Mini Frogs and other PLOS Research Making Headlines in March and April!

Plos -

Mini Frogs and other PLOS Research Making Headlines in March and April!

Five tiny new frog species found in Madagascar–meet the Mini frogs

Three of these five new species, all of which range from 7.7-15 mm in length, belong to an entirely new genus: Mini. These Madagascan frogs’ miniscule scale enriches the picture of convergent evolution towards tininess in frog species (in addition to being extremely cute).

Lead author Mark Scherz says: ‘When frogs evolve small body size, they start to look remarkably similar, so it is easy to underestimate how diverse they really are. Our new genus name, , says it all: adults of the two smallest species Mini mum and Mini scule, are 8–11 mm, and even the largest member of the genus, Mini ature, at 15 mm, could sit on your thumbnail with room to spare.’

Check out some of the media coverage this article’s received from outlets including National GeographicIFLScience and Smithsonian.com, too!


(Don’t!) Feel the Burn–SPF moisturizer tends to be applied less effectively than traditional sunscreen

A new PLOS ONE study showed that users applying an SPF30 moisturizer applied it less effectively compared to traditional SPF30 sunscreen users, and missed significant areas around the eyelid. Even more concerningly, a post-study questionnaire revealed that participants were unaware of their incomplete coverage. As we move into summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, don’t forget your eyes need sun protection (and sunglasses are always an option, too!)

Co-author Austin McCormick adds: “Moisturiser is not as well applied as sunscreen; therefore, if planning prolonged sun exposure we advise sunscreen be used. If using moisturiser we advise one with SPF: any SPF is better than none, but it should not be considered the equal of sunscreen.”

For additional summer reading about this PLOS article, head to BBC News, NPR, and Today.com, among others!


Climate Change May Contribute to Hay Fever Increase

If you suffer from hay fever, climate change might be contributing to your allergies. A recent study in PLOS ONE showed that areas in the USA where the onset of spring was earlier than normal–or significantly later than normal–corresponded to an increased prevalence in hay fever sufferers. Lead author Amir Sapkota and colleagues used NASA satellite data along with CDC National Health Interview data to compile this first quantitative dataset pointing to a link between spring timing and allergies. The authors speculate that early spring means a longer season for tree pollen, whereas a late spring may mean a high pollen concentration across many different species–in either case, bad news for allergy sufferers.

Sapkota adds: “We need to better prepare, and increase community resilience to minimize the disease burden associated with climate change.”

See more coverage on this paper from outlets including CBS and Ecowatch.com.



Articles Cited

  1. Scherz MD, Hutter CR, Rakotoarison A, Riemann JC, Rödel M-O, Ndriantsoa SH, et al. (2019) Morphological and ecological convergence at the lower size limit for vertebrates highlighted by five new miniaturised microhylid frog species from three different Madagascan genera. PLoS ONE 14(3): e0213314. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0213314
  2. Lourenco EAJ, Shaw L, Pratt H, Duffy GL, Czanner G, Zheng Y, et al. (2019) Application of SPF moisturisers is inferior to sunscreens in coverage of facial and eyelid regions. PLoS ONE 14(4): e0212548. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212548
  3. Sapkota A, Murtugudde R, Curriero FC, Upperman CR, Ziska L, Jiang C (2019) Associations between alteration in plant phenology and hay fever prevalence among US adults: Implication for changing climate. PLoS ONE 14(3): e0212010. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212010

Image captions and credit

  1. An adult male Mini mum, one of the world’s smallest frogs, rests on a fingernail with room to spare. Credit: Dr Andolalao Rakotoarison. CC-BY.
  2. B&W photo; UV photo non sunscreen showing deep dermal pigmentation, a sign of uv damage; UV photo after sunscreen application; UV photo after moisturiser with SPF application (dark areas on images taken with a UV-sensitive camera show SPF protection/coverage). Credit: Austin McCormick et al, 2019. CC-BY.
  3. Sacramento River Bend Outstanding Natural Area. Credit: Eric Coulter, BLM. Public Domain.




Open Education Links from Around the World #5

European Open EDU Policy Project -

  1. On the Open Education Week website, you can find a summary of this year’s event. Centrum Cyfrowe also contributed to this success. The week-long event spotlights amazing work from over a dozen categories including live, face-to-face events, webinars, projects, and resources.
  2. There are no significant differences in standardized test scores when comparing students who use OER versus commercial materials – more can be learned from research carried out by researchers at Brigham Young University.
  3. If you are looking for a large collection of open educational resources (mostly textbooks), you can look at these two proposals.
  4. In less than two weeks, the Creative Commons Summit begins, where you can meet a large part of the Centrum Cyfrowe team. You will be able to participate in our meetings and workshops. We are extremely pleased that Natalia Mileszyk will be one of the keynote speakers of the event.

Nytt CC søk gir brukerne tilgang til 300 millioner bilder

GoOpen.no -

Nytt CC søk gir brukerne tilgang til 300 millioner bilder

Denne uken lanserte Creative Commons et nytt søk som gjør det enda enklere å finne bilder på nett som det faktisk er lov å gjenbruke, uten fare for å motta en faktura i posten fra fotografen. Det nye bildesøket gir brukerne tilgang til 300 millioner bilder i et og samme søk.

Dette er å regne som et globalt digital fellesgode som fremmer god delingskultur. Samtidig gjør det nye søket det enklere å kreditere opphavspersonen riktig, noe som bidrar til at vi får mindre ulovlig gjenbruk av bilder på nett.

Søket vil i første omgang fokusere på bilder, men på sikt vil det også inkludere lyd og digitale læringsressurser. Målet er å utvikle et felles søk for alle de 1.4 milliarder objektene som idag er tilgjengelig under en fri lisens på internett.

