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Sunday, January 20, 2008

CC Wiki = CC BY SA

CC has added a new symbol for Wikis. The CC-wiki license is simply a Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

What this means is that anyone can use wiki material under a cc-wiki license as long as you:
1. give credit and
2. use the same license on derived future works

Creative Commons License

This wiki is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
The Image looks cool, we might have to use it on our upcoming wiki.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Freedom for IP Goals for 2008

1. Increase our blogging - Last year we had 150 blog posts ranging from on site blogging at legal and technology conferences to issue statements on DRM and Fair Use. This has been one of our most successful outreach tools and will continue to grow over the next year. At the end of 2007 Riana Pfefferkorn a 2L at University of Washington Law and , has joined our blogging effort as a guest blogger. We hope to find more guest bloggers in 2008.

2. We would like to add a section on FFIP for videos while experimenting with a monthly video cast on current issue related to IP. My personal strength is public speaking, and I want to try capturing that for an online medium.

3. Move from Blogger to WordPress - Blogger has served us well but does not fit our mission. Open source community based tools represent the values of FFIP better. Both Sarah and Brian have transitioned to WordPress for our personal blogs and the process has been very positive.

4. Improve Case Law and Philosophy sections - We need to add cases like KSR International v. Teleflex, INS v. AP, and Michael Savage v. CAIR. We have decided not to internally host a case law database, but instead to link to outside resources like AltLaw and Wikipedia while adding our own comments and resources on the FFIP site. On the philosophy side we need to add Wealth of Networks, Infringement Nation and a pleathera of other writings on the topics to the list. We may even start a wiki to take suggestions for resources to add.

5. More Partnerships - Last year we worked with Defective By Design, CC and EFF with great success. Defective by Design runs the best protests while CC and EFF have been extremely useful for providing educational materials for teaching people about their rights and options to opt out of copyright. We will be reaching out to more organizations to help educate more people about the need to expand Fair Use and reform patents.

6. New logo - *holds head in hands* this is long over due. I fail at graphic design. I can give public speeches, code and even write Fair Use defense legal letters, but when it comes to artistic online skillz we need help. We need a new logo.

I should stop here before going making the list too long... These goals are manageable and can be accomplished with your help.

FFIP has been running for two and a half years now, I am grateful for all the help we have had from law professors, other orgs and volunteers. I look forward to another year bring the copyfight to the people who will fight for our rights in the digital age.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

CC+, Improving Commercial Transactions on CC Licenses

Image:Cc-by-nc-3.0-88x31.png + Image:Commercial-license-button.png

As mentioned in our last post, Creative Commons this month released a new functionality called CC+.

The first thing to remember is that CC+ is NOT a new license, it is a way to grant more permissions on top of ANY standard CC licenses.
CC+ = CC license + Another agreement

The main goal of CC+ is to add a simple system for enabling commercial transactions that can link to a CC license.

For example a Flickr photo licensed under a BY-NC license could have a simple click through to an agent to provide commercial rights for that photo.

Other press
CC+ at Rejon.org
CC+ at Creativecommons.org
Lawrence Lessig explains CC+

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Creative Commons Turns 5

Last night Creative Commons celebrated its fifth birthday with an excellent party in San Francisco and several announcements. Due to the difficult acoustics situation in the venue, I was unable to hear just what Prof. Lessig was saying most of the time, and there don't seem to be announcements on his blog or the CC website yet, so I hope I get this right - please check those sites soon for more authoritative information. (Meanwhile, here is another partygoer's post, far more detailed than mine.)

- CC met and exceeded its goal of raising half a million dollars in individual donations by Dec. 31. It's also just raised a massive amount of funding from other sources, as covered in the above-linked SocialMedia post. Congrats!

- CC is starting a Legal Commons (Beta), to debut on Jan. 15, with some sort of affiliation with Carl Malamud of public.resource.org. The gist of the announcement seemed to be that all federal cases will be publicly accessible (dating back to when, I'm not sure). This is excellent news for those of us in the legal community, and, as a friend of mine commented, "It raises a big middle finger pointed directly at Eagan, Minnesota" (home of Thomson West, i.e. Westlaw). As the open access journal movement continues to gain steam, law journals that want to go open access - and their readers - will benefit from open resources such as public.resource.org, Altlaw, and the forthcoming Legal Commons, as they provide alternative/parallel citations to Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis. Much of the value of a law journal article is in the citations, so readers can now follow up on a citation even if they don't have (cheap/free) access to Westlaw or Lexis.

