Nyhetsinnsamler

Reporting back on the Institute for Open Leadership 2

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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

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Creative Commons Turkey Joins the CC Affiliate Network

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Creative Commons Türkiye Lansmanı (CC BY-SA)

Last week, on March 11 2016, Creative Commons Turkey was officially launched during an event at Özyeğin University in Istanbul. Creative Commons is extremely proud and happy to have CC Turkey join the affiliate network, and we want to congratulate the whole team for their efforts over the last year to accomplish this.

We hope and expect that the CC Turkey team will play a pivotal role in the region, and we are looking forward to working with them on the translation of the licenses into Turkish and for the organisation of CC-related events!

Hoşgeldiniz CC Türkiye!
-Gwen Franck, Regional Coordinator Europe

Reposted from Creative Commons Türkiye:

The Creative Commons Turkey launch event was held in Özyeğin University on Friday, March 11 with the theme of #shareyourcreativity. The event featured a large number of guests including legal professionals, IT experts, researchers, educators and librarians.

We are pleased to announce that Creative Commons Turkey is now a part of the global CC community.

The event offered a rich program of exciting, horizon-broadening speeches and enlightening discussions. In the spotlight of the discussions of open society, free society and copyrights reform and culture of sharing which Creative Commons represents and is therefore a natural part of it. The use of Creative Commons licenses will make great contributions to the development of these dynamics in Turkey. The launch event was a step towards identifying the points of resistance and gaps in adopting the culture of sharing in the Turkish society and building a legal infrastructure for it.

Sharing and dissemination of intellectual, cultural and artistic outputs to wider audiences are unprecedented elements of a creative, innovative, well-educated, sophisticated and free society. In recognition of this fact, Creative Commons Turkey, under the leadership of Özyeğin University, will continue to work unflaggingly to enable and promote the use of CC licenses in collaboration with all stakeholders. You may follow up on our activities at creativecommons.org.tr and @ccturkiye.

We invite you all to share your creativity with CC licenses.

Please visit the program page for the presentations and videos of the Creative Commons Turkey launch event. [Photos from the event are available on Flickr.]

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Collaboration with IBM Watson Supports the Value Add of Open Access

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In this massively data rich world, the equilibrium between information and knowledge has increasingly shifted from knowledge toward information. Advanced text and data mining (TDM) is not yet ubiquitous and even if it were, not all content is structured enough to leverage TDM potential. In developing the supercomputer Watson with the ability to process, analyze and extract information from natural language such as PLOS article text, IBM is beginning to shift the equilibrium back to knowledge.

Understanding Relationships

PLOS and IBM Watson are collaborating to bring quality Open Access biomedical literature to healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators, and to do so in a way that provides full article content and context including PubMed citation information from the National Library of Medicine.

The collaboration is “not just about PLOS or Open Access,” says PLOS Chief Technology Officer CJ Rayhill, “it’s about improved healthcare through immediate access to relevant clinical, translational and basic biomedical discoveries documented in the peer-reviewed literature.”

For the past year, IBM Watson has been ingesting PLOS article content directly from PubMed Central, beginning with PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine. This large collection of content is then used by IBM Watson in two ways, direct and indirect. In direct and immediate use, structured metadata as well as concepts extracted from article text are put to an algorithm by IBM Watson to obtain insights into relationships that might improve the way medicine is practiced in the clinic or hospital, at point of care. Used indirectly, developers of software applications create programs that extract customized information and concepts from PLOS articles—or any other large collection of text.

Accelerating Discovery

Watson’s ability to analyze massive amounts of information means it can keep up – faster and better than any human brain – with advances reported in scientific journals. The future may lie in the possibility that in the same way clinicians are beginning to use mobile apps to guide medical treatment decisions, scientists will use an app to help map their own research discovery pathways, based on the entire text of Open Access literature in PubMed Central. In this way, Open Access articles provide entrepreneurs the reliable biomedical information they need to develop digital healthcare, translational medicine and even research breakthroughs. The conversation between PLOS and IBM Watson is one more example of PLOS accelerating research progress and transforming research communication–through collaboration.

PLOS helped IBM Watson project leaders understand important differences in Open Access biomedical literature–not all Open Access is created equal. PLOS advised in the training of IBM Watson to understand research article content and to recommend that as IBM Watson moves to ingest additional scientific data from PubMed Central, key contextual information is maintained, including DOIs and links to cited literature. Importantly, through inclusion of Open Access articles, entrepreneurs will benefit from the ability of Watson to provide a complete picture of research results as presented in an article, with the context of those results maintained relevant to the body of Open Access literature cross-referenced within the article. For the sake of limited time and brainpower, you and I might restrict our reading to an article’s abstract. Watson doesn’t have those problems.

A collaboration between PLOS and IBM might seem out of place. But it’s important to appreciate, says Rayhill, that “information and insights contained in Open Access publications have value in commercial applications.” Those at the forefront of clinical care, biomedical research or policy development can access this knowledge and benefit from improved decision making.

Image Credit: parameter_bond, Flickr.com

New Job Opportunities at Creative Commons

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Women In Tech – 115 by WOCinTech Chat, CC BY-SA 2.0

I’m very excited to share three new job postings with Creative Commons today, supporting three essential areas of our work: technology, communications, and fundraising. It’s a very exciting time for CC: we have new revenues, a new strategy, and a growing Commons and an energetic movement around the world. There is new energy, a great staff, and so much potential, but we need add to our team to be successful. Below is a summary of the new positions with links to the postings.

