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Happy Open Education Week!

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Open Education Week 2016 Banner, by: Open Education Consortium, CC BY 4.0

Happy Open Education Week everyone!

Open Education Week is an annual convening of the global open education movement to share ideas, new open education projects and to raise awareness about open education and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide.

Join this weeklong celebration of the benefits of free and open sharing in education.

Creative Commons is actively participating with:

Be sure to share your Open Education Week activities with: #openeducationwk

What events are you planning this week?

The post Happy Open Education Week! appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

World Without Waste? Appropedia and the Sustainability Commons

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The guest post below was written by Erik Moeller of Passionate Voices, a collaborative blog that hosts interviews with interesting makers, writers, thinkers, and artists from all over the world.

The global maker movement is known for creative hacks, as well as for getting people of all ages excited about technology and how the world works. At the intersection of maker communities and social activism, we find remarkable projects like Open Source Ecology, WikiHouse, and the topic of this article: Appropedia.

Appropedia is not a specific effort to use technology for good, but rather a global community documenting collaborative solutions for sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture. You can think of it as a “Wikipedia for sustainability” and, indeed, it uses similar underlying mechanics: the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License and the MediaWiki software, for starters.

Appropedia co-founder Lonny Grafman (sitting, right) at the Las Malvinas photovoltaic workshops, where participants become the teachers and install solar power for a public pharmacy. License: CC BY-SA

Lonny Grafman, an an instructor at Humboldt State University in Northern California, founded Appropedia in 2006. Today it has thousands of pages on topics as diverse as solar cookers, thermal curtains, and rainwater harvesting. It is available in eight languages, including the beginnings of a Kiswahili edition.

The wiki is a tool for communities of practice that are looking to achieve real-world impact. At Humboldt State, Grafman founded a program called Practivistas. “In the Practivistas program, we bring students from the US and other countries to live and work with students in another country, in communities of little resources,” Grafman explains.

Practivistas don’t approach communities with a predetermined problem or solution. Instead, projects like a classroom constructed using locally sourced materials and alternative building methods are planned and implemented together with local communities from start to finish. In this case, plastic bottles were used as one of the primary materials for the classroom walls.

A beach bag made from plastic waste as part of the Arroyo Norte waste plastic innovation project. License: CC BY-SA

Projects are documented in Appropedia so that other communities may benefit. Beyond Practivistas, students from courses at Humboldt and other universities contribute content to the wiki through what’s called service learning. Explains Grafman: “It’s this thing that sits between and hopefully a little bit above internship, which is about student learning, and volunteerism, which is about the target community getting needs met.”

Grafman argues that engaging students in building the commons is better for the students, too: “My experience is that students learn more. Even just by motivation. When you’re doing something real, that has real impacts, there’s just a lot more motivation to do it right.”

In addition to his work on Appropedia, Grafman is interested in ways to reduce humanity’s energy use. He co-founded a company, Nexi, which makes energy monitors for the home. It’s a for-profit, and parts of the tech will remain proprietary, while Nexi may contribute to a commons of open data about energy use: “The good news is that we really don’t have to be puritanical about anything as diverse solutions will actually build more resilience.”

Appropedia, meanwhile, is hiring an Executive Director, to make the sustainability commons itself sustainable in the long run. No matter what the future holds, as a repository of creative solutions for addressing the problems all around us, Appropedia has already demonstrated that an information commons can directly improve people’s lives.

You can learn more about the project’s goals, and read the full interview I conducted with Lonny Grafman on Passionate Voices.

Erik Moeller (@xirzon), PassionateVoices.org

The post World Without Waste? Appropedia and the Sustainability Commons appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

Jonathan Barnbrook on his CC-licensed art for David Bowie’s Blackstar

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Jonathan Barnbrook is a world-renowned artist who has worked extensively in a variety of media including film, typography, and graphic design. He was also a close collaborator of David Bowie, and created the cover artwork for the musician’s last four albums. Sadly, Bowie died in January, just two days after the release of his final studio album, Blackstar (aka ★). The record, which has gone on to become a commercial and critical hit, was intended by Bowie to be a “parting gift” to fans.

As an homage to his friend and creative collaborator, Barnbrook decided to take the “gift” concept to the next level. He released the artwork for Blackstar under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, so that it could be shared and remixed noncommercially by Bowie fans around the world.

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Barnbrook about choosing to make the Blackstar art available in this fashion. It was great to hear how much the notions of tribute and gratitude played into his decision to use a CC license for this project.

Blackstar by Barnbrook, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

What inspired you to offer the Blackstar art to the public for reuse and remix?

I felt a public, more “official” gesture was needed to empathize with the grief many people were suffering [as a result of David Bowie’s death]. I had seen a lot of tattoos and use of the artwork, so I wanted to give these people something to remember David by without them thinking they were using the artwork illegally or secretly in some way. I was as upset as they were, so the artwork was released in the positive spirit of sharing and understanding what they were going through.

People belittle collective public grief, which is a bit silly because a person can be the conduit of an ideology or philosophy of an age. I think [the grief] has been so enormous for David because he represented being who you wanted to be in a society where people are often not given the chance to do that. He gave hope and expression to many who didn’t fit in or who were not where they quite wanted to be, so when he was gone it was understandable that people felt a great sense of loss.

I also feel that music is very underrated in terms of importance in people’s lives. In an immediate sense it doesn’t help a war situation or save someone’s life, but it is very life affirming. It can help you through depression, express the moments of absolute joy, be a symbol of an age or philosophy. So again, it is understandable that you’d grieve when the person who expressed these things for you in the intangible form of music is no longer there to be part of your life.

I always felt that it was an incredible responsibility and privilege whenever I worked on David’s covers. So I understood that this would be an appropriate thing to do.

A portrait of Jonathan Barnbrook … by Cyberuly, CC BY 2.5

Why did you specifically choose a Creative Commons license to encourage people to share and remix the artwork?

It is a very well-thought-out, simple system that everybody knows and can understand. The licenses can be read in depth or understood simply on the website. It made it clear that people could use it in the way they wanted without affecting the commercial aspect of the album sales.

Was releasing the art in this way something you’d considered doing before Bowie’s death?

