Aperta Source Code is Now Available

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We’re happy to announce that the source code for the Aperta submission system can now be found on GitHub. Aperta has been developed using reliable and modern technologies and the shared code provides an opportunity for both the research communication and open source communities to build on and enhance it.

Moving forward, you will continue to see our commitment to the principles of openness and transparency in our publishing strategies, innovations, policies and partnerships.  In short, we want to help foster an environment conducive to responsible Open Science and be part of the collective effort to propel it into new and exciting territory.

Aperta is a Linux and Mac supported platform for managing the submission and review of research outputs. More information about the system and its capabilities can be found on the APERTA-wiki. Questions about Aperta can be logged in the issue tracker.

Portuguese Translation of 4.0 now available

Creativecommons.org -

In a unique joint translation process, community members from Creative Commons Portugal and Brazil came together to release a single Portuguese translation of the CC 4.0 license suite. Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world, and the translation will reach over 220 million Portuguese speakers around the world.

Thank you to our translation team: Teresa Nobre, CC Portugal; Mariana Valente, CC Brazil; Pedro Mizukami, CC Brazil; Luiz Moncau, CC Brazil; and Eduardo Magrani, CC Brazil.

The first draft of the license translation was submitted in July 2014, with a public comment period from November 2014 to January 2015. This month’s translation represents years of work by the Creative Commons Portuguese and Brazilian communities, and marks the 18th translation of 4.0 (with many more to come!)

Parabéns pela tradução, CC Brasil e CC Portugal!

View the translation

Veja a tradução

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European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Gives Green Light to Harmful Link Tax and Pervasive Platform Censorship

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If you’re in the EU, go to saveyourinternet.eu and tell your MEPs to stop the proposal and reopen the debate.

Today, the European Parliament the Legal Affairs Committee voted in favor of the most harmful provisions of the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

The outcome reflects a disturbing path toward increasing control of the web to benefit powerful rights holders at the expense of the open internet, freedom of expression, and the rights of users and the public interest in the digital environment.

The committee voted 13-12 in favor of Article 11, the provision known as the “link tax,” which grants an additional right to press publishers requiring anyone using snippets of journalistic content to first get a license or pay a fee to the publisher for its use online. Article 11 is ill-suited to address the challenges in supporting quality journalism, and it will further decrease competition and innovation in news delivery. Similar efforts have already failed miserably in Germany and Spain.

The committee voted 15-10 in favor of Article 13, the provision that would require online platforms to monitor their users’ uploads and try to prevent copyright infringement through automated filtering. Article 13 will limit freedom of expression, as the required upload filters won’t be able to tell the difference between copyright infringement and permitted uses of copyrighted works under limitations and exceptions. It puts into jeopardy the sharing of video remixes, memes, parody, and code, even works that include openly licensed content.

As Communia reports, the committee voted against nearly all measures that would attempt to grant more rights to users, such as commonsense proposals for limitations and exceptions for freedom of panorama and user generated content. The committee adopted some positive improvements to the provisions having to do with education, access to works in the cultural heritage sector, and in research, but many of the changes are superficial, leaving the underlying effect of the article quite restrained.

Over the last months we contributed to massive online campaigns to #SaveTheLink, stop the #CensorshipMachines, protect education, and promote innovation in research and text and data mining. These efforts were organised by dozens of civil society and digital rights organizations, and hundreds of thousands of people made their voices heard in calling for a more progressive and balanced copyright in the EU.

The fight is not over. EDRi notes that there are several additional steps before the Directive can be fully adopted. In the vote today, the Parliament gave itself a mandate to negotiate a final deal with the EU Council (the EU Member States). But this decision can be challenged in the next plenary meeting (all 751 MEPs), where the Parliament could decide to reopen the copyright reform for debate within the larger forum, thus potentially offering an opportunity to make other changes to the text. This vote would likely happen on July 4.

The work to #FixCopyright in the EU is far from complete. We’ll be there advocating for copyright rules that protects and promotes the commons and the open web. We need your help to make sure that our voice is heard even louder this time.

The post European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Gives Green Light to Harmful Link Tax and Pervasive Platform Censorship appeared first on Creative Commons.

Creative Commons Announces New Board Members: Delia Browne and Amy Brand

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Today, CC is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members of the Board of Directors, both prominent leaders and advocates in their fields. Congratulations to Amy Brand, Director of the MIT Press, and Delia Browne, National Copyright Director for the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Education Council and Copyright Advisory Group.

