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creative commons

27 Aug

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Share your instagrams / defaults matter

August 27, 2012 | By |

by David R. Politi, licensed under Creative Commons by-nc license

I love the idea of i-am-cc.org, a tool to license your Instagram photos under a Creative Commons license. It’s a simple way to share your photos, not as in over-share your personal live but as in allow others to build on (and with) your creative works.

Defaults matter: Since most services don’t allow for easy CC-licensing (Flickr being one of the few services that implemented that a long time ago), most photos uploaded aren’t shared under licenses that allow for example bloggers to post a photo on their personal blogs to illustrate their articles. Like the wonderfully gross one you see above, courtesy of David R. Politi, who licensed it as Creative Commons by-nc via i-am-cc.org.

More startups should think about the long play and the role they play in the larger ecosystem. Implementing a tool to license content under more permissive licenses than the get out of my backyard model that is “all rights reserved” (which the law defaults to, if the author doesn’t state a different intent) might bring some extra work with it, but it also allows for easy, massive contributions to the shared commons that we all on the web profit from.

Until then, I’m glad that simple tools like i-am-cc.org help us with a workaround. My personal workaround so far is, by the way, via the fantastic IFTTT: IFTTT checks for new uploads in my Instagram stream, then uploads them to my Flickr account. There, as mentioned above, my default license is Creative Commons (by-nc-sa), so you can use my photos for non-commercial uses like your personal blog. Plus, unlike at Instagram that is built primarily to make instantaneous sharing easy, it’s easier to search Flickr streams and embed photos. Admittedly, it takes some effort to pipe your photos across the web like that.

So I’m quite happy about tools that make sharing easier, and that hopefully get more companies to build sharing into their products, in responsible, user-controlled, non-creepy ways.

22 Feb

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Quantified Self on dradio – now in CC

February 22, 2012 | By |

A little while ago, Christian Grasse did a radio feature for dradio on the Quantified Self. There, he included interviews with Johannes Kleske and me.

That was really neat. What’s even neater, though, is this.

This morning, Christian emailed everybody included in his Quantified Self feature to let us know that he had also cut a version of his piece that is fit to release under Creative Commons (“CC by” to be specific), and uploaded it on Soundcloud. His reasoning was that sharing is good, and that dradio is publicly funded, and as such as much of its content should be available to share and remix.

This is awesome. Dradio is excellent with sharing their stuff online, pretty barrier-free, anyway. But this allows for remixing, too. So here it is, the new, CC-licensed version of Christian’s QS feature:

I wish more journalists thought and acted that way. It’s really a best practice scenario. Thanks, Chris!

12 Oct

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Support Creative Commons (Campaign)

October 12, 2009 | By |

As you might know, I’m a big fan of Creative Commons (CC), a very easy way to share your content online and thus contribute to an ever-growing pool of freely available body of text, picture, videos and music to work with. It’s not a replacement to copyright, but an addition that gives the content creators (that’s you) more rights to share their works and others more rights to use them. Creative Commons is a building block for a free culture.

A few days ago, the annual fundraiser campaign has kicked off. As you can imagine, like many industries, non-profits like Creative Commons have also been hit hard by the economic crisis as they have to rely on donations both by institutions and individuals.

Before getting into the details, though, a quick intro video for those of you not familiar with Creative Commons. A good place to start is the video “A Shared Culture” by filmmaker Jesse Dylan, known for the “Yes We Can” Barack Obama campaign video:

A few brief examples how Creative Commons is relevant to my work:

  • Practically all the images used in this blog are licensed under CC. The blog itself is licensed under CC – with one of the most liberal licenses (CC Attribution). Anybody can use all the content that I created here as long as they point out who it’s from (that’s the “attribution” part), no matter if for non-commercial or commercial uses.
  • My photos on Flickr are all licensed under a slightly more restrictive license (CC Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike), which means anyone can use them as long as they point to me as the creator, but they may only use them in a non-commercial context (because I wouldn’t want a friend of mine ending up in some kind of commercial or anything along those lines), and as long as they share the work based on my photos under similar conditions (thus also contributing to the growing pool of available works).
  • In practically every client project I argue for sharing as much as possible on the web, and usually a Creative Commons license is the easiest, most reliable (and most legally sound) way of doing so.

For different kinds of uses and content, Creative Commons offers me the chance to pick just the right license and keep the rights I want to keep while giving up the ones that aren’t important to me. That’s the main difference between the old model you know from old-school copyright aka “all rights reserved”. With Creative Commons, it’s “some rights reserved”.

The official fundraiser kick-off post has the details on the campaign (and a neat CC shirt motif), Joi Ito has some more background.

So what can you do to support a free culture? You can spread the word, share your content (thus enabling others to build on it while also building your reputation), or donate cash, which helps fund the (small) organization behind the scenes:

Here’s more ways and hands-on tipps on how to support Creative Commons and spread the word. Thanks for your contribution.

07 Sep

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Arduino and Makers at atoms&bits

September 7, 2009 | By |

Help! Geekend!

Today I made an LED blink by pushing a button.

You might ask youself: Err, what? Why are you blogging this?

No, I haven’t turned crazy or bored, so no worries. What happened is that I eventually got around to getting out my Arduino:

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

I feel like I’m somewhat late to the game, and to unpacking the little Arduino starter kit (kind of like this one) I had sitting on my desk ever since I got it at a recent Art+Arduino workshop organized by Artuino and Tinkersoup in Berlin where a bunch of folks tinkered with low and high tech ranging from little fans to bubble machines to hacked music instruments. (Thanks a lot, Arnon & Anton for putting that together, as well as Alex for pointing me that way! Plenty of photos in this Flickr pool.)

But late or not, eventually I hooked up the Arduino to my computer and wrote the first few lines of code that first made a LED blink, then blink faster, then blink when I pushed a button. Three iterations within a few minutes, that’s enough to feel good.

More importantly though, it was one of these small things that nonetheless felt somehow significant. Like the first steps into something new tend to do. So however late to the game I am, I’m psyched to eventually start my tinkering.

“For the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things.”

The quote above is Cory Doctorow’s dedicated to in his new serialized novel Makers. And my little Arduino session reminded me very much of this story (parts of which were published a few years earlier on Salon.com, where I first read them). Makers is a declaration of love to tinkering, as well as a glimpse into an aspect of the near future that could very well change the world by quite a bit: How decentralized, open-sourced production of hardware – made possible by the net as well as 3d printing and related technologies – will lead to real innovation, and how the sharing economy will fuel all that.

Just like the Arduino hardware is open source and maybe produced and hacked by anyone, the novel Makers is released under Creative Commons license so that it maybe spread and remixed freely. Starting 27 October you can also buy the bound book (amazon.com, amazon.de).

To cut a long story short: There is plenty of fun in this kind of tinkering. “Do Epic Shit” is what it says on a sticker on my laptop. It’s a quote I found in some places on the web, origin unknown to me. This is where I first noticed it. (Feel free to google the real source here.) “Do Epic Shit” is also part of what motivated me to start (along with all these nice folks) atoms&bits Festival: If you want to attend awesome events, why not start one? (Obvious though that might be, it’s one of many things that became obvious to me when I attended reboot11, one of the most inspiring conferences I’ve ever been to.) Not coincidentally, there’ll be plenty of hands-on Arduino and tinker action, too, over at atoms&bits – particularly the weekend of 26/27 September in Berlin.

Today I made an LED blink by pushing a button. Who knows what’s next.

ps. Michelle is putting together a reading of Makers at our coworking space Studio70 for atoms&bits Festival. If you happen to be in town, make sure to drop by: 22 Sept, 8pm (official event link).