Director of Engineering

Responsible for all aspects of CC’s technology infrastructure and product and service development, the Director of Engineering will lead our existing dev team to build a more vibrant, usable global commons, powered by collaboration and gratitude. We want to light up the Commons — make it more discoverable, usable, and connected. This is the opportunity: to build products and services — both standalone and within our partner platforms — that will bring the commons to life with greater use, re-use, and contribution.

Communications Manager

Focused on the production and distribution of communication materials that expand CC’s reach and increase the size of our community, the Communications Manager will create innovative, compelling communications that grow and connect communities of creators who want to share. You’ll help us put the best of the Commons front and centre, and show the benefits of sharing and collaboration in all the communities in which we work.

Development Manager

This position is focused on fundraising from foundation and government sources to meet our annual revenue goals. The job includes research, data management, reporting, and copy writing. Our new strategy is ambitious, and your opportunity is to support our team with the resources they need to achieve these goals. Your contribution will be vital to the success of the organization and our global community.

There are a few more hires in the queue this year: one in UX and one in event planning, which will likely go up in the summer. It’s a really exciting time to join CC, and an important time for the free culture and open knowledge movements around the world. Please share the posts, and help us find great people to join our team.

One final note: As today is International Women’s Day, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out how much I believe that our organizations are better when they have women’s voices and leadership featured prominently. Our CC staff today is 42 percent women, and 60 percent of our team at director level and above are women. But we can do better, and when we do, our work and our movement will be better as a result — all the data says so.

When drafting these postings, we did a final round of revisions in response to insights about how different genders approach a call for applications. Research suggests that women often choose not to apply for a position based on the requirements they don’t have, while men tend to apply regardless. Some have suggested this is a problem women should fix, which to me is about as backwards as saying women get paid systemically less for the same work because they don’t ask the right way. I think it’s a challenge for Creative Commons to address, and for me personally — ensuring we ask for everything we do need, and nothing we don’t. If we can’t hire talented, qualified women, that’s our fault, not the fault of talented, qualified women.

You can help: have a look at these postings and if you know a bright, creative woman who wants to change the world with us, encourage her to apply. If that person is you, we can’t wait to hear from you.

 

Stock photo from the excellent Women of Color in Tech, that shares CC-licensed stock images, perfect for just this kind of post. We love them.

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Happy Open Education Week!

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Open Education Week 2016 Banner, by: Open Education Consortium, CC BY 4.0

Happy Open Education Week everyone!

Open Education Week is an annual convening of the global open education movement to share ideas, new open education projects and to raise awareness about open education and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide.

Join this weeklong celebration of the benefits of free and open sharing in education.

Creative Commons is actively participating with:

Be sure to share your Open Education Week activities with: #openeducationwk

What events are you planning this week?

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World Without Waste? Appropedia and the Sustainability Commons

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The guest post below was written by Erik Moeller of Passionate Voices, a collaborative blog that hosts interviews with interesting makers, writers, thinkers, and artists from all over the world.

The global maker movement is known for creative hacks, as well as for getting people of all ages excited about technology and how the world works. At the intersection of maker communities and social activism, we find remarkable projects like Open Source Ecology, WikiHouse, and the topic of this article: Appropedia.

Appropedia is not a specific effort to use technology for good, but rather a global community documenting collaborative solutions for sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture. You can think of it as a “Wikipedia for sustainability” and, indeed, it uses similar underlying mechanics: the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License and the MediaWiki software, for starters.

Appropedia co-founder Lonny Grafman (sitting, right) at the Las Malvinas photovoltaic workshops, where participants become the teachers and install solar power for a public pharmacy. License: CC BY-SA

Lonny Grafman, an an instructor at Humboldt State University in Northern California, founded Appropedia in 2006. Today it has thousands of pages on topics as diverse as solar cookers, thermal curtains, and rainwater harvesting. It is available in eight languages, including the beginnings of a Kiswahili edition.

The wiki is a tool for communities of practice that are looking to achieve real-world impact. At Humboldt State, Grafman founded a program called Practivistas. “In the Practivistas program, we bring students from the US and other countries to live and work with students in another country, in communities of little resources,” Grafman explains.

Practivistas don’t approach communities with a predetermined problem or solution. Instead, projects like a classroom constructed using locally sourced materials and alternative building methods are planned and implemented together with local communities from start to finish. In this case, plastic bottles were used as one of the primary materials for the classroom walls.

A beach bag made from plastic waste as part of the Arroyo Norte waste plastic innovation project. License: CC BY-SA

Projects are documented in Appropedia so that other communities may benefit. Beyond Practivistas, students from courses at Humboldt and other universities contribute content to the wiki through what’s called service learning. Explains Grafman: “It’s this thing that sits between and hopefully a little bit above internship, which is about student learning, and volunteerism, which is about the target community getting needs met.”

Grafman argues that engaging students in building the commons is better for the students, too: “My experience is that students learn more. Even just by motivation. When you’re doing something real, that has real impacts, there’s just a lot more motivation to do it right.”