Amy Brand, CC BY

Amy Brand is Director of the MIT Press, one of the largest university presses in the world, and an important figure in open access publishing. The MIT Press is well-known for its publications in emerging fields of scholarship and its pioneering use of technology. Brand’s career spans a wide array of experiences in academia and scholarly communications. She received her doctorate in cognitive science from MIT and has held a number of positions in scholarly communications, publishing, and open information access at MIT, Digital Science, and Harvard before returning to the press in 2015 to serve as director. She is an Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and serves on the boards of Crossref, Duraspace, Altmetric, and Board on Research Data and Information of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. She’s currently working on her first documentary film, on women in science.

republica/Gregor Fischer, 08.05.2014 CC-BY-SA 2.0

Delia Browne is a highly respected copyright lawyer and policy advocate who leads the National Copyright Unit (NCU) providing specialist copyright advice to Australian Schools and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes with a focus on the rapidly changing digital teaching environment. A long time member of the Creative Commons Global Network, Delia is the Education Sector Lead of Creative Commons Australia and has attended every Creative Commons Global Summit since 2007 and she was an essential member of the community strategy team that authored CC’s Global Network Strategy. Delia is a strong advocate of the open education movement and has drafted a number of declarations and pieces of legislation including the Cape Town Declaration on Open Education and the Copyright Amendment on Disability Access and Other Measures Act 2017. She is a sought-after speaker and participates in many international conferences and think tanks on Copyright Law Reform and OER. She has represented Creative Commons at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights and is dedicated to furthering the WIPO Limitations and Exception agenda particularly with regard to education. Delia is a co-founder and the President of Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) and a board director of the Australian Digital Alliance. She is also a member of the editorial board of Media and Arts Law Review and has taught Intellectual Property at the University of New Wales, Griffith University and the University of Auckland (her alma mater.)

These two women are excellent additions to our Board of Directors, joining with CC to fulfill our vision for open access to knowledge and a vibrant, usable Commons powered by collaboration and gratitude. We look forward to seeing all that they accomplish in their new appointments.

The post Creative Commons Announces New Board Members: Delia Browne and Amy Brand appeared first on Creative Commons.

Lithuanian translation of 4.0 available for use

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[Public domain or Public domain], from Wikimedia CommonsThe Lithuanian translation of the 4.0 CC licenses and CC0 is now completed. Both the licenses and CC0 translation can be viewed on the Creative Commons website.

The 4.0 translations are much anticipated by local heritage institutions as an online tool for evaluation of validity of rights and labelling content in the process of creation. The possibility to link the users directly to CC licenses and tools in Lithuanian is particularly welcome.

The Lithuanian translations were written by volunteer lawyers from the CC Lithuania team: Jurga Gradauskaitė; Rėda Pilipaitė, Paulius Jurčys, and Olegas Juška. The process was supervised by Prof. Vytautas Mizaras from the Faculty of Law at the University of Vilnius, Lithuania.

The CC Lithuania team will proceed with seminars and notifications to let potential users know of the possibility to use 4.0 in their local language and to reinforce the message of the benefits of labeling and sharing content.

The post Lithuanian translation of 4.0 available for use appeared first on Creative Commons.

Act now to stop the EU’s plan to censor the web

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As the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament is nearing a vote on the proposed reform of the EU copyright rules, time is running out to make your voice heard. The vote will take place on June 20.

The final copyright directive will have deep and lasting effects on the ability to create and share, to access and use education and research, and to support and grow diverse content platforms and information services. As it stands now, the copyright reform—especially Article 13—is a direct threat to the open web.  

Article 13 is the proposal that would require online platforms to monitor their users’ uploads and try to prevent copyright infringement through automated filtering.

If you’re in the EU go to https://saveyourinternet.eu/ and tell Members of the European Parliament to delete Article 13 from the copyright directive. From the website:

Article 13 will impose widespread censorship of all the content you share online, be it a parody video, a remix, a meme, a blog post, comments on Reddit, a piece of code, livestreaming your gaming experience, or even a link in a tweet.

The filtering requirement violates fundamental rights enshrined in existing EU law, such as the provision in the E-Commerce Directive that prohibits general monitoring obligations for internet platforms.

One example of the negative consequences of Article 13 is that it will limit freedom of expression, as the required upload filters won’t be able to tell the difference between copyright infringement and permitted uses of copyrighted works under limitations and exceptions. Article 13 fails to uphold rules that protect the ability of EU citizens to use copyright-protected works in transformative ways. And it puts into jeopardy the sharing of video remixes, memes, parody, and code, even works that include openly licensed content.