- There are going to be new CC licensing options: CC+, which adds more rights than any CC license currently offers; and CC-0 [zero], which allows a creator to waive all rights over her work and to authenticate that waiver with a signature, in a machine-readable way. I'm not sure what the details of the CC+ license are and I hope I'm getting CC-0 right. I was not able to ask Prof. Lessig what is probably a question that has already been answered, or for which he would have a ready, detailed answer (as he usually does when asked pretty much anything, from "Hey, should privacy rights be alienable?" to questions about unladen swallows' airspeed). My question is, What about the analog hole? This has surely come up in the context of existing CC licenses. If CC-licensed (or CC-0 rights-waived) content jumps offline, doesn't the machine-readable license tethered to that content by a bunch of ones and zeroes become useless? Does it become, to borrow a loaded word, orphaned? I should investigate this on my own, but I address it to the Lazyweb here in the hopes that people whose minds don't get easily distracted by DJ Spooky and chocolate cake (man that was a great party) will weigh in.

Happy birthday, CC!

UPDATE: Aha, Lessig has blogged about the party, the money, and the new licenses. Among the various clarifications of my mealy-mouthed interpretation of his announcements Saturday, Lessig says all federal case law will be free by about this time next year. Tasty.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Public.Records.org helps free caselaw

"Public.Resource.Org and Fastcase have reached an agreement for the release of a totally unencumbered repository of 1.8 million pages of federal case law, including Courts of Appeals decisions back to 1950." Carl Malamud Public.Resource.org

This is a huge win for open access law. For too long case law, which is in the public domain, have been locked away by Westlaw and Lexis (Wexis).

Last Summer when we (Sarah and I) visited CC this was one of our major topics we discussed with Jon Phillips. I am ecstatic to see CC and EFF involved in the process of liberating case law. Although I do find it a bit odd that the press release lists a "brand-new Creative Commons mark—CC-Ø—which will allow us to affirmatively certify that this information is public domain." It is more accurate to say they are resurrecting an old CC mark with possibly an new look. The upper left hand of Freedom for IP has been sporting a CC PD mark for the last 2 years.

To illustrate how important it is that this case law is in the public domain one can look to CC description of what can be done with materials in the public domain the case law "may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived."

The next major challenge for the public and the legal community it to find the best way to make these 1.8 million pages usable. Having all the case law in the world online is only a start, the one thing that Wexis has done well is make case law usable with internal links, head notes summaries and cross references.

Here is my first thoughts on how make the case law usable:
1. XML it - Mark it up in a open format that allows other to repurpose it easily
2. Wiki it in a way the preserves the text- Wiki style case summaries
3. Tag it for current precedence - create a tagging system marking which cases are still good law and allow users to comment and change these tags as new decisions are made.
4. Cross reference it - add internal links or a way to easily move from one case to another within the documents
5. Add a uniform index of issues.
6. Add an index of facts.

The players best suited to do these things are the old guard of Wexis, the new juggernauts of Wikimedia and Wikipedia, and the new academically supported Altlaw. I am curious who will step up to the plate and how. There is so much ground to cover in making this case law usable that several groups could work together. Wexis can probably get 5-10 more years out of the locked system, but if one of them wants to open there systems they could dominate a new open market place based on alternative revenue. Ultimately I think the usability solutions will come from whoever is able to harness the power of law students, public interest lawyers and the general public in one collaborative forum.

Past articles on these issues:
Findlaw - Westlaw kills FindLaw, Remove your links
Altlaw = public domain law database

External press coverage:
Boing Boing
Official Press Release

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Chesstactics.org, CC Licensed Tactic Training, from Ward Farnsworth

Ward Farnsworth, a Law professor at Boston University has released his two volume set of books on tactics online for free under a CC license. The books are available in an interactive format at Chesstactics.org. Hard copies of books are available through Lulu, a print on demand publisher, volume one and volume two

Before heading to law school I spent some (well... a lot of) time, playing and teaching chess. Portland had several great coffee house where you could hang out and play chess all day. Currently chess is a very closed market. Very few books or applications are under open licenses. Most of the top chess playing programs are closed source and both of the top database programs are closed. I personally spent a lot of money on Chessbase and Fritz. When I would teach children it became clear that the cost of books and programs was a barrier to helping some kids learn to play, especially if their parents did not have a background in chess.

It is refreshing to see a well written chess book online in an open format. Each section has a simple introduction and all tactical problems have solutions with explanatory text telling readers what is going on and why the solution is correct. Too many other chess tactic books provide only an answer with no explanation on why the moves are right. I recommend the Chesstactics.org website and the books for anyone interested in improving their chess tactics.