In addition to his work on Appropedia, Grafman is interested in ways to reduce humanity’s energy use. He co-founded a company, Nexi, which makes energy monitors for the home. It’s a for-profit, and parts of the tech will remain proprietary, while Nexi may contribute to a commons of open data about energy use: “The good news is that we really don’t have to be puritanical about anything as diverse solutions will actually build more resilience.”

Appropedia, meanwhile, is hiring an Executive Director, to make the sustainability commons itself sustainable in the long run. No matter what the future holds, as a repository of creative solutions for addressing the problems all around us, Appropedia has already demonstrated that an information commons can directly improve people’s lives.

You can learn more about the project’s goals, and read the full interview I conducted with Lonny Grafman on Passionate Voices.

Erik Moeller (@xirzon), PassionateVoices.org

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Jonathan Barnbrook on his CC-licensed art for David Bowie’s Blackstar

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Jonathan Barnbrook is a world-renowned artist who has worked extensively in a variety of media including film, typography, and graphic design. He was also a close collaborator of David Bowie, and created the cover artwork for the musician’s last four albums. Sadly, Bowie died in January, just two days after the release of his final studio album, Blackstar (aka ★). The record, which has gone on to become a commercial and critical hit, was intended by Bowie to be a “parting gift” to fans.

As an homage to his friend and creative collaborator, Barnbrook decided to take the “gift” concept to the next level. He released the artwork for Blackstar under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, so that it could be shared and remixed noncommercially by Bowie fans around the world.

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Barnbrook about choosing to make the Blackstar art available in this fashion. It was great to hear how much the notions of tribute and gratitude played into his decision to use a CC license for this project.

Blackstar by Barnbrook, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

What inspired you to offer the Blackstar art to the public for reuse and remix?

I felt a public, more “official” gesture was needed to empathize with the grief many people were suffering [as a result of David Bowie’s death]. I had seen a lot of tattoos and use of the artwork, so I wanted to give these people something to remember David by without them thinking they were using the artwork illegally or secretly in some way. I was as upset as they were, so the artwork was released in the positive spirit of sharing and understanding what they were going through.

People belittle collective public grief, which is a bit silly because a person can be the conduit of an ideology or philosophy of an age. I think [the grief] has been so enormous for David because he represented being who you wanted to be in a society where people are often not given the chance to do that. He gave hope and expression to many who didn’t fit in or who were not where they quite wanted to be, so when he was gone it was understandable that people felt a great sense of loss.

I also feel that music is very underrated in terms of importance in people’s lives. In an immediate sense it doesn’t help a war situation or save someone’s life, but it is very life affirming. It can help you through depression, express the moments of absolute joy, be a symbol of an age or philosophy. So again, it is understandable that you’d grieve when the person who expressed these things for you in the intangible form of music is no longer there to be part of your life.

I always felt that it was an incredible responsibility and privilege whenever I worked on David’s covers. So I understood that this would be an appropriate thing to do.

A portrait of Jonathan Barnbrook … by Cyberuly, CC BY 2.5

Why did you specifically choose a Creative Commons license to encourage people to share and remix the artwork?

It is a very well-thought-out, simple system that everybody knows and can understand. The licenses can be read in depth or understood simply on the website. It made it clear that people could use it in the way they wanted without affecting the commercial aspect of the album sales.

Was releasing the art in this way something you’d considered doing before Bowie’s death?

I talked about this with David before he died and he thought it was a great idea, although I couldn’t have imagined the sad circumstances under which I would eventually do it. It came from when the album The Next Day came out—the fans took the white square on the cover and used it in their own way. It was something which I didn’t calculate but it made me extremely happy that they wanted to use, respond, and be part of it too. I felt this needed to be thought of at a fundamental level for the release of Blackstar, that the old model of a record company releasing the record and copyrighting everything so fans could not react or add their own interpretation was wrong. It shouldn’t be such a one-sided experience and instead should show respect and understanding for those people who love the music. The music is still the property of the record company and that is not affected, this just means that people can have their own identification with the release and what Bowie meant to them. When he died I felt that it was even more important that we should do this, especially since a lot of people had specifically asked me for the artwork without any intention of making money from it.

Since I released the artwork I have received so many lovely messages thanking me for it and saying what it means to be able to use the artwork to remember David by. Really it has brought a tear to my eye each time I have read them.

Have you seen any interesting uses or remixes of the art yet?

People are incorporating the Ziggy Stardust stripe in with it, which I think is great. That is an amazing graphic and to feel that the Blackstar [art] is of equal meaning is an honor.

How an artist has affected your life is an intensely personal, unique experience. One of the reasons that we used the Creative Commons license allowing derivatives was because of this. It is important that people interpret [art] in their own way and that they feel free to do it. It is not something that should be dictated by me—I just created one of the components to do it.

And what kind of things do you hope people do with the art?

Quite simply: show their love and appreciation of David Bowie.

How did you first learn about Creative Commons licenses?

It has always been on my radar. It was one of the first prominent models of sharing creativity in a way that didn’t fit in with the existing models of “commercial or not commercial” for artworks. There needs to be a room to share which is above and beyond what is monetary value. Humanity is not built on money—it is built on the meaningful exchange between people.

How have openness and sharing influenced your work and creative process generally?