Now the European Parliament is the last line of defense that can put the copyright reform back on track—or at least remove the most harmful parts of the draft legislation, particularly Article 13.

To provide a little background, for the last several years the EU has been working on revising its rules on copyright. Ever since the European Commission released its lackluster draft Directive on copyright in 2016, Creative Commons and dozens of organisations have been engaging policymakers to make crucial changes in order to protect user rights and the commons, enable research and education, and promote creativity and business opportunities in the digital market.

A few weeks ago the ambassadors of the EU countries agreed to a version of Article 13 that fails to address the biggest shortcomings of the Commission’s original proposal, and in a number of ways actually makes it worse.

Contact Members of the European Parliament now!

Send your representatives an email, tweet, or phone call before June 20 and tell them you need copyright laws that protect an Internet where you can share news and culture with your friends and family, where you can expect to be treated fairly, and where your rights as EU citizens are protected. Tell them to delete Article 13.

The post Act now to stop the EU’s plan to censor the web appeared first on Creative Commons.

PLOS ONE and Children’s Tumor Foundation partnership announce second cycle of DDIRR Awards

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The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF), the largest non-governmental funder of neurofibromatosis (NF) research, and PLOS ONE, a leading peer-reviewed scientific journal, are pleased to announce the successful completion of the first funding cycle of the Drug Discovery Initiative Registered Report (DDIRR) 2017 Awards, a funder-publisher partnership integrating the Registered Reports model into the grant application process.

Registered Reports pre-determine the research questions, methodology and design of a study to be carried out, and are designed to enhance the rigor, reproducibility and transparency of the science produced. CTF and PLOS ONE partnered together to review the 2017 DDIRR applications and granted three awards: Dr. Andrea McClatchey of Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Lei Xu of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Aaron Schindeler from the University of Sydney. The researchers also obtained an in-principle acceptance (IPA) to publication in the journal PLOS ONE. Provided the study is conducted according to plan, acceptance in principle is honored regardless of study outcome – thereby eliminating publication bias and maximizing the transparency of the funded work.

The reports are being placed on the Open Science Framework registered report portal (https://osf.io/rr/), where authors will have the opportunity to make public or embargo their reports until publication of results. The awards have a duration of 12 months and will conclude in May 2019. As soon as results are added to the registered report, PLOS ONE will review compliance with the proposed protocol and publish their results, even if they are negative. By securing publication before they start their research, applicants can eliminate the bias of a result-based approach. The process was designed to maintain independence of funding and publishing decisions, while at the same time optimizing processes, thereby avoiding duplication and preventing research waste.

This new award constitutes an evolution of the Drug Discovery Initiative (DDI) Awards that CTF had introduced in 2006 as a funding program for promising ideas that could lead to larger studies or move drugs into the clinic. Feedback on the new DDIRR program from both applicants and reviewers has been unanimously positive, and the Foundation together with PLOS ONE editors have also announced a new cycle for DDIRR in 2018-2019. The Foundation will invite applicants to submit their proposals starting on September 24, 2018, with the anticipated assignment of new awards in the first quarter of 2019.

“The overall outcome of this first round of DDIRR has been very positive. Reviewers have focused their attention to protocols and study designs, allowing researchers to have their statistics ready for publication,” said Salvatore La Rosa, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. “As this particular grant program focuses on hypothesis-testing research, the quality and rigor of the applications are critical to soundly move proof-of-concept experiments from the lab into the clinic. This new program increases our ability to do that.”

“We are delighted to continue our collaboration with CTF on the Registered Reports model for the DDI Awards. We hope this can serve as a model for other funders. The Registered Reports provide researchers with peer reviewed study designs and an in-principle acceptance of the completed study at PLOS ONE. The deposited reports at the Open Science Framework portal ensure full transparency of the research project – a win for everyone involved,” adds Joerg Heber, Editor-in-Chief of PLOS ONE.

Source: First Funding Cycle of the Drug Discovery Initiative Registered Report (DDIRR) Awards Announced.

Creative Commons on the GDL explained in 2 minutes

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We have been working on a short explainer video describing the important role of Creative Commons on the GDL platform. It has been an interesting experience for me personally, as we have been crafting this short version of a rather complex explanation on how Creative Commons makes free access, sharing and translation of resources possible on the GDL platform.

This has forced us to focus on the core elements of the CC licenses and a simplified message. We will later pick up some of the positive consequences for stakeholders and actors like publishers and commercial companies.

