Internasjonale nyheter

Controversy: A Recap of the copyright issues surrounding Prince’s estate

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Prince performing in Brussels during the Hit N Run Tour in 1986, CC-by-2.0

Today at Copyright On!, Britton Payne discussed the unique copyright situation surrounding Prince’s estate. This potentially long and bitter battle could shape the future of music copyright to come. Prince fought a number of legendary copyright battles, which makes this current fight over the ownership of his works particularly interesting.
As Payne writes, “Prince was a tireless advocate of his rights as an artist, using copyright law to control and protect his artistic footprint, even when it seemed like it would cost him more than it would gain. For different reasons, it appears that more contentious exploration of copyright law will continue to be part of his legacy.”

The tl;dr of Payne’s post: I Feel for You (I think I want my copyright back): The termination of transfer law After 35 years, artists can reclaim copyright from the copyright holder, which essentially gives them another “bite at the apple” to control their own work. While this law was created to protect artists in 1978 (coincidentally the year Prince’s first album was released), there has been little guidance on the execution of this law.

Prince reworked his contract with Warner Brothers in 2014 to regain access to his early back catalog, which resets the clock on this law. However, every year more of Prince’s back catalog will be up for termination of transfer law, which means that his estate can gain ownership of an increasing number of works, and by extension, control the money that continues to pour in from his most popular titles.

How come U don’t call (a lawyer) anymore: Prince didn’t leave a will

Prince’s will has yet to be found, which means that several conflicting laws surrounding his unpublished back catalog are coming into effect. Because he also left no living heirs, his estate and copyright is now in the hands of his sister, Tyka Nelson, and his five recognized half siblings. (More than 700 people have claimed to be Prince’s half-siblings, but none are recognized by the courts.)

However, siblings cannot execute termination of transfer unless they are the “administrator” of the estate. The title of “administrator” is currently in the hands of a “court appointed ‘special administrator’” called the Bremer Trust. In six months, a more permanent administrator will be found (possibly Tyka, Prince’s sister.)

My name is Prince, but also Joey Coco, Alexander Nevermind, and Jamie Starr

Prince collaborated with many artists and also wrote music under a series of pseudonyms including Alexander Nevermind, Joey Coco, and Jamie Starr. These collaborations as well as his “works made for hire” are covered by different copyright statutes than his solo composed music. There are several issues complicating these works:

  • Many of his co-authors are deceased
  • Pseudonymous works have a longer copyright statute than works written under Prince’s own name
  • Prince’s “works made for hire” are covered by different copyright law than his other work

In short, Prince wrote thousands of songs, many of them unpublished, jointly published, written for other artists, or written for hire, and hundreds of them are potentially affected by different copyright laws.

The Beautiful One(s): The PRINCE act and post mortem rights of publicity A new act in Minnesota may protect Prince’s likeness for the next 50 years. This act, called “Personal Rights in Names Can Endure”(PRINCE) will keep Prince’s likeness in the hands of his estate. This precedent will be the first to protect deceased celebrities to limit commercial rights to his likeness, so be sure to hang on to your vintage Purple Rain t-shirt. (It’s worth noting that Prince never endorsed merchandising in his lifetime, so most of the apparel floating around the Web is bootleg.) Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 2086

In 2086, most of Prince’s works will enter the public domain. Copyright law has been progressively expanded to protect the rights of artists, so any changes to the law will likely benefit his heirs.

Prince’s music in the public domain seems like a long way off, but imagine the next generation discovering this video, and it all seems pretty worth it.

Read more at Copyright On!

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#happybdaybassel

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Bassel Khartabil, CC by 2.0

On May 22nd, more than four years after his detention and six months after his disappearance, Bassel Khartabil (Arabic: باسل خرطبيل‎) will turn 35 years old. Bassel’s imprisonment by the Assad regime is a brutal human rights violation and the continued lack of answers about his fate is a hindrance to the fight for free information in the Middle East and beyond. While Creative Commons has been actively involved in the Free Bassel Campaign since the beginning, Bassel’s rumored death sentence makes today’s call to action particularly pressing.

As Lawrence Lessig wrote in 2012, “We distract ourselves with a million other things, but distraction doesn’t change reality: thousands have died; thousands more are being held; tyranny still lives.”

Bassel Khartabil is a Palestinian-Syrian Free Software and Free Culture activist and project lead for Creative Commons Syria. Bassel’s work on Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, Fabricatorz, and other open culture projects with his research company Aiki Labs has been credited by the European Parliament with “opening up the Internet in Syria and vastly extending online access and knowledge to the Syrian people.” Shortly after his detention, Bassel was named one of the top 100 global thinkers by Foreign Policy for “insisting, against all odds, on a peaceful Syrian revolution.”

This weekend, we’re joining with his friends around the world to continue to demand his immediate return to life as a free global citizen.

Take action at the Free Bassel campaign website.

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Don’t let California lock down public access to government works

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If you’re a California resident, act now! Send a message to your state representatives telling them to uphold free, open access to California government works. 

Front of California State Capitol, by David Fulmer, CC BY 2.0

Unencumbered access to public sector information is central to a well-functioning democratic system. And if our government entities believe that transparency, collaboration, and public participation are civic goals worth supporting, then the public should be able to enjoy free and open access to taxpayer-funded government resources.

In February, California introduced a bill that would permit state and local government agencies “to own, license, and, if it deems it appropriate, formally register intellectual property it creates or otherwise acquires.” The law would control access to public sector information developed in California. The bill, called AB 2880, is currently moving through the state assembly. Its origin rests partly in a trademark dispute between the U.S. federal government and a third-party contractor at Yosemite National Park. AB 2880 was introduced to clarify the intellectual property rights held by the state of California.

Most of the intellectual property developed as a result of public funding in the state of California is in the public domain due to the state’s progressive copyright policy. This means that anyone may share and re-use the work of government agencies without having to ask permission or worry about infringing anyone’s copyright.

In its policy analysis of the proposed law, the state attempts to dismiss criticism by pointing out that AB 2880 wouldn’t interfere with individuals accessing information through a California Public Records Act request. While freedom of information requests are an important mechanism to ensure the public’s right to access government records, it’s not a viable or efficient technique for sharing a vast majority of the information the public should have access to by default. And, according to EFF, asking citizens to rely on records requests for access to publicly sector information is not a solution because California would still be able to regulate downstream uses of those materials:

“by explicitly reserving all of the exclusive rights given to a copyright holder, the state and local governments keeps extraordinary powers to restrain the ability for a citizen to distribute documents they obtain through a CPRA request.”

With changes in law and funding requirements, public sector bodies are switching the default from closed to open. Efforts such as Project Open Data, the agency-wide U.S. Department of Labor open licensing policy, the EU’s Horizon 2020 research program, and national level open licensing frameworks for public sector information in Australia and New Zealand are only a few examples.

In its own summary of the bill, the state specifically acknowledged the concern that “allowing state ownership of intellectual property might restrict the dissemination of information.” California should remove this bill from the legislative docket, or amend it in such a way that guarantees that the public is granted free and open access to government funded works.

If you’re a California resident, act now! Send a message to your state representatives telling them to uphold free, open access to California government works. 

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Open Textbooks 4 Africa

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Open Textbooks for Africa Logo, by: Kelsey Wiens, CC BY 4.0

This is a guest blog post written by Kelsey Wiens, founder of Open Textbooks for Africa and public lead for Creative Commons South Africa. On March 11-12, 45 experts from around the world and across South Africa met to discuss opportunities for Open Textbooks in Africa. The goal of the event was to support the adoption and adaption of currently available open textbooks, as well as build and design a South African focused open textbook.

 

 

The first Open Textbook Summit in Africa was hosted in Cape Town on March 11-12 by Open Textbooks for Africa (OT4A). This two-day event bought together 45 local University lecturers, open education practitioners, and open textbooks experts from around the world. OT4A is a pilot project designed to support the adoption and adaption of currently available open textbooks as well as build and design our own textbooks to showcase African knowledge to the world.

