Buy GiftTRAP California Edition, Donate to CC

Cameron Parkins, December 6th, 2007

The good folks at GiftTRAP (who we recentlly featured here) are running a Creative Commons Fundraiser Holiday Promotion, where a purchase of “GiftTRAP California Edition” will result in $15 donated to CC, and a case of “GiftTRAP California Edition” (8 copies) will mean $100 donated.

A huge thanks is due to GiftTRAP for this awesome idea, which comes right in time for our 2007 fundraising campaign. We are on our way to reaching our goal, and every bit helps. Thanks GiftTRAP! Don’t hesitate to spread the word by telling your fellow commoners about this awesome promotion.

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Pix-Yu Great Example of Open Photo Sharing

Timothy Vollmer, December 5th, 2007

Kudos to Pix-Yu for creating an engaging social networking site where users can easily share photo events. Pix-Yu supports Creative Commons licensing and is promoted as an “online virtual space in which users can share life experiences, events, journeys, holidays and meetings etc, by uploading an unlimited number of pictures.”

Flickr has been one of the most visible supporters of Creative Commons over the past few years, now displaying over 54 million CC-licensed photos. We’re always working to explore CC integration with both new and existing sites and services. While Flickr has just passed the 2 billion photo mark, Facebook claims to hold twice as many. It’d be fantastic to see important photo-sharing sites like Picasa, Photobucket, and others incorporate CC licensing. Together we can work towards a critical mass of open photography. Pix-Yu is a great example of a start-up networking site that is supporting user creativity by enabling open content sharing from the get-go.

Holler at us if you have a project we can help you integrate with CC licensing. Check out our web integration wiki page for a framework on setting up your media site with CC features.

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Free Speech TV: It’s Our Web

Cameron Parkins, December 4th, 2007

Free Speech TV just uploaded their new video, “It’s Our Web”, choosing to release it under a CC BY-NC-SA license. The video focuses on current changes happening online, contrasting the increased focus on opening up content with the threats that face this movement. From FSTV:

This is a truly pivotal time for the Internet, the most powerful and interactive medium humans have ever seen. New commercial incursions by big online media enterprises including the widely distained “Facebook Beacon”, make explicit what new media giants have been doing quietly for some time; searching for new and evermore effective ways to sell our attention, our clicks and our private information to advertisers and marketers.

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“Teaching Music With Reason” Released Under CC-License

Cameron Parkins, December 3rd, 2007

Propellerhead Software, makers of electronic-music production tool Reason, have recently re-released their “Teaching Music With Reason” lesson set under a CC BY-NC license. Originally intended for educators teaching courses on electronic music at the high school and college level, “Teaching” was made for Reason 2.5 and provided, among other things, lessons, source material, and student booklets.

As Reason is now at version 4, the book does have some inconsistencies with the program’s current UI. While this traditionally would be a hindrance, by re-releasing “Teaching” under a CC license, Propellherhead have created a document that can grow and change with the help of the Reason community, adding new value to an old tool. Motivated users of the program can augment the lesson plans, updating and adding information as they see fit. Similarly, if users simply wish to get a hold on some basic information for free, they can use the material and “massage” it to make sense for Reason 4.

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Copyright Crash Course

Timothy Vollmer, December 3rd, 2007

Copyright Crash Course

The University of Texas maintains a useful “Copyright Crash Course” through its library website. It’s a great resource, providing a clearinghouse of information on many topics such as ownership and management of copyrights, open access materials, fair use and orphan works, and copyright issues within libraries and universities. Of course, the site lays out the ways Creative Commons can help us build on others’ creative expression (and is itself licensed BY-NC-SA). A note from the authors on the ease of CC:

“I only had to copy and paste a snippet of code I got from the Creative Commons Website into this document to make the license appear. The snippet does three things: it creates this cool little image, it links the reader directly to the Creative Commons site for more details about my license and it makes this document searchable by the Creative Commons search engines so that people who are looking for materials they can be sure they are free to use can easily find it. Very powerful stuff.”

