for commercial purposes – heralds a great opportunity for the Australian community, researchers and business, and hopefully will lead to a great leap in the use of and innovation based on this rich resource.”

Update: As reported to us on Dec. 23, all content on the ABS website (other than logos and other trade marked content) is now marked as CC BY – including all census data, economy data, fact sheets, analysis, press releases etc.

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Fred Benenson, December 3rd, 2008

Less than 72 hours after the Obama-Biden Transition Team adopted our most permissive license for, Cerado Ventana has built a iPhone, mobile application, and widget. We will never know if this application would have been built if hadn’t chosen such a permissive license, but it just goes to show what interesting things can happen when you let the world know your work is free to be built upon.

We originally caught this via Twitter and Christopher Carfi’s “Social Customer Manifesto” blog where he expressed thanks to Obama’s team for using CC:

Thank you again to the Obama administration for opening up with Creative Commons to make this possible, and thanks to everyone here on the team. You have been building killer technology, and have enabled us to create this new conduit for citizens and government to connect.

This is just the beginning of innovative uses of the content from, so keep an eye out for more interesting applications and let us know about them.

Check out the widget after the jump.
Read More…

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Iron Man and the Right Not to Be Attributed

Fred Benenson, December 2nd, 2008

When Jeremy Keith, a web developer living and working in England took a photo of at Cape Canaveral and posted it to Flickr under our Attribution license (which seems to be the flavor of the month around here), he had no idea it was eventually going to end up in the blockbuster feature film Iron Man.

After explaining the terms of the CC license to a studio representative interested in using the photo in the film, Jeremy was told that it would costs at least $1500 to be attributed in the credits. So the studio offered the next best thing in lieu of being attributed properly: cash. But Jeremy turned the money down and just signed the license release anyway.

Besides being another example of Hollywood utilizing CC licensed material, this story offers insight into why we developed the CC+ protocol. CC+ is designed to help creators negotiate rights outside the scope of the license. For a lot of cases, this turns out to be our NonCommercial provision — that is, musicians offer their music to their fans under NC and use CC+ to point commercial users to a 3rd party rights broker (like Magnatune) that handles commercial rights negotiation on behalf of the artist. But here we can see another right being negotiated, that of attribution, which shows just how flexible CC licenses are.

Remember, when you’re the creator and owner of a copyrighted work, you have ultimate say over who does what with your work; CC licenses merely help you negotiate the thicket of what that “what” is.

Thanks go to Jeremy for writing up such an important example of CC licensed works being used in the wild.


Dopplr Launches Autogenerated City Profiles

Fred Benenson, December 1st, 2008

The team at the travel community Dopplr has launched an autogenerative tool that magically creates city profiles utilizinginteresting” Flickr photos licensed under our free licenses.

Dopplr has aggregated thousands of travelers data and photos to create compelling pages that have autogenerated content. These pages expose fascinating trends of travelers visiting different cities. Take a look at Black Rock City’s profile:

The spike is from the famous Burning Man festival that happens at the end of the summer, and the photo is from brainsik’s flickr.

By utilizing our Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike licenses, Dopplr has effectively avoided the transaction costs typically associated with negotiating rights to use a photo in a derivative work.


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