CC BY

Foodista: CC-Powered Cooking Encyclopedia

Cameron Parkins, January 23rd, 2009

foodistaFoodista is a new online destination for those interested in all things culinary-related. The site is divided into four sections – recipes, foods, tools and techniques – and is based around the idea that community knowledge and sharing can result in a better resource than one built by a restricted and closed group. As such, the folks behind Foodista have “developed a system to let everyone edit content to make it better rather than have multiple versions of the same recipe.” At its core, this system is based around a site-wide CC BY license.

By using our most permissive license, Foodista has laid the ground work for a site that is purely focused on collaboration and the growth of knowledge. A few months ago we posted about an article that articulates why using a CC BY license for recipes is a sound choice (recipes can’t be copyrighted while the expression of recipes can). It is a mindset Foodista has embraced and while the site is still in a nascent stage it is already showing great promise. Part of the fun about cooking is the inherent experimentation and reiterations recipes can go through. Being able to document that sort of exchange through the use of open tools is a welcomed resource.

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Michael Geist on Why Whitehouse.gov’s Copyright Policy Matters

Fred Benenson, January 22nd, 2009

Canadian copyright scholar Michael Geist explains why Whitehouse.gov‘s adoption of our Attribution license for 3rd party content is important in light of Canada’s policy on government works:

Now consider the Prime Minister of Canada’s copyright notice:
The material on this site is covered by the provisions of the Copyright Act, by Canadian laws, policies, regulations and international agreements. Such provisions serve to identify the information source and, in specific instances, to prohibit reproduction of materials without written permission. …

While this is better than some other Canadian government departments (who require permission for all uses), it is still not good enough. First, Canada should drop crown copyright so that there is no copyright in government-produced materials. Second, there is no need for a distinction between commercial and non-commercial – Canadians should be free to use the government-produced materials for either purpose without permission. Third, third-party materials, which are Creative Commons licensed in the U.S., are subject to full restrictions in Canada.

While the decision to use CC on Whitehouse.gov may appear uncontroversial in light of the fact that US federal works are not subject to copyright protection, very few other countries share this policy as evidenced by Geist’s post. This is precisely where Creative Commons can help. Obama’s far sighted choice should serve as an example for other governments around the world: now is the time to start sharing.

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Whitehouse.gov’s 3rd Party Content Under CC-BY

Fred Benenson, January 20th, 2009

Whitehouse.govAs you may of heard, the new Whitehouse.gov launched today at 12:01pm during Barack Obama’s inauguration. What you might not have noticed is that the copyright policy of the site stipulates that all 3rd party content is licensed under our most permissive Attribution license:

Pursuant to federal law, government-produced materials appearing on this site are not copyright protected. The United States Government may receive and hold copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.

Except where otherwise noted, third-party content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to Whitehouse.gov under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

(emphasis added)

Congratulations to the 44th President of the US for choosing CC!

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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 blip.tv 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.

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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, MoveOn.org 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 http://www.jamendo.com/en/playlist/97841. 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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