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Access to knowledge is crucial to our well-being and survival

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From our Humans of the Commons Series: SooHyun Pae on listening to the network, the beauty of translation, and knowledge as a human right. Based in South Korea, SooHyun Pae is a translator and the Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator for Creative Commons.

When the Creative Commons community began discussing how to better engage with the world, my role changed – especially when we decided to restructure the CC Global Network last year. I assisted in the transition process from the old, obsolete program to the new global network structure. We conducted interviews with members of our network as part of our “Faces of the Commons” report, and I helped conduct the interviews in my region.

I had clear expectations about what I would hear from the interviewees; I’ve worked with the Creative Commons affiliate team for many years, and I thought I knew them very well. But I was completely wrong. All of them had different perspectives about the CC movement and its value. There were some common challenges they were struggling with, but they often varied widely by country.

I got to see the diversity of the CC community and the beautiful individuals within it.

What was also very striking was that they all have a deep appreciation for this wonderful community. While they face a lot of challenges, and some had complaints about how we were doing the work, they really cherish the relationships and friendships they’ve made in the community.

These experiences allowed me to see the diversity of the community itself and, at the same time, the value of the beautiful individuals within it. It was an exciting and inspirational experience. It’s so important to highlight individual contributions. We always wanted to do that, but before the “Faces of the Commons” report, we didn’t have enough concrete examples to show people why it was so important. I think the report can be the basis for future endeavors towards that goal.

Translating knowledge and creativity

I became involved in the CC Korea community after watching Lawrence Lessig’s TED Talk. I was fascinated by it. I didn’t know anything about Creative Commons at the time, but I began to do research and learned there were many people doing the same thing in Korea. That’s how I became involved in the Creative Commons Korea community.

At the time I was working as a full-time translator. I was so in love with languages and translation – I love meeting people from different places and learning about new cultures. I realize that translation is a derivative form of work, and I struggled to understand why certain content should be inaccessible to someone just because it has been copyrighted by someone else. Even if the author wanted to share the work, it’s still copyrighted and at risk of being potentially illegal in certain hands if shared. I didn’t know which approach to take when I used someone’s work in my translations.

Creative Commons made it clear that knowledge and creativity should not be restricted by a legal system that doesn’t make sense.

I realized that it’s important to make knowledge and creativity accessible to as many people as possible if you want others to benefit from your work. It makes me feel less restricted and less limited when I do translation work and share a creative work with others.

I try to translate books with Creative Commons licensing because it shows the value of the licenses, and helps me collaborate with others. It also allows me to reach out to traditional publishers and give them information about alternative licensing options.

This year I’m translating the book “Made with Creative Commons” by Paul Stacey and Sarah Pearson. It’s about open business models, and contains interviews and analyses by Creative Commons staff. I’m interested in this project because I want to experiment with a new model. Instead of working with traditional publishers, I wanted to team up with people interested in publishing online, under Creative Commons licenses, doing independent publishing. My hope is to develop this into other projects in other languages.

via CTRL ALT DEL books Knowledge as a human right

When I think about what a vibrant Commons means, I like to use the analogy of a river. Keeping the Commons vibrant is like keeping the river in your neighborhood safe and clean, so that anyone can drink and make use of it. Everyone understands that access to safe water is vital to the health of the community.

In this digital era, access to information and knowledge is becoming critical to survival and the well-being of society.

To me, supporting the Commons is like protecting the environment and protecting human rights. Restrictive copyright systems, capitalism, and monetization of knowledge and information have increasingly become threats. Building a vibrant and sustainable Commons-based ecosystem is directly related to the sustainability and well-being of individuals in the world. It creates the foundation for more knowledge and creativity that others can be inspired by and build upon.

The post Access to knowledge is crucial to our well-being and survival appeared first on Creative Commons.

Red Alert for Net Neutrality

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Today Creative Commons is joining dozens of organisations in the Red Alert for Net Neutrality. The action calls on individuals to contact Congress with phone calls, emails, and tweets in support of the upcoming Senate vote on a Congressional Review Act resolution to block the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.

The open internet protections must be restored.  Contact Congress now!

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is a mechanism that gives Congress the power to reverse federal regulation by passing a resolution of disapproval. The CRA action must be taken within 60 legislative days of enactment of the regulation, and must meet a simple majority. Today Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) submitted a petition to force action on the measure, and a Senate vote could be taken as early as next week.

There are already 50 Senators lined up in favor of blocking the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality, but 51 votes are needed for the resolution to pass. Winning the Senate vote on the CRA will be essential for building momentum for the fight in the House. And advocates want to put net neutrality front and center with Congress and make them weigh in on this critical issue, especially considering the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. According to a December 2017 poll, 83% of respondents supported keeping the net neutrality rules, including 75% of Republicans, 89% of Democrats, and 86% of independents. Thousands of businesses already signed a letter to support the CRA to save net neutrality.

There are over 1.4 billion CC-licensed works online, shared freely with anyone with access to the internet. We advocate for a strong digital commons of creativity and knowledge, but open content is only one piece of the puzzle. The open internet is central to so many aspects of everyday life—from accessing education and news, communicating with friends and family, enjoying diverse entertainment like movies and music, and collaborating on global projects like Wikipedia.

Several lawsuits are making their way through the courts, and states have been introducing their own bills to protect net neutrality. But now is the time to reach out to your Senators and tell them to support the upcoming CRA resolution to block the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.

It’s important to act now to save net neutrality. The Senate vote could happen soon. 

The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality is opposite of what the public wants. Instead of dismantling the rules, we should be protecting and extending reasonable consumer protections that kickstart creativity, fuel innovation, and improve access to information online.

 

The post Red Alert for Net Neutrality appeared first on Creative Commons.

A Transformative Year: State of the Commons 2017

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At this year’s Global Summit, board chair Molly Van Houweling emphasized that Creative Commons’ vision was not necessarily limited to the internet, but instead acts in support of the creative spirit that is enabled by the internet. As we announce a landmark 1.4 billion works under Creative Commons licenses with this year’s State of the Commons report, we are celebrating that creative spirit – the people and communities who work to enable the large scale global movement for the Commons.

While Creative Commons provides tools and programs that enable sharing on the web – the licenses, legal work, and resources that we build and steward – that work is driven by a global community that works to enable a world that is more open and collaborative. Supported by our new community-driven network strategy, we provide support to projects and people with events, grants, and solidarity work on campaigns like Compartir no es Delito! (Sharing is not a crime!) and the fight for Net Neutrality.

People, projects, and programs make up the bulk of this year’s report, but the data also supports our vision of a more creative, open world. 1.4 billion works is 200 million more than last year, and that growth has accelerated compared to the previous two years. To provide concrete examples: The Metropolitan Museum released 375,000 pieces of content under CC0 in February 2017. PLOS counts 7,000 editorial board members and 70,000+ volunteer peer reviewers to release 200,000 pieces of content. Wikipedia, one of our closest allies and partner in the “Big Open”, hosts 42 million freely licensed pieces of content. Our search tool has responded to 1,500,000 queries, and our website has been visited 50,000,000 times. And that’s only a part of our impact.

From our growing tech team to our usability initiative, we’re working smarter than ever to fulfill our organizational mandate of building a “vibrant, global Commons built on gratitude.” In order to compile this year’s report, we put out a call to our network to ask which people, country teams, and projects are making the biggest impact around the world. From Razan Al Hadid’s work to revive CC Jordan to Scann’s continued work for the public domain in Argentina, the Creative Commons community is made up of individuals working for a better world. (The fact that almost all the profiles are of women is just a happy accident for the UnCommon Women who carry the movement.)

This year’s highlights include the launch of the CC Certificates program, the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund and Fellowship (awarded at the Global Summit), the new Rights Back Resource for creators to reclaim their creative work, and stories from teams as far away from each other as Tanzania, Canada, and Uruguay.