Søket samler bilder fra 19 forskjellige kilder inkludert den norske tjenesten Digitalt Museum.no som tilbyr et åpent søk på 2.3 millioner objekter hvor 126.000 av disse er underlagt en CC lisens. Den største kilden er Flickr som tilbyr 289 millioner bilder i det åpne søket. En spennende ny kilde er thingiverse.com som tilbyr 3D tegninger som er sluppet under en fri lisens.

Tema i denne blogg posten er gjengitt som sak på digi.no.

Ny hjemmeside

CC Danmark -

Creative Commons Danmark arbejder på en ny hjemmeside. Vores nuværende hjemmeside har trofast fulgt os gennem de sidste 12 år, og det sætter efterhånden sine teknologiske spor. 

Fx har vi bemærket at flere er begyndt at surfe fra deres smartphones Så derfor er det på høje tid at vi får en responsiv side.  

Den nye side vil dels fremstå i en andre farver end de kendte grønne, for at være mere i sync med de farvevalg som Creative Commons bruger internationalt. Creative Commons Danmark er jo i den sammenhæng blot en lokalafdeling af organisationen Creative Commons. 


Den nye hjemmeside vil med tiden få en række tema-områder, der afspejler vores fokus på borgere, uddannelser, organisationer, erhverv, institutioner og politiske beslutningstagere.

It’s Our Preprint Anniversary!

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Can you believe it’s been one whole year since we launched our preprint-posting partnership with bioRxiv? This calls for a celebration!

Just last May, we began offering authors the choice of having PLOS post their manuscript to the preprint server, bioRxiv, when they submitted to a PLOS journal*. Our opt-in service has made it easier for authors to post their work early and has encouraged many authors to try preprinting their research for the first time. As of today, we’ve posted more than 2,500 preprints!

Many of our authors have now seen their work go from preprint to published and it’s amazing to see the transformation their work has taken – just take a look at the examples below.




  Aug 21, 2018 If a fish can pass the mark test, what are the implications for consciousness and self-awareness testing in animals?

  Feb 7, 2019 in PLOS Biology

  June 4, 2018 Precise prediction of antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli from full genome sequences

  Dec 14, 2018 in PLOS Computational Biology July 2, 2018 Genetically modified pigs are protected from classical swine fever virus

  Dec 13, 2018 in PLOS Pathogens


Why we preprint

Whether you’re an author, an editor, or just an avid science reader, preprints offer a lot of advantages for how we share and consume information: they allow research to be shared openly and broadly, spark feedback and collaborations that may not have happened otherwise, enable authors to claim results and demonstrate their work for timely opportunities such as grant proposals and promotions. But if you really want to know how preprints advance science, just ask our authors:

“As statisticians, we provide analysis and data visualization methods for scientists in the field. Sharing code through GitHub and preprints through bioRxiv provides researchers with the latest methodologies as early as possible. The other benefit is that the scientific community can provide researchers with useful feedback prior to publication. This means that we can tailor new methods to scientists’ needs. These interactions were very enriching, and I recommend Open Science to everybody.”

Stijn Hawinkel, Department of Data Analysis and Mathematical Modelling, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

A unified framework for unconstrained and constrained ordination of microbiome read count data



“Publishing a preprint is a great way to get feedback as early as possible from the community. We actually improved the final version of our paper not only based on the great reviews we received from the formal peer review process, but also based on the feedback we learned through Twitter, and other channels.”

Charlotte Herzeel, ExaScience Life Lab, IMEC, Leuven, Belgium

elPrep 4: A multithreaded framework for sequence analysis



I posted a preprint to bioRxiv when I submitted to PLOS Genetics because I wanted to share our story with scientific community. At submission, I believed we had a complete story that would interest researchers working on various aspects of adhesion biology. I knew that the story would likely develop further after peer review, but I wanted to share the core results with the community.”

Adam Kwiatkowski, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Evolutionary rate covariation analysis of E-cadherin identifies Raskol as a regulator of cell adhesion and actin dynamics in Drosophila


What’s next

Champagne! But our work on preprints isn’t over yet. We’re experimenting with new ways to raise awareness and interaction with preprint manuscripts through events like live preprint journal clubs, hosted by PREreview, and expanding our preprint offerings to include programs like Preprint Editors on PLOS ONE and PLOS Genetics.We’re also going through ALL of our data on preprints that we’ve collected over the past year to share back to you. Please join us in celebrating this month and stay tuned for more insights into our preprint program soon.


*Facilitated posting to bioRxiv has been available on PLOS ONE, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS NTDs, and PLOS Pathogens since May 2018 and on PLOS Biology since July 2018

CC Search is out of beta with 300M images and easier attribution

Creativecommons.org -

Today CC Search comes out of beta, with over 300 million images indexed from multiple collections, a major redesign, and faster, more relevant search. It’s the result of a huge amount of work from the engineering team at Creative Commons and our community of volunteer developers.

CC Search searches images across 19 collections pulled from open APIs and the Common Crawl dataset, including cultural works from museums (the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art), graphic designs and art works (Behance, DeviantArt), photos from Flickr, and an initial set of CC0 3D designs from Thingiverse.

Aesthetically, you’ll see some key changes — a cleaner home page, better navigation and filters, design alignment with creativecommons.org, streamlined attribution options, and clear channels for providing feedback on both the overall function of the site and on specific image reuses. It’s also now linked directly from the Creative Commons homepage as the default method to search for CC-licensed works, and replaces the old search portal (though that tool is still online here).

Under the hood, we improved search loading times and search phrase relevance, implemented analytics to better understand when and how the tools are used, and fixed many critical bugs our community helped us to identify.

