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COPYLEFT and the Creative Commons

Copyright, Copyleft, Copywrong
just what are we talking about?
The answer is CONTENT.


Content is just about anything that isn't executable. (Software is executable)

Who Has The Power?

The Roots of Print, Power, Politics, Literacy, Ballads, Plays, Thought and failed Censorship. Who is allowed to write? Who is allowed to read? Who is allowed to hear? Who is allowed to print? Who is allowed to publish!

Free Music Book
Page 1

Songs / Ballads were responsible for spreading Literacy.
It is now and has always been about our unknown culture makers - shapers of our consciousness vs. the Owners of culture/ the Power Elite who own the supply chain of money by thought control.
Henry 8th establishes treason by words, controls reading, women reading.. Elizabeth grants a Printing Monopoly to certain people in return for obedience to the authority of the church and Crown. First to appear is cheap single sheet printed ballads extreamly popular that come directly out of the oral culture then goes back in. Telling sensational stories with a moral purpose, warning the readership with their punishment commanding them to repent.

Listen to 17th Century Print Culture


John Fountain Printing Press 17 century England
It's ironic listening to In Our Time program on the empowering nature of the printing press for the growth of democratic society and innovative culture and simultaneously reading the BBC's "permissions" rights associated with the download of the MP3 file . "The BBC grants you a 7-day, non-exclusive licence to download this In Our Time audio. You may not copy, reproduce, edit, adapt, alter, republish, post, broadcast, transmit, make available to the public, or otherwise use this audio in any way except for your own personal, non-commercial use. You may not use this file for the purpose of promoting, advertising, endorsing or implying a connection with you (or any third party) and the BBC, its agents or employees." . How would such a claim been received by citizens in the 17th century - just prior to the English civil war? Would they have passively acquiesced to such claims from the Stationer's we listeners to BBC's radio 4 are asked (told) to do? If they had acqiesced, rather than aftively disobeyed, would there have been a civil war? an innovative and dynamic democratic society?

Source: Access to the BBC Creative Archive will be based on the Creative Commons model already working in the United States which proposes a middle way to rights management, rather than the extremes of the pure public domain or the reservation of all rights. Using the internet, it offers rights holders the opportunity to release audio visual content for viewing, copying and sharing but with some rights reserved, such as commercial exploitation rights. So, in the case of audio visual material, the public are allowed increased access but the exploitation of the same material in the commercial arena by rights holders is protected.


Content can then be used in an infinity of ways, restricted only by the imagination of the user. One of the most significant uses may be supporting instruction and helping people learn.

Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford University law professor and cyberspace theorist, is well-known for challenging traditional notions of copyright. A 20-minute video of a recent speech given by Mr. Lessig titled "Who Owns Culture?" provides a brief look at how new technologies, starting with the player piano, have challenged traditional models of how copyrighted materials are distributed and how artists are paid. Mr. Lessig says that we're now in a "remix culture" where people find creative ways to meld existing creative works to make something completely new. He argues that copyright laws need to be reformed to allow such digital creativity to thrive. LARRY LESSIG WINS!! Huge and important news: Creative Commons - free licenses upheld.

It is now clear that the true enemy of traditional media, is the Internet itself. The remarkable ability of digital technology to reduce the transaction costs of information exchanges of all kinds has destroyed the business models, if not the businesses, on which content providers have operated successfully since at least the 18th century. That's when the first copyright law was passed in England.
The focus on “media” in the very name of the industry belies its reliance on the limited life of physical copies as the key control mechanism. But as physical copies are replaced by faster, better, and cheaper digital alternatives, control becomes more illusory.

What is the
Creative Commons?


Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that provides content - text, books, educational material, etc. - that is free to share or build upon. Creative Commons will make available flexible, customizable intellectual-property licenses that artists, writers, programmers and others can obtain free of charge to legally define what constitutes acceptable uses of their work. The new forms of licenses will provide an alternative to traditional copyrights by establishing a useful middle ground between full copyright control and the unprotected public domain.


