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2008 November

Stanford Open Source Lab (un)Conference this Friday

Mike Linksvayer, November 12th, 2008

The Stanford Open Source Lab is a nexus for people in the Stanford University community engaged with open source software, open access, and other forms of openness as users, developers, creators, and more. They’ve had an excellent workshop series, including a talk by ccLearn’s Ahrash Bissell, available online for your viewing pleasure.

This Friday the lab is hosting its first conference — free and open to the public. They’ve put together a list of speakers (including me), and there’s also a self-organizing unconference component.

If you’re in the area check it out.

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Into Infinity’s new “nesting” feature

Eric Steuer, November 12th, 2008

There’s more action at the online home of Into Infinity (see this previous post for a full description of the project). The new automated “nesting” page pulls in visual pieces of the show at random and embeds them within one another to create interesting combinations. Sometimes the results don’t quite make sense together, but I’ve been surprised by how often they turn out incredibly well. I hooked my laptop up to a large television this morning and let the page run for a couple of hours – my flatscreen never looked so arty.

Also, we just came across two videos by musician Keenan Gaynor that show him using Into Infinity’s Audio Mega-Mixer (see previous post) to mix the project’s sound loops and create new music on the fly. We’ll be adding more features to the mixer soon that will allow you to do things like record your jam sessions.

Thanks to Braydon Fuller, the powerhouse programmer behind all of Into Infinity’s online tools.

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Creative Commons and MuseumPods launch Podcast Publishing, Access, and Rights Survey

Eric Steuer, November 12th, 2008

We’re collaborating with MuseumPods, a company focused on helping museums and other institutions publish podcasts, on a project to learn more about the how members of the museum and education communities want to share the media they create. If you are affiliated with a museum – and particularly if your museum produces podcasts or is interested in doing so – we encourage you to spend a few minutes taking our Podcast Publishing, Access, and Rights Survey. Your responses will be used to help us make decisions about ways we can make it easier for musuems to mark their media with clear permissions. The data will also be aggregated later and shared online, but your answers will remain anonymous.

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CC Salon LA 11/11/08 recap

Eric Steuer, November 12th, 2008

Last night, we hosted another edition of our CC Salon series in Los Angeles. Dublab‘s Mark McNeill and Ale Cohen discussed their endeavors in Web radio, art, and film – as well as Into Infinity, the art and music exhibition they’re producing in collaboration with Creative Commons. Lucas Gonze gave a presentation about the economics of online music, which developed into an extended audience conversation about media business models and self-distribution. The night was a great success, with some of the most thoughtful interaction we’ve seen come out of these events. Thanks to the presenters, all of the attendees, and to Jonny Coleman of Found Gallery, who has graciously let us use his space for CC Salon LA for the past year.

There are a few photos of the event online at Flickr, in the creativecommoners CC Salon LA set.

Update: Thanks to Flavorpill for pointing people our way. Also thanks to boredLA for coming through, checking out what we’re all about, and posting a great event write-up.

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GOOD + “The First 100 Days” charticle

Eric Steuer, November 12th, 2008

Over the past year, GOOD has grown from having a primary focus on magazine publishing to being a media mini-empire, with its hand in videos, blogging, event production, and a variety of other activities, both online and off. The company’s cornerstone project, GOOD magazine, is still going strong – and is published under a Creative Commons license (BY-NC-ND).

One of my favorite elements of the magazine is its design, which is managed by creative director Casey Caplowe, who spoke recently at CC Salon LA about the advantages of using an open approach to creating and distributing content. The greatness of the magazine’s design is typified by a recurring feature called the GOOD Sheet, which presents large volumes of information in useful and beautiful graphical formats. The most recent GOOD Sheet is a collaboration with designer Atley Kasky called “The First 100 Days” and offers a sampling of decisions made by various US presidents in their first months in office.

"The First 100 Days" - (c) GOOD Worldwide, 2008, made available under a CC BY-NC-ND license. Click above for a not-tiny version of this cool chart.

Update (12/03/08): The GOOD Sheet came out of a relationship between GOOD and Starbucks, in which the latter agreed to distribute free weekly newsprint copies of the GOOD Sheet in its stores for eleven weeks. This means that for the eleven weeks prior to the US presidential election, Creative Commons-licensed media was being given away for free to hundreds of thousands of people in Starbucks stores. Pretty cool. This New York Times article describes the deal.

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Science Commons’ John Wilbanks profiled at Seedmagazine.com

Eric Steuer, November 12th, 2008

Seedmagazine.com, the online companion of Seed magazine, is a great resource for science news and insight. Today, the site profiles John Wilbanks – Creative Commons’ VP of Science and head of Science Commons – as part of its “Revolutionary Minds” series. In the video and accompanying article, John talks about the benefits that sharing and an open web culture can bring to the world of scientific innovation.

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The Fader: The State of the Remix

Eric Steuer, November 11th, 2008

Music and culture magazine The Fader launched a new online column today called “A Rational Conversation Between Two Adults,” in which editor Eric Ducker IM-terviews a staffmember or guest about a subject of interest to the magazine’s readers. The debut entry is a chat with DJ, producer, and label head Nick Catchdubs about “The State of the Remix.” Although Creative Commons doesn’t come up specifically, the discussion highlights several ideas that are revelant to musicians and remixers working to advance CC’s concepts and tools.

