Thursday, December 21, 2006

We Need You!

The annual fundraising drive for Creative Commons is in its final days. Progress has been good, but we need a final push to make our goal. If you're looking for last-minute holiday gifts, there are some nice shirts and swag in the store.

This has been a big year for the commons, and there's more exciting news expected in the new year. For those who have already shown their support, thank you!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fencing Mozart In

A good news story for some classical music fans. A bad news story for champions of copyright's public domain. Digital copies of Mozart's scores are now "freely" available here. These works are in the public domain for copyright purposes, which means you are free to copy them without restriction.

However, the International Mozarteum Foundation, which has provided this service, has imposed a click-through agreement requiring visitors to agree to limit their use of the public domain to personal and fair use copies.

Digitizing copyright's public domain is to be applauded. Locking it behind contractual fences is not. There are other and better cost recovery models for this kind of transitional effort.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Open Systems

Two important pieces from the traditional press are worth noting.

First, Sir John Sulston, a Nobel laureate who serves on the Science Commons Advisory Board, has written a persuasive editorial in the Financial Times about the connection between openness and informational justice.

Second, Clive Thompson has a nice piece in the New York Times magazine about the adoption of open systems within the U.S. intelligence community.

Both demonstrate the importance of developing what we might call a "network consciousness". By this I mean an awareness of our own role as nodes in a host of overlapping social and material networks and an awareness of the potential and pitfalls of open systems.