2008 June

The Onion’s AV Club talks CC Publishing with Cory Doctorow

Fred Benenson, June 12th, 2008

In a provocative interview with Cory Doctorow about his new book Little Brother, the non-satirical Onion A.V. club investigates the blogger cum sci-fi author’s motivations and strategies for convincing his publisher to simultaneously release his young adult book under CC and hardcover:

AVC: Was the Creative Commons release strategy a hard sell with Tor that first time out?

CD: No, it was totally trivial, in fact. I lucked out in two respects. My editor at Tor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, is super-geeky. We met on a BBS in the ’80s, and he runs his own Linux boxes; it just made a lot of sense for him. Furthermore, he’s also the senior editor at Tor, he runs the science-fiction and fantasy line at Tor, so he kind of doesn’t have to ask anyone when he wants to do this stuff.

Tom Doherty and Patrick both looked at this and said, “You know, electronic books represent the worst ratio of hours spent in meetings to dollars generated in income of anything we’ve ever tried at this press. Here’s something that’s relatively free—all we need to do is give it away, and we can see what people want to do with it. And if it works, great. And if it doesn’t work, well, we’ve learned. And if it’s inconclusive, we can try more, because we’re a big press, we’ve got lots and lots of books, and we can try lots of different things.” [emphasis added] And if it’s going to work for anyone, it’s going to work for me, because I’ve got such a good online presence. And you can see that they’re now trying this with writers who have a less prominent online presence, and they’re finding that by and large, it’s working pretty well for them.

Click here to read full interview.

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C-Shirt: T-Shirts, But Way Cooler With CC

Tim Hwang, June 12th, 2008

Came across this awesome business that’s been building up traction in Japan called C-shirt — powered by media-wiki company Nota that leverages Creative Commons licensing in a pretty unconventional way. At first glance, it might seem like one of the innumerable t-shirt vendor sites out there — but it is, in fact, way, way cooler.

First, the conventional idea: users submit t-shirt designs which can be viewed online and ordered for printing. However, the twist is that since all the designs are placed under CC, Nota provides an interface with which to edit and reproduce these designs accordingly. Once you’ve remixed it to your liking, C-shirt will print and ship your unique version right to your door. Depending on the license, you can even repost your new design to the site.

Even better, the service is outfitted to work with some enabled mobile devices, so if you see a shirt you like on the street, you can scan the Quick Response (QR) code included on each design with your phone, which will capture a unique address where you can load and edit the t-shirt before getting it yourself.

Very slick. It’s mostly been active in Japan, but I’m hoping they start to make the crossover into the States. Thinking it’d be easy to expand this into a whole range of products — hats, lunchboxes, computers…


Announcing the Health Commons

Kaitlin Thaney, June 12th, 2008

Over on the Science Commons blog, Donna Wentworth writes:

People make chairs more productively, hamburgers more productively, cars more productively, everything else in the world except medicines. — Aled Edwards, Director and CEO of the Structural Genomics Consortium (via CBC News Canada)

The drug discovery process is badly broken. Despite the scientific and technological advances that make genetic decoding commonplace, the time it takes to go from gene target to cure still stands at 17 years.

Science Commons’ mission is to speed the translation of basic research to useful discoveries, and we believe that a new approach is necessary to find more cures, faster. Today, we’re opening up the Health Commons, a project aimed at bringing the same efficiencies to human health that the network brought to commerce and culture.

The project, founded by Science Commons in collaboration with CommerceNet, CollabRX and the Public Library of Science (PLoS), is introduced in a 6-minute video presentation and white paper posted on the Science Commons website. The paper, Health Commons: Therapy Development in a Networked World [PDF], is co-authored by John Wilbanks, Vice President of Science at Creative Commons, and Marty Tenenbaum, an Internet commerce pioneer and founder of CommerceNet and CollabRX. […]

More after the jump …

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From Open Software to Open Music

Greg Grossmeier, June 11th, 2008

Jono Bacon, the Community Manager for Ubuntu and full-time metal head, recently announced a new musical project he is undertaking, SeveredFifth.

