2006 November

CC for Googlers tech talk

Mike Linksvayer, November 6th, 2006

October 26 I gave a tech talk at Google, “Creative Commons for Googlers”, now avaiable for viewing and download on Google Video. Unfortunately slide text is too small to read well in the video, but the slides are also now online.

If you’ve been following this blog obsessively there will be nothing new in the brief legal and culture updates in the presentation, but if you’re interested in the machine-readable side of Creative Commons, do watch and read for a frank discussion of the state of CC metadata and tools (keywords: search, metadata, RDF, RDFa, microformats, embedded metadata, XMP, attribution, remix tracking, commerce).

This talk was also the semi-public debut of our new short Wanna Work Togehter?, which you should watch right here if you haven’t yet:

Copy this video to your own blog!

Addendum: The Google tech talk summarized by William Slawski, Spanish translation of the summary.

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America’s smartest economist on sharing

Mike Linksvayer, November 5th, 2006

A profile of Kevin Murphy, called by some the smartest economist in America, mentions Murphy’s research on outsized gains from medical research. What happens when Murphy starts to think a little harder about innovation?

Although they are still “working some” on the economics of health and medicine, Murphy and Topel also have started to “think a little bit harder,” as Murphy puts it, about the process of innovation in health care and the economics of how to speed it up. They’re not taking “a purely mechanical point of view,” he says, but thinking about a world in which “one player intervenes and everybody else optimizes.” For example, a government or philanthropic organization that supports research might establish rules for sharing new knowledge, which may speed the development process. “So that’s the concept. We’re starting to get there.”

(Emphasis added.) Read the profile in the University of Chicago Magazine.

For the Creative Commons take on this insight, check out Science Commons.

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PBS TeacherSource on CC

Mike Linksvayer, November 5th, 2006

PBS TeacherSource blogger Andy Carvin has a great article on Encouraging Student Creativity with Creative Commons:

I’m often amazed by the lack of discussion in education technology circles about copyright. Sure, people talk about it occasionally, but given the increasing number of young people (read: millions of them) uploading their own content to the Internet, it surprises me how many educators don’t make a point at teaching copyright basics to students. That’s why I thought it would be worth spending a little time talking about the issue and an amazing online initiative that every Internet-using educator should know about: Creative Commons.

Carvin uses a CC license for his own work:

Because of this license, people from all over the world are able to utilize my content for whatever purposes they want, as long as it follows these basic rules. For example, a museum in Georgia recently used one of my videos for an exhibit they were curating on West African textiles. They were nice enough to contact me about it, but they didn’t have to – the CC license laid out my expectations, and they could use the video immediately as long as those expectations were followed. Almost every week I get an email from an educator asking to use some piece of media I’ve published, and I always tell them, “No need to ask,” pointing them to my CC license. You can almost see the lightbulbs going off in their heads when they figure out how the license works.

Read the whole article. Also see PBS MediaShift’s article on CC and reuse.

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Creative Ways to Support Creative Commons

Melissa Reeder, November 3rd, 2006

Creative Commons has worked diligently to provide non-traditional ways for our community to support CC, and it’s exciting when our community responds with their own creative ways as well. There is now a historical domain name – 01b.com – up for auction on eBay. The owner will be donating 90 percent of all revenue to Creative Commons for our annual fundraising campaign. According to the description on the eBay site, 01b.com was one of the first RSS aggregators but was abandoned in April 2006. Here is a screenshot of the original page.


This domain name has a rating of PR5 and the owner would prefer the top bidder use it for serious reasons only. If you’re interested in supporting Creative Commons by acquiring this domain name the item number is 2300467794467 and is found here.

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Media players and access to CC licensed music

Mike Linksvayer, November 2nd, 2006

Last year the Linux media player Amarok created a demo LiveCD using CC licensed music from the WIRED CD. In the meantime Amarok developers have added many features and have now added access to Magnatune within the player. (We’ve mentioned Magnatune here many times, but for new readers, it is an innovative record label that uses CC licensing, see our interview with the founder.)

Songbird is another innovative media player, and one that supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. It includes access to CC Search via a sidebar and can “play” any web page with music links. The screenshot below shows Songbird playing recent remixes on ccMixter.

Check out the Amarok post on the Magnatune blog for screenshots of that integration.

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CC & Web 2.0

Lawrence Lessig, November 1st, 2006

From last week’s email…

The key is to build alternatives that creators on the Internet can use to both create as they wish and keep control of their creativity. That’s the challenge I see over the next four years. And as we review over the next few weeks some of the best of CC from around the world, you’ll begin to see how this challenge might be met.

The story continued …

Creative Commons is a Web 2.0 tool: A protocol, both legal and technical, that enables users of the Web to create and share creativity as they choose.

Or at least, that’s the hype. How does it actually do any work? What does CC actually add to the mix?

Here’s an example emerging from Japan that I saw demonstrated just two months ago. Members of CC-JP were walking around the conference with beautiful t-shirts, each with its own slightly different design. At the bottom of each shirt were CC licensing icons. On the left sleeve of each shirt was an QR Code — a two dimensional bar code common in Japan that (most) Japanese cell phones can read and convert into a URL.