PLOS Responds to Ebola Outbreak with New Channel & Expedited Peer Review

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Early sharing and expedited peer review of relevant research

In response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we are creating a PLOS Channel for Ebola Research.  The Channel will make it easy for researchers to keep up with developments and important research related to the outbreak. We will work with authors and our editorial boards to provide rapid review and facilitate the responsible dissemination of preprints. We believe these responses are urgently needed during serious and rapidly developing threats to public health.

All relevant articles published across PLOS will be included in the Ebola Channel, alongside major contributions curated from the broader literature. You can also send any questions or content recommendations to ebola@plos.org or tweet us @PLOSChannels using the hashtag #PLOSEbola.

How do I make my Ebola research available quickly?

We’ve created a taskforce to identify editors and reviewers, and to manage an expedited review process across all our journals and platforms.  For authors, we recommend the following:

  • If you want to share a single observation (no more than 1 figure or table with commentary) submit to PLOS Currents: Outbreaks
  • Submit any other research to one of the 7 PLOS journals; all Ebola-related submissions will be prioritized. (Note that fee waiver assistance is available as needed)
  • Share your data and manuscript ahead of submission: large datasets should be deposited in a relevant repository, and manuscripts submitted to a preprint server. Include the DOIs or accession numbers for datasets and preprint in your submission.

In addition to expediting research publications, PLOS believes all data on the Ebola outbreak should be shared as rapidly and openly as possible. We endorse the Wellcome Trust’s statement demanding availability of data and research on Ebola. Editorial consideration of research submissions to PLOS journals will not be prejudiced by the early sharing of data or preprints.

Lessons learned: delivering rapid responses to emergency outbreaks

PLOS saw surges in submissions in previous outbreaks, notably the Ebola outbreak of 2014 and the Zika outbreak of 2015/2016. In each emergency, we provided resources to serve the community. In addition, concerns about data sharing during the 2014 Ebola outbreak led PLOS and other journal editors to issue a joint statement encouraging early data sharing. A recent report in PLOS Medicine showed that, while increased use of preprints in the 2016 Zika outbreak accelerated the dissemination of research results, the proportion of published articles on Zika that were preceded by preprints remained low.

Our shared responsibility in public health emergencies

We believe research, healthcare, and publishing communities have a responsibility to work together to respond rapidly to public health emergencies. PLOS is committed to disseminating new research findings as efficiently and effectively as possible. We appreciate the opportunity to facilitate access to your work.


Update to our Privacy Policy

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Like the rest of the internet, it seems, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) that comes into effect today has given us a good opportunity to pause and do a comprehensive review of the ways in which Creative Commons collects and uses the personal information of its community. As an organization, our data processing activities are pretty minimal. But given our event planning, fundraising, and other core functions, we do collect and use some data on a regular basis. We have rewritten our privacy policy to make it easier to understand how, when, and why that data collection happens.

The full new policy is here. We have strived to make it simpler and more human-readable, all while ensuring it is as precise and legally robust as possible. (Just like our legal tools!) Substantively, the most significant changes are:

  • We rewrote our privacy principles to better reflect the ideals that motivate CC’s current practices.
  • We provided a more detailed explanation of our analytics tools and the instances in which the information they gather may be tied to your other personal information.
  • We described our retention practices, which reflect CC’s recent effort to begin to streamline and centralize data storage practices internally.
  • We added a simple process for you to request to access the data CC holds about you.

Most of CC’s data collection happens when you voluntarily and knowingly provide CC with data, for example, by signing up to join the CC Global Network or donating money to our programs. There are, however, three ways in which CC collects and uses some data indirectly: Google Analytics, fundraising analytics, and email analytics. Our privacy policy describes those processes and how to opt out if you choose to do so.

If you are already on our mailing list, we are not requiring you to opt back in to continue to receive CC email updates. We decided that measure was not necessary given that CC has been consistently strengthening its mailing list sign-up procedures over the years, up to the double opt-in mechanism we use now. As always, you should feel free to update your preferences or unsubscribe entirely at any time by going to this link.

CC will continue to monitor privacy regulations around the world and look for ways to improve our privacy practices.

The post Update to our Privacy Policy appeared first on Creative Commons.

CC Africa Community Collaborates on Continental Projects

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Happy Africa Day 2018!

Every year on 25th May, Africans join together to remember the launch of the Organisation for African Unity (now rebranded to African Union) on May 25, 1963 in Ethiopia.

