Commons News

Using CC music in video: Free webinar tomorrow!

Elliot Harmon, January 20th, 2015

On January 21, I’ll be joining Free Music Archive’s Cheyenne Hohman for a free webinar on how to find and use CC-licensed music in your video projects. Join us for a great discussion.

From FMA’s announcement:

If you make videos, or you make music for videos, or you just like learning new stuff, tune in tomorrow to our webinar! We’ll be allowing a few guests in to our Hangout and then broadcasting for everyone else.

The webinar will begin at 3PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 21st.

Special guest and Creative Commons expert Elliot Harmon will be co-hosting with Cheyenne. We’ll show you around the Free Music Archive (including where to find license and contact info for artists), run through the basics of Creative Commons licenses and how to use CC tracks in videos, and show you how you can license your work under Creative Commons (spoiler: it’s easy!).

We’re looking forward to seeing you there! If you can’t make it, we’ll be archiving the webinars (slides and videos) to our site in the FAQ section.

Next week, we’ll host one for K-12 teachers, and in early February we’ll have one for you musical types.

Hooray!

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Global Affiliate Network releases CC Affiliates Mixtape #1

Teresa Nobre, January 12th, 2015


Download album: Internet Archive / Free Music Archive / SoundCloud
Download album notes (PDF)
Download album art: Front / Back

Guest blog post by Teresa Nobre, Legal Project Lead Creative Commons Portugal

We didn’t need much. It was the release date of the State of the Commons report and on the CC affiliates mailing list, the discussion was centred on the annual fundraising campaign. CC Finland mentioned that we could celebrate CC’s 12th birthday with music and CC Denmark immediately proposed a new CC Birthday Mixtape. On the other side of the Atlantic, Elliot Harmon replied: “The mixtape was awesome. I think it would be a great project.”

I was on a train on my way to Porto to attend an OER policy project workshop. That activity and the follow-up to it were the things where I had to focus my attention on in the next few days. Composed exclusively by volunteers, most of the affiliate teams struggle with time management. We want to participate in as many activities as possible, but we have to be cautious. Before I could censor myself, I let the crew know that I “wouldn’t mind” organizing it again. Jewel by Zoe Leela was already playing in my media player, filling me with pride for our first adventure in the CC music world.

A couple of weeks more passed before someone asked if we were still going to do it. Of course we are! Time runs fast and if we were really going to do it, this had to be a quick community action. Limiting the mixtape to CC Europe was out of the question. This time we wanted to feel the European multiplicity, but we also wanted to get lost in Asian sounds, get African vibes, and go clubbing in the Americas. We sent an email around to the affiliates global network and in a little bit more than 1 week we had received over 60 nominations from 25 countries.

We are certain that had the deadline been longer, we would have received many more suggestions. But we couldn’t be happier with the astounding response of the affiliates and with the involvement of the regional coordinators in the action. And the final result couldn’t be better: the CC Affiliates Mixtape #1 not only showcases new music talent but also includes artists which are huge names in their own countries, such as Dead Combo (Portugal), the Mendes Brothers (Cape Verde), the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, or BNegão and the Seletores de Frequências (Brazil). Yep, it seems that the music world is turning CC!

The CC Affiliates Mixtape #1, comprising 25 CC-licensed tracks from 25 different countries, is available for download under various Creative Commons licenses Free Music Archive and Internet Archive. Enjoy your listening!

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Thank you

Elliot Harmon, January 8th, 2015

Creative Commons would not exist without you.

As we wrap up our winter fundraising campaign, it’s time for our most important message: thanks.

Thank you for your donations to support the work of our staff, affiliates, and volunteers around the world. We met and exceeded our goals. Without your support, Creative Commons simply wouldn’t exist.

Donating is one important contribution, and we thank you for it. But we also thank you for using Creative Commons licenses to share, remix, and collaborate. Without people like you using them, CC licenses would be meaningless. Because of you, CC is a growing, evolving movement that’s redefining how knowledge, culture, and information are shared.

