2008 March

Freesound 2.0

Mike Linksvayer, March 13th, 2008

Freesound is a repository of CC-licensed audio samples … nearly 50,000 sounds.

In December Freesound received a Google Research Award which they’re using to create “Freesound 2.0”.

You can follow progress on their development blog and discuss on their forum.

I interviewed Freesound founder Bram de Jong a couple years ago.

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Diesel Sweeties Archive Released Under CC License

Cameron Parkins, March 12th, 2008

rstevens (the r is for Richard), creator of popular webcomic Diesel Sweeties, announced on his blog that starting today he will be releasing the entire Diesel Sweeties archive for free under a CC BY-NC license. The archive contains close to 2,000 web comics, offering massive potential for to interesting reuses (via Boing Boing):

By my calculations, DS is going to hit 2000 comics in a little under two months. April is Clango’s 8th birthday. I’d like to celebrate by releasing the entire webcomic archive for free in ten volumes. It worked for Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead- not bad company to try and keep!

These files will be in PDF form, available one per week for ten weeks. You can donate if so inclined, or take advantage of ten classic shirt designs @$10.99. At the end of ten weeks, I plan to release a special anniversary art book.

All eBooks will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial license. You’re free to reformat them into .CBR, Word docs, XML, whatever you like. You’re also free to archive and share them with others for free. They’re even small enough to email. Just don’t use them commercially.

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2nd COMMUNIA Workshop: Ethical Public Domain

Michelle Thorne, March 12th, 2008

The second COMMUNIA workshop, Ethical Public Domain: Debate of Questionable Practices, will take place on Monday, March 31 in the geographic center of Europe: Vilnius, Lithuania.

The workshop will host ten rounds of debates on issues concerning to the public domain and related policies and practices, followed by a press conference inviting the media and public to join the discussion.

The workshop in Lithuania is organized by Minciu Sodas, an online laboratory experimenting with humanitarian efforts such as Pyramid of Peace, an innovative project helping Kenyans during political unrest by enabling the donation of mobile phone airtime, which can be shared or traded in the Kenyan mobile phone network for food and medicine.

Also, the First COMMUNIA International Conference will be held in Leuven-La-Neuve (Belgium) from June 30 – July 1, 2008. There is currently a Call for papers for the conference. The deadline for submissions is March 30th, and abstracts addressing one of the following topics are very welcome: Libraries and archives, Public sector Information, Creative works, Scientific research, Publishing intermediaries or Emerging Issues.

COMMUNIA is a project funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Politecnico di Torino. It consists of over 35 members from 21 countries dedicated to developing “the single European point of reference for high-level policy discussion and strategic action on all issues related to the public domain in the digital environment” and related topics, including Creative Commons licensing.

In January the first COMMUNIA workshop was held in Turin, Italy, whose highlights included, among many, a discussion of the latest developments in CC metadata.

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Monopoly Shuffle: A Remix Contest

Cameron Parkins, March 11th, 2008

On May 28-30, The Center for Intellectual Property at the University of Maryland University College will be hosting a symposium focused on U.S. copyright monopoly, technological innovation and higher education institutions titled “Monopoly: Playing the Innovation Game”. The symposium will take place at the UMUC Inn and Conference Center in metro Washington D.C.

Tied into the lengthly and impressive speaker list is a competition encouraging legal reuse of public domain and CC-licensed works with a nice prize pot in which you can choose free admission to two (2) Fall 2008 or Spring 2009 workshops of your choice, a $200 cash prize, or a secret prize (TBA). Entries must be CC-licensed and in by May 1, 2008. From CIP:

Pull clips, text, and images from the CIP’s website or from the public domain and use them to create a new work of art in any medium. You can add your own content or mix it up with some Creative Commons (CC) licensed art. All submissions should be CC-Licensed.

We encourage you to make use of at least one item created by the CIP. In the end, your message should tie in with the 2008 Symposium theme: (c) Monopoly: Playing the innovation game. Whoever gives us the most creative and coherent content remix will be awarded a prize valued at up to $300.

