Archive for the 'Creative Commons/Open Licenses' Category

Lawrence Lessig: "Getting Our Values around Copyright Right"

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Digital Copyright Wars on April 15th, 2010

Lawrence Lessig has published "Getting Our Values around Copyright Right" in the latest issue of EDUCAUSE Review.

Here's an excerpt:

The existing system of copyright cannot work in the digital age. Either we will force our kids to stop creating, or they will force on us a revolution. Both options, in my view, are not acceptable. There is a growing copyright abolitionist movement—people who believe that copyright was a good idea for a time long gone and that we need to eliminate it and move on in a world where there is no copyright. I am against abolitionism. I believe copyright is an essential part of the cultural industries and will be essential in the digital age—even though I also believe it needs to be radically changed in all sorts of important ways and doesn't apply the same in science and in education. Copyright is essential to a diverse and rich (in all senses of that word) culture.

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    "Five Dozen Doctoral Students Chose Bits and Bytes over Ink and Paper"

    Posted in Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) on January 21st, 2010

    In "Five Dozen Doctoral Students Chose Bits and Bytes over Ink and Paper," Kathleen J. Sullivan discusses Stanford University's ETD program.

    Here's an excerpt:

    Most of the Stanford graduate students who uploaded their dissertations—47 out of 60—chose to display their dissertations in their entirety.

    Most of the students—52 out of 60—selected the "attribution non-commercial" license from Creative Commons. . . .

    More than half of the doctoral students—36 out of 60—chose to release their dissertation immediately. Ten of them chose to delay the release for six months; nine chose a one-year embargo; five chose a two-year delay.

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      Defining "Noncommercial": A Study of How the Online Population Understands "Noncommercial Use"

      Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on September 15th, 2009

      The Creative Commons has released Defining "Noncommercial": A Study of How the Online Population Understands "Noncommercial Use".

      Here's an excerpt:

      In 2008-09, Creative Commons commissioned a study from a professional market research firm to explore understandings of the terms"commercial us" and "noncommercial use" among Internet users when used in the context of content found online.

      The empirical findings suggest that creators and users approach the question of noncommercial use similarly and that overall, online U.S. creators and users are more alike than different in their understanding of noncommercial use. Both creators and users generally consider uses that earn users money or involve online advertising to be commercial, while uses by organizations, by individuals, or for charitable purposes are less commercial but not decidedly noncommercial. Similarly, uses by for-profit companies are typically considered more commercial. Perceptions of the many use cases studied suggest that with the exception of uses that earn users money or involve advertising—at least until specific case scenarios are presented that disrupt those generalized views of commerciality—there is more uncertainty than clarity around whether specific uses of online content are commercial or noncommercial.

      Uses that are more difficult to classify as either commercial or noncommercial also show greater (and often statistically significant) differences between creators and users. As a general rule, creators consider the uses studied to be more noncommercial (less commercial) than users. For example, uses by a not-for-profit organization are generally thought less commercial than uses by a for-profit organization, and even less so by creators than users. The one exception to this pattern is in relation to uses by individuals that are personal or private in nature. Here, it is users (not creators) who believe such uses are less commercial.

      The most notable differences among subgroups within each sample of creators and users are between creators who make money from their works, and those who do not, and between users who make money from their uses of others' works, and those who do not. In both cases, those who make money generally rate the uses studied less commercial than those who do not make money. The one exception is, again, with respect to personal or private uses by individuals: users who make money consider these uses more commercial than those who do not make money.

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        "Shrinking the Commons: Termination of Copyright Licenses and Transfers for the Benefit of the Public"

        Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on August 31st, 2009

        Timothy K. Armstrong has self-archived "Shrinking the Commons: Termination of Copyright Licenses and Transfers for the Benefit of the Public" in SSRN.