Thank you for being a voice for open in your schools, businesses, organizations, and governments. Over the past 12 years, you’ve shown the world that sometimes sharing content freely makes it more valuable, not less.

Thank you for wearing those CC T-Shirts, uploading those CC-licensed photos, and displaying those license badges on your blogs.

2015 is going to be a big year for Creative Commons. We’ll be back in touch soon to talk with you about some big projects we’re working on and how you can get involved.

But for now, thank you for supporting Creative Commons. We’re proud to be fighting together with you.

Here’s to more sharing in 2015.

Sincerely,
Creative Commons

Support Creative Commons

 

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Boston Children’s Hospital OPENPediatrics Launches Open Multimedia Library

Cable Green, January 6th, 2015

boston children's hospital
Children’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. [front] / Boston Public LIbrary / No known copyright restrictions

The OPENPediatrics program at Boston Children’s Hospital announced the launch today of a new open educational resource (OER), a multimedia library that presents animations and illustrations from OPENPediatrics instructional videos under CC BY-NC-SA for use by clinicians and academics in their own instructional materials.  OPENPediatrics provides online learning opportunities for pediatric clinicians worldwide on a website specifically for medical professionals, but some of the resources created for that site—including those in the new multimedia library—are now being made available to the general public as well.

“An important part of our production process is the addition of high quality animations and illustrations to our didactic and procedural videos,” said Steve Carson, Director of Operations for the program.  “Until now these resources have been embedded in our videos and only accessible to clinicians.  Now, inspired by MIT OpenCourseWare and other OER projects, we are making the animations and illustrations available under open licenses and in downloadable formats to encourage wide usage.”

The initial 48 animations and illustrations are among the hundreds that will eventually be made available. The first set of resources illustrates key concepts of airway management, respiratory care, neurology, clinical procedures and other areas of pediatric care. The animations and illustrations have all been peer reviewed for accuracy.  In the coming months, OPENPediatrics will continue publishing animations and illustrations from its back catalog as well as from newly released videos and other resources. The multimedia library is the second publicly available resource from OPENPediatrics, joining a collection of World Shared Practice Forum videos, which share global perspectives on key aspects of pediatric care.

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Institute for Open Leadership kicks off next week

Timothy Vollmer, January 5th, 2015

presidio1
The Presidio by Mindus under CC BY-NC-SA

It’s a new year, and Creative Commons and the Open Policy Network are excited to work with the inaugural group of fellows at the Institute for Open Leadership. The Institute for Open Leadership–or IOL–is an effort  to cultivate new leaders in open education, science, public policy, and other fields on the values and implementation of openness in licensing, policies and practices. The rationale for the Institute is to educate and empower potential open advocates within existing institutional structures in order to expand and promote the values and practices of the idea that publicly funded resources should be openly licensed.

We received nearly 100  high quality applications and selected 14 fellows for the first Institute. The fellows come from around the world (12 countries), and reflect a wide range of institutions–from community colleges to government ministries  to public radio.

We’re hosting the in-person portion of the Institute in California next week. It’s important that the Institute help fellows move from theory to reality: a major component of the program requires fellows to develop, refine, and implement a capstone open policy project within their home institution. Creative Commons and the open community will provide mentorship and guidance throughout this process. As the fellows build and eventually implement their policy projects, we’ll ask them to share their progress, challenges, and successes. We also plan on running a second Institute for Open Leadership outside of North America – in late 2015.

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A year-end message from our CEO

Ryan Merkley, December 31st, 2014

There’s still time. Support Creative Commons in 2014.

This is the fundraising message where the CEO writes and tells you about how important your donation is. And without question, your donation is important. Earlier this month, you heard from our board chair, and a member of our legal team, and a volunteer leading our chapter in El Salvador. My message today is the last of a series of messages that we hope has inspired you to give to Creative Commons before the end of the year.

The year-end campaign is the most important fundraiser for any nonprofit. Most charities will raise half their funds between November 1 and December 31. And almost half of that — a quarter of total annual fundraising — will happen in the final two weeks.