Day one included a panel discussion and debate on the challenges of open textbooks in the South African context. Day two was a workshop to develop an astronomy open textbook with a global south perspective. Textbooks currently used by the Astronomy department at the University of Cape Town feature the sky from the northern hemisphere (i.e., upside down). The working group for the open Astronomy textbook has met twice since the workshop, established a work plan, and is anticipating a classroom usable draft by the end of 2016 – for use in the first term of 2017.

The physics group, also based out of the University of Cape Town, is adapting an OpenStax (CC BY licensed) open textbook. They have listed the OpenStax Physics open textbook as a “recommended book” in the second semester of 2016; aiming for full adoption in classrooms in 2017. This shift will save over 180,000 South African Rands to 150 first year students in first year (equivalent to US$11,860) at one institution over one academic year.  Additional meetings are planned with University of Witwatersrand, University of Western Cape & TSiBA to promote open textbooks.

For more details and to inquire about how your university can use open textbooks, please contact OT4A at: https://ot4a.org

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EU pushing ahead in support of open science

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

April saw lots of activity on the open science front in the European Union. On April 19, the European Commission officially announced its plans to create an “Open Science Cloud”. Accompanying this initiative, the Commission stated it will require that scientific data produced by projects under Horizon 2020 (Europe’s €80 billion science funding program) be made openly available by default. Making open data the default will ensure that the scientific community, companies, and the general public can enjoy broad access (and reuse rights) to data generated by European funded scientific projects. The Commission’s actions in support of open science contrasts with the approach taken by the Member States, who—although none deny the momentum to push for “open by default”—are being much more cautious in developing and publishing open science policies.

Also in April, the Dutch EU Presidency hosted an open science conference in Amsterdam. One outcome of the conference was a collaboratively developed document called the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science. The call for action advocates for “full open access for all scientific publications”, and endorses an environment where “data sharing and stewardship is the default approach for all publicly funded research”.

The 12 action items laid out in the document push to increase support for open science in Europe. We offered suggested improvements to a few of the proposed actions. First, in response to the item to facilitate text and data mining of content, we said that text and data mining (TDM) activities should be considered outside the purview of copyright altogether. In other words, text and data mining should be considered as an extension of the right to read (“the right to read is the right to mine”). However, as others have pointed out, the fact that the InfoSoc and Database directives have not been implemented uniformly across all Member States indicates a need to adopt a pan-European exception in order to provide clarity to those wishing to conduct TDM. We noted that any exception for text and data mining should cover mining for any purpose, not just “for academic purposes.” In addition, a TDM exception should explicitly permit commercial activity. Finally, we said that terms of use, contractual obligations, digital rights management, or other mechanisms that attempt to prohibit the lawful right to conduct TDM should be forbidden.

Second, we questioned why the item to improve insight into IPR and issues such as privacy needs to take into consideration activities that “will ensure that private parties will still be able to profit from their investments.” We noted that all of the proposed actions are supposed to serve the identified pan-European goal of full open access to all scientific publications.

Third, we commended the action to adopt open access principles. However, we suggested that any principles developed should tackle a wider set of issues than those identified: “transparency, competition, sustainability, fair pricing, economic viability and pluralism.” We said that open access principles should take into account the long-standing principles described by the Budapest Open Access Initiative, and its 10-year update, which includes recommendations on public policy changes, licensing, infrastructure support, and advocacy. In addition, we said that the stakeholders involved in the development of any principles should include researchers, students, and the public.

Finally, on the item of how to involve researchers and new users in open science, we urged researchers to actively engage with other scientists, citizens, and non-traditional audiences. Part of this change means that academics and policymakers need to stop characterizing these other groups as “users [who] might get lost in their search for information, or draw wrong conclusions.” If we presume a default of open, we need to get comfortable with sharing—which sometimes means giving up some control—so that others can benefit. With openness in policy and practice, the communication of science can benefit not only its intended audience, but promote novel and interesting types of re-use across disciplines and and by unconventional users.

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Join CC in supporting the International Day Against DRM

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Image credit Brendan Mruk/Matt Lee, CC BY-SA

Today is the International Day Against DRM, a global campaign to raise awareness about the harms of restricting access to legally-acquired content using digital restrictions management (DRM). DRM consists of access control technologies or restrictive licensing agreements that attempt to restrict the use, modification, and distribution of copyright-protected works. Defective by Design says, “DRM creates a damaged good; it prevents you from doing what would be possible without it.”

CC has always attempted to minimize the negative effects of DRM. All the Creative Commons licenses forbid users of those works from adding DRM or other technological measures that would restrict others from using the work in the same way.

More and more creators have been removing the digital locks from their works and experimenting with new business models. At the same time, we see copyright law being misused in service of controlling access and use of legally-acquired content. For example, last year the agricultural machinery manufacturer John Deere attempted to use U.S. copyright law to restrict access to the software code on their tractors. Specifically, John Deere said that provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows them to limit farmers’ ability to inspect and modify software code to fix or enhance the equipment the farmers already own. This is just one example of how DRM has been used to restrict user rights. Luckily the Library of Congress has again adopted a set of exemptions to the DMCA rule that forbids the circumvention of access controls. This way, users can bypass DRM and take advantage of the rights granted to them under the law. However, the list of categories of exemptions is quite limited, and requires interested parties to submit new evidence every three years in order to be granted a renewal.

Another worrying trend is the inclusion of DRM provisions within international trade agreements. And negotiators are pushing DRM anti-circumvention separate from any connection to the effective enforcement of copyright laws. For example, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) adopts criminal penalties for circumventing digital rights management on works, and treats this type of violation as a separate offense regardless of any copyright infringing activity on the underlying content. It is a threat to users’ abilities to use and manipulate the technologies and products they legally own.

We need to end DRM. Get involved in the International Day Against DRM! You can find an event, write a blog post, create a video, translate graphics, and join the discussion. Digital freedom depends on the right to tinker, the right to access information and knowledge, and the right to re-use our shared cultural commons.

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U.S. should require “open by default” for federal government software code

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Photo by Tirza van Dijk, CC0.

A few weeks ago we submitted comments to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) draft federal source code policy. The purpose of the policy is to improve access to custom software code developed for the federal government, and would require that:

(1) New custom code whose development is paid for by the Federal Government be made available for re-use across Federal agencies; and

(2) a portion of that new custom code be released to the public as Open Source Software.

We provided feedback on a few different areas of the proposed policy.

First, we suggested that software developed by U.S. government employees should be clearly marked as being in the public domain not only in the United States, but worldwide, and as a matter of both copyright and patent rights. Under U.S. copyright law, works created by employees of the federal government are not subject to copyright protection in the United States. But what about foreign copyrights? Clearly, this custom code produced by government employees—thus in the public domain in the U.S.—could be equally as useful to developers outside of the U.S. There is no indication that the U.S. government has wishes to enforce its copyright abroad, but rather allows and even encourages the worldwide public to reuse its works freely, including software.

We said that software created by federal government employees should be released under the CC0 Public Domain Dedication, which waives any copyright that might apply, accompanied by a standard non-assertion pledge (“nonassert”) that indicates that the U.S. government will not to seek to enforce patent rights it may have against reusers of the software.

Second, we proposed that software funded by the federal government but developed by third party vendors should be released under free/open source software licenses that permit the greatest levels of freedom for reuse with the least number of restrictions. This will ensure that the public is granted rights to freely use, share, and build upon custom software code developed using public funds.

Third, we urged the federal government to consider setting a policy of “open by default” for custom software developed by third parties. Right now, the draft policy requires each covered agency to release at least 20% of its newly-developed custom code each year as open source software.

