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Digital Rights Organisations Tell NAFTA Negotiators: Move Talks Out of the Shadows

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 12:31

Today Creative Commons and over two dozen civil society and digital rights organisations released a letter raising concerns about the potential impact of the re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on access to information, digital rights, and the open internet. The letter was released this week because trade negotiators from Canada, Mexico, and the United States are meeting this week in Washington, D.C. for the opening round of the renewed negotiation process. In June we asked whether re-negotiating the agreement is opening Pandora’s Box.

In the letter, we demand that negotiators immediately reform the trade negotiation process to make the proceedings more transparent, inclusive and accountable. We believe it is unacceptable that binding rules on intellectual property, access to medicines, and a variety of other trade-related sectors will be reworked within a process that is inaccessible and often hostile to input from members of the public.

We warn against making changes to the existing rules around intellectual property, noting that in most recent multilateral trade negotiations there has been a significant push to drastically increase copyright enforcement measures, lengthen copyright terms, and demand harsh infringement penalties without corresponding provisions to protect the interests of users of copyright works. But if intellectual property is to be addressed within NAFTA, it is critical that user rights are balanced alongside the extensive protections already granted to rights holders. There must be active and enforceable mechanisms to protect copyright exceptions and limitations, including fair use and fair dealing regimes. It’s critical that the negotiating parties resist extending copyright terms (which do nothing to promote the creation of new works).

As the NAFTA talks unfold, we stand by our belief that these negotiations must be reformed to fully support a process that is transparent, inclusive and accountable. If negotiators wish to address copyright concerns, they should do so not by increasing protectionist measures that will benefit only small number of powerful rights holders. Instead, they should advocate for balanced, progressive provisions that empower new creators and users and protect the public good.

Transparency, Digital Rights, and NAFTA (English)
Transparencia​ ​y​ ​los​ ​derechos​ ​digitales​ ​en​ ​el​ ​TLCAN (Español)

Transparency, Digital Rights, and NAFTA

We, the undersigned, are Internet freedom and public interest advocates drawn from all three nations party to this agreement, who are dedicated to the rights of all peoples to access cultural and educational resources, to enjoy a free and open Internet, and to benefit from open and needs-driven innovation.

As the United States, Mexico and Canada begin talks on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) this week, we write to share our concerns about NAFTA’s potential impact on the critical functions of the Internet and its potential to threaten access to information, the dissemination of news, cultural exchange and democratic organizing.

First and foremost, we call upon the United States, Mexico and Canada to meaningfully reform trade negotiation processes to make them more transparent, inclusive and accountable. It is unacceptable that binding rules are created in a forum that is inaccessible and often hostile to input from members of the public. Specifically, we would like to see: public release of text proposals by governments before negotiations, with clear processes established for members of the public to comment on them; consolidated versions of negotiating texts published between negotiating rounds; locations and times of key meetings announced well ahead of time; and the establishment of consultative trade groups that are broadly representative of both business and public interest stakeholders with a commitment to conducting deliberations openly.

Without these reforms, public trust in trade processes will continue to wane, and governments will face significant popular resistance to agreements based on process alone.

We also share concerns about the suitability of trade mechanisms to create prescriptive policies that govern Internet use, cultural sharing and innovation. In general, developments in technology happen quickly, and trade processes that do not keep pace with technological and social advancement may inhibit each of our respective governments from making necessary and appropriate changes to related rules, especially with regard to intellectual property regulations that impact our rights to culture and free expression.

With specific regard to including intellectual property rules in trade agreements, when these policies have been included in past agreements, we have seen that there is a significant push to drastically increase enforcement measures for rightsholders, lengthen copyright terms, and demand harsh infringement penalties, without corresponding provisions to protect the interests of users of copyright works.

We do not believe these types of rules belong in trade agreements, and given the ambitious timeline for a completed NAFTA renegotiation, the inclusion of prescriptive IP provisions will prove to be a stumbling block for governments seeking to create public consensus around a mutually beneficial agreement.

However, if intellectual property is addressed within NAFTA, it is critical that user rights are balanced alongside the demands of rightsholders: there must be active and enforceable mechanisms to protect exceptions and limitations regimes, fair use/fair dealing and the public domain. Parties should resist extensions in copyright terms that punish new artists and creators, and there should be no increased criminalization for digital rights management circumvention.