Right now.

So first of all, let me say I’m sorry for all those messages. From everyone, not just us. It’s a lot of email to get, all with the same punchline: please give.

But I wouldn’t do it if it weren’t so important.

Of all the organizations that fundraise to help create a more open web, CC’s budget is tiny.

We have fewer than 20 full-time staff, but we have a large community: over 100 volunteer chapters in 79 countries. We set an ambitious goal this year, with higher targets, and we’re almost there. Your donation today could help us meet our annual goal.

Despite our small stature, we’re a big deal on the web.

Wikipedia, Flickr, SoundCloud, and YouTube, and 9 million other websites all rely on our licenses to provide legal sharing options. We’re the global standard that powers free culture, open access in science and academia, open textbooks, and open data. Every day, our small team works as part of a number of global movements that rely on CC licenses.

This year, CC licenses were endorsed by both the White House and the European Commission for open government. Both the Gates and Hewlett Foundations adopted policies that will require the money they grant to create freely licensed content and research. Just a few examples of our team creating a more open world for all of us.

The commons now contains almost 1 billion works. And they are viewed tens of millions of times a day. All that content is free — both to those who share and to those who enjoy what is shared.

I expect you give to a few charities every year. Most people do. My hope is that this year, you’ll choose Creative Commons as one of them. Donations of $5 or $10 really add up, and mean a lot to CC and to our global community. Will you support Creative Commons today?

The commons is a huge collaborative project that spans centuries, and CC is creating enormous and lasting value — every dollar helps ensure that more free content makes it online: data, academic research, educational curriculum, videos, music, pictures, and more.

And once it’s there, it’s there forever. For anyone to use.

This is an important year for Creative Commons. Our 12th anniversary was earlier this month, and while we are well known and vital to the web, we’re not sustainable without your help. We rely on a small and very dedicated base of annual donors who help ensure we keep doing our work, and a number of very generous foundations.

But to continue to meet our goals, we need to grow our donor network. That means we need to earn your support, and that of your friends, and your friends’ friends.

It’s a big undertaking, and you’ll hear more from us over the coming year about it, along with some really exciting new projects, like a mobile photo app, tools for searching the commons, and more.

But for now, I’m hoping you’ll make a donation as part of your year-end giving that will directly support the kind of internet we all love: free, open, transparent, vital, and even a little silly.

Thank you for listening, and thank you for your support.

Best,
Ryan

PS: If you make a donation, your gift will count as double thanks to a grant we received from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation. Please give today.

Support Creative Commons

 

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Sharing is our path forward

Claudia Cristiani, December 29th, 2014

Invest in a more open culture. Support CC.

I’m writing on behalf of the Creative Commons Affiliate Network, a community of over 100 affiliate teams in 79 countries. El Salvador joined CC’s global network this year, and I am its first public lead. I work every day to preserve and protect cultural heritage, under CC’s model of open sharing for everyone.

Creative Commons is a global movement, but our work requires a local touch. We donate our time to bring the joy of sharing to educators, lawmakers, and artists. And we do it all because we believe in CC.

Sometimes when I tell people about my work with CC, they ask why I spend my time on something so complicated and academic, especially in a world of urgent need and important causes.

I disagree. Creative Commons makes access to knowledge possible in a concrete, tangible way. And access to knowledge is essential. It has a real and immediate impact on all fundamental rights, from self-determination to participation in cultural life. Your donation to CC is an investment in a more open culture and an active CC community in every country on the planet.

There are many organizations and groups fighting to improve people’s quality of life. The changes we’re fighting for at Creative Commons benefit the work of those organizations too. Sharing is our path forward, both for El Salvador and for the world.

If you believe that everyone should have access to the world’s knowledge and culture, I’m proud to be on your side. Will you help us by making a donation to Creative Commons today?

