Scholarly Communications @ Duke – Strangling our cultural past

“In addition to releasing most of their library website content under a Creative Commons license, the Duke University Libraries Scholarly Communications Office has been posting a series of helpful “Copyright Widgets.” These short, information-packed notes provide some extremely useful copyright guidance to educators, researchers and others looking for digestible clarification on some complicated legal issues. Kevin Smith and the team at the Scholarly Communications Office tackle some interesting and timely issues such as copyright in the classroom, authors’ rights, fair use and digital rights management. Fantastic work — a must add to your RSS reader!”

Read their piece on

Strangling our cultural past:


… “the real purpose behind copyright term extension has never been stronger incentives for future creation, but rather to keep older works out of the public domain, two recent news articles recount cases on exactly that topic.”

… “A Sony spokesman was very frank about not wanting to let others “assume” that these works are in the public domain when they “may” not be. A perfect expression of the “chilling effects” that…

Plenty of good news

CC turns 5!

For a rundown of the overwhelming number of big announcements made at CC’s 5th birthday party in San Francisco, see Lawrence Lessig’s blog. The party itself was a huge success, with over 600 people attending. Watch this space for more detail on the announced projects as they develop.

In Berlin, headquarters of CC International, a small party became a smashing success with 300 people and some great announcements from CC Germany. See a writeup on the Netzpolitik blog.

There were other CC birthday parties around the globe, but from the photos the most impressive of all may have been put on by CC Korea, called CC Hope Day.

Launch of CC+ and CC0

Please read our press release for more information about how they work and who we’re collaborating with. The announcement of CC0 on the Science Commons blog.

New Comic for kids

We are happy to announce the publication of our brand new comic, Sharing Creative Works: An Illustrated Primer. We hope this piece will serve as a friendly and easy-to-understand overview of copyright and CC licensing. This way, the next time someone asks you to explain Creative Commons and you’re not sure where to begin, you can just direct them to our primer.

Its been a while since we’ve updated our previous comics and this one features a completely new visual style designed by Alex Roberts, with some help from Rebecca Rojer. Together with Jon Phillips they also drafted the script. But, we want this to be an asset of and for the community, so the entire project has been released into the public domain. For ease of translation & remixing, the artwork is all available in SVG format and the text is all up on the wiki. Please contribute!

Sharing Creative Works is also part of our efforts to integrate Creative Commons licensing into the OLPC, so we’ve specifically designed it be kid-friendly (though we hope adults will enjoy it too!). This comic will serve as the foundation of the documentation for the Sugar Licensing Activity but will be customized for each country’s distribution, so please let us know if you have suggestions for making this document as culturally accessible as possible.

Wikipedia and Creative Commons

From: Larry Lessig’s blog :

As Jimmy announces, the Wikimedia Foundation Board has agreed with a proposal made by the Free Software Foundation that will permit Wikipedia (and other such wikis) to relicense under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

That is very different from saying that Wikipedia has relicensed under a CC license. The decision whether to take advantage of this freedom granted by the FSF when the FSF grants it will be a decision the Wikipedia community will have to make. We are very hopeful that the community will ratify this move to compatible freedoms. And if they do, we are looking forward to an extraordinary celebration.

Read the Wikimedia Foundation resolution here.

The video is available, from Sylvain who was at the party: