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For Faithful Digital Reproductions of Public Domain Works Use CC0

Creativecommons.org -

We’re taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what’s at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation.

Today’s topic is the “Public Domain.” The public domain is our cultural commons and a public trust. Copyright policy should seek to promote, and not diminish, this crucial resource.

Creative Commons has long upheld that faithful digital reproductions of works in the public domain are also in the public domain, adhering to the U.S. District Court ruling of Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. that “exact photographic copies of public domain images could not be protected by copyright in the United States because the copies lack originality” 1. Though this ruling is not a binding precedent, it remains highly influential as a legal ruling in the U.S. and elsewhere. Its real world applicability is less well-known. This is why, where possible, we recommend that institutions, especially those curating and providing access to public domain works of cultural heritage, use the CC0 public domain dedication for their digital reproductions where there might be any element of originality that might give rise to doubt.

Creative Commons currently offers two public domain tools, CC0 and the Public Domain Mark, which can be confused with each other but are very different tools. CC0, like the CC licenses, is a legally operable tool backed by a legal document that we like to call the legal code layer of our tools. Because it is legally operable, copyright owners may use it to relinquish their copyright and related rights in a work, effectively placing that work into the public domain. Where it is not legally possible to relinquish copyright, the tool defaults to CC BY without attribution or any other conditions (CC BY is the most liberal license on the spectrum of CC licenses). The Public Domain Mark, on the other hand, is not a legally operable tool, but merely a standard label that one may place on a work to indicate that its copyright has expired or is otherwise in the public domain worldwide. You can read more about both of these tools here.

We recommend using CC0 for digital reproductions of public domain works where there is reason for users to be concerned that the reproduction itself is subject to copyright. If nothing else, it clearly signals to users that the institution is proactively relinquishing any copyrights they may have in a digital reproduction, furthering its mission to provide greater public access to works of cultural heritage. From the institution’s standpoint, they are not making any guarantees about the public domain work itself, but removing any doubt for the user around any element of originality they may have in the digital reproduction.

Here are a few great cases of institutions committed to strengthening and growing our public domain.

Rijksmuseum

The Rijskmuseum is the Dutch National Museum in the The Netherlands, founded in 1800, that contains many of the original artworks of European masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer, in addition to high resolution images of these original artworks. For 10 years, from 2003-2013, much of the physical museum — including 1 million physical items — was closed for renovations. During this period, the museum’s marketing department pushed for the release of its high resolution images of public domain works in order to keep the public engaged throughout the renovation period and as a way to extend the reach of the museum beyond its limited physical showcase. They released 150,000 high resolution images (each as large as 200 MB) into the public domain using CC0. They abided by the principle of unrestricted access to the digital public domain; as in the U.S., faithful digital reproductions of public domain works are considered public domain in Europe. After the release, the museum saw many benefits, including international exposure for the museum, especially during a time when much of the physical museum was closed; new audiences with developers, designers, and related creative industries; and an increase in revenue made from public domain image sales. For more details, see Tim’s post which links to the in-depth case study.

Statens Museum for Kunst

The Statens Museum for Kunst, aka the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen, joined the Google Art Project in 2011. At this point, they realized they were giving use rights of images to a private company and could no longer justify charging the public for the same rights. As part of a pilot project, they initially released 100 educational videos and 160 high resolution image files (each as large as 440 MB) of Danish, Nordic and European public domain art under CC BY. Afterwards, they moved to CC0 for their images. Since their release, SMK’s images and videos have been featured on Wikipedia. SMK staff found that their understanding of quality and control changed significantly after releasing the images: “[Our public domain collections] don’t belong to us; they belong to the public. Free access ensures that our collections continue to be relevant to users now and in the future. We’re here to look after them and make them available and useful to the public. Use = value.” Read the case study contributed directly by museum staff.