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CC swag photo contest winner #3

Melissa Reeder, December 3rd, 2007

Carpeted Commons

The third winner of the 2007 CC Swag photo contest is Glutnix! Congratulations!

There are only 2 weeks left to participate. If you need new CC swag – check out our online store or donate to our 2007 annual fundraising campaign. Thanks to everyone who has participated so far!

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Progress on license interoperability with Wikipedia

Mike Linksvayer, December 1st, 2007

As announced last night by Jimmy Wales (video), the Wikimedia Foundation board has passed a resolution on licensing:

  • The Foundation requests that the GNU Free Documentation License be modified in the fashion proposed by the FSF to allow migration by mass collaborative projects to the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license;
  • Upon the announcement of that relicensing, the Foundation will initiate a process of community discussion and voting before making a final decision on relicensing.

Read the whole resolution and CC CEO Lawrence Lessig’s explanation.

This is an extremely important step toward a world in which the free content world is not fractured by license incompatibility and thus is stronger.

Previous post on license interoperability.

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Indaba Music Adds CC-Licensing

Cameron Parkins, November 30th, 2007

Indaba Music, “an international community of musicians, music professionals, and fans exploring the creative possibilities of making music with people in different places”, has recently added the ability to CC-license tracks to its user interface.

This is great news, especially for a community that is firmly based around of the concept of new and interesting forms of collaboration. Incorporating CC-licenses on work posted to Indaba helps bring clarity to the community in terms of what can be shared and reused and what can’t. Now, artists and musicians can clearly dictate which works they wish others to build upon, and similarly, see which works allow themselves to be reused. Up until this point, Indaba’s community has certainly embodied the ethos behind CC-licenses – that of a flexible and user-defined approach to content creation. Now, it is able to do so more explicitly.

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Remix J.R. Writer and Tigarah at Jamglue

Cameron Parkins, November 30th, 2007

The good people over at Jamglue are at it again, this time giving you the opportunity to remix American hip-hop artist J.R. Writer’s “Where You At” and Japanese Baile Funk emcee Tigarah’s “Color, Culture, Money, Beauty”, with some very nice prizes for the respective winners.

Both remix contests use CC BY-NC-SA licenses on instrumental tracks, meaning you have access to cut up and modify each individual sound for your remix. While Jamglue has gotten a hold of some amazingly diverse and talented groups previously (see here and here), it is just as important to recognize the quality and variety of the community remixes. By using CC-licensing, Jamglue allows artists to open up their content to fans in a way that not only allows for positive interaction and creation, but also maintains the commercial interests of the artists at hand.

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CC Talks With: OnClassical

Cameron Parkins, November 30th, 2007

In continuing our Featured Commoner series, we caught up with Alessandro Simonetto, founder of OnClassical, an audio label for classical music that uses CC licensing integrally in its business plan.

What’s OnClassical all about?

OnClassical is an online label for refined music. The name means both ON(line)CLASSICAL(music) and ON[about]CLASSICAL[music]. I define “classical” in the same way that Wiktionary does, “of or relating to the first class, especially in literature or art” or, “that which designates a kind and forms a base.”. Of course we concern ourselves only with music, not with the other arts. Our aim is to publish music that is deeply rooted in the culture of music at its truest level, including music that is innovative or the fruit of improvisation.

The philosophy of OnClassical brings together not only quality compositions and performances, but also quality recordings that we either produce ourselves or carefully select from the submissions we receive. We recently chose to define as the “online label for audiophiles,” in large part due to a review by premier piano manufacturer Boesendorfer, in which a recording of ours was defined as “very excellent” (PDF available here).

The label proposes “a new way to think about music.” This means music with no packaging that is distributed via the Internet. OnClassical shares profits 50/50 with artists, and requests no fees or exclusive agreements to join. Besides this, the level of quality in its published performances and recordings is very high and for this reason it is not easy to become one of OnClassical’s featured artists.

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