As usual, we’ll be translating the report with a team of volunteers over the next month, and spots are still available! Please get in touch if you’d like to translate.

By uplifting the stories of our friends and colleagues, we’re demonstrating what happens when communities champion each other’s work, and how we model the world we want to see. The report’s data is always fun, but it belies the depth of the humanity that underscores the commons.

As I’ve said before, “Creative Commons is made of people,” and this report tells their stories. Thank you again for all your support, and be sure to share out your impressions with the hashtag #sotc.

Visit the report

The post A Transformative Year: State of the Commons 2017 appeared first on Creative Commons.

CC Summit Builds Momentum for Strengthening Author Rights; Global Rights Back Resource Announced

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The Creative Commons 2018 Global Summit in Toronto brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to explore strategies for increasing author choices for managing their copyright, and included the announcement of the new Creative Commons Rights Back Resource (beta) that will provide authors worldwide with information about how to regain copyright previously assigned away.

To facilitate momentum on the tool, Creative Commons, SPARC Europe and Authors Alliance convened an in-depth workshop involving more than 60 attendees focused on Giving Authors Control: How to Retain and Regain Your Copyright.

Vanessa Proudman, Director of SPARC Europe, framed the workshop looking at the current context, goals and challenges with rights management. She shared ten prerequisites for making open the default, and talked of how the community might best enable open for academics and readers. Among other highlights, she provided an overview of funder and government mandates for open access and identified key goals and challenges to enable open.

Brianna Schofield, Executive Director of Authors Alliance, highlighted and explained existing legal tools that help authors make sound publication decisions and regain control of their works, sharing thoughts on the value of doing so in support of authors making their works available in the ways they want. She explained the complicated nature of termination rights that authors have in the United States and resources that Creative Commons and Authors Alliance have developed to help them navigate those provisions. Michael Wolfe, formerly of Authors Alliance and now at the University of California, Davis, gave a live demonstration of how the www.rightsback.org termination of transfer tool can help authors determine whether they have reversionary rights.

Diane Peters, General Counsel of Creative Commons, described CC’s work in open access in support of a more vibrant and usable commons. She focused on work, generously funded by Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, to develop improved authors addenda that authors can use to retain some rights to their scholarly articles when submitting to traditional, non OA publishers. She also announced the launch of a new legal tool under development and funded by Arcadia, the Rights Back Resource (beta). Authors and those who support them such as librarians will be able to consult the resource to understand reversionary and termination rights around the world.

Session attendees then broke into three working groups to conduct deep dives, exploring three important areas: knowledge gaps and what authors should know if they want to help change current open access practices by retaining rights; existing and future advocacy tools and campaigns that can affect real change in the OA ecosystem; and strategies for overcoming publisher obstacles to author tools. A complete list of resources, speaker presentations, and notes from the breakout working groups may be found here.

What’s Next

The three organizations plan to continue coordinating their respective efforts on new and existing legal tools, outreach, education and advocacy. This will include focusing on tangible ways to push ahead on ideas generated during the CC Summit session.

Creative Commons also welcomes contributions to the new international Rights Back Resource (beta). We need experts to identify and contribute information about reversionary and termination rights around the world. Our goal is provide a comprehensive resource where authors can learn about rights they may have to retake control over publication rights to their works that they previously assigned away. Please join CC in this effort and contribute information here.

We are also working on updates to the Scholars Copyright Addendum Engine and the addenda templates found there. An open questionnaire will be published soon with the goal of learning more about the needs and preferred terms of addenda to be used by scholars, authors and academics.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Summit session! We look forward to seeing your contributions.

The post CC Summit Builds Momentum for Strengthening Author Rights; Global Rights Back Resource Announced appeared first on Creative Commons.

It’s a Recap of Recaps: Notes, Photos, and Blog Posts from this year’s CC Summit

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Photo by Sebastiaan Ter Burg, CC BY

Here’s a roundup of recaps (or a recap of recaps? ) of this year’s CC Global Summit and tracks. Did you write about your experience? Take photos? Take notes? Let us know and we’ll add them to the post.

Blog Posts Track Recaps

Thanks to Jonathan Poritz, Jane Park, and Tim Vollmer for recapping and to all the note takers throughout the Summit!

Photos

The post It’s a Recap of Recaps: Notes, Photos, and Blog Posts from this year’s CC Summit appeared first on Creative Commons.

European Commission forging ahead to boost public sector information and open science

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Laboratory Science – biomedical by Bill Dickinson, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

While the EU copyright reform teeters on the edge of turning into a complete disaster, last week the European Commission published a proposal for a revision of the Directive on the reuse of public sector information (PSI Directive), and a recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information. Both of these documents are a part of a package of measures aiming to foster a common data space in the EU. Both are welcome additions, as they offer proactive steps to improve the re-use of public sector data and scientific research across Europe.

Revision of the Public Sector Information Directive

The PSI Directive first came into effect in 2003 and required EU Member States to make public information and resources that they produce and collect reusable to the greatest possible extent and was broadened in 2013.  The Commission has already released a recommendation on using Creative Commons licenses such as CC BY and the CC0 Public Domain Dedication to share public sector information.

The revised proposal released last week would further expand the PSI Directive. The update would increase the availability of data by bringing new types of publicly funded data into the scope of the directive, including data related to transportation. It would also push to increase business opportunities by encouraging the publication of dynamic data via application programming interfaces (APIs), as opposed to publishing data in static and difficult-to-use formats such as PDFs. These are welcome changes.  

Of particular interest is the expansion of the Directive to cover research data. According to the proposal, research data is defined as “documents in a digital form, other than scientific publications, which are collected or produced in the course of scientific research activities and are used as evidence in the research process, or are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings and results.” The question of whether to expand the Directive to cover scientific research results was included in the public consultation by the Commission last year. We agreed that research resulting from public funding should be available free of charge and with unrestricted reusability. But since there’s several ongoing policies related to open access to research, we urged the Commission to ensure that policy efforts to improve access to publicly funded scientific research are complementary—and not in conflict with—each other.

A final important addition in the new proposed revision is a clarification that where databases fall under the scope of the PSI Directive, the public sector body responsible for the database may not use the Database Directive to prevent or restrict the reuse of documents. (Elsewhere we’ve argued that the sui generis protection in the Database Directive should be deleted altogether).

New recommendations on access to and preservation of scientific information

Another interesting communication released last week was the Recommendation on access to and preservation of Scientific Information. In the document, the European Commission reinforces the notion that access to and re-use of publicly funded research is a “crucial ingredient in advancing science and benefiting society,” and that “scientific information resulting from public funding should be accessible and re-usable with as few restrictions as possible.” We agree. The results of publicly funded scientific research should be made available under permissive open licenses (such as CC BY), or even put into the worldwide public domain using a tool like CC0.

The Commission recommendations call on Member States to:

  • set and implement clear policies for the dissemination of and open access to scientific publications resulting from publicly funded research,
  • ensure that research funding institutions responsible for managing public research funding and academic institutions receiving public funding implement the policies,
  • set and implement clear policies for the management of research data resulting from publicly funded research, and
  • set and implement clear policies for reinforcing the preservation and re-use of scientific information (publications, data sets and other research outputs).

Both the revised proposal for the PSI Directive and the new recommendations to promote access and preservation of scientific information are steps in the right direction to expand the  re-use of public sector data and scientific research across Europe. They signal a push from the Commission to further integrate these related policies. It will be important that these policies are implemented with care and in consultation with stakeholders to “ensure the coherence and the complementarity between EU open access and open data policies.”

The post European Commission forging ahead to boost public sector information and open science appeared first on Creative Commons.

