Technology! Can you code?

Mike Linksvayer, October 7th, 2003

No, not another contest — see Can you remix? (results soon) and GET CREATIVE! (you still have time) — but artists can’t have all the fun.

If you can code, we want you to check out our
technology challenges section. GUI developer to Semantic Web pioneer, we have a task for you — help build Creative Commons’ vision of some rights reserved into today’s software and the infrastructure of the Net.

No prizes available apart from intellectual stimulation and bragging rights.

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New release from Scott Andrew

Matt Haughey, October 6th, 2003

Scott Andrew LePera, previously interviewed for our Featured Commoner piece on unsigned musicians, has released a new CD. The songs on the new disc are all Creative Commons licensed and he’s done something interesting with the pricing. You can pay as little as $5 for the new release, but anything beyond the minimum during the month of October will be donated to downhill battle, the P2P legal defense fund for people recently hit with lawsuits from the RIAA.


New features, new coding, new content

Matt Haughey, October 4th, 2003

Today we’ve flipped the switch on the newly revamped Creative Commons website. There are a few new features, a lot of updated content, and a general reorganization of the site.

Our newest feature is the Artists Corners section of the site, linked right off the front page. Until now, much of the site’s content has remained general, but based on feedback from writers, recording artists, photographers, educators, and filmmakers, we realized each group had specific needs. We’ve created a page for each audience, with advice, examples, and instructions especially for them.

We’ve updated our technology section, including a re-write of our documentation. If you are a developer and are curious how to integrate Creative Commons into your applications, check out our new developer’s guide. If you’d like to help Creative Commons out, we’ve got a list of tech challenges we could use a hand with (think of it as the lazyweb in action).

The front page of our site has seen a redesign and slight change of layout. We’ve added a quick way to get to our three most popular sections, right at the top and center of the page. Below the weblog on the lower left, we’ve added feeds of recent updates to both Common Content (which is a directory of Creative Commons licensed works) and Internet Archive (which will host audio and video you have created and licensed, free of charge). We’ve also linked to their respective RSS feeds if you’d like to follow along in your news aggregator. If you’ve recently licensed your works, feel free to get them listed at Common Content or hosted at Internet Archive.

Sitewide changes are subtle but numerous. We’ve reorganized our navigation, in order to be clearer and to highlight the “Get Content” page that lists directories and repositories of licensed works. We’ve taken the font-size down slightly based on feedback, and we’ve recoded the site from the ground up. While the site has been coded as valid XHTML and CSS since we launched in December of 2002, under the hood the new site’s code is cleaner, rich in semantics, and accessible for all browsers and users. If you ever get a chance to use the new site in a text browser, you’ll see the difference.

While we’ve changed a great deal of the site and moved things around, we’re always open to additional feedback and welcome any errors you might find. Leave a comment if you see anything out of place or have any questions.


Charrette Center

Matt Haughey, October 3rd, 2003

This week’s featured content is the portal of community-based urban design at CharretteCenter.net. The site includes resources and articles, all carrying Creative Commons licenses, to help the planning and construction of future urban areas.

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Mob Spots, collaboration, and Creative Commons

Matt Haughey, September 29th, 2003

Steven Johnson coined the term “mob spots” to describe a group creating political spots using simple desktop tools. Jason Kottke suggests campaigns create spaces filled with seed material specifically so people can voluntarily create material for the campaign.

We have dipped our toe into the community creativity pool with our Moving Image Contest and most recently with a music remixing mini-contest, and both projects have produced some amazing creative works that were facilitated by our licenses and we intend to do larger, similar projects in the future.

We love the idea of “mob spots”; that interested communities could spring up around a candidate, issue, or topic and using a common set of raw materials, produce clever and engaging works. The process is exactly what our licenses intend to do: let others know that you’d like them to take, use, and reuse your work in new works. It is our hope that any candidates or citizen groups considering such an open collaborative place might license their creative pool of raw resources under Creative Commons to make it clear the works are free to build upon by others.

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Silenced: a censorship study

Matt Haughey, September 24th, 2003

Silenced: Censorship and Control of the Internet” is a new paper covering findings from a 12-month study of Internet censorship around the world. The study, published jointly by Privacy International and GreenNet Educational Trust, found that in the wake of September 11, 2001, over 50 countries stepped up efforts to control the Internet within their boundaries, among other conclusions.

The full report is available here as a 2Mb PDF, and it licensed under an Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license.


Practical RDF

Matt Haughey, September 23rd, 2003

Developers interested in Creative Commons may like a new O’Reilly book authored by Shelly Powers called Practical RDF. A couple chapters discuss real-world applications using RDF and Creative Commons is covered in one section. It summarizes our metadata model and builds upon other concepts in the book.

A comprehensive review of the book was posted to Slashdot today.

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Matt Haughey, September 18th, 2003

Magnatune is an amazing new record label that is completely rethinking old music industry business models. They offer music from a wide range of genres that you can download, stream, and listen to. And, like computer shareware, you buy stuff you like only after trying it out first. The label splits profits with artists 50-50 and even offers a sliding scale for purchases through Paypal.

On top of all that, they’ve released every song on the label under a Creative Commons license. Like their slogan says, “We are not evil.” Sounds like an understatement.


Fray Audio Archive

Matt Haughey, September 17th, 2003

This week we’re highlighting Derek Powazek‘s online storytelling work at The Fray, specifically The Fray Audio Archive. The Fray is a site where people tell stories and others comment on those stories, and once a year there are worldwide gatherings to do open-mic storytelling live, dubbed Fray Day. The Fray Audio Archive contains recordings from the past 5 years of events, totalling over 18 hours of Creative Commons licensed audio. If you like what you hear, you might want to check out this year’s Fray Day, taking place between October 3rd and 5th in 14 cities across the globe.

Also worth noting is that all Fray audio is being generously hosted by the Internet Archive, free of charge. We’ve recently updated the licensing process to point out the Archive’s Open Source Audio and Open Source Movies areas. The Archive offers free hosting of audio and video works you have created and licensed under Creative Commons, so if storage and bandwidth are holding your creativity back, do yourself a favor and check out the Internet Archive.

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Can you remix? Want to be on our CD? Want a free T-shirt?

Neeru Paharia, September 16th, 2003

If you send us a remix of Superego Exchange by September 23rd, we will send you a free Creative Commons T-shirt — a $20 dollar value. The best entry will go on the Creative Commons promotional CD. Send us your remixes in now!

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