I think it has been fundamental to it. In addition to working in music, [my creative studio] has done a lot of activist work—and that is about ideas. The spreading of those ideas is fundamental to their success. We have made a lot of them free for people to use and we will be shortly be using Creative Commons again for artworks on our new website soon.

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PLOS 2015 Reviewer Thank You

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2016 is shaping up to be a notable year for PLOS; it’s the organization’s 15th Anniversary of its founding as a nonprofit and the 10th Anniversary of the groundbreaking journal PLOS ONE. Before looking too far ahead though, it’s important to reflect on the previous year and thank the enormous pool of reviewers who do the work of ensuring that every manuscript submitted to PLOS receives an unbiased and constructive review.

In 2015, PLOS published more than 31,000 articles; each one required participation from at least one of the 85,000+ contributors involved in the peer review process across the PLOS suite of journals. This reviewer community plays an integral role in advancing science by providing trusted, quality contributions to the publication process through expert evaluation of submitted work and productive feedback to authors.

Each journal editorial team—PLOS ONE, PLOS Biology, PLOS Medicine, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and PLOS Pathogens—has published a Thank You, together with a list of reviewers in a Supporting Information file as a citable article for reviewers to include in their CVs. We value the time, expertise and insight of reviewers, the essential role they play in the scientific community and their commitment to bring trusted scientific research to the public.

These citable items are part of our efforts to improve recognition and credit for substantial contributions to the scientific enterprise. It is our hope that reviewers will include these citations on their CVs and resumes, and that those responsible for tenure, promotion and hiring decisions will acknowledge and value this credit.

This coming year PLOS will bring additional improvements to the way authors, reviewers and staff work together, leveraging advances in digital technologies that continue to alter the way people work, communicate and cooperate. With the diligence and dedication of the entire PLOS Contributor Community—from authors and funders to editors and reviewers—we can accelerate the time from discovery to publication and extend the means by which scientists share their ideas.

To each and every one of our more than 85,000 reviewers who make this possible, thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Véronique Kiermer, Executive Editor

The flip side of copyright

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Fair Use Week 2016 is here, and we’re happy to celebrate it alongside many other organizations and individuals who believe in the importance of flexible exceptions to copyright law.

There are now over 1 billion CC-licensed works available, and these will always be free for anyone to use and share. CC licenses work because of the existing contours of copyright. We sometimes complain about the numerous negative aspects of our collective copyright rules—such as absurdly long terms, disproportionate infringement penalties, and a pervasive permission culture. At the same time, we also need to support and expand the features of our copyright law that make possible increased access to information, educational activities, and freedom of expression. We all can use the Creative Commons licenses to create our own commons of content that can be freely reused and shared. But we still rely on the fundamental checks and balances to copyright law to do things that would never be possible using open licensing alone. This is why we celebrate Fair Use Week.

Fair use “permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders…[including for] commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.” Fair use is categorized as an exception to the exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder. A fair use is not an infringement of copyright.

The legal doctrine of fair use continues to get stronger. In the U.S., a court case held that creating copies of copyrighted works for the purpose of search is a fair use. Scholarly and creative disciplines like documentary filmmaking rely on collaboratively-developed best practices guides that steer fair use norms for their respective communities. The power behind fair use lies in its flexibility, which allows for changes in technology and how we interact with and use copyrighted works for creative production, teaching, and learning, as well as new practices in research and journalism.

There are still threats to realizing the full potential of flexible limitations and exceptions to copyright. For example, there are currently trade agreements in play that diminish the importance of limitations to copyright. Instead of securing mandatory limitations and exceptions for uses of copyrighted works under the TPP, all of the provisions that recognize the rights of the public are voluntary, whereas almost everything that benefits rightsholders is binding. Some scholarly publishers are trying to impose licenses that would restrict how researchers are able to conduct text and data mining. These licenses and contracts are problematic because they attempt to require permissions under the law where no permission would have been necessary otherwise. As we mentioned above, U.S. case law has already clarified that activities such as text and data mining will remain outside of the purview of copyright, while other countries are introducing specific legislative exemptions for it. Communia has written about how limitations and exceptions to copyright in the European Union should not be able to be moved aside by contract or license. Of course, Creative Commons licenses respect fair use and other exceptions and limitations to copyright. CC licenses end where copyright ends, which means you don’t need to comply with a CC license if you don’t need permission under copyright.

It’s clear that fair use and other limitations and exceptions are vital to a healthy copyright system. During Fair Use Week and the rest of the year, let’s continue to support and expand these critical user rights.

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Trade agreements like TPP need radical transparency and meaningful public participation

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Rolling Rebellion Sparks in Seattle to Defend Internet & Stop the TPP by Backbone Campaign, CC BY 2.0

Creative Commons and an international coalition of organizations and individuals has published the Brussels Declaration on Trade and the Internet. It follows the recent ceremonial signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The TPP is an example of a trade agreement that has been negotiated in secret with input only from government and corporate interests. There has been no meaningful participation from civil society organizations and public interest advocates who work to protect consumer and digital rights. The text of the TPP was kept secret from the public for several years; it was finally published in November 2015.

Our declaration calls for increased transparency and inclusion by all stakeholders in the development and negotiations of global trade agreements. It was originally developed at a meeting in Belgium earlier this year.

Any international rulemaking process that affects the online and digital environment should adhere to human rights and good governance obligations to actively disseminate information, promote public participation and provide access to justice in governmental decision-making.