I talked about this with David before he died and he thought it was a great idea, although I couldn’t have imagined the sad circumstances under which I would eventually do it. It came from when the album The Next Day came out—the fans took the white square on the cover and used it in their own way. It was something which I didn’t calculate but it made me extremely happy that they wanted to use, respond, and be part of it too. I felt this needed to be thought of at a fundamental level for the release of Blackstar, that the old model of a record company releasing the record and copyrighting everything so fans could not react or add their own interpretation was wrong. It shouldn’t be such a one-sided experience and instead should show respect and understanding for those people who love the music. The music is still the property of the record company and that is not affected, this just means that people can have their own identification with the release and what Bowie meant to them. When he died I felt that it was even more important that we should do this, especially since a lot of people had specifically asked me for the artwork without any intention of making money from it.

Since I released the artwork I have received so many lovely messages thanking me for it and saying what it means to be able to use the artwork to remember David by. Really it has brought a tear to my eye each time I have read them.

Have you seen any interesting uses or remixes of the art yet?

People are incorporating the Ziggy Stardust stripe in with it, which I think is great. That is an amazing graphic and to feel that the Blackstar [art] is of equal meaning is an honor.

How an artist has affected your life is an intensely personal, unique experience. One of the reasons that we used the Creative Commons license allowing derivatives was because of this. It is important that people interpret [art] in their own way and that they feel free to do it. It is not something that should be dictated by me—I just created one of the components to do it.

And what kind of things do you hope people do with the art?

Quite simply: show their love and appreciation of David Bowie.

How did you first learn about Creative Commons licenses?

It has always been on my radar. It was one of the first prominent models of sharing creativity in a way that didn’t fit in with the existing models of “commercial or not commercial” for artworks. There needs to be a room to share which is above and beyond what is monetary value. Humanity is not built on money—it is built on the meaningful exchange between people.

How have openness and sharing influenced your work and creative process generally?

I think it has been fundamental to it. In addition to working in music, [my creative studio] has done a lot of activist work—and that is about ideas. The spreading of those ideas is fundamental to their success. We have made a lot of them free for people to use and we will be shortly be using Creative Commons again for artworks on our new website soon.

The post Jonathan Barnbrook on his CC-licensed art for David Bowie’s Blackstar appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

PLOS 2015 Reviewer Thank You

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2016 is shaping up to be a notable year for PLOS; it’s the organization’s 15th Anniversary of its founding as a nonprofit and the 10th Anniversary of the groundbreaking journal PLOS ONE. Before looking too far ahead though, it’s important to reflect on the previous year and thank the enormous pool of reviewers who do the work of ensuring that every manuscript submitted to PLOS receives an unbiased and constructive review.

In 2015, PLOS published more than 31,000 articles; each one required participation from at least one of the 85,000+ contributors involved in the peer review process across the PLOS suite of journals. This reviewer community plays an integral role in advancing science by providing trusted, quality contributions to the publication process through expert evaluation of submitted work and productive feedback to authors.

Each journal editorial team—PLOS ONE, PLOS Biology, PLOS Medicine, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and PLOS Pathogens—has published a Thank You, together with a list of reviewers in a Supporting Information file as a citable article for reviewers to include in their CVs. We value the time, expertise and insight of reviewers, the essential role they play in the scientific community and their commitment to bring trusted scientific research to the public.

These citable items are part of our efforts to improve recognition and credit for substantial contributions to the scientific enterprise. It is our hope that reviewers will include these citations on their CVs and resumes, and that those responsible for tenure, promotion and hiring decisions will acknowledge and value this credit.

This coming year PLOS will bring additional improvements to the way authors, reviewers and staff work together, leveraging advances in digital technologies that continue to alter the way people work, communicate and cooperate. With the diligence and dedication of the entire PLOS Contributor Community—from authors and funders to editors and reviewers—we can accelerate the time from discovery to publication and extend the means by which scientists share their ideas.

To each and every one of our more than 85,000 reviewers who make this possible, thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Véronique Kiermer, Executive Editor

The flip side of copyright

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Fair Use Week 2016 is here, and we’re happy to celebrate it alongside many other organizations and individuals who believe in the importance of flexible exceptions to copyright law.

There are now over 1 billion CC-licensed works available, and these will always be free for anyone to use and share. CC licenses work because of the existing contours of copyright. We sometimes complain about the numerous negative aspects of our collective copyright rules—such as absurdly long terms, disproportionate infringement penalties, and a pervasive permission culture. At the same time, we also need to support and expand the features of our copyright law that make possible increased access to information, educational activities, and freedom of expression. We all can use the Creative Commons licenses to create our own commons of content that can be freely reused and shared. But we still rely on the fundamental checks and balances to copyright law to do things that would never be possible using open licensing alone. This is why we celebrate Fair Use Week.

Fair use “permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders…[including for] commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.” Fair use is categorized as an exception to the exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder. A fair use is not an infringement of copyright.

The legal doctrine of fair use continues to get stronger. In the U.S., a court case held that creating copies of copyrighted works for the purpose of search is a fair use. Scholarly and creative disciplines like documentary filmmaking rely on collaboratively-developed best practices guides that steer fair use norms for their respective communities. The power behind fair use lies in its flexibility, which allows for changes in technology and how we interact with and use copyrighted works for creative production, teaching, and learning, as well as new practices in research and journalism.

There are still threats to realizing the full potential of flexible limitations and exceptions to copyright. For example, there are currently trade agreements in play that diminish the importance of limitations to copyright. Instead of securing mandatory limitations and exceptions for uses of copyrighted works under the TPP, all of the provisions that recognize the rights of the public are voluntary, whereas almost everything that benefits rightsholders is binding. Some scholarly publishers are trying to impose licenses that would restrict how researchers are able to conduct text and data mining. These licenses and contracts are problematic because they attempt to require permissions under the law where no permission would have been necessary otherwise. As we mentioned above, U.S. case law has already clarified that activities such as text and data mining will remain outside of the purview of copyright, while other countries are introducing specific legislative exemptions for it. Communia has written about how limitations and exceptions to copyright in the European Union should not be able to be moved aside by contract or license. Of course, Creative Commons licenses respect fair use and other exceptions and limitations to copyright. CC licenses end where copyright ends, which means you don’t need to comply with a CC license if you don’t need permission under copyright.