What’s next

We will continue to grow the number of images in our catalog, prioritizing key image collections such as Europeana and Wikimedia Commons. We also plan to index additional types of CC-licensed works, such as open textbooks and audio, later this year. While our ultimate goal remains the same (to provide access to all 1.4 billion works in the commons), we are initially focused on images that creators desire to reuse in meaningful ways, learning about how these images are reused in the wild, and incorporating that learning back into CC Search.

Feature-wise, we have specific deliverables for this quarter listed in our roadmap, which includes advanced filters on the home page, the ability to browse collections without entering search terms, and improved accessibility and UX on mobile. In addition, we expect some work related to CC Search will be done by our Google Summer of Code students starting in May.

We’re also presenting the “State of CC Search” at the CC Global Summit next month in Lisbon, Portugal, where we’ll host a global community discussion around desired features and collections for CC Search.

Get involved

Your feedback is valuable, and we invite you to let us know what you would like to see improved. You can also join the #cc-usability channel on CC Slack to keep up with new releases.

All of our code, including the code behind CC Search, is open source (CC Search, CC Catalog API, CC Catalog) and we welcome community contribution. If you know how to code, we invite you to join the growing CC developer community.

Thank you

CC Search is also made possible by a number of institutional and individual supporters and donors. Specifically, we would like to thank Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, Mozilla, and the Brin Wojcicki Foundation for their support.

The post CC Search is out of beta with 300M images and easier attribution appeared first on Creative Commons.

First 4K video using my Pixel XL3

GoOpen.no -

If there’s one area where smartphones have really improved over the last couple of years, it’s photography and video.

Even though 4K video on smartphones is no new thing, I have never tried to make one complete edit with 4K from any smartphone. I got the Pixel 3 XL this winter and for the first time, I decided to try to shoot a ski-trip and edit the whole thing in Premiere Pro without any colour correction, just to see if the quality was “OK” when published on Youtube in 4K.

The goal was not to do a review or anything like that, but my general conclusion is that both the 4K and the stabilization works great. At the end of this short ski-clip, you will see that I am filming while going downhill, and still, it seems steady.

Open Education Links from Around the World #4

European Open EDU Policy Project -

Our bi-weekly review of open education links from around the world. This review is prepared by Alek Tarkowski from Centrum Cyfrowe.
  1. Last week, I took part in the fabuluous OER19 conference, organized by ALT. Here are just some highlights from the event. The archive of live streamed sessions and the conference twitter hashtag are good ways to catch up with what happened in Galway.
  2. Copyright literacy is a project with a self explanatory title. There isn’t much focus on legal issues in the Open Education community right now, so I seek out sessions on the topic – in my opinion its still a fundamental issue. Jane Secker and Chris Morrison excel at creative educational and outreach methods, including a card game about copyright exceptions and a “Publishing trap” boardgame.
  3. Reclaim hosting brings the Indie Web spirit to Open Education. It provides independent web hosting to students and educators as means of controlling their digital identity. And they have a great logo.
  4. FemEdTech is a new network focusing on feminist approach to education technology. Diversity and inclusion was a big topic at OER19. I like this network for its community-based and inclusive spirit.
  5. Cape Town + 10 years debates are wrapping up. For over a year, together with Nicole Allen we organized discussions about new directions for Open Education. We organized the last session in the series at OER19 (video available here) and have started planning a new project on future directions for OE.

Congratulations to the new 62 CC Certificate Graduates and 7 Facilitators!

Creativecommons.org -

From January to April 2019, Creative Commons hosted three CC Certificate courses and a Facilitators course to train the next cohort of Certificate instructors. Participants from Australia, Qatar, South Africa, Egypt, Indonesia, Canada, Argentina, United Kingdom, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and United States engaged in rigorous readings, assignments, discussions and quizzes. See examples of the participants’ assignments they’ve publicly shared under CC licenses. With these courses now complete, we are thrilled to announce 62 new CC Certificate graduates and 7 new CC Certificate facilitators!

Interested in taking the CC Certificate?  We are now accepting new registrations for our June and September courses.

There is nothing more gratifying than following your passion. Thank you @creativecommons for offering a course for educators. I encourage other educators to learn more about #openlicensing #cccert pic.twitter.com/uMhtA9TCwV

— Cathy Germano (@cjgermano) March 31, 2019

The CC Certificate provides an in-depth study of Creative Commons licenses and open practices, uniquely developing participants’ open licensing proficiency and understanding of the broader context for open advocacy. The training content targets copyright law, CC legal tools, as well as the values and good practices of working in the global, shared commons.

u know, I’m more delighted w getting the #cccert not for the knowledge or community (cool tho they were/are) but for the experience of taking a course that was different and where facilitators exhibited a real and meaningful flexibility with assignments + listened to feedback pic.twitter.com/wFxHjy7GdW

— ℳąhą Bąℓi, PhD مها بالي (@Bali_Maha) April 2, 2019

The CC Certificate is currently offered as a 10-week online course to educators and academic librarians. In late 2019 / 2020, Creative Commons will expand Certificate offerings to include 1-week boot camps, additional facilitator trainings, scholarships, and translations of the Certificate into multiple languages.

Just received my #cccert! Thank you for a great online course @cgreen and @creativecommons! Learned a lot! Ready now to spread the love @KAU, the rest of Sweden and wherever needed and wanted! #ONL191 #OER #OpenEducation #openaccess #LastNightInSweden pic.twitter.com/LxgUNYhRR3

— Jörg Pareigis (@joergelp) April 1, 2019

Congratulations to our 62 new Certificate and 7 facilitator graduates; we are filled with gratitude for their amazing work. Now… let’s go change the world!