PS: Chess tactics followed by endgames are the most important thing for a new to intermediate player to study. Most games under master level are won or lost on tactical ability.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Making money in the Digital Age

Last week The Open Rights Group, in collaboration with 01zero-one and funded by the London Development Agency, began a research project that is examining how the internet enables creative entrepreneurs to develop innovative business practices by being more open with their intellectual property. Creative Business in the Digital Era will examine new business models and the wider context in which they sit, culminating in one day-long and two evening courses at which they will share their findings.

The best part is that they are developing the course out in the open, and under a Creative Commons license, using a wiki, and the need your help need your help! Now! Time is of the essence, as they plan to complete all the course materials by the beginning of February, ready for delivery in March (I hope they podcast the event).

Here is how to get involved:
  1. Sign-up for a free account on the wiki and get cracking! (already created an account myself)
  2. Join the ORG-Discuss mailing list and contribute to the conversation there.
  3. Save relevant links to Del.icio.us using the tag org-cbde
  4. Follow their Twitter stream
PS If anyone has extra airline tickets from Seattle to London I would love to go to the presentations!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Magnatune: An Ethical Alternative to iTunes

Magnatune is a Creative Commons licensed music site that allows you to listen to all their music streaming online for free. If you like the music you can purchase music CD's or download MP3's for for a price of your choosing. Many advocates of strong All Rights Reserved(ARR) copyright claim that ARR copyright is need to help new artist make a name for themselves. Distribution models like Amie Street and Magnatune are challenging this assumption head on.

They have a portion of the site dedicated to Why They are Not Evil.

Top 5 reasons they are not evil:

  • Musicians get paid: 50% of your purchase price goes directly to the musician, not to labels and their lawyer.
  • Give to your friends: We encourage you to give 3 copies of any music you buy to your friends
  • Remix friendly: Tons of our music, acapellas and samples are available for Remixing at CC Mixter All our 128k MP3s are some-rights-reserved Creative Commons licensed
  • No major labels: we have absolutely nothing to do with major labels or the RIAA

  • No DRM: No copy protection (DRM), you can do what you like with your music, unlike iTunes and Windows-media based web sites.

  • Freedom for IP greatly respects the work done by Magnatune and encourages the development of new business models in the music industry to appropriately reflect our technologically advanced culture.

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    Monday, October 08, 2007

    EFF and CC Big Wigs in Seattle, Kahle and Lessig

    TO SPEAK OCTOBER 9 (in less than 24 hours)

    Title: Universal Access to All Human Knowledge
    Date: October 9, 2007
    Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    Location: UW Main Campus, Henry Art Gallery, Auditorium 301
    Cost: Free

    The UW Information School is pleased to welcome Brewster Kahle, the
    "internet librarian," to speak about the past, present and future of
    digital librarianship during his lecture, "Universal Access to All Human
    Knowledge." He will discuss the roles, rights, and responsibilities of
    our libraries and archives in providing public access to digital
    collections of human knowledge. He sees a near future where the promise
    of the digital age-to make all of human knowledge available to students
    and scholars all over the world-is a reality.

    About Brewster Kahle:

    Brewster Kahle is a U.S. internet entrepreneur, activist and digital
    librarian. Kahle graduated from Massachusetts IT in 1982 with an SB degree in Computer Science & Engineering.

    Kahle was an early member of the Thinking Machines team, where he helped
    develop the WAIS system, a precursor to today's internet search engines.
    He later started WAIS, Inc. (sold to AOL), and the nonprofit Internet
    Archive. He is currently Director of the Internet Archive. He is also a member of
    the Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a key
    supporter of the Open Content Alliance. His stated goal is "Universal
    Access to all Knowledge."

    Also, Lawrence Lessig is coming to
    University of Washington in November

    Title: Is Google (2008) Microsoft (1998)?
    Date: Nov . 2, 2007
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Location: in room 130 of Kane Hall.
    Cost: Free

    Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was the Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a Professor at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

    Professor Lessig represented web site operator Eric Eldred in the ground-breaking case Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. He has won numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, and was named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries, for arguing "against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online."

    Professor Lessig is the author of Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999). He chairs the Creative Commons project, and serves on the board of the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Public Library of Science, and Public Knowledge. He is also a columnist for Wired.

    Professor Lessig earned a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale. He teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, contracts, and the law of cyberspace.

    Mark your calendars! More information here:


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    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Ourspace update: New date for Thirdplace Books, October 18th

    The talk and book signing at Third Place Books has been moved from October 27th to October 18th. The Elliot Bay event is still this Wednesday at 7:30pm, hope to see people there.