It’s clear that fair use and other limitations and exceptions are vital to a healthy copyright system. During Fair Use Week and the rest of the year, let’s continue to support and expand these critical user rights.

The post The flip side of copyright appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

Trade agreements like TPP need radical transparency and meaningful public participation

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Rolling Rebellion Sparks in Seattle to Defend Internet & Stop the TPP by Backbone Campaign, CC BY 2.0

Creative Commons and an international coalition of organizations and individuals has published the Brussels Declaration on Trade and the Internet. It follows the recent ceremonial signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The TPP is an example of a trade agreement that has been negotiated in secret with input only from government and corporate interests. There has been no meaningful participation from civil society organizations and public interest advocates who work to protect consumer and digital rights. The text of the TPP was kept secret from the public for several years; it was finally published in November 2015.

Our declaration calls for increased transparency and inclusion by all stakeholders in the development and negotiations of global trade agreements. It was originally developed at a meeting in Belgium earlier this year.

Any international rulemaking process that affects the online and digital environment should adhere to human rights and good governance obligations to actively disseminate information, promote public participation and provide access to justice in governmental decision-making.

The declaration makes six specific recommendations for countries participating in global trade agreements, including regular releases of draft proposals, plenty of opportunity for public comment, and serious engagement of organizations and experts representing Internet users and consumers.

The TPP’s copyright provisions are quite problematic: they downplay the importance of the public domain and exceptions and limitations to copyright, increase the already-too-long term of protection, and demand harsh infringement penalties. Member nations should reject it. And the public should be able to expect openness and fair representation in these types of negotiations.

You can read the full declaration here.

The post Trade agreements like TPP need radical transparency and meaningful public participation appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

The story of Android and how it gave free software the right WAF-factor(Wife Acceptance Factor)

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In the «Pre-Android period» gadgets from Apple and computers from Microsoft had what you might call a higher wife acceptance factor, meaning it was more likely to be adapted by non technical users.

When I started out playing with free software more the 15 years ago the terms free software and open sources had a very high geek-factor associated with them . At this time it was hard to imagine any laptop or device running free software taking marked shares from Windows.

For companies developing proprietary software it was also very important to label free software as low quality and unreliable. This has changed dramatically over the last 15 years and Android played an important part in this journey.

Android gave the word disruptive a whole new meaning

The year is 2008. The first GoOpen conference is about to kick off in Oslo.

When the Director of free software at Google, Chris Dibona enters the stage as one of the conference’s keynotes, he talks about how Google has built its business with free software.

He also talks about how they are already well underway to expand Googles business, not only to cover search, ads and video (acquisition of Youtube). At this point it was already known that Google had launchd the first version of a mobile operating system in November 2007  that was based on Linux – the name was Android.

The first phone with Android was released in Norway the next summer and in only 18 months Android dominated the market for smart phones in our country. Sins the launch in 2007 Android have taken over markeds across the world with nearly 1.5 billion users at the end of 2015. This despite the fact that both Apple, Microsoft and the Finnish mobile company we have forgotten the name of,  did every thing possible to dominate the same space during this period.

From the start Google and their partners had a totally different business model, letting different vendors develop new devices based on the same core system. This gave the marked many different devices and the vendors freedom to build on the same software commodities. The key in this approach is an open plattform in an open marked.

The story of Android is important for many reasons, but primarily because it shows that by rethinking a business model completely, it is possible to change a large market in a very short period of time.

An important thing to remember, the mayor topic that concerned most free software activist in 2007-2008 was not Android but the document formats and the battle between OOXML and ODF. During the GoOpen conference in 2008 a friend of mine, Håkon Wium Lie, organized a demonstration that ended up in front of the Norwegian Parliament, with the slogan “OOXML – Go to hell.”

Little did we know that it was not ODF and OpenOffice but Android that would cause a breakthrough for free and open source software and give it all so important Wife Acceptance Factor.

 

Early PLOS BLOGS survey results offer first of many scicomm insights to come

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As the first ever PLOS BLOGS Reader Survey comes to a close, PLOS wants to thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughts and preferences as science readers and communicators.

[If you’re reading this on Monday 2/15 – President’s Day in the U.S. – before 12 midnight PT, you still have time to add your input to that of the over 1000 PLOS readers who’ve taken the survey to date, and be eligible to win one of 100 classic PLOS t-shirts we’ll be randomly awarding to survey respondents.]

As explained in our announcement post, in addition to hearing what content you find most (and least) valuable as readers of the PLOS BLOGS Network, with this survey PLOS also wants to discover more about YOU as individual readers. Hearing about your general science communication habits and preferences will help us reach you more efficiently and provide the information you most value. Your thoughts on the most useful types of online venues and social media networks for sharing scientific information will help us provide features and functionalities on PLOS sites that best serve your needs. Lastly, your answers will also be added to a larger body of science communication research being conducted by our survey consultant, Dr. Paige Brown Jarreau.

What’s Next?

Over the next 3-4 weeks, Dr. Jarreau will scrub and analyze all the data acquired from this survey. Results will then be made available in two forms: first, as an informal blog post offering survey highlights, to be posted in the PLOS Scicomm blog. Then, later in the year, a more detailed and extensive analysis will be released as a formal research article to be authored by Dr. Jarreau — with the attendant raw data made available for all to see and share.

If, while taking the survey, you entered your email for a chance to win a PLOS t-shirt, and you are one of the 100 to be randomly selected as a winner, you will receive an email requesting your t-shirt size and mailing address — within the next 3 weeks.

 Sneak Peak of Survey Results

As a preview of what’s to come, we can share the following fundamental demographic and scicomm user trends that showed up early in the survey and have remained pretty much the same since.

Who reads PLOS BLOGS? (Respondents selected all that apply)

  • Researchers 70%
    • 55% early career; 42% Mid to late career
    • 67% have published research in peer reviewed journal(s)
  • Grad students 19%
  • Science teachers 15%
  • Clinicians/health providers 11%
  • Patients 6%
  • Citizen Scientists 16%
  • Science writers 14%

In addition, 89% of these PLOS BLOGS readers tell us they have a college degree in science, while 45% have a PhD in their fields.

