Weblog

2008 November

The New York Times: Making Use of Public Domain

Eric Steuer, November 20th, 2008

In yesterday’s Personal Tech Q&A section of The New York Times, there was a useful item called Making Use of Public Domain (registration required, although I was able to see the page at first without logging in) that describes a bit about how images that are found online can be used. The article points to a few good sources of public domain images and also mentions Creative Commons-licensed works as a source of legal-to-use material.

Just because a photo or document is available online does not mean it is automatically in the public domain, so check for copyright notices or a Creative Commons license before grabbing something to reuse. (A Creative Commons license works alongside a copyright and allows writers and artists more flexibility in sharing their creations with the world …)

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That was quick – Restocking the Jump Drives

Fred Benenson, November 20th, 2008

Mega Green Flashdrive We sold our last “JoCo Looks Back” USB jump drive sometime this morning — they went at an incredible rate that surprised everyone including our supplier. But do not despair, more are on their way, and everyone who donates $50 or more before December 31st will receive one. Thanks for your continued support of CC!

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Digital Tipping Point

Cameron Parkins, November 19th, 2008

Digital Tipping Point, a documentary on the free software and free culture movements, recently posted over 80 digitized hours (350 hours have been shot in total) of CC BY-SA licensed footage of “leading politicians, CEOs, and software developers from all over the world.” The footage is available for free at their archive.org page:

The DTP crew describes their project as a Point-of-View (POV) documentary film about the rapidly growing global shift to open source software, and the effects that massive wave of technological change will have on literacy, art, and culture around the world.

The DTP crew says their project will be the first feature length documentary about free open source software to be built in an open source fashion out of video submitted to the Internet Archive.

[...]

The DTP crew invites you to take their video and rip, mix and burn it however you like, for whatever purpose you like. You can even use the footage for your own commercial film, as long as you release your final product under a Creative Commons Attribute-ShareAlike license.

Victor Stone, programmer and site admin at ccMixter, has a great post about the project up on his blog. We previously discussed Digital Tipping Point back in 2006.

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Bombardirovka

Cameron Parkins, November 19th, 2008

Last night I had the pleasure of attending Art Knows No Borders, an event that was both a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders and a release party for Bombardirovka, a book written by Crystal Allen Cook in 2004 while she was in Armenia on a Fulbright Scholarship. The novel is a work of fiction that, in the words of Cook, functions “to observe, up close, how the past, not necessarily even our own personal past, lives on the actions and bodies of people living in the present.”

Bombardirovka is free to download and released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, meaning it can be re-used and adapted in any way as long as it is non-commercial in intent, shared under the same license as the original, and Crystal Cook is properly attributed. Check out the Share Novel page on Bombardirovka‘s website in the coming weeks to find more about interesting reuse opportunities ahead.

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Mark Hosler: Some Thoughts for Congress About Creativity and Copyright

Cameron Parkins, November 19th, 2008

Mark Hosler, co-founder of experimental music and sound collage act Negativland, recently took a trip to Washington D.C., where he penned this letter to members of congress on creativity and copyright. From metroactive:

Ours is a world in which copyright has fallen woefully behind the curve of what the public actually wants to do with all that digital “stuff” out there. Millions worldwide are creating art, music and video that incorporate elements of existing work—cutting and pasting bits and pieces of music, video, text, and pictures made by others to create new works. Millions of web pages now use various Creative Commons licenses to provide a nuanced alternative to traditionally black and white interpretations of copyright laws (one such license Negativland helped to write). The prevalence of these alternative copyright strategies is a testament to how many of your constituents are not at all happy with copyright as it stands now.

Negativland have been working through these sort of issues for close to three decades and even helped us in the drafting of our (now retired) CC Sampling license. Hosler’s piece is a great read and makes a compelling argument that recent changes in the ways that art and culture are created and distributed make a fresh approach to copyright a necessity. While this may not be anything new Mike Doyle, we hope that it inspires conversation among other policy makers.

