Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Visit the Philippine Commons website for further information about the Conference, as well as other local CC developments and events.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Some of the earlier questions are oriented towards content creators. I answered 'not applicable' to a lot of them. I thought the question that asks you to define non-commercial use was interesting. I'll share mine in the comments on this post, and I encourage you to do the same (so don't read the comments until you've done the questionaire!).
As previously announced, Creative Commons is studying how people understand the term “noncommercial use”. At this stage of research, we are reaching out to the Creative Commons community and to anyone else interested in public copyright licenses – would you please take a few minutes to participate in our study by responding to this questionnaire? Your response will be anonymous – we won’t collect any personal information that could reveal your identity.
Because we want to reach as many people as possible, this is an open access poll, meaning the survey is open to anyone who chooses to respond. We hope you will help us publicize the poll by reposting this announcement and forwarding this link to others you think might be interested. The questionnaire will remain online through December 7 or until we are overwhelmed with responses — so please let us hear from you soon!
Questions about the study or this poll may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Photo: Dennis Stefani, (c) Mrs. Me, Inc., 2008, made available under a CC
Pop star Gwen Stefani and her husband, rocker Gavin Rossdale recently
welcomed a baby, Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale, into the world. Many celebrities
contract with a magazine to arrange an exclusive photo session that debuts
mother with newborn. But Stefani and Rossdale took a different approach and
hired their own photographer and put the photo online for the public under a
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, along with some additional terms that allow all print magazines, newspapers, and blogs to use the photo - even commercially, with some restrictions. You can download a high-res version of the photo (and check out the additional terms the photo is available under) at Stefani’s site.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
THE “IP” Court Supports Enforceability of CC Licenses
Brian Rowe, August 13th, 2008
The United States Court of Appeals held that “Open Source” or public license licensors are entitled to copyright infringement relief.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), the leading IP court in the United States, has upheld a free copyright license, while explicitly pointing to the work of Creative Commons and others. The Court held that free licenses such as the CC licenses set conditions (rather than covenants) on the use of copyrighted work. As a result, licensors using public licenses are able to seek injunctive relief for alleged copyright infringement, rather than being limited to traditional contract
Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig explained the theory of all free software, open source, and Creative Commons licenses upheld by the court: “When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you’re simply a copyright infringer. This is the theory of the GPL and all CC licenses. Put precisely, whether or not they are also contracts, they are copyright licenses which expire if you fail to abide by the terms of the license.” Lessig said the ruling provided “important clarity and certainty by a critically important US Court.”
Today’s ruling vacated the district court’s decision and affirmed the availability of remedies based on copyright law for violations of open licenses. The federal court noted that ignoring attribution requirements contained in the license caused reputation and economic harm to the original licensor. This opinion demonstrates a strong understanding of a basic economic principles of the internet; attribution is a valuable economic right in the information economy. Read the full opinion.(PDF)
Creative Commons filed a friends of the court brief in this case. Thanks to all the cosponsors Linux Foundation, The Open Source Initiative, Software Freedom Law Center, the Perl Foundation and Wikimedia Foundation. Significant pro bono work on this brief was provided by Anthony T. Falzone and Christopher K. Ridder of Stanford’s Center for Internet & Society. Read the full brief.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Representatives from Australia include members of the Creative Commons Australia team, Delia Browne and our very own Ben Bildstein. Ben will be presenting on quantification of the digital commons, and if you've been following Ben's work about quantification here at the House of Commons, then you won't want to miss his presentation (read more about it here).
And that's enough of a shameless plug for one day...
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
uwacomm2203, 'Citizen Journalism v Traditional Journalism', licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike licence.
citizenjournal, 'Something Old, Something New', licensed under a Creative Commons Attribition-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike licence.
I don't think I've laughed so hard since Justice Kirby mentioned Paris Hilton in the High Court.
Friday, June 13, 2008
On the CCau website it is stated that:
Getting everyone's feedback on the v3.0 licences is particularly important
because we've decided to depart slightly from our traditional drafting approach.