Further, any rules aimed at promoting the free flow of data across the Internet and reducing barriers to trade in digital products and services must preserve countries’ flexibility to robustly protect individual privacy and security, including the ability to place limits on cross-border data transfers or on the protection of trade secrets.

A renegotiated NAFTA should not be developed in secret, and must not lead to a rewriting of intellectual property rules that further tilts the balance away from the public interest or undermines the free, open and interoperable Internet.

Signatories

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Creative Commons
OpenMedia
R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Derechos Digitales
Just Foreign Policy
Public Knowledge
Media Alliance
Engine
Data Roads Foundation
Public Citizen (Access to Medicines, Innovation and Information)
Red Mexicana de acción frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC)
Common Frontiers
SPARC
Voices-Voix
May First/People Link
Internet Archive
SonTusDatos (Artículo 12)
STRM
Horizontal
Authors Alliance
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)
National Family Farm Coalition
Wikimedia Foundation

The post Digital Rights Organisations Tell NAFTA Negotiators: Move Talks Out of the Shadows appeared first on Creative Commons.

Categories: Political Action

The staff of music is long, but it bends towards harmony: An interview with the authors of Theft! A History of Music

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:16

“To those who think that mash-ups and sampling started with YouTube or a DJ’s turntables, it might be shocking to find that musicians have been borrowing—extensively borrowing, consciously and unconsciously—from each other since music itself began,” write James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins, two superhero academics have taken on the subject of music and creativity in a new graphic novel. Meticulously researched and incredibly entertaining, the book explores 2,000 years of musical history, from Plato’s admonition that “musical innovation is full of danger to the whole state” to the recent “Blurred Lines” case – and everything in between.

Theft! A History of Music is the newest comic from Jenkins and Boyle, the team behind the 2006 fair use comic Bound by Law. Theft was written in collaboration with the late illustrator and academic Keith Aoki; Boyle and Jenkins developed the graphic designs that were illustrated and inked by Ian Akin and Brian Garvey. The book is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 and is available on the website of the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain.

In the book’s afterword, you write that you thought you were “done with comic books.” Why this one, and why now? How did the process of writing this book, which took ten years, differ from your previous comic, “Bound by Law?” Why did you decide to take on music as your next subject?

Bound By Law had success far beyond our expectations because it met a need – it explained fair use to a generation of creators and reusers of culture who found the language of copyright law mystifying and felt thwarted by the “permissions culture” of today, which presumes that permissions and fees must be attached to even the tiniest piece of creative culture.

We thought the same was true of music – particularly the permissions culture point. But when we came to write the book we saw that it had to roam much further, through the history of attempts to regulate musical borrowing – whether on grounds of philosophy, religion, race, or property rights. We saw common themes in all of those, common relationships between technology, incentives, law and the fire of sympathetic inspiration, which is impatient with barriers – whether it was a generation of white teenagers being inspired by African American rhythm and blues, or a church composer taking from the songs of the troubadours. As for the ten years it took us to finish, that gets to the pledge we made to our dear departed colleague, Keith Aoki.

In some “superhero” type scenes, your protagonists struggle with the push and pull between power and control vs freedom, with alter-egos employed to demonstrate the impossibility of the decision. How do you, as academics and authors, reconcile the tension between these two forces?

We don’t think that the forces can ever be reconciled once and for all; they are dynamic tensions that actually drive the art. The important thing is to understand that this is a dynamic balance, not a simple equation where more control means more incentives and thus more art.

Jamie still remembers the first conversations with Larry Lessig, Hal Abelson and others about why we needed Creative Commons – we asked the Copyright office how creators could choose to share, to make their material freely available for others to use and build upon. Their answer was “we don’t provide that service.” That is missing a key part of the cultural dynamic – the fact that culture needs raw material on which to build. Creative Commons tried to deal with one aspect of that, namely the sharing commons. But we understood very well that some of that raw material needs to be there because law doesn’t reach it in the first place. For example, E=MC2 or the alphabet aren’t “owned” and if they were you would get less creativity, not more. Yet that does not mean freedom is always the answer. We want artists and composers to have rights over their work and to receive the compensation and attribution they richly deserve. That is in their, and our, interests. But it is also in their interests to have the freedoms to build on the past in interstitial ways that prior musical generations took for granted!