The Commons will unlock our country’s creative potential

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CC BY-NC-SA

Mohamed Rahmo on how copyright reform will boost Morocco’s creative industries. Mohamed Rahmo is the catalyst for Morocco’s Creative Commons chapter and President & CEO of madNess, a non-profit dedicated to promoting creative industries and innovation. Here’s an edited transcript of Mohamed’s story:

The work we do as an NGO is to advocate on behalf of creative industries. We’re all about creativity for social impact. Our vision is to make Morocco a powerhouse in creative industries like graphic design, visual design, video making and video games, and to be a spotlight for creative industries in the world.

Mostly we work with creative people that quit their job and want to start freelancing, but are unsure how. We work with these people to structure their work, and we also have a large database of employers that need these people, like agencies or publishers, so that we can connect them together.

CC BY-NC-SA

A workshop at the Bidaya social incubator in Casablanca, bringing together videomakers and social entrepreneurs

The other focus of our organization is advocacy. Here in Morocco the copyright act hasn’t been updated for 30 years, which is a shame. We want to advocate about the copyright act, because it’s directly related to creative work.

Take music, for example. If you want to print a CD here in Morocco, you have to pass through a crazy process of copyright. You have to pay a lot of money. A lot of people that want to make music here are very poor; even if they have the money to record, they don’t have the money to pay the copyright.

If they are able to choose Creative Commons licensing, and Creative Commons becomes legal here, we are going to have a revolution in the content industry. Our goal for the next two years is to pass a law to organize Creative Common as a part of the general scope of copyright.

CC BY-NC-SA

madNess workshop exploring creative industries and green cities

Hacking the consumer mindset

We created a project called CCCC, “Creative Commons Content Creation.” We wanted to host a day where everyone would come together and start creating creative or free licensing or content, and then put it online for free under Creative Common licensing.

We want to “hack the mindset” of people and transform them from passive to more productive, in a way that’s respectful to their life and means of production. And to educate people about Creative Common in a practical way. Our hope is that this will help make our advocacy work and passing copyright reform easier.

The real success is to use Creative Commons to change the mindset of people.

Last year, one of the interesting things that happened for me at the Creative Commons Summit was learning about how others were able to pass laws or challenge copyright policies. And also to share ideas and curriculum. We received help from the New York Public Library, which gave us a curriculum for 3D printing workshops. That’s exactly what we need as an organization that designs education programs: to see how other people do it for copyright or open education.

“The culture of fun”

What is it to share content through the Commons, and what is it to manage common things? We live in a common world. The city is the best invention or innovation humans ever came up with. Now we see how awareness around managing cities is rising. The future of the Commons and a common culture and common world and common philosophy — people are more aware about it.

When you advocate for Creative Commons, you advocate for a direct transformation of your society. You push people to a culture of sharing and a culture of open. If we increase the number of people who share or are involved in sharing — even if they just share a smile with people in the morning when they go out — that means a huge change in society. That’s the impact of the Creative Common on my personal life and my work in general.

This is for me the biggest trait of the commons, though it may sound like a hippie answer: to love other people, to try to understand other people, to share. I come from the belief that the more we are thankful, the more we receive. Whenever I give to someone something, whether it’s material or ideas, the more I receive.

And: it’s fun. I am an advocate of the culture of fun. I love fun. I love to have fun, because when you love what you do, and it’s fun, necessarily there will be a good result, because you enjoy doing your work.

The post The Commons will unlock our country’s creative potential appeared first on Creative Commons.

“Build the Commons, so it is better for all”: CC Global Summit 2018

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Like a Creative Commons event, this post will open and close with gratitude.

Thank you to everyone who attended, participated, tuned in, and raised their voices in support of the Commons this April, whether it was in Toronto with 435 other commoners or online through the stream and social feed.

From April 13-15, Commoners gathered for workshops, discussions, seminars, and plenaries about the future of the Commons, the network, and what’s next for our community of sharing. Through snow, raining ice, and bitter cold, we kept warm at the Delta Hotel with a full agenda and the collective excitement of seeing each other, many of us for the first time in a year. (Did we mention we’ll be in Lisbon next year?)

Photo by Terry Williams

The Summit opened with a packed breakfast for Summit newbies – more than 100 people came to eat and meet newcomers to the CC Community every morning. Arriving to find this year’s Uncommon Women coloring book on their seats and a snazzy new pin in their swag bags, attendees sipped their coffee as they enjoyed a variety of CC items.

Like last year, the opening session began with an invocation by Whabagoon (Patti Phipps-Walker), an Ojibway indigenous elder, who recognized the tribal roots of the land and said “Miig-wetch” (thank you) for our gathering place. Later that day, one of our most popular sessions discussed indigenous cultural heritage and intellectual property and its challenges and futures. In a charged panel, practitioners and academics discussed the historic harm to traditional knowledge and the concept of “sharing” and discussed alternative forms of cultural heritage demarcations, such as Traditional Knowledge (TK) labels.

Kicking off the #ccsummit with @creativecommons coffee and @uncommon_women book! At cc newbies breakfast with lovely new faces pic.twitter.com/mxwx4DwXOp

— Jane Park (@janedaily) April 13, 2018

“Build the commons, so it is better for all”

Wikipedia Executive Director Katherine Maher’s keynote and discussion on Friday asserted that free knowledge is inherently radical. She encouraged our communities to “lean into our values and our value,” and “build for the world we want to have.” Her keynote was a call to action for our communities to come together as a community of practice, resisting enclosures of knowledge and leaning into our collective power. “To be truly equitable, we need to acknowledge that the work is political,” she said. While for some, Open is a hobby or interest, for those at the margins, it can be inherently risky and difficult, a sentiment echoed by second keynote speaker Chris Bourg on Saturday.

Read an interview with Katherine Maher.

In the discussion that followed, Maher discussed the future of the “Big Open” movement with Ryan Merkley, CEO, and Mark Surman, of Mozilla. All focused on the need for the Open Internet as an antidote to the current, broken system of ad-based and surveillance economies. For Open movements, the pull of enclosure and corporate utilization of the commons without giving back represent what the speakers called “the tension of success.” “We need to make sharing reciprocal,” said Maher, bringing the discussion to the need for governance and full community participation. “Participation must be active, not exploitative. We’re building the commons for everyone, not just those who are already in it,” she said.

“Sharing goes both ways: it asks for you to participate, not just consume. We want people to be active on internet” – @krmaher at #ccsummit pic.twitter.com/tX7y4s4iae

— Zachary McCune (@zmccune) April 13, 2018

 

 

 

State of the Commons

Another highlight on Friday was the presentation of the first set of data from our annual State of the Commons report. These graphics, commissioned from designer Amy Collier, represented a sample of the full report designed by Affinity Bridge, which will be released this month.

“Lift up the people around you”

Many participants attended the Uncommon Women session, where women leaders and allies in the movement discussed inclusivity and the need for more diverse voices in the movement. The Uncommon Women coloring stations throughout the event provided necessary connection and relaxation as well!

I ran into @amirad and @amirad at the #ccsummit !!!!! Thx @uncommon_women pic.twitter.com/O8nocwdskI

— Chris Lawrence (@chrislarry33) April 14, 2018

Another gold nugget from the @uncommon_women audience: Lift up the people around you, but also practice private and 1:1 affirmations. #ccsummit

— ccglobalsummit (@ccglobalsummit) April 13, 2018

Humans of the Commons

Throughout the Summit, more than 60 participants shared their stories at our podcasting popup “Humans of the Commons.” In a specially outfitted space, participants were interviewed by our partners at Loup about their experiences in the movement, their work, and their communities.

View the first stories

"The more I learn about how technology impacts my life and the lives of people around me, the more curious I get"@mozilla's @TheSamBurton talks about how her work and hobbies drive her interest in digital rights at #ccsummit Humans of the Commons Listen: https://t.co/g9IrKqwD8r pic.twitter.com/SU0UYeiLCl

— Loup Design & Innovation (@listening_loup) April 15, 2018

The Future of the Network

During the Summit, our platforms, working groups, and network leaders met to discuss the future of their work. In the next year, the network will focus on recruiting, creating strong local teams, collaboration, and governance. In order to build collective, dispersed power, the network’s working groups and platforms in Open GLAM, Copyright Reform, Open Education, Community Development, Translation, and Communications met to discuss their future and next steps.