SeveredFifth is Jono’s new music project with the aims of seeing how far one musician can take the concept of Free (as in Freedom) music. Jono:

“Severed Fifth is really here to ask questions – both musically, and in terms of the new music economy.”

To accomplish this goal he is releasing his first album under the name SeveredFifth using a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license.  This license is easy to understand to any member of the Open Source Software persuasion (the group with which Jono is most active in currently); you are free to make copies, redistribute, or modify it as long as you cite correct attribution and keep it under the same license. Jono:

“I chose that license because I wanted to secure some key rights for listeners of my music – rights that I feel are important as a listener. I think the choice of license is key to the aims of the project.”

Because Jono is empowering his fan base with the use of the CC Licenses, the community of listeners which form around the music are the ones who will improve the project the most.  The initial work of creating publicity materials such as the website and photography has been done by some of Jono’s friends, but without the contributions of community members the project can not succeed.

“I think the key ingredient here is assembling a group of people who have a shared ethos – this is what we do in Free Software, and this is what I am doing with Severed Fifth – its incredible what is possible when the right minds come together.”

I encourage everyone who has a musical taste which leans towards metal to head on over to SeveredFifth and sign up for the newsletter and join the discussion; great things are sure to happen.

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Local Intern Gets Job, Blogs About Himself

Tim Hwang, June 11th, 2008

Along with the rest of the interns that descended on CC San Francisco offices a few days ago I’ve been requested to do one post introducing myself to the world before getting fully underway at the blog. So, without further ado…

Hi! I’m Tim Hwang. I got involved in IP freedom and tech policy issues while in college as a part of the Harvard chapter of Students for Free Culture. I worked on the (now suspended) Antenna Alliance experiment in promoting CC music, supported open access efforts in student theses, and most recently helped out on MIT’s research efforts on YouTomb.

Beyond that, I spent much of this year ignoring schoolwork and organizing ROFLCon, a celebration of internet celebrity and culture that went down in April this year. The event ended up being a ridiculously surreal time (what else could you expect from an exclusively LOLCat panel), and we’re planning a bunch of smaller events this summer. You can find me currently blogging at The U.S. Bureau of Fabulous Bitches, and can catch the inane minutiae on twitter @ timhwang.

But, all that aside, I’ll be here for the next few months working as a business development intern with CC guru Jon Phillips on developing metrics for tracking the adoption of licenses, developing case studies on companies that have implemented CC in recent years, and maintaining relationships with various interested organizations. So, stay tuned for more excitement (in the neat form of blog posts) throughout the coming weeks…

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CC’ing in SF in 08

Greg Grossmeier, June 11th, 2008

If all goes according to plan this should be my first post on the Creative Commons blog.  I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce myself and tell you why you are going to have see my posts in the future.

My name is Greg Grossmeier and I am the Community Development Intern at Creative Commons this summer.  I am also a graduate student at the University of Michigan School of Information specializing in Information Policy.

When not doing academic things I spend my “Free” (as in Freedom) time working with the Open Source Software Community as the team leader of the Ubuntu Michigan Local Community Team along with being an active member of the Ubuntu Bug Control Team.  I’m also a volunteer for the OPEN:Michigan Initiative at the University of Michigan working on Open CourseWare.

My time at Creative Commons this summer will focus on Public Domain books and other written works with the Open Library Project along with producing Case Studies of the use of CC licenses by content creators.  I will be posting more about these topics later so I won’t spoil the fun by telling you everything now, just know that it is going to be a crazy fun summer for everyone!


Doctorow: First CC-Licensed Work on NYT Best Sellers List/New Graphic Novel

Cameron Parkins, June 10th, 2008

Hyper awesome super CC-evangelist Cory Doctorow has had two great bits of news pop up in the past couple days, with the first being that his new novel, Little Brother (CC BY-NC-SA) has entered its 4th week on the New York Times Bestseller List! A huge accomplishment in its own right, we are especially excited as this is the first case of a CC-licensed novel entering the list, let alone staying there for 4 weeks. Per usual, you can download the novel here in PDF form.