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The 1st International Creative Commons Korea Conference and Naver CC Integration

Jon Phillips, March 11th, 2008

CEO of Creative Commons, Lawrence Lessig along with VP of Science Commons, John Wilbanks, and myself, Jon Phillips holder of the title of the “human inbox” of Creative Commons [1] will all be participating at the 1st International Creative Commons Korea conference, “Open Culture in CC” on Friday, March 14 in Seoul, Korea. Lessig will go big with his keynote, Wilbanks will be presenting “Information Sharing: A Universal Solvent for Life Sciences” and I will round up the CC pack with my new presentation: Share or Die: Collaborative Media Projects from Art to Business. Yes, that’s right! I will be wearing more of my art hat at this one, but will round it up by discussing how individual practice must be sustainable all the way up the ladder to a large scale web company.

These presentations are the tip of the iceberg as brilliant Korean colleagues will cover many topics as they relate to Korean society in the large global context and Chiaki Hayashi from Loftwork in Japan will discuss running a business where Creative Commons licensing is core to its daily function.

I’m quite eager though to interact with our Korean colleagues on the recently announced Creative Commons licensing integration into Naver. And, I should note that by looking at the web traffic at http://creativecommons.org, there is a massive surge from Korea since the Naver announcement. The CC Korea blog states:

On 26 February, Naver, one of the major portal service providers in Korea, announced that it officially introduces Creative Commons License to its blog and café services and began a grand campaign for promoting CCL with cartoons, videos, etc. As for the largest portal service provider in user size at home, Naver has been struggling with copyright infringements, content and blog posting piracy activities of users. In a hope to find a reliable solution against them, Naver has chosen to introduce the CC license scheme. And it is very welcomed.

Relatively belated, but thanks to their introduction, most of the Korean portal sites take part in CC licensing. With this announcement, Naver becomes the third next to Daum , which has already adopted CCL to its blog service in 2005, and Paran in 2007. These portal sites are known to grab more than 90% of Korea’s portal market.

The key thing to note with Naver’s CC licensing integration and as a service that effectively everyone with a net connection uses, is that Koreans now have CC licensing front-and-center. Many know that Korea takes the crown as the most wired nation with 95% broadband penetration inside the home [2]. Korea, is a hyper-connected homogenous society that now has CC licensing on the most used service in the country. How long will it take for Korea to take the title of the country with the highest level of Creative Commons license adoption per individual?

UPDATE: Michelle already wrote a stellar blog post about the conference btw.

[1] Ok, ok, my long form title is Community and Business Development Manager.
[2] Trust me. From living in Korea, I’ve seen four year olds with cellphones on the Internet! What? And, now that I’m living 50% of my time in Guangzhou, China (the other 50 ‘cent in San Francisco), I’m feeling the burn without that 100 megabit in the home. Try 1 megabit for me…if I’m lucky!

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OpenMoko CC Licenses CAD Files for Neo1973

Cameron Parkins, March 10th, 2008

OpenMoko, makers of the first true open source phone (previously blogged here), have recently expanded the meaning of ‘open source design’ by licensing the CAD (computer-aided design) files for their flagship model, the Neo1973, under a CC BY-SA license. In doing so, OpenMoko not only allow industrial designers a peek inside the Neo1973 to see how it works, but also show a keen understanding of the power community efforts can have in creating a better end-user experience.

Day in and day out, people will be using the Neo1973 for their phoning/PDA needs while simultaneously discovering which design aspects they like and which aspects could be improved upon. Traditionally, these improvements would be stunted at the conceptual stage (“Ah, I wish the backlighting was a bit brighter…”, “These keys could be bigger…”) – in choosing to license the CAD files under a CC license, OpenMoko allows industrial designers to take these gripes and make active improvements upon them, greatly enhancing the Neo1973’s longterm worth by turning frustration into ingenuity. More from Business Wire:

Openmoko posted the Neo CAD files on its site without fanfare. Within days, Guillermo Sureda-Burgos (www.sureda.org.), visiting instructor of Industrial Design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, said: “I am amazed at the depth of your commitment to open design. This must be the first time in history that a company has opened its intellectual property to this extent. Openmoko’s revolutionary posting of the CAD files gives a whole new generation of Industrial Design students incredible insight into how it’s done as well as an opportunity to contribute with new concepts.”

Openmoko posted the CAD files at http://downloads.openmoko.org/CAD/ under a ShareAlike Creative Commons license, thereby establishing a community where designers and developers can share concepts about the next generation of Open Source mobile computing devices. Openmoko encourages developers and designers to build their businesses by leveraging the Openmoko FOSS and CAD resources to speed development of new mobile products.

Because of the overwhelming response by developers and industrial designers to the initial posting of the Neo 1973 CAD files, Openmoko has committed to opening the CAD files for the design of the upcoming Neo Freerunner mobile phone before the phone even hits the market.