Something I found particularly compelling about the book is the complicated nature of many of the artists’ copyright disputes juxtaposed with lighthearted illustrations and narrative. For example, you discuss a number of surprising stories from the 20th Century, like the clampdown on the kind of sampling in early Public Enemy (the court decision announcing “get a license or do not sample”) or the case finding George Harrison liable for “subconscious” copying. You also include more distant history about Bach, Gutenberg, and even Plato in ways that are easy to understand and often irreverent. What was it like to turn court cases and history into comics? How did you employ storytelling tropes to craft a narrative out of 2000 years of scholarship and history?

Each domain of creativity – from music to comics – has its own dynamics. As academics, fond of long, carefully constructed arguments, we found it a wonderful challenge to fit complex and multifaceted ideas into a comic panel, a picture and a short speech bubble! But designing each of those panels was what made the art so truly satisfying – it was a rush, a creative high. As for law, it can be the subject of both art and humour – look at what Shakespeare and Dickens do with it! The question for us here was whether we could be technically faithful to the details and nuances – this is academic research with references behind every assertion, but it is also an attempt to capture a “conversation” that has been going on for hundreds of years, and do so fairly.

Even a casual reader will notice that the book is well researched. How did you do the research? How did you decide on the narrative structure, from the invention of notation to “Blurred Lines?” What primary sources did you draw on, and how did you do it collaboratively?

Again, there is so much to tell. We worked with composers and musicologists – our colleague, Dr. Anthony Kelley of the Duke music department bears much of the credit there. We taught classes made up of half law students and half composers and asked each group to explain the lines that the other group drew around “allowed” and “forbidden” creativity. We scoured the great books about musical history and borrowing – there are many. We drew on the legal scholars who have touched on this debate – Mike Carroll, another person on the CC founding board has written several of the most important law review articles on the subject. And above all, we listened to how music has been influenced and changed over time.

As for the structure, it emerged out of the chaos of our desire to tell the story and our panic that we wouldn’t be able to do so in a way that showed how fascinating it is. The readers of the book will be the best judge of whether we succeeded.

The book ends with a question – what will music production and rights look like going forward? How will musicians find their way in the 21st century? What do you think is the future of music?

We see several possible futures. Frankly, if we go on our current path – with the permissions culture extending legal claims to the atomic level of musical creativity – then we think that the future will be poorly served. We say in the book that we wouldn’t have got jazz, rock and roll, soul or the blues if we had used the rules we have today. Those musical forms would simply have been made impossible. It is a horrifying thought to think of that dynamic denying us the next great musical form. But we also see a reaction against that cultural sclerosis. We wanted this book to provide the raw material, the balanced information, that helps us decide as a culture which line we wish to go down.

Watch a three minute video about the book below: 

The post The staff of music is long, but it bends towards harmony: An interview with the authors of Theft! A History of Music appeared first on Creative Commons.

Categories: Political Action

Honoring Our Friend Bassel: Announcing the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:00
Photo by Joi Ito, CC BY 2.0

On August 1, 2017, we received the heartbreaking news that our friend Bassel (Safadi) Khartabil, detained since 2012, was executed by the Syrian government shortly after his 2015 disappearance. Khartabil was a Palestinian Syrian open internet activist, a free culture hero, and an important member of our community. Our thoughts are with Bassel’s family, now and always.

Today we’re announcing the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship to honor his legacy and lasting impact on the open web.

Bassel was a relentless advocate for free speech, free culture, and democracy. He was the cofounder of Syria’s first hackerspace, Aiki Lab, Creative Commons’ Syrian project lead, and a prolific open source contributor, from Firefox to Wikipedia. Bassel’s final project, relaunched as #NEWPALMYRA, entailed building free and open 3D models of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. In his work as a computer engineer, educator, artist, musician, cultural heritage researcher, and thought leader, Bassel modeled a more open world, impacting lives globally.

To honor that legacy, the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship will support outstanding individuals developing the culture of their communities under adverse circumstances. The Fellowship — organized by Creative Commons, Mozilla, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Jimmy Wales Foundation, #NEWPALMYRA, and others — will launch with a three-year commitment to promote values like open culture, radical sharing, free knowledge, remix, collaboration, courage, optimism, and humanity.

