Big Tech Offers Financial Aid, More to Help During Pandemic

Tech companies are stepping up to offer much-needed resources and financial support during the global coronavirus pandemic. TikTok recently announced three funds with plans to provide $250 million for COVID-19 relief efforts in addition to $125 million in advertising credits for health organizations and small businesses. Apple and Google have joined forces to introduce contact-tracing apps for COVID-19, while both tech giants are using a number of their apps and services to help share valuable information with the public and assist with relief efforts. Other tech companies are also offering financial help, donating medical supplies and leveraging their popularity and services to provide support. Continue reading Big Tech Offers Financial Aid, More to Help During Pandemic

Tech Players Join Forces, Provide IP for COVID-19 Research

Intel, Mozilla and Creative Commons have joined the Open COVID Pledge, a consortium of organizations, scientists and legal experts vowing to make intellectual property available to fight the coronavirus. They have agreed to provide free licenses to patents, copyrights and other IP to anyone working on technologies to diagnose, prevent or treat COVID-19. “IP … is the engine to help the globe out of the coronavirus pandemic,” states the Pledge. The end date is a year after the World Health Organization declares the pandemic over. Continue reading Tech Players Join Forces, Provide IP for COVID-19 Research

Creative Commons Intros Search Engine with 300M Images

After more than two years of beta testing, the nonprofit organization Creative Commons publicly launched its search engine, which includes more than 300 million images indexed — a huge jump from the 9.5 million images that were available at beta launch. The engine aims to provide an easy way for users to search the organization’s archive of free content, available in the public domain to use under Creative Commons licenses. Since its beta, the engine has been updated with a redesign and faster, more relevant search functionality.

Continue reading Creative Commons Intros Search Engine with 300M Images

Monetizing Remixes Is Now Possible With the BlockTune App

BlockTune, a remix monetization app from Common Edits, was the big winner at Sunday’s Entertainment App Challenge held during the AT&T SHAPE conference at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles. BlockTune has both a simple and an advanced UI for sampling music and creating remixes that can be shared with others. The key feature that won over both the judges and the audience is BlockTune’s ability to track the use of samples on a moment-by-moment basis and determine what portion of ad revenue should go to the source artists and the person who created the remix while the music is streaming. Continue reading Monetizing Remixes Is Now Possible With the BlockTune App

Pirate Bay Documentary Filmmaker on Politics of File-Sharing

Filmmaker Simon Klose released his documentary on the founders of The Pirate Bay last week. “TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard” follows the founders over a four year period of time, through their ongoing legal struggles, technical issues and battles with large corporations. In an interview with The Verge, Klose shares his thoughts about online piracy, file-sharing, Kim Dotcom, politics and international copyright laws. Continue reading Pirate Bay Documentary Filmmaker on Politics of File-Sharing

Expanding Video Library Available for Legal Remixing through YouTube Editor

Google-owned YouTube announced last week that its YouTube Video Editor now features access to more than 10,000 Creative Commons-licensed videos, including clips from partners such as C-SPAN, Voice of America, and Al-Jazeera. “It’s as if all the Creative Commons videos were part of your personal library,” explained product manager Jason Toff.

According to the YouTube Blog announcement: “As part of the launch of Creative Commons licensing on YouTube, you’ll also be able to mark any or all of your videos with the Creative Commons CC-BY 3.0 license that lets others share and remix your work, so long as they give you credit.”

Creative Commons is “a nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing and innovation.” It was co-founded by Harvard professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig. The Creative Commons licensing process will provide YouTube users with a simple mechanism for legally integrating existing video content into remixes, mashups, music videos and more. TIME reports that the CC-BY 3.0 license “allows for sharing, remixing/adapting and commercial use of the original, as long as the original author is credited.”

CC-BY also allows for commercial reuse, which will not only benefit YouTube and its producers, but in the long run should have an impact on Creative Commons as well. GigaOM reports: “The organization has gotten a lot of traction amongst photographers ever since Flickr added a Creative Commons licensing options as part of its uploading process. Recent Flickr data reveals the site is now hosting close to 190 million Creative Commons-licensed photos. Its licenses haven’t been nearly as popular in the video space, where it has only been adopted by smaller hosting sites and select individual publishers. YouTube’s sheer magnitude could help to make Creative Commons mainstream for video as well.”

Related Wired article: “Google Rolls Out YouTube Creative Commons Licenses” (6/2/11)

Related TIME article: “YouTube Adds Creative Commons to Clips, Allows Legal Remixing” (6/3/11)

Related YouTube Blog post: “YouTube and Creative Commons: raising the bar on user creativity” (6/2/11)

Related Wall Street Journal article: “YouTube’s Payouts to Channel Partners Come With Strings” (6/3/11)