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2013-06-01

Thank You, @evan and identi.ca!

Soon identi.ca will convert to pump.io. At this moment of transition, I want to thank @evan for creating the software powering identi.ca, and for running the site for the last 5 years. I joined identi.ca in October 2008 (thanks, Jon!). Soon I realize the people on identi.ca is an amazing bunch. I learn a lot from them, and hope I have been useful to some in some way. In identi.ca I have been learning to express myself digitally, and I thank @evan and the identi.ca community for that.

Taiwanese of my generation are almost uniformally bad at communicating to others. We were brought up in an authoritative regime; the martial law in Taiwan was lifted only after I graduated from the university. Many of us were taught to keep our mouths tight when we were young. Even after growing up, I still do not communicate that much, even and in particular to family members and close friends. There was a time when speaking too much to strangers would surely get you into trouble. I knew that personally. When the time has changed, my generation still do not speak well, and do not speak much.

It is within this context I started to experience identi.ca as a public media for personal expression. I like the way people have conversations in the open. I am fascinated by the broad knowledge and the pointed views in this community. I like I can speak to myself and to an unknown audience at the same time. And I read the many signals and enjoy their ambiguities.

This has been an incredible experience. Thank you, @evan and identi.ca!

2013-03-15

Free Bassel 釋放巴賽

Bassel Khartabil was detained in Syria on March 15, 2012. He remains not free to this day. Before his detention I met him twice at international conferences, and I immediately recognized him as a colleague and as an ally.

If he is a stranger to you, I encourage you to learn more about him. His website bassel.ws has been offline but a snapshot was taken by the Internet Archive on Jan 6, 2012. His works are about Art, Commons, Movies, Web, and Free Culture — that is how he categorized his posts on his blog. It is truly sad that a person who is working to help ideas and information flow freely is himself imprisoned apparently for no reason.

This is injustice to him and to all who work like him. Bassel must be freed, so will we.

More about Bassel at Amnesty International (Taiwan).
Photos about Amnesty International Taiwan's Syria Urgent Action on freeing Bassel last October.

Please sign the letter at freebassel.org.

Free Bassel!! & Free Syria!! (Drawing by Candy Bird TW) 釋放巴賽!!敘利亞要自由!!(本畫作者:Candy Bird TW)
Free Bassel!! & Free Syria!! (Drawing by Candy Bird TW).
釋放巴賽!!敘利亞要自由!!(本畫作者: Candy Bird TW)。

釋放巴賽

「巴賽.卡爾塔畢」(Bassel Khartabil)在2012年3月15日那一天在敘利亞遭受羈押。直到今天他還未獲得自由。他被羈押之前,兩次在國際會議上我見過他,我馬上認得他是同一行也是同一夥的。

如果他對你來說是個陌生人,我鼓勵你多認識他。他的網站 bassel.ws 已經連不上線,不過「網際網路典藏組織」(Internet Archive)留存了一份這網站在2012年1月6日當時的面貌。他的工作包括藝術、資源共享、電影、全球資訊網、以及自由文化——部落格上他的文章,他是這樣分類的。致力於理念與資訊的自由流動的工作者,自己卻沒有緣由地身陷牢獄,這讓人十分悲傷。

這對他不公,對所有像他一樣工作的人,更是不平。巴賽必須得到自由,而我們也得自由。

國際特赦組織台灣分會)網站上關於巴賽的資訊。
國際特赦組織台灣分會去年十月為援救巴賽所舉行的「敘利亞緊急行動」的活動紀錄

請上網站 freebassel.org 簽署聲援信。

2011-11-02

CC Taiwan Visited CC China Mainland

We regret this entry is not available in English.


