Aug 312016
Defending Noncommercial Uses: Great Minds v Fedex Office

[Diane Peters and Michael Carroll] Creative Commons has requested permission to file an amicus brief in litigation between Great Minds and FedEx Office and Print Services, Inc. At the center of the litigation is the proper interpretation of the CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 license, known as BY-NC-SA… While we rarely file amicus briefs, we feel strongly that the correct interpretation of the legal code here is essential to the utility of the NC licenses for both licensors and licensees.

Apr 152016
Court Correctly Interprets Creative Commons Licenses

[Cross posted from Carrollogos] Are Creative Commons licenses enforceable in court?  Yes. In an important decision titled Drauglis v. Kappa Map Group, LLC, 128 F. Supp.3d 46 (D.D.C. 2015), Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has issued a decision that: confirms the enforceability of Creative Commons licenses under U.S. copyright law; interprets the attribution requirement in the licenses to have the flexibility that is consistent with the licenses’ language and intent; holds that incorporating a photo into the cover of a road atlas creates a collective work rather than derivative work READ MORE

Mar 012016
CC-USA Participates in Hill Briefing "Understanding Open Educational Resources"

Creative Commons United States’ Professor Michael Carroll participated today in a briefing at the Rayburn House Office Building on “Understanding Open Educational Resources and Student Learning” (agenda here). The briefing covered the legal background of what open educational resources are and how they work; how OER can save money for college students; and pathways for states and districts to implement OER in the K12-setting.

Dec 092015
CC USA Comments to the Office of Management and Budget on <i>Managing Information as a Strategic Resource</i>

Creative Commons USA has submitted a comment to the White House Office of Management and Budget for its review of rules on the management of the government’s information resources. The comment centers around two principles: “1) that information policy needs to deal with terms of use in addition to the terms of access, and 2) that publicly funded information resources should be made openly available for public use, not just public access.”

Nov 022015
U.S. Department of Education #GoOpen Campaign to Expand Openly Licensed Educational Resources

On Thursday, October 29, 2015 the U.S. Department of Education announced the #GoOpen campaign, which it defined as a major commitment to “significantly expand and accelerate the creation, curation, use, and sharing of openly licensed educational resources in our schools.” To further promote OER, the Department is proposing a regulation that would “require all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department grant funds to have an open license.”

Oct 262015
Making Open Education History In Mexico at the 2015 Open Government Partnership Meeting

In Mexico City next week at the bi-annual global summit of the Open Government Partnership (the OGP), I will have the privilege and honor of joining representatives from the U.S. Department of State in an open panel discussion designed to encourage formal, government-to-government collaboration in the creation, use, and continuous improvement of free, high-quality open educational resources (OER).

Oct 132015
Supporting User Rights for Mass Digitization of Culture

[Timothy Vollmer] A few months ago the United States Copyright Office issued a request for comments on an extended collective licensing (ECL) pilot program they are considering for mass digitization projects. The Office thinks that such a program would permit greater access to cultural works by allowing institutions to engage in mass digitization and then licence those digital collections for a fee. Creative Commons and Creative Commons USA submitted comments to the Copyright Office in coordination with Wikimedia and Internet Archive.

Sep 152015
What's Happening in Williamsfield?  A CC-USA FAQ on Open Educational Resources

The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, visited the Williamsfield Community School District in Illinois on September 15, 2015 to highlight the District’s use of Open Educational Resources as a means of improving the quality of its instructional materials while also saving public funds. Here’s a CC-USA FAQ on Open Educational Resources and copyright licenses.

Aug 102015
Over 100 Organizations Ask President to Ensure Federally Funded Educational Resources Are Made Freely Available Under Open Licenses

Creative Commons USA and over 100 other groups have sent a letter to President Obama urging a policy to ensure that “educational materials created with federal funds… are made available to the public as Open Educational Resources to freely use, share, and build upon” through the use of open licenses.

Mar 122015
Creative Commons Licenses Opening Access to Education in Sub-Saharan Africa and India

Today, I had the privilege of speaking on a panel at the Comparative and International Education Society’s Annual Conference with representatives of two open education projects that depend on Creative Commons licenses to do their work. One is the OER publisher Siyavula, based in Cape Town, South Africa… The other are the related teacher education projects, TESSA, and TESS-India, which use the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license on teacher training materials.

TAACCCT Standout Vignettes

 Posted by on March 11, 2015
Mar 112015
TAACCCT Standout Vignettes

Starting with the first round of grants in 2011 Creative Commons and a team of partners have been actively supporting US Department of Labor (DOL), Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grantees. This multi-year, nearly $2 billion grant program provides funds to US community colleges who in partnership with industry, employers, and public workforce systems create stackable/latticed credentials that can be completed in two years or less.