Great session on the future of the CC global network with @atarkowski @nicsuzor @claudio @ryanmerkley and others. Most valuable takeaway for me to think about change and new members as additive, not substitutional. #ccsummit

— Meredith Jacob (@meredithjacob) April 13, 2018

Join the network. Get CC Certified

On Saturday, Jennryn Wetzler, our new Assistant Director of Open Education, opened up registration for the Creative Commons Certificate program this summer. From her blog post: “The CC Certificate provides an-in depth study of Creative Commons licenses and open practices – helping you become an expert in open licensing and the Commons. The program is offered both as a 10-week online course starting in July 2018 as well as a week-long, in-person bootcamp in 2019. In keeping with our values, we will openly license (CC BY) the Certificate content – making downloadable and editable file formats available for informal learning from our website by July 2018.”

Read the announcement Register now

Excited about new project from @creativecommons: CC Certificates for educators & librarians. Also looking to make course content available CC-BY for informal learning https://t.co/PSYmkI8brb #ccsummit

— Natalie Colaiacovo (@lilstairz) April 13, 2018

Registration is now open for the @creativecommons Certificate for Librarians and Educators. As one of the beta participants, I highly recommend this course. You can ask me about my experience too. See https://t.co/9TGrEFgVZV #ccsummit pic.twitter.com/j21FdZyjUB

— Regina Gong (@drgong) April 14, 2018

“Collaboration Moves at the Speed of Trust”

MIT Library Director Chris Bourg’s wide-ranging keynote and discussion “Open as in Dangerous,” discussed the need to address the “dangerous” parts of our movements in Open, echoing Maher’s assertion that free knowledge is a political act. “The best librarians are radical,” she said, and not only have libraries “never been neutral,” they “have the potential to be agents of decolonization and social change.” Social justice was a key message in Bourg’s talk, which emphasized the need for open access to knowledge to produce better research, ultimately making the world a more just place. “Individuals who have access to knowledge can lead better and more empowered lives,” said Bourg. In her conclusion, she discussed how online risks mirror real world structural inequalities in their uneven distribution among those with less societal power. “’Open as in Dangerous’ is about loss of control, of privacy. For marginalized people especially, the very danger of being open is the danger of being targeted for abuse,” she concluded.

Read an interview with Chris Bourg.

In the panel discussion that followed, Amira Dhalla of Mozilla, Amy Buckland of University of Guelph, and Bourg discussed the balance of Open, privacy, and sharing. Discussing the need to deemphasize dominant discourses in order to focus on meaningful collaborations that challenge hegemonic structures, the speakers emphasized relationships in subjects like web archiving, privacy, and decolonization in open projects. Intentionality was a key focus for the speakers, who come to Open from a variety of backgrounds. The conclusion of the discussion emphasized the need to build trust into systems, recognizing histories of oppression and colonization that continue to impact the structures of power that exist today.

“Out of that defeat, you were born”

The packed room for Lawrence Lessig’s talk “From Unlocking Free Culture to Reviving American Democracy” listened, rapt, as he outlined his career from copyright to representational democracy. For Lessig, the Eldred defeat was the catalyst for his years of work on the role of big money in government and law, and his founding of Creative Commons in the process.

Like copyright, asserted Lessig, the fight for a more representational government is a fight for integrity. Unlike copyright, people are already convinced – the common view in the United States is that government is nonrepresentational. “Keep your values in sight,” concluded Lessig, after discussing his role as “digital Cassandra” in 2001 and the community’s failing of Aaron Swartz, Creative Commons co-founder. After a moving and inspirational talk, the audience’s appreciation of Lessig’s years of work to end systemic corruption was apparent as they rose in acknowledgment and support.

The complexities of civil disobedience versus copyright law @lessig #ccsummit18 #ccsummit @creativecommons pic.twitter.com/jtaWVRs4N4

— Matthew Rimmer (@DrRimmer) April 14, 2018

Open Bazaar

Makers at the CC Summit found their kin at the Open Bazaar, a space to meet and greet projects from around the commons. From Open Textbooks to 3D printing, projects from around the world were represented as part of the meet and greet format.

Having a great time at the #CCSummit – come say hi to Brett and Casey at the Open Bazaar tomorrow, table 22! @creativecommons @ccglobalsummit pic.twitter.com/NpZXqb6RTc

— Library Innovation (@HarvardLIL) April 13, 2018

Party for the People (of the Commons)

At Boxcar Social, a hip bar on Toronto’s waterfront, Summiteers braved the snow and joined our Commons People Party, a welcoming space where they could warm up with wine, whiskey, and good company. The party featured a screening of Vincent Moon’s Hibridos, the multimedia documentary based on Moon’s travels in Brazil. Read an interview with the filmmaker.

“Cultural goods are not treasure troves to be locked up by the people who can afford them.”

Professor Ruth Okediji, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard University and Co-Director of the Berkman-Klein Center, gave the final, resonant keynote of the Summit, focusing on her work for a more just international copyright system. Dr. Okediji stressed the need for better policy to open up resources for equality internationally. She discussed her work on the Marrakesh Treaty, a copyright exception to support individuals with visual impairments, and connected it to the need for expanded exceptions and limitations and a better global copyright policy.

Copyright, she claimed, has become a means of control by the few to dictate the access of the many. “Authors want to be read,” she asserted, and said that the use of copyright as a means of control is “troubling.” In the panel discussion that followed, Dr. Okediji discussed the future of copyright with Teresa Nobre, CC Portugal Legal Lead, Michael Geist, Canadian Research chair at University of Ottawa, and Delia Browne, Australian National Copyright Director. In the discussion, they talked about the need for sustained engagement with copyright policy. In the words of Dr. Okediji, “We don’t win just by showing up at the end.” Copyright as a tool to empower citizens and create power through access was a theme in the discussion, which brought together some of the most important lawyers working on exceptions and limitations today.

“Education is vital” Ruth Okediji responding to the copyright battle in Canada & EU on panel w/ @mgeist @tenobre @deliabrowne #ccsummit pic.twitter.com/xRZfGUj60u

— Abby Cabunoc Mayes (@abbycabs) April 15, 2018

By Giulia Forsythe CC BY “The most fitting way to do justice to the legacy of Bassel Khartabil and his family, is to lift up the voices of those like him.”

On Sunday, we announced the inaugural recipients of the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship and Memorial Fund with our partners. After a statement from filmmaker Dana Trometer, a friend of Khartabil’s, the fellowship was awarded to Majd Al-shihabi, a Palestinian-Syrian engineer based in Beirut whose work focuses on oral history and the digitization of public domain Palestinian maps. The Fellowship was presented alongside three inaugural Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund grants, awarded to Egypt-based The Mosireen Collective, and Beirut-based organizations Sharq and ASI-REM/ADEF Lebanon (Arab Studies Institute-Research and Education Methodologies / Arab Digital Expressions Foundation).

After the presentation of the awards, award-winning filmmaker Yasmin Fedda screened part of her upcoming film Ayouni, still in production, which will focus on the more than 10,000 disappeared people of Syria, including Khartabil. The film’s footage tells the tragic story of Khartabil and his wife, human rights lawyer Noura Ghazi, who has been fighting for justice since his disappearance in 2012.

“Realizing the full potential of the creative spirit that is demonstrated by the internet”

Over lunch, participants enjoyed a “fireside chat” on the past and future of Creative Commons with Molly Van Houweling, Lawrence Lessig, and Claudio Ruiz.