License Your Work

Larry Lessig Copyright Tutorial - Free Culture 7/24/2003

The Free Music Philosophy see Musique and Jamando

Canadian study that said P2P had essentially NO IMPACT on CD sales?

  • Creative Types: A Lot in Common Why is this important? Copyright applies fully and automatically to any work - a photograph, a song, a web page, an article, any form of expression - the moment it is created. This means that if you want to copy and re-use a creative work you find online, you usually have to ask the author's permission. This "all rights reserved" protection is good thing for many authors and artists. But what about those who want you to use their work freely without permission -- but on certain conditions? This is where the you can find out about the
  • Information Wants To Be Free but you must respect the rights they have reserved which the common license shows, then you can use the work without having to contact them and ask. You might even find work in the public domain and free for any use with no rights reserved.
  • Copyright, Congress, Due Diligence, and Coase by Frank Forman
  • The Open Audio License (OAL)
  • Common License Copyright Free Compostion Lawrence Lessig's (founder of the creative commons) Huge and important news: free licenses upheld.
  • Creative Commons now has an OER policy registry. OER stands for Open Educational Resources. The registry currently has over five dozen current and proposed open education resources from around the world.
  • Find Creative Commons (cc) music:
    Find Creative Commons (cc) photos:
    • Flickr (advanced search): great for search for creative commons photographs
    • The Library of Congress: photographs with no know restrictions on publication (public domain) from the Library of Congress
    • Wikimedia: a database of freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute
  • Among the rights an artist may choose to reserve when configuring their Creative Commons license is "No Derivative Works," explained in cartoons. The Creative Commons' leading example musician is Roger McGuinn who: " chose the Creative Commons license that maximizes a combination of free distribution with artistic control and integrity." -- note that Roger McGuinn chose "No Derivative Works." Magnatune See a site that gives you internet music without the guilt.
  • Our - Creative Commons also provides webspace and bandwidth for creative work in digital format - free of charge and in perpetuity.
  • OER Commons (Open Educational Resources) --
  • "Podcasting Legal Guide: Rules for the Revolution," "a general roadmap of some of the legal issues specific to podcasting." The guide covers copyright, publicity rights, and trademark issues related to content that you acquire or create. Information is also provided on licensing your podcast.

Greg Gillis talks about the [mashup] "hunter-gatherer" image of DJ culture, and sampling as a primal quest, and a route to reconnect us to our tribal roots.


"Sampling is not new. Stravinsky himself once said: "A good composer does not imitate; he steals."

Bach, Bartok and Dvorak all cribbed from anonymous folk tunes. Key doctrines in copyright law is on their side: the concepts of "fair use" and "transformative use."

New York-based intellectual property lawyer Monica Youn clarifies it this way: "Fair use is a statutory defense to copyright infringement, which defends use of a copyrighted work 'for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.' The courts look at 4 factors in determining whether a use is a fair one:

1) the purpose and character of the use (usually this focuses on whether the use is commercial or nonprofit/educational)
2) the nature of the copyrighted work
3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used (this test focuses on whether the user has taken the 'heart' of the material)
4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work (THE most important factor. If the holder can prove that the user is eating into her market share, the holder wins)" In "transformative use," the greater the degree of transformation, the greater the likelihood that the use is fair.

The doctrine of fair use gives certain shelter to artists for when they feel that getting permission from another artist (or record label) might stand in the way of their own creative endeavors-after all, most artists aren't too keen on having their work parodied or otherwise squeezed through a cultural wringer. Fair use clearly does not protect artists who want to completely rely on another person's work-product. Nor does it give protection to people who want to pirate, forge, or counterfeit the property of others. And, importantly, fair use is applicable only to U.S. copyright law.

Think Prohibition: would you have stopped drinking or making your own beer because the state made it illegal, or would you have fought against a stupid law.

RIAA subpoenas a prelude to "Shock & Awe": The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is preparing to made good on its threat to sue those who illegally distribute music over the Internet. Last week the association issued subpoenas to Verizon Communications,
Earthlink, and DePaul
and Loyola universities , forcing them to reveal the identities of suspected file-swappers.
RIAA 2&u=/nm/20030716/wr_nm/media_riaa_dc

"Filing information subpoenas is exactly what we said we'd do a couple of weeks ago when we announced that we were gathering evidence to file lawsuits."
Fred von Lohmann, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation .

"Does anyone think more lawsuits are going to be the answer? Today they have declared war on the American consumer." RIAA's Congress persons John Conyers and Howard Berman, the Author, Consumer and Computer Owner Protection and Security Act of 2003 , or ACCOPS, would make uploading a copyrighted file to a peer-to-peer network a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each uploaded file.

Harvard Crimson The DMCA uses four criteria to decide whether copyrighted material can be made freely available. These include the purpose of the infringement, the nature of the material, the amount of material used and the potential effect on the documents' market. You can make a case against claims of copyright infringement if you can show the documents were used in an academic and not a commercial manner, they were factual-not creative-works, did not damage the company market value because the company was never going to sell the thing in the first place.

The fight over copyright/fair use in political videos Homeland Security Issuing Its Own DMCA Takedowns On YouTube To Stifle Speech
a takedown that had "multiple" takedown notices. So it's interesting that YouTube even has such an error message. But what really caught my attention was the second claimant listed. United States Department of Homeland Security.

DMCA frightens Researchers

US judge strikes down bootleg law
Judge Harold Baer Jr, sitting in New York, dismissed charges against a Manhattan-based record dealer which had been brought under the law. He struck down a law which bans the sale of bootleg recordings of live music in the United States. The law could not stand because it placed no time limit on the ban - unlike the limits placed on books or recorded music releases. Judge Baer said US law unfairly granted "seemingly perpetual protection" to the original performances. US law defines bootlegs as being recordings of the original performances, as opposed to copies of already released music, such as live albums, which are dealt with under piracy legislation.



    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology FACT SHEET announced plans to make the materials for nearly all of its courses freely available on the Internet over the next ten years. 2,000 courses across MIT's entire curriculum - from architecture to engineering to management and the arts - will have their lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists and assignments published online; credits will not be offered, however.
  • Open Access Journals
    Public Library of Science The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. The MIT Press to participate in the open access initiative.
  • The Internet Archive
  • OpenDOAR Search Repository Contents
    OpenDOAR is pleased to present a trial search service for the full-text of material held in open access repositories listed in the Directory. OpenDOAR already provides a global Directory of freely available open access repositories that hold research material.


Freedom and Community are the moral goals of software freedom.

The Danger of Software Patents - Richard Stallman


RICHARD STALLMAN started the Free software movement in 1983. Open-source movements like the Free Software Foundation's General Public License inspired the Creative Commons' model. Richard Stallman was talking about his "copyleft" idea, which he called "a mirror image" of copyright.


The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) offers free public patent library database of patents donated to the open source community. The library is a catalogue of patents whose owners have agreed not to exert any control over the technologies as long as they are used to improve the open source community. The OSDL offers a clearinghouse for information about patents, where they came from, what they do, and under what conditions they can be used. The site should free open source developers from much of the uncertainty they have when using patented technologies in their development efforts.


Just what is GPL - A Contract? A Copyright? Both?
Software licenses are generally considered to be contracts. A copyright, meanwhile, is not a contract. Instead, it avails the creator of intellectual property of the protection of copyright law, which is limited to the life of the author plus 70 years.


UCITA Background information on is available at the ALA Washington Office website. If you have any questions, concerns or would like further information on UCITA, contact Miriam Nisbet UCITA, the ``Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act,'' is the technology industry's version of Dracula. It's designed to suck money from overmatched consumers, and it keeps emerging from the coffin.

JOIN AFFECT, Americans for Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions, is a broad-based national coalition of industry leaders, libraries and consumer organizations dedicated to educating the public and policy makers about the dangers of UCITA, the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act

Sun Microsystems announced plans for an open-source, royalty-free digital rights management (DRM) standard, called the Open Media Commons, to address the increasing number of incompatible download schemes. Through the open-source Common Development and Distribution License, Sun is releasing the code from its Project DReaM (DRM/everywhere available) program. The company is encouraging digital rights holders and device makers to join it in this initiative. There are also other companies and groups making similar efforts.



