2005 September

Share the Debate About the Future of Canadian Copyright Laws

Mia Garlick, September 30th, 2005

To coincide with Canada’s new round of digital copyright reform in the form of Bill C-60, a new book has been released – ‘In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law’ – online under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 2.0 Canada license and in a physical format for CA$50. Bill C-60 has been proposed to implement the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performers & Phonograms Treaty, which notably require the introduction of anticircumvention measures and rights management information protections, and the clarification of the rights of ISPS – all important issues for the digital world.

Edited by Michael Geist, the book contains 19 peer reviewed essays, each by a different expert and each analyzing a different issue addressed by the Bill. It will certainly serve as an interesting series of reflections at this stage of debates surrounding copyright and online issues.

It is a great step that a major Canadian publisher is willing set a precedent for its fellow publishers and try Creative Commons licensing.

Of course, the fact that the authors have agreed to donate the royalties to Creative Commons in no way lessens our support for your right to copy and redistribute under the Creative Commons license….

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Gorillas using licenses in the wild

Mike Linksvayer, September 30th, 2005

Not quite, but gorillas have been observed using tools (a category that includes licenses and sticks) in the wild, as described in the widely publicized PLoS Biology paper First Observation of Tool Use in Wild Gorillas.

Congratulations to the Public Library of Science (and the gorillas). This would be a good time to note that PLoS has recently launched PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics, and PLoS Pathogens, adding to the existing PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine, with PLoS Clinical Trials coming next year.

All PLoS journals publish cutting edge research under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Visit our Science Commons site for more information on open access scientific publishing using Creative Commons licenses.

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Getting a Reasonable IP Education

Mia Garlick, September 27th, 2005

A lecture on Creative Commons will form part of the induction training programme for incoming graduate research students at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, this week. Andrea Rota, who is a member of the Liquid Culture project at Goldsmith’s College, will be giving the lecture on “A range of protections and freedoms for researchers, authors and artists” as part of the scheduled activities for new graduate research students in induction week. Of course, the lecture materials themselves are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license. The induction training programme includes sessions dedicated to copyright and IP issues for research students. This year the Research Office and, in particular, Pádraig O’Connor, worked together with Liquid Culture, a student-led project focused on Creative Commons, to deliver a complementary view on copyright issues besides the traditional “all rights reserved” one.

A welcome initiative bringing balance back into education about intellectual property issues.

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Webzine weekender

Mike Linksvayer, September 23rd, 2005

If you’re near San Francisco this weekend, come over to Webzine 2005‘s independent online publishing workshops, exhibitions, forums, and parties. Nearly all of the events have some relevance to free culture. One highlight is Saturday’s featured speaker, Jacob Appelbaum, who has CC licensed thousands of photos, including a huge collection of post-Katrina photos, via Flickr.

I and Jon Phillips (recent addition to the CC crew; more later) will be present, and will also present on a topic to be announced in the Master’s Lounge. Also catch Webzine co-organizer and Get Creative/Reticulum Rex animator Ryan Junell, if you can.

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The Economist hears no evil

Mike Linksvayer, September 21st, 2005

The Economist magazine September 17-23 edition has a very positive article on Magnatune, Hear no evil (subscription required).

Magnatune has exceeded Mr Buckman’s expectations in music licensing, another side of the business that has played a big part in helping it reach profitability. For non-commercial use, such as a school project, the site allows music to be used under a “Creative Commons” license, a concept devised by Lawrence Lessig, a law professor and crusader for internet freedom. For commercial use, Magnatune makes licenses available quickly and cheaply online. This business is growing at 30%, as Magnatune has become popular with independent filmmakers looking for soundtracks.

The article also contains a key challenge and opportunity for Magnatune, Creative Commons, and the Internet:

Magnatune’s weakness is that it does not have the resources to propel its artists into the mainstream via radio and television.

It will only take one rock star born on the internet, after all, for everyone to pronounce the old model completely dead.

It’s about discovery now.
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The Mexican President Gets It (CC)

Mia Garlick, September 16th, 2005

Leon & Jorge from the CC Mexico team have been working with representatives of the Presidency of Mexico so that some of the Internet radio shows that are streamed and podcast by the Mexico en Linea station are CC-licensed. The Mexican government’s project on open source software is also promoting the CC Mexican team by reciprocal linking. This is a tremendous effort given the CC Mexico project was only started earlier this year. Stayed tuned for announcements of more freedoms & openness in Mexico.