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library has long been the haven of researchers and bibliophiles alike. Map lovers can join the group with NYPL’s open access maps initiative which has digitized and released more than 20,000 digital reproductions of cartographic works in the public domain. In the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division’s own words, “To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.” In addition to public domain maps, NYPL has also used CC0 to dedicate 1 million of its bibliographic metadata records into the public domain.

Europeana

We want to end the post on Europeana, the digital library for all of Europe and a model for libraries in rights information mark-up. Europeana has identified more than 16.5 million digital objects as being in the public domain (via CC0 or the Public Domain Mark) or under one of the CC licenses, in addition to dedicating 30 million metadata records to the public domain using CC0. Users can browse and search by re-use rights — including all six CC licenses and both public domain tools.

These four cases exemplify only a few institutions that are working to preserve our public domain. For uses of CC0 specific to data, see and add to our wiki page. For more great uses of CC tools and licenses by cultural heritage institutions, check out these slides and add to our wiki page tracking uses by GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums).

Have a great use case to share about the public domain? Leave us a note in the comments.

Creative Commons & Cultural Heritage from Jane Park

The Limits of Copyright: Text and Data Mining

Creativecommons.org -

We’re taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what’s at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation.

Today’s topic is about supporting fair use, a legal doctrine in the United States and a few other countries that permits some uses of copyrighted works without the author’s permission for purposes such as parody, criticism, teaching, and news reporting. Fair use is an important check on the exclusive bundle of rights granted to authors under copyright law. Fair use is considered a “limitation and exception” to copyright.

One area of particular importance within limitations and exceptions to copyright is the practice of text and data mining. Text and data mining typically consists of computers analyzing huge amounts of text or data, and has the potential to unlock huge swaths of interesting connections between textual and other types of content. Understanding these new connections can enable new research capabilities that result in novel scholarly discoveries and critical scientific breakthroughs. Because of this, text and data mining is increasingly important for scholarly research.

Recently the United Kingdom enacted legislation specifically excepting noncommercial text and data mining from copyright. And as the European Commission conducts their review of EU copyright rules, some groups have called for the addition of a specific text and data mining exception. Copyright for Creativity’s manifesto, released Monday, urges the European Commission to add a new exception for text and data mining, in order to support new uses of technology and user needs.

Another view holds that text and data mining activities should be considered outside the purview of copyright altogether. The response from the Communia Association to the EU copyright consultation takes this approach, saying “if text and data mining would be authorized by a copyright exception, it would constitute a de facto recognition that text and data mining are not legitimate usages. We believe that mining texts and data for facts is an activity that is not and should not be protected by copyright and therefore introducing a legislative solution that takes the form of an exception should be avoided.” Similarly, there have been several actions advocating that “The right to read should be the right to mine.”

Whether text and data mining falls under a copyright exception or outside the scope of copyright, it is clearly an activity that should not be able to be controlled by the copyright owner. But unfortunately, that is exactly what some incumbent publishing gatekeepers are trying to do by setting up restrictive contractual agreements. One example we’ve seen of this practice is with the deployment of a set of “open access” licenses from the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM), many of which attempt to restrict text and data mining of the licensed publications. In jurisdictions such as the United States, users do not need to ask permission (or be granted permission through a license) to conduct text and data mining because the activity either falls outside of the scope of copyright or is squarely covered by fair use.

Ensuring that licenses give copyright owners no more control over their content than they have under copyright law is a fundamental principle of CC licensing. That’s why the licenses explicitly state that they in no way restrict uses that are under a limitation or exception to copyright. This means that users do not have to comply with the license for uses of the material permitted by an applicable limitation or exception (such as fair use) or uses that are otherwise unrestricted by copyright law, such as text and data mining in many jurisdictions.

Today’s topic of fair use rights reminds us that “for copyright to achieve its purpose of encouraging creativity and innovation, it must preserve and promote ample breathing space for unexpected and innovative uses.” To liberate the massive potential for innovation made possible by existing and future types of text and data mining, we need user-focused copyright policy that enables these new activities.

 

Using CC music in video: Free webinar tomorrow!