The post Congratulations to the new 62 CC Certificate Graduates and 7 Facilitators! appeared first on Creative Commons.

Join Online Roundtable on Open Education Policies

European Open EDU Policy Project -

Centrum Cyfrowe team would like to invite you for the second Online Roundtable on Open Education Policies, which will take place on April 24 at 8 am (UTC). Like the first time, this roundtable is a chance for all of us to meet in order to share information related to Open Education, understand what others are planning, see what maybe can be done together.

We will do a “tour de table”, in which each participant will have several minutes to share their information, plans, and comments.

Things we have shared during the first Online Roundtable (in March)
  • The final report from the Open Education Leadership Summit
  • The Digital Public Goods Alliance aims to provide the needed supporting ecosystem to make digital goods easily discoverable, accessible, and usable, and build a community to create, develop, maintain and deploy these goods all over the world.
  • Open Education Global 2019 Conference.  The theme of the Open Education Global 2019 Conference is Open Education for Open Future – Resources, Practices, Communities. The conference takes place in Milan, Italy, 26-28 November 2019.
  • Blockchain, Open Education & Digital Citizenship – the two-day conference runs 28-29 May, 2019 with pre-conference workshops held on 27 May. The aim of this conference is to provide participants with an independent, informed overview of the application of blockchain technologies in education contexts.
  • National OER/OE policy guidelines developed by UNESCO will be launched during the Mobile Learning. The main goal of this roadmap is to work on strategies, including advocacy, that will help accelerate the development and adoption of Open Education policies. The focus is on primary/secondary (K12) and post-secondary education levels as well as governments.
  • In this year OER World Map project will focus more on promotion. More information about this project you will find on this blog.

OER Policy Lab – satellite event of the OER19 conference

European Open EDU Policy Project -

The OER Policy Lab is a one day policy hackathon that we are organizing together with the OER World Map team on the 9th of April 2019. The meeting is a satellite event of the OER19 conference.

OER policy registry – interactive dashboard

The workshop aims to:

  1. Collect and review OER policies in the OER policy registry, with a special focus on European cases;
  2. Identify what new functionalities of the OER Policy Registry are needed by open policy advocates;
  3. Discuss and design an Open Education Policy Network that can support experts working on furthering Open Education policies.

We are bringing together a dozen of advocacy and policy experts, including representatives of the Open Education Consortium, Hewlett Foundation and OER Hub at the Open University UK, as well as individual policy experts.

Unleashing a Community in Action: this year’s CC Global Summit Keynotes

Creativecommons.org -

This year, we’re taking an alternative, community-centered approach to keynotes for the Creative Commons Global Summit. In addition to two keynotes from four esteemed colleagues in open knowledge and the public domain, we’re bringing six community leaders to the stage for short talks on their work and experience. They were identified and selected by the Summit program committee.

The Community Keynotes join us from four continents and a variety of disciplines. From technology to journalism, these Creative Commons Global Network members are accomplished leaders in their fields participating in crucial work for a more open world. These keynotes will be: Majd al Shihabi of Lebanon, Sophie Bloemen of Amsterdam and Brussels, Kelsey Merkley of Canada, Natalia Mileszyk of Poland, Dr. Haggen So of Hong Kong, and Ọmọ Yoòbá of Nigeria. Their bios can be found below.

CC-BY Alaa Elkamhawi

Majd Al-Shihabi is a systems design engineer based in Beirut, applying systems thinking to as many fields as he can reach. He works with a wide range of academic and cultural institutions and archives in the region to build openness into their information systems. He is interested in knowledge production outside of traditional institutions and knowledge dissemination to wider audiences. Majd is interested in studying how urban environments evolve and are shaped, which he is studying at the American University of Beirut. He is the inaugural recipient of the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship, where he worked on two projects: PalestineOpenMaps.org, running mapathons to vectorize the content of historic maps of pre-Nakba Palestine; and MASRAD:platform, an open source tool for archiving oral history collections.

CC BY-SA 4.0

Sophie Bloemen is Director and co- founder of Commons Network, a think tank and civil society initiative based in Amsterdam & Brussels. She writes and speaks on social-ecological transitions, the commons and new narratives for Europe. She is engaged in a number of projects and political processes that explore new, creative institutions, collaborative models and bringing the commons perspective to policy. She has worked as an advocate and public interest consultant on policy issues like health, trade, innovation and R&D. @sbloemen


Myuri Thiruna @emtee.pix CC BY-ND 2.0

Kelsey Merkley is the founder of UnCommon Women, a project designed to advocate for leadership roles for women and celebrate those in leadership through the UnCommon Women Colouring Book. She is an advocate with almost a decade of experience working with local, national, and global organizations. Previously she was Creative Commons Public Lead in South Africa and later in Canada where launched numerous community-building projects. Kelsey now lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Natalia Mileszyk is a lawyer and public policy expert dealing with digital rights, copyright reform and openness. She works for Centrum Cyfrowe, a leading Polish think-and-do-tank, where she analyses and comments on the social aspects of technology and a need for human-centered digital policy. She is also active in Communia Association for Public Domain and Creative Commons Poland. For the last three years, she has been actively involved in copyright reform advocacy at the European level. A graduate of the University of Warsaw and the Central European University in Budapest (LL.M.). You can find her on Twitter at @nmileszyk.


Dr. Haggen So is the president of the Hong Kong Creative Open Technology Association and the public lead of Creative Commons Hong Kong. He is a visiting lecturer of the Hong Kong Community College and previously taught in Hong Kong Baptist University as lecturer in the department of Computer Science. Dr. So also has experiences in commercial software development and developed software products for renowned companies such as Kodak.



