2004 July

Flickr Featured Commoner

Matt Haughey, July 21st, 2004

This month’s featured commoner interview is up, which covers our interview with Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield. In it, he talks about Flickr’s unique features, their history, and why they’re using Creative Commons licenses.

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Eric Eldred in the Boston Globe

Matt Haughey, July 20th, 2004

In honor of the 150th anniversary for Thoreau’s Walden, Creative Commons co-founder Eric Eldred decided to share and print free public domain copies of Walden (here’s the Word doc version at Eldred’s own site) at Walden Pond, but was asked to leave.

The Boston Globe published an article about this yesterday, complete with a great photo of Eric sporting a Creative Commons t-shirt.

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Make anything on earth a derivative work

Matt Haughey, July 17th, 2004

Today while I was at a web conference, a speaker used an incredible MIT Media Lab project as a demo during a talk. Check out the I/O brush project. The project appears to be a camera that can take a photo still or video of anything you point it at, then the captured images can be “painted” on a virtual canvas. It’s essentially one giant derivative work creator.

Watch this Real Video demo of the I/O Brush in action

After you see it, you can see how incredible this technology is. I can’t imagine when something like this would be a cheap, easily available tool, but I can imagine that parts of the technology may eventually show up in something. It takes the concept of rip, mix, and burn to whole new levels, creating new art works from anything else (including copyrighted art, text, and trademarked logos) and I wonder what the legal landscape will be like when this technology is readily available. Can you imagine the scorn this product will get from publishing companies, movie studios, and the like?

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International Private Law

Roland, July 16th, 2004

One of the larger and more interesting questions arising in connection with Creative Commons’s global expansion is the question of whether the various iCommons licences are internationally compatible.

The question arises because porting / transposing the CC licenses into diffferent jurisdictions involves a process of both translation and legal adapation. The latter is made necessary by the specific requirements of the respective national legal orders, e.g. with regard to language used or with regard to the particular limitations created by droit d’auteur copyright regimes.

In this context, how can we best make sure international versions of the CC licenses are compatible with each other?

Part of our discussion at the Wissenschaftskolleg conference, held on 17 June in Berlin, focussed precisely on this question.

Here you’ll find a talk given by Dr A. Metzger for more thoughts on this.

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Moving and Copyright

Glenn Otis Brown, July 16th, 2004

We’re moving our offices to San Francisco tomorrow. I’m packing boxes. Just noticed that our Fellowes brand cardboard file boxes carry a copyright notice: (c) Copyright 2001 Fellowes, Inc. Sure am glad they included that. Was about to pirate.

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Do the Recombo. In Brazil. Now. Again.

Glenn Otis Brown, July 15th, 2004

Renaldo “Recombo” Lemos of Creative Commons Brazil reports more good news:

“Following the same steps of Gilberto Gil and Mombojo, the Brazilian electronic group Gerador Zero has decided to go Recombo. Gerador Zero is one of the most inventive music projects in Brazil. Fabio FZero, their mastermind, has managed to create music that is hard to define. They combine elements of rock, pop and electronica in a smart way, without pre-conceived ideas or formulas. Everything very Brazilian, but universal at the same time. They have just release a new EP, called #!/bin/bash, which is now available online. Everyone is now welcome to do the Recombo with their music.”

Who will be the first, or the best, or both, to do the Recombo with Gerador Zero and Mombojo? Voce, talvez?

Mash them up, sample them, take another little piece of their art.


Whoa, dude. It’s like I can hear the colors . . . on, like, my skin!

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Lou Reed loves remixes

Matt Haughey, July 15th, 2004

Lou Reed is another artist that should check out the Recombo license. Here’s a great quote from him about his most recent recordings being remixed in this story:

“I’ve been getting all these great mixes sent to me out of the U.K. for years and years,” he told Attitude magazine, “and I just started saying to the record company, ‘Look, I really, really love what they are doing.’ I think that my record company was a little taken aback but, genuinely, if I could make that type of music then I would. If I could master the equipment then I would love to.

[via Furdlog]

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Do You Code-Switch? Yet Another Reason to Go Some Rights Reserved

Glenn Otis Brown, July 15th, 2004

People who study race, gender, and anthropology sometimes talk about “code-switching“: the way a person who straddles different cultures (poor and rich, minority and majority, north and south) learns to toggle between the lingo and mannerisms of each to survive, or in some cases, thrive.

One of the several “ah ha!” moments of Siva Vaidhyanathan‘s amazing keynote at the American Association of Law Libraries conference was Siva’s celebration of the fact that us “information warriors” (his term, borrowed from the Pentagon) — librarians, teachers, lawyers, programmers, musicians, filmmakers, preachers, propagandists, bloggers — are learning to code-switch across our respective disciplines as never before. And that it’s precisely this vocational Spanglish that will help us build, one day, a coherent information policy.

That insight alone was enough to make Siva’s talk more than worthwhile. But better still was Siva’s implication that each audience member had to ask ourselves how we should code-switch in our everyday info lives. Which instantly made me think of the tricorne hat all Creative Commoners don when they publish their work with our copyright licenses: lawyer-, human-, and machine-readable . . . code.


I wish I could take credit for Creative Commons’ built-in code-switching. But like most things it was Lessig‘s idea. Which makes me wonder: Just how many meanings will the title of his first book turn out to have?

My humble little epiphany is probably obvious to most of you. Which is just that much cooler, isn’t it? That’s hope right there.

(Here’s some related reading, from the days when, I now realize, I first began to code-switch. However awkwardly.)

UPDATE: I just spoke to an anthropologist friend who feared that I’d mistakenly thought that “code” in the phrases human-, lawyer-, and machine-readable “code” meant the same thing as it does in the context of regular old code-switching. Yikes; I didn’t mean that. I meant it as a metaphor, based on a verbal coincidence, and I guess I didn’t explain it well. My point, if I had one, was that in the very act of marking a work with the three layers of literal code, a Commoner encourages the more figurative kind of code-switching between lawyers, coders, and artists. Anyway . . . this horse is now well-flogged.

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A New Source for Your Validation

Nathan Yergler, July 14th, 2004

Since I first implemented ccValidator late last year, I’ve been encouraged by the amount of feedback and suggestions I’ve received. Common-ers everywhere have pointed out bugs, suggested improvements and encouraged it’s development into a useful tool.

Today, ccValidator has a new home: validator.creativecommons.org and a handful of new features. The validator now supports metadata specified as a seperate file with a <link ...> tag, and hopefully provides some improved error messages when it runs into problems. If you have any validation links, don’t worry: we’re redirecting calls to the validator at yergler.net to it’s new home.

Go ahead, kick the tires, and drop me a line if you have a suggestion or bug report.

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Register UK

Press Robot, July 13th, 2004

Germany debuts Creative Commons” by Monika Ermert

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