Learn to think like a creator of open content

During the #ccsummit, @ter_burg worked non-stop to take pictures of all the beautiful humans that were there to share and plan for the fights ahead. Thank you! <3 https://t.co/nxNl9wx4LX

— Leo Arias (@yoelopio) April 16, 2018

As usual, the creativity of our community was on full display at this year’s Summit. From the whimsical swag to the gorgeous window displays of our community’s photos, we lit up the commons through photography, video, and even live theater – the Summit concluded with a performance of CC Portugal’s “Copywrong” play.

Photographer Sebastiaan Ter Burg’s openly licensed photos capture the faces and moments that made the Summit shine.

View them all

To close with gratitude, thank you. Thank you to the 435 attendees from 64 countries, the 192 speakers, the 26 volunteers, the staff, the programming committees, the sponsors, and the Commoners who traveled a collective 1.56 million kilometers to join together and share in our community. Until next year in Lisbon!

So much gratitude for everyone at the CC Global Summit this weekend. See if you can spot yourself in this video of great #ccsummit moments by @ter_burg. https://t.co/F71OlFPAOz

— Creative Commons (@creativecommons) April 15, 2018

All photos linked to source, most photos CC BY, Sebastiaan Ter Burg, except Keynote Drawings by Giulia Forsythe, CC BY and CC0

The post “Build the Commons, so it is better for all”: CC Global Summit 2018 appeared first on Creative Commons.

Power to the Preprint

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Preprints are here!!! Starting today authors submitting their manuscript to most PLOS journals* can also choose to post their article on bioRxiv, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s preprint server for the life sciences. This is an important development for both PLOS, for bioRxiv, for the authors we serve, and for the life sciences. For PLOS, it enables us to achieve a long-standing aspect of our vision to make research more quickly available to enable discovery and reuse.  For bioRxiv, this development will augment the server’s already rapidly climbing manuscript submission rate. And authors will gain the opportunity of sharing their work before peer review on a trusted platform.

“Collaborating with bioRxiv is part of a much bigger strategy for PLOS moving forward, one in which we’ll renew our roots of being a catalytic open publisher” said Alison Mudditt, CEO of PLOS. “To accelerate innovation, we’ll often act in partnership with others in the community, which will move us closer to our vision of how scientific communication should work.”

“We warmly welcome the further integration of PLOS journals with bioRxiv,” said John Inglis, co-founder of bioRxiv. “The server’s goal is the acceleration of research and providing unrestricted access to manuscripts before they enter an often lengthy process of peer review is one of several ways bioRxiv is delivering on its promise.”

So what are preprints exactly?

A preprint is an openly available scientific manuscript that an author uploads to a public server like bioRxiv prior to peer review. The preprint contains data and methodologies and is typically the same manuscript that is submitted to a journal.

Why are preprints important?

Well, for starters, early sharing of ideas can lead to new discoveries and collaboration, and early feedback can help improve your manuscript. We are committed to putting your science first. By allowing a submission to be posted on bioRxiv, authors accelerate the dissemination of their work and invite commentary by a broader community, which PLOS editors may evaluate as part of peer review.

How will it work? This graphic is a visual representation:

In short, PLOS will perform initial manuscript screening compatible with bioRxiv standards, covering appropriate scope and article type, plagiarism detection, and other basic ethical and technical criteria. Articles will then post to the bioRxiv server and be freely accessible online. Authors must choose to opt-in to this preprint process when they submit papers to PLOS.

When sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter please use the hashtag #powertothepreprint to help increase visibility and awareness for preprints. Publish with PLOS and post your preprint on bioRxiv and let’s keep science open, and accessible, together.

*PLOS Medicine continues to permit authors to post preprints of their research, but given particular issues related to research in human health, will not initially be offering transfer of submitted manuscripts to bioRxiv.  PLOS Biology also continues to encourage authors to post preprints and will enable this automated preprint posting service to submitting authors in a few months.

Joint Publisher Statement

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PLOS, together with the Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Cell families of journals issued a joint statement that addresses a recently proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

PLOS has always been a strong proponent of sharing data to improve the transparency of scientific research, but we recognize that some datasets cannot be made publicly available for ethical reasons. The EPA proposed rule is presented as informed by the journals’ policies. However, insisting on public availability of data would allow the EPA to exclude relevant data simply because it cannot be made publicly available. We believe this could prevent the use of relevant scientific evidence in the regulatory process.

You can read the joint statement here.

Citation

J. Berg, P. Campbell, V. Kiermer, N. Raikhel, D. Sweet, Science. 10.1126/science.aau0116 (2018).

Mexican Senate passes changes to copyright law that would censor content online

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Digital rights organisations in Mexico are sounding the alarm after the Senate approved changes to the copyright law that would censor information online. The measures would allow for the preemptive removal of content without having to prove that a copyright infringement has actually taken place.

Yesterday the Senate approved the modifications to the Federal Copyright Law, with 63 votes in favor, 11 against, and 23 abstentions. The Senate voted with little internal discussion, and without the knowledge of or input from civil society organisations or the public.

Essentially, the changes to the law would permit courts—without holding a trial—to preemptively remove online content which is suspected to be an infringement of copyright, or even to seize equipment such as servers and routers that facilitate access to allegedly-infringing material.

This practice is unjustified and harmful to freedom of expression. Luis Fernando García from R3D noted that the approved changes “clearly constitute a measure of prior censorship, in violation of article seven of the Mexican Constitution.” In addition, the law seemingly contravenes Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights (ratified by Mexico), which establishes that freedom of expression “shall not be subject to prior censorship” except for in specific circumstances—which does not include enforcement of copyright.

This is a very troubling development, with potentially massive negative implications to both access to information and due process of law. We’ll continue to work with our partners in Mexico to monitor and act on this issue.

Censorship icon by luca fruzza on The Noun Project, CC BY.

[En Español]

Organizaciones de la sociedad civil en México han hecho sonar las alarmas después de que el Senado aprobara cambios a la ley de derecho de autor que podría permitir la censura en línea. Estas medidas permitirían la remoción preventiva de contenido sin tener que comprobar que ha ocurrido una violación al derecho de autor.

El día de ayer, el Senado aprobó las modificaciones a la Ley Federal del Derecho de Autor con 63 votos a favor, 11 en contra y 23 abstenciones. El Senado votó con muy poco debate de por medio y sin el conocimiento o la participación de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil o del público.

En esencia, estos cambios permitirían a las cortes, sin juicio, eliminar de forma preventiva contenido que, se sospeche, estaría violando el derecho de autor. Incluso permitiría el decomiso de equipo de cómputo como servidores y ruteadores que hayan sido utilizados en la supuesta infracción.

Esta forma de actuar no tiene justificación y es dañina para la libertad de expresión. Luis Fernando García, de la organización R3D comentó que los cambios aprobados “constituyen claramente una medida de censura previa, en violación al artículo séptimo de la Constitución Mexicana”. Así mismo, la ley parece contravenir el Artículo 13 de la Convención Americana de Derechos Humanos (ratificada por México) la cual establece que la libertad de expresión “no deberá estar sujeta a censura previa” a excepción de en ciertas circunstancias dentro de las cuales no se encuentran las infracciones al derecho de autor.

Este es un evento muy desafortunado que tiene implicaciones muy negativas hacia el acceso a la información y al debido proceso. Continuaremos trabajando con nuestros colaboradores mexicanos para monitorear el progreso de esta situación.

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56 organisations tell EU legislator to delete the absurd link tax

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Creative Commons and 55 organisations sent a letter to the head of the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee, MEP Axel Voss, urging him to remove the harmful and counterproductive press publishers right from the EU copyright reform docket.