Ọmọ Yoòbá is a journalist with eleven years professional experience in the Nigerian broadcast media. He has dedicated eight years of his lifetime to the propagation of the Yorùbá ecological knowledge and cultural on the digital space. As an advocate of multilingualism and internet universality, Yoòbá had worked with stakeholders in the effort to bridge the digital divide, giving minority languages a voice on the Internet of Things, and marginalised society access to digital resources. In addition to teaching the Yorùbá language on tribalingua.com, Yoòbá is a volunteer translator and has worked with Localization Lab to localize digital security and Internet circumvention tools (EFF). He is the Lingua Manager of Global Voices in Yorùbá. In 2018, he collated more than a hundred oral literature of the Yorùbá which is in the archive of the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research in Phillips, Maine, United States.

In addition to these community keynotes, CC has invited two keynotes from four international leaders in free culture and open knowledge. Our first invited keynote is Adele Vrana and Siko Bouterse, co-directors of Whose Knowledge?, a global campaign working to create, collect and curate knowledge from and with marginalized communities, so that the internet we build and defend is ultimately an internet for all.

Our second invited keynote is James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins of the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain, whose keynote will discuss music copyright, the Public Domain, and their work as advocates and lawyers to improve access to knowledge. Jenkins and Boyle recently spoke at our “Re-opening of the Public Domain” event in San Francisco. Watch the video to get a preview of their talk and read an interview with them on the CC blog.

The CC Global Summit will take place from May 9-11 in Lisbon. The program and registration is available at this link.

The post Unleashing a Community in Action: this year’s CC Global Summit Keynotes appeared first on Creative Commons.

Open Education links from around the world #3

European Open EDU Policy Project -

Bi-weekly review of open education links from around the world. This review is prepared by Karolina Szczepaniak from Centrum Cyfrowe.
  1. In March we celebrated 30 anniversary of the World Wide Web. In 1989 Sir Timothy Berners-Lee made a proposal for an information management system and he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client server via the internet. On this occasion, Open Education Working Group has published an article which we highly recommend “Celebrating the open web as a route towards a (more) critical digital education”.
  2. In the context of this anniversary, it is good to mention about OWLETH catalogue. This is a catalogue of instances of the Open Web covering applications and platforms that can be relevant for teaching and learning. It also includes resources and references that can help people understand what the Open Web is.
  3. We are happy that we can share with you a new methodological guide on evaluating the impact of an open e-textbooks program based on the Polish case. One of the co-authors of this publication is Alek Tarkowski, President of the Board, Centrum Cyfrowe Foundation.
  4. Recentering Open: Critical and global perspectives” it is a title of two-day conference which starts on April 10, in Galway. Registration for OER19 is now closed as the event is sold out but you find out more about sessions that will be live streamed.

European Commission adopts CC BY and CC0 for sharing information

Creativecommons.org -

Last week the European Commission announced it has adopted CC BY 4.0 and CC0 to share published documents, including photos, videos, reports, peer-reviewed studies, and data. The Commission joins other public institutions around the world that use standard, legally interoperable tools like Creative Commons licenses and public domain tools to share a wide range of content they produce. The decision to use CC aims to increase the legal interoperability and ease of reuse of its own materials.

In addition to the use of CC BY, the Commission will also adopt the CC0 Public Domain Dedication to publish works directly in the global public domain, particularly for “raw data resulting from instrument readings, bibliographic data and other metadata.”

The European Commission joins governments such as New Zealand and the Netherlands in using CC licenses and CC0 to share digital resources it creates. Intergovernmental organisations, philanthropic charities, and funding policies already require CC licenses to be applied to the digital outputs of grant funds — to promote reuse of materials in the public good with minimal restrictions.

The decision to require reuse of Commission documents under CC BY and CC0 was determined alongside a study on available reuse implementing instruments and licensing considerations. Until now the Commission had been relying on “reuse notices” (a simple copyright notice with link to the reuse decision) that would accompany covered materials, but this practice produced “unnecessary administrative burdens for reusers and the Commission services alike.”

In 2014 the Commission released a recommendation on using Creative Commons licenses such as CC BY and CC0 Public Domain Dedication in the context of Member States sharing public sector information.

CC BY 4.0 receives top score in license evaluation

The study mentioned above evaluates various options for the Commission to consider for its own documents, including the “reuse notice”, CC licenses, the Open Data Commons licenses, and a potential bespoke Commission licence. Its authors determined that CC BY 4.0 is the license best aligned with the Commission’s principles for reuse. According to the report, CC BY 4.0 is:

  • Universal: it is conceived to be applicable to all documents (at the choice of the licensor);
  • Unrestricted: generally speaking, the only condition is attribution;
  • Simple: there is no need for an application and it is user-friendly;
  • Cost-free: the text of CC-BY does not require payment of fees;
  • Non-discriminatory: terms of CC-BY are open to all potential actors in the market; [and]
  • Transparent: the text of the licence is publicly available, accompanied by supporting documents, guidelines and other material in multiple languages.

The study notes that not all of the CC licenses and CC0 have been translated into the two dozen official EU languages; there are 10 remaining translations for CC 4.0 (some in progress) and 12 for CC0. We are working with the Commission and the CC EU network to complete the remaining translations.  

Amid the disappointment with the vote in the Parliament on the copyright Directive last week, which leans toward a more restricted, less open web, it is heartening to see the Commission make progress on supporting reuse of the digital materials it creates and shares. We also look forward to upcoming vote this week on the recast of the Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive. This vote could increase the availability of PSI by bringing new types of publicly funded data into the scope of the directive, and provide improved guidance on open licensing, acceptable formats, and rules on charging.  