The declaration makes six specific recommendations for countries participating in global trade agreements, including regular releases of draft proposals, plenty of opportunity for public comment, and serious engagement of organizations and experts representing Internet users and consumers.

The TPP’s copyright provisions are quite problematic: they downplay the importance of the public domain and exceptions and limitations to copyright, increase the already-too-long term of protection, and demand harsh infringement penalties. Member nations should reject it. And the public should be able to expect openness and fair representation in these types of negotiations.

You can read the full declaration here.

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The story of Android and how it gave free software the right WAF-factor(Wife Acceptance Factor)

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In the «Pre-Android period» gadgets from Apple and computers from Microsoft had what you might call a higher wife acceptance factor, meaning it was more likely to be adapted by non technical users.

When I started out playing with free software more the 15 years ago the terms free software and open sources had a very high geek-factor associated with them . At this time it was hard to imagine any laptop or device running free software taking marked shares from Windows.

For companies developing proprietary software it was also very important to label free software as low quality and unreliable. This has changed dramatically over the last 15 years and Android played an important part in this journey.

Android gave the word disruptive a whole new meaning

The year is 2008. The first GoOpen conference is about to kick off in Oslo.

When the Director of free software at Google, Chris Dibona enters the stage as one of the conference’s keynotes, he talks about how Google has built its business with free software.

He also talks about how they are already well underway to expand Googles business, not only to cover search, ads and video (acquisition of Youtube). At this point it was already known that Google had launchd the first version of a mobile operating system in November 2007  that was based on Linux – the name was Android.

The first phone with Android was released in Norway the next summer and in only 18 months Android dominated the market for smart phones in our country. Sins the launch in 2007 Android have taken over markeds across the world with nearly 1.5 billion users at the end of 2015. This despite the fact that both Apple, Microsoft and the Finnish mobile company we have forgotten the name of,  did every thing possible to dominate the same space during this period.

From the start Google and their partners had a totally different business model, letting different vendors develop new devices based on the same core system. This gave the marked many different devices and the vendors freedom to build on the same software commodities. The key in this approach is an open plattform in an open marked.

The story of Android is important for many reasons, but primarily because it shows that by rethinking a business model completely, it is possible to change a large market in a very short period of time.

An important thing to remember, the mayor topic that concerned most free software activist in 2007-2008 was not Android but the document formats and the battle between OOXML and ODF. During the GoOpen conference in 2008 a friend of mine, Håkon Wium Lie, organized a demonstration that ended up in front of the Norwegian Parliament, with the slogan “OOXML – Go to hell.”

Little did we know that it was not ODF and OpenOffice but Android that would cause a breakthrough for free and open source software and give it all so important Wife Acceptance Factor.

 

Early PLOS BLOGS survey results offer first of many scicomm insights to come

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As the first ever PLOS BLOGS Reader Survey comes to a close, PLOS wants to thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughts and preferences as science readers and communicators.

[If you’re reading this on Monday 2/15 – President’s Day in the U.S. – before 12 midnight PT, you still have time to add your input to that of the over 1000 PLOS readers who’ve taken the survey to date, and be eligible to win one of 100 classic PLOS t-shirts we’ll be randomly awarding to survey respondents.]

As explained in our announcement post, in addition to hearing what content you find most (and least) valuable as readers of the PLOS BLOGS Network, with this survey PLOS also wants to discover more about YOU as individual readers. Hearing about your general science communication habits and preferences will help us reach you more efficiently and provide the information you most value. Your thoughts on the most useful types of online venues and social media networks for sharing scientific information will help us provide features and functionalities on PLOS sites that best serve your needs. Lastly, your answers will also be added to a larger body of science communication research being conducted by our survey consultant, Dr. Paige Brown Jarreau.

What’s Next?

Over the next 3-4 weeks, Dr. Jarreau will scrub and analyze all the data acquired from this survey. Results will then be made available in two forms: first, as an informal blog post offering survey highlights, to be posted in the PLOS Scicomm blog. Then, later in the year, a more detailed and extensive analysis will be released as a formal research article to be authored by Dr. Jarreau — with the attendant raw data made available for all to see and share.

If, while taking the survey, you entered your email for a chance to win a PLOS t-shirt, and you are one of the 100 to be randomly selected as a winner, you will receive an email requesting your t-shirt size and mailing address — within the next 3 weeks.

 Sneak Peak of Survey Results

As a preview of what’s to come, we can share the following fundamental demographic and scicomm user trends that showed up early in the survey and have remained pretty much the same since.

Who reads PLOS BLOGS? (Respondents selected all that apply)

  • Researchers 70%
    • 55% early career; 42% Mid to late career
    • 67% have published research in peer reviewed journal(s)
  • Grad students 19%
  • Science teachers 15%
  • Clinicians/health providers 11%
  • Patients 6%
  • Citizen Scientists 16%
  • Science writers 14%

In addition, 89% of these PLOS BLOGS readers tell us they have a college degree in science, while 45% have a PhD in their fields.

Top 3 reasons for reading PLOS BLOGS:

  1. Keep up with current scientific research
  2. Stimulate my curiosity
  3. For expert opinions on scientific issues

How often they post their own scientific content online? 40% either daily or 2-3 times a week

How many science blogs read regularly?