Top 3 reasons for reading PLOS BLOGS:

  1. Keep up with current scientific research
  2. Stimulate my curiosity
  3. For expert opinions on scientific issues

How often they post their own scientific content online? 40% either daily or 2-3 times a week

How many science blogs read regularly?

  • 1 – 2    47%
  • 3 – 5    25%

These highlights barely scratch the surface of the rich data we’ve got on hand, including hundreds of text amplifications offered by our generous respondents. All responses will be analyzed and discussed in depth in the blog post and formal article mentioned above.

So, if you’ve got a few minutes please add your two cents to the PLOS BLOGS Reader Survey before it closes for good (12 midnight PT on 2/15).

And, if you want to hear survey results and receive other PLOS news we invite you to sign up for EMAIL Updates.

Thanks again to all who contributed by taking the survey and spreading the word!

There’s still time to stop the TPP

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TPPA Signing Protest in Auckland, by Prosperosity, CC BY-SA 4.0

Last week, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—the massive multilateral trade agreement negotiated in secret among government and industry representatives—was signed by officials in New Zealand.

When the final text of the TPP was released in November 2015, we wrote about how the agreement is a direct threat to the public interest and the commons. The provisions around intellectual property are especially problematic. If adopted, the TPP would represent the most sweeping expansion of international restrictions on copyright in over twenty years. It downplays the importance of the public domain and exceptions and limitations to copyright, increases the already-too-long term of copyright protection, and demands harsh infringement penalties. We continue to urge member nations to reject the TPP.

The February 4 ceremonial “signing” came after a few months with little to no public consultation or debate. But simply signing the agreement doesn’t mean it has gone into effect. The road to enactment begins now, as each of the nations involved will attempt to ratify the TPP through their respective political processes.

According to EFF, “the agreement will enter into force either 60 days after all original signatories ratify it or, if that doesn’t happen within two years, in April 2018 if at least six of the 12 countries accounting for 85 percent of the combined gross domestic product of the original signatories have ratified the agreement.”

From Canada to Japan to Chile to the United States, activists in TPP-affected countries are organizing around ways to stop the agreement from taking effect. Ratification is not a foregone conclusion—as we’ve seen before with the massive public support against SOPA/PIPA, ACTA, and other regulation that would harm the public interest and the open web.

There is still time to act against the harmful TPP. In the United States, you can contact your Congressional Representatives and Senators (who will need to vote on the matter after President Obama introduces the TPP legislation to Congress). Tell them to vote NO on the TPP. We’ll also try to highlight ways that advocates in other countries can get involved before those nations complete their ratification procedures.

Together we should combine our efforts and stand united against the TPP. We know it contains sweeping provisions regarding environmental regulation, pharmaceutical procurement, intellectual property, labor standards, and food safety. And over the last five years, it has been developed and negotiated in secret. The TPP and other trade deals need to be developed transparently and with robust public oversight. Otherwise, this and other types of undemocratic, back-room agreements will continue to be a significant and damaging mechanism for global policymaking.

The post There’s still time to stop the TPP appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

Statement on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies

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The following is a joint funder/journal statement released today on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies. To learn about the special PLOS Zika virus publishing initiative, please read this Speaking of Medicine post.

The arguments for sharing data, and the consequences of not doing so, have been thrown into stark relief by the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.

In the context of a public health emergency of international concern, there is an imperative on all parties to make any information available that might have value in combatting the crisis.

We are committed to working in partnership to ensure that the global response to public health emergencies is informed by the best available research evidence and data, as such:

  •  Journal signatories will make all content concerning the Zika virus free to access. Any data or preprint deposited for unrestricted dissemination ahead of submission of any paper will not pre-empt its publication in these journals.
  • Funder signatories will require researchers undertaking work relevant to public health emergencies to set in place mechanisms to share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, including with public health and research communities and the World Health Organisation.

We urge other organisations to make the same commitments.

This commitment is in line with the consensus statement agreed at a WHO expert consultation on data sharing last year whereby researchers are expected to share data at the earliest opportunity, once they are adequately controlled for release and subject to any safeguards required to protect research participants and patients.

Signatories to the Statement

Academy of Medical Sciences, UK

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India

The Department for International Development (DFID)

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

eLife

F1000

Fondation Mérieux

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)

The Institut Pasteur

Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)

The JAMA Network

The Lancet

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders  (MSF)

National Academy of Medicine

National Institutes of Health, USA

National Science Foundation

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)

PLOS

Science Journals

South African Medical Research Council

Springer Nature

UK Medical Research Council

Wellcome Trust

ZonMw – The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development

 

Image Credit: USDA

PLOS Data System Upgrade

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PLOS is pleased to announce that we are moving all of our web site applications to a new data center and performing a number of system changes that will enhance the performance of all of our sites, making them faster, more secure and more reliable. The migration will be performed Saturday, February 6 between 7:00 AM PST and noon, although some services may not be fully operational until Sunday at 5:00 PM PST. During this time there may be limited availability of some functions. Thank you for your patience.

How to access more then 500.000 public domain pictures directly from your CMS or blogg

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When developing open educational resources, or just writing a blogg, most of us like to add pictures and illustrations. In the old paradigme this was both difficult and expensive. Over the last few years services offering pictures under a free license have been popping up to compete with commercial stock photo alternatives. Pixabay.com is one of these services.

The project is an international website for sharing high quality public domain photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and film footage. In January 2016, Pixabay offered about 550,000 free photos, illustrations, and vectors and almost 1,300 films. They also offer a public Application Programming Interface (API) allowing third party users and website developers to search Pixabay’s image database.

In the demo at det bottom of this blogpost I will show you how I connect to the Pixabay API from WordPress without doing any programming of my own.

Pixabay is not the only provider of pictures and it is important to be aware of the differens between Royalty free and a free license, some of the free license ones that I have used are:

Royalty-free is not the same as a free license

When images are offered royalty-free, this simply means that the purchaser pays a fee and can then use the image without paying additional royalties or licensing fees. This also means the purchaser doesn’t have to give attribution. This is the model used by paid stock photo sites. The problem with this model is that every provider has their own rules and licenses and limitations.

Within the range of Creative commons licenses that require attribution the CC BY license is the most flexible and the CC BY-NC-ND is the most restricted and the part that says Non Commercial is in fact a bit problematic on its own.

Creative Commons Zero (CC0) is the most flexible: CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright- or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.

Pixaby that i use in my blogg license most of their pictures under CC0. In this demo I will show you how easy it is to connect directly to the API at Pixabay without writing any code. It takes about 2 minutes if you are using WordPress.

COMMUNIA hosts public domain celebration in the European Parliament

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This is a guest post by Lisette Kalshoven.

On Monday, January 25th COMMUNIA organized a Public Domain Day celebration at the European Parliament. COMMUNIA advocates for policies that expand the public domain and increase access to and reuse of culture and knowledge, and consists of many organisations including Creative Commons, Kennisland and Centrum Cyfrowe. The event, which focused on showcasing creators who have chosen to donate their output to the public domain, was hosted by MEP Julia Reda.


Julia Reda at the Public Domain Day Celebration by Sebastiaan ter BurgCC0

Highlighting creators sharing in the public domain

COMMUNIA invited creators such as Kenney Vleugels, who makes game assets available to other game developers under the the CC0 Public Domain Dedication, Alastair Parvin of WikiHouse.cc, who is developing an open source approach to sustainable housing, Femke Snelting of Constant, who is publishing public domain magazines, Eric Schrijver, who is writing a sharing guide for artists, and Thomas Lommee from Open Structures, a standardised open design system. The lunch discussions focused on the artistic and design practices of these creators and the challenges they run into. A recurring theme was the legal uncertainty created by overly complex copyright laws, and the excessive length of copyright protection.

The public domain is traditionally seen as a body of works that are no longer under copyright because the terms of protection have expired. Public Domain Day celebrates this very moment, when the period of copyright protection ends for works of certain authors. But the public domain is not simply a dusty collection of old works. During the event COMMUNIA highlighted the fact that the public domain is a modern phenomenon—it is alive. We celebrate the practice of authors contributing to the public domain long before their copyright expires. From this perspective, the ongoing policy debate on European copyright will structure the shape and scope of our collective public domain for years to come.

Public Domain Day Celebration at the European Parliament by Sebastiaan ter Burg; CC0

Copyright debate in Europe should support the public domain

The European Commission is in the process of proposing changes to the copyright rules in the EU. It laid out some of its ideas through a Communication in December 2015, and will present concrete legislative proposals in June 2016. In 2016 and beyond COMMUNIA will advocate for specific points, including the three below. You can read more here.

  1. Ensure that the mere digitisation of public domain works does not create new rights over them. Some member states would like to allow anyone who digitized a public domain work to claim new exclusive rights. This creates legal uncertainty and undermines the concept of the public domain.
  2. Introduce a mandatory and strong exception to copyright for educational use. We need to ensure that education is not burdened by copyright-related barriers. To ensure this, we need a broad, harmonised exception. It should cover all types of uses, including digital and online activities, both inside and outside of the classroom.
  3. Allow cultural heritage institutions to make out-of-commerce works available online. Vibrant and diverse cultural heritage institutions are one of the defining features of our European culture. In order to remain relevant, they need to show their collections online. A new exception should allow these institutions to make available online the out-of-commerce works in their collections.

COMMUNIA is following the events in Brussels closely, and is sharing the advantages of a strong public domain and a flexible copyright to policy makers. You can see photos from the Public Domain event here (all CC0, created by Sebastiaan ter Burg). If you want to stay informed on the changes in European copyright, you can follow the developments on the COMMUNIA blog. If you are interested in the area where copyright and education clash, please have a look at our Medium series on it: Copyright Untangled.

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U.S. Department of Labor adopts CC BY licensing policy department-wide

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Creative Commons (CC) believes publicly funded education, research and data resources should be shared in the global commons. The public should have access to what it paid for, and should not be required to pay twice (or more) to access, use, and remix publicly funded resources.

This is why we are pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has adopted a department-wide Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license requirement on intellectual property developed under a competitive Federal award process.

DOL’s new open licensing policy may be viewed in the federal register (PDF) and on regulations.gov

  • 6. Revise § 2900.13 to read as follows:
    • §2900.13 Intangible property.
      • In addition to the guidance set forth in 2 CFR 200.315(d)*, the Department of Labor requires intellectual property developed under a competitive Federal award process to be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This license allows subsequent users to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the copyrighted work and requires such users to attribute the work in the manner specified by the recipient.

While the total dollar amount of competitive DOL Federal grants affected by this new open licensing policy is not yet known, Lindsey Tepe at New America estimates the rule change will impact somewhere between $300 and $400 million annually.

The adoption of Creative Commons licensing clarifies to the public how they may access, use, and adapt publicly funded resources. There are multiple benefits of DOL requiring a CC BY license on publicly funded resources:

  • Government increases the impact, reach and scalability of its grants.
  • Government creates conditions for maximum potential value created from of all resources it funds, more efficiency, and better stewardship of public funds.
  • Public has access to the education resources it funded.
  • Innovative and entrepreneurial uses of openly licensed materials are enabled.
  • Resources are available for reuse and value-add by anyone, including individual citizens, educators, scientists, public sector employees, and entrepreneurs.

This major open licensing policy development codifies DOL’s longtime leadership at the program level where the department required CC BY licenses on multiple grants before making this a department-wide open licensing policy. Examples include:

DOL has already begun to integrate open licensing into its existing professional development SMART training series. The CC BY license requirement is referenced in the following modules:

These resources signal that the DOL is off to a great start. Creative Commons looks forward to supporting DOL with its Open Licensing Policy Toolkit and CC certificate (to be developed) for government staff.

Creative Commons and dozens of other organizations urged the U.S. Department of Education to adopt a similar open licensing policy. We hope DOL’s policy will be a useful guide as the Department of Education as it considers its proposed Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs.

We applaud the U.S. Department of Labor for leading the way.  Well done!

 

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New CC directors to focus on platforms and content creation

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Creative Commons is pleased to announce the appointment of two new senior-level positions to help implement our new strategy. Last week, CC announced a renewed vision to create a vibrant, usable commons, powered by gratitude and collaboration. These two positions will be fundamental to bringing this strategy to life. I’m pleased to appoint Jane Park as Director of Platform and Partnerships, and Eric Steuer as Director of Content and Community.

