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Help! I’m in a nutshell!

Matt Haughey, June 23rd, 2003

In a newly posted interview on the Apple site, “O’Reilly in a Nutshell,” Tim O’Reilly discusses how his publishing company came to be, how it follows open source trends, and how it publishes many titles under a Creative Commons Founders’ Copyright license.

We should note that the Founders’ Copyright isn’t just for big publishing houses. Anyone can apply for a license to release their works after 14 (or 28) years.

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OpenContent’s David Wiley, Educational License Project Lead

Glenn Otis Brown, June 23rd, 2003

David Wiley, Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at Utah State University and founder of the trailblazing OpenContent, is Project Lead for development of an educational use Creative Commons license, which begins today.

Welcome, Professor Wiley.

Read the first draft.

Review our earlier discussion on the subject.

Join the current discussion.

Read the press release.

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Creative Commons Welcomes David Wiley as Educational Use License Project Lead

Matt Haughey, June 23rd, 2003

The Silicon Valley Nonprofit Also Takes Up Baton of Wiley’s Trailblazing OpenContent Project

Palo Alto, California, USA — Creative Commons, a nonprofit dedicated to building a layer of reasonable copyright, announced today that OpenContent founder Dr. David Wiley, Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at Utah State University, will join Creative Commons and officially close the OpenContent Project.

“When I saw the Creative Commons team, and all their expertise, I saw that they ‘got it,'” said Wiley. “I slowly came to the somewhat painful realization that the best thing I could do for the community was to close the OpenContent project and encourage people to adopt the Creative Commons licenses.”

The OpenContent Project launched in 1998, offering the first license designed specifically to support the free and open sharing of content. While working to evangelize the idea of “open content,” Dr. Wiley next worked with members of the open source software community and commercial publishers to develop an open content license that would be acceptable to publishers. Since its release, numerous books have been published under the terms of the resulting Open Publication License, including titles by O’Reilly, Prentice Hall, New Riders, and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Copies of the OpenContent License and Open Publication License will continue to be available from the OpenContent website,, for archival purposes, but newcomers to the site will be encouraged to visit Creative Commons,, to utilize the licenses available on their site. Neither of the OpenContent licenses will be developed further in the future.

Creative Commons Executive Director Glenn Otis Brown commented: “It is an honor to welcome a pioneer like Professor Wiley to the Creative Commons team. His efforts have been a major source of inspiration for our own, so it is both appropriate and a little humbling for us to be working alongside him now.”

Wiley joins Creative Commons in the capacity of Project Lead for Educational Licensing. “Because I’m an instructional technologist, and my primary field of research and inquiry is using technology to better support learning, my own Press Release work in open content has always focused on reusable educational media. I couldn’t be happier than I am to participate in this manner,” said Wiley.

Creative Commons will announce new Project Leads for a Developing Nations License shortly, said Brown.

More about Creative Commons

A non-profit corporation, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual works — whether owned or public domain. It is sustained by the generous support of The Center for the Public Domain and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Creative Commons is based at Stanford Law School, where it shares staff, space, and inspiration with the school’s Center for Internet and Society.

For general information, visit

For more information about the community development model, visit


Glenn Otis Brown
Executive Director (Palo Alto)
1.650.723.7572 (tel)
1.415.336.1433 (cell)
glenn -AT-

Neeru Paharia
Assistant Director (Palo Alto)
1.650.724.3717 (tel)
neeru -AT-

David Wiley
david.wiley -AT-
dw2 -AT-

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The Pentagon Papers were less secure

Glenn Otis Brown, June 19th, 2003

“Advanced Marketing Services, a San Diego-based distributor that expects to handle about 2 million [fortcoming Harry] Potter books between Saturday and January 2004, has hired security guards in the United States and added guard dogs for a Canadian distributor it partially owns. . . .

