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Creative Commons 82

mpawlo writes "Creative Commons just opened to the public. From the initial statement: "We are building a Web-based application for dedicating copyrighted works to the "public domain," and for generating flexible, generous licenses that permit copying and creative reuses of copyrighted works." Read also the article in the New York Times." There's also an older story that summarizes the concept behind the site, although I think their FAQ's do a pretty good job. A page at the Berkman Center documents some of the development of the project (although it doesn't render properly in konqueror for whatever reason). rbeattie describes it like so: "At O'Reilly's ongoing Emerging Technology Conference today, Creative Commons gave a presentation about their new service, an "easy way for people (like scholars, musicians, filmmakers, and authors--from world-renowned professionals to garage-based amateurs) to announce that their works are available for copying, modification, and redistribution." They've provided an online wizard where you can choose the type of license and restrictions you want to put on your work, and then they'll provide a circled CC logo you can put on your website with links to the license. In addition they are providing search functionality for those looking for public domain content - the license is provided in "machine readable form" (read: XML probably) so that it can be easily indexed/searched."
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Creative Commons

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  • Is it just me... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rmohr02 ( 208447 ) <mohr.42@os[ ]du ['u.e' in gap]> on Friday May 17, 2002 @09:04AM (#3536419)
    ...or has this already been done []?

    There are also other sites [] dedicated to this idea.
  • good stuff (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Friday May 17, 2002 @09:12AM (#3536466) Journal
    This is going to be a good thing, just because there is a central location to verify if something is public domain, or what kind of license they are using, etc.

    This is a good thing.

    Unless various legislation sponsored by the xxAA's gets passed, making greed mandatory

  • You may wish to know (Score:2, Interesting)

    by blab ( 214849 ) on Friday May 17, 2002 @09:40AM (#3536586)
    I was in attendence at the creative commons talk at the O'Reilly Conf. The one thing that struck me is that this organization does not seem to be aimed soley at creating an simple 'public domain' license. While they are working on that they also have numerous 'restrictions' that they are playing with that an author can tack onto the license.

    One thing that struck me is that this approach, while bringing people, their license, and their artistic product closer to the public domain than it would be otherwise with the automatic copyrighting that occurs know these are -not- going to be public domain works when these restrictions are applied to a basic license.

    While this is still a step in the right direction do not be confused that adding restrictions like 'not for commercial use' or 'you can't make derivitive works (unless you contact me)' puts a work into a public domain. These restictions are closer and better(?), but still not a public domain work when you really chew on this concept.

    One presenter was very bias'd toward companies using a work for 'commercial use' and was very intent on pushing that restriction. I was very uncomfortable with that position coming from someone at this organization. A next absurd step in that thinking, though you might know someone like this, is to add further restrictions that make sense to the person who owns the work, but not to the rest of us. "not for us in Iran", "not for use in the southern US."

    Regardless of whether you believe these restrictions are justified or not is another issue. Adding restrictions is not my idea of a "public domain".

  • by Limburgher ( 523006 ) on Friday May 17, 2002 @09:45AM (#3536615) Homepage Journal
    How many people are really going to do this? I can see plenty of applications, academics wishing to disseminate information and wanting to get around the DMCA, but I doubt we'll see John Grisham or Piers Anthony having their earlier (read: slower-selling) works unleashed for the public good.

    Great tool for Estates of dead IP holders to be publicly philanthropic. Artists could will their entire bodies of work to this post mortem, make money while alive, and enrich the public domain.

  • by Tomy ( 34647 ) on Friday May 17, 2002 @09:47AM (#3536623)

    As I understand it, an artist will be able to tailor the license. Perhaps an artist could make the art free for noncommercial use. If a big buyer comes along they have to pay for alternate licensing terms. Now while the RIAA might feel a need for total domination^H^H^H exclusive license, a car company wanting your music for an ad would probably like the wide distribution created by CC.

    Think of the Trolltech business model. QT is GPL'd for noncommercial use, but if you want a different license you have to pay. Remember, a license is not a copyright. You can dual license your own IP.

  • Free as in beer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by y6y6y6 ( 84925 ) on Friday May 17, 2002 @11:50AM (#3537427) Homepage
    I've been following the Creative Commons build-up for a while and am glad to see it finally launched. I would like to help and/or collaborate if you feel that would be productive.

    I listened to a presentation Lawrence Lessig gave at SXSW earlier this year and was motivated to action.

    I've removed the copyright notice from all of my pages and replaced it with an invitation for people to use the content for whatever commercial or creative use they want.

    For many years I've maintained a website where I have recipes, stories and thousands of photos. In the past many people have asked to use some of these and I've allowed it with the provision that they include a copyright notice and a link to me. People have stolen some of my designs and I've gotten very upset and threatened to sue.

    But hearing your speech made me start to wonder why. What is the point of me stressing out over control of these things? I don't ever intend to make money from them. Why not open them to people who can find a creative use?

    So I have.

    Already people are grabbing the images and using them for some cool things. A film maker intends to use them in his work, websites are using them for banners. I am very happy. Here's a link to my page where we're discussing this: showday&pageid=737 []

    And an example of one of my public domain photo pages: 17 []

    I'm rather surprised at how tightly some people's idea of "art" is linked to copyright and control. I always thought art was creativity.

    I'm very interested in using the "contributor application" and seeing how well it matches up with the licences I've been using. One thing I did see missing from the licences they show (Attribution, Noncommercial, etc) was an explicitly public domain licence.

    Most of my photos actually fall into this category. I just want people to use them, even if I don't attribution. Of course this seems like a bit of a non-licence, but it would be nice to have something specifically stating that. I constantly get email indicating that a) people don't understand what public domain means, and b) they don't believe I really mean it.

    At any rate, I want to thank Creative Commons for their work and inspiration.
  • Re:E-patent commons (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2002 @06:17PM (#3540282)
    On the right track, but ot quite there. Part of the problem is that searching for the existance of a patent takes time/money. Small groups/open source can't afford either. Besides, if all they have to do is reference in code, compaies like MS will stick a comment in the code right before trial, show it to the judge, and get the case dismissed.

    A better idea is- everyone releasing code to public domain, or with an open source license gets to license the patent for free. Everyone else pays (with money going to the patent holder, with an option to give to the EFF, open source foundations, etc). The license money would also go twoards defending the patents in court if necessary.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!