The post European Commission adopts CC BY and CC0 for sharing information appeared first on Creative Commons.

The freedom to listen: Rute Correia on the power of community radio

Creativecommons.org -

Academic, producer, and open culture enthusiast, Rute Correia is a Lisbon-based doctoral candidate who produces the White Market Podcast, which focuses on free culture and CC music. As both a student of radio and producer herself, she is deeply connected to the Netlabel and CC music communities, utilizing her significant talents to showcase free music, culture, and Creative Commons through community radio and open source.

Rute will be joining us at the Creative Commons Global Summit in Lisbon from May 7-9 to talk about her exciting new project, the Open Music Network. Find out more about the Summit, and don’t forget to register soon!

How did you become involved with and interested in open culture and music production? How would you encourage others to get involved?
It all started about 12 years ago. I joined Radio Zero, a student radio station in Lisbon, and they had a very open source-oriented ethos. That’s where I first found out about Creative Commons and, luckily, at that time there were lots of independent music labels in Portugal releasing music under CC. One thing led to another and I ended up doing a show only dedicated to music that was freely (as in beers!) available. It was the precursor of White Market Podcast, my show about CC-licensed music and open culture. What I find really exciting about open music is that there’s so much to discover and everything is accessible. Cultural industries tend to remain heavily closed, reinforcing the idea that culture is a privilege, but CC licenses challenge that and allow you to share your stuff with whoever you want. If you like music, I’d say the best way to start is to dive into larger pools of free music, like Starfrosch, Dogmazic, ccMixter, and Auboutdufil.

What is the role of radio in open source music production? Why is radio art important in the digital age?
Radio is the medium with the widest reach in the world – the International Telecommunication Union estimates that it reaches “95% of virtually every segment of the population” around the the world. As such, it is still a great tool for promoting music regardless of genre, and reaching out to newer audiences. But the connection can grow a lot deeper than that; for non-for-profit stations, open music can also be a valuable resource as it is shared with fewer restrictions than copyrighted music. For instance, stations using CC BY-SA songs can share that share the content they produce under the same license allowing their listeners to engage with their content beyond the broadcast schedule.

How do you “live open” in a closed source world? What open values do you bring to your work in academia and radio?
It can be hard sometimes. Sadly, I don’t think we’re at a stage where you can live fully “open”. We’re all limited by the reality around us: jobs, what friends and family do, etc. I try to keep things as open as possible: creating open processes and using free software is a good start in our daily lives. In academia, I try to follow guidelines regarding open science: using open formats and sharing data whenever possible. Beyond using and sharing only free content, I have tried to set up a collaborative workflow using Github to create content for White Market Podcast. It’s still a work in progress, though.

What are you going to be working on or presenting at the CC Summit?
Darksunn and I will be presenting the recently-formed Open Music Network – a non-profit organization focused on promotion, education and advocacy for the benefits of open music for both professional and personal use. The network links different actors in the open music community – such as platforms, labels, podcasts and radios shows, and even a venue.

What aspect of the CC Summit are you most excited about? What are you most looking forward to?
Just to take part in it is already crazy exciting for me! It’s going to be my first ever CC Summit and it’s a lovely coincidence that it’s taking place right at home. I look forward to welcoming other CC-lovers into Lisbon, as well as learning from their experiences with Creative Commons and in open culture.

The post The freedom to listen: Rute Correia on the power of community radio appeared first on Creative Commons.

A Dark Day for the Web: EU Parliament Approves Damaging Copyright Rules

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Today in Strasbourg, the European Parliament voted 348-274 (with 36 abstentions) to approve the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. It retains Article 13, the harmful provision that will require nearly all for-profit web platforms to get a license for every user upload or otherwise install content filters and censor content, lest they be held liable for infringement. Article 11 also passed, which  would force news aggregators to pay publishers for linking to their stories.

There was a potential opportunity to vote on amendments that would have removed the most problematic provisions in the draft directive, particularly Articles 13 and 11, but the preliminary vote even to consider amendments fell short by five votes, thus pushing the Parliament to move ahead and simply approve the entire package.

MEP Julia Reda called the decision “a dark day for internet freedom.” We agree. There was a massive outpouring of protest against the dangers of Article 13 to competition, creativity, and freedom of expression. This included 5+ million petition signatures, a gigantic action of emails and calls to MEPs, 170,000 people demonstrating in the in the streets, large websites and communities going dark, warnings from academics, consumer groups, startups and businesses, internet luminaries, and the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression. Even so, it was not enough to convince the European legislator to change course on this complex and damaging provision that will turn the web upside down.    

Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley responded to the vote:

Despite an incredible show of public opposition to the directive, and an abundance of evidence that the proposals will favour large rights holders, damage online communities, slow or even stop innovation, and entrench established big tech players, the European legislature has decided to approve it. Regardless of this outcome, we’ll continue to work with Member States wherever we can to ensure the implementations of this directive minimize the negative impact we anticipate for the commons, and on users who want to share creativity and knowledge online.

We’re disappointed with the decision to push through Article 13 and 11, but the directive is not a total wash. There are some productive changes that will improve the situation of the commons, libraries & cultural heritage, and research sectors. For example, the directive includes a provision to ensure that digital reproductions of public domain works don’t get a separate copyright and will also be in the public domain. It includes text to improve the ability for cultural heritage institutions to preserve works and to make available copyrighted works from their collections that are no longer commercially available. And the directive slightly improves the copyright exception on text and data mining (TDM) by making mandatory an earlier optional provision that would expand the possibilities for those wishing to conduct TDM.