Mar 112015
White House OSTP Post for Open Education Week 2015

Sara Trettin and Dipayan Ghosh from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy have posted a blog for Open Education Week. It highlights administration efforts to increase the creation of open access learning materials, though initiatives such as U.S. Open Government Partnership National Action Plan and programs such as the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Training Grant Program

Feb 262015
CCUSA Statement Supporting Open Educational Resources Amendment to H.R. 5 Offered by Rep. Polis

This week, the House Rules Committee agreed to allow the full House to consider an Open Education amendment proposed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO). The amendment would permit funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (H.R.5) to be used for “Awarding grants for the creation and distribution of open access textbooks and open educational resources.”

Nov 252014
Lane Fischer Presents Study on the Impact of Open Textbooks on Learning Outcomes at OpenEd14

At last week’s Open Education Conference, Lane Fischer presented the results of a study he conducted with Jared Robinson, John Hilton and David Wiley on “the impact of open textbook adaptation on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students.” The authors analyzed data on 16727 community college students. 4,909 students were in the “treatment” group that used open textbooks, and 11,818 were in the control group.

Nov 212014
CCUSA Statement Supporting Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's New Open Access Policy

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced an Open Access Policy to grant “unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded, in whole or in part, by the foundation, including any underlying data sets.” Under the policy, “all publications shall be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License (CC-BY 4.0) or an equivalent license.”

Nov 212014
Hal Plotkin Named as First Senior Open Policy Fellow at Creative Commons USA

For More Information Please Contact: Meredith Jacob

Creative Commons USA is pleased to announce that longtime open education advocate Hal Plotkin has accepted a position as our first Senior Open Policy Fellow. Plotkin served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary, from 2009 to 2014.

Oct 022014
Department of Education Announces "First In the World" Grants to Create Openly Licensed Learning Materials

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education announced the awarding of $75 million in educational grants to 24 universities through its First in the World (FITW) program. FITW provides “grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes and make college more affordable for students and families, and to develop an evidence base of effective practices.” The FITW program includes the requirement that any works created with its funds be made available under an open license.

Oct 012014
Labor Secretary Perez Calls TAACCCT Open License Requirements "Indispensable"

On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez jointly announced the most recent winners of grants through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program. This initiative funds community colleges and other educational institutions to expand and create education and career training programs, and all new resources are required to be made available under Creative Commons licenses.

Sep 262014
President Obama Commits to Promote Open Educational Resources

This week, President Obama spoke at the United Nations Open Government Partnership, where he described his Administration’s efforts to “open up government data to fuel entrepreneurship and economic growth, modernize our Freedom of Information Act with input from experts, and harness American ingenuity to solve important problems.” During his speech he made a new commitment to “promote open educational resources to help teachers and students everywhere.”

Jul 242014
Letter to Department of Education on Open Educational Resources As a Priority for Its Discretionary Grant Programs

Today, Creative Commons and Creative Commons U.S.A. are sending a letter to Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan supporting the Department of Education’s (DOE) adoption of the Hewlett Foundation’s definition of Open Educational Resources, and asking the Department to require open licenses for works funded by its grants. The full letter is available here. An excerpt follows:

Jul 212014
Why the Open Internet Matters for Creative Commons Users and the Public

Last week, Creative-Commons U.S.A. submitted a comment to the Federal Communications Commission on Net Neutrality. The full comments, by Michael Carroll and Meredith Jacob, are available here as a PDF. | Excerpt: Creative Commons users in the United States deserve to have the content they create be available over the Internet on the same basis and at the same data rates as content owned or controlled by large commercial interests with the ability to negotiate special terms of Internet access.

Jul 152014
CCUSA Public Lead Michael Carroll's Congressional Testimony on “Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term”

Michael Carroll will testify today at 1:00 before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on the topic “Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term.” The full witness list for the hearing is available here. Michael Carroll’s prepared statement (PDF) follows:

Jul 032014
Introducing <em>Trademark Law: An Open-Source Casebook</em>

[Post by Professor Barton Beebe] I’ve posted online at my new casebook, Trademark Law: An Open-Source Casebook. The book, provided in .pdf and .doc formats, is and will always be available under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. No price, no suggested price. Feel free to adapt all or any of it (under the terms of the CC license).

Jun 242014
The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

On Friday, THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: The Story of Aaron Swartz, opens at Washington’s West End Cinema, located at 23rd St, NW. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people READ MORE

Launch of the Open Policy Network

 Posted by on May 19, 2014
May 192014
Launch of the Open Policy Network

[Timothy Vollmer] Today we’re excited to announce the launch of the Open Policy Network. The Open Policy Network, or OPN for short, is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to support the creation, adoption, and implementation of policies that require that publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources. The website of the Open Policy Network is

Mar 182014
Professor Spends Sabbatical Building “50 Wise Speakers” Open Videos

[Cable Green] I recently interviewed Dr. Phil Venditti, professor of communication studies at Clover Park Technical College in Washington State (USA). Phil teaches public speaking and other oral and written communication courses. In 2010 Phil learned about the Open Course Library project and became an enthusiastic adherent. Phil developed two courses in the Open Course Library, wrote a textbook which he licensed CC BY, and has since saved his students roughly $60,000 by using open educational resources (OER).

