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Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Creative Commons Asia Pacific Conference 2009

The 2009 Creative Commons Asia Pacific Conference will be hosted by the Arellano University School of Law, Manila, on the 5-6 February 2009.

Visit the Philippine Commons website for further information about the Conference, as well as other local CC developments and events.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


What does 'non-commercial' mean to you?

From Creative Commons, originally posted by Mike Linksvayer:

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

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!).

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Saturday, November 01, 2008


Stefani and baby Zuma pic released under a Creative Commons licence

This is one for the young folks (and the media), and something a bit different too. From Eric Steuer at the Creative Commons blog:

Gwen Stefani and baby Zuma pic online under a CC license

Photo: Dennis Stefani, (c) Mrs. Me, Inc., 2008, made available under a CC
BY-NC-ND license

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.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008


US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upholds free copyright licence

From the Creative Commons blog:

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.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008


iSummit Therefore I Blog

Over at the Creative Commons blog I saw that the schedule for this year's iCommons iSummit, held in Sapporo, Japan, from 29 July - 31 August has now been released. For some of the days there are still a few details to be filled in, but the speaker list is definitely impressive - Lawrence Lessig, Yochai Benkler, Joi Ito and Jimmy Wales.

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...

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Creating an Australasian Commons, Part One

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to get up to Brisbane for the day for the 'Building an Australasian Commons' conference, held at the State Library of Queensland and run by the unstoppable Creative Commons Australia team. This is only one post that I will be doing about the events of the day, but I wanted to share some videos that Dr. Tama Leaver, a lecturer at the University of Western Australia, was kind enough to share with us. These two videos were created by students as part of one of Dr. Leaver's communications courses. I think both videos are fantastic and I encourage readers to take a look!

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.

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Friday, June 13, 2008


Creative Commons Australia version 3 Licences - Open for Comment

I realise that the majority of readers aren't licensing nerds like myself (or perhaps you are, it would make sense to be on this blog if you are), but in recent news Creative Commons Australia has just released drafts of the forthcoming v3.0 licences. Two drafts are available for comment, the Attribition and Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licences.

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 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.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Conferences in Brisbane

Two upcoming conferences taking place in Brisbane this month (particularly good news for those wanting to escape the winter further south):

'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

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Table comparing Yahoo and Google's commons-based advanced search options

Hi commons researchers,

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. GY)
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    | (GY)
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:
** 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):

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Monday, February 18, 2008


Creative Commons has data!

As you aren't aware*, Creative Commons has some data on the quantification of Creative Commons licence usage (collected using search engine queries). It's great that they are a) collecting this data, and b) sharing it freely.

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!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008


CC0 - Creative Commons' new solution for the public domain

Creative Commons have come up with a better way for people to mark works as copyright-free, or part of the public domain. It's called CC0 (CC Zero). The page for using it is here:

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.

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Friday, October 19, 2007


Australian Elections 2.0?

The Australian public is going to the polls on 24th November to elect members of our Federal Parliament (the one that sits in Canberra, is currently led by John Howard, and is constantly under siege from members of The Chaser's War on Everything). The calling of the election was a long time coming. Even though we knew that an election would have to take place soon (so says the Constitution), Prime Minister John Howard took his time in announcing the exact date. But now, in the words of one Federal House of Representatives candidate, it's "game on". A normal part of an election process, particularly at such a high level of government, is the holding of debates between party leaders. In Australia, debate is already under way as to who, when, and how these debates should take place.

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 federal
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 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.

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 as
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
In 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.

For more information on Dr. Rimmer's proposal, the ANU Press Release can be found here.

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Monday, September 24, 2007


Lessig on Virgin Mobile and CC Licensing Advertising Controversy

Lawrence Lessig has made some comments about the Virgin Australia 'Are you with us or what?' advertising campaign which I blogged about below.

Lessig has also posted a copy of the complaint available here.

Discussion on Slashdot is also available here.

(Hat tip: Matthew Rimmer)

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Friday, September 21, 2007


Virgin Australia and Creative Commons Named in Lawsuit

Readers might recall the Virgin Mobile Australia and Creative Commons licensing controversy I blogged about here and here. Basically, Virgin Mobile Australia launched an ad campaign titled 'are you with us or what' which used Creative Commons licensed images available on Flickr. Red flags were raised because Virgin had added comments to the images that some considered derogatory. Further, issues such as the lack of a signed model release form, privacy, moral rights and whether the terms of the license have been satisfied were also raised.

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.

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."
Very useful information can also be found in this post by Jessica Coates.

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).