In other Doctorow/CC news, Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now, “a six-edition series of comics adapted from [his] short stories by an incredibly talented crew of writers, artists, inkers and letterers” was recentlly released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, meaning you can mix it up as you see fit (get the PDF here) provided it is on a noncommercial basis. Congrats to Cory on both accomplishments!

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Timothy Vollmer and Rebecca Rojer are My 2008 CC Heroes

Jon Phillips, June 10th, 2008

And, you can be too! 2008 is half over. Seriously, this is a massively overdue in praise, adulation and support for Tim “TVOL” Vollmer and Rebecca “RRR” Rojer who started last summer 2007 at Creative Commons as interns along with the oustanding still-CC-blog-superstar Cameron Parkins tasked with specific projects all have seen through this blog.

Rebecca in Focus by Joi Ito
Rebecca Rojer, Original Photo by Joi Ito

Last summer I brought Tim on-board to work on developing the LiveContent project which he successfully masterminded through two iterations to date. Along the way he was responsible for massively cleaning up old content from the prior Creative Commons website (can you find on Wayback Machine and comment on this post with url?) and doing huge amounts of what we affectionately called “wikifarming.”

TVOL in focus, by Joi Ito
Timothy Vollmer, Original Photo by Joi Ito

And, Rebecca, came on-board CC to work on the Marking project which focused on creating creative assets for marking works with CC licenses. Once I figured out how awesome Rebecca was at creating graphics with my beloved Inkscape and Gimp, Rebecca helped revolutionize how CC works with external projects to create mockups and other ways to make Creative Commons integration clear, and that helped relieve Alex Roberts (CC’s Real Design Guru).

Sharing Creative Works Last Slide is in the Public Domain
Rebecca led the efforts to create the “Sharing Creative Works” comics

And, the Summer of Curry ended, and TVOL and Rebecca had done so much work, I couldn’t imagine working CC full-time without their help. I found a way to hire them as Business Development Assistants part-time while they were both in school. All along the way, they excelled at all tasks given, became great friends of all those working at CC, and helped develop amazing infrastructure like their combined efforts on the Documentation project, countless integration of CC projects (which you may or may not see), and raised the general level of community and business development for Creative Commons globally far beyond what I’m writing about in this blog post.

This first chapter of Tim and Rebecca’s work at CC has just recently come to a close. Tim recently graduated from University of Michigan’s School of Information and has taken a job as a technology policy analyst at American Library Assocation (ALA). Rebecca is heading back to Harvard to finish up after going offline for the summer (See what Jon Phillips can drive people to do!). And, just as I have returned from my Chinese base in Guangzhou for the Summer of Curry 2 (Summer Interns) in Creative Commons San Francisco office, I’m saddened to not have my comrades Tim and Rebecca here in all things CC. Thus, I wanted to express my deepest congratulations and respect to Tim Vollmer and Rebecca Rojer as they enter a new chapter. And, as Glenn Otis Brown, now at Youtube, has shown us: once CC, always CC ;).

Coming shortly in another post, welcome to the summer class of 2008 interns for Creative Commons doing Community and Business Development…

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cc-licensed music on CC’s Myspace page!

Allison Domicone, June 10th, 2008

We wanted to recognize and celebrate the hard work and talent of musicians all over the world registering their songs under cc licenses – so we now feature a handful of such songs on CC’s Myspace page. CC’s page on this social network site receives a steady flow of visitors each day, and posting songs there will allow visitors to see (and hear!) first-hand how well-received CC’s work has been in the music world.

The song selection will change from time to time and we would definitely appreciate suggestions of cc-licensed tunes produced by you or a musical artist you know. Make suggestions via “Send Message” on the Creative Commons Myspace page. Be sure to drop by soon to hear cool tunes from talented musicians around the world!

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ccNewsletter #7 – Science Commons

Melissa Reeder, June 9th, 2008

The ccNewsletter #7 is now available for download. This edition highlights Science Commons, the project of Creative Commons dedicated to bringing the sharing and reuse principles CC brought to the world of culture, to scientific research.

Also, a BIG thank you to CC Philippines for designing the newsletter and to all of you for keeping up on CC news.

To receive our bi-monthly newsletter via email, please sign up here.

Cover Design by Berne Guerrero; licensed under CC-BY 3.0

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