Finally, we urged the U.S. government to extending its open source licensing policy to the outputs of Federal grants and cooperative agreements. We discussed a precedent that support the adoption of a default open licensing policy for software—even for grants and cooperative agreements. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) adopted an open licensing policy for the outputs of its $2 billion Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program. As a condition of the receipt of a grant under this program, grantees are required to license to the public all digital content created with the support of the grant under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY) license. In addition to content such as digital education and training resources, DOL requires that all computer software source code developed or created with grant funds must be released under an open license acceptable to either the Free Software Foundation and/or the Open Source Initiative. DOL adopted this open licensing policy “to ensure that the Federal investment of these funds has as broad an impact as possible and to encourage innovation in the development of new learning materials.” As of December 2015, the Department of Labor has adopted a department-wide open licensing policy, which covers all intellectual property developed under a competitive Federal award process.

The public comment period is now closed. The U.S. government will analyze the feedback and revise the policy as necessary. You can view all of the comments submitted here.

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PLOS Supports Early Career Researchers with Travel Award and Broader Initiative

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PLOS supports the growth of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) as they build skills in science communication, become champions of Open Science and develop into ambassadors of change for a future where all research is freely available, all work is evaluated fairly and all members of the scientific community have opportunity to participate in the dialogue of and about science.

The PLOS Early Career Travel Award Program, now in its second year, provides a forum for expression and recognition of innovative ideas from the next generation of leaders. The program is open to researchers currently enrolled in a graduate program to within five years of receiving their graduate degree, who have published with PLOS and whose presentation has been accepted or will be presented at an upcoming conference. PLOS Early Career Travel Awards will be granted in multiple cycles throughout the year.

For the first round of awards PLOS asks applicants to describe in fewer than 500 words what they consider to be characteristics of the optimal peer review process and how they might build this process either from scratch or using aspects of existing practice. Responses should consider innovative ideas that make science more transparent and that make research more rapidly available, while maintaining integrity, for the benefit of science and society.

Award recipients will be selected based on the creativity and thoughtfulness of the essay and the potential of the idea to affect positive change in advancing science. The award of $500 dollars is designed to cover travel expenses. Applications for this round of the program must be submitted between May 1, 2016 and May 31, 2016.

PLOS also announces an expanded ECR Community Blog led by three Community Editors; two PhD students – one from Cornell Medical College and the other from Harvard – and a public health researcher and lecturer in Sweden. Read “Introducing the PLOS Early Career Researcher Initiative” for details on this venue, formerly known as The Student Blog, that will be enhanced in the future with an ECR Resource Center serving as an online library to broaden experiences, provide practical tips and help ECRs navigate the waters of less formalized educational and career opportunities. Watch for updates to the venue throughout the year.

The long arm of copyright: Millions blocked from reading original versions of The Diary of Anne Frank

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The original writings of The Diary of Anne Frank should have entered the public domain on January 1, 2016. They should have become freely accessible to everyone who wants to read and experience this important cultural work. Instead, the texts remain clogged in the pipes of EU copyright law. In some countries like Poland, the texts are in the public domain. In others, such as the Netherlands, the original writings are protected under copyright until 2037. As a result, millions of people are unable to access and read the online versions of the original works. (The situation is even worse in the U.S., where those writings will remain under copyright until 2042.)

Centrum Cyfrowe, Kennisland, and COMMUNIA are highlighting the strange legal situation around The Diary of Anne Frank with the campaign #ReadAnneDiary.

Today, the Polish digital education organization Centrum Cyfrowe published the original, Dutch-language version of The Diary of Anne Frank online at annefrank.centrumcyfrowe.pl. This is the first time internet users will able to read the original writings of Anne Frank online. But unless you’re in Poland, you won’t be able to access it. Why? Because as of today, the primary texts are still protected by copyright in most member states of the European Union.

COMMUNIA explains the copyright confusion surrounding the diary:

First, the Anne Frank Foundation announced their plans to list Otto (Anne Frank’s father) as a co-author, which would extend the protection period of the published diary until 2050. Next, due to a transitional rule in Dutch law it became clear that Anne Frank’s original writings would not enter the public domain in 2016 in the Netherlands (and many other EU countries with similar rules). Finally, in early February the Wikimedia Foundation (the organization that hosts Wikipedia and related projects) decided to remove the Dutch-language text of the diary from Wikisource.

It’s a mess. But it doesn’t have to be this way. COMMUNIA underscores the need for a modern, progressive copyright framework in Europe:

Currently, the rules for establishing the duration of the term of protection are so complex that we need the support of legal experts from different European countries just to determine whether an individual work is still protected by copyright or neighboring rights. In particular, the lack of effective harmonisation of the duration of copyright across the EU hampers efforts of organisations and entrepreneurs, who want to offer online products and services. Only an intervention at the European level can be remedy this situation. As we have repeatedly argued, the term of copyright protection should be reduced and fully harmonized and unified throughout the EU. If we want to fully unlock the potential of our rich cultural heritage we need clear rules that allow anyone to determine whether a work is still protected by copyright. This also includes making it clear that digitization of public domain works does not create new rights.

The #ReadAnneDiary campaign corresponds with this year’s World Intellectual Property Day. Copyright and other intellectual property rights can be used to promote creativity, sharing, and innovation. Creative Commons licensing allows authors to publish their creative works on more flexible terms than the default all rights reserved regime. Creators of all types are leveraging open copyright licensing and the public domain to collaborate and share a wealth of content—including digital educational resources, scientific research findings, and rich cultural and artistic works.

At the same time, it’s crucial that the public has the right to access important historical works like original versions of The Diary of Anne Frank. It should be available online—in the public domain—for anyone to access, read, and appreciate.

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Vice President Biden: Taxpayer-funded cancer research shouldn’t sit behind walls

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On Wednesday in New Orleans, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the convening of the American Association for Cancer Research on the need to speed up scientific research, development, and collaboration that can lead to better cancer treatments.

Vice President Biden is leading the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which aims to accelerate cancer research and “make more therapies available to more patients, while also improving our ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.”

VP Joe Biden asks about CC’s Ryan Merkley’s op-ed in Wired from Matt Lee on Vimeo.

In his remarks to the American Association for Cancer Research, Biden discussed a broad global support for the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. He talked about the importance of collaboration among cancer researchers, academic institutions, patient groups, the private sector, and government.

He made a commitment to cancer researchers to help break down barriers that get in the way of their work. One of the barriers is not having broad open access to cancer research and data. The Vice President asked about the types of innovative insights and discoveries that could be made possible with next generation supercomputers and openly accessible, machine readable text and data.

Biden spoke about realigning the incentives around sharing cancer data so that research and development can lead to better treatments, faster. He said, “taxpayers fund $5 billion a year in cancer research every year, but once it’s published, nearly all of that taxpayer-funded research sits behind walls. Tell me how this is moving the process along more rapidly.” Biden quoted Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley, who this week published an op-ed in WIRED on the urgent imperative for open access to publicly funded cancer research:

 Imagine if instead we said we will no longer conceal cancer’s secrets in a paywall journal — pay-walled journals with restricted databases, and instead make all that we know open to everyone so that the world can join the global campaign to end cancer in our lifetimes? It’s a pretty good question. There may be reasons why it shouldn’t be answered like I think it should — and I’m going to hear from you, I hope, because I’ve not made these recommendations yet. But it seems to me this matters. This question matters.

In the op-ed, Merkley pushed for a fundamental change in the model for sharing and collaboration around scientific information, including cancer research: “An alternative system, where all publicly-funded research is required to be shared under a permissive license, would allow authors to unlock their content and data for re-use with a global audience, and co-operate in new discoveries and analysis.”

We’re grateful to see Vice President Biden’s continued support in the fight against cancer, and we’re committed to assisting in the efforts to ensure unrestricted access to cancer research for the public good.

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How should we attribute 3D printed objects?

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How should we attribute authors of CC-licensed 3D designs once that design has been used to print a 3D physical object?