Creativecommons.org -

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!

Creative Commons 4.0 på svenska!

CC Sverige -

Vi inledde arbetet i fjol, och till min smala lycka har jag haft hjälp av en väldigt engagerad arbetsgrupp bestående av Catharina Ekdahl, en av Sveriges främsta jurister med inriktning mot upphovsrätt, Stefan Högberg, Regionbiblioteket i Göteborg, Lennart Guldbrandsson, författare, Sofie Jansson och mig själv.

I och med det här blogginlägget där du kan hitta den första svenska versionen av 4.0 licenserna och vi inleder starten av offentliggörandet. Men för att komma i mål behöver vi er hjälp att läsa, begrunda översättningen, se till att det inte smugit med några stavfel. Hjälp oss med att sprida och läsa, och använda.

Om du hittar fel – problem, vill komma med förslag på andra formuleringar så vänd dig till mig via mejl. Jag finns på kristina(snabel-a)creativecommons.se

Här är licenserna

CreativeCommons Erkännande 4.0 (pdf)
Creative Commons Erkännande Dela På Samma Villkor 4.0 (pdf)
Creative Commons Ekännande Inga Bearbetningar 4.0 (pdf)
Creative Commons Erkännande Icke Kommersiellt 4.0 (pdf)
Creative Commons Erkännande Icke Kommersiellt Dela På Samma Villkor 4.0 (pdf)
Creative Commons Erkännande Icke Kommersiellt Inga Bearbetningar 4.0 (pdf)

Publishing Initiatives at PLOS: Improving the Author Experience

Plos -

The last few months have brought exciting developments at PLOS, and we’ll be doing more in 2015 to make the publishing experience with PLOS even better. Today’s post will talk about just some of what is new now and due in the near term.  We will have much more coming as the year progresses.

We are implementing a number of exciting publishing-related changes aimed at improving the author and community experience. Specifically, these projects aim to reduce time to publication, reduce post-publication correction rates, and above all, provide our community greater access to scientific research – the reason PLOS exists.  Many of these projects will occur behind the scenes and will serve as the pillars of future initiatives, while others will be more visible to the community.

New PDF Design

One of these foundational projects began late last year, aimed at optimizing our production processes for speed and accuracy.  We have implemented a new, single column PDF design that will enable a more efficient composition process, while improving readability on the variety of devices used by the community.  This month, in order to streamline the editorial and production processes across all the journals, we added guidance and information to our author instructions. These new requirements set the foundation for more automated processes that will increase the speed with which PLOS makes published research available online.

New Composition Vendor

In addition we have been shifting workflows and vendors behind the scenes, including transitioning to a new composition vendor[HA1] .  These changes are focused on improving our quality assurance and typesetting processes, and increasing overall publishing efficiency across all seven of our journals.   Results that authors and readers will see in coming weeks and months include continuous publishing schedules for all journals (not just PLOS ONE), whereby papers are published as soon as they are ready; a new tool for authors that will actively assist them in preparing figures for submission; and the gradual introduction of an author proofing step for several journals later this year.

A Temporary Slow-Down for Long Term Gains 

These changes require that PLOS build out new and improved workflows and carefully develop new ways of handling the thousands of manuscripts received each month. In the short term, this will certainly affect our speed to publication and publication volumes. Readers and authors may notice this, but the end result will be gains in speed, efficiency, and quality that will be worth the delays during this transition.

While we work to achieve these ambitious goals, we appreciate the patience shown by our authors and our community.  We’re excited to carry on our mission to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication and thank our many supporters and contributors who make this work possible.

 

 

The post Publishing Initiatives at PLOS: Improving the Author Experience appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Download det første årlige Creative Commons Affiliate Mixtape fra idag!