Last month, we wrote about the proposal floated by Voss that would take the already-harmful press publishers right and make it even worse. This new right, laid out in Article 11 of the draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, would introduce an additional right for news websites to extract fees from news aggregators for incorporating short snippets of—or even linking to—their content. Voss’ proposed changes assert that press publishers will receive—whether they like it or not—an “inalienable right to obtain an [sic] fair and proportionate remuneration for such uses.” This means that publishers will be required to demand payment from news aggregators. Such an inalienable right directly conflicts with publishers who wish to share freely and openly using Creative Commons licenses. Forcing publishers who use CC to accept additional unwaivable rights to receive payment violates the letter and spirit of Creative Commons licensing and denies publishers the freedom to conduct business and share content as they wish.

In addition, Voss proposed to expand the scope of beneficiaries of Article 11 to cover not only press publishers, but also news agencies. This could have the effect of inappropriately granting copyright-like protection to facts and compilations of basic information.

The coalition letter reinforces the pervasive danger to access to information, the right to link, and the development of a free and pluralist press.

Voss’ proposal must be rejected, and Article 11 should be deleted. An additional right for press publishers won’t support quality journalism or grow the digital single market. Instead, it will negatively affect access to information and the ability for publishers to share using the platforms, technologies, and terms beneficial to them.

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Making a home for the Physical Sciences and Engineering in PLOS ONE

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Calling all physicists, chemists, earth scientists, computer scientists and engineers: help PLOS ONE make science more open, more reproducible and more transparent.

PLOS ONE is known for its multi- and interdisciplinary approach. The journal is open for papers in all areas of science. From particle physics to pulmonology, we particularly welcome papers that break down barriers between disciplines. Historically speaking, however, most of our initiatives and publications have focused on biomedical topics. Given that all of PLOS’ founders came from biomedical fields, this focus arose organically.

But PLOS ONE’s approach to consider all rigorous research irrespective of impact and PLOS’ commitment to driving innovations in Open Science and Open Access in a non-profit framework have always attracted a diverse group of researchers and disciplines. Indeed, communities in physics, chemistry, earth sciences, computer sciences and engineering have adopted PLOS ONE as an outlet of choice in the past. We have published influential papers on complex networks, 3D printing, polymer chemistry, climate change and machine learning, to name but a few topics.

To build on these strengths, PLOS ONE has created a  Physical Sciences and Engineering team as part of a wider effort to better serve our communities through subject-specific in-house editorial groups. The team is led by me, Division Editor Leonie Mueck (Physics, Computer Science, Engineering). I am proud to present the team working beside me:   

  • Associate Editor Victoria Black (Earth Sciences)
  • Associate Editor Helen Howard (Chemistry and Materials Science)

You can meet us at many 2018 conferences, including the ACS National Meeting, MACRO2018, Goldschmidt2018, the 2018 MRS Fall Meeting, the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting, and NetSci 2018.

Physical Sciences and Engineering is a vast remit and we are building an experienced editorial board in the different research fields, an editorial family which you are invited to join as an Academic Editor. PLOS ONE is a journal that is run by the community for the community, and we invite researchers in the field to join us in our efforts.

Together with some of these communities, we have already started working on various editorial projects:

There are more projects in Physical Sciences and Engineering in the pipeline, and we are committed to sharing our progress with you as we move forward. We want to hear from you, the researchers in these communities. Share your thoughts and help us shape physical sciences and engineering at PLOS ONE! Your perspectives will help shape future projects, topics for calls for papers and how to support you with Open Science initiatives. Please fill out this form if you want to share your ideas with us.

A Thank You to Everyone Who Supported Diego and Open Access to Knowledge

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In December Diego Gómez was finally cleared of the criminal charges levied against him for sharing an academic research paper on the internet. The Tribunal de Bogotá—the Colombian appellate court—affirmed the lower court’s acquittal.

Gómez is a scientist from Colombia who had been criminally prosecuted for the last three years for sharing an academic paper online. When Diego was a student in conservation biology, he had poor access to many of the resources and databases that would help him conduct his research. He found and shared an academic paper so that others could read and learn from it. Gómez didn’t get permission to reshare the article, and subsequently was prosecuted for copyright infringement. He faced up to eight years in prison, along with a substantial monetary fine.

A global campaign—Compartir no es Delito (Sharing is not a Crime)—has been supporting Diego since 2014 – The campaign is now complete. But it’s important to recognize the incredible efforts of everyone involved. First, thank you to Diego for his courage and perseverance during the legal case against him. He continued to stand and fight under immense pressure, including financial uncertainty and the possibility that he would have to serve a prison sentence. Second, thank you to the incredible civil society organisations that immediately jumped into action to organise and collaborate in defense of Diego, and to show their support for open access to research. These efforts were led by the Colombian digital rights organisation Fundación Karisma, with support from groups including Derechos Digitales, Electronic Frontier Foundation, SPARC, Creative Commons, and many others. Finally, thank you to the journalists, op-ed writers, crowdfunding supporters, and hundreds of individuals around the world who shared Diego’s story with friends, family, and the world through writing and social media.

Diego’s case is over, but surely it won’t be the last time overzealous rights holders try to leverage copyright to suppress the sharing of scientific research meant to be shared with the public for the good of everyone. As we’ve said again and again, instead of prosecuting students for sharing knowledge, governments and communities should be encouraging the free exchange of scientific information by reinforcing positive norms around scholarship and collaboration, promoting open access to research, and eliminating out of control copyright penalties that serve no reasonable public interest purpose. Furthermore, we should encourage our governments to boost national legislation that promotes the release of public funded research results as open access.

Thank you to Diego, and everyone who has supported this campaign and movement. You can read more about Diego’s case here, and learn about open access here.

The post A Thank You to Everyone Who Supported Diego and Open Access to Knowledge appeared first on Creative Commons.

Russian translation of 4.0 published

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We are happy to announce the official translation of the Creative Commons 4.0 license suite into Russian. Congratulations to the CC Russia team for the great job! The translation team consisted of Mr. Yuri Hohlov – Public Head; Mr. Alexander Evtyushkin – Expert; Ms. Louisa Rizmanova – CC Russia Project Manager; Mr Alexander Generalov – translator – from IIS; Mr. Michael Yakushev – Legal Head; Ms. Svetlana Vorozhbit; Mrs. Elena Voinikanis; Ms. Natalia Sorokina; Mr. Maksym Naumko; Mr. Vitaly Kalyatin. Special thanks to Mrs. Tatiana Ershova and Mr. Nikolay Dmitrik for reviewing the final draft.

The translation of 4.0 was performed after article 1286.1 of the Russian Civil Code came into effect, which created the definition of the open license under Russian law. Prior to that, the legal regime analogical to Creative Commons had never been defined. This new article benefited Creative Commons users, as well as the free software community. As copyleft licenses, such as GNU GPL, have a long history of translation into the Russian language, there was an effort in the translation process to put the 4.0 legal instruments into the context of the article 1286.1 of the Russian Civil Code and translation of the licenses used for free software.

Surprisingly, there were few issues arising from the lack of the Russian terminology. This new translation reflects the fact of maximum convergence between the Russian legislation on intellectual property and the contemporary documents in the copyright sphere.

View the new licenses.

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One Small Step for Preprints, One Giant Step Forward for Open Scientific Communications

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Thanks to our recent partnership with bioRxiv, PLOS authors will have the choice of posting their submitted manuscript on the bioRxiv preprint server on May 1st. Preprints enable authors to accelerate the dissemination of their work and invite commentary by a broader community, which PLOS editors will evaluate as part of peer review.

Posting your work before formal peer review has other significant advantages:

  • You can stake an intellectual claim to methods, results and ideas contained within that paper, while obtaining citations.
  • Your work can be discovered. Many journals, including PLOS Genetics, use preprint servers to identify and solicit manuscripts.
  • Early posting can lead to collaborations by fostering connections with researchers in different disciplines.