I asked the obvious question: “What do these codes do?”

These shirts, I was told, were part of a new project called “C-shirt.” C-shirt was inspired by three other Japanese sites. Once I describe these three sites, you’ll see how C-shirt makes them work together.

The first site is the most familiar. Photozou is a photo site much like Flickr. Images can be marked with CC licenses, tagged, and organized into categories, including the location from which a photo was taken. Images from Photozou can thus be moved elsewhere — consistent with the CC license — and modified.

One place they can be moved is the second site: Willustrator. Willustrator is an online drawing tool. Developed by Heisuke Kambara, the tool by default embeds CC licenses into new illustrations. And that means that the collection of illustrations at the site can be reused and remixed however users would like. The site has extraordinary drawing tools, including a Bezier drawing tool. And with these tools, anyone can drawn an image, and either share it with others or import it to another application.

Willustrator is thus a “true sharing” site, designed to enable people to move their creation away from the Willustrator site — onto a blog, into a report, or, more interestingly, to the third site that I saw demonstrated that day — Nota.

Nota is the most extraordinary Web page generating technology I’ve seen. It too builds upon Creative Commons licenses, by using assets that are CC licensed. And it offers an amazing WYSIWYG Web editing ability. Think of a large whiteboard, which can be “edited” in just the way you might “edit” a whiteboard – with a marker or with photos taped to the wall. Within Nota, you can take a photo from Photozou, or an illustration from Willustrator, and import both onto the Web page. Using a drawing tool, you can underline important text. Or you can add a background drawing or photo to change the overall look of the page. Then with a single click, a Web page is generated — again, marked with a CC license if the user selects one, and made immediately accessible to the Web.

These three sites build upon each other. C-shirt is a perfect example of just how.

Imagine you meet a friend on the street wearing a C-shirt. Using your cellphone, you take a picture of the QR Code on the sleeve. That gives you the URL to the Nota page where that image lives.

On the Nota page, you can either buy your own copy of the T-shirt, or modify its design. You can use Nota, for example, to lay out elements of the shirt, Willlustrator to edit the designs, and Photozou to import source images to add to the design. When you are finished, the Nota site will then enable you to have you T-shirt manufactured and sent to you. Or you can set up your own design for others to buy or modify as they see fit. Thus, click a button, and the shirt is produced and sent to you. Or click a button, and you can open up your own store.

C-shirt is still in Alpha. I saw it when it was just three weeks old, but even then it was already functioning, because it simply built upon the components that other CC-enabled sites had exposed.

But C-shirt is important not because it will replace Versace. It is important instead because it demonstrates the potential once we extend Web 2.0 principles to the content layer.

So far, much of the excitement around Web 2.0 has been about modular technologies that can be made to interact simply. CC makes it simple to build modular content that can be made to interact simply. A community of creativity can thus be realized when the components expressly invite this collaboration.

This is one important aim of CC: To build a simple, free, and extensible infrastructure at the content layer that enables the freedoms that the many different creative projects of the Web need to interact.

Next week we’ll see more examples like these. (And stay tuned for the official launch of C-shirt!)

This email is part of a weekly series written by Lawrence Lessig about Creative Commons. If you would like to be removed from the list, please click here. Alternatively, if you know others who might find this interesting, please sign them up here.

Week 2: Lawrence Lessig: CC Values

Week 2: CC Values – Spanish Version
Thanks to Maria Cristinia Alvite for translation

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Creative Commons and Revver launch Viral Video Fundraising Campaign

Eric Steuer, November 1st, 2006

Today, Creative Commons launches a brand new fundraising model: We’re becoming the first nonprofit organization to raise money through online video sharing.

We’ve uploaded several of our short videos (which explain CC licenses and talk about how the Creative Commons project began) to Revver, an incredibly cool video-sharing platform that uses Creative Commons licenses to help creators make money from their work.

Revver attaches a short ad at the end of each video on its network. When a viewer clicks on the ad, Revver splits the resulting ad revenue with the video’s creator. Usually, it’s a 50/50 split, but Revver is generously giving Creative Commons 100% of the money our videos make through the end of our fundraising campaign on December 31, 2006.

So, watch our Revverized videos (or help us spread them by embedding them on your blog, MySpace page, or Web site), check out the ads at the end, and help Creative Commons get paid! (Although we want you to watch our Revverized videos so we can earn money, we’ve also made ad-free versions available.)

As part of this launch, we’re premiering our latest video — Wanna Work Together? — designed by Ryan Junell (who is also responsible for our Get Creative and Reticulum Rex clips) and featuring new music by Lesser. The video pays tribute to the people around the world using CC licenses and CC-licensed content to build a better, more vibrant creative culture.

In conjunction with this launch, we’re also publishing a Featured Commoner interview with Steven Starr, the founder and CEO of Revver. In it, he talks about Revver’s origins, its future, and his views on the current state of user-generated video.

For more information about the Viral Video Fundraising Campaign, take a look at our press release.

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