Critical Evaluation Exercise

Mike Linksvayer, September 15th, 2005

iGeneration, a group blog by University of Western Australia academicsstudents (note that every link is footnoted) has added a post examining the Creative Commons weblog (i.e., the one you’re reading now) to their “Critical Evaluation Exercise” series:

By evaluating the organisation’s blog through the lens of this mission statement, taking into account the interactive nature of the blog structure itself as well as its content, we can attempt to evaluate the way the Creative Commons blog[8] can be situated into debates surrounding participatory culture and digital communication.

The Creative Commons blog provides a touchstone for that which the movement advocates: the democratisation of participatory culture through the provision of easy-to-use intellectual property practices which empower digital media users to freely exchange information, while retaining ownership of their creations.

Basically we provide many cool and relevant links. :-)

In that tradition, and to make up for this self-referential post, a cool and relevant link that doesn’t mention Creative Commons (but should!)–Backyard Filmmakers are Hollywood’s Greatest Fear. Feel that participatory culture!

Update: Tama Leaver sends a correction:

The iGeneration blog is part of a Communication Studies Honours course run at the University of Western Australia and the contributors are still undergraduate students (not yet academics, although I’m sure they enjoyed the promotion in status!)

I’m running the unit and am an almost-academic (ie grad student in the last few months before submission of a doctoral thesis in December), so there aren’t any fully fledged academics involved as such! :)

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Pawtucket Film Festival

Mike Linksvayer, September 12th, 2005

The Pawtucket Film Festival, September 10-23 (Rhode Island, United States) includes several Creative Commons-licensed films. Watch the PFF Online Filmcast provided by Open Network Television. From the press release (PDF):

As a part of the PFF Online, select filmmakers will be making their work available under copyright licenses generated by the Creative Commons giving them a “flexible range of protections and freedoms” to utilize in their digital distribution. Nathanial Freitas, co-founder of ONTV, says, “In the same way digital music is changing the way musical artists share thier work, filmmakers are seeing the value of completely new distribution models that connect them with viewers and demonstrate the trust they share with their audience.”

The first three films available online are all CC-licensed:
Big O by Julie Miller,
Strawberry Fields preview by Kaveh Nabatian and
Sayeh by Kaveh Nabatian, Shannon Walsh, and Nicolas Rutigliano.


mozCC Updated for the upcoming beta

Nathan Yergler, September 8th, 2005

Just a quick note to let people know that we’ve updated mozCC in preparation for the Firefox 1.5 Beta next week. The updated version should also work with all current alpha releases (aka “Deer Park” releases). If you want some more details, check out this entry on my blog.

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ccPublisher 2 Developer Preview 1

Nathan Yergler, September 6th, 2005

Today we’re launching the first packaged release of ccPublisher 2, Developer Preview 1 (DP1). DP1 is exactly what it sounds like — a preview. This isn’t even beta code, folks, but we need to get stuff tested and we need to get feedback. So what’s new in ccPublisher 2? Well, most of the code is completely new, and we’ve done lots of work to make it easier to extend, customize and maintain ccPublisher. End users will probably see lots of regressions in this release, and that’s something we need help identifying.

So, to answer your questions:

  • Where can I get this wonderful code?
    I’m working on releases as I write this, and I’ll be updating this post throughout the day as new builds are tested and uploaded. Right now you can find Linux download links in the wiki. Windows and Mac OS X will be available within a day, tops. real soon now; we’ve run into a couple packaging problems which I’m working on. If you want the gruesome details, check out this blog entry.
  • What should I expect?
    We’ve done some basic, end-to-end testing, and have been able to successfully upload some items to the Internet Archive with these releases. That said, I’m sure there are bugs, so give the code a try, but back up the media files you’re uploading ifrst. Seriously.
  • Hey, I found a bug!
    Great! You can help by adding it to the list in the wiki. I’ll be watching that page and using it to plan fixes and updates; I’ll also add notes as I confirm bugs or fix them. You can also add suggestions or regressions there.
  • So what’s next?
    First, we need to get Windows and Linux builds out the door. Then we’re on to improving the code. We’ll have at least one (probably two) more releases before 2.0 ships. Depending on how many bug reports come in, we’ll try to ship the next pre-release next week.
  • How can I help?
    Try the code, report bugs, or try to confirm bugs others report. If you want to help with the actual guts, find me in the #cc IRC channel (nathany) or email the cc-devel mailing list. We’ll use your help.

Thanks to everyone who’s tried, used and abused ccPublisher up to this point — I’m excited about new developments, and I hope you are too.

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