ETC-Press Launches at Carnegie Mellon University Publishing Works Under Creative Commons Licenses

The Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University has launched ETC-Press, which will publish books and other works under either the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivativeWorks-NonCommercial or the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

Here's an excerpt from the About ETC Press page:

We publish books, but we’re also interested in the participatory future of content creation across multiple media. We are an academic, open source, multimedia, publishing imprint affiliated with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and in partnership with Lulu.com. ETC Press has an affiliation with the Institute for the Future of the Book, sharing in the exploration of the evolution of discourse. ETC Press also has an agreement with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to place ETC Press publications in the ACM Digital Library. . . .

We are looking to develop a range of texts and media that are innovative and insightful. We are interested in creating projects with Sophie, and we will accept submissions and publish work in a variety of media (textual, electronic, digital, etc.).

New ACRL Publications Agreements FAQ

ALA's Association College & Research Libraries has made available a new ACRL Publications Agreements FAQ, which covers serials, book chapters, book editors, and podcasts.

The FAQ's statement about Creative Commons licenses and serials is of special interest:

We didn’t want to require our authors to publish their works using a Creative Commons license, but you are welcome to attach the CC license of your choosing to your work after it is published by ACRL. Visit the Creative Commons website (http://creativecommons.org/) to learn more about their licensing options.

This is welcome news, and ACRL is to be applauded for supporting the use of Creative Commons licenses.

It is very helpful to have a concise and clear explanation of ACRL's copyright and other publication policies regarding serials, and the information about book chapters, book editors, and podcasts is very helpful as well. It would be highly desirable for other ALA divisions to follow ACRL's lead in this matter.

Note that ACRL's copyright forms are on the ACRL Forms page.

Code4Lib Journal Adopts Creative Commons Attribution License

Starting with its just released third issue, the Code4Lib Journal is using the Creative Commons Attribution License for its articles, making this freely available journal an open access journal under the strictest definition of that term (sometimes called "full open access").

Here's an excerpt from the editorial that discusses this change:

In order to facilitate the ability of our readers to build upon the ideas presented in the Journal, beginning with Issue 3 all articles are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. The CC-BY license lets you reuse, share, and build upon the work presented in the article, as long as you credit the author for the original creation. This licensing is required for inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and to receive a SPARC Europe Seal. Code snippets included in the text are included under the CC-BY license. For other code included with an article, we recommend, but don’t require, an open source license. We are contacting all authors with articles published in previous issues to request they license their previously published Code4Lib Journal articles under the CC-BY license.

JorumOpen, UK Repository for Creative Commons Licensed Educational Materials, Announced

JISC has announced JorumOpen, a national repository of open access educational materials under Creative Commons licenses.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

It was announced today that Jorum, the UK national repository for learning and teaching materials funded by JISC, is to offer open educational resources. This will make it easier for lecturers and teaching staff to share and re-use each other's teaching resources. JorumOpen—as it will be called—will also provide a showcase for UK universities and colleges on the international stage. . . .

Jorum is managed jointly by EDINA and Mimas, the two National Academic Data Centres funded by JISC at the Universities of Edinburgh and Manchester. During the first phase of Jorum's development, the focus has been on building a system that safeguards investment in digital learning resources and offers controlled access to licensed materials. The result is a service that supports access to over 2,500 learning resources for download for direct use in the classroom and within virtual learning environments (VLEs).

Through the development of JorumOpen, lecturers and teachers will be able to share materials under the Creative Commons licence framework: this makes sharing easier, granting users greater rights for use and re-use of online content and easier to understand. Importantly, it does not require prior registration. As a result availability is global as well as across UK universities and colleges. JorumOpen will run alongside a 'members only' facility, JorumEducationUK, that will support sharing of material just within the UK educational sector; this will be available only to registered users and contributors, as is currently the case.

Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses Made Official

The draft designation for the Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses has been removed, and the document is now the official explanation of the goals of this group of licenses.

Read more about it at "Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses Released."

Creative Commons Gets New Leader and $4 Million Grant

Joi Ito, an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and free culture advocate, has been named CEO of the Creative Commons, replacing Lawrence Lessig. Lessig is leading a new effort, Change Congress. He will serve as a Creative Commons board member.