As part of this new initiative, fellows can work in a range of mediums, including art, music, software, and community building. All projects will catalyze free culture, particularly in societies vulnerable to attacks on freedom of expression and free access to knowledge. Special consideration will be given to applicants operating within closed societies and in developing economies where other forms of support are scarce. Applications from the Levant and wider MENA region are greatly encouraged.

Throughout their fellowship term, chosen fellows will receive a stipend, mentorship from affiliate organizations, skill development, project promotion, and fundraising support from the partner network. Fellows will be chosen by a selection committee composed of representatives of the partner organizations.

FELLOWSHIP DETAILS

Organizational Partners include Creative Commons, #FREEBASSEL, Wikimedia Foundation, GlobalVoices, Mozilla, #NEWPALMYRA, YallaStartup and SMEX.

Amazon Web Services is a supporting partner.

The Fellowships are based on one-year terms, which are eligible for renewal.

The benefits are designed to allow for flexibility and stability both for Fellows and their families. The standard fellowship offers a stipend of $50,000 USD, paid in 10 monthly installments. Fellows are responsible for remitting all applicable taxes as required.

To help offset cost of living, the fellowship also provides supplements for childcare and health insurance, and may provide support for project funding on a case-by-case basis. The fellowship also covers the cost of required travel for fellowship activities.

Fellows will receive:

  • A stipend of $50,000 USD, paid in 10 monthly installments
  • A one-time health insurance supplement for Fellows and their families, ranging from $3,500 for single Fellows to $7,000 for a couple with two or more children
  • A one-time childcare allotment of up to $6,000 for families with children
  • An allowance of up to $3,000 towards the purchase of laptop computer, digital cameras, recorders and computer software; fees for continuing studies or other courses, research fees or payments, to the extent such purchases and fees are related to the fellowship
  • Coverage in full for all approved fellowship trips, both domestic and international

The first fellowship will be awarded in April 2018. Applications will be accepted beginning February 2018.

Eligibility Requirements. The Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship is open to individuals and small teams worldwide, who:

  • Propose a viable new initiative to advance free culture values as outlined in the call for applicants
  • Demonstrate a history of activism in the Open Source, Open Access, Free Culture or Sharing communities
  • Are prepared to focus on the fellowship as their primary work

Special consideration will be given to applicants operating under oppressive conditions, within closed societies, in developing economies where other forms of support are scarce, and in the Levant and wider MENA regions.

Eligible Projects. Proposed projects should advance the free culture values of Bassel Khartabil through the use of art, technology, and culture. Successful projects will aim to:

  • Meaningfully increase free public access to human knowledge, art or culture
  • Further the cause of social justice/social change
  • Strive to develop both a local and global community to support its cause

Any code, content or other materials produced must be published and released as free, openly licensed and/or open-source.

Application Process. Project proposals are expected to include the following:

  • Vision statement
  • Bio and CV
  • Budget and resource requirements for the next year of project development

Applicants whose projects are chosen to advance to the next stage in the evaluation process may be asked to provide additional information, including personal references and documentation verifying income.

ABOUT BASSEL

Bassel Khartabil, a Palestinian-Syrian computer engineer, educator, artist, musician, cultural heritage researcher and thought leader, was a central figure in the global free culture movement, connecting and promoting Syria’s emerging tech community as it existed before the country was ransacked by civil war. Bassel co-founded Syria’s first hackerspace, Aiki Lab, in Damascus in 2010. He was the Syrian lead for Creative Commons as well as a contributor to Mozilla’s Firefox browser and the Red Hat Fedora Linux operating system. His research into preserving Syrian archeology with computer 3D modeling was a seminal precursor to current practices in digital cultural heritage preservation — this work was relaunched as the #NEWPALMYRA project in 2015.