CC Danmark -

I denne uge har Creative Commons lokale koordinatorer, kaldet “Affiliates”, lanceret et helt nyt initiativ: Et årligt mixtape der skal fremhæve fantastisk musik der udkom under CC licens i det forgangne år. Denne idé bygger på den idé CC Europa havde i forbindelse med Creative Commons’ 10-års jubilæum i 2012, hvor de udgav et mixtape, men dækker i denne 2015-udgave hele verden. Vi håber at dette bliver starten på nu årlig tradition: En musikalsk hyldest til og fejring af talentfulde kunstnere og de Creative Commons værktøjer de anvender. Lyt til og download mixtapet her.

Mixtapet er blevet samlet af en række Creative Commons Affiliates – dvs. koordinatorerne i hvert land – rundt omkring i verden, som et sjovt sideprojekt for at fremvise den musikalsk rigdom i deres lande. Dette betyder at båndet ikke er et officielt Creative Commons mixtape, og dermed også at kunstnerne ikke officielt promoveres af Creative Commons som organisation. Det er istedet en del af Creative Commons’ globale community som har samlet deres egne favoritter, og via denne nye platform deler dem med verden. Fra Danmark har holdet valgt et nummer med den elektroniske musiker Periskop, som du foruden på båndet kan stifte nærmere bekendtskab med her. Endvidere har Creative Commons Danmark designet cover-artworket.

Rundt omkring i verden brugere skabere Creative Commons licenser til at promovere og sprede deres kreativitet og til at finde et global publikum. Mange af disse skabere er musikere, producers og sangskrivere, og dette års mixtape har repræsentanter fra hele 26 lande verden over – hvilket dermed repræsenterer 4 kontinenters kulturer og musiktraditioner. Dyk ned og tag en musikalsk verdensomrejse mens du samtidig støtter online delekultur. God fornøjelse!

Læs mere om (og download) mixtapet her. Du kan også streame det direkte fra Free Music ArchiveSoundcloud og Internet Archive.

PS: Hvis du gerne vil dele mixtapet på Twitter og Facebook, så brug gerne tagget #CCMixtape1

The post Download det første årlige Creative Commons Affiliate Mixtape fra idag! appeared first on Creative Commons Danmark.

Global Affiliate Network releases CC Affiliates Mixtape #1

Creativecommons.org -


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

Guest blog post by Teresa Nobre, Legal Project Lead for 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!

Thank you

Creativecommons.org -

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

 

Formatting Your Article for Submission: Updated figures, tables, new reference style and LaTex template

Plos -

PLOS has recently updated our formatting requirements for submitted manuscripts across all seven of our journals. These changes allow us to streamline some of our production work, reducing the overall time to publication for the average article.

As an author, you can help your manuscript move quickly and smoothly through our editorial and production process by properly formatting your submission. Where these guidelines are not followed, the manuscript may be returned to you before we can proceed with an accept decision, and this will slow the time to publication.

Read below about some of the key changes, or use our author guidelines located at the end of this post for a full picture of how to submit and prepare your submission.

Figure Updates

PLOS has updated some of our figure requirements, most notably regarding naming conventions for citations, captions and files themselves. Below is a quick snapshot of these changes, but read our Figure Guidelines for our full requirements:

  • Refer to your figure in-text citations as “Fig. #”, for instance, “Fig. 1” or “Fig. 2”.
  • Ensure that your figure file names also match this formatting, as “Fig#.file extension”. For example, “Fig1.tif” or “Fig2.eps”.
  • Each figure should be single page.
  • Place your figure legends after the paragraph where the figure is first cited.

We are working with one of our vendors on a new tool that will allow authors to easily check their figures for compliance, and in some cases automatically format the figures themselves. The tool is in testing now, and we hope to make it available to authors as soon as possible.

New Reference Style

PLOS has adopted a standard reference style, NLM/ICMJE. Please ensure your reference list is properly formatted to this style guide. You can also download the PLOS reference style at EndNote.

Tables and Boxes

Tables and boxes should now be placed with their legends in the text of the manuscript, after the paragraph where the table is first cited. This will allow for faster processing as well as easier reading for our editors and reviewers. Please be sure your tables are cell-based in Word, or embedded from Excel.