The organization has received a $4 million grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ($2.5 million of general funding for five years and $1.5 million to support ccLearn).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

"Although I have changed my focus, I’m still very much committed to Creative Commons and the Free Culture cause," Lessig said. "The work I intend to do with Change Congress is in many ways complementary to the work of Creative Commons. Both projects are about putting people in power and enabling them to build a better system. I could not be more pleased to hand off the leadership of Creative Commons to the extraordinarily passionate and qualified Joi Ito."

"Under Larry’s management, Creative Commons has grown from an inspirational idea to an essential part of the technical, social, and legal landscape involving organizations and people in 80 countries," said Ito. "With it, the organization has grown in size and complexity, and I am excited to increase the level of my participation to help manage this amazing group of people. The Hewlett Foundation has been a major supporter of ours from the beginning and we could not be more grateful for their support going forward into the future."

Founding board member and Duke law professor James Boyle will become chair of the board, replacing Ito, who remains on the board. "Jamie has demonstrated his commitment to Creative Commons from its founding," said Lessig. "He led the formation of Science Commons and ccLearn, our divisions focused on scientific research and education respectively. There is no person better suited to lead the Creative Commons board."

Boyle is optimistic about Creative Commons' future. "If one looks at all the amazing material that has been placed under our licenses—from MIT’s Open Courseware and the Public Library of Science to great music, from countless photographs and blogs to open textbooks—one realizes that, under Larry's leadership, the organization has actually helped build a global 'creative commons' in which millions of people around the world participate, either as creators or users. My job will be to use the skills of the remarkable people on our board—including a guy called Larry Lessig, who has promised me he isn’t going away any time soon to make sure that mission continues and expands."

The Hewlett Foundation grant consists of $2.5 million to provide general support to Creative Commons over five years and $1.5 million to support ccLearn, the division of Creative Commons that is focused on open educational resources. "The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been a strong supporter of openness and open educational resources in particular," said Catherine Casserly, the Director of the Open Educational Resources Initiative at Hewlett. "Creative Commons licenses are a critical part of the infrastructure of openness on which those efforts depend." The Hewlett grant was a vital part of a five-year funding plan which also saw promises of support from Omidyar Network, Google, Mozilla, Red Hat, and the Creative Commons board.

Creative Commons also announces two other senior staff changes. Diane Peters joins the organization as General Counsel. Peters arrives from the Mozilla Corporation, serves on the board of the Software Freedom Law Center, and was previously General Counsel for Open Source Development Labs and the Linux Foundation. She has extensive experience collaborating with and advising nonprofit organizations, development communities, and high-tech companies on a variety of matters.

Vice President and General Counsel Virginia Rutledge, who joined Creative Commons last year from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, will take on a new role as Vice President and Special Counsel. In her new role, Rutledge will focus on development and external relations, while continuing to lead special legal projects.

Acta Crystallographica Section E Adopts Author-Pays OA Model and Creative Commons License

The International Union of Crystallography has adopted a very modest publication fee ($150) to support open access to Acta Crystallographica Section E: Structure Reports Online. It has also put the journal under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Read more about it at "Acta Crystallographica E is Open Access."

Creative Commons License Option for ETDs at the University of Auckland

The University of Auckland now gives students submitting an electronic theses or dissertation the option of putting it under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Read more about it "University of Auckland Embeds CC Licensing" and "Guidelines for Formatting a Digital Thesis."

Commons-Research Mailing List Launched

Giorgos Cheliotis has launched the Commons-Research mailing list.

Here's an excerpt from the list's home page that describes it:

Discussion among researchers studying the commons, for example the use and impact of peer production methods and communities and open licensing. We welcome researchers studying the commons in a wide range of disciplines, including anthropology, economics, law, media studies, sociology. . .

Eduserv Releases Study about the Use of Open Content Licenses By UK Heritage Organizations

The Eduserv Foundation has released Snapshot Study on the Use of Open Content Licences in the UK Cultural Heritage Sector (Appendices).

Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":

This study investigates the awareness and use of open content licences in the UK cultural heritage community by way of a survey. Open content licensing generally grants a wide range of permission in copyright for use and re-use of works such as images, sounds, video, and text, whilst retaining a relatively small set of rights: often described as a ‘some rights reserved’ approach to copyright. For those wishing to share content using this model, Creative Archive (CA) and Creative Commons (CC) represent the two main sets of open content licences available for use in the United Kingdom.