DMCA Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Lawsuit

P2P = PEER TO PEER Companies and programs:

ShareSniffer peer-to-peer file sharing
Article The site encourages netizens to rummage through strangers' music files, digital movies, Microsoft Word documents and spreadsheets on"random, unprotected hard drives on the Internet.Company motto "because it's there".
Flycode and OpenCola are developing file sharing programs.
BearShare built around Gnutella, Entropia, Popular Power and United Devices are building distributed computing services, which propose to use thousands of Internet-connected computers to process large computational problems.

KaZaA is a media community, where millions community members can share their media files audio, video, images and documents - with each other. You can search for and download media files with any of three products -, KaZaA Media Desktop and the new KaZaA Winamp Plug-in. One of the main differences between KaZaA and other peer-to-peer networks is that KaZaA is built on standardised p2p technology from FastTrack.

Limewire - Pays the artist!!
A product of Lime Wire, LLC, LimeWire is compatible with the Gnutella file-sharing protocol and can connect with anyone else running Gnutella-compatible software.
RIAA sues LimeWire people using it seeking $150,000 in compensation for every song distributed without permission.

Ian Clarke, a 23-year-old Irish programmer,
is finishing a program that he says will make it impossible to control the traffic in any kind of digital information -- whether it is music, video, text or software. His program, known as Freenet, is intended to make it possible to acquire or exchange such material anonymously while frustrating any attempt to remove the information from the Internet or determine its source. Mr. Clarke and his group of programmers have deliberately set themselves on a collision course with the world's copyright laws. They express the hope that the clash over copyright enforcement in cyberspace will produce a world in which all information is freely shared. In any case, the new programs could change the basic terms of the discussion about intellectual property.

Aimed more at keeping information and communications out of corporate hands rather than away from prying governments.
"The threat comes from companies," lead Cryptobox developer Nick Bobic wrote in an e-mail interview. "Everyone's Web browsing habits will be under a microscope, and all of that information could end up for sale."


Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Lawsuit makes it illegal to discuss or provide technology that might be used to bypass industry controls limiting how consumers can use music they have purchased. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) Foundation threatened litigation against Felten, his research team, and the relevant universities and conference organizers.

Sony BMG - Do you trust the business sense of people who PERPETRATED the rootkit debacle? FIRST they diverged from the CD standard. Not realizing that standardization insured the success of the format. Not looking back at corporate history and seeing that the non-standard Betamax ultimately failed. THEN, they altered operating systems. Which is akin to identity theft in the world of tech. And what's worse, they had no idea they were doing this. They just trusted their tech partner in the U.K. It's not the public that's ripping off the labels, it's the labels that are ripping off the public. After the class action suit Andy Lack and Mitch Bainwol need to go to jail. Story ~ Bob Lefsetz

is a program that cracks the code designed to protect the content on DVDs from being copied -- for either legal or illicit uses, the court case, censorship, issues etc. are all spelled out here - Find Everything!!

The Coalition is committed to "striking an appropriate balance in law and public policy between protecting intellectual property and affording public access to it." More

will be the home to a wide range of anonymity services and is meant to guarantee freedom of speech and anonymity on the Internet while abolishing online censorship.

Freshmeat A leading Linux software and news Web site.

Incorporated is a nonprofit organization providing resources for the development, support, and education needs of openly developed software.

EliteTorrents site shut down by FBI and Homeland Security -The MPAA has managed to shut down at least five BitTorrent networks through lawsuits and has also sued individuals who use them.

ALSO SEE This 121-page report on "How to secure Software Defined Radios",written to help the FCC decide how to handle software radios, is very slanted toward monopoly-industry viewpoints. The whole focus is on giving the system operator lots of flexibility to do whatever they want, while giving customers, experimenters, competitors, and citizens zero flexibility or opportunity. They managed to suppress the few pages of actual information about the paucity of any actual threat to public safety (see last paragraph of this review).