3DSystems 3D Printed Bass / Maurizio Pesce / CC BY

The challenge of attribution, or “view source,” for 3D printed objects, is widespread in the 3D printing community, an active part of CC’s larger network. It is multi-layered and speaks to existing needs by both creators and users of 3D designs. Creators want to be credited for their designs because it feels good to be recognized; plus, as a creator you want to know if and how your work is being used. Users, who are often other creators, want to be able to view the source design behind a physical object so that they can use the design to reprint the object, modify the design, remix it with other designs, or make significant creative additions to the design.

Michael Weinberg from Shapeways first presented on the challenge of attribution in 3D printing at the CC Global Summit last October and wrote up this post summarizing the issue.

In CC’s view, the challenge is more than just compliance with the attribution condition of CC licenses. Actually, it is debatable whether attribution is legally required on the physical object of a CC-licensed 3D design in the first place. Notwithstanding the legal question of whether attribution is required, CC is interested in the challenge of attribution because it speaks to two of our three new strategic outcomes: discovery and collaboration. Standardizing attribution for 3D print objects and providing the information infrastructure behind it (such as a registry or database) would increase discovery of the CC-licensed designs behind the objects and increase connections and collaborations for users who wish to adapt CC-licensed designs to different contexts either on their own or in direct dialogue with the original creator.

Indicating the license on a design is simple; platforms like Thingiverse and Sketchfab have made it easy to upload and mark your 3D designs with a CC license, complete with machine-readable license metadata embedded within the webpage where you download the design file. But once someone sends that file off to a printer, the license information is gone, including the source of the creation — the author, or any way to contact her. The printed physical object doesn’t carry the license info, and though some platforms have provided workarounds, like Thingiverse’s “print thing tags,” these workarounds only make sense for some objects (eg. figurines) but not others (eg. earrings). So how do you view the source of a copyrighted 3D printed object so that you can give credit, print your own version, or iterate on the original design? How do you comply with the attribution requirement of the CC license, if it is in fact legally required?

Let’s figure out a standard way to attribute and view the source of 3D printed objects

Given the current momentum and interest in the 3D printing movement, we think it is much more likely that a standard will be adopted now — this year — rather than at a later date. We want to make sure that any norms that are set are discoverable (machine-readable), usable (user-friendly), and widely adopted (3D community-approved). We also want to make sure that the information behind each attribution is not lost, but indexed in a registry or database so that a user could potentially scan a 3D printed object and view not only its source and license info, but also its derivatives and any commercial models associated with it.

The hope is that any standard for 3D printing could also be adapted for different fields where there are physical objects linked to their digital attributions, eg. print books, but for now we want to focus on the needs of the 3D printing community.

Where do we begin?

To start, we’ve laid out the basic issues and legal questions we need to consider so that we can start researching them, below.

The TL;DR version: We will research and document the basics of 3D printing, including figuring out what types of content are actually copyrightable. We will learn more about how CC licenses are used in the 3D printing community: what and how are users licensing? how are they currently providing credit and source information? We will also explore the policy implications of encouraging attribution as a social norm even where it is not required because copyright does not apply.

Research questions in detail

Basics about how 3D printing works

  • Breakdown of the most common 3D printing process(es) from idea conception to creation of physical object, including types of digital files involved (e.g. scans and CAD files), simple explanation of technical process that occurs in 3D printer, etc.
  • How often are CC licenses applied in this domain? How often are they complied with?
  • What are common techniques for giving credit and identifying source in 3D printing? Real world rules of thumb for ShareAlike?

Role of copyright in 3D printing

  • Within the 3D printing process, which digital files and physical objects are likely eligible for copyright and why? Which ones are not?
    • What are limitations of copyrightability in each of these and how could they or have they been applied? (e.g., useful article rule, merger doctrine)
    • Outline relevant case law. (U.S. and major international cases)
  • When is copyright in each of those objects potentially implicated in the 3D printing process?
    • Even where copying or adaptation occurs, what exceptions or limitations might apply? (e.g., fair use, severability test)
    • Outline relevant case law. (U.S. and major international cases)

Policy implications to think about following initial research of copyright in 3D printing

  • Even if attribution is not legally required, would promoting a standard of attribution result in expansion of copyright (or publicly perceived expansion of copyright)?
  • If copyright is not applicable, what is, or should be, CC’s role in this space?

Michael Weinberg and Public Knowledge have already provided some great baseline research for these questions. We welcome links to other existing research. There may be academic research we don’t have access to (ironically), so any pointers would be helpful.

We want your input

At the same time that we are scoping and carrying out legal research, we will be helping to organize an initial meeting of 3D experts in law, design, and technology, including platforms that enable hosting and distribution of CC-licensed 3D designs. We’ll share our initial thinking and blueprints for prototypes from this meeting, gather community feedback, and then iterate to develop these prototypes for testing in a few platforms. The goal is not for us to develop something that is technically perfect, but for something that has community buy-in for wide and easy adoption.

We’d like to hear from you regarding any of the above. What are we missing in terms of the legal and policy questions? What are some technical solutions that platforms are already using that we should be considering? Who should be involved that we’re not already talking to? And last, but not least, what are your current practices and ideas as a user? Please contact us directly or on the cc-community list. We’re only just getting started.

The post How should we attribute 3D printed objects? appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

Placing Authors at the Center of the Scientific Endeavor

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PLOS is developing a new submission system to enhance the publishing experience for our community of editors, authors and reviewers. Why are we doing this? The linear, step-by-step process of creating, submitting and reviewing a manuscript simply does not satisfy the needs of scientists today. Large-scale solutions to the current challenges of scientific publishing are not simple, but PLOS believes they are challenges that must be addressed.

PLOS is rooted in responsible disruption, beginning with a community-driven Open Letter, to proving Open Access as a sustainable publishing model and creating PLOS ONE, the world’s first and now largest multidisciplinary journal to accept all rigorous science, independent of perceived impact. The PLOS commitment to transforming research communication is not limited to Open Access to the literature; it includes commitment to Open Data, Open Science and Open Recognition. PLOS was the first organization to develop a suite of Article-Level Metrics for its articles and to enforce the requirement that all published articles be accompanied by accessible relevant data. It was also a key driver behind the global collaboration to award researchers for open publication practices with the Accelerating Science Award Program. With this history of pushing boundaries, coalition building and community respect as a foundation, PLOS is well placed for ongoing innovations that benefit science and the public.

Together with the broader scientific community, we have participated in positive movement on issues of active discussion: reproducibility, data sharing, author credit and shifting valuation of research influence and reach. For some time now we have turned our attention to the core of our organization: how we work with our authors and how our authors work together. Our forthcoming manuscript submission system is the result of improvements we have made both technically and in how we here at PLOS work together. For more details on this read the PLOS Tech blog, A Tech Framework for Innovations in Open Science, by PLOS Chief Technology Officer CJ Rayhill.

To honor and connect our roots in the Open Access movement to the exciting Open Science era ahead, we chose the name Aperta™ for our new submission system. Aperta means Open in Italian and brings with it the association of forthcoming and fairness, qualities that PLOS strives to bring to the process of publishing scientific research.

Aperta brings simplicity and flexibility for improved author productivity and innovations that ease collaboration across global teams, facilitate simultaneous progress on multiple parts of a manuscript by multiple authors and reduce time to publication by decreasing the number of necessary submission versions.

With ongoing development, Aperta will provide an integrated system to expedite, streamline and accommodate future innovations in research communication. Together with early posting of articles and engaged community review, PLOS will be poised to capture, preserve and present the comprehensive conversation surrounding a research work and further accelerate scientific discovery. PLOS is putting researchers at the center of science communication and placing authors in control of their manuscripts.