The year of this survey, 2007, marks five years from the launch of the Creative Commons licences, two years since the launch of the UK-specific CC licences and two years as well since the launch of the UK-only Creative Archive licence.

This survey targeted UK cultural heritage organisations—primarily museums, libraries, galleries, archives, and those in the media community that conduct heritage activities (such as TV and radio broadcasters and film societies). In particular, this community produces trusted and highly valued content greatly desired by the general public and the research and education sectors. They are therefore a critical source of high-demand content and thus the focus for this project. The key objective has been to get a snapshot of current licensing practices in this area in 2007 for use by the sector and funding bodies wishing to do more work in this area.

Over 100 organisations responded to this web-based survey. Of these respondents:

  • Only 4 respondents out of 107 indicated that they held content but were not making it available online nor had plans to make it available online;
  • Images and text are the two content types most likely to be made available online;
  • Sound appears to be the most held content type not currently available online and with no plans to make it available in the future;
  • Many make some part of their collection available online without having done any formal analysis of the impact this may have;
  • 59 respondents were aware of Creative Archive or Creative Commons;
  • 10 use a CA or CC licence for some of their content; and
  • 12 have plans to use a CA or CC licence in the future.

Creative Commons Seeks Feedback from Librarians about LiveDVD

Timothy Vollmer has announced on Lita-L (10/28/07 message) that the Creative Commons is looking for feedback about its LiveDVD for libraries, which is part of its LiveContent project.

Here's an excerpt from the message:

Creative Commons is working with Fedora on creating a LiveDVD for libraries that contains free, open source software (like OpenOffice, The Gimp, Inkscape, Firefox) and open content, including CC-licensed media such as audio, video, photographs, text and open educational resources. . . .

The next iteration we're working on is a LiveDVD for libraries, providing an informational resource and creative tool that would allow library patrons to test open source software, view (and rip, remix, reuse) open content, and even create new content with the software contained on the disc. . . .

We want to get some more feedback/comments/suggestions on the project and are also looking to identify librarians and interested groups to test out the LiveDVD!

Creative Commons Sued

The Creative Commons, along with Vigin Mobile, has been sued by Susan Chang and Justin Ho-Wee Wong over the "unauthorized and exploitive use of Alison's Chang's image in an advertising campaign launched in June 2007 to promote free text messaging and other mobile services."

Here's an excerpt from Lawrence Lessig's posting:

Slashdot has an entry about a lawsuit filed this week by parents of a Texas minor whose photograph was used by Virgin Australia in an advertising campaign. The photograph was taken by an adult. He posted it to Flickr under a CC-Attribution license. The parents of the minor are complaining that Virgin violated their daughter's right to privacy (by using a photograph of her for commercial purposes without her or her parents permission). The photographer is also a plaintiff. He is complaining that Creative Commons failed "to adequately educate and warn him . . . of the meaning of commercial use and the ramifications and effects of entering into a license allowing such use." (Count V of the complaint).

The comments on the Slashdot thread are very balanced and largely accurate. (The story itself is a bit misleading, as the photographer also complains that Virgin did not give him attribution, thereby violating the CC license). As comment after comment rightly notes, CC licenses have not (yet) tried to deal with the complexity of any right of privacy. The failure of Virgin to get a release before commercially exploiting the photograph thus triggers the question of whether the minor's right to privacy has been violated.

Source: Lessig, Lawrence. "On the Texas Suit against Virgin and Creative Commons." Lessig 2.0, 22 September 2007.

Open Access to Books: The Case of the Open Access Bibliography Updated

Last July, I reported on use of the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals, which is both a printed book and a freely available e-book. Both versions are under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 License. You can get a detailed history at the prior posting; the major changes since then have been the conversion of the HTML version to XHTML and the addition of a Google Custom Search Engine.

So, what does cumulative use of the e-book OAB version look like slightly over one year down the road from the last posting? Here's a summary:

  • UH PDF: 29,255 (March through May 2005)
  • All Web files on both Digital Scholarship hosts: 192,849 (33,814 uses of the PDF file; June 2005 through July 2007)
  • dLIST PDF: 655 (March 2005 to present)
  • E-LIS PDF: 556 (November 2005 to present)
  • ARL PDF: Not Available

Combined, OAB Web files have been accessed 223,315 times since March 2005.