Still not convinced of the value of the preprint and its role in accelerating scientific communication? There are a lot of resources on this topic. Here’s a sampling:

PLOS is committed to putting your science first. Please send any questions, concerns or delights that you have regarding preprints to preprints@plos.org following our launch on May 1st. Publish with PLOS and post your preprint on bioRxiv and let’s keep science open and accessible, together.

Reproducibility and Recognition: One year later

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This blog is authored by PLOS staff with contributions by Lenny Teytelman, protocols.io CEO.

For many scientists, there is a common frustration with methods sections of research papers that lack sufficient details, which are necessary to follow up on the work. The mission of protocols.io is to encourage precision and to facilitate the sharing of these details.  We’re excited that our partnership with them over the past year is providing yet another catalyst for transforming research communication. Our combined aim is simple: improve the rigor of published research papers by encouraging authors to report precise protocols accompanying their manuscripts on protocols.io.

“In addition to helping the PLOS papers and the scientists reading them, this partnership also had a dramatic impact on the adoption of protocols.io. The new author guidelines at PLOS helped protocols.io to also connect in a similar way to 200 other journals,” says protocols.io CEO Lenny Teytelman. “As a result, the number of scientists creating new protocols every month has more than tripled on protocols.io over the past year.”

Figure Legend: Number of scientists creating new protocols each month on protocols.io

“Partnering with organizations like protocols.io and bioRxiv is a way for PLOS to achieve its Open Science mission in the spirit of collaboration,” says PLOS Executive Editor Veronique Kiermer. “Leveraging the effective platform that protocols.io has developed enables us to take a leap forward in promoting reproducibility.”

Out of the hundreds of protocols accompanying PLOS articles published over the past year, we want to highlight a few great and diverse examples of what scientists have chosen to share via their Materials & Methods sections:

Looking ahead to the rest of 2018: protocols.io continues to broaden its scope to include “all research” instead of simply biomedical and the life sciences. And thanks to our continued partnership authors will soon see an improvement to the platform interface for clinical trials, neuroscience and other fields; a better experience for reporting reagents and equipment; and easier to use templates.

Publish with PLOS and your protocols with protocols.io and let’s keep science open, transparent and reproducible together.

 

Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship and Memorial Fund Recipients Announced

Creativecommons.org -

Majd Al-shihabi CC BY Ziad Tareq Hassan

The inaugural Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship was awarded today to Majd Al-shihabi, a Palestinian-Syrian engineer and urban planning graduate based in Beirut, Lebanon. The Fellowship provides operational costs and a stipend of $50,000USD to carry out work honoring the legacy of Syrian activist Bassel Khartabil. The announcement was made at the 2018 Creative Commons Global Summit by Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley and filmmaker Dana Trometer. In tandem with the launch of the Fellowship, Creative Commons announced the first three recipients of the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund: Egypt-based The Mosireen Collective, and Lebanon-based Sharq.org and ASI-REM/ADEF Lebanon.

The Fellowship will support Majd’s efforts in building a unified platform for Syrian and Palestinian oral history archives, as well as the digitizing and release of previously forgotten 1940s era public domain maps of Palestine. “Even though I never met Bassel, I am realizing that the projects and the communities that I have been involved in are influenced by his spirit of openness and collaboration,” says Fellow Majd Al-shihabi. “I hope that through my projects, I will propagate those visions for re-building our Palestinian and Syrian societies towards a fair and free future.”

“It has been extraordinary to see the range of projects and initiatives proposed for this first Fellowship honoring Bassel’s work,” offered Bassel’s widow, Syrian human rights lawyer Noura Ghazi. “Bassel was first and foremost a proud member and leader within Syria’s Creative Commons, open source and free culture communities. I would like to send my heartfelt thanks to everyone at Creative Commons for all the love and support they gave us throughout the hard years Bassel spent in a Syrian prison. I would like to congratulate Majd and the Memorial Fund recipients and I know Bassel would have been a great colleague and supporter of all involved. I wish you good luck with the summit and I regret not being able to be there with you.”

The Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship was made possible by the support and funding from organizational partners Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation, Mozilla, Fabricatorz Foundation, #FREEBASSEL, #NEWPALMYRA, Jimmy Wales Foundation, SMEX, and YallaStartup.

Bassel Khartabil by freebassel, CC0

The Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund is generously supported by Private Internet Access, the family of Bassel Khartabil, and individual donors.

Inaugural Fellowship to focus on a vibrant platform for sharing oral histories and release of public domain maps of Palestine

Majd Al-shihabi’s work as the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellow will focus on collaboration with archivists and oral historians in Lebanon and beyond to increase the accessibility and openness of Syrian and Palestinian oral history collections online. In tandem, Majd will work with local GIS and mapping communities in Lebanon to digitize and publish recently discovered print maps of Palestine from the pre-1940s, British Mandate era. These archival maps will help identify the location of long-since destroyed villages, landmarks, and communities in an open and freely-redistributable web platform, ensuring the perseverance of Palestinian history and culture.

Three recipients of Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund

The Fellowship was presented alongside three inaugural Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund grants, awarded to Egypt-based The Mosireen Collective, and Beirut-based organizations Sharq and ASI-REM/ADEF Lebanon (Arab Studies Institute-Research and Education Methodologies / Arab Digital Expressions Foundation). Grants are valued at up to $10,000USD and targeted at work or projects that will unfold through May 2019.

The Mosireen Collective: 858.ma Archive – https://858.ma/

The Mosireen Collective is a volunteer media group born out of the rapid expansion of citizen journalism and cultural activism during the Egyptian revolution of 2011. Mosireen worked to film, document, edit and upload video works related to the revolution, and to train and organize video activists, as well as establish a physical space for meetings and screenings. Following the military coup of 2013, the Collective migrated its work entirely to the web and focused on the creation of 858.ma, a predominantly open source collection of 858 hours of filmed, indexed, and geo-located archival footage from within the Egyptian revolution.

With support from the Memorial Fund, the Collective will expand and grow the online collection, and work to establish it as a “living,” growing, and responsive collection of video works. The Collective plans to launch new workshops and training for video activists, bring together other collections and collectors of video, engage new volunteers to archive and annotate works, and train them in the use of open-source video platform pan.do/ra to help them upload their own footage.

Sharq.org: Arab World Voices Library – https://sharq.org

Sharq’s mission is to strengthen the ability of Arab citizens to hear and be heard, and to engage in honest and productive interactions. Sharq carries out this work primarily through the production of oral history collections that capture the stories and experiences of individuals across the Arab world. Sharq’s Managing Director, Reem Maghribi, is a journalist and communications professional who has focused Sharq’s project efforts around empowering citizens to gain skills for expression and debate, through publishing, training and cultural initiatives.

To date, Sharq has produced varied collections of hundreds of video and audio recorded oral histories from across the Arab region, all under CC license. Recent collections center on culture and society in Syria prior to 2011, human rights abuses during the Gaddafi era in Libya, and employment for Palestinians in Lebanon. The Arab World Voices Library will see Sharq’s wider collection of online, oral histories combined into a single, virtual library destination. Through workshops and online training, visitors from around the world will be invited to explore and help curate and grow the library for future generations.

 

ASI-REM / ADEF Lebanon: Youth Media Activists Camp – https://arabdigitalexpression.org/

The Arab Digital Expression Foundation builds spaces and fosters environments focused on digital expression, learning, skills development, and empowerment of Arab-speaking teenagers and youth to strengthen their engagement with society. ADEF promotes the creative use of media, art, and technology – with a strong focus on the promotion of open source and free culture tools and outputs – to increase the production and dissemination of Arabic knowledge and culture.

ADEF Lebanon, CC BY

ADEF Lebanon has been conducting the Youth Media Activists Camp since 2014. The 10-day camps are an annual gathering place for exchange of knowledge and skills for up to 50 young participants representing collectives, student and social activists, media groups, technologists, and aspiring writers and journalists. Participants take an active role in designing and planning the camps, with an emphasis on developing skills and abilities central to collaboration, expression, and community-building. This year’s camps, partially supported by the Memorial Fund, will continue to mobilize and catalyze a new community of Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian social and political activists.