就在10月31日週一,趁著到北京出席國際會議的機會,台灣創用CC計畫(CC Taiwan)主持人莊庭瑞拜訪了知識共享中國大陸項目(CC China Mainland)負責人、中國人民大學法學院王春燕教授,並參與了由王春燕教授主持的「CC沙龍之網絡資訊與共享文化」活動。這項活動安排在週一下午3:30到5:30於北京謀智網絡技術有限公司(Mozilla Online)附設的謀智空間舉行。

於這項活動中,清華大學工業工程系教授顧學雍教授介紹了創客聯盟(toyhouse.cc),王盛林與肖文鵬兩位先生介紹了創客空間(BEIJING MAXPACE)。兩者都推展講究動手作、協力開發的實體與網絡空間(hacker/maker space)。劉丹先生以「開放與童稚」為題,講述 Open Party 這項由北京多個技術社群共同舉辦的 Unconference 型態的社交活動。中文維基百科活躍使用者鄒磊先生,以及科學松鼠會的鄭然先生,都以文稿編寫協作平台為例,說明創用CC授權這類公眾授權條款的必要性。莊庭瑞提出關於網絡資源(web resources)流通一些觀察,尤其在內容與社會網絡服務商集中化、整合化之後,對於公眾授權條款採用上的可能影響。莊庭瑞也介紹幾項個人喜好的台灣計畫:自由軟體鑄造場(openfoundry.org)EzGo9 自由軟體應用推廣光碟,以及 PeoPo 公民新聞平台(peopo.org)。這三項計畫都採用創用CC授權條款散布部份內容。

這項活動雖然預計到5:30結束,但是因為互動熱烈,進行到晚上7:00才結束。於活動開始之前,參與者也與北京謀智網絡的董事長暨執行長宮力博士交換意見;活動結束之前,謀智網絡的社區推廣經理張羽女士,也跟與會者分享了 Mozilla 基金會的 DrumbeatHackasaurus 等推廣專案。

這次能夠參與這項CC沙龍交流活動,我們特別感謝知識共享中國大陸項目負責人王春燕教授的邀請、以及項目經理朱捍東先生的安排(朱捍東先生所攝活動照片)。

CC Salon @ Mozilla Online (Beijing)
CC Salon @ Mozilla Online (Beijing).

註:本文先前已刊於台灣創用CC計畫網站

2011-09-26

第9屆兩岸三院信息技術與應用交流研討會(報告)

We regret this entry is not available in English.


中國科學院計算機網絡訊息中心、中國社會科學院計算機網絡中心、以及中央研究院計算中心自2002年起,每年皆籌辦資訊技術相關的交流研討會,輪流於中國大陸以及台灣舉行,由三個中心接續承辦。2002年由中國科學院計算機網絡訊息中心承辦首屆會議,於北京召開。除2003年因為SARS的緣故,未能如期舉辦之外,至今年已是第九次舉辦,算是輪過三回了。去年的「兩岸三院資訊技術交流與數位資共享研討會」,在台北舉行,由中央研究院計算中心承辦。今年的「第9屆兩岸三院信息技術與應用交流研討會」於2011年8月22-26日在中國長春舉行,由中國社會科學院計算機網絡中心承辦,中國吉林省社會科學院協辦。兩次我都參加了。本屆的會議中央研究院由近代史研究所特聘研究員,同時也是資訊科技創新研究中心的數位典藏內容與技術專題中心執行長陳永發先生領隊,共有23人與會,提報20篇論文。

研討會的日程安排如下:22日為開幕式、合影、三院主題報告(3篇報告)、大會報告(6篇報告);23日全日以及24日早上為雙軌議程,分別就「信息技術與應用」、「科研環境信息化建設」、「GIS與應用」、「信息社會」、「信息資源開發與信息管理」等主題報告。24日下午以及25、26兩日另安排有會議參訪行程。歷屆會議雖然由三院的計算中心主辦,但報告人並不限於三院的計算中心人員,與主題相關的三院各研究所、中心的多位研究(技術)人員也參與報告,有擴大交流的效果。這次會議中央研究院的報告題目與報告人,除有部份指定之外,還有部分是公開徵求而來,議題相當多樣。據說中國大陸方面也是部份採公開徵求方式。