Sincerely,
Claudia

Support Creative Commons

 

Photo: Claudia Cristiani de Creative Commons El Salvador en el #CPSLV1 / Sara Fratti / CC BY 2.0

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Norwegian translation of 4.0 published

Kat Walsh, December 23rd, 2014

Congratulations to CC Norway on the Norwegian translation of 4.0! This is the second published official translation of the license suite.

screenshot-norwegian-small
The translation effort was led by longtime CC affiliate and noted internet scholar Gisle Hannemyr, of the University of Oslo. We are particularly grateful to this early team for working with us as we developed the translation process (as did CC Finland, whose 4.0 translation was recently published).

We’re excited to see this work progressing as more people are able to use the CC licenses in their own language. Look for a few translations from outside the Nordic region—including some involving teams from several continents!—in the near future.

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The world Creative Commons is fighting for

Paul Brest, December 23rd, 2014

Be a voice for sharing. Support CC.

2014 was a big year in the open movement. Both the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation approved open policies requiring grantees to publish their content under CC BY, the most open Creative Commons license. That means that for any content funded by either foundation, anyone can reuse it for any purpose, so long as they give attribution.

Being former president of the Hewlett Foundation and the current board chair at CC, I had a unique perspective on Hewlett’s open policy, and got to watch closely as it came together.

In many ways, the Hewlett Foundation’s decision was exactly what you would expect from them. After all, it was Hewlett that helped start the open education movement, and it has been Hewlett’s policy to require CC BY for educational resources for years. And yet, before the decision was finalized, it met a fair amount of uncertainty, both internally and from grantees. And the organization that was consistently there to encourage and assist the foundation was Creative Commons.

After 12 years, it’s easy to see Creative Commons’ impact on the world. 14 countries have made national commitments to open education. Here in the U.S., the Department of Labor is spending two billion dollars on open educational resources. The idea that openly licensed resources can do more good for the world than closed ones is becoming mainstream, and that’s largely thanks to CC and its supporters.

But the fight isn’t over. Governments, foundations, institutions, and even corporations need someone pushing them in the direction of sharing. And CC has stepped up to lead.

Please take a moment to think about why Creative Commons is important to you. CC is a very small nonprofit funded only by donations and grants. Your gift supports the licenses, our ongoing advocacy, and a global network in 79 countries. I know that you’re inundated with fundraising letters at this time of year, but I hope you will consider making a donation to CC.

Support Creative Commons

 

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Public access to research language retained in U.S. spending bill

Timothy Vollmer, December 22nd, 2014

Last year, the U.S. Congress included a provision in its appropriations legislation that would ensure that some research conducted through federal spending would be made accessible online, for free. It mandated that a subset of federal agencies with research budgets of at least $100 million per year would be required provide the public with free online access to scholarly articles generated with federal funds no later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The agencies affected by the public access provision of the appropriations bill included the Department of Labor, Department of Education, and Department of Health and Human Services. Of particular note is the Department of Health and Human Services, which encompasses research-intensive agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SPARC reports that the public access language has been included in the fiscal year 2015 spending bill (PDF), which appears on p. 961-962:

SEC. 525. Each Federal agency, or in the case of an agency with multiple bureaus, each bureau (or operating division) funded under this Act that has research and development expenditures in excess of $100,000,000 per year shall develop a Federal research public access policy that provides for— 1) the submission to the agency, agency bureau, or designated entity acting on behalf of the agency, a machine-readable version of the author’s final peer-reviewed manuscripts that have been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals describing research supported, in whole or in part, from funding by the Federal Government; (2) free online public access to such final peer reviewed manuscripts or published versions not later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

Alongside the federal spending legislation, there were references included in accompanying reports (see Departments of Commerce, Justice, Science report at p. 30 and Department of Interior report at p. 32) that point to President Obama’s Directive requiring agencies to increase access to the results of federally funded scientific research. The appropriations language passed for 2014 and 2015 echoes the language of the White House Directive, issued in February 2013. It directs “Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.” The agency plans were due in August 2013, and according to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), all agencies have submitted at least a draft plan (PDF). Those plans are now being reviewed by OSTP.

Progress has been slow, but public access to publicly funded research remains on the table in the United States.

 

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