 

Image Credit: Gerd Altman, Pixabay.com

 

Developing Open Policy for Higher Education

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In March we hosted the second Institute for Open Leadership, and in our summary of the event we mentioned that the Institute fellows would be taking turns to write about their open policy projects. First up is Amanda Coolidge, Senior Manager of Open Education at BCcampus.

I have been in the field of open education for 10 years, starting in 2006, when I was based in Nairobi, Kenya working on the TESSA Project through the Open University UK.  I joined BCcampus’s Open Education Team in 2014 and have had the opportunity to work on a variety of open education projects provincially, nationally, and internationally. BCcampus supports the work of the British Columbia (Canada) post-secondary system in the areas of teaching, learning, and educational technology. My role is to lead the Open Education team, and in particular to advocate for open education practices across the province of B.C. BCcampus’s Open Education team is best known for the work we have done on the B.C. Open Textbook Project.

IOL2 Working” (CC BY 2.0) by amanda.coolidge

The Institute for Open Leadership was the most profound and inspirational professional development activity I have taken part in. I had the chance to meet a group of passionate open advocates from around the world who are changing open policy in museums, non-profit organizations, research, and higher education. From the week in Cape Town, I came away with two small open policy projects, and one large project.

BCcampus Open Education contracts with grantees

One of the smaller open policy projects I have taken on is to change and clarify the wording of our contracts with our B.C. grantees. When we work on projects—either creating or adapting open educational resources—each grantee must adhere to the contract that is outlined between BCcampus and the grantee. The language in these contracts needed to be stronger to ensure that openness was not an afterthought, but that it was deeply embedded into the work we were asking the grantee to accomplish. Changes to the wording of our contracts include:

  • Technical formats for revision and remixing: Completed OER materials must include the original, editable files for re-distribution.
  • Accessibility standards: OER in the form of multimedia, such as videos or audio, must be compliant with accessibility standards and include a transcript and preferably closed captioning.
  • Clarification of the CC license requirements for newly created works and the use of existing resources in the development of materials:
    • New Creation – copyright with author(s)
      • The materials covered by this contract will be a newly created work, for which the copyright will be held by the author or in the case of a new book that is collaboratively produced by more than one author the copyright will be jointly owned by all contributing authors. In both cases, the resulting content will be licensed for reuse with the most current version of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
    • Use of Existing Content
      • Any existing content used in the development of the materials must have a Creative Commons License. The use of the materials must comply with the original Creative Commons License attributed to the existing content.
Open policy for the Ministry of Advanced Education

The second smaller—yet potentially more impactful—policy project is developing an open policy statement for our B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education. The open policy is directed to granting funds, in that the Ministry would state that all grantees who receive public funds from the Ministry of Advanced Education must use CC licensed material in the development of their said project. While this is still in draft form and has not been formally presented to the Ministry, a part of the statement reads:

Grantees are encouraged to search existing resources and OER repositories for openly licensed learning objects and, where appropriate, reuse these learning objects instead of duplicating existing objects as components of their proposed programs. If existing OER are reused as part of the grant funded project, the grantee shall comply with the terms of the applicable open license, including proper attribution.

Open educational resources policy guide

The third, and largest, open policy project is the creation of an Open Educational Resources Policy Guide for Colleges and Universities in both the United States and Canada. I have the distinct pleasure of working on this project with another IOL Fellow, Daniel Demarte. Daniel is Vice President for Academic Affairs & Chief Academic Officer at Tidewater Community College. Daniel and I are very passionate about ensuring that the development and implementation of OER is successful in higher education. We believe that in order to mainstream OER development and adoption, an open policy should be implemented. The purpose of the guide is to promote the utilization of OER and scale efforts to full OER programs. It is written primarily for governance officials at public two-year colleges in the United States and Colleges and Universities in Canada. The contents of the policy guide are not intended to be prescriptive; contents are intended to be adapted for use according to a college’s culture. The OER policy guide is organized in three sections including:

  • OER Policy Principles
  • Components of an OER Policy
  • OER Policy Resources

The components of OER Policy section includes the following topics that we think decision-makers should consider when developing an institutional OER Policy, or when integrating these components into an existing institutional policy:

  • OER Purpose
  • OER Policy Statement
  • Intellectual Property and Licensing OER Content
  • OER Procedures and Responsibilities
  • OER Training and Professional Development
  • OER Course Design
  • OER Content Development
  • Sharing OER Content
  • OER Technical Format
  • OER Sustainability (college-wide capacity, funding model, tenure)
  • OER Quality Assurance

For each component, we provide an explanation of why the component is needed, sample policy statements, sample resources, and a recommended action checklist. Stay tuned for continued updates on the status of the Open Educational Resources policy guide.

I would like to give my sincere thanks to Creative Commons, mentors, fellows, and the Open Policy Network for including me in the Institute for Open Leadership.

View from Table Mountain” (CC BY 2.0) by  amanda.coolidge 

The post Developing Open Policy for Higher Education appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

At Japanese Beatmaking Event, Producers Create CC Remixes in Just Four Hours

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Earlier this month, the fine folks of Creative Commons Japan hosted a beatmaking event at Bigakko, an innovative art education center in Tokyo. A quartet of up and coming Japanese electronic music producers—Madegg, Metome, Foodman (best name ever), and Canooooopy—were issued a challenge: Create brand new remixes of CC-licensed tracks found online. The musicians had exactly four hours to complete the challenge, from finding the CC-licensed source material to exporting their finished remixes.

The results turned out to be pretty fantastic, and are now available through the Creative Commons SoundCloud account. Most of the remixes and almost all of the source tracks that were used are licensed under CC BY and CC BY-SA, so there’s a lot here that you can not only listen to but also use for your own projects and remixes. Check ’em out:

Madegg, “Banana Man”

Metome, “Impro 2016l4l2”

食品まつりa.k.a Foodman, “Hey”

Canooooopy, “雲間に閃く集合知 [clouded souls of crowds]”

The post At Japanese Beatmaking Event, Producers Create CC Remixes in Just Four Hours appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

Wikipedia Year of Science: An Open Opportunity for Participation

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Publishers of peer-reviewed Open Access journals such as PLOS are driven by the realization that, because taxpayers fund the overwhelming majority of biomedical research, there is a moral imperative for the results of this publicly-funded work to be freely and immediately available to those who fund it. In fact, legislators, policymakers and institutions have reached the same conclusion. But what happens to that Open Access scientific content outside the academic or entrepreneurial domain?

In today’s world, there is no reason to limit access to knowledge, and every reason to free it. But the information shared must be reliable, reputable and trusted. This does not mean there is only one perspective or definitive scientific result; research is full of subtleties that inform distinct perspectives and influence final outcomes. What does matter is that science in the public domain, such as content in Wikipedia, is accurate and referenced soundly. Where Wikipedia says “citation required,” PLOS helps create them. PLOS publishes over 30,000 quality peer-reviewed research articles across a broad scope of disciplines each year, and as an Open Access publisher, this trusted research is immediately available for use, reuse and distribution, by anyone with an internet connection.

The Wiki Education Foundation (Wiki Ed) has announced the 2016 Wikipedia Year of Science, an initiative to improve Wikipedia’s potential for communicating science to the public. Through its Classroom Program (where students write Wikipedia articles on class-related topics in place of a traditional research paper) and with collaborations from Wikipedia editors, Wiki Ed will engage scientists to improve the breadth and depth of scientific content on Wikipedia.

Get involved: Find a Wikipedia page on your topic of expertise and match it to a relevant PLOS article. Check out the Year of Science Wiki page and scroll down for the list of monthly themes, then copy/paste the URLs for the Wikipedia and PLOS articles into a form accessible from this survey link. We’ll be sending the information to Edit-A-Thons scheduled throughout the year.

In a Q&A with Tom Porter, Senior Manager of Development at Wiki Ed, PLOS had the opportunity to take a closer look at 2016 Wikipedia Year of Science.

Why this year and why science?