Supporting Information Updates

Supporting Information in-text citations and captions should meet PLOS’ standard style, which is “S# Category”. Common categories include Appendix, Checklist, Dataset, Figure, File, Movie, Protocol, Supporting Information, Table, Text, Video.  For example, “S1 Appendix” or “S2 Table”

The file name should also match the format of the in-text citation and the caption, as “S#_Category.file extension”. For example “S1_Appendix.doc” or “S2_Table.xls”.

New LaTeX Template

In order to provide better services for authors writing in LaTeX, PLOS has revised our LaTeX template to allow for much greater flexibility in handling packages and macros. Please use this template when preparing your LaTeX submission. For further information on LaTeX submissions to PLOS journals, read through our guidelines. Where this template is not used, the manuscript may be returned to you before we can proceed with an accept decision, and this will slow the time to publication.

Our staff will be available to assist you as your manuscript moves through our review process, and if accepted, through our composition process. Thank you for your support of PLOS and open-access.

PLOS ONE Manuscript Guidelines

PLOS Medicine Manuscript Guidelines

PLOS Biology Manuscript Guidelines

PLOS Computational Biology Manuscript Guidelines

PLOS Genetics Manuscript Guidelines

PLOS Pathogens Manuscript Guidelines

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases Manuscript Guidelines

 

The post Formatting Your Article for Submission: Updated figures, tables, new reference style and LaTex template appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Boston Children’s Hospital OPENPediatrics Launches Open Multimedia Library

Creativecommons.org -


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.

Institute for Open Leadership kicks off next week

Creativecommons.org -


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.

A year-end message from our CEO

Creativecommons.org -

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.

 

Sharing is our path forward

Creativecommons.org -

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

 

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

Norwegian translation of 4.0 published

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

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.

The world Creative Commons is fighting for

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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.

 

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

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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.

 

What School of Open volunteers accomplished in 2014

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Another End of Year list, but one which I hope you’ll take to heart: the amazing accomplishments of the volunteers running School of Open programs around the world, comprised of the Creative Commons, P2PU, Mozilla, and related open communities.


SOO logo on Holiday Wreath by Kelly Teague under CC BY-SA

This year, our community:

For 2015: Some changes are on the horizon. Mainly, we’ll be working to revamp our website to better support our volunteers wherever they are based, streamline the process for volunteers who want to run their own online courses, and re-strategize around what it means to develop and run a School of Open program. Above all, we want to increase our impact by combining forces with all open web and education advocates who are being leaders in their regions. Stay tuned…

On behalf of our intersecting communities, CC wishes you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

See how far we’ve come:

The Commons in Aotearoa showcased on NZCommons.org.nz

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Wellington / John Bunney, courtesy of Te Papa Tongarewa / No known copyright restrictions

In the first of a series of blog posts focusing on our global activities, Matt McGregor tells us of exciting developments in CC in New Zealand Aotearoa.

2014 has been a busy year for the commons in Aotearoa. After a few years of relatively slow progress, many of New Zealand’s public institutions have started to adopt open policies. So many, in fact, that we’ve decided to launch an entire website, NZCommons.org.nz, dedicated to discussing the opportunities and challenges of opening New Zealand’s culture and knowledge for access and reuse. With a particular focus on copyright, licensing and the public domain, the NZCommons site aims to help cross-pollinate and energise the various open groups in New Zealand, who are all doing excellent work, though too often in isolation from one another. The site will have news, case studies and a range of pieces from New Zealanders working to grow the commons, supporting and encouraging the many individuals and institutions working to adopt CC licensing across the country.

And what a lot there is to be discussed. I’ve already mentioned some of the developments being highlighted on NZCommons in my recent post to this blog about Creative Commons policies being passed in New Zealand schools, now up to the rate of around one per week. But the increased adoption of CC licensing hasn’t been limited to schools.

