[cc-info] Creative Commons News, March 3, 2004
Glenn Otis Brown
glenn at creativecommons.org
Tue Mar 2 21:54:03 EST 2004
Creative Commons News
March 3, 2004
A monthly newsletter from Creative Commons.
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*GET CREATIVE! Contest Winners
*iCommons Japan is Live
*Search Engine Prototype Debuts
*On the Horizon
*Choice Blog Entries and News from February 2004
*GET CREATIVE! Contest Winners
We're very happy to announce the winners of the GET CREATIVE! Moving
Images Contest: First Place goes to Justin Cone, for the inspired and
powerful short film "Building on the Past," which uses all sorts of
Prelinger Archives footage to great effect.Second Place: Sheryl
Seibert, for "Mix Tape," which perfectly captures the found-art ethos
of Creative Commons and uses the Creative Commons-licensed song "Mix
Tape" by Jim's Big Ego. Third Place: Alek and Kuba Tarkowski, for
"CCC," an historical look at free culture. Check them out on our site,
download them, mirror them, share them with friends. Thanks to all of
you who made submissions!
*iCommons Japan is Live
Our Japanese-law and -language licenses are now available for use from
our site. Just select "Jurisdiction: Japan" when choosing a license
, and the site will point you to the right document. For those with
browsers set to English, the Commons Deed will appear in English .
For those with broswers set to Japanese, in Japanese . And the
underlying legal code is in Japanese  with an unofficial English
This is a major milestone for Creative Commons, and I'd like to extend
a special thank you to GLOCOM  for driving iCommons Japan, to Yuko
Noguchi and Emi Wakatsuki for their extraordinary efforts, and to
Machina  for her keen insights at various points in the drafting
More countries soon to follow.
*Search Engine Prototype
More big news. The prototype  of our CC-enabled search engine is now
available. It still needs some polish, but it's the first glimpse of
our dream world, where you can search for noncommercial music and
photos and culture to re-use as easily as finding out the weather.
*On the Horizon:
In coming weeks, look out for a few big developments. Here's a tease:
--CC at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, USA
--Licenses Version to 2.0
*Choice Blog Entries and News from February 2004
T-minus a fortnight
Just a little over two weeks until South by Southwest, the
wonderful tech-film-music conference in Austin, Texas, USA (my beloved
hometown). If you're in town, come check out our two panels on music
(Sample, Share, or Both?) and film (Can Copyright Bring the Audience
to the Director?) the morning of March 15. That night we'll have a
free party at El Sol y La Luna, a great Mexican spot on South
Congress, co-hosted by our friends at the EFF and Common Content
. Let us know if you think you'll make it by.
Annalee Newitz has a nice article in this week's SF Bay Guardian
about independent publishing and the some rights reserved copyright
iCommons expands to Croatia, Spain -- plus Catalonia
Creative Commons has recently expanded the iCommons project further
to include Croatian, Spanish, and Catalan drafts in progress.
They join the other jurisdictions in the effort to port Creative
Commons licenses to the framework of international law. Every country
has an ongoing discussion so if you're interested in helping bring
the licenses to these places, feel free to join in. The associated
press releases are also online.
Get creative and remix culture
The source materials for both "Get Creative" and "Remix Culture"
are now available. Download the .fla file for either and you can get
creative and remix "Get Creative" or "Remix Culture" with ease.
Quicktime versions of both movies are also now available. Now it's
easier than ever to download, display and share "Get Creative" and
"Remix Culture" (right-click on links to download and save).
Thanks to Ibiblio for hosting all of these files. The Quicktime
movies are also available at the Internet Archive here and here.
The Internet Archive will also host your Creative Commons-licensed
movies and music free of charge. Get started.
World66 travel site
This week's featured content is the entire World66 travel site. It
features comprehensive guides built by vistors in a collaborative
fashion and the site also features tools like the popular visited
states and visited countries apps seen on weblogs like this.
The photos, guides, and generated images are all licensed under
commercial-friendly Creative Commons licenses, allowing people to
share the places they've been and build upon the information shared on
zug.com's prank song
This week's featured content is a protest song at zug.com. Zug.com
has been producing humorous articles for almost ten years online and
this protest song is part of a larger set of RIAA pranks they pulled
last summer. The song has been remixed as well and they actively
encourage others to share the song online to get their message across,
in a humorous way.
The Grey Album
A few months ago, hip-hop artist Jay Z released what is reportedly his
last album, titled The Black Album. He also released a vocals-only
version, specifically for DJs to incorporate into new mixes. One of
those mixes was done by DJ Dangermouse, using only samples from The
Beatles' White Album. This new mix was dubbed The Grey Album and a
limited pressing was made. After a mention in the New Yorker,
copies quickly showed up online and spread like wildfire.
EMI, the rights holders to The Beatles' recordings issued a cease and
desist order to record stores and online merchants selling it last
week, since the sampling was done without permission from either Jay Z
or The Beatles. Executive Director of the Creative Commons, Glenn Otis
Brown was quoted in a Wired News piece about the album and points
out the problems of copyright being used to silence DJ Dangermouse and
his popular mix.
CC metadata in PDFs, images with XMP
You can now add Creative Commons license metadata to PDFs and image
files, enabled by XMP (eXtensible Metadata Platform). XMP is an
open, RDF/XML-based format developed by Adobe for managing metadata
embedded in files.
Please see information about Creative Commons metadata in XMP,
instructions for marking files with Creative Commons metadata for
users of Adobe's Creative Suite, and a "custom panel" to enhance
viewing of Creative Commons metadata within Adobe apps.