ALA Weblogs and Creative Commons Licenses

The American Library Association and its divisions have launched a number of Weblogs in the last few years. What copyright provisions are these digital publications under? Do they use Creative Commons licenses?

As the list below shows, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs have no explicit copyright statement on their homepage. The absence of such a statement does not mean that under U.S. law the Weblogs are not under standard copyright provisions. They are copyrighted, but by who? Unless ALA has a copyright transfer or work-for-hire agreement with Weblog authors, it appears that the author of each posting holds the copyright to that posting, and copyright permissions for uses of postings that exceed fair use would need to be obtained from their authors. (Some Weblogs have a single author.)

One ALA Weblog uses the standard ALA copyright statement (ALA Techsource), one is copyrighted under the name of the Weblog (ACRLog), one is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States license (YALSA), and three others are under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 licenses (District Dispatch, LITA Blog, and Office for Intellectual Freedom).

Thus, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs are under standard copyright provisions, one is under ALA’s more liberal copyright provisions, and a few are under Creative Commons Licenses that permit noncommercial use without further permission as long as it does not include the creation of derivative works.

How Many Creative Commons Licenses Are in Use?

In his "Creative Commons Statistics from the CC-Monitor Project" iCommons Summit presentation, Giorgos Cheliotis of the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University estimates that there must be more than 60,000,000 Creative Commons licenses in use.

Based on backlink search data from Google and Yahoo, he also provides the following license breakdown highlights:

  • 70% of the licenses allow non-commercial use only (NC)
  • Share-Alike (SA) also a very popular attribute, present in over 50% fCC-licensed items (though SA is anyhow self-propagating)
  • 25% of the licenses include the ND [no derivative] restriction

Creative Commons Version 3.0 Licenses Released

The Creative Commons has released version 3.0 of its popular licenses.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release that explains the changes:

Separating the “generic” from the US license

As part of Version 3.0, we have spun off the “generic” license to be the CC US license and created a new generic license, now known as the “unported” license. For more information about this change, see this more detailed explanation.

Harmonizing the treatment of moral rights & collecting society royalties

In Version 3.0, we are ensuring that all CC jurisdiction licenses and the CC unported license have consistent, express treatment of the issues of moral rights and collecting society royalties (subject to national differences). For more information about these changes, see this explanation of the moral rights harmonization and this explanation of the collecting society harmonization.

No Endorsement Language

That a person may not misuse the attribution requirement of a CC license to improperly assert or imply an association or relationship with the licensor or author, has been implicit in our licenses from the start. We have now decided to make this explicit in both the Legal Code and the Commons Deed to ensure that — as our licenses continue to grow and attract a large number of more prominent artists and companies — there will be no confusion for either the licensor or licensee about this issue. For a more detailed explanation, see here.

BY-SA — Compatibility Structure Now Included

The CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses will now include the ability for derivatives to be relicensed under a “Creative Commons Compatible License,” which will be listed here. . . . More information about this is provided here.

Clarifications Negotiated With Debian & MIT

Finally, Version 3.0 of the licenses include minor clarifications to the language of the licenses to take account of the concerns of Debian (more details here) and MIT (more details here).

Creative Commons India to Launch on 1/26/07

The Creative Commons India will be launched on Friday.

From "Creative Commons Readies for India Launch":

Creative Commons-India’s project head Shishir K Jha, assistant professor at the IIT’s Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, said the project would focus on three specific areas in India.

These are—centres of higher education like the seven IITs, regional technology institutes and management and other institutions. . . .

Creative Commons-India also plans to focus on non-profit and non-governmental organisations and corporates keen on adopting easier-to-share licences for the dissemination of their documents.

Lessig’s Code: Version 2.0 Is Published

Lawrence Lessig’s Code: Version 2.0 is out. This update of the now classic Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace was written using a Wiki, with Lessig editing and refining that digital text.

The resulting book is under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

It can be freely downloaded in PDF form. Later, the final version of the book will be available on a second Wiki.

Creative Commons Web Site Makeover and CC Labs

The Creative Commons has redone its Web site using WordPress and added a new feature: CC Labs, which features development projects.

