Wired

Wired.com now releasing photos under CC Attribution-Noncommercial

Jane Park, November 7th, 2011

We are thrilled to relay Wired.com’s announcement that from now on all Wired.com staff-produced photos will be released under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial license (CC BY-NC)! Wired.com’s Editor in Chief Evan Hansen says,

“Creative Commons turns ten years old next year, and the simple idea of releasing content with “some rights reserved” has revolutionized online sharing and fueled a thriving remix culture. At Wired.com, we’ve benefited from CC-licensed photos for years — thank you sharers! Now we’re going to start sharing ourselves.”

We want to return the thanks to Wired.com for recognizing the power of open! Wired.com is a leader in covering the world of technology and a pioneer in commercial online publishing. We hope that others will recognize the value of both borrowing from, and contributing to, the richness of our shared commons.

To immediately sweeten the pot, Wired.com is celebrating their new licensing policy by releasing a CC-licensed gallery of 50 iconic photos from past stories including portraits of Steve Jobs, Woz, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer, Trent Reznor, JJ Abrams, and others. Check out Wired’s Flickr stream for high resolution formats of the photos.


Trent Reznor / Jon Snyder/Wired.com / CC BY-NC

We believe that there are incredible opportunities for publishers and news organizations in open licensing. With this commitment, Wired joins other prestigious news and content organizations who are sharing interesting and important resources with the world under CC, incluing Al Jazeera, Propublica, and GOOD. Thanks Wired.com!

CC license use in journalism and other domains, in addition to numerous other activities, are made possible thanks to donations from people like you. We are a nonprofit organization; please consider contributing to our annual campaign going on now! Thank you.

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Welcoming Annette Thomas and Melanie Cornwell to CC

Jane Park, May 10th, 2010

We are thrilled to announce today that Annette Thomas, CEO of Macmillan Publishers Ltd, has joined the Creative Commons Board of Directors, and that Melanie Cornwell, former Editorial Projects Director of Wired magazine, has joined CC staff as Vice President of Strategy.

Annette comes to the Creative Commons Board with many years of experience in publishing. She is the CEO of Macmillan Publishers, which deals with a wide range of science, education, and consumer fiction and nonfiction publishing. Prior to becoming CEO, Annette was the Managing Director of the Nature Publishing Group’s Nature Reviews series, which she helped establish as a major scholarly publisher. Annette is a member of the Verlagsgruppe von Holtzbrinck board of directors and a Governor of the Stephen Perse Foundation (Perse School for Girls) in Cambridge, UK. Annette received a B.S. in Biochemicaland Biophysical Sciences from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Yale University.

Melanie brings over 15 years of management, production and strategy experience to Creative Commons. While Editorial Projects Director at Wired magazine, she was the Executive Producer of Wired Science, a primetime PBS science series; daily Wired news reports on CBS Radio; and three documentaries about “WIRED NextFest” for the Discovery Channel. She produced the CC-licensed music video Keep on Dancing to Spoon’s “Don’t You Evah” and The WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share., a landmark 2004 CC CD featuring 16 artists such as the Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Gilberto Gil, My Morning Jacket and Danger Mouse. She also produced live events related to open issues, including “Who Owns Culture” with Jeff Tweedy and Lawrence Lessig and “The Battle Over Books: Authors and Publishers Take On Google Book Search.”

Creative Commons is very excited to work with Annette and Melanie on making knowledge easily, freely, and legally available to everyone.

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CC Licenses and the Haiti Relief Effort, Continued

Cameron Parkins, February 1st, 2010

Late last month we looked at how our licenses were being used by both Google and Architecture for Humanity to keep content open, free, and fluid in their Haiti Relief efforts. As these efforts continue to grow more groups have turned to CC licenses to assist their goals, with three projects in particular catching our attention.

The OpenStreetMap project found an immediate niche to fill, launching their Project Haiti page in an effort to map out what was, at the time, a largely incomplete geographical picture. Far more detailed now, OSM’s data set is available for free under a CC Attribution-ShareAlike license, helping those on the ground in Haiti get to where they need to be with greater accuracy.

Haiti Rewired, a project of WIRED magazine, is a collaborative community focused on tech and infrastructure solutions for Haiti. All the content published to Haiti Rewired is licensed under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial license, keeping the conversation legally open. You can read the project’s mission statement for more info.