“Openmoko provides one more key to anyone who wants to unlock the mobile phone. With these drawings, developers and designers will be able to create their own open phone from the inside out,” said Lawrence Lessig, Founder and CEO of Creative Commons. “By releasing the CAD files for the exterior of the phone under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license, Openmoko is unlocking what is a typically closely guarded secret in consumer electronics companies and putting it under a free license so others can build upon their work legally.”

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Orange Music, Austrian CC Music Platform

Cameron Parkins, March 10th, 2008

Austria now has a music platform, Orange Music, featuring exclusively CC licensed music with over 88 bands on board for launch day. Orange Music seems to accept submissions rather readily, and while the platform focuses primarily on Austrian groups, international contributions seem welcome as well.


Creative Commons releases LiveContent 2.0

Timothy Vollmer, March 9th, 2008

Creative Commons is pleased to announce the release of LiveContent 2.0, a LiveDVD of Creative Commons-licensed multimedia content and free and open source software. LiveContent allows users to explore open content such as music, video, photography, books, and educational materials that can be freely used, copied, and built upon. From the press release:

The LiveContent project draws CC-licensed multimedia content from a variety of diverse projects aiming to share creativity and culture more openly. Included are photographs from Flickr.com and Wikimedia Commons, music from Jamendo.com and Simuze.nl, videos from Make Magazine, Boing Boing TV and others, books from Manybooks.net, and open educational resources from MIT’s OpenCourseWare initiative.

LiveContent 2.0 builds upon the previous release by demonstrating a unique content “autocuration” process with Flickr.com, and calls for the further development of technologies that make it easier to spread and reuse CC-licensed content.

LiveContent is a product of collaboration across a number of organizations including Red Hat, Worldlabel.com and various CC content providers. LiveContent 2.0 is now available for free download at the Fedora Project Spins Tracker, and a pre-burned disc may be purchased at On-Disk.com.

Learn more about the LiveContent project and read the full press release.

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CC Licensed Test for African Sleeping Sickness

Cameron Parkins, March 7th, 2008

This came through our RSS readers this week via Boing Boing and is really quite amazing, showing the power CC licenses can have in advancing positive results outside of culture and technology (the findings are released online, along with detailed instructions, under a CC BY license):

Australian scientists have developed a blood test for African sleeping sickness that does not require the fancy equipment found in upscale medical labs. Even better, they made the details of their work available for free by publishing a paper in the Feb. 6 issue of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, which operates under a Creative Commons license.

Zablon Njiru and Andrew Thompson of Murdoch University led a team that developed the elegantly simple way to check for trypanosomes — protozoan parasites that are sometimes carried by tsetse flies.

To catch an infection in the earliest stages, when it is most treatable, technicians must look for a very small number of parasites in a sea of body fluids. That is not an easy thing to do, but there is a trick to make it easier: By mixing the liquid sample with a cocktail of molecules that can copy trypanosome DNA, they can make the serum resistance associated gene, a signpost of the disease, stand out — transforming each test into a manageable task.

Instead of using the polymerase chain reaction, which amplifies the microbe DNA with the aid of an expensive instrument called a thermocycler, the researchers employed another gene multiplying technique called loop-mediated isothermal amplification. It requires little more than a warm water bath and a few chemicals. After that procedure, which takes less than a half hour, the scientists can simply add some SYBR green dye and watch the brew change color if it contains a boatload of duplicated genetic material from the pathogen.

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2008 Summer Internships – Deadline Extension

Cameron Parkins, March 7th, 2008

In case you missed it, we have extended our deadline for 2008 Summer Intern Applications to March 21, meaning that you have two more weeks to get all the necessary materials submitted! The CC internships are a great opportunity to engage with the CC-community as a whole and actively experience the amazing opportunities the bay area has to offer. There are four different intern positions available – Community Development, Business Development, Technology, and Development/Fundraising – presenting a variety of avenues for potential interns to explore.

As a former intern, I feel comfortable saying that while these positions are not for the faint of heart (“full time means full time!”, “why isn’t this wiki formating working?”) they are incredibly rewarding in terms of a give/get ratio. You have the opportunity to work on some amazing projects with some equally (if not more) amazing people and ultimately walk away with a ton of real experience under your belt. Anyone who is interested in the issues that face the CC-community and is looking for a valuable way to spend their summer should apply for one of these positions without hesitation.

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