Creative Commons has released version 4.0 of its sharing-friendly, easy-to-use copyright licenses. The new licenses represent a significant improvement over earlier versions. They work in over 60 jurisdictions out of the box, without having to choose different versions depending on which country you're in; they're more clearly worded; they eliminate confusion over jurisdiction-specific rights like the European database right and moral rights. They clarify how license users are meant to attribute the works they use; provide for anonymity in license use; and give license users a 30 day window to correct violations, making enforcement simpler. Amazingly, they're also shorter than the previous licenses, and easier to read, to boot.
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I'm heading to Melbourne, Australia next week to do a series of events with the Center for Youth Literature of the State Library of Victoria. I'm doing four events: The science of fiction, Creative versus Commons, Digital fiction masterclass, and Future fiction with teens. I hope you'll come out to them!
Alex Reinhart's Statistics Done Wrong: The woefully complete guide is an important reference guide, right up there with classics like How to Lie With Statistics. The author has kindly published the whole text free online under a CC-BY license, with an index. It's intended for people with no stats background and is extremely readable and well-presented. The author says he's working on a new edition with new material on statistical modelling.
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Timothy from Creative Commons writes in about CC's contribution to the Copyright Office's copyright reform effort: "Creative Commons has always been slightly reticent about its role in the copyright debate, even though many of its greatest supporters are vocal in the copyright reform movement. Today, we're adopting an unambiguous position: open licensing is a fantastic tool, but it's not a substitute for substantive improvements in copyright law
Jane from Creative Commons sez, "It has come to our attention that the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and top internet service providers are drafting curriculum to teach kids in California elementary schools that copying is wrong, or as Wired.com puts it, 'Downloading is Mean!'
"This message is way too simple. In this digital age, the most important thing we should be teaching kids is to be creative and take full advantage of all the web has to offer. Copyright, asking permission, open licensing, and all the other legal nuances, should be seen as secondary (and even complementary) to this purpose. We should be starting with the things kids can do versus what they can't do."
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Rama from Autodesk sez, "Autodesk, the design software company you probably know from AutoCAD also makes entertainment software used to make movies, TV shows and video games -- stuff like the Iron Man movies, Man of Steel, Game of Thrones and The Last of Us made a big announcement this morning. The group adopted the Creative Commons licensing which means 20,000 pages of documentation, 70 videos and 140 downloadable 3D asset files are now ready to be modified, remixed and shared globally. On the YouTube learning channels for their Maya and 3ds Max software, their iTunes podcasts, and their help pages, youâ€™ll see the Creative Commons tag for easy identification. And itâ€™s just the beginning, Autodesk said soon all Autodesk online help, learning channel movies, podcasts, support articles and downloadable materials will be placed under the Creative Commons model -- even their Autodesk University training content past and future. It's a bold move to open up their intellectual property for digital artists everywhere"
Autodesk takes great pride in offering high-quality resources that support the pursuit of lifelong learning, supplement classroom materials, and contribute to digital community development. Many of these great resources are now licensed to you under Creative Commons because we believe that learning should be free, open, and shared widely around the world! Look for the Creative Commons tags in our online help, learning channel movies, podcasts, support articles and downloadable materials. More content to come soon…
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MCM sez, "It's been 7 years since I released The Pig and the Box, a CC-licensed anti-DRM fable for kids. It was a fun experiment back then, and the experiment continues today: the whole book (and source files that went into making it) are now public domain. Lolipop Jones for all!"
Jeffrey from 360 Cities sez, "My latest 'gigantic panorama' is of my adopted home city, Prague.
(previously: 1 2) This time I'm trying something new: download, share, remix this one yourself! It is Creative Commons, attribution, noncommercial sharealike licensed. Here is the torrent link. It's 3.9GB of JPEG tiles plus an HTML5 and Flash viewer. This image was shot in May 2013, and the total size of the image is 260,000 x 130,000 pixels. That would be 44 meters long if you printed it at 150DPI!"
Prague 34 Gigapixel Panorama Photo
After nearly two weeks on the road, I've finally resolved the niggling technical issues I was having with the free, CC-licensed electronic edition of Homeland. Many, many thanks to Nat Torkington and Ralph Amissah for their invaluable assistance. You can download and share the free ebooks from the official Homeland site. Go nuts!
That's so messed up, it's not even wrong.
Eirik Solheim is an amazing geek and CC activist at NRK, the Norwegian public broadcaster. He writes, "We filmed a train ride four times. One time for each season; winter, spring, summer and autumn. Then we used an accurate GPS-track to sync the four videos using some clever programming in combination with after effects. Giving us endless possibilities for spectacular video footage.