Science is a critical field of education. Wikipedia is enormous, but what you find on Wikipedia is the result of dedicated volunteers. Not every volunteer is interested in writing the kind of content that people search for, or want to learn about, on Wikipedia. That leaves some gaps in public access to knowledge that we think it’s time to tackle.

Since Wikipedia was created 15 years ago, there has been a general warming up of relationships with academics. Often, instructors saw it as a problematic reference material. Now, more often, they see it as an opportunity for student writing. Wiki Ed has worked with 478 instructors at 282 universities, all of whom assigned their students to write for Wikipedia as part of their coursework. “Don’t cite it. Write it!” is the refrain.

In your experience, how do people get over their fear of openly collaborating on public documents such as Wikipedia articles or commenting on existing content through Talk pages? Is it fear, naivety regarding how to do it, or something else?

Many of our students struggle with changing something that’s already on a Wikipedia article – they don’t want to feel bad that they’re rewriting someone else’s content. We spent time in our online training letting students know it’s okay to do so, and we encourage them to post to Talk pages. For many students, this is the first time they’ve worked in public, and they learn a lot about the review and collaboration cycle as they write Wikipedia articles.

Participation and Credit

This is a perfect opportunity for PLOS, with its Open Access content, to reach out to our global contributor community and advance the Open Science movement through improving a vast public resource, increasing article reach, enhancing public awareness of the benefits that Open Access research brings, and accelerating the distribution of research out to the broadest community possible. By increasing access, usability and discovery of trusted information, scientific knowledge made open can propel discovery and innovation. The benefit of participating in the Wikipedia Year of Science is not just greater scientific engagement in public knowledge; it will help “ensure that the next generation of scientists has the skills to explain important scientific principles in a straightforward and effective manner to the general public.”

As organizations, PLOS and Wiki Ed share a common belief in the power of collective knowledge. Both have grown out of communities that recognize the exponential possibilities that Internet connectivity provides, and see the imperative to push that potential for the advantage of humankind. But the desire to do good only works to our advantage as far as it goes; broad community engagement is key. While PLOS and Wiki Ed share a common goal – an open web where communities come together to create, craft, use, reuse and advance critical knowledge – to get there we must understand how to attract communities to participate. New models of doing and publishing science must acknowledge the deep experience of contributors, attribute credit appropriately and retain benefits and rewards for those contributing the original research.

PLOS is not the only organization experimenting with new formats of presenting published work. Wiki Ed recently created Wiki Playlists for personal collections, and PLOS wasted no time in checking it out by creating a Wiki Playlist for PLOS Computational Biology Topic Pages. Examples of open review, post-publication discussion and ongoing dialogue around scientific work, this format allows PLOS authors and editors a collaborative and transparent approach to authoring, reviewing and editing. These articles leverage the capabilities of Wikipedia to expand the reach of research articles and redefine what is published. Authors come to PLOS Computational Biology’s Topic Page editors with content suggestions, and work together to produce a trustworthy, peer-reviewed article for the journal through an open review process that is also posted to Wikipedia for community updating. Once revised and accepted, the articles’ transparent peer review process is preserved by publishing the work – as both a journal article and a Wikipedia page – together with the peer reviews and author responses. PLOS believes that access to the work on Wikipedia increases visibility and invites discussion. Eight Topic Pages have been created to date with Wikipedia versions of articles updated as discoveries are made, allowing the research record to evolve.  There is mutual benefit from new content: Wikipedia is made more robust through the incorporation of peer-reviewed articles, and PLOS authors benefit from the increased reach of their work. This program is ongoing at PLOS and additional Topic Pages are scheduled for release before the end of the year. A revised Wiki Playlist will be created.

Get involved: Tweet about the Wiki Playlist; Wiki Ed asks to include #wikiplaylist in your tweet, for example,

.@PLOSCompBiol #wikiplaylist Open review &post-pub discussion available at @PLOS where #OpenAccess is the norm http://playlist.wiki/playlist/plos-computational-biology-topics or

.@PLOSCompBiol #wikiplaylist Open review, post-pub discussion & ongoing dialogue available in @PLOS articles where Open Access is the norm http://playlist.wiki/playlist/plos-computational-biology-topics

Of course, innovative tools are only part of the story. Their success depends on community and collaboration. Wikipedia is successful in part because of the massive scale of its contributions and contributors. PLOS, through communities and new forums for communicating science, strives to develop its own large-scale, engaged communities. Watch this space for more ways to get involved.

 

Image Credit: Titz B, Rajagopala SV, Goll J, Häuser R, McKevitt MT et al. PLOS ONE. 2008. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002292

Active OER: Beyond open licensing policies

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eBook” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by  Jonas Tana 

 

This is a guest blog post written by Alek Tarkowski, Director of Centrum Cyfrowe and co-founder of Creative Commons Poland. On April 14, 2016, 60 experts from 30 countries are meeting in Kraków, Poland for the first OER Policy Forum. The goal of the event is to build on the foundations for OER strategy development and define collective paths towards greater, active OER adoption.

 

In 2015, the Polish government launched an online repository of open, Creative Commons Attribution-licensed e-textbooks, covering the core curriculum for primary and lower secondary education. After five years, open education activists finally saw their advocacy work bear fruit. In parallel, the government changed the textbook funding model, which translated into massive cost savings for parents and students.

With this goal achieved, we ask ourselves: is our work done? Or is this just the first step in fully achieving the potential for Open Educational Resources (OER) in education? Do we just need textbooks that parents and students don’t have to pay for, or do we need educators and learners actively engaging with resources, and trying out new pedagogies?

The issue surfaces from time to time in discussions on OER policies, but not often enough. We need to move beyond strategies that ensure open availability of content, and supplement them with active policies that support engagement of educators and learners with open resources. Scale of usage, and not just the number of available resources, should be our key metric of success.

Just free, or also open?

In February, at the annual meeting of the OER community, organised by the Hewlett Foundation, David Wiley and John Hilton III organised a discussion on “free vs. open”. The terminology itself was a bit confusing, because by “free” they meant “freely available”, and by “open” they meant allowing the “5 Rs” of active reuse of content. Such use of terms would cause a violent outburst from any orthodox Free Software advocate, since that community has clear definitions of “libre” and “gratis”. But the strange choice of key terms made sense in a way—it drew our attention from the typical way we have been naming things to the problem at heart of OER developments.

We’ve spent too much time arguing about the virtues of “libre” vs. “gratis”, which usually are rooted in moral arguments centered around the value of freedom. Not enough effort has been made to relate the value of OER to real-life educational challenges and the  everyday practices of educators and learners. The OER movement, like much of the open movement, has not paid enough attention to the actual value that openly-licensed resources provide to their users—in such as way that is defined in more precise terms than a potential for greater personal freedom. (This issue has been raised by John Wilbanks in his keynote at the OpenEd conference in 2014).

Wiley and Hilton rightly asked participants of the discussion: what do we gain from policies that lead to the provision of freely available resources? And how do we support open use of resources? The conversation is timely: OER policies are gaining important footholds in the United States. On the one hand, the federal government is committing to making openly available the educational content funded with public tax dollars. Also, at the state level—in particular colleges—educational systems are switching from proprietary to open resources, with the “Z degree” (zero resource cost college degree) leading the way. Using the terms of the debate, these are “gratis”, but not necessarily “libre” policies.

Strong and weak forms of open policies

The same challenge became clear to me over the last five years, as the Polish government has been implementing its open textbooks program. In 2011, Poland adopted a strong open model, which ensures legal openness (through open licensing), technical openness (for example use of open formats and dealing with accessibility issues) and which makes content available with no costs for end users. Polish open textbooks are available for free, in open formats, and under an open license. This is different from a weak open model, in which open licensing is not used.