This year, both the University of Waikato and the University of Canterbury passed open access mandates requiring all research published within their respective institutions to be uploaded to the library’s repository, enabling research to be made openly available as soon as possible. In so doing, they joined Lincoln University in paving the way for open access policies at other New Zealand research institutions.

And then, in the middle of the year, we saw three big developments in the heritage sector. First, the National Library of New Zealand passed their excellent use and reuse policy, which provides a clear framework for opening up the library’s collections. Under the policy, out-of-copyright works will be clearly labelled as such, which has not generally been the case in the sector; also, in-copyright works that are owned by the library will be made available under a Creative Commons licence. Our case study of this policy has been up on NZCommons for a few weeks now.

Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand followed this announcement by releasing over 30,000 high resolution images under either a no-known copyright or a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives licence — a figure that has since approached 40,000. As it happens, we published a case study about Te Papa recently, as well. Since that release, Te Papa have signalled that they will shortly remove the ‘ND’ restriction from their licences.

Then, the WW100 team, announced that as part of New Zealand’s commemorations of the Centenary of World War I, the Turnbull Library was openly releasing the H Series of photographs taken during by New Zealand’s official photographer, Henry Armytage Sanders. As Melanie Lovell-Smith points out in a detailed background piece, these photographs are “the most comprehensive visual record of New Zealanders on the Western front from 1917 to 1918.” Other GLAM projects, such as the Marsden Online project, are also starting to use CC licensing.

One of the most exciting things about these announcements is the best practice implementation by each of the institutions. Although all of them use their own method, all of the photos are clearly marked as being available to download and free of copyright restrictions, with a detailed and easily accessible description of what you can and can’t do with the image (see pictured). Te Papa even allows you to use copyright status as a search term. This level of transparency when it comes to copyright is essential to unlocking the value of our national collections.


Excerpt from Te Papa’s image download page / Te Papa Tongarewa

Other open projects — such open government data, open textbooks in higher education and legal tools for indigenous knowledge — are also progressing quickly. Working with Susy Frankel and Aroha Mead from Victoria University of Wellington and CC Panel Member Karaitiana Taiuru, the local Creative Commons team is working on developing an indigenous knowledge notice that will help Māori creators, iwi (tribe) and hapū (sub-tribe) to release their works more openly.

In the government data sector, Land Information New Zealand have released truly massive — and massively interesting — open datasets, including detailed aerial photography of the entire country and 3D models of Christchurch before September 2010. These openly licensed models can be adapted and 3D printed by anyone, to help remember the heritage that was lost in the earthquakes.

Taken together, these projects will add an enormous amount of high quality copyright works to the commons, making it easier to access and reuse the works produced and held by New Zealand’s public institutions. These releases promise to save time and money for both the organisations involved and the public. They will also enable others to adapt and build on existing works, which means that fewer people will have to — excuse the cliche — reinvent the wheel.

Good news, then. But these projects are only the beginning: there are thousands of other schools, heritage and research institutions with millions of copyright works that could be made openly available to the public for sharing and reuse. This could fundamentally change how New Zealanders access and engage with their culture and knowledge.

For this to happen, these sectors are going to need some help. To help out, we’re developing toolkits — remixing some resources and platforms developed by HQ, and making a bunch of our own — that organisations can use to open their works for reuse. These toolkits will include an introductory paper, brochures, articles, sample policies and examples of best practice from New Zealand and around the world. We’re hoping to launch them at the National Digital Forum in Wellington in late November.

Beyond the toolkits, though, we’re going to need much more open discussion and analysis on copyright, licensing and reuse — especially in the heritage sector, where copyright issues can be very complicated, and where there isn’t nearly enough information and discussion available online. NZCommons is designed to prompt that discussion. With it we hope to build momentum and support for more open policy across the country, and help realise the potential of the commons in Aotearoa.