Rather than writing the licences as a straight translation from the Unported (ie non-country specific) licences provided by Creative Commons International, we've instead decided to base them on the excellent licences produced last year by our friends in New Zealand, which they in turn based on the England and Wales licences. The great thing about these licences is that they're written in plain English rather than legalese - which means they're much easier for non-lawyers to understand.
Comments are requested by 1 August 2008, to either email@example.com or the CCau mailing list. I imagine that myself and my colleagues on the 'Unlocking IP' project will submit comments on the new licences, and we'll cross post any comments here at the House of Commons too.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
'Building an Australasian Commons', Creative Commons Australia
Tuesday 24 June 2008
8.30am-5pm @ State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane - and free!
'Creating Value: Between Commerce and Commons', ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
25-27 June 2008
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I just did this analysis of Google's and Yahoo's capacities for search for commons (mostly Creative Commons because that's in their advanced search interfaces), and thought I'd share. Basically it's an update of my research from Finding and Quantifying Australia's Online Commons. I hope it's all pretty self-explanatory. Please ask questions. And of course point out flaws in my methods or examples.
Also, I just have to emphasise the "No" in Yahoo's column in row 1: yes, I am in fact saying that the only jurisdiction of licences that Yahoo recognises is the US/unported licences, and that they are in fact ignoring the vast majority of Creative Commons licences. (That leads on to a whole other conversation about quantification, but I'll leave that for now.)
(I've formatted this table in Courier New so it should come out well-aligned, but who knows).
Feature | Google | Yahoo |
1. Multiple CC jurisdictions | Yes | No | (e.g.)
2. 'link:' query element | No | Yes | (e.g. G, Y)
3. RDF-based CC search | Yes | No | (e.g.)
4. meta name="dc:rights" * | Yes | ? ** | (e.g.)
5. link-based CC search | No | Yes | (e.g.)
6. Media-specific search | No | No | (G, Y)
7. Shows licence elements | No | No | ****
8. CC public domain stamp *** | Yes | Yes | (e.g.)
9. CC-(L)GPL stamp | No | No | (e.g.)
* I can't rule out Google's result here actually being from <a rel="license"> in the links to the license (as described here: http://microformats.org/wiki/rel-license).
** I don't know of any pages that have <meta name="dc:rights"> metadata (or <a rel="licence"> metadata?) but don't have links to licences.
*** Insofar as the appropriate metadata is present.
**** (i.e. doesn't show which result uses which licence)
Notes about example pages (from rows 1, 3-5, 8-9):
- To determine whether a search engine can find a given page, first look at the page and find enough snippets of content that you can create a query that definitely returns that page, and test that query to make sure the search engine can find it (e.g. '"clinton lies again" digg' for row 8). Then do the same search as an advanced search with Creative Commons search turned on and see if the result is still found.
- The example pages should all be specific with respect to the feature they exemplify. E.g. the Phylocom example from row 9 has all the right links, logos and metadata for the CC-GPL, and particularly does not have any other Creative Commons licence present, and does not show up in search results.
Monday, February 18, 2008
If you look around, you can probably find some graphs based on this data, and that's probably interesting in itself. Tomorrow I'll see about dusting off my Perl skills, and hopefully come up with a graph of the growth of Australian CC licence usage. Stay tuned.
* If you knew about this, why didn't you tell me!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
There are two options here. The first is a waiver, where you can "waive all copyrights and related or neighboring interests that you have over a work". The second is an assertion, where you can "assert that a work is free of copyright as a matter of fact, for example, because the work is old enough to be in the public domain, or because the work is in a class not protected by copyright such as U.S. government works."
It's pretty neat. I've thought the idea of asserting a work's copyright status, as a matter of fact, was a good idea, and not just limited to the public domain, but also for other classes of usage rights.
Okay, so that's basically the CC0 story. I've tried it out with a trivial web page I think I would otherwise have copyright in - the result is at the bottom of this post. But I must say I'm slightly disappointed in the lack of embedded metadata. Where's the RDF? As I've talked about before, when you do things with RDF, you allow sufficiently cool search engines to understand your new technology (or licence) simply by seeing it, without first having to be told about it.