You can watch it on the web, but we have also made it available for everyone to download in full HD -- and licensed it with Creative Commons so that you can edit, remix and share!"
Nordlandsbanen: minute by minute, season by season
Last year we released our production "Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol" online under a Creative Commons license and Boing Boing was kind enough to post about it.
It's that time of the year again and I just wanted to remind you the show is still online for folks to enjoy a full half hour of silly fun, puppets, songs and just a little of Charles Dickens too.
Ruffus The Dog started as a TV series in Canada on YTV and was nominated for and won several awards. As the creator of the series when I got the rights back I decided to put them all online under a Creative Commons share-alike license. The Christmas Carol was an experiment of sorts to find out what was possible with little or no budget. We will be creating more original short episodes of Ruffus for release online and I'm currently scripting a longer Steampunk Adventure for our puppet cast. The silliness continues.
Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol
It's Creative Commons's 10th birthday, and they've asked people to write short essays on their favorite pieces of CC-licensed media. I chose Rudy Rucker's extraordinary Wetware books:
#cc10 Featured Content: Cory Doctorow on Rudy Rucker
Rudy Rucker is one of the modern heroes of science fiction, one of the original cyberpunks. The early cyberpunks only had a few writers who could be meaningfully called punks — writers like John Shirley and Richard Kadrey — but there was only one who could truly be called cyber: Rudy Rucker. Rucker is a mad professor, a mathematician and computer scientist with a serious, scholarly interest in the limits of computation and the physics and mathematics of higher-dimension geometry.
But that’s just about the only thing you can describe as “serious” when it comes to Rucker. He’s a gonzo wildman, someone for whom “trippy” barely scratches the surface. His work is shot through with weird sex, weird drugs, weird brain chemistry, and above all, weird science.
The Ware Tetralogy is comprised of four novels written between 1982 and 2000, and I gobbled them up as they came out. They describe a future dominated by intensely weird and eerily scientifically plausible self-modifying cluster organisms that use evolutionary algorithms to bud offspring, rising to contend with humanity for dominance of the Earth and its envrions. They also get very, very high. On math. And they screw. A lot. Not like weasels. Not, in fact, like anything. Because Rudy Rucker is NOT LIKE ANYTHING.
The BBC's picture editor Phil Coomes has a long, excellent feature on the open education photography classes offered by Jonathan Worth and Matt Johnston through Coventry University. The course is open to anyone in the world, via webcast, and runs with up to 35,000 students. The class focuses not just on technique, but on the role of photographers in the 21st century, when everyone has a cameraphone, and when controlling copies of photos on the net is an impossibility.
He uses Creative Commons licenses (CC) for his classes. "I'd always been an avid All Rights Reserved user but it just stopped making sense. The open classes can only work with a CC license, which was a big deal for the university because it turns out education establishment are avid All Rights Reserved users too. Much like me thinking I was just an image maker, the uni thought its product was 'knowledge' and their old business model relied on keeping a tight grip on that.
"Well, I knew it wasn't my product as a teacher. My product is the learning experience and opening the doors online meant that I turned that product into an outward-facing asset.
"In a world where everyone with a smartphone is a potential supplier of image content, I had to work out what I did that was different, and it turns out there's a whole bunch of stuff both as an artisan and as a mediator and publisher.
"On a personal level I also found out that this stuff has applications in other areas too - education being a case in point, where I realised the real thing of value was not the knowledge but the learning experience. The message of that experience is amplified by opening it up - hence the success of the open classes."
Worth has shot several portraits of me that are really very, very good, including the one above.
Photography and open education
2012's Free! Music! Contest has opened it's gates at july first. It is the fourth time, that this event is being organized by Musikpiraten, a german society that promotes free art and espacially free music. Bands from all over the world participate in it to win a publication on CD, the so called "Free! Music! Sampler" and prizes worth more than 1.000 Euros.
This year's motto "Freedom and Free Beer" reflects the very basic choice, every artist has to challenge: Shall my art be "free" as in "freedom" or "free" as in "free beer"? So unlike last year, where only cc-by and cc-by-sa licenses where allowed, this year music licensed under and creative commons license can be submitted.
The contest is officially supported by Creative Commons and the remixing portal ccMixter. The latter even announced a project featuring the contest, titled "Free Music & Free Beer. Background is, that Musikpiraten e.V., the foundation behind the contest, is being sued by the german royalty collection society GEMA for having published a creative commons licensed song last year without unrevealing the civil name of the artists. GEMA claims, they cannot verify that the artists are really allowed to publish their songs for free in the internet.
Freedom & Free Beer - der Free! Music! Contest 2012