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Democracy Now! – now under a Creative Commons license

Eric Steuer, November 19th, 2008

We just received some tremendously exciting news. Democracy Now! – the daily news program broadcast by hundreds of radio and television stations around the world (it’s also the source of a very popular podcast) – is now being offered under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. This includes not only new episodes, but also those in the show’s archive, dating back to the program’s beginnings in 1996. The show, hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, and originally created by Pacifica Radio (which has continued to provide critical support for the program since it became an independent production), is funded by listeners, viewers, and foundations who believe in independent media – an approach to doing things that we here at CC wholeheartedly respect (visit our fundraising drive for more on this). Democracy Now! was founded to report on issues and stories that the producers believe are underreported by mainstream news outlets. The program’s new usage terms are made clear via a Creative Commons license notice at the bottom of each episode’s page (see today’s conversation with Cornel West for an example).

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The Commons in 140 Characters or Less

Fred Benenson, November 18th, 2008

So we’re a little late to the game on this one but we’ve just set up our microblogging accounts. Follow and send updates to creativecommons on Twitter or creativecommons on identi.ca and tell your friends!

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Tonight in Los Angeles: CC at Art Knows No Borders

Eric Steuer, November 18th, 2008

If you’re in Los Angeles tonight, visit Cameron Parkins, who will be representing Creative Commons with a booth at Art Knows No Borders (see this Flavorpill write-up for details). The fundraising event for Doctors Without Borders will include art, music, videos, and more. Cameron will be on hand to answer questions about Creative Commons and make the case for why you should also contribute to CC’s current Help Build the Commons support drive.

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Ozmo launches with CC+ protocol support

Eric Steuer, November 18th, 2008

Copyright Clearance Center has just launched Ozmo, a new web-based service focused on helping photographers, bloggers, and other content creators license their work for commercial use. Ozmo supports Creative Commons’ CC+ protocol (see the press release about CC+ for more information), meaning that it enables creators to license their work to the public under one set of terms via a Creative Commons license, and offer the ability to obtain a private license via Ozmo’s licensing system — to purchase rights not offered by the CC license a work is under (e.g., commercial use if the work is under a CC NonCommercial license, the right to make an adaptation and not share under the same license if the work is under a CC ShareAlike license, or the right to use without attribution), or simply to obtain a private agreement with the copyright holder for situations that require such.

To use Ozmo, a creator sets up an account, selects license terms, and sets a price for the use of their work. Ozmo then works as a broker to companies, publishers, and bloggers who are looking to use work commercially. Ozmo manages the licensing process and pays creators when a license to their content is purchased. You can find more details about how Ozmo works on the site’s About page.

Artist, animator, and filmmaker Ryan Junell (who is the designer behind the Creative Commons logo, as well as several of CC’s explanatory videos – see “Get Creative,” “Wanna Work Together?” and “Reticulum Rex”) worked with musician J Lesser to create a short video that explains how Ozmo works. It’s licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.

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Magnatune announces interesting additions to “post-scarcity” business model

Eric Steuer, November 18th, 2008

Magnatune, the terrific sharing-friendly record label that we’ve talked about many times before, has announced a transition from a per-album purchase model to a “DRM-free, all-you-can-eat, pay-what-you-want” model. Label founder John Buckman spelled out the details in a blog post today.

Memberships to Magnatune are now:

1) no commitment: one month at a time, whereas previously the minimum was 3 months

2) pay what you want: you fill in the amount you want to pay (no drop down box), though there is a $5/month stream membership minimum, and $10/month download membership minimum.

3) paypal recurring payments: use paypal recurring payments instead of a credit card, so you are completely in command of your membership, and can cancel it from Paypal if you like.

4) non-recurring and recurring both available: you choose whether you want your membership to auto-renew, or if you want to renew it by hand yourself

5) DRM free, Creative Commons licensed, and perfect audio quality: so you are free to enjoy our music as you wish

6) shareable music with your friends: you can share music you’ve obtained from your membership with your friends, though we ask you to be mindful of our business model and recommend you share no more than one album per friend per month

7) Everything: complete access to all our music. Downloads, 4h podcasts, streaming, iTunes & Amarok & Rhythmbox & Songbird support, and more.

8) Musicians get paid: with everything you do, 50% of your membership fee goes to the musicians you listen to. Magnatune remains fair to the musician.

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