Here's my example waiver:
To the extent possible under law,
Ben Bildstein has waived all copyright, moral rights, database rights, and any other rights that might be asserted over Sensei's Library: Bildstein/Votes.
Friday, October 19, 2007
House of Commons friend and ANU academic Dr. Matthew Rimmer has called for Australia to follow the lead of US Democrats presidential candidate hopeful Barack Obama and allow these debates to be made "freely accessible across all media and technology platforms" (See the ANU Press Release here). In the United States, Obama suggested that the US Democrat debates be either placed in the public domain or licensed under a Creative Commons licence.
Dr Rimmer has said that
"Whichever television networks or internet media end up broadcasting the federalThe House of Commons strongly supports Dr. Rimmer's suggestion. It is an unusual one in an Australian context - in the United States, there is no copyright in works produced by the US government and thus there is at least a precedent for this type of action. There is also the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, which arguably means that this type of content gains even greater significance. However, there has been a shift in this campaign to Australian political parties embracing all that the digital revolution has to offer (just type 'Kevin07' into Google, for example). A pledge by the parties to make debate materials freely available and accessible via sites such as YouTube would be both a positive and definite step for Australian democracy in the digital age.
election debates, it’s important to the health of our democracy that people are
free to capture and distribute the dialogue of our prospective leaders so that
they can make a more informed decision."
The logisitics of such a proposition has also caused much discussion amongst House of Commons housemates. Housemate Ben writes:
"I think election debates should belong to the commons, at least insofar asIn response, Housemate Abi has agreed (and I concur) that the parody or satire fair dealing exception in the Copyright Act could probably be used to create parodies, although there issue regarding modifications may need to be addressed.
complete reproduction is concerned. However, I do see that there are good
reasons not to allow modifications, because they could be used to spread
disinformation at such a crucial time. For these reasons, a licence such as
Creative Commons No Derivatives would be appropriate (as opposed to, say, a
public domain dedication). It's also worth noting that, even under such a
licence, derivatives could be made for the purpose of satire (correct me if I'm
wrong here!), and that could perhaps be both a good and a bad thing (I'm not
sure to what extent you could use the satire exception to spread
For more information on Dr. Rimmer's proposal, the ANU Press Release can be found here.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Lessig has also posted a copy of the complaint available here.
Discussion on Slashdot is also available here.
(Hat tip: Matthew Rimmer)
Friday, September 21, 2007
As I have stated in a previous post:
"I think it is essential to reiterate that there are multiple legal issues at play and it is important not to get them confused. While I spoke about issues regarding attribution requirements under the license in my previous post, it is important not to mix this up with moral rights under the Copyright Act (which applies in Australia and are explicitly referenced in the Australian Creative Commons licences, but not in other jurisdictions like the US and the US Creative Commons licenses). Further, moral rights, and terms under the license apply in relation to the copyright owner/licensor- which in many cases is the photographer rather than the individuals in the photographs.Very useful information can also be found in this post by Jessica Coates.
In some respects their advertising campaign is a very interesting use of Creative Commons licensed materials, providing some nice publicity for the photographers who have chosen to add an open license to their material which permits commercial use. However, it is also important for Virgin to read the terms of the license closely and fulfil their obligations under other areas of law."
According to SMH the family of Alison Chang (a young girl in one the images used by Virgin Australia - with the slogan 'dump your pen friend') has named "Virgin Mobile USA LLC, its Australian counterpart, and Creative Commons Corp" as defendants. Apparently Chang's family have accused Virgin of failing to credit the photographer by name and also accuses the companies of libel and invasion of privacy. Chang's family and the photographer, Justin Ho-Wee Wong, are seeking damages.