It’s always been a symbiotic relationship, and I think the degree of who benefits more depends on the individual track. What’s interesting now is that there’s a definite “remix economy,” both on the official side with a constant stream of commissioned remixes from labels looking to get in on sounds/scenes that are bubbling and managers hustling to get work for their producers, as well as the unofficial tracks from producers looking to make a name for themselves by bombarding the internet. What I always think about in regards to remixes is, “Does this need to exist?” To me the best remixes become new songs that are greater than the sum of its individual parts.

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Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

Jane Park, November 11th, 2008

Today, the Center for Social Media at AU released a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy in Education—a guide for educators and students to the use of copyrighted materials in the classroom. This guide is aimed at clearing up many of the urban myths surrounding copyright, as many educators mistakenly believe that the use of copyrighted photographs in the classroom is illegal, when in fact, fair use allows such uses without teachers even having to obtain permissions.

From last week’s press release

“A variety of content and media is now available online, but fear and misinformation have kept teachers and students from using this valuable material, including portions of films, TV coverage, photos, songs, articles, and audio, in the classroom.

Now, thanks to a coordinated effort by the media literacy community, supported by experts at American University and Temple University, teachers and students have a step-by-step guide that simplifies the legalities of using copyrighted materials in an academic setting…

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education outlines five principles, each with limitations:

Educators can, under some circumstances:

      1. Make copies of newspaper articles, TV shows, and other copyrighted works, and use them and keep them for educational use.

      2. Create curriculum materials and scholarship with copyrighted materials embedded.

      3. Share, sell and distribute curriculum materials with copyrighted materials embedded.

Learners can, under some circumstances:

      4. Use copyrighted works in creating new material

      5. Distribute their works digitally if they meet the transformativeness standard.”

A great video accompanies the guide, if you want a quick and entertaining primer on the issues the code addresses.

This project was funded by one of our own long-term supporters, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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CC Salon LA TONIGHT: Dublab and Lucas Gonze

Cameron Parkins, November 11th, 2008

A reminder that TONIGHT CC Salon LA returns with a fantastic combination of presenters – joining us will be web radio collective Dublab and Lucas Gonze, net-label theorist and XSPF developer.

Both presentations will discuss how CC, and ‘openness’ in general, is affecting web radio and net labels, both from an economic and artistic vantage, with a Q&A to follow each. Additionally, Dublab will ask salon attendees to create noise – both as a group and as individuals – which will be recorded and turned into audio loops that will be used for the Into Infinity project, a new art exhibition produced in collaboration with Creative Commons.

The Salon will be taking place at the always wonderful FOUND Gallery (Google map) between 7:30PM – 9:30PM. Follow the event on Upcoming, mark attending on Facebook, and make sure to come down and hear from two exemplary members of the CC community on their experiences with open licensing. As always, there will be free (as in beer) drinks for the entire night.

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CC Talks With: Lucky Dragons

Cameron Parkins, November 10th, 2008

Lucky Dragons, an experimental music/art group based in Los Angeles, is the moniker given to “any recorded or performed or installed or packaged or shared pieces made by Luke Fischbeck, Sarah Rara, and any sometimes collaborator.” Blending an organic approach to electronic music with a background in the arts, everything Lucky Dragons produces is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, allowing others to share what they have made as well as rework it (much of their music is available for free download on their website). We recently caught up with the duo to learn more about their music and motivation to use CC. We also touched upon their experience participating in the Into Infinity project, their associated projects Sumi Ink Club/Glaciers of Nice, and what their plans are for the future.

Can you give our readers a bit of background on yourselves? How did you get involved with music and art? What is Lucky Dragon’s background as an artistic outfit?

Fischbeck: lucky dragons started as a “band” in the loosest form possible around eight years ago, as a way to structure our activities as a group in an easily understandable and distributable way, making recordings or books or videos or performances and putting them out into the world. for the most part, we have definitely used the existing structure of independently produced music to do this, but as this structure has been changing so much in our lifetime, we have been keen to look for new and positive paths and models, trying to contribute to a new definition of “band” that includes contexts such as public art, the gallery system, museum programming, blogs, and small-press publishing.

Rara: My entry into making music was initially through making videos and composing sound to go with a moving image until I became more and more engrossed in the production of sounds and the potential of music to bring people together in a very concrete way, forming transient communities and generating equal power-sharing situations. It’s interesting now to alternate between music and art contexts, to slip in and out of each world and to borrow from each various modes and identities. I enjoy slipping into a “band” identity that confuses authorship and opens up the project to various collaborators, even going so far as to dissolve the separation between myself and the audience during the performance. I’ve always thought of the role of the artist as more diffused and inclusive, it can include sitting on a stage and playing a modified kalimba for half an hour or it can include an everyday situation like having a conversation with a stranger. But somehow the means of distributing art in the world are not as inclusive and wide-ranging as music distribution. Music has a tradition of self-publishing and cheap distribution that I find very inspiring; it’s easy to produce something that is accessible to everyone and easily shared when operating within the form of a musical group.

Read More…

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