Jane Park

Jane has eight years of organizational experience in open education, communications, fundraising, and community building. Most recently, she established CC’s first internal platform team to support adoption on content platforms, and drove data collection and analysis for the 2015 State of the Commons report. As Director of Platform and Partnerships, she will be focused on engaging CC’s partners in creating and sharing content to make the commons more usable, collaborative, and full of gratitude.

Prior to this new role, Jane founded CC’s School of Open, recruiting 60 volunteers across 6 continents, and launching 100 open education courses and workshops. She has programmed workshops and resources to support grantees of the $2 billion U.S. Dept of Labor career training program requiring CC BY for all grant outputs, has led numerous public campaigns and events for CC, including a website redesign, fundraising drive, and open education salons. And she has driven adoption of CC licenses for platforms such as Blackboard, Boundless, and edX, in addition to co-authoring reports and surveys on the state of open licensing policies and copyright barriers in education. Jane’s appointment was effective January 1.

Eric Steuer

As Director of Content and Community, Eric will focus on activating creators and collaborators around open content, knowledge, and data. He will lead CC’s communications team, bringing the best of the commons to the forefront, and celebrating communities that share and create together.

Most recently, Eric was a Senior Director at WIRED, running its Audience Development group. In this role, he built readership and oversaw community engagement across all of WIRED’s properties. Under Eric’s direction, WIRED’s social media audience more than tripled and its newsletter traffic grew by 2,500%. Additionally, Eric built a syndication network made up of more than two dozen partners. Eric remains a contributing editor at WIRED, and has authored well over 100 features, essays, and articles—including two cover stories for the magazine.

Eric’s history with Creative Commons goes back over a decade. He was CC’s Creative Director from 2005-2011, and led the organization’s work with artists, media, technology companies, and cultural institutions. Eric was a key member of the team responsible for the adoption of CC’s tools by users including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Vimeo, SoundCloud, YouTube, Warner Bros, Al Jazeera, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Nine Inch Nails, Random House, WhiteHouse.gov, and many others.

Eric is the board chair of CASH Music, a member of KQED’s audience development advisory group, and a recording artist. He will begin his new role at CC on February 1.

Follow Jane and Eric on Twitter (@janedaily and @ericsteuer) or reach them directly via https://creativecommons.org/contact.

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Celebrate CC music: Netlabel Day accepting applications from independent labels

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The second annual Netlabel Day celebrating free music under Creative Commons licenses will take place on 14 July, 2016. The call for digital record labels is now open and applications will be accepted through 29 February.

First organized by the Chilean label M.I.S.T. Records in March 2015, the 2015 edition featured 80 labels from around the world and released more than 120 digital albums under CC licenses.

In addition to Creative Commons, this year’s sponsors include the Internet Archive and Free Music Archive.

Organizers will host local gigs and record label expos in Argentina, Canada and Chile.

“The goal this year is to discuss, debate, promote, and explore the state of musical management in the participant countries”, says Manuel Silva, M.I.S.T. label head and creator.

To apply, email contact.netlabelday@gmail.com. Visit http://netlabelday.blogspot.com for more info.

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Copyright Week 2016: The public domain is not lost

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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.

Every year we breathe a collective sigh of disappointment for millions of pieces of creative content that will not enter the public domain because of incredibly long copyright terms. We all know that creativity and knowledge owes something to what came before it—every creator builds on the ideas of their predecessors. Copyright terms that last decades past the death of the author will undermine the potential of the commons and needlessly limit the potential for new creativity.

And in the last few years, we’ve seen additional threats to the commons from prospective trade agreements such as the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership. If the TPP comes into effect, it would force member nations to set their term of copyright protection to life of the authors plus 70 years (if they do not already have that term), which increases the term an additional 20 years past the baseline required by existing international agreements. This means that works still under copyright in Brunei, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Vietnam will be automatically granted another 20 years of protection before they enter the public domain. We’re in agreement with leading economists that there is no logical reason to increase the term of copyright: an extension would create a tiny private benefit at a great cost to the public. It is estimated that the copyright term extension that would be required if the TPP is enacted would cost the public hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

At the same time, we celebrate the amazing works that are finally a part of our shared public domain. In addition to works that are now in the public domain because their copyright has expired, we’ve seen several interesting things happen this last year that is helping authors to share their works in the public domain right now. This is because major online content creation and sharing platforms like Flickr and Medium have added options to share works in the public domain using the CC0 Public Domain Dedication and the Public Domain Mark. What is CC0? It’s a tool that allows anyone to waive their copyright and place a work directly into the global public domain—prior to the expiration of copyright. What is the Public Domain Mark? It’s a digital stamp that anyone can apply to a work that’s already in the worldwide public domain—such as very old works whose copyright has clearly expired.

First stage of Falcon 9 rocket by SpaceX, CC0

What does the public get when authors share content in the public domain? We get to access and use an incredible body of content, including photos from SpaceX, NASA, and millions of others creators.

In the 2015 State of the Commons report, we noted a huge increase in the number of works dedicated to the public domain using the CC0 Public Domain Dedication and out-of-copyright works marked with the Public Domain Mark. According to the data, the total number of public domain works using these tools in 2014 was about 17.5 million. That number jumped to nearly 35 million in 2015. This means that the size of the CC-marked public domain nearly doubled over the last year. This is, in part, due to the tools being more widely and adopted by platforms like Europeana and Flickr. Of course, the public domain is not limited to content marked with CC’s public domain tools, but providing clear information about the public domain status of works alerts subsequent creators they can use those works without any restriction.

Even though copyright lasts far too long, the public domain is not lost. By fighting  for more reasonable copyright policy, and continuing to develop and steward legal tools that empower sharing in the public domain, we can help regain the public domain for all of us.

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Let’s light up the global commons

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Over the past week, we’ve talked about sharing, and its fundamental role in societies, and I’ve shared our goal of a vibrant, usable commons, powered by collaboration and gratitude (Read our previous posts: We need to talk about sharing”, and “Towards a vibrant, usable commons.”). What follows next is our plan for bringing the strategy to life.