As Jessica points out in her post mentioned above:
"...some commentators have suggested that the failure to deal with the issue of model clearances represents a flaw in the CC licences. However, the licences make it very clear that they merely provide copyright permissions, and that they do not purport to deal with any other area of law. Due to the vast number of laws that can come into play when a person is using a copyright work (eg defamation, privacy, competition) it would be impossible for the licences, or the person issuing the licence for that matter, to definitively cover all potential legal issues in placing it releasing it for general use. There is arguably an onus on the person making use of the work to identify any laws their particular use might breach, and to make an effort to obtain any additional permissions that are needed - particularly if their use is large-scale and commercial."I am not quite sure what will become of all this especially because of the array of laws and different jurisdictions in play. I am actually quite stunned that it has gone this far. It will be interesting to discover in what legal context Creative Commons was named as a defendant in this lawsuit. It is possible that this relates to Creative Commons licenses not dealing with the myriad of legal issues that could be relevant- if this is the case I can't see how this suit will be successful against Creative Commons (for the reasons Jessica points out above).
Monday, September 03, 2007
Here at the House of Commons, however, we ask the big questions and the question that I wanted answered was how many of the APEC nations have branches of Creative Commons and CC licences? I headed over to the Creative Commons Worldwide page to find out.
The good news? Creative Commons is present is in all but four APEC jurisdictions, albeit in various stages of porting licences. See below for the full details. I have to admit that this copyright-progressiveness makes me feel a bit better about the giant blockade.
Creative Commons “Licensed Jurisdictions”
Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, South Korea, Taiwan, United States
Creative Commons Project Jurisdictions
New Zealand, Philippines
Creative Commons Upcoming Project Jurisdictions
Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Creative Commons Not Present
Brunei, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Russia
Author’s Note – If you spot any jurisdictions here where you dispute either the presence or non-presence of Creative Commons, then drop us a comment!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The Creative Commons team has just released a very substantial report on the day and its findings, and both the report and further information can be found here.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Andres Guadamuz has an excellent analysis of the case over at Technollama, and concludes "I do hope we get a case out of this, as it would be interesting for many different reasons. So, in other words, "fight, fight, fight!"" I have to agree. This type of case, combined with the Viacom v. YouTube case tend to have us intellectual property-types foaming at the mouth, waiting to see what will happen next. Sad, but true.
Hat tip: Technollama and Michael Geist.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It shows that most people are using the Non-Commercial licences and restricting derivative works.
That was all well and good, but then this year I revised my paper for publication in SCRIPT-ed. I wasn't going to gather the data all over again, but then I remembered that Australia now has version 2.5 Creative Commons licences, and I guessed (correctly) that the numbers would be big enough to warrant being included in the paper. Here's the data from March 2007:
I admit that it looks about the same, but it gets interesting when you subtract the old data from the new data, to find the difference between now and mid-2006:
So here's my first conclusion, from looking at this graph:
- People are moving away from Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licences and towards Attribution-NonCommercial licences. I.e. people are tending towards allowing modifications of their works.
The jurisdiction/version dimension
Another way of looking at the data is by jurisdiction and version, instead of by the licences' attributes. Here's the data from June 2006, organised this way:
First, note that there was no data (at the time) for Australian version 1.0 and 2.5, and US version 2.1 licences. This is simply because not all jurisdictions have all licence versions.
Some people might be wondering at this stage why there are Australian web sites using US licences. I believe the reason is that Creative Commons makes it very easy to use US (now generic) licences. See http://creativecommons.org/license/, where the unported licence is the default option.
The previous graph, also, is not particularly interesting in itself, but compare that to the current data:
The move away from Australia version 2.1
You can see straight away that there's lots of change in the 2.1 and 2.5 version licences. But take a look at the change over the last 9 months:
Can that be right? Australian usage of both US and Australian version 2.5 licences has increased as expected (because they are current). But why would the usage of Australian 2.1 licences go down? And by more than the amount of new usage of Australian 2.5 licences? Here are some possibilities:
- Some people who were using AU-2.1 licences have switched to AU-2.5, and some have switched to US-2.5 (the latter's a little hard to understand, though).
- The AU-2.1 licence usage has gone down independent of the new licences. It could even be that most of the licences were actually not real licensed works, but, for example, error messages on a web site that has a licence stamp on every page. If the web site is inadvertently exposing countless error messages, when the problem is fixed it could involve this kind of correction.
- Or my original data could have just been wrong. I know it's not cool to suggest this kind of thing: "my data? My data! There's nothing wrong with my data!" Well, even then, it could be that my methods have significant variability.