We've also posted a related technology challenge: add XMP and
Creative Commons licensing support to open source apps, including Open
Down and Out relicensed today
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Cory Doctorow's first novel
released a little over a year ago, has just been relicensed under an
Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license. Previously the book
did not allow derivative works and any "lost chapters" or comic
versions were unauthorized. With this change in place, the door is
wide open to people writing prequels, sequels, and side stories, you
can make a movie, cartoon, or graphic novel, you can write songs for
it, rewrite it in haiku, and/or turn it all into one giant flowchart,
as long as your new Down and Out-inspired work isn't released in a
commercial context or sold.
Let the re-creativity begin!
mozCC Gets Better and Gets Noticed
mozCC, an extension for Mozilla-based browsers that exposes
Creative Commons license metadata as you surf, got noticed by Slashdot
 last weekend. The resulting surge of new users brought new bug
reports, fixes for which creator Nathan Yergler has already
incorporated in mozCC 0.7.7 along with new features. The new
version looks for license metadata in SMIL and SVG multimedia
files in addition to HTML.
Install mozCC with the latest Mozilla Firefox browser for the
best CC-enhanced browsing experience available.
mozCC was inspired by one of our technology challenges. The
challenge remains open for non-Mozilla browsers (e.g., Safari, Opera,
IE, hint, hint, hint).
The insanely great MacBand
Last month, Apple released Garageband at MacWorld, letting any
budding musician create music from its suite of sophisticated but
simple audio tools. Given the potential for thousands of musicians
recording new songs at home, we knew it was a great fit for Creative
Commons and we're very happy to see a new community has sprung up
around the software, at MacBand. They've just launched but have a
system setup to categorize dozens of song styles and loops, with every
song available under a Creative Commons license, letting you make
remixes and new songs from others work. Garageband has the great
potential to become a collaborative music tool and MacBand looks
like a great way to facilitate that.
Ron Suskind posts government public domain documents online
Government documents supplied by Former Treasury Secretary Paul
O'Neill to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind
for his book, The Price of Loyalty, are now available online.
The site makes use of the Creative Commons public domain mark.
These documents, drawn from a collection of 19,000 files, are called
"The Bush Files" and Suskind is encouraging other administration
officials to contribute to the database, "to encourage more
productive, fact-based public dialogues," as stated on the website.
Fading Ways Music, indie label, announces 2004 releases will be CC!
_Fading Ways Music_, an indie record label based out of Toronto,
announced their 2004 releases will be sold under Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike licenses. Fading Ways Music is
the first internationally-distributed label to adopt Creative Commons
licensing for its new physical CD releases. Fading Ways articulates
its philosophy for open-licenses nicely on its mission page. Neil
Leyton, the label's manager, makes a great quote here: "Music
Publishing as a concept is wrong. No one creates songs out of thin
Fading Ways joins other labels, such as Opsound, Magnatune, and
Loca Records that embrace Creative Commons licenses, enabling fans
to rip, mix, and burn their favorite tunes without legal doubt.
New Doctorow novel out under license
Cory Doctorow, author of the acclaimed sci-fi book Down and Out in the
Magic Kingdom, has a new novel out in stores called Eastern
Standard Tribe. Like Down and Out, it is both available for
purchase as well as for free download, under a Creative Commons
Some words from a remixer
Victor Stone writes a remixer-readable description on how the new
Creative Commons Sampling license compares to our standard licenses
. He also mentions that it's important to have format specific
metdata, so that search engines can find Creative Commons licensed
audio, as opposed to text, images, or video. This way remixers can
easily find sounds they can remix legally, rather than having to wade
through a mass of content.
You get format specific metadata when you choose a license and
designate what format your content is in. We'll soon launch a seach
engine that reads this metadata so that you can find works to use as
part of your own creations. Unfortunately, currently no major search
engine offers this service.
iRATE Radio Application reads MP3 files to identify CC licensed songs
iRATE Radio, an open-source application that sends users free-legal
MP3s through its radio client, is now able to read the ID3 tags of MP3
files to identify Creative Commons license information. Enabling this
kind of feature is exactly why Creative Commons put forth its MP3
embedding strategy many months ago, which defines a standard way to
embed Creative Commons metadata in the ID3 tag of an MP3. Our hope was
that file-sharing networks, and applications like iRATE, would read
the ID3 tags, and tell users if there was a Creative Commons license
attached. This way, users could feel assured to trade these MP3s
online, or even make remixes of them. Check out some screenshots
of the CC enabled iRATE Radio application.
iRATE has yet to enable the second part of our MP3 strategy, where
MP3s are validated through an automatic web page verification process.
(Validation can be done manually, though). This step is important
because it prevents people from making fraudulent license claims about
Beyond being able to read ID3 tags, iRATE Radio has a catalogue of
over 46,000 MP3s it can send you. It's also really smart in that it
enables users to rate songs and then sends you more songs based on
your ratings and preferences. We hope that more applications follow
the lead of iRATE!
Magnatune making money for Creative Commons musicians
Linux Journal has a great interview with John Buckman from Magnatune
, the non-evil record label that sells Creative Commons licensed
music on a sliding scale. It's turning out to be lucrative for the
artists involved, with the average musician taking in $1,500 in
royaltes last year and the top artists making over $6,000 in royalties
(which are 50% of sales).
While six thousand dollars won't buy you a Bentley or a mansion for
MTV Cribs, most artists listed at Magnatune are independent musicians
that record at home. Considering that for most Magnatune artists, it
means sending a few high quality recordings to a server and later
getting thousands of dollars in royalties, it's a pretty good system
for the struggling musician. Combined with the services of something
like Pump Audio, today's independent artist has a lot of avenues to
make money off their music while still letting others share it freely
So nice to see our tagline continue to catch on. There's a nice
profile of Creative Commons in the InfoTech section of the
Singaporean news outlet Today. It's entitled "Some Rights Reserved
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