2005 August

Cause commune – online release under a Creative Commons license

Mia Garlick, August 31st, 2005

A new book by author Phillipe Aigrain“Cause commune : l’information entre bien commun et propriété” (or, in English, “Common Cause: Information Between Commons and Property”) has been released online in French under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. Selected extracts in English are also available online. Editions Fayard may be one of the first major mainstream French-speaking publishers to facilitate Creative Commons licenses. Let’s hope it serves as an example to open up more French-speaking (and other) content by mainstream publishers for freedom of use.

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Upcoming Artist & Musician Expo in San Francisco

Mia Garlick, August 31st, 2005

The Independent Media & Arts organization is holding its Sixth Annual Expo for Artists & Musicians on September 10, 2005 from 11:00am to 6:00pm at SomArts in San Francisco. The Expo is Bay Area’s only grassroots connection festival for independent arts, music and culture. It features over 100 arts organizations, free workshops, performances and hundreds of local artists and musicians and is designed to assist creative people and organizations to find resources and learn more about other people and organizations that are available to assist them in their endeavors. Creative Commons is holding a workshop at 11:30am. Feel free to stop by, participate in the workshop & say ‘hi!’

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ccMixter open source

Mike Linksvayer, August 31st, 2005

Monday night Victor switched ccMixter over to the GPL-licensed ccHost codebase and yesterday made the first stable release of that code on SourceForge.

Now you can run your own remix contest (and remix context–ccHost tracks remix sources and derivatives) site out of the box.

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New Web Services Available

Nathan Yergler, August 30th, 2005

I just turned on the new version of Creative Commons Web Services. The new version, 1.5, has lots of new features. The most important to me as a developer is the test suite — we can now run automated tests on the server software when we make changes to make sure the services still behave properly. The most important to users, however, is probably localization. Just like our license engine lets users select a language, application developers can now choose to show their users a localized interface from the web services.

More details and documentation are available here.

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The other Science Commons

Mike Linksvayer, August 18th, 2005

Since Will posted a brief survey of CC-licensed science fiction and fantasy novels last month I’ve noticed three more exciting CC-licensed SF items:

  • Charlie Stross won the Hugo award for best novella for his CC-licensed The Concrete Jungle.
  • Orion’s Arm is a CC-licensed post-singularity “shared world” where authors are collaborating on fiction and games based in the shared world.
  • NYC 2123 is a CC-licensed graphic novel described on Boing Boing as “a sweet little hard-boiled post-apocalyptic cyberpunk thing. It reads like Neuromancer with less flash and more computer-savvy.” (More CC-licensed comics.)

Orion’s Arm and NYC 2123 both use licenses that allow remixing. You got your post-apocalypse in my post-singularity!

All this SF is good, but don’t forget science reality. Check out Science Commons. Real scientists (and you) are creating the future we’ll live in…

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53 million pages licensed

Mike Linksvayer, August 9th, 2005

Yesterday Yahoo! announced that their search index had grown to 20 billion documents. That, along with continued adoption of Creative Commons licenses, explains 53 million linkbacks to our licenses according to Yahoo! linkback queries. In May, when Yahoo!’s index apparently consisted of 8 billion documents, we found 16 million pages with license links. So discounting the growth of Yahoo!’s index, the number of Creative Commons license links have increased by approximately one third in the past three months alone — 53/(16*(20/8)) = 1.325. Take the exact numbers with a lump of salt, but the indication of growth is impressive nonetheless.

You can search for Creative Commons licensed content at Yahoo! Search for Creative Commons.

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New Featured Commoner – Kembrew McLeod

Mia Garlick, August 3rd, 2005

Check out our new Featured Commoner Kembrew McLeod who has had quite the all-round Creative Commons experience: CC-licensing his book – Freedom of Expression® and excerpts from his forthcoming documentary – Copyright Criminals; to also using our ccPublisher tool and inspiring new tracks on ccMixter.

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Rise of the mixmaster

Mike Linksvayer, August 3rd, 2005

Forbes magazine columnist Sam Whitmore writes about “four distinct groups that will create content no matter what transpires on the business end of media”:

Then there’s the rise of the mixmaster.

Traditional copyright law didn’t foresee this kind of thing.

A potential solution already exists from San Francisco-based Creative Commons, a non-profit organization whose legally binding copyright licenses give copyright holders different flavors of rights.

In my view, the most exciting developments in tomorrow’s media will come from creative mixing of digital media. No doubt big media will squelch unauthorized use of its intellectual property. Read Lawrence Lessig’s plaintive 2004 book, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity.

There really isn’t much to add, given the length constraints of a short magazine column. Check out our mixmaster community. And oh yes, you can remix Free Culture (its CC license says you can).

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Divers hands make great work

Mike Linksvayer, August 2nd, 2005

Today I learned that the word divers has an old usage meaning “diverse” or “various.” Divers hands is an old phrase used to indicate collaborative authorship, now most often used for works building on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, e.g., ‘by HP Lovecraft and Divers Hands’.

Skotos has released another CC-licensed comic: Lovecraft Country: Return to Arkham. How apropos.

Here’s a simple remix idea for the divers hands out there: turn the comic into a slideshow backed by appropriately dark and moody music from Magnatune, perhaps chosen from their classical and other selections. Mangantune and Skotos happen to use the same license terms: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, so you can freely mix their content (and any other using the same license), so long as you provide explicit attribution (sorry Mr. Hands), do not use commercially, and do release under the same terms.

Is it just me, or does “divers hands” sound creepy? That’s a good thing in this genre.

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Roll Your Own License Choooser

Nathan Yergler, August 2nd, 2005

In the past if you wanted to integrate Creative Commons license selection with your web application, there was one solution: the partner interface. Today there’s a second way: the Ajax Chooser. The Ajax Chooser is a PHP+Javascript library derived from wpLicense which encapsulates a license chooser.

Ajax Chooser uses the CC web services to load an up-to-date license chooser, complete with the most recent jurisdictions and license versions. The package includes everything you need to include a license chooser with only two PHP function calls in your web page. And because you host the PHP files on your web server, you’re free to apply CSS and styling information as appropriate for your application. This means tighter visual integration with your application, with the continued benefits of the partner interface.

You can download the 0.5.0 release of Ajax Chooser here. We’re still working on ironing out all the details, but this release has been tested with Firefox and Safari. You can find documentation in the Creative Commons Developer Wiki. If you have problems integrating the chooser, please let us know.

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