This weak open model has been for almost two decades at the heart of the Open Access model of scientific publishing, in which academic research articles published in scholarly journals are made available to freely access and read (without carrying a specific open license), typically after an embargo period. Yet in recent years we see a shift toward strong openness in Open Access publishing. This has been explicitly expressed through the re-formulation of principles at the 10th Anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative.

Open licensing ensures strong openness by ensuring, through legal means, rights defined in the educational sphere by Wiley’s “5 Rs”. Recommendations to do so are based on a very well developed argument that goes back to Richard Stallman’s thinking on user freedoms, and Lawrence Lessig’s idea of remix as core activity for free culture. But while reuse of code is a common practice in computer programming, reuse of educational content remains an elusive phenomenon. Open licensing advocates usually argue on the basis of future gains: we need to provide a reuse potential by removing legal barriers so that one day we can see novel types of reuse happen. The challenge our community faces is whether the positive changes advocates say will be realized by adopting strong open policies (i.e. policies that deliberately contain an open licensing mandate) can be observed quickly enough in order to validate their development and implementation. Without solid data on why strong open models are needed, they might be evaluated as overly challenging or ineffective.

We need to remember that strong openness is much more controversial than its weak form. In Poland, the willingness of the government to support a strong open policy led to a conflict with a strong lobby of educational publishers. The controversy focused solely on legal issues around ownership of content – and would have been easily solved by adopting a weak policy model (which the Polish government refused to do, fortunately).

Free or Open? Wrong question?

Making the distinction between “libre” and “gratis” (or “free” and “open”, to use terminology proposed by Wiley and Hilton) is a first, important step. Only then we become aware that there is more to OER policies than just open licensing requirements. It becomes possible to define a spectrum of policies through which educational change happens thanks to openly shared and reused resources.

Yet this does not mean that we need to choose between one strategy or the other. Lowering textbook and materials costs for parents and students has been an important aspect of the education policy introduced in Poland. Similarly, open licensing is an important standard for public funding of educational resources and  should remain core to any impactful OER policy. These are important policies, with the potential of introducing greater equality into the educational system.

But we need to be aware that such a policy, on its own, is a “passive” one if we consider broader goals defined by the open education movement. It’s one that creates only potential action for further change. We need to ask the question, what is happening to content that we have openly provided? And build policies that later support not just passive provision of OER, but their active reuse.

Mapping paths toward open education

Reuse is not something that can only happen “in the wild” once the adequate conditions are created. In fact, such organic reuse is quite rare. Although we lack empirical data, I would assume that less than 5% of users is willing to modify content, remix it, create own versions and mash-ups.

If we agree that empowerment and engagement of educators and learners is an important goal, we need to implement active policies that build on and support the potential ensured by passive ones. These could include incentives for teachers to create, reuse and share OER, investing in repositories and other types of infrastructure for discovery and analytics of content, or paying attention to digital literacy of teachers and formulation of new pedagogies. Developing, testing and implementing such active policies in educational systems around the world has to compliment efforts to open resources.

Almost five years after the signing of the Paris OER Declaration and ten years after the foundational meeting in Cape Town, it is time to define new strategies. For the last few years, I have been advocating for the definition of such “paths to open education”. In response, I’ve often heard that education is too varied for such standard scenarios to be defined. But if we want policies that support active reuse of OERs, then we need to define such standard paths. It is clear to me that these would be useful for policymakers asking the same questions. And the answers to some of these questions might even be easier than focusing most of our efforts and outreach on open licensing.

The post Active OER: Beyond open licensing policies appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

New Open Education Search App by OpenEd.com and Microsoft

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A new Open Education Search App is available as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign, a commitment by 14 states and 40 districts to transition to the use of high-quality, openly-licensed educational resources in their schools. The search app pulls in data from the Learning Registry and works within any Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) compliant Learning Management System. The Open Education Search App enables educators and other users within these districts to search for and assign OER directly within an LMS. Current search filters include subject, grade, topic, and individual standard (eg. Common Core, NGSS, Texas TEKS). Information about the CC license status of the resource is also displayed. The app is available now on the EduAppCenter; you can also check out a screenshot of how it looks below.

In addition to the Open Education Search App, Creative Commons license integration and search is available on Microsoft’s Docs.com. Both OpenEd.com and Microsoft are #GoOpen platform partners working to create the environment where educators and students can access the tools, content and expertise necessary to thrive in a connected world. Creative Commons will continue to work closely with both to integrate CC license choice and content discovery across platforms.

Learn more about Creative Commons work with platforms: https://creativecommons.org/platform/.

 

The post New Open Education Search App by OpenEd.com and Microsoft appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

Help Us Build Creative Commons Certificates – Open Community Call

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With Creative Commons now being used by people all over the world to openly license over a billion pieces of content, a good working knowledge of what Creative Commons is and how it works is critical.

Creative Commons is developing a series of certificates to provide organizations and individuals with a range of options for increasing knowledge and use of Creative Commons.

The Creative Commons Master Certificate will define the full body of knowledge and skills needed to master CC. This master certificate will be of interest to those who need a broad and deep understanding of all things Creative Commons.

In addition, custom certificates are being designed for specific types of individuals and organizations. Initially Creative Commons is focusing on creating a specific CC Certificate for 1. educators, 2. government, and 3. librarians. The CC Certificate for each of these will include a subset of learning outcomes from the overall CC Master Certificate along with new learning outcomes specific to each role.

All certificates will include both a modular set of learning materials that can be used independently for informal learning, and a formal, structured and facilitated certificate the can be taken for official certification.

CC is grateful for initial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute for Museum and Library Services who have provided funding for the development of the CC Master Certificate and specialized versions for educators, government, and librarians.

Creative Commons is seeking to engage the entire open community in the development of these certificates.

Sandcastles by Neil Turner CC BY-SA 

We plan to design and develop the certificates openly on the web in a way that allows for public input and contribution. We currently are experimenting with making all the certificate designs available for review and edit through GitHub and other tools.

In addition we are looking to tap into as much subject matter expertise as possible through the formation of  certificate working groups. A working group of Creative Commons staff has been formed to provide subject matter expertise on the CC Master Certificate. We’re also reaching out through our networks to form working groups with librarians, educators and government to ensure the specialized certificates are relevant and appropriately targeted to each group.

A Creative Commons Certificate librarian working group is being formed through coordinated outreach in consultation with organizations like the American Library Association, Digital Public Library of America, and SPARC.

The government and educator versions of the certificate are being created to satisfy needs that emerged out of the US Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant and the 700+ community colleges who are grantees. Creative Commons is reaching out to these and others for expertise on the government and educator versions of the certificate.

A working group of participants from across Creative Commons global affiliate network has also been formed to help ensure initial work takes into consideration internationalization and localization.

If you’d like to be actively involved in any of these working groups let us know.

Certificates will be created as Creative Commons licensed Open Educational Resources reusing and remixing as many existing openly licensed resources as possible. We’re looking to aggregate, adopt, and adapt existing materials as much as possible and only develop new content for areas where nothing already exists. We’ll be inviting you to identify all materials you’re aware of and map them to certificate learning outcomes.

Rather than focusing our initial efforts on content development we’ll instead focus on defining learning outcomes along with associated activities and assessments that effectively test those outcomes. Our aim is to have assessments be 100% performance-based, testing people on their ability to use Creative Commons in applied and practical ways. One form of activity and assessment will include having certificate participants create actual certificate content as OER. Co-creation with participants will build up a pool of community created Creative Commons Certificate content, targeted to learning outcomes, in many different languages, localized to different parts of the world, and curated by Creative Commons.

If you have thoughts, resources, or interest in helping out please let us know.

We currently have a submission in to the Knight Foundation’s “How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?” challenge brief. If successful, we plan to engage working groups of librarians in multi-day sprint workshops to do everything from co-defining learning outcomes, to identifying existing CC related openly licensed curricula, beta testing curricula, and defining optimal modes of delivery and duration. If you think that is a good idea or want to be part of those sprints we invite you to express interest by sharing your comments here Creative Commons (CC) Certificate for Librarians.

