These are my notes from a presentation by Jamey Osborne at TCEA 2007.

Jamey is with the Ysleta ISD Instructional Technology Dept in El Paso (josborne [at] yisd [dot] net)
– he is an ADE and Adobe lead teacher


Lots of people here have attended sessions on copyright at this conference

I have a radio show and work with independent artists on promoting their music to a skeptical public
– I have realized there is more music being created at this time in history than at any other time in human history
– contrast that with this: how many songs are in the average radio station’s playlist? Answer: they can fit on an iPod with room to spare
– if this is the time that has the most music creation in history, why don’t we hear it? Lots of reasons, and the answer would be a digression…

Next thought: How many work with students in the creation of multimedia products
– single biggest concern with student-created work? COPYRIGHT
– this is a daunting issue for many teachers

Two weeks ago at TCEA, great presentation by Gary Becker about copyright (that can be downloaded from the conference connections website on

Gary talks about all the things that ARE fair use and all those things that ARE NOT
– it is a daunting challenge to understand all that
– figuring out what teachers and students can or cannot legally do in a classroom

Why must your students use Metallica in their projects?
– they (Metallica) don’t want other people to reuse their musc
– there are thousands of artists who, however

1- why don’t you use artists that WANT you to use their music in your projects?
2- how can you find those artists and their music?

CC created in 2001 by noteable attorneys and powerful thinkers
– Lawrence Lessig is IP attorney

Creative Commons is a way to supplement copyright for content creators to pre-authorize your use of their work as long as certain conditions are met

I really enjoy debating, talking and discussing these issues

I want to share a 3 minute video with you from the CC website
– it explains what this concept is all about

Creative Commons website:

There are 2 audiences here
1- content creators: your students, you, a musician or artist who creates content
— automatically the second the creator lifts the pen from the paper they have a
— CC lays a layer of pre-authorization over the copyright, I don’t give up my copyright
— what I say is that you’re free to use my work, provided you follow one or more of three different conditions
— it is a free process
2- content users

Another video that came out in 2002 “Get Creative” has more detail and is longer
– is a tad more informative, the one we say is a bit shorter

CC licenses allow you to control 3 things
1- the attribution of your work (giving you credit)
2- require that the reuse noncommercial
3- prohibit derivative works

You just have to answer 4 questions to select a license

1- Allow commercial uses of your work? (more info )

2- Allow modifications of your work? (more info )
Yes, as long as others share alike (more info )

3- Jurisdiction of your license (more info )

4- Tell us the format of your work:

You can put the CC license on

“I am not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV”

Now: OK we have all that stuff out there, so how do I plug into that network?
– on CC website, look for the link EXPLORE (for audio, video, images, text, education, and software)

Why would artists choose CC licenses?
– everyone has heard about the RIAA, lawsuits against file sharers

For every band whining and suing over file sharing, there are 1000 bands sharing their files who WANT others
– MySpace began as a music collective site to connect bands with fans
– became famous for letting users download music from bands and discover other bands via the friends link

I like contemporary instrumental music
– that is what my radio program is about

One legend in the genre is Ottmar Liebert, a guitarist from Santa Fe, New Mexico
great quotation from Ottmar:

I feel that artists create not only in order to experience the process of creation itself, but also for the ripples. I find that the act of creating is like throwing a pebble into a still lake to watch the ripples. Being able to share my work via a CC license enables me to experience more ripples. Sometimes the ripples can inspire more work in me.

Omar feels that remixing is OK
– teens call it mashing and other things
– Omar says not only do I want you to use my music for that, I give you permission up front to do that
– does that detract from his CD sales? Many people purchase CDs

There are entire sites dedicated to helping people legally download music like
– that doesn’t mean you can use all that music in your students’ projects, however

Ottmar’s music is licensed under the “Sampling Plus 1.0” CC license

There are entire music labels that “get this”
– a standard record label like Sony BMI, etc
– philosophy is when you try before you buy, people usually do buy
– they want their music to be heard
– they are smart about the way they license their music


Lots of feature articles on these artists has a vast treasure trove of open source movies
– the entire BBC documentary library (every single one that BBS has made: for free to use, and you don’t have to pay UnitedStreaming!)

Search engine on CC simultaneously searches Google, Flickr, Yahoo,, and OWL music search

CC Education resources includes lots from MIT’s open courseware
– lots of focus now on higher education
– will find lots of education-friendly content

Specialty websites like Science Commons
– related to the human genome project, which is happening on the web as a global collaboration
– becomes a place for scientists to work with each other’s data
– one goal is to accelerate the research process and cycle, because content has been pre-licensed for re-use

Another great site to share with your kids
– when Jamey showed his teenager ccMixter, it was transformative
– home for college over Christmas, he already knew what to do once you got loops
– when I got up the next morning, my son was still on the computer, had already made 3 songs and was on his 4th
– they have a speed contest periodically, and they give you an hour to down the loops, make something and upload it within an hour
– kids will do this all day long and LOVE it
– this site is not for you, it is for your teenagers!

There is a big remix contest now on CCMixter

So here’s the question: why not let THAT type of music drive your multimedia projects?
– that is infinitely better than your students using copyrighted music
– this is a way to help drive students’ creativity

The Free Sound Project
– public domain sound effects
– if you need a sound effect, you don’t need to pay for it
– if you don’t find what you need, record your own and then upload and share it

On MySpace, often kids are listening to other bands all the time
– some kids find their is a certain status in discovering bands before your friends do
– if you can share that band with your friends first, you rise in status
– now kids can find the music they are already interested in, but it is pre-licensed for reuse in their multimedia projects

It is just that easy!

Flickr is the one website
– individual flickr sites are not blocked in our district, but the flickr homepage is
– ask that the creative commons Flickr search page be unblocked in your district

radio used to be the gatekeeper by which people entered the music industry
– now with the internet, that is no longer true
– artists share their music on or

When you don’t see a CC logo, it is best to ask
– about 75% of the artists Jamey asks to use their music on his podcast show give him permission

Read the Creative Commons blog is Jamey’s blog

this entire way of thinking about intellectual property is NEW
– lots of people are thinking this way, you just don’t hear about them much in the mainstream media

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3 Responses to Creative Commons: Escape the hassles of copyright infringement

  1. Geoff Sheehy says:

    Irony of life, of course – I clicked on your hyperlink to the Flickr creative commons search page (wondering if it was this one) and was greeted by two very scantily clad women. Oh well.

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    The link you included isn’t one I put into my notes Geoff– The only CC Search link I included here on this post was:

    The main Flickr CC search page I know about and have linked elsewhere is:

    I suppose it is possible that an image of scantily clad women could be included there, but I haven’t ever seen something like that on the homepage. Did you see that when you did a keyword search? Sorry you had that experience if that was unexpected. My experiences with Flickr CC images have been very positive, in that the search results have been very relevant and appropriate to my search terms thanks to user tagging.

  3. JameyO says:

    Unfortunately, anybody can put a CC tag onto their images. I saw the images you refer to, Geoff and that’s just part of the equation, I’m afraid. Not every CC-licensed image is going to be suitable for the classroom.

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