Bassel’s influence went beyond Syria. He was a key attendee at the Middle East’s bloggers conferences and played a vital role in the negotiations in Doha in 2010 that led to a common language for discussing fair use and copyright across the Arab-speaking world. Software platforms he developed, such as the open-source Aiki Framework for collaborative web development, still power high-traffic web sites today, including Open Clip Art and the Open Font Library. His passion and efforts inspired a new community of coders and artists to take up his cause and further his legacy, and resulted in the offer of a research position in MIT Media Lab’s Center for Civic Media; his listing in Foreign Policy’s 2012 list of Top Global Thinkers; and the award of Index on Censorship’s 2013 Digital Freedom Award.

Bassel was taken from the streets in March of 2012 in a military arrest and interrogated and tortured in secret in a facility controlled by Syria’s General Intelligence Directorate. After a worldwide campaign by international human rights groups, together with Bassel’s many colleagues in the open internet and free culture communities, he was moved to Adra’s civilian prison, where he was able to communicate with his family and friends. His detention was ruled unlawful by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and condemned by international organizations such as Creative Commons, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Jimmy Wales Foundation.

Despite the international outrage at his treatment and calls for his release, in October of 2015 he was moved to an undisclosed location and executed shortly thereafter — a fact that was kept secret by the Syrian regime for nearly two years.

The post Honoring Our Friend Bassel: Announcing the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship appeared first on Creative Commons.

Categories: Political Action

Announcing the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 12:46
Photo of Bassel by David Kindler (CC BY)

Our friend and colleague Bassel Khartabil was Creative Commons’ Syrian project lead, an open source developer, a teacher, a Wikipedia contributor, and a renowned free culture advocate. He was also a devoted son and husband, and a great friend to many in the global open knowledge community.

We were heartbroken and outraged to learn earlier this week the awful news of Bassel’s execution by the Syrian regime.

At the request of Bassel’s family, Creative Commons is announcing today that it has established the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund to support projects in the spirit of Bassel’s work. Creative Commons is accepting donations, and has seeded the fund with $10,000. Bassel was our friend and colleague, and CC invites the public to celebrate Bassel’s legacy and support the continuation of his powerful work and open values in a global community.

Contributions to the fund will go towards projects, programs, and grants to support individuals advancing collaboration, community building, and leadership development in the open communities of the Arab world. The fund will also support the digital preservation, sharing, and remix of creative works and historical artifacts. All of these projects are deeply intertwined with CC’s core mission and values, and those of other communities to which Bassel contributed.

Visit the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund page for more on how to get involved. Learn more about Bassel and his work at Wikipedia, FreeBassel.org, EFF, BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera.

The post Announcing the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund appeared first on Creative Commons.

Categories: Political Action

Statement on the death of CC friend and colleague Bassel Khartabil

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 16:34
Photo of Bassel Khartabil by Mohamed Nanabhay (CC BY)

We are deeply saddened and completely outraged to learn today that our friend and colleague Bassel Khartabil has been executed by the Syrian regime.

Bassel was Creative Commons’ Syrian project lead, an open source software programmer, teacher, Wikipedia contributor, and free culture advocate. He was also a devoted son and husband, and a great friend to many people in the open knowledge community around the world. The projects and communities he helped to build live on across the globe, and will remain a tribute to his leadership.

In March of 2012, Bassel was taken from the street in Damascus amid a wave of military arrests. He was jailed for several years, during which time he was allowed to infrequently communicate with family members. Then, in October 2015, he was abruptly transferred to an undisclosed location. At that time, all communications between Bassel and the outside world ceased. The Creative Commons board publicly called for Bassel’s immediate release, and the MIT Media Lab offered Bassel a research position in its Center for Civic Media. His family and friends prayed for his safe return, and are heartbroken today to learn the awful and terrifying news of his execution.

Over the past several years, a variety of human rights groups called for Bassel’s release. Amnesty International launched a campaign through its Urgent Action network that encouraged the public to write letters to Syrian authorities and urge them to grant Bassel access to his family, a lawyer, and medical attention. The US State Department singled him out on International Human Rights Day in 2015 as a “prisoner of conscience.”

Additionally, since his detention, an international community of Bassel’s friends and colleagues have worked to raise awareness about Bassel, his projects, and his story through the #FreeBassel campaign. As an extension of this project, a massive 3D-printed rendering of one of the Palmyra Tetrapylons was created for and exhibited at this year’s Creative Commons Global Summit. The rendering was a tribute to Bassel and was made directly possible by Bassel’s work in the founding of #NEWPALMYRA, an effort to digitally capture and remodel the endangered ruins of Palmyra.