‘I can’t let you touch the book,’ warned Bill Carr,’s director of books, music, videos and DVDs. He gestured toward some of the more than 200,000 books — about 150 tons worth — that will be shipped to West Coast destinations.

Similar operations are under way at’s four other major regional distribution centers in Newcastle, Del.; Coffeyville, Kan.; Campbellsville, Ky.; and Lexington, Ky.

The 896-page books were locked in special rooms when they arrived at the warehouse. They were cordoned off from the rest of building by a pair of security guards, who were not allowed to talk to reporters. Reporters were searched on their way out of the building.”

–From MSNBC (thanks to Creative Commons intern Ben O’Neil).


Creative Commons on the Hustings

Glenn Otis Brown, June 19th, 2003

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is using a Creative Commons license on his campaign blog.

Some Rights Reserved is a big-tent party. When it comes to IP, we’re the only true party of Jefferson. So who’s next to walk in TJ’s footsteps?

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The Flipside of iTunes?

Glenn Otis Brown, June 19th, 2003

“[B]ecause of the discrete selling and buying of music, digital single by digital single, that iTunes and its kin will foster, we can expect a decline in music bundling, and thus in risk-taking and its shy companion, innovation.”

A thought-provoking piece by Sahar Akhtar in Salon today. Akhtar predicts that iTunes-like services will lead to a shallow, ear-candy music economy.

Questions for the author, and Creative Commons blog readers:

(1) Isn’t Akhtar really advocating music-snob paternalism? Listen to the songs as I package them for you, because I know better than you how your tastes should run. This attitude might be fine for a DJ spinning a set, but not for an entire market. To a savvy consumer, or an antitrust lawyer, “music bundling” sounds like a euphemism for tying listeners’ hands.

(2) To avert the death of the art-rock album format, couldn’t artists simply begin producing CDs without indexed tracks? If you really want someone to listen to a whole album, let the technology push them that way.

(3) How often do musicians (real ones, not A&R puppets) really consider the format of distribution when writing a hook? When you’ve stumbled upon an edgy arrangement or harmony, are you really going to scrap it because of that pesky new iTunes?

(4) I like b-sides, too. But before Net-based music, the only way to find obscure b-sides and outtakes was to buy a boxed set, or an EP single — which without exception included the hit songs that die-hard fans had already paid for on albums. (I must have bought four copies of the Pixies‘ “This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven” just to hear a few rare b-sides it was bundled with.) Why force cult fans to doubly subsidize hit singles?

(5) “‘B sides’ and the noncommercially oriented tracks that fill out a given album have always been the artistic payoff.” Sure, sometimes, but always? Ever listen to a Police album all the way through? I’m pretty sure the U.S. military used those b-sides for psychological warfare in Iraq.

Your thoughts?


New Featured Commoner: Mark Watson

Glenn Otis Brown, June 19th, 2003

Check out an interview with our latest Featured Commoner, writer and coder Mark Watson, by new Creative Commons intern Derek Slater.

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Harry Potter: Fan Fiction Friendly?

Glenn Otis Brown, June 19th, 2003

The Washington Post ran a piece today on Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling’s views on fan fiction.

Quoted in the piece are our own Hal Abelson, a Creative Commons board member and chief technical advisor, and the EFF‘s Wendy Seltzer.

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Avianto’s photolog

Matt Haughey, June 18th, 2003

This week’s featured content is Boy Avianto of Jakarta, Indonesia’s fantastic photolog. It features all sorts of shots from daily life in Jakarta, including interesting views of the area, macro photos of plants, and pets.

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A Call for Translated Commons Deeds

Glenn Otis Brown, June 17th, 2003

While we’re talking translations:

As our iCommons project begins to port the lawyer-readable licenses to various countries’ laws and languages, we’d like to start translating the human-readable portion of our licenses as well. (Here’s an example of one in English.)

Just as humans are less formal than lawyers, so will this process be less formal than iCommons, so send us what you’ve got when you’ve got it . . .


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