  • 1 – 2    47%
  • 3 – 5    25%

These highlights barely scratch the surface of the rich data we’ve got on hand, including hundreds of text amplifications offered by our generous respondents. All responses will be analyzed and discussed in depth in the blog post and formal article mentioned above.

So, if you’ve got a few minutes please add your two cents to the PLOS BLOGS Reader Survey before it closes for good (12 midnight PT on 2/15).

And, if you want to hear survey results and receive other PLOS news we invite you to sign up for EMAIL Updates.

Thanks again to all who contributed by taking the survey and spreading the word!

There’s still time to stop the TPP

Creativecommons.org -

TPPA Signing Protest in Auckland, by Prosperosity, CC BY-SA 4.0

Last week, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—the massive multilateral trade agreement negotiated in secret among government and industry representatives—was signed by officials in New Zealand.

When the final text of the TPP was released in November 2015, we wrote about how the agreement is a direct threat to the public interest and the commons. The provisions around intellectual property are especially problematic. If adopted, the TPP would represent the most sweeping expansion of international restrictions on copyright in over twenty years. It downplays the importance of the public domain and exceptions and limitations to copyright, increases the already-too-long term of copyright protection, and demands harsh infringement penalties. We continue to urge member nations to reject the TPP.

The February 4 ceremonial “signing” came after a few months with little to no public consultation or debate. But simply signing the agreement doesn’t mean it has gone into effect. The road to enactment begins now, as each of the nations involved will attempt to ratify the TPP through their respective political processes.

According to EFF, “the agreement will enter into force either 60 days after all original signatories ratify it or, if that doesn’t happen within two years, in April 2018 if at least six of the 12 countries accounting for 85 percent of the combined gross domestic product of the original signatories have ratified the agreement.”

From Canada to Japan to Chile to the United States, activists in TPP-affected countries are organizing around ways to stop the agreement from taking effect. Ratification is not a foregone conclusion—as we’ve seen before with the massive public support against SOPA/PIPA, ACTA, and other regulation that would harm the public interest and the open web.

There is still time to act against the harmful TPP. In the United States, you can contact your Congressional Representatives and Senators (who will need to vote on the matter after President Obama introduces the TPP legislation to Congress). Tell them to vote NO on the TPP. We’ll also try to highlight ways that advocates in other countries can get involved before those nations complete their ratification procedures.

Together we should combine our efforts and stand united against the TPP. We know it contains sweeping provisions regarding environmental regulation, pharmaceutical procurement, intellectual property, labor standards, and food safety. And over the last five years, it has been developed and negotiated in secret. The TPP and other trade deals need to be developed transparently and with robust public oversight. Otherwise, this and other types of undemocratic, back-room agreements will continue to be a significant and damaging mechanism for global policymaking.

The post There’s still time to stop the TPP appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

Statement on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies

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The following is a joint funder/journal statement released today on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies. To learn about the special PLOS Zika virus publishing initiative, please read this Speaking of Medicine post.

The arguments for sharing data, and the consequences of not doing so, have been thrown into stark relief by the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.

In the context of a public health emergency of international concern, there is an imperative on all parties to make any information available that might have value in combatting the crisis.

We are committed to working in partnership to ensure that the global response to public health emergencies is informed by the best available research evidence and data, as such:

  •  Journal signatories will make all content concerning the Zika virus free to access. Any data or preprint deposited for unrestricted dissemination ahead of submission of any paper will not pre-empt its publication in these journals.
  • Funder signatories will require researchers undertaking work relevant to public health emergencies to set in place mechanisms to share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, including with public health and research communities and the World Health Organisation.

We urge other organisations to make the same commitments.

This commitment is in line with the consensus statement agreed at a WHO expert consultation on data sharing last year whereby researchers are expected to share data at the earliest opportunity, once they are adequately controlled for release and subject to any safeguards required to protect research participants and patients.

Signatories to the Statement

Academy of Medical Sciences, UK

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India

The Department for International Development (DFID)

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

eLife

F1000

Fondation Mérieux

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)

The Institut Pasteur

Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)

The JAMA Network

The Lancet

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders  (MSF)

National Academy of Medicine

National Institutes of Health, USA

National Science Foundation

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)

PLOS

Science Journals

South African Medical Research Council

Springer Nature

UK Medical Research Council

Wellcome Trust

ZonMw – The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development

 

Image Credit: USDA

PLOS Data System Upgrade

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PLOS is pleased to announce that we are moving all of our web site applications to a new data center and performing a number of system changes that will enhance the performance of all of our sites, making them faster, more secure and more reliable. The migration will be performed Saturday, February 6 between 7:00 AM PST and noon, although some services may not be fully operational until Sunday at 5:00 PM PST. During this time there may be limited availability of some functions. Thank you for your patience.

How to access more then 500.000 public domain pictures directly from your CMS or blogg

GoOpen.no -

When developing open educational resources, or just writing a blogg, most of us like to add pictures and illustrations. In the old paradigme this was both difficult and expensive. Over the last few years services offering pictures under a free license have been popping up to compete with commercial stock photo alternatives. Pixabay.com is one of these services.

The project is an international website for sharing high quality public domain photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and film footage. In January 2016, Pixabay offered about 550,000 free photos, illustrations, and vectors and almost 1,300 films. They also offer a public Application Programming Interface (API) allowing third party users and website developers to search Pixabay’s image database.