2018 CC Global Summit

The Memorial Fund and Fellowship recipients were announced at the 2018 Creative Commons Global Summit, the annual gathering of technologists, legal experts, academics, activists, and community members who work to promote the power of open worldwide. Held in Toronto, Ontario, the summit brought together over 450 participants this year.

Summit keynotes this year included Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director, Katherine Maher, Director of Libraries at MIT, Chris Bourg, and Ruth L. Okediji, the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard University and Co-Director of the Berkman-Klein Center. Other notable speakers include Lawrence Lessig, advocate for US democratic reform and Creative Commons founder. Yasmin Fedda, BAFTA-nominated filmmaker, presented exclusive footage from her film, “Ayouni,” which probes the fates of Bassel Khartabil and Italian Jesuit priest Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, two high-profile figures in Syria’s pro-democracy movement who were both forcibly disappeared in the early days of the Syrian revolution. Creative Commons’ CEO Ryan Merkley moderated a conversation with the filmmaker.

During the summit, Creative Commons also announced the launch of its new CC Certificates program, an in-depth course and certification program about Creative Commons open licenses, open practices and the ethos of the Commons, CC’s new Global Network outreach strategy to expand and grow a global community of affiliates and volunteers, and announced a landmark 1.4 billion works shared under CC licenses.

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Announcing Open Registration for CC Certificates

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In response to the growing use of CC licenses globally, and the corresponding need for open licensing expertise, Creative Commons is officially launching the CC Certificate program today. Registration for the Certificate program is now open and details are available on the Certificates website.

The CC Certificate provides an-in depth study of Creative Commons licenses and open practices – helping you become an expert in open licensing and the Commons. The program is offered both as a 10-week online course starting in July 2018 as well as a week-long, in-person bootcamp in 2019. In keeping with our values, we will openly license (CC BY) the Certificate content–making downloadable and editable file formats available for informal learning from our website by July 2018.

The CC Certificate uniquely develops participants’ open licensing proficiency and understanding of the broader context for open advocacy. Course content addresses copyright law, CC legal tools, and Commons values and practices. Currently geared for educators and librarians, the Certificate will soon be offered for additional audiences (such as government and GLAM).

Participants who successfully complete the Certificate program receive a digital Certificate (PDF) that recognizes specialization in open licensing and the Commons, and the ability help others understand and implement open licenses. Certificate recipients will be able to create new openly licensed resources, adapt and innovate on existing open materials – keeping their institution’s knowledge base relevant and up to date. Certificate recipients will also be equipped to meet open licensing requirements increasingly present in government and foundation grants and contracts.

We want to express our gratitude to our Beta cohort of 50 who helped us build, test, and refine the content, as well as Lumen Learning and Canvas for providing the instruction and platform support.

Course Registration is open! Sign up here. We look forward to working with you.

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The Commons Opens Up the World

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Cynthia Khoo on net neutrality, where creativity comes from, and getting involved with the Creative Commons Summit

Based in Toronto, Cynthia Khoo is an internet and technology lawyer working at the intersection of digital rights, copyright and freedom of expression. In advance of the Creative Commons Global Summit, we’re gathering the stories of inspiring humans working around the world to shape the Commons’ future. We want to share your story, too — drop by the “Humans of the Commons” listening lounge at the Summit to get interviewed and add your voice. Here’s an edited transcript of Cynthia’s story:

I first got involved with Creative Commons last year when the Creative Commons Global Summit happened in Toronto. I had just moved to Toronto, so it seemed like a great opportunity to see what the organization did firsthand. The summit was an amazing experience; I loved it. It felt unlike other conferences I’d been to up to that point.

After that I went from just being aware of Creative Commons to actively wanting to be a part of it. I got added to the Creative Commons Slack – I hung out for a bit, just to see what was up and keep an eye out for ways to get involved. I was working with Open Media at the time on their copyright reform platform, and because Creative Commons is in that space as well we found opportunities to collaborate together.

So when the opening came up for volunteers to help organize this year’s summit, I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to help out and pay it forward.

From the 2017 CC Summit in Toronto. Sebastiaan ter Burg — Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) “Yes! They got it!!”

One recent success I’m really proud of is a significant victory for net neutrality here in Canada. Net neutrality is under serious threat in the U.S. and around the world right now, and last year’s hearing was similarly critical for Canada. It focused on “zero rating,” which is about whether phone and cable companies should be allowed to discriminate or privilege some content on your mobile phone data plan, like certain music or video services.

One of the challenges we faced from the parties on the opposing side, I thought, was a misrepresentation around how our internet access is structured. Their argument conflated two very different layers: the access component of going online, and the content component. If you think of a layer cake, it was like they were trying to cut through both layers of the cake and serve them to consumers as slices. That would essentially be a form of Internet rationed out to users piece by piece, as opposed to a neutral Internet connection that’s essential for access to information and freedom of expression.

I wanted to make it really clear that wasn’t an accurate characterization of how the system actually works. We had to figure out how to make the Commissioners see that there are reasons we need to keep those layers distinct, going back to basic telecom principles like common carriage and non-discrimination between users in similar situations. That was something I spent a lot of time trying to think through, because they came at that argument from several different angles.

When the decision came out, the Commissioners explicitly cited some of the arguments that we had made and language we had used. Other public interest groups and individuals intervened in the case and made similar arguments — but it was important to me and I had spent so much time on it… I just had this moment of: “Yes! They got it!!”

We ended up winning the case. There’s some debate about how strongly they ruled in our favor, but they established a framework that was along the lines of what we were arguing for.



From Theft: A History of Music CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 “Where’s the line between imitation and inspiration?”

I believe the greatest threat to the Commons today is disproportionate copyright enforcement.  That has a number of effects and attacks the Commons from multiple angles.

Copyright enforcement itself is of course fine, and we need it; artists and creators should have their work protected and get due compensation for it. But when copyright enforcement becomes disproportionate, things go off the rails. That’s where you end up with mis-ranked priorities — like placing some publishers’ royalties above freedom of expression or above access to information.

So much of creation, whether it’s music or film writing, is iterative. It’s based on the past.

Disproportionate copyright enforcement also stops new things from even being created in the first place, because so much of creation, whether it’s music or film writing, is iterative. It’s based on the past.

There’s this amazing graphic novel called Theft: A History of Music about how music is based on imitation and iteration and inspiration. Where’s the line between imitation and inspiration?

If modern-day copyright laws existed in the past, it’s possible things like jazz or blues wouldn’t even exist today at all.

They would have been sued out of existence. The type of music deemed “worthy” of copyright had a racialized aspect as well. A lot of Westernized classical music, for example, was protected because the melody was considered copyrightable. But other types of music – music that was more beats-based or rhythms-based and associated with African-American musicians – the courts found was not copyrightable. That appears to be based more on a cultural difference than something inherent in the music itself. So when you have that kind of selective enforcement, is it really about creators’ rights? Or is it actually about power and concentrating control?

From Theft: A History of Music CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 “Nothing in the world is equally distributed right now”

Access to information, freedom of expression, diversity, social progress, social, political, and economic equality — all of these things are advanced by a vibrant Commons. The Commons opens up the world. It opens different aspects of the world to different groups of people for whom it might otherwise be closed.

It’s only by removing unfair barriers that we will get to a better world.

That’s so important because nothing in the world is equally distributed right now. Everything is unfairly distributed — because you happen to be born into a rich family, say, or happen to be born in Canada. A vibrant Commons is where these things come out, and it provides a way to remove some of those unfair barriers. And it’s only by removing unfair barriers that we will get to a better world.

The post The Commons Opens Up the World appeared first on Creative Commons.

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