A similar effort comes from Sahana, a free and open source software disaster management system. Soon after the crisis hit, Sahana launched their Haiti 2010 Disaster Relief Portal, which includes an organizations registry, a situation map, and an activities report. All content and data from the portal is released under CC Attribution license, allowing necessary information to be accessed by anyone without legal or financial hurdles.

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Open Design at Berlin’s openeverything and CC Salon TONIGHT!

Michelle Thorne, March 26th, 2009

openeverything-cc-salon-berlin1

Join us tonight for the second installment of Openeverything Focus in Berlin. We’ll be talking with designers about how openness can augment their work — from publishing, design tools, community building, customization, and more.

We’ll be hearing from Open Design pioneer Ronen Kadushin, whose work was recently featured in WIRED Magazine’s Mod That Table: High-End Furniture Goes Open Source. Also joining us is Fabbing expert Susanne Stauch and CC’s own senior designer Alex Roberts. A huge thank you to Linda Löser (Fragement Store), Cecilia Palmer (Pamoyo), and the rest of the #oefb team for putting together this outstanding program. See you there!

When: Thursday, 26.03.09, 19:30h

Where: newthinking store, Tucholskystr. 48, 10117 Berlin Mitte

Image: “Flat Knot – stainless” by Ronen Kadushin available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.

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Live from the NYPL & Wired Present: Lawrence Lessig, Shepard Fairey, and Steven Johnson

Eric Steuer, February 19th, 2009

nypl_lessigfaireyjohnson1

New Yorkers – next Thursday, February 26, Wired and Live from the NYPL will bring together Lawrence Lessig, Shepard Fairey, and Steven Johnson for a discussion about Lessig’s new book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. The conversation will take place at 7:00pm at the Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library (5th Avenue and 42nd Street). Tickets are $25 for general admission and $15 for library donors, seniors, and students. This is Lessig’s final planned public discussion of remix and copyright issues, before he he heads to Harvard to direct the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. Lessig, Fairey, and Johnson will be on hand after the talk to sign their respective books and posters.

LIVE from the NYPL and WIRED Magazine kick off the Spring 2009 season with a spirited discussion of the emerging remix culture. Our guides through this new world—who will take us from Jefferson’s Bible to André the Giant to Wikipedia—will be Lawrence Lessig, author of Remix, founder of Creative Commons, and one of the leading legal scholars on intellectual property issues in the Internet age; acclaimed street artist Shepard Fairey, whose iconic Obama “HOPE” poster was recently acquired by the National Portrait Gallery; and cultural historian Steven Johnson, whose new book, The Invention of Air, argues that remix culture has deep roots in the Enlightenment and among the American founding fathers.

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Clive Thompson on the Hybrid T-Shirt Economy

Cameron Parkins, December 2nd, 2008

A great article in the most recent WIRED, Clive Thompson on How T-Shirts Keep Online Content Free, discusses the growing hybrid economy developed by purveyors of free content looking for a stable source of income. Their answer? Schwag in general, t-shirts in particular:

Increasingly, creative types are harnessing what I’ve begun to call “the T-shirt economy”—paying for bits by selling atoms. Charging for content online is hard, often impossible. Even 10 cents for a download of something like Red vs. Blue might drive away the fans. So instead of fighting this dynamic, today’s smart artists are simply adapting to it.

Their algorithm is simple: First, don’t limit your audience by insisting they pay to see your work. Instead, let your content roam freely online, so it generates as large an audience as possible. Then cash in on your fans’ desire to sport merchandise that declares their allegiance to you.

While Thompson doesn’t mention CC directly (he does mention Jonathan Coulton, a CC-staff favorite and current partner in our fundraising drive), he hints at the mentality behind our CC+ initiative and generally argues that openness is an important component of functional business models going forward.

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WIRED on Arduino and Open Source Computing

Cameron Parkins, October 22nd, 2008

WIRED Magazine just published a fascinating article by Clive Thompson on Arduino, a company that manufactures an open source computing platform of the same name.

