Creative Commons

Not Now, I'm Getting Tested for STDs

A current story on CNET describes a British effort to create a cell phone app that can conduct tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): In an attempt to cut the UK's rising rates of herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, British health officials say that sexually-transmitted infections will soon be able to be diagnosed by placing urine or saliva on a computer chip, plugging it into their cell phones or computers, and getting results within minutes. Leaving aside the issue of whether it's a ... (read more)

Watching the Watchers Makes Use of Creative Commons

I've completed the second phase of the Watching the Watchers relaunch, which I began in late May. The site has become a digest of interesting news and commentary from sites that permit redistribution. As you can see, the traffic graph's become a lot more fun to look at lately. The site now includes stories that were published under a Creative Commons license that permits reuse. If you're unfamiliar with Creative Commons, it's a popular way to allow your copyrighted work -- whether it's text, ... (read more)

Relaunching Watching the Watchers

I recently relaunched Watching the Watchers as an Utne Reader-style digest of interesting political news and commentary published on sites that permit redistribution. In the first phase, most of the content is coming from Daily Kos, which has the following license: Site content may be used for any purpose without explicit permission unless otherwise specified. Hundreds of diary entries roll through Daily Kos every day, and a lot of interesting stuff falls through the cracks. I only consider Kos ... (read more)

Virgin Mobile Botches Creative Commons-Driven Ad Campaign

Virgin Mobile in Australia took advantage of the huge repository of photos on Flickr that are licensed for commercial reuse under Creative Commons, incorporating dozens into billboards, newspaper ads and a web site. Unfortunately for the company, the license covers the photographer's copyright but not necessarily the people in the pictures. In many countries, including the U.S. and Australia, you can't use someone's photo commercially without their permission. Shelley Powers puts the blame for ... (read more)

Free the Presidential Debates

Barack Obama and John Edwards have both written letters this week calling on presidential debates to be released under a Creative Commons license. Edwards' take: The Creative Commons license terms offer an easy way to ensure that the networks' rights are protected. Much of the content on my own campaign web site is available under just such a license. Commercial constraints are severe enough in their effect in diluting the substance of our campaigns. Limiting access to long-form televised ... (read more)

RSS Graphic Under Creative Commons License

In March, when I wanted to illustrate why web publishers should support the common feed icon, I put together a graphic showing the ways RSS and Atom feeds have been identified on the web. I just received another media request to use this graphic in a publication, so I'm releasing it under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike license. For publications that can't use a Creative Commons license, send requests in email. ... (read more)

Niall Kennedy Gets Microsoft's Goat

When former Windows Live RSS developer Niall Kennedy saw that one of his Flickr photos was displayed in a Microsoft Team RSS blog post without the required attribution, he swapped it out with one of the web's most infamous pornographic photos, incorporating the Creative Commons logo to preserve what's left of the subject's dignity. I'm not going to show the soul-scarring original photo, because people would have to bleach their web browsers and RSS aggregators, but Matt Haughey's spoof ... (read more)

Feed Autodiscovery Wiki Launched

Robert Sayre has created a Feed Autodiscovery reference that's growing more useful by the minute. He took the original document created by the RSS Advisory Board, placed it on a brand-new wiki, and is encouraging submissions from the public to cover autodiscovery for all syndication formats. One way people can help is to add software they use to the supporting products section if it supports feed autodiscovery. I like seeing a Creative Commons-licensed document I worked on put to use elsewhere, ... (read more)

Creative Commons and the Eldred Decision

Lawrence Lessig quantifies how well Creative Commons is doing: Creative Commons launched the licensing project in December 2002. Within a year, there were more than 1,000,000 link-backs to our licenses (meaning at least a million places on the web where people were linking to our licenses, and presumptively licensing content under those licenses). Within two years, that number was 12,000,000. At the end of our last fundraising campaign, it had grown to about 45,000,000 link-backs to our ... (read more)

AutoWeek Runs Over Creative Commons Licensee

In its July 24 issue, AutoWeek magazine published a photo found on Flickr and broke both halves of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license that it used. They didn't credit the photographer or obtain his permission to use the image commercially. Instead of apologizing and compensating the photog, AutoWeek Art Director Ken Ross made this claim in an e-mail reprinted by Lawrence Lessig: ... this image was obtained through the uncredited and in public domain. Our ... (read more)