In the demo at det bottom of this blogpost I will show you how I connect to the Pixabay API from WordPress without doing any programming of my own.

Pixabay is not the only provider of pictures and it is important to be aware of the differens between Royalty free and a free license, some of the free license ones that I have used are:

Royalty-free is not the same as a free license

When images are offered royalty-free, this simply means that the purchaser pays a fee and can then use the image without paying additional royalties or licensing fees. This also means the purchaser doesn’t have to give attribution. This is the model used by paid stock photo sites. The problem with this model is that every provider has their own rules and licenses and limitations.

Within the range of Creative commons licenses that require attribution the CC BY license is the most flexible and the CC BY-NC-ND is the most restricted and the part that says Non Commercial is in fact a bit problematic on its own.

Creative Commons Zero (CC0) is the most flexible: CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright- or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.

Pixaby that i use in my blogg license most of their pictures under CC0. In this demo I will show you how easy it is to connect directly to the API at Pixabay without writing any code. It takes about 2 minutes if you are using WordPress.

COMMUNIA hosts public domain celebration in the European Parliament

Creativecommons.org -

This is a guest post by Lisette Kalshoven.

On Monday, January 25th COMMUNIA organized a Public Domain Day celebration at the European Parliament. COMMUNIA advocates for policies that expand the public domain and increase access to and reuse of culture and knowledge, and consists of many organisations including Creative Commons, Kennisland and Centrum Cyfrowe. The event, which focused on showcasing creators who have chosen to donate their output to the public domain, was hosted by MEP Julia Reda.


Julia Reda at the Public Domain Day Celebration by Sebastiaan ter BurgCC0

Highlighting creators sharing in the public domain

COMMUNIA invited creators such as Kenney Vleugels, who makes game assets available to other game developers under the the CC0 Public Domain Dedication, Alastair Parvin of WikiHouse.cc, who is developing an open source approach to sustainable housing, Femke Snelting of Constant, who is publishing public domain magazines, Eric Schrijver, who is writing a sharing guide for artists, and Thomas Lommee from Open Structures, a standardised open design system. The lunch discussions focused on the artistic and design practices of these creators and the challenges they run into. A recurring theme was the legal uncertainty created by overly complex copyright laws, and the excessive length of copyright protection.

The public domain is traditionally seen as a body of works that are no longer under copyright because the terms of protection have expired. Public Domain Day celebrates this very moment, when the period of copyright protection ends for works of certain authors. But the public domain is not simply a dusty collection of old works. During the event COMMUNIA highlighted the fact that the public domain is a modern phenomenon—it is alive. We celebrate the practice of authors contributing to the public domain long before their copyright expires. From this perspective, the ongoing policy debate on European copyright will structure the shape and scope of our collective public domain for years to come.

Public Domain Day Celebration at the European Parliament by Sebastiaan ter Burg; CC0

Copyright debate in Europe should support the public domain

The European Commission is in the process of proposing changes to the copyright rules in the EU. It laid out some of its ideas through a Communication in December 2015, and will present concrete legislative proposals in June 2016. In 2016 and beyond COMMUNIA will advocate for specific points, including the three below. You can read more here.

  1. Ensure that the mere digitisation of public domain works does not create new rights over them. Some member states would like to allow anyone who digitized a public domain work to claim new exclusive rights. This creates legal uncertainty and undermines the concept of the public domain.
  2. Introduce a mandatory and strong exception to copyright for educational use. We need to ensure that education is not burdened by copyright-related barriers. To ensure this, we need a broad, harmonised exception. It should cover all types of uses, including digital and online activities, both inside and outside of the classroom.
  3. Allow cultural heritage institutions to make out-of-commerce works available online. Vibrant and diverse cultural heritage institutions are one of the defining features of our European culture. In order to remain relevant, they need to show their collections online. A new exception should allow these institutions to make available online the out-of-commerce works in their collections.

COMMUNIA is following the events in Brussels closely, and is sharing the advantages of a strong public domain and a flexible copyright to policy makers. You can see photos from the Public Domain event here (all CC0, created by Sebastiaan ter Burg). If you want to stay informed on the changes in European copyright, you can follow the developments on the COMMUNIA blog. If you are interested in the area where copyright and education clash, please have a look at our Medium series on it: Copyright Untangled.

The post COMMUNIA hosts public domain celebration in the European Parliament appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

U.S. Department of Labor adopts CC BY licensing policy department-wide

Creativecommons.org -

 

 

Creative Commons (CC) believes publicly funded education, research and data resources should be shared in the global commons. The public should have access to what it paid for, and should not be required to pay twice (or more) to access, use, and remix publicly funded resources.

This is why we are pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has adopted a department-wide Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license requirement on intellectual property developed under a competitive Federal award process.

DOL’s new open licensing policy may be viewed in the federal register (PDF) and on regulations.gov

  • 6. Revise § 2900.13 to read as follows:
    • §2900.13 Intangible property.
      • In addition to the guidance set forth in 2 CFR 200.315(d)*, the Department of Labor requires intellectual property developed under a competitive Federal award process to be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This license allows subsequent users to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the copyrighted work and requires such users to attribute the work in the manner specified by the recipient.