Around the world, activists and advocates seek the sharing of culture, and open knowledge. Creative Commons, and the global commons of art, history, and knowledge, are stronger because of Bassel’s contributions, and our community is better because of his work and his friendship. His death is a terrible reminder of what many individuals and families risk in order to make a better society.

The post Statement on the death of CC friend and colleague Bassel Khartabil appeared first on Creative Commons.

Categories: Political Action

Announcing the First Round of Grants for the Community Activities Fund

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 12:50

Last month we announced the Community Activities Fund as part of our ongoing efforts to support the activities of CC communities and beyond. Creative Commons is committed to building and fostering a vibrant global commons through the activities and projects they undertake. Our fund was created in response to direct community requests, and we could not be happier to announce that the following projects have been granted financial support through this fund:

Uruguay: Copyright Reform Brochures

CC Uruguay is currently in the middle of a hard fight for a copyright reform in Uruguay that includes strengthening limitations to copyright for purposes of citation and parody, as well as exceptions for libraries and education, freedom of panorama, orphan works, and others. The CC Community Activities Fund will help the team print brochures that explain the copyright reform work and the CC Licenses.

Zimbabwe: First CC Community Meetup

Until recently, Zimbabwe did not have an active Creative Commons community. We’re supporting a small group to host the first CC event in Bulawayo which will bring together various stakeholders and interested parties with a view to kickstart a broader CC Zimbabwe team.

Uganda: OER Workshop

In Uganda, like many places in the developing world, access to education is increasingly limited to the few that can afford it as instructional resources becomes more exam-oriented and teacher centered. We’re supporting a team from Uganda to host an OER workshop for high school teachers to expose them to the benefits of OER and strategize how to adopt it in their schools.

Tanzania: CC Training for Young Lawyers and IT Students

Awareness-raising about Creative Commons remains a top priority in Tanzania, and the CC TZ team is  targeting young lawyers at the Institute of Judicial Administration (IJA) – Tanzania. Their goal is to train these lawyers on CC licenses and get them involved the in CC community in Tanzania, and globally.

India: CC Outreach to Startup and Business Communities

We received several applications from India and we’re glad to be supporting an initiative to reach out to the startup and business communities  in the Coimbatore and Bengaluru to talk about open issues.

Nepal: Introduction to Creative Commons Event

Until recently, Nepal is another country that hasn’t had an active CC presence. We’re supporting a team there to host a two day CC Nepal event themed “Introduction to Creative Commons in Nepal”. This event will be an orientation for students, researchers, lawyers, open advocates, activists and professionals from different fields about the core concepts of Creative Commons.

Ghana: Summer Open School

Returning to the theme of awareness-raising, a team in Ghana is planning a Summer Open School—a three day conference to bring students together and introduce them to the Open Movement, with lessons on two main subject areas: Creative Commons and Wikipedia. We’re supporting some of the logistics to put on this event.

So far, we’ve received and reviewed over 200 applications from all 5 regions around the globe. The highest number of applications came from USA, India, Nigeria, Canada, France, Tanzania, Australia and Ghana. Of those that applied for the grant, 76 applicants are CC affiliates and 128 are not CC affiliates.

The CC Community Activities Fund is still open and we’re receiving and reviewing applications. Please consider submitting an application.

The post Announcing the First Round of Grants for the Community Activities Fund appeared first on Creative Commons.

Categories: Political Action

Annuncia la traduzione 4.0 della licenza in Italiano!

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 13:38
The CC 4.0 licenses are now translated into Italian

The official Italian translation of the Creative Commons 4.0 Licenses and CC0 waiver is now available! Led by CC Italy, the translations also benefited from the collaboration with CC Switzerland. The working group was hosted and coordinated by the Nexa Center for Internet & Society at Politecnico di Torino, the Italian-affiliated institution of the Creative Commons international network.

During the drafting of the 4.0 licenses in English, the original CC Italy group worked closely with the CC HQ legal team determine how best to manage sui generis database rights. These discussions minimized the number of issues they faced when translating the licenses into Italian. After the public launch of the English licenses, the CC Italy working group drafted the Italian translation of the CC 4.0 license suite and reviewed the Italian translation of CC0—with the important feedback of several fellows of the Nexa Center and other members of the Italian Creative Commons community.

