Latest  News


'Viral Spiral' & digital commoners

Public Knowledge cofounder David Bollier’s new book is "Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own". [10mar09]

Published in January for Free Press and available under a Creative Commons license the book serves as an introduction to and argues for the ideals behind a digital commons - pointing out that a radically different order of society based on open access, decentralized creativity, collaborative intelligence, and cheap and easy sharing is ascendant.

According to the Creative Commons blog, the book can be considered a "definitive guide for those seeking to understand and discover the key players and concepts in the digital commons. From the beginnings of the Free Software Movement, to Wikipedia’s Inception, to Lessig founding Creative Commons at Harvard Law School, Bollier thoughtfully examines the principles and circumstances that helped nurture our digital commons from idea to (meta)physical reality."

Now the same Creative Commons blog has an excellent interview with David Bollier — just a couple of quotes here: "After traveling in the worlds of free software, copyright activism and the commons for nearly ten years – mostly as a policy activist – I became acutely aware of how much of this history was invisible to mainstream political culture. ... So long as the Internet remains an open-access infrastructure, new commons will keep arising, and growing stronger. I remain optimistic that the viral spiral will be a potent force for improving democratic culture in the years ahead."

Check Viral Spiral website.

Public Domain license on YouTube

Now some videos are available under Public Domain or Creative Commons. [15feb09]

Recently YouTube introduced some long awaited features to its services. Users can finally download many videos, both as a free or paid MP4 files (the so-called "Partner videos"). Paid videos are available only in the USA and do not include DRM.

More importantly, authors of pay-to-download videos can choose among several licenses, including the various Creative Commons 3.0 and the Public Domain licenses.

Sound copyright: which way for the EU?

Open event on proposed extension of copyright term for sound recordings. (Brussels, 27/01/09) [25jan09]

With the European Parliament set to vote on whether to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings, this event looks at the ramifications of this Commission proposal. Speakers will address the implications for copyright creators and users, for innovators and consumers and what it means for those aiming for a modern workable intellectual property policy.

Speakers include representatives from national archives, a session musician with experience of representing collecting societies, a broadcaster and from the Open Rights Group. A roundtable of MEPs will subsequently participate in a panel discussion with moderated question and answers to allow a structured debate.

Co-organised by the Greens/Efa in the European Parliament and the Open Rights Group, the event is open to the public and is scheduled for Tuesday, January 27, 2009, from 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM (GMT+0100) at Brussels-Capital Region.

More info:

NEXA Center inauguration

Turin, Italy, 22/01/09 [20jan09]

The NEXA Center for Internet & Society will hold its inaugural session on Thursday 22nd January 2009 at Politecnico di Torino's Aula Magna. Some of the scheduled speakers are variously related to the COMMUNIA Project: Prof. Stefano Rodotà (advisor), Philippe Aigrain (member), Juan Carlos De Martin (network coordinator).

The NEXA Center for Internet and Society is also the coordinating body of COMMUNIA and its multidisciplinary activities cover the digital public domain as well as other issues related to development, norms, and standards of the Internet in today's society.

Click here for full program of the event.

LibriVox reaches 2,000 audiobooks

A new milestone for LibriVox: their 2,000th public domain audiobook! [09jan09]

That is, Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol. VI.

LibriVox is an all-volunteer project to record public domain audiobooks, and give them away for free. They are among the most prolific audiobook publishers in the world - reaching 1,000 books on October 31, 2007, after 26 months; the second thousand came 14 months later.

Congratulations to all the readers, coordinators, proof-listeners, moderators, and techies who have helped build LibriVox into one of the great communities online. Files are hosted by the Internet Archive for while Project Gutenberg makes thousands of public domain texts available online.

For more information and/or to volunteer:

Open Everything Berlin

Event planned for Saturday 6/12/08.

"Open Everything" events are spreading throughout the world. After the success of Open Everything London a few weeks ago, a follow-up is scheduled in Berlin on Saturday 6th December 2008.

It will be a great opportunity to meet people interested in open knowledge, open source software, and so on. The event will take place at newthinking store, (Tucholskystr. 48, Berlin-Mitte). Attendance is free (sign-up on mixxt network) and the full program is here.

The event will start with a handover from Open Everything Hong Kong and finish with a handover to ,a href="">Open Everything Madison, WI, USA - both of which will also take place on 6 December.

In addition to talks, presentations and discussions, the event will feature the launch of Ivo Gormley’s Us Now, a Creative Commons licensed documentary about new forms of collaboration produced in association with the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

Click here for more information.

What does 'public domain' mean?

Here are some good and quick answers....[25nov08]

In its "Help File" section, the International Herald Tribune website, owned by The New York Times Company, publishes a reader question: "What does it mean when a Web site says a picture or document is in the 'public domain'? Does that mean I can use it for my own purposes?"

Along with few useful links, the answer is quite clear and informative:

The public domain is a category of works made up of text, images and documents that are not protected by an active legal copyright. On the Internet, material in the public domain can be freely downloaded, copied and reused.

Creative material usually ends up in the public domain in one of two ways. Some creators relinquish their copyright and donate their work to the public domain.

Works can also fall into the public domain if their copyright has expired. In general, books published before 1923 in the United States are considered in the public domain.

Read the full column here.

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