        Here's an excerpt:

        Federal law limits the free alienability of copyright rights to prevent powerful transferees from forcing authors into unremunerative bargains. The limiting mechanism is a statutory provision that permits authors or their heirs, at their sole election, to terminate any transfer or license of any copyright interest during a defined period. Indeed, the applicable provisions of the Copyright Act go so far as to invalidate purported waivers by authors of their statutory termination powers.

        These statutory provisions may constitute an impediment to the effective grant of rights for the benefit of the public under widely used "open content" licensing arrangements, such as the GNU General Public License ("GPL") for software or the Creative Commons family of licenses for other sorts of expressive works. Although recent case law suggests that such open-source or open-content licensing arrangements should be analyzed under the same rules that govern other copyright licenses, doing so necessarily raises the possibility of termination of the license. If GPL or Creative Commons-type licenses are subject to later termination by authors (or their heirs), and this termination power cannot validly be waived, then users of such works must confront the possibility that the licenses may be revoked in the future and the works effectively withdrawn from public use, with potentially chaotic results.

        Although a number of judge-made doctrines may be invoked to restrict termination of a license granted for the benefit of the public, the better course would be for Congress to enact new legislation expressly authorizing authors to make a nonwaiveable, irrevocable dedication of their works, in whole or in part, to the use and benefit of the public—a possibility that the Patent Act expressly recognizes, but the Copyright Act presently does not.

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          "Is Creative Commons Good for Copyright?"

          Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on August 31st, 2009

          Copycense has published an editorial asking "Is Creative Commons Good for Copyright?"

          Here's an excerpt:

          We conclude now, as we did in 2007, that the continued use and prominence of Creative Commons licenses actually obscures the real copyright issues we face in this country, and keeps Americans from settling on the proper parameters of digital information use, access, retrieval and preservation in the 21st century.

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            An Evaluation of Private Foundation Copyright Licensing Policies, Practices and Opportunities

            Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Grants on August 26th, 2009

            The Berkman Center for Internet & Society has released An Evaluation of Private Foundation Copyright Licensing Policies

            Here's an excerpt:

            This project, a joint effort of the Berkman Center, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Ford Foundation and the Open Society Institute, with funding from Hewlett and Ford, undertook to examine the copyright licensing policies and practices of a group of twelve private foundations. In particular, it looked at the extent to which charitable foundations are aware of and have begun to use open licenses such as Creative Commons or the GPL. We surveyed foundation staff and leaders and examined a number of examples where foundations have begun to take advantage of new licensing models for materials and resources produced by their own staff, their consultants and their grantees. The complete results of our study and our comprehensive analysis and recommendations are contained in the full Report of this project.

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              Google Books Adds Creative Commons Licence Options

              Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 16th, 2009

              In "Bringing the Power of Creative Commons to Google Books," Xian Ke, Associate Product Manager of Google Books, describes Google's new Creative Commons license options for rights holders, and indicates that, in the future, users will be able to restrict searches to works that have such licenses. Users will be able to download complete Creative Commons licensed books, and if the license permits, modify them.

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                Public Perceptions of Copyright and the Creative Commons: Bunnyfoot User Testing Report: OPSI—Crown Copyright

                Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses on June 10th, 2009

                The UK Office of Public Sector Information has released the Bunnyfoot User Testing Report: OPSI—Crown Copyright.

                Here's an excerpt:

                75% of respondents did not recognise this image [Creative Commons Attribution License symbol].

                Lack of recognition was highest amongst the "general public"—87%. And lowest amongst respondents from the OPSI website—55% did not recognise the image.

                The majority did not understand the meaning of the image. Understanding was highest amongst the OPSI website respondents—35%.

                This is not surprising as this group was also the group in which the most had heard of Creative Commons licences before—47% (vs 10% of the "general public" and 29% of the OPSI database).

                Only those likely to be more familiar with copyright (inferred from their route to the survey) are likely to have a previous understanding of Creative Commons terminology and imagery. One might argue that if these are used moving forward, more people will become more familiar with these, however, the benefits at this stage of shared/added meaning would only really apply to a minority—a minority who are likely to have a strong understanding of Crown copyright already.

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