In future development, Creative Commons is planning for a train-the-trainer certification which will authorize others to deliver Creative Commons certificates on its behalf in different parts of the world. We welcome expressions of interest from other organizations wanting to work with us on this.

As CC embarks on its strategy to “foster a vibrant, usable, and collaborative global commons”, Creative Commons certificates will play a critical role in ensuring participation scales in informed and skilled ways.

The post Help Us Build Creative Commons Certificates – Open Community Call appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

Where Next for PLOS: Working Together to Make Waves in Scientific Communication

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What began as a ripple with the goal to make research accessible and free has propagated into over 157 funder and 500 university policies that provide millions of readers around the world increasing opportunities to make important, positive impacts on global health, scientific discovery, policy and education. This wave of Open Access–and now Open Science–moving through the scientific community has created a scientific publishing ecosystem that spreads beyond researchers, reviewers, editors and funders to include technologists, institutions, patients, entrepreneurs and librarians.

Concomitantly, the pieces of the research puzzle have become more complex: multimedia data, web-searchable genomic datasets and real-time online discussions alter the way people work, communicate and cooperate. The internet has driven a shift from readership to engagement, from the sole operator to an invigorated community, from hierarchical to networked feedback and from static publication to dynamic updates. This increasing complexity has resulted in insufficient coordination and integration of processes, making the sharing of research burdensome. Science, technology and medical (STM) journal publishers have struggled to fully leverage the potential of innovation and evolving work styles to enable and facilitate science communication.

Responsible Disruption

Traditional publishing is inadequate for the communication of science, as demonstrated by the increasing number of options that provide rapid routes to publication in alternative forms. Calls to disrupt the constraints of traditional publishing are constant and gaining in strength. At the same time, publishers and others are working to ensure that proposed reforms and innovations do not compromise the values of documentation, curation, and prioritization, sharing, archiving and integrity. The public relies on the belief that content published in peer-reviewed journals is trustworthy, despite the fact that this is too often not the case. We must do better. All stakeholders, including publishers, are accountable.

With these cautions in mind, it is critical for publishers such as PLOS to lead change and innovate to support the research enterprise. PLOS has a history of openness and innovation at scale that, when combined with engaged and collaborative stakeholders willing to provide feedback, have facilitated a revolution in research communication.

Shaping the Future

PLOS has redefined the publishing model and proved that making quality research openly available for anyone to read, download and reuse is a viable business model. PLOS redefined the concept of the journal and ignited change with the groundbreaking PLOS ONE —a forum for publishing all sound science and providing an expansive scope for researchers’ work. PLOS has redefined “influence” beyond the limitations of journal metrics with PLOS Article-Level Metrics that reveal a snapshot of an article’s influence and value before accumulation of citations and over time. PLOS is redesigning the discussion and extending article reach with The PLOS Blogs Network, PLOS Communities and the PLOS Science Wednesday on redditscience Ask Me Anything series. These opportunities move the discussion into the open to support a public dialogue that distributes knowledge, helps tell the story behind the research and fosters community for the benefit of working scientists and the general public.

PLOS is actively furthering its mission to accelerate science and medicine–from research and discovery to influence tracking and community building–through a suite of proposed new initiatives:

  • Ahead-of-publication posting and alternative forms of outputs for rapid dissemination of important research with consideration for integrity, quality and reproducibility
  • Collaborative and open peer review with broad community involvement, appropriate recognition and accountability
  • Priority submission in the case of public health emergencies
  • Advocacy for a shift within academia, industry, funding agencies and elsewhere to transform not just processes but also culture and credit

PLOS is also pursuing how pre-print servers might best serve the community while simultaneously building a more efficient manuscript submission system that provides flexibility for different author working styles, and streamlined submissions with enhanced automations and improved author, reviewer and editor collaboration.

“We are determined to drive progress toward Open Science by providing the community with a publishing experience that fully leverages the technical potential to advance science fast, openly and with broad participation,” says PLOS Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Marincola.

Merging Tides

PLOS cannot do this alone. Publishers, editors and reviewers wield only a fraction of the power to shift the tide.

“Together with authors, funders and other visionary leaders across sectors, we must act now. When we reach this potential, we will boost confidence in the scientific enterprise, from reproducibility to publication to reward,” says Marincola.

As with all transformative thinking and shifting behaviors, this process will not happen in one large splash. There will be ripples of innovation and shifting behaviors that disperse outward, sometimes quickly and other times less so. These ripples will intersect with those of like-minded organizations and innovators to once again push the boundaries of scientific publishing. Watch this space for news and updates as we continue to refine the definition, evaluation and recognition of scientific work. PLOS aspires to put researchers back at the center of science communication, working in the best interests of all stakeholders—for the benefit of science and of future generations.

 

Image Credit: Gerd Altman, Pixabay.com

Reporting back on the Institute for Open Leadership 2

Creativecommons.org -

The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway by Alessandro Sarretta, CC BY

Last week Creative Commons hosted the second Institute for Open Leadership. The Institute is a training and peer-to-peer learning opportunity that brings together up-and-coming leaders to develop and implement an open licensing policy in their institution, province or nation. We were thrilled to welcome a diverse group of fellows from 14 countries to Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Jane-Frances Agbu – National Open University of Nigeria – Nigeria
  • Rim Azib – British Council, Tunis – Tunisia
  • Steve Cairns – Greenpeace International – Netherlands
  • Amanda Coolidge – BCcampus – Canada
  • Daniel DeMarte – Tidewater Community College – United States
  • Paula Eskett – CORE Education – New Zealand
  • Mostafa Azad Kamal – Bangladesh Open University – Bangladesh
    Roshan Kumar Karn – Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital – Nepal
  • Vincent Kizza – Open Learning Exchange Uganda – Uganda
  • Fiona MacAllister – University of the Witwatersrand – South Africa
  • Katja Mayer – University of Vienna – Austria
  • Caroline Mbogo – The World Agroforestry Centre – Kenya
  • Niall McNulty – Cambridge University Press – South Africa
  • Juliana Monteiro – Museu da Imigração do Estado de São Paulo – Brazil
  • Alessandro Sarretta – Institute of Marine Sciences – Italy

In addition to the fellows, we invited seven mentors with open policy expertise from various open sectors. We even brought back two IOL #1 fellows (Klaudia Grabowska and David Ernst) to be mentors at this year’s Institute.

Prior to arriving in Cape Town, all of the fellows proposed an open policy project, which they then developed with their mentors and other fellows during the week. A natural focus for the week was understanding open licensing and the potential for open policies to expand public access to knowledge, data, culture, and research around the world. But licensing is not the only component to a successful open policy adoption. Much of the week involved hearing how openness is perceived within different sectors and institutions, and coming up with strategies and tactics for addressing the important social, cultural, and technological challenges to open policy adoption.

IOL2 session by Kelsey, CC BY

In addition to learning and working with the mentors and other fellows, there were several interesting speakers that came to talk with the group, including Adam Haupt and Caroline Ncube from the University of Cape Town, Mark Horner from Siyavula, Ralph Borland with Africa Robots, and Barbara Chow, TJ Bliss, and Dana Schmidt from the Hewlett Foundation.  

Over the coming months, the Institute fellows will share regular updates here about their projects, including the progress they are making in implementing open licensing policies within their institutions and governments.

Thank you to Paul Stacey and Kelsey Wiens—who helped facilitate the week-long workshop—and to Kelsey in particular, who helped arrange all the logistics for the meeting in Cape Town. We also appreciate the assistance from the Open Policy Network and the ongoing support from the William and Flora Hewlett and the Open Society Foundations in making the Institute for Open Leadership possible.

IOL2 fellows and mentors by Cable Green, CC BY

The post Reporting back on the Institute for Open Leadership 2 appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

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