European Space Agency shares Mars Express images and videos under CC

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Hellas Chaos on Mars / ESA/DLR/FU Berlin / CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

As of yesterday, the European Space Agency is now sharing all of its images and videos from the Mars Express mission under CC BY-SA. ESA is using the IGO port of CC BY-SA 3.0. ESA is one of several intergovernmental organizations to use the IGO port since we introduced it last year.

From ESA’s announcement:

Since January 2004, ESA and its partners at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) have been jointly publishing colour, stereo pictures of the martian surface from orbit, both still and moving. For example, a “Mars showcase” video, comprised of HRSC images, has been viewed almost 700,000 times since it was published on ESA’s Youtube channel in 2013.

But starting today, something is different with these regular image releases: in a joint undertaking by all three partners, Mars Express HRSC images will be made available under a Creative Commons (CC) licence. The licence we will apply is the same one we recently introduced for Rosetta NAVCAM images: CC BY-SA IGO 3.0.

[…]

While at ESA we have only just begun releasing content under Creative Commons licences, our partners at DLR have been using CC as their standard licencing policy since 2012. Nevertheless, there is still something just a little bit special about the news today: as far as we know, it is the first time that three public organisations in Europe have teamed up in licencing a batch of joint content under Creative Commons.

ESA also posted this amazing video yesterday, making it the first video of Mars the agency has published under BY-SA:

Flickr removes CC-licensed photos from Wall Art program

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In October, Flickr announced a new service that allows its members to order printed photos on wood or canvas, choosing either from their own photos, from a set of curated images, or from about 50 million CC BY or CC BY-SA–licensed images. Flickr would share profits with the photographers of the curated images, but not the CC-licensed ones, as those licenses permit Flickr to use the photos commercially.

Today, we learned that Flickr is removing all CC-licensed images from the Wall Art program. I understand why Flickr has made the decision to change the program, and appreciate their commitment to working to strengthen our community.

This has been a controversial topic here at Creative Commons — at all levels of the organization, and in our community. Some feel that a community discussion should have come before launching the program, or that Flickr users should have had a choice of whether to allow Flickr to monetize their CC-licensed photos. Others think that abiding by the terms of CC BY isn’t enough, and that there is a moral obligation to share profits. And still others think that this is exactly what the free culture movement intended — permissive use of any kind by anyone (even large companies), so long as the terms are met.

Flickr has been a big part of the growth of the commons, and the advancement of CC licenses. In our recent State of the Commons report, we identified over 880 million licensed works — 307 million of them are on Flickr. It’s the largest public archive of CC-licensed images. So when I read articles and blog posts recommending that Flickr users remove their works from the commons, I was concerned. Users of any media platform should feel secure in their understanding of how their content will or won’t be used.

A central principle of open licenses is that the rights they grant apply to everyone, from hobbyists to large corporations. I hope this decision does not create confusion for those who would use licensed works. Under CC licenses, everyone plays by the same rules. Entrepreneurs should be able to experiment with monetizing openly licensed content without fear that if they become successful, the licenses will no longer apply to them. Just as licensors should be able to feel confident that the licenses are legally airtight, so should licensees.

Everyone can agree that providing clearer information on how CC licenses work — and what rights they grant — can prevent many misunderstandings. I see this as an important opportunity for Flickr and CC to do more to engage and inform users. We’re a global nonprofit that represents a diverse community of creators, users, businesses, and activists. In order for our work to be meaningful, we must recognize that the people who make up the commons are its most important asset.

Our vision is one where content of all kinds is freely available for use under simple terms, where the permissions are clear to everyone. If that doesn’t happen, creators can feel misled or cheated, and users are left uncertain if they can use the commons as a source of raw material. That’s not just about the terms of the licenses. It’s about how platforms develop and position their products and services, and how users engage in a community.

The Flickr team has asked Creative Commons to work with them to help make their messaging about CC license options clearer, and help ensure their programs are in alignment with the spirit of both communities. We hope that we can use this opportunity to help foster stronger relationships throughout the commons community, license users and media platforms alike. As we do that work in the coming months, I welcome your suggestions and ideas.

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