The community of the Nexa Center at Politecnico di Torino, the Italian CC network affiliate institution. Photo by Francesco Ruggiero, CC BY 4.0

More details about the translation process are available on the Creative Commons wiki. The final part of the 4.0 and CC0 Italian translation process is also documented on the Nexa Center’s GitHub account. The GitHub documentation provides only part of the story, but it generates useful documentation of the linguistic and legal exercise of translation. The CC Italy team is committed to using this GitHub again and more systematically in the future. See an example of how the team used Github to improve their processes, where a suggestion from Sarah Pearson helped the team minimize the differences between the original English version and the Italian translation.

A special thank you to the following groups:

  • The original CC Italy Working Group of: Federico Morando, Claudio Artusio, Massimo Travostino, Marco Ricolfi, Alessandro Cogo, and Thomas Margoni
  • The fellows at the Nexa Center: Elena Pavan, Stefano Leucci, Marco Ciurcina, and Miryam Bianco for the 4.0 suite and Angelo Maria Rovati and Silvia Bisi for CC0
  • Other members of the CC Italy Community: Monica Palmirani, Manuela Avidano, Maurizio Lana, Matteo Montanari, Giacomo Di Grazia, Luca Spinelli, and Simone Musarra for the 4.0 licenses and Francesco Ermini for CC0.

Congratulazioni con la CC Italia!

The post Annuncia la traduzione 4.0 della licenza in Italiano! appeared first on Creative Commons.

Categories: Political Action

Our Proposal to add CC Symbols to Unicode, Round 2

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 13:07

Last October we submitted an initial proposal to get CC license symbols into Unicode. Since then we’ve gotten some feedback from them, incorporated that into our thinking, and submitted an updated application.

Here is the new proposal. (The old one for reference here.) The new proposal presents the CC license icons as graphic symbols. We’ve discussed a bit how trademark rights come into play and think we’ve come up with an inclusive approach that permits public access to the graphic symbols, without affecting the trademark rights in the specific icons. This is similar to how companies like IBM have managed their marks with Unicode.

We also asked the public some questions about how you currently mark works with CC licenses. We thought you’d be interested in the results so here are some very simple graphs that show those results (disclaimer: I am not a data analyst). Of the 709 responses, it seems that more than half (441) use the CC license icons or buttons to indicate the license on a work. Many more (681) said they would also like to be able to use the CC license icons in text (Unicode!) to indicate the CC license. Good news—we’re working on addressing your concerns. Fingers crossed that our new proposal will be accepted by Unicode. Thanks for all your support!

 

The post Our Proposal to add CC Symbols to Unicode, Round 2 appeared first on Creative Commons.

Categories: Political Action

We want your story ideas about collaboration in the commons

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 12:16
Collaboration by Quinn Dombrowski, CC BY-SA 2.0

We need your help!

Over the next year, we will be investigating and reporting on 2-3 of the most compelling stories about collaboration in the commons. We want to tell the story of when and why a creator first decides to use CC, the kinds of connections they make online, how they invite and encourage collaboration, and what makes them feel like they are valued for their work and part of a community. We’re looking for stories that are similar to the 2016 State of the Commons, but deeper, getting at the heart of what really drives collaboration online.  

This is part of our prosocial work, which you can read about in this post:

“We are broadening our focus to look more holistically at sharing and collaboration online. We will investigate the values and behaviors associated with successful collaboration, in the hopes that we might apply them to content platforms where CC licensing is taking place, thereby enhancing the experience of sharing with CC.”

Fill out this short form (it takes 3 min to complete). We are asking for story leads — not fully fleshed out stories — so don’t worry about having enough material for a case study. We plan to contact, interview, and follow these creators or projects over the next year. So if you can think of 1-2 compelling leads, please share!

We are prioritizing the following fields:

  • 3D printing
  • Arts & Culture
  • Media & Journalism

The form will be open for submissions through 15 August, 2017. Looking forward to your ideas. Contact us with any questions!

The post We want your story ideas about collaboration in the commons appeared first on Creative Commons.

Categories: Political Action