While the total dollar amount of competitive DOL Federal grants affected by this new open licensing policy is not yet known, Lindsey Tepe at New America estimates the rule change will impact somewhere between $300 and $400 million annually.

The adoption of Creative Commons licensing clarifies to the public how they may access, use, and adapt publicly funded resources. There are multiple benefits of DOL requiring a CC BY license on publicly funded resources:

  • Government increases the impact, reach and scalability of its grants.
  • Government creates conditions for maximum potential value created from of all resources it funds, more efficiency, and better stewardship of public funds.
  • Public has access to the education resources it funded.
  • Innovative and entrepreneurial uses of openly licensed materials are enabled.
  • Resources are available for reuse and value-add by anyone, including individual citizens, educators, scientists, public sector employees, and entrepreneurs.

This major open licensing policy development codifies DOL’s longtime leadership at the program level where the department required CC BY licenses on multiple grants before making this a department-wide open licensing policy. Examples include:

DOL has already begun to integrate open licensing into its existing professional development SMART training series. The CC BY license requirement is referenced in the following modules:

These resources signal that the DOL is off to a great start. Creative Commons looks forward to supporting DOL with its Open Licensing Policy Toolkit and CC certificate (to be developed) for government staff.

Creative Commons and dozens of other organizations urged the U.S. Department of Education to adopt a similar open licensing policy. We hope DOL’s policy will be a useful guide as the Department of Education as it considers its proposed Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs.

We applaud the U.S. Department of Labor for leading the way.  Well done!

 

The post U.S. Department of Labor adopts CC BY licensing policy department-wide appeared first on Creative Commons blog.

New CC directors to focus on platforms and content creation

Creativecommons.org -

Creative Commons is pleased to announce the appointment of two new senior-level positions to help implement our new strategy. Last week, CC announced a renewed vision to create a vibrant, usable commons, powered by gratitude and collaboration. These two positions will be fundamental to bringing this strategy to life. I’m pleased to appoint Jane Park as Director of Platform and Partnerships, and Eric Steuer as Director of Content and Community.

Jane Park

Jane has eight years of organizational experience in open education, communications, fundraising, and community building. Most recently, she established CC’s first internal platform team to support adoption on content platforms, and drove data collection and analysis for the 2015 State of the Commons report. As Director of Platform and Partnerships, she will be focused on engaging CC’s partners in creating and sharing content to make the commons more usable, collaborative, and full of gratitude.

Prior to this new role, Jane founded CC’s School of Open, recruiting 60 volunteers across 6 continents, and launching 100 open education courses and workshops. She has programmed workshops and resources to support grantees of the $2 billion U.S. Dept of Labor career training program requiring CC BY for all grant outputs, has led numerous public campaigns and events for CC, including a website redesign, fundraising drive, and open education salons. And she has driven adoption of CC licenses for platforms such as Blackboard, Boundless, and edX, in addition to co-authoring reports and surveys on the state of open licensing policies and copyright barriers in education. Jane’s appointment was effective January 1.

Eric Steuer

As Director of Content and Community, Eric will focus on activating creators and collaborators around open content, knowledge, and data. He will lead CC’s communications team, bringing the best of the commons to the forefront, and celebrating communities that share and create together.

Most recently, Eric was a Senior Director at WIRED, running its Audience Development group. In this role, he built readership and oversaw community engagement across all of WIRED’s properties. Under Eric’s direction, WIRED’s social media audience more than tripled and its newsletter traffic grew by 2,500%. Additionally, Eric built a syndication network made up of more than two dozen partners. Eric remains a contributing editor at WIRED, and has authored well over 100 features, essays, and articles—including two cover stories for the magazine.

Eric’s history with Creative Commons goes back over a decade. He was CC’s Creative Director from 2005-2011, and led the organization’s work with artists, media, technology companies, and cultural institutions. Eric was a key member of the team responsible for the adoption of CC’s tools by users including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Vimeo, SoundCloud, YouTube, Warner Bros, Al Jazeera, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Nine Inch Nails, Random House, WhiteHouse.gov, and many others.

Eric is the board chair of CASH Music, a member of KQED’s audience development advisory group, and a recording artist. He will begin his new role at CC on February 1.

Follow Jane and Eric on Twitter (@janedaily and @ericsteuer) or reach them directly via https://creativecommons.org/contact.

The post New CC directors to focus on platforms and content creation appeared first on Creative Commons Blog.

Celebrate CC music: Netlabel Day accepting applications from independent labels

Creativecommons.org -

The second annual Netlabel Day celebrating free music under Creative Commons licenses will take place on 14 July, 2016. The call for digital record labels is now open and applications will be accepted through 29 February.

First organized by the Chilean label M.I.S.T. Records in March 2015, the 2015 edition featured 80 labels from around the world and released more than 120 digital albums under CC licenses.

In addition to Creative Commons, this year’s sponsors include the Internet Archive and Free Music Archive.

Organizers will host local gigs and record label expos in Argentina, Canada and Chile.

“The goal this year is to discuss, debate, promote, and explore the state of musical management in the participant countries”, says Manuel Silva, M.I.S.T. label head and creator.

To apply, email contact.netlabelday@gmail.com. Visit http://netlabelday.blogspot.com for more info.

The post Celebrate CC music: Netlabel Day accepting applications from independent labels appeared first on Creative Commons Blog.

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