Yesterday, we announced an incredible gift from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: a $10 million unrestricted grant, which will have a transformational impact on our work. For many years, CC has struggled with sustainability, and has lacked a strong fundraising program. Over the past 18 months, with support from many of you, we’ve set that right. We’ve tripled the number of donors, doubled individual fundraising, cut our expenses, and focused our work on the areas where we will have the most impact. That’s been difficult, but also essential to building the kind of support required for a gift of this magnitude.

I’m personally very grateful to Hewlett for their support for CC — they’ve been there from the very beginning, and it’s clear they’ll be there well into the future. Their donation doesn’t mean we’re free and clear: we’ll need these new resources to make some important investments, but we’ll also need others to join us if we’re going to be successful. But more on that another day. For now, let’s focus on the plan.

To articulate our strategy, we developed an intended outcome statement — a brief statement that expresses clearly our goal:

“Creative Commons will, within 3-5 years, foster a vibrant, usable, and collaborative global commons, powered by an engaged community of creators, curators, and users of content, knowledge, and data. We will do so by focusing in three intermediate outcomes: discovery,  collaboration, and advocacy.”

That could mean a lot of things, and the hardest part of any strategy is deciding which things you’re not going to do. Saying no is much harder than saying yes. CC will focus our strategy in three specific areas: Discovery, collaboration, and advocacy.

Discovery is about creating a more vibrant and usable commons, both on the platforms where open content is hosted, and also for those works that are individually hosted on creators’ websites. It is also about telling a compelling story of open collaboration, and demonstrating its value to the world so that others will join the movement. Search, curation, meta-tagging, content analytics, one-click attribution are all examples of areas where improved discovery would support creators that use the commons.

To do this work, CC will need to establish a small developer team. We work in the open, and can draw on the open source community, but to do that we need the capacity to develop our own prototypes and tools, maintain our services to licensors, and work with contributors. We’ll also strengthen our communications team to tell the story of the commons, our partners, and our community — watch for an announcement on that soon.

Collaboration is about helping creators across sectors, disciplines, and geographies, to work together to share open content and create new works. CC’s role is to facilitate greater cooperation and engagement in the commons, realizing the unique benefits of open across many of the communities that rely on open content.

To do this work, CC will play an active role in developing and facilitating solutions for cooperation and engagement in communities like OER or open access. Solutions which will often then scale up to other communities — imagine helping to build more effective search for open educational resources, or The List, a mobile app that allows users to request images and others to submit them with a CC BY license to a public archive, as simple ways to facilitate collaboration that can scale up across multiple communities. CC will assign staff to develop partnerships with platforms and creative communities that create and remix content, and help improve the experience of sharing and working in a public commons.

Advocacy is about CC’s vital role in advocacy and policymaking. Creative Commons has a powerful and respected role in pushing for positive reforms. We are frequently called upon to lend our voice to important open policy debates, and to explain the impacts for the public good of particular policies, while identifying areas where new or existing policy impacts the ability of users to apply or rely upon CC licenses. However, the fight for copyright reform is a global one, and will only be won if we activate the power of many interconnected global communities.

To do this work, CC will focus on strengthening and supporting the global affiliate network — chapters in over 85 countries comprised of some of the world’s leading experts and advocates in open content and knowledge. At our most recent summit in Seoul, South Korea, the energy and excitement from the network was inspiring — but we have to ensure that energy turns into action, and there’s an urgent need to create a global network strategy to connect it all together. CC may not have the capacity or expertise to manage dozens of copyright reform campaigns globally, but the CC affiliate network does, if properly supported and engaged. With a strong team in place, micro-grants for local projects, and better infrastructure, CC will put collaboration at the centre of our approach, as we have been successful at supporting and collaborating with connected communities that advocate for policies that strengthen the commons, like the Open Policy Network and Communia.

This is where you come in

What’s next? We’re now developing program implementation plans, including consultation with the CC global affiliate network and key partners. We expect that work to be complete by the end of February.

We want to hear from you about how we can truly light up the global commons. This will be a transformative change for Creative Commons — a new direction that is more focused and will have even greater impact. We don’t have all the answers, and we can’t do it alone. I hope you’ll join us as we shape the projects and programs that will bring this strategy to life.

So tell us: What’s your idea to help CC make the commons more vibrant and usable, and to foster communities of collaboration and gratitude?

 

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Creative Commons awarded $10M grant from Hewlett Foundation to support renewed strategy

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On behalf of the Creative Commons staff, Board, Affiliate Network, and global community, we are thrilled to announce that the Board of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has unanimously approved an unrestricted multi-year grant in the amount of $10 million to Creative Commons.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been a proud founding partner and longstanding supporter of Creative Commons; In particular, CC and Hewlett have worked closely together to innovate in education — CC licenses are at the heart of Open Educational Resources, and CC is an active and engaged leader in the OER movement. Hewlett is also an adopter of CC — the Foundation has implemented an open policy for many grantees, requiring open licenses on grantee outputs to ensure maximum use and re-use.

The grant comes at pivotal time as a major investment in CC’s new strategy. “Creative Commons is the chief steward of a large and growing movement for openness, a movement to make knowledge more freely available, to foster sharing and collaboration, and to spur advances and improvements that make the world a better place for everyone,” said Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer, in announcing the grant.

With this critical lead support and tremendous vote of confidence in our work, Creative Commons is now able to invest in its next organization phase, a renewed vision for not just the licenses but for the broader commons movement. “Our renewed strategy will be aimed at building a more vibrant, usable commons powered by collaboration and gratitude,” said Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley. “This is how we light up the commons: Creators need to be able to easily find the very best content in the commons, share feedback, give gratitude, get analytics, and work together to build networks around their interests and passions.”

This effort to build a more connected global commons is nothing short of transformational. It’s a strategic shift for Creative Commons that will require us to develop new infrastructure, new tools, and new resources; and it will require a new level of investment. Lead support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provides key momentum and will be critical in catalyzing this new level of investment, part of a much broader effort to ensure long term organizational sustainability and a thriving global commons for decades to come.