Schematics for the Arduino chip are released under a CC BY-SA license, meaning that home-brewed Arduino chips have popped up in “open source synthesizers, MP3 players, guitar amplifiers, and even high-end voice-over-IP phone routers”. The article is brimming with anecdotes and examples on how giving away these schematics ahs been a huge help to Arduino economically, ethically, and creatively. In regards to their initial motivations, Thompson writes:

[T]he Arduino inventors decided to start a business, but with a twist: The designs would stay open source. Because copyright law—which governs open source software—doesn’t apply to hardware, they decided to use a Creative Commons license called Attribution-Share Alike. It governs the “reference designs” for the Arduino board, the files you’d send to a fabrication plant to have the boards made.

Under the Creative Commons license, anyone is allowed to produce copies of the board, to redesign it, or even to sell boards that copy the design. You don’t need to pay a license fee to the Arduino team or even ask permission. However, if you republish the reference design, you have to credit the original Arduino group. And if you tweak or change the board, your new design must use the same or a similar Creative Commons license to ensure that new versions of the Arduino board will be equally free and open.

On the topic of open-source economics, the Arduino team has some phenomenal insight on lessons they have learned:

[Arduino] makes little off the sale of each board—only a few dollars of the $35 price, which gets rolled into the next production cycle. But the serious income comes from clients who want to build devices based on the board and who hire the founders as consultants.

“Basically, what we have is the brand,” says Tom Igoe, an associate professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, who joined Arduino in 2005. “And brand matters.”

What’s more, the growing Arduino community performs free labor for the consultants. Clients of Banzi’s design firm often want him to create Arduino-powered products. For example, one client wanted to control LED arrays. Poking around online, Banzi found that someone in France had already published Arduino code that did the job. Banzi took the code and was done.

The whole article is absolutely fascinating and worth a read for anyone in the CC community – interested in computer hardware or not. You can learn more about Arduino at their website.

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Back to School: Open Textbooks Gaining in Popularity

Jane Park, September 16th, 2008

There’s been a whole lot of press on open textbooks lately, in addition to my own posts on the Flexbook and the Student PIRGs’ recent report encouraging open source textbooks as the right model for digital textbooks (versus the limited e-books that commercial publishers currently offer). The difference in open source and commercial e-books is wide and deep. Open textbooks are freely editable, downloadable and repurposable by others, keeping with the notion that the search for truth in any academic field is continually being revised, especially in the science and technology fields. The perpetual beta status of knowledge is not just an oxymoron; the old fashioned textbook is simply outdated in this age of lightning fast communications. Furthermore, students and many professors are just not having it anymore.

The New York Times article, “Don’t Buy That Textbook, Download It Free,” features an interview with Cal Tech professor, R. Preston McAfee, who offers his “Introduction to Economic Analysis” online for free. Another article by the LA Times reports best-selling co-author Steven D. Levitt of Freakonomics calling McAfee brilliant. If brilliant minds putting out open textbooks and students buying in (for free and for low-cost print versions on places like Lulu.com and Flatworld Knowledge) are not an indication of a revolution in textbook making, I don’t know what is.

The numbers don’t lie either. Quotes the NY Times on McAfee:

If I had finished my own book, I would have finished a couple years ago,” [McAfee] said. “It would have taken five years. It would have spent five years in print and sold 2,000 copies.” Instead, he said, he posted it on the Web site and there have been 2.8 million page views of his textbook, “Signals and Systems,” including a translation into Spanish.

Wired also quotes a long-timer in the traditional textbook industry, Eric Frank, who is getting with the changing times: “The nice thing about open content is it gives faculty full control, creative control over the content of the book, full control over timing, and it give students a lot more control over how they want to consume it and how much they want to pay”…“On the surface they’re (traditional publishers) doing OK, but underneath the surface there are lots of problems.”

A long-existing and solid promoter of the open textbook is Connexions, an online platform “for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web.” Connexions, created by Rice University’s Richard Baraniuk, initiated a new way of thinking about textbooks: 

“Most textbooks are a mass of information in linear format: one topic follows after another. However, our brains are not linear – we learn by making connections between new concepts and things we already know. Connexions mimics this by breaking down content into smaller chunks, called modules, that can be linked together and arranged in different ways. This lets students see the relationships both within and between topics and helps demonstrate that knowledge is naturally interconnected, not isolated into separate classes or books.”

According to the NY Times, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a staunch supporter of the open educational resources (OER) movement, has granted $6 million to Connexions alone. Connexions licenses all of its content CC BY, the license that allows the greatest sharing capabilities and creativity for education, while still retaining authorship and thereby greater quality in collaborative output.

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