Mar 142014
Open Educational Resources Expand Access to Higher Education in the United States

[Michael Carroll] As we come to the close of Open Education Week, it is now time for these leaders to focus attention, energy and resources on the most immediate opportunity to make progress toward these goals while also freeing up billions of dollars that can be redirected toward this progress. Make textbooks available to students for free or at very low marginal cost.

Mar 122014
CCUSA Statement on the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act

[Michael Carroll] Two bills in Congress share a basic understanding that the unclassified research articles and data that arise from federal funding should be made available over the public Internet at some point after the articles have been published. However, these two bills have sharply divergent approaches to how this basic goal should be achieved.

Mar 102014
Tidewater Community College Associate Degree Using All OER Curriculum - Results After One Year

Today, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition organized a Congressional briefing on Open Educational Resources (OER) for Open Education Week. One speaker, Daniel DeMarte, described the experience that Tidewater Community College has had in rolling out it’s “Z-Degree” – an associate’s degree in business administration that uses a curriculum composed of entirely of OER.

Jan 202014
Congress passes spending bill requiring free access to publicly funded research

Both the U.S. House of Representative and Senate have passed the 2014 omnibus appropriations legislation (2.9 MB PDF). President Obama is expected to sign the bill shortly. What’s so special about this legislation? Federal agencies with research budgets of at least $100 million per year will be required provide the public with free online access to scholarly articles generated with federal funds no later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Jan 172014
Copyright Week: Five Reasons Fair Use Best Practices Are Changing the World

Copyright Week is the perfect occasion to celebrate fair use, certainly the most dynamic and arguably the most important doctrine in copyright law. The last 15 or 20 years have seen a remarkable series of developments that make fair use, now more than ever, the most vital protection of the public interest in the Copyright Act. For Copyright Week, we wanted to highlight a part of the fair use landscape that, perhaps more than any other, puts fair use in the hands of practitioners who need it most: the Fair Use Best Practices movement.

Jan 162014
Copyright Week: The Globalization of Fair Use

Much of what we hear about the globalization of copyright law around the world does not favor users. The dominant trend of lengthening terms, increasing criminalization and “deterrent” penalties and expanding third party liability has the intent and effect of privatizing more and more of the public domain. But one trend moves in the opposite the direction – the recent shift toward a global expansion of fair use.

Jan 142014
Copyright Week: The Digital Public Domain

[Cross posted from Carrollogos] Whatever one thinks about the rest of the Google Book business, I think it’s important to focus on the digitization of public domain books by both Google and the Open Content Alliance and to use these efforts as the basis for conceiving of the Digital Public Domain as a more robust version of the traditional public domain. Here’s the gist of the argument:

Jan 132014
Copyright Week: WIPO Treaty for the Blind Shows that Transparency Can Work (and is Necessary)

Last summer the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) finalized negotiations for the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. The treaty was negotiated through a far more open, transparent process than current and recent plurilateral trade negotiations involving the U.S. government (ACTA, TPP, TTIP).

Nov 262013
CC’s Next Generation Licenses — Welcome Version 4.0!

[From Diane Peters, General Counsel, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] We proudly introduce our 4.0 licenses, now available for adoption worldwide. The 4.0 licenses — more than two years in the making — are the most global, legally robust licenses produced by CC to date. We have incorporated dozens of improvements that make sharing and reusing CC-licensed materials easier and more dependable than ever before… Thank you and congratulations to everyone who participated in making 4.0 a reality!

Nov 202013
Statement by CCUSA Director Michael Carroll on the Introduction of the Affordable College Textbook Act in the House

Yesterday, Representatives Hinojosa and Miller introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act. The text mirrors that of the Senate bill introduced last week by Senators Durbin and Franken. Creative Commons USA Director Michael Carroll issued the following statement: “Representatives Hinojosa and Miller have made an important statement about how to reduce cost and increase access to high quality textbooks in higher education. …”

Nov 142013
Creative Commons USA Applauds the Introduction of the Affordable College Textbook Act

Senators Dick Durbin and Al Franken today introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act, which directs the Secretary of Education to fund the creation of college textbooks and materials to be made available under open licenses. The licenses will allow students and educators to “access, reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, adapt, distribute, and otherwise use the work and adaptations of the work for any purpose, conditioned only on the requirement that attribution be given to authors as designated.”

Aug 082013
What Is Creative Commons, and Why Is There a U.S. Affiliate?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that designs user-friendly copyright licenses which provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work. Its license are used by authors, artists, and other creators worldwide. Creative Commons Affiliates are volunteer organizations based in numerous countries that apply support and promote CC activities in their jurisdiction. These teams have a wide range of responsibilities, including public outreach, community building, fielding inquiries, conducting research, and in general, promoting sharing and our mission. READ MORE