Our deepest thanks to The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and to all of you who have supported CC over the years. And for those of you who are new to CC, we welcome you to our community and look forward to sharing all our big wins with you. We are humbled by the generous show of support and feel privileged to be able to take on the important work ahead.

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Towards a vibrant, usable commons

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Over the next few days, I’m going to share a series of posts about Creative Commons’ 2016-2020 strategy. Let me skip to the end: CC is going to refocus our work to build a vibrant, usable commons, powered by collaboration and gratitude. Over the course of these next few posts, I’ll explain what that means, and how we plan to achieve it. Read our first post: We need to talk about sharing.

The challenge we face

While we may all be hard-wired for sharing, legislators in every country in the world have taken copyright well beyond its original role as “an incentive for creation” to a carefully-guarded and nearly never-ending right to private profit.

Copyright was originally designed to inspire more creativity from creators — to guarantee them some limited benefit to incentivize their creation. Today’s copyright practically ignores the fact that the Web and technological innovation made us all creators and publishers, often dozens of times a day. This modern reality has implications for creativity, innovation, privacy, business models, and more, yet most of these issues remain unaddressed in antiquated copyright structures. As a result of its refusal to acknowledge the present, today’s copyright rules restrict sharing, slow and prevent collaboration, and leave millions of works locked away regardless of the author’s desire (or lack of desire) to use them.

As a society, we are failing to limit the past — this was Lawrence Lessig’s warning and refrain from “Free Culture.” In fact, we have capitulated to the past, protecting traditional structures and business models, often at the expense of innovation and creativity. We put private good before cooperation. We will never know exactly what we’ve lost as a result. It’s impossible to quantify fully the inventions not made, discoveries not revealed, and creativity restrained.

The benefits that should be afforded to the public as part of an effective system of copyright are sadly lacking today, and it’s reasonable to expect that without a dramatic shift we may never realize these benefits. Secret deals, negotiated by governments and corporations hand-in-hand, without public review or consideration, are the new normal. Most copyright negotiations and consultations are focused on making minor changes, rather than addressing the major failures of laws that were written for another century. The fight for copyright reform can’t be won without rethinking our approach, and harnessing the power of many interconnected global communities.

Hacking copyright and driving reform

Creative Commons didn’t change copyright. The terms of copyright are still so long that a new work published today will be locked down until long after we are all dead. But a Creative Commons license offers an elegant solution for someone who wants to share right now. The licenses are not, and never will be, an alternative to meaningful copyright reform, but they are a powerful tool that creators can employ now without waiting, and without asking permission. CC created a release valve to the constraints of copyright — a doorway to an alternate reality of free and open content, powered by creators who share a set of important values. And while CC has been successful, our work will not be complete until we light up that universe of content and creators to establish what we might describe as an open distributed social network.

Now well into our second decade, the CC licenses are ubiquitous, and accepted as the global standard for sharing of content under permissive legal terms. They are embedded in major content platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Medium, public archives like the DPLA, Internet Archive, and Wikimedia Commons, and have been adopted by governments and foundations, including the White House and major US foundations including Hewlett, Gates, and Ford. The CC licenses enable open access to academic research and data, open textbooks, and are increasingly used for government open data (via CC0). The license suite functions globally, and is brought to life around the world by CC affiliate chapters in 85 countries. The commons is massive and growing. The 2015 State of the Commons report showed that between 2010 and 2015, the commons nearly tripled in size.

Creative Commons represents just one part of the global commons. Today’s commons: one with the potential for infinite abundance rather than the tragedy of mismanaged scarcity, is made up of many overlapping communities: open source, open government data, open science, open educational resources (OER), Wikipedians, Mozillians, free software creators, etc. While we don’t agree on everything, our common thread is a desire to foster the benefits of openness: access, opportunity, equity, innovation, transparency.

Taken together, the commons is a platform for cooperation. Each person joins the network when they share, which invites a collaboration with others — sometimes direct, and often indirect. Today, there are over 1.1 billion Creative Commons licensed works, shared by millions of people around the world. What’s most powerful about this number is that each creator chose to cooperate, to collaborate, and to share. Despite this profound gift, their works too often sit disconnected from each other, without context, gratitude, or mechanisms for collaboration.

A renewed focus

CC’s focus should no longer be to achieve scale. The key challenge facing the commons today is usability, vibrancy, and collaboration.

CC has helped to foster a global movement that has reimagined the idea of the commons as a digital environment of infinite abundance inspired by collaboration, rather than mismanaged scarcity plagued by self-interest. The size of the commons is not as important as how (and if) the works it contains are used to achieve our vision and mission. This is most likely to come to fruition if the materials contained within the commons are easy to discover and curate, to use and remix, and if those who create feel valued for their contributions. To date, this has not been the case. In every part of the commons, users struggle to realize these benefits. The opportunity for CC is to focus and do more to offer tools, education, advocacy, and community-building.

The Web has obviously changed significantly since 2002 when CC launched, but the way the CC licenses work hasn’t. While most web services and apps are data-driven and accessible via API, CC’s licenses are largely static, devoid of data, and rooted in markup. There are no services to enhance the user experience, or provide additional value and create connections. Users still have to manually provide attribution. There are no analytics about use or re-mix. Adding a work to the commons is a huge gift, but contributors get very little in exchange — no feedback, no analytics, not even a “like” or a “thank you.” While CC is integral to many kinds of creativity and sharing on the web, it has yet to capitalize on this influence to connect and light up the commons.

CC must recognize its various roles in a variety of diverse and active communities. We provide essential infrastructure for the Web, and are vital contributors and leaders in these global movements. The opportunity to realize the benefits of openness will come from showing how “open” is uniquely able to solve the challenges of our time. Our role is not just as providers of tools, but also as strategic partners, advocates, influencers, and supporters to quantify, evangelize, and demonstrate the benefits of open.

We also acknowledge that Creative Commons is both an organization and a movement, and that there will be many actors — especially CC’s global affiliate network — who will take on their own projects and initiatives that extend the scope of these activities. That is not only acceptable, it must be encouraged and supported to the greatest extent possible. A powerful movement is one of common values with many independent actors seeking a shared outcome, not uniform application of programs and tools. If we are successful, our initiatives will support these communities in various ways as we all seek to strengthen the commons.

Next: Our strategy and plan

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