Current projects include the DHTML License Chooser, the Freedoms License Generator, and the Metadata Lab. (Consulting the Creative Commons Licenses page before using these tools will give you a preview of your license options.)

The symbols used to represent the CC licenses have changed. For example, here’s the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License symbol.

Creative Commons License

Read more about these changes in Lawrence Lessig’s blog posting.

Rice University Press Publishes Its First Open Access Digital Document

The recently re-established Rice University Press, which was reborn as a digital press, has published its first e-report: Art History and Its Publications in the Electronic Age by Hilary Ballon (Professor and Director of Art Humanities at the Columbia University Department of Art History and Archaeology) and Mariet Westermann (Director and Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University).

The introduction notes:

Just as we were finishing our report, Rice University Press announced that it would re-launch itself as a fully electronic press with a special commitment to art history. We were delighted to find Rice willing to partner with the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to publish our report electronically, with the kinds of hyper-linking, response capability, and print-on-demand options we consider vital to the success of scholarly publication on line. At Rice University Press, Chuck Henry, Chuck Bearden, and Kathi Fletcher generously steered us through the technological and legal process. We received enthusiastic support at CLIR from Susan Perry, Michael Ann Holly, Kathlin Smith, and Ann Okerson.

Like all digital works to be published by the press, this one is under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. At this time, it does not appear that a print-on-demand version of the work is available from Rice University Press.

It’s Time to Support the Creative Commons

The Creative Commons has launched it’s 2006 fund raising campaign, and I’d urge my readers to support it as generously as they can.

Why? The reason is simple: it’s easier to restore balance in copyright by convincing content creators to embrace Creative Commons licenses than it is to influence copyright legislation that rolls back lengthy copyright protection periods that are in danger of becoming virtually perpetual, that constricts the ever-widening scope of copyright, and that permits realistic fair use of DRM-protected digital materials. Moreover, the Creative Commons fosters what Lawrence Lessig calls a "read-write" digital culture that permits digital material to be freely used and remixed vs. a read-only-maybe digital culture where digital materials are often hidden behind access barriers and cannot be remixed without permission, which may be impossible to obtain. If you doubt that this can work, consider this quote from the Creative Commons: "From January 2006 to July 2006 there was a growth from 40,000,000 to 140,000,000 linkbacks to our licenses!"

So, donate. At the $75 level or above you’ll get a t-shirt as well as the button and sticker that are available at lower donation levels. Or, don’t donate, but help out by buying Creative Commons gear at their store.

Open Access to Books: The Case of the Open Access Bibliography

In March 2005, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) published my book the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 License. At the same time, a PDF version of the book was made freely available at the University of Houston Libraries Web site, and a PDF of the frontmatter, "Preface," and "Key Open Access Concepts" sections of the book was made freely available at the ARL Web site. The complete OAB PDF was moved to my new escholarlypub.com Web site in June, and an HTML version of "Key Open Access Concepts" was made available as well. In February 2006, author and title indexes for the OAB were made available in HTML form, and, in March 2006, the entire OAB was made available in HTML form.

The OAB deals with a topic that is of keen interest to a relatively small segment of the reading public. Moreover, it’s primarily a very detailed bibliography. The question is: Was it worth putting up all of these free digital versions of the book and creating these auxiliary digital materials?

From March through May 2005, there were 29,255 requests for the OAB PDF. From June 2005 through June 2006, there were another 15,272 requests for the OAB PDF; 17,952 requests for chapters or sections of the HTML version of the OAB; 11,610 requests for the HTML version of "Key Open Access Concepts"; 3,183 requests for the author index; and 2,918 requests for the title index. I don’t have use statistics for the ARL PDF of the first few sections of the book. (The June 2005 through June 2006 statistics are from Urchin; when I analyze the log files in analog, they may vary slightly.)

Print runs for scholarly books are notoriously short, often in the hundreds. I suspect most scholarly publishers would be delighted to sell 500 copies of a specialized bibliography, many of which would end up on library shelves. However, by making the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals freely available in digital form, over 44,500 copies of the complete book, over 29,500 chapters (or other book sections), and over 6,100 author or title indexes have been distributed to users worldwide. Thanks to ARL, the OAB has had greater visibility and impact than it would have had under the conventional publishing model.