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Monday, September 03, 2007


Creating Commons at APEC

Australian readers may be aware that the 2007 APEC Summit is being held in Sydney this week. APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, with 21 nations belonging to this group, including the United States, Russia, China, Thailand, Singapore and, of course, Australia. A number of big names are heading to town for the APEC Summit, including President George W. Bush (who arrives tomorrow for a few days down under prior to the big Economic Leaders’ Meeting this weekend). However, many Sydneysiders aren’t happy with the prospect of APEC. Although workers in the Sydney metropolitan area are being given a public holiday on Friday to keep us all out of the city, a huge wall has been erected around a 5 km area in the central business district, and police have been given additional powers to handle any APEC strife.

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!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Unlocking the Potential Through Creative Commons

In November last year I attended the Creative Commons Australia Industry Forum, "Unlocking the Potential", held at the Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries Precinct in Brisbane. The day involved three distinct forums that explored the application and potential of Creative Commons licences in a variety of contexts: CC and government; CC and open access, education and libraries; and CC, creativity, media & the arts.

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.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007


Creative Commons Launching CC Learn

Creative Commons is planning to launch ccLearn. The project is aimed at minimising the barriers to sharing and reusing educational materials. This will be done using licensing, promoting the use of interoperability standards and educating teachers and learners.

(via BoingBoing)

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Thursday, June 28, 2007


Lessig's Change of Course

It seems to be the time for leaders of Houses of Commons to be moving on. British PM Tony Blair has just stepped down, with Gordon Brown taking over as the leader of the UK House of Commons (you know, the real one). However, this House of Commons would like to add its voice to the chorus of "thanks for everything" to one of the leaders of the free culture movement, Lawrence Lessig, as he shifts direction. Lessig has blogged about his change of direction here, and you can read the (currently) 142 comments that are already attached to that post if time permits. This House of Commons would probably not be in existence if it was not for the inspirational work of Lessig and we will follow the next stage of his career with a very keen eye (what Tony Blair does next is probably less relevant for the purposes of this blog, sorry).

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Thursday, April 05, 2007


Canadian Creative Commons Licence Case

Blogs are currently abuzz with the news that a Canadian photographer, "Mr Spatial Mongrel from Kamloops BC"(aka David Wise) is alleging that Betty Hinton MP is in violation of the Canadian CC Attribution-ShareAlike licence that he released one of his photographs under. Hinton included the photographs in a newsletter and Wise states he would have not permitted Hinton to use the pic as it was not attributed and "because he disagrees with "her campaign and political viewpoint"".

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.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


What does this data mean?

In June last year, I presented a paper at the Unlocking IP conference, part of which involved collecting data on Australian usage of Creative Commons licences. For example, here's the data I collected in June 2006, organised by licence attribute:
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:

Matrix subtraction

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:

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, 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:
Does anyone out there in reader-land have any other ideas? Do you know something I don't, which would cause such a significant (apparent?) drop in the usage of Australian version 2.1 Creative Commons licences?


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.

Last word

You can see a graph of the change in usage for every licence for every version and both jurisdictions here.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007


New Literature on Creative Commons and Orphan Works

I've been away from the House of Commons for a while, but it's good to be back with my housemates Ben and Abi. It's also been good to come back and have a read of some of the new literature that's been emerging about the issues we discuss on this blog. I just wanted to highlight two papers that are worth a read and are accessible via the Australian Copyright Council's website. Both are by Ian McDonald, a Senior Legal Officer at the Copyright Council, and can be found either here or in the Copyright Reporter.

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!

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Monday, January 08, 2007


Lawrence Lessig On The West Wing (Well, Sort of...)

This may be old news to some, but here Down Under we're only just getting to see Season 6 of the TV show The West Wing, so I thought this would be a good post for local readers. In tonight's (January 8, 8.30pm, ABC) episode actor Christopher Lloyd portrays Lessig in a Constitutional-drafting storyline. Turns out a student from Lessig's Constitutional Law class at Harvard ended up writing for The West Wing...Lessig told the story in class...and the story appeared on The West Wing.

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).

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Friday, December 22, 2006


Creative Commons in Our Local, The Sydney Morning Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald (our local read here in, well, Sydney and a great way of procrastinating, when we're not dilligently writing blog posts) has picked up the Creative Commons "changing of the guard" from Lessig to Joi Ito. (See our post about it here) According to the piece, CC is "trying to make a greater push to the commercial arena".

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.)

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Sunday, December 17, 2006


Lessig Steps Down...

Lawrence Lessig has stepped down as chairman of Creative Commons. Joi Ito will take over this role, but Lessig will remain CEO of the open content licensing organisation.

See the Freedom to Differ post with more information and links here.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006


Free Beer Anyone?

"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)

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Thursday, December 07, 2006


Adiós Creative Commons?

The legal validity of Creative Commons licenses in Spain have been questioned in a recent court decision.

Read more here in a post by Andres Guadamuz.

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