For the record, here's how I collected the data. I did the following Yahoo searches (and 36 others). For each search, Yahoo tells you "about" how many pages are found.
- Australian use of AU-by version 2.5
- Australian use of AU-by-sa version 2.5
- Australian use of AU-by-nd version 2.5
- Australian use of AU-by-nc version 2.5
- Australian use of AU-by-nc-sa version 2.5
- Australian use of AU-by-nc-nd version 2.5
You can see a graph of the change in usage for every licence for every version and both jurisdictions here.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The first is "Some Thoughts on Orphan Works", an issue that's been discussed on our blog quite a lot in the past. McDonald gives a very comprehensive overview of what's been going on to address the orphan works issue both in Australia and overseas. This article also appears in the October 2006 issue of the Copyright Reporter. (Yes, I know there's a lapse between the release of this article and my blogging about it, but everything from about September last year passed by in a blur due to the Copyright Amendment Act!)
The second is titled "Creative Commons: Just Say 'CC'?" In this article, McDonald covers some of the criticisms of the Creative Commons licensing regime that he's discussed in the past and have also been raised a few times by Niva Elkin-Koren and Kim Weatherall in similar papers. This article was in the December 2006 issue of the Copyright Reporter.
I'm really enjoying writing my thesis on the copyright commons but covering all the relevant literature certainly keeps me busy!
Monday, January 08, 2007
See the details on Wikipedia here and at Lessig's blog here (the fact that Lessig's blogpost about the episode was written in February 2005 serves to further illustrate how far behind we really are.) The ABC also has a description here, with Lessig getting a mention. How surreal it must be to see your name intermixed with fictional characters...
Just in case you’re wondering, if the housemates were ever portrayed by actors, I believe these fine artists would do us justice: Sarah Michelle Gellar (myself), Johnny Depp (Ben) and Australia’s own Bollywood queen Tania Zaetta (Abi).
Friday, December 22, 2006
Read the article here, and credit must go to Peter Black at Freedom to Differ for being very quick off the mark in picking these things up.
It's great to be reading about Creative Commons in our local media, although I have to admit I was slightly stunned when I saw the words "Creative Commons" and "Sydney Morning Herald" in the same sentence and briefly wrote it down to a Christmas/sugar-induced hallucination. Admittedly, the article is an AP report, but kudos to the SMH for picking it up.
The article describes Creative Commons as pushing "copyright lite", a term which I will be sure to include in my thesis (as it will be the only time I can get away with including the word 'lite' in a doctoral thesis.)
Sunday, December 17, 2006
See the Freedom to Differ post with more information and links here.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
"Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer." (Richard Stallman, Free Software Definition)December 15 2006 is the fourth anniversary of Creative Commons. What is the best way to celebrate? With a cool refreshing glass of free beer of course!
What is free beer? It is promoted as "beer which is free in the sense of freedom, not in the sense of free beer." The project is the brain-child of a Copenhagen based artist collective called Superflex and a group of students at a Copehagen IT University. The underlying idea involves the application of free software/open source principles to a tangible item (close to the heart of many) - namely beer.
How do they go about it? The branding and recipe is released under a Creative Commons (Attribution-Sharealike) license. This means that anyone is free to produce and sell the beer and brew their own modified version of the beer, as long as they share the modified recipe. The recipe for Free Beer version 3.0 (codename: "Skands") is available here.
Lawrence Lessig rightly points out that recipes are not copyrightable. But I wonder- does this matter when it is the best beer you have had all year?
Richard Stallman seems to like the idea but unfortunately, does not drink beer.
Anyway, if you happen to be wondering around Blågårdsgade 5, Copenhagen on the 15th of December why not put on your dansende schoenen and join in the festivities for the fourth anniversary of Creative Commons. Creative Commons Denmark and the folks from Free Beer will be there. If that isn't enough enticement remember- Free Beer is now available on tap.
(Pictured: "My glass of beer", Lupinanto-Antonio Pennisi, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 License)
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Read more here in a post by Andres Guadamuz.