CC Global Summit 2018 African Participants – Simeon Oriko CC BY 4.0

For years, many CC members across the African continent have expressed interest in collaborating on African Creative Commons initiatives.

On the sidelines of the recent CC Global Summit in Toronto, the African participants gathered, proposed and discussed areas of collaboration. We agreed to develop and complete projects by December 2018 in the following four categories:

  1. Open Policy – Led by Elizabeth Oyange (CC Kenya) and Seble Baraki (CC Ethiopia)
  2. Open Education Resources – Led by Aristarik Maro (CC Tanzania) and Hildah Nyakwaka (CC Kenya)
  3. Arts & Culture – Led by Mohamed Rahmo (CC Morocco) and Asma Al-Amin (CC Kenya)
  4. Open Access – Led by Kamel Belhamel (CC Algeria) and Helen Chuma-Okoro (CC Nigeria)

Some of these groups have already began working on their ideas:

  1. The Open Policy group is targeting a project at the African Union. Details here.
  2. The Open Access group project details are here.

In addition to these categories, Raphael Berchie (CC Ghana) and Simeon Oriko (CC HQ) will help to lead the creation of chapters across the continent. Obianuju Mollel (CC Tanzania/Canada) will coordinate follow up work across the four categories.

We welcome you to join us and contribute your skills and knowledge towards realizing the potential of these projects.

How do you join in?

Join the CC Africa WhatsApp group where many discussions on these and other topics are taking place. Also, join the CC Africa Slack Channel.

Not on CC Slack yet? Sign up here to join: https://slack-signup.creativecommons.org/

The post CC Africa Community Collaborates on Continental Projects appeared first on Creative Commons.

CC Certificate Updates: Let us know what you think!

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Photo by Sebastiaan Ter Burg CC BY

For those of you who missed it in the flurry of the 2018 CC Summit announcements, we opened registration for the official CC Certificate last month. The CC Certificate is a training course on Creative Commons licenses, open practices and the ethos of the Commons. We launched the CC Certificate as a way to invest in advocates in open movements – to build and strengthen their open licensing expertise. Find out more here. Our first round of classes in July are already sold out, but we still have space in our October classes. We’re working on outreach, translation, scholarships, and Certificate Instructor training courses, so watch for more announcements!

While these updates and advancements are exciting, we recognize the need for this program to grow quickly to meet demand. We plan to iterate on the Certificate offerings, regularly assessing content and process to better meet your priorities. We welcome your input!

If you are interested in any of the following opportunities to get involved, please sign up below.

  • CC Certificate information listserv sign up: here
  • Interest in beta testing additional CC Certificate tracks, such as GLAM, or the CC Instructor Training course: here
  • Interest in hosting an in-person Certificate “bootcamp” training: here

Thanks for being a part of this process! We look forward to working with you.

The post CC Certificate Updates: Let us know what you think! appeared first on Creative Commons.

PLOS Announces Prize to Celebrate the First Year of Channels

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One year ago, PLOS launched its Channels program, providing central hubs for specific research communities. Channels are resources for scientists, making it easy to keep up to date with developments in a particular area of study and offering a way for exceptional research to be recognized and highlighted. All Channel content is curated by our expert Channel Editors, who are active leaders in their fields of research.

Our first Channel, launched a year ago, was the Veterans Disability & Rehabilitation Research Channel, soon followed by Channels for Tuberculosis, Cholera, Disease Forecasting & Surveillance, Responding to Climate Change and the Open Source Toolkit. To celebrate the first year of these Channels, we are awarding a prize of $500 to the authors of the best PLOS research featured in our first three Channels (Veterans Disability & Rehabilitation Research, Tuberculosis and Open Source Toolkit), with the winners chosen via a public vote. The polls will soon be available on Twitter and we’ll share more information about the competition on the PLOS Channels and Collections blog in the next few days.

Interested in getting your paper featured in a Channel? Authors are encouraged to suggest their papers for inclusion in a relevant Channel – simply contact us at channels@plos.org (email) or @PLOSChannels (Twitter) to let us know about your work, and Channel Editors will consider it for the next update. PLOS authors can also suggest a target Channel when submitting their manuscript, via the cover letter or the submission form.

PLOS believes that bringing communities together means research is shared more freely, and discoveries can be accelerated. If you’d like to discuss working with PLOS on a Channel for your community, email channels@plos.org – we’d love to hear your ideas.

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.

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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!


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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.”

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The Commons will unlock our country’s creative potential

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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.


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.


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.

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