The final outcome of the European copyright directive reflects a disturbing path toward increasing control of the web to benefit only powerful rights holders at the expense of the rights of users and the public interest. It has been — and will continue to be — up to us all to fight for an open internet that sustains new creativity and upholds freedom of expression in the digital environment.

The post A Dark Day for the Web: EU Parliament Approves Damaging Copyright Rules appeared first on Creative Commons.

Open Education news from around the world #2

European Open EDU Policy Project -

Bi-weekly newsletter for most interesting open education updates by Centrum Cyfrowe (March 19, 2019)

  1. Redhat company has just published a great story of “teacher, an afterschool club, and how they built a creative community through open leadership and transformed a city in the process”. You can find this and many other inspiring open source stories on https://red.ht/2IPcf2g.  
  2. BCCampus Open Education prepared very interesting Working Group Guide (https://opentextbc.ca/workinggroupguide/) on how to establish, run, and sustain an open working group – a resource for librarians, staff, and faculty who support open education.  
  3. Open Education Hackdays is great example of collaboration between students, teachers, EdTech Startups, school specialists and engineers, data analysts and designers in order to create the “School of the Future”.   The Open Education Hackdays will take place at the International Swiss Boarding School on March 22-23 2019 (https://opendata.ch/projects/open-education-hackdays/).
  4. Many brilliant open educational resources on art and cultural objects can be found on Smart History website https://smarthistory.org. Enjoy!

Los europeos deberían decirle al Parlamento que vote NO a los filtros de derechos de autor

Creativecommons.org -

Llegó el momento decisivo para el proyecto de directiva sobre derechos de autor en el mercado único digital de la Unión Europea. Las dramáticas consecuencias negativas que traerían los filtros de carga de contenidos serían desastrosas para la visión que Creative Commons tiene como organización y comunidad global. La inclusión del Artículo 13 hace que la directiva sea imposible de apoyar tal como está.

El mes pasado, el Parlamento, el Consejo y la Comisión europeos completaron sus negociaciones y llegaron a un acuerdo final sobre el texto de la directiva de derechos de autor. Poco después, los embajadores de los Estados miembros de la UE y la comisión de asuntos jurídicos del Parlamento le dieron luz verde, lo que ahora lleva a una votación final en la sesión plenaria del Parlamento programada para el 26 de marzo.

La semana próxima, los 751 eurodiputados votarán entre adoptar la directiva de derechos de autor o descartarla para volver a empezar de cero.

Los filtros de contenidos modificarán la forma en que funciona la web

Desde una perspectiva de derechos de autor, el Artículo 13 da vuelta el modo en que funciona la web. Obligará a casi todas las plataformas web con fines de lucro que permiten la carga de contenidos generados por los usuarios a que obtengan una licencia para todas las cargas de los usuarios o instalen filtros de derechos de autor y censuren contenidos. Si las plataformas no cumplen, podrían ser legalmente responsables ante demandas por perjuicios masivos por infracción de derechos de autor. El resultado lógico es que esto dañará las plataformas existentes y evitará la creación y el florecimiento de servicios nuevos e innovadores en Europa porque esos nuevos actores no tienen el dinero, la capacidad ni la experiencia para llevar a cabo acuerdos de licenciamiento, o para construir (o contratar) las tecnologías de filtrado necesarias. Por el contrario, las corporaciones ya establecidas se consolidarán aún más y se volverán más dominantes, ya que los servicios como YouTube tienen una ventaja en ambos frentes. No podemos respaldar un ecosistema de derechos de autor que afianzará el amplio poder de mercado de los actores tradicionales y que, al mismo tiempo, creará obstáculos innecesarios para nuevas plataformas y servicios que estimulen la creatividad y el intercambio.

Esta inversión del régimen de responsabilidad, que en los hechos obliga a que sean implementados filtros de contenidos, tiene otra consecuencia desconcertante: los derechos de los usuarios son echados por tierra, porque las tecnologías de filtrado no pueden distinguir cuándo una obra se está subiendo de manera ilícita y cuándo se está utilizando legalmente bajo una excepción a los derechos de autor. Un sistema de este tipo casi seguramente restringirá la libertad de expresión, ya que las plataformas evitarán cualquier riesgo bloqueando el contenido, independientemente de si el uso está protegido por excepciones a los derechos de autor, como por ejemplo las excepciones que habilitan la crítica, la cita y la parodia.

El camino hasta aquí

En los últimos años, Creative Commons ha estado trabajando para respaldar cambios a los derechos de autor en Europa, con el objetivo de favorecer los bienes comunes y el interés público. Hemos hecho esto como parte de la Asociación Communia, en conjunto con organizaciones de la sociedad civil, grupos de investigación, activistas por los derechos de los usuarios y defensores de la web abierta. CC envió comentarios a la consulta inicial de la Comisión Europea, realizó un documento conjunto de análisis y recomendaciones elaborado por nuestra red en Europa, abogó por proteger la investigación científica y brindó recomendaciones de votación sobre muchas disposiciones de la directiva de derechos de autor.

Communia y otras organizaciones no gubernamentales europeas han apoyado cambios positivos en aspectos clave de la reforma que beneficiarían la investigación, la educación y el bien público. En particular, han trabajado para mejorar las excepciones para la minería de datos y de textos, así como las excepciones para la educación, y han propuesto cambios para apoyar el dominio público y para mejorar la capacidad de las instituciones que preservan el patrimonio cultural para poner a disposición los contenidos en línea. Son dignos de celebración los esfuerzos incansables de las organizaciones e individuos que han tomado la iniciativa para defender los bienes comunes y para mejorar varias partes de la directiva con el objetivo de respaldar los derechos de los usuarios. Su investigación detallada, sus aportes de redacción y su activismo han contribuido en gran medida para mejorar muchas partes poco conocidas pero enormemente importantes de la directiva.