    Book Event:
    Thursday, October 18, 2007, 6:30 pm
    Talk & Book Signing
    Third Place Books
    Ravenna Third Place
    6504 20th Ave NE
    Seattle, WA 98115

    PS: The book is under an all rights reserved copyright... although one chapter is available online at the wiki. http://www.upress.umn.edu/wiki/index.php/OurSpace One chapter is a small step in the right direction.

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    Sunday, September 30, 2007

    OurSpace, author Christine Harold, Speaking in Seattle x2

    Come out to Elliott Bay Book Company Wednesday or Saturday the 27th to meet Christine Harold. We need you to help resist the corporate control of culture.

    In OurSpace, Christine Harold examines the deployment and limitations of "culture jamming" by activists. For Harold, it is a different type of opposition that offers a genuine alternative to corporate consumerism. Exploring the revolutionary Creative Commons movement, copyleft, and open source technology, Harold advocates a more inclusive approach to intellectual property that invites innovation and wider participation in the creative process.

    Christine Harold is a professor in the Department of Communications at the University of Washington. Her previous position was assistant professor of speech communication at the University of Georgia.

    Book events for OurSpace: Resisting the Corporate Control of Culture by Christine Harold

    Book Event
    Wednesday, October 3, 2007, 7:30 pm
    Talk & Book Signing
    Elliott Bay Book Company
    101 South Main Street
    Seattle, Washington 98104

    Book Event
    Saturday, October 27, 2007, 6:30 pm
    Talk & Book Signing
    Third Place Books
    17171 Bothell Way NE
    Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

    More information available at:


    PS The publisher has not returned my emails about the what copyright the book is under and why... If the publisher is holding it hostage under a full right reserved license we may need to take action.

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    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Creative Commons Sued by Texas Family

    virgin mobile ad
    Photo: Justin Ho-Wee Wong

    The family of teenager Alison Chang has sued Virgin Mobile and Creative Commons. Virgin Mobile launched an ad campaign in Australia this summer using Flickr photos licensed under creative commons. A photo of Ms. Chang taken by her youth counselor was used without her knowledge or consent, and her family is seeking undisclosed damages for libel and invasion of privacy.

    It is unclear under what grounds Creative Commons has been brought into this suit. The primary issues in this case relate to right of privacy, right of publicity, and defamation. Creative Commons has merely supplied Flickr and the artist with valid contract language which allows the artist to release some of his rights. The Creative Commons copyright license does not explicitly deal with all factors that Virgin Mobile should have taken into consideration before using a cc-licensed photograph in a large scale commercial campaign. Additionally, Creative Commons was aware of these issues, and published a blog post in July 2007 pointing out possible problems with Virgin Mobile's campaign (see below).

    Although it is unclear at this point whether the responsibility to secure model release forms allowing commercial use lies with Virgin Mobile or the photographer who chose to put the photo under an attribution-only license. In choosing an attribution-only license, the photographer may have been making an implicit statement that his work was suitable for commercial purposes. In this case, the photographer is one of the claimants against Creative Commons and Virgin Mobile when it appears that he could have been making a mistake in applying a license without understanding it.

    The primary legal claim in this case is one of the right of publicity. Simply put, this right is the inherent right of every human being to control the commercial use of his or her identity.1 The right of publicity is a state-law tort claim similar to unfair competition.

    Copyright and other similar rights like right of publicity have created a dizzying tapestry of almost incomprehensible laws that apply to every image or work in our multimedia digital culture. Creative commons has created a system for allowing authors to opt out of some of these rights. The attribution only license is often used by artists who wish to have their work used in a commercial manner to increase their reputation and visibility. Virgin Mobile was attempting to rely on the photographer's statement that this work was available for use with mere attribution and is now becoming the target of overzealous intellectual property protections that were created before the current information age.

    Two excellent blog posts have been written on this topic in Australian blogs:
    Virgin Australia and Creative Commons Named in Lawsuit
    CC and Virgin Mobile

    1Taken from The Right of Publicity and Privacy by J. Thomas McCarthy.

    This post is by Brian Rowe and Sarah Davies

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    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    ATJWeb.org is now using a CC license

    This is a great example of how a Creative Commons License can work to enable the mission and goals of an organization.

    If you are not familiar with ATJWeb you should check it out. It is based on the Washington State Supreme Court's order designed to increase access to the justice system by applying principles that focus technology implementors and the justice system in general on values including privacy and accessibility.


    Access to Justice (ATJ) Web seeks to help guide the development of technology to help those in need. Through the ATJ Technology Principles we can use technology to give everyone fair access to the justice system a reality in Washington State and beyond.

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