Qué puedes hacer ahora

En CC creemos que nuestra visión de acceso universal a la investigación y a la educación, así como de plena participación en la cultura, solo se logrará cuando tengamos políticas de derechos de autor que realmente promuevan la creatividad y protejan los derechos de los usuarios en la era digital. Con el Artículo 13, no es exagerado decir que ocurrirá un cambio fundamental en la forma en que las personas pueden usar Internet y compartir contenidos en línea. A pesar de las pequeñas mejoras en otros aspectos del paquete de reforma de los derechos de autor, en el balance general una directiva que contiene el Artículo 13 hará más daño que beneficio.

Si estás en Europa, ve a https://saveyourinternet.eu/act/ para informarles a tus diputados del Parlamento Europeo que no apoyas una reforma de los derechos de autor que afecta la forma en que creamos y compartimos cultura en la web. Si el Artículo 13 no se puede eliminar, los legisladores deberían rechazar la reforma completa y comenzar de nuevo.

The post Los europeos deberían decirle al Parlamento que vote NO a los filtros de derechos de autor appeared first on Creative Commons.

Europeans should tell Parliament to vote NO to copyright filters

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It’s the end of the line for the EU’s proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The dramatic negative effects of upload filters would be disastrous to the vision Creative Commons cares about as an organisation and global community. The continued inclusion of Article 13 makes the directive impossible to support as-is.

Last month the Parliament, Council, and Commission completed their trilogue negotiations and reached a final compromise on the copyright directive text. Soon thereafter the EU Member State Ambassadors and the Parliament’s legal affairs committee gave a green light, now leading to a final vote in the plenary session of the Parliament scheduled for March 26.

Next week all 751 MEPs will get a chance vote on whether to adopt the copyright directive, or send it back to the drawing board.

Upload filters will turn the web upside down

From a copyright perspective, Article 13 turns how the web works on its head. It will require nearly all for-profit web platforms that permit user generated content uploads to either get a license for all user uploads or otherwise install copyright filters and censor content. If the platforms don’t comply, they could become liable for massive copyright infringement damages. The logical outcome is that this will harm existing platforms and prevent the creation and flourishing of new and innovative services in Europe because those new players don’t have the money, pull, or expertise to conclude licensing deals or build (or pay for) the necessary filtering technologies. Instead, the established companies will simply become more entrenched and dominant, as services like YouTube have a headstart on both of these fronts. We cannot support a copyright ecosystem that will simply entrench the extensive market power of incumbent players and, at the same time, create unnecessary roadblocks for new platforms and services that stimulate creativity and sharing.

This reversal of the liability regime that all but ensures upload filters will need to be implemented has another disconcerting consequence: user rights are thrown out the window because filtering technologies can’t possibly know when a work is infringing and when a work is being legally used under an exception to copyright. Such a system will almost surely curtail freedom of expression, as platforms will mitigate any risk by simply blocking content regardless of whether the use is sanctioned under the exceptions to copyright, such as for criticism, quotation, and parody.

The road to here

Over the last several years, Creative Commons has been working to support copyright changes in Europe that champion the commons and the public interest. We’ve done this as part of the Communia Association, civil society organisations, research groups, user rights activists, and open web advocates. CC submitted comments to the initial consultation from the Commission, made a joint analysis and suggestions for improvement with our network in Europe, advocated to protect scientific research, and offered voting recommendations on many provisions within the sweeping copyright directive.

Communia and other NGOs on the ground in Europe have supported positive changes to key aspects of the reform that would benefit research, education, and the public good, particularly working to improve the exceptions for text and data mining and education, as well changes to support the public domain and improve the ability of cultural heritage institutions to make content available online. The tireless efforts of organisations and individuals who stepped up to defend the commons and improve various parts of the directive that supports robust user rights should be celebrated. Their detailed research, writing, and advocacy has done so much to improve many parts not-so-well covered yet incredibly important pieces of the directive.

What you can do now

CC believes that our vision of universal access to research and education and full participation in culture will only be achieved when we all have copyright policies that truly promote creativity and protect users rights in the digital age. With Article 13, it’s no exaggeration to say that it’ll fundamentally change the way people are able to use the internet and share online. Even with some of the minor improvements to other aspects of the copyright reform package, on balance a directive that contains Article 13 will do more harm than good.

If you’re in Europe go to https://saveyourinternet.eu/act/ to tell your MEPs you don’t support a copyright reform that turns how we create and share on the web upside down. If Article 13 can’t be removed, then policymakers should reject the reform outright and begin again.

The post Europeans should tell Parliament to vote NO to copyright filters appeared first on Creative Commons.

Global Web-a-thon2019 Recordings of webinars

European Open EDU Policy Project -

28 online conferences, 878 minutes, 222 unique participants

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. Each year, the Creative Commons global community participates, hosts webinars, gives local talks and shares CC licensed educational resources.

As part of the event this year, the Creative Commons Open Education Platform and Centrum Cyfrowe Foundation hosted a 24-Hour Global Web-a-thon. We had amazing speakers from around the world presenting in multiple languages. Experts from Algeria, Nigeria, Argentina, South Africa, Italy, Chile, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, United States, Ireland, Sweden, Canada and Poland presented their open education projects. All recordings of webinars are available now.

Recordings of sessions

Presentation of the Open Networked Learning course – an initiative from Karolinska Institutet, Lund University, Linnaeus University and Karlstad University with Partner Universities and Organizations in Brazil, Finland, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, and Switzerland. In particular, we will focus on the new course homepage powered by WordPress and BuddyPress. Listen to presentation of the Open Networked Learning course (0:22)


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