這次報告的一些題目,個人覺得有一些探索、一些新意,算是相當開放。例如,「推動以實證為基礎的管理」、「網絡環境中的文學媒體化發展歷程探索」、「公部門資訊的自由取得與再次利用」、「信息技術對學術研究的倫理挑戰」、「基於制度經濟學的信息共享政策初探」、「維基百科的歷史與實踐」、「社會化的科研協作平台:從信息的組織到傳播」,這都是很有意思的題目,個人也得到一些收穫。不過我發現有一篇論文「互聯網對當下中國公共領域建設的影響」,雖然收錄在論文集裡,不知為何並未安排口頭報告,令人覺得可惜與納悶。對岸領導們的報告,多偏向政策宣告方式;會議開幕式時候,除三院領導(代表)人講話之外,中國吉林省委常委、省委宣傳部部長也在座講話。這對我個人來說,也算是新鮮事。這次會議,我認為在報告人的表現方面,年輕一輩的勝過領導階層(兩岸皆是);在報告的內容上,台灣方面一般說來比較踏實,中國大陸方面一般說來比較前瞻,不過都有例外情形。

這次的會議參訪行程,安排也是很有趣味。24日下午先是安排到「中國末代皇帝愛新覺羅・溥儀充當偽滿州國傀儡皇帝的行宮——偽滿皇宮」參觀;25、26兩日則安排到吉林省延邊朝鮮族自治州安圖縣的二道白河鎮,登長百山北坡看天池。延邊朝鮮族自治州的居民多為「朝鮮族」,使用韓語與漢語兩種語言,市鎮招牌也多是雙語。加上這屆會議的地點,選在1948年第二次國共內戰時,為期五個月、餓死60萬人「長春圍困戰」的所在,個人覺得也是有些意思。

過去在台灣舉行兩岸三院的交流會議時,三次地點都是在台北中央研究院,我相信對於來自對岸的同行,應該已是不感到新奇與吸引力。或許下一回由中央研究院計算中心承辦時,會議地點可以考慮換到台南市(明鄭王國與荷蘭交戰所在、希拉雅族原居地),參訪行程或許就安排到烏山頭水庫看一下八田與一的大壩工法,也安排去南投縣南仁愛鄉霧社事件所在地,賞櫻花並觀看《賽德克.巴萊》電影吧。

Dort shorts line-up.
長北山

註:摘自2011年9月繳交給中央研究院的出國報告表。

2011-09-17

CC's Role in the Global Commons Movement -- Some Thoughts

I had the pleasure of being on a panel with Leonhard Dobusch, Silke Helfrich, and Kat Walsh on "CC's Role in the Global Commons Movement", moderated by Mike Linksvayer, at the CC Global Summit 2011. I did something I had not done before: I prepared a script to read. Here it is.


I shall start by making a distinction between CC the organization and CC the licenses. I think this session is more about the role of Creative Commons the organization in the global commons movement. Of course, one cannot talk about CC the organization but not talking about the CC licenses. But I think it will be a useful exercise to discuss what CC the organization can still do, and shall do, when not talking about the CC licenses.

CC the organization has its vision in "realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture". But CC the licenses are just for copyrightable works, so I think there is a gap between what CC-licensed contents can enable people to do and what people can really do when there is universal access to knowledge and culture. I think CC shall move forward to providing universal access to knowledge and culture, and I think this is what the global commons movement is about. My point is that there are tasks CC the organization can do and shall do for this "universal access" vision in addition to the maintenance and promotion of the CC licenses.

There are three areas I would like to see CC the organization to work on. The first is about clear advocacy. The second is about content trusts. The third is about live data. Let me explain.

Clear advocacy

CC the organization shall make it clear that it opposes to actions that obstruct the universal access to knowledge and culture. In particular, when people abuse the CC licenses, CC shall make it clear that it does not approve of such abuse. For example, a big company is making deals with national libraries digitizing public domain books. And these libraries agree with that big company in imposing certain restrictions to access to the digitized books. Is such a trend aligned with CC's "universal access" vision or not? Another example, a company running a photo hosting site has offered to mark a person's uploaded photos as CC-licensed, but the site also offers to remove CC license information when the person wants to switch to an exclusive licensing deal arranged by the company with a third-party about his/her photos. Isn't this an abuse of the CC licenses?

As a comparison, one can look to the Free Software Foundation which not only provides the GNU General Public Licenses, but also makes timely commentaries about software freedom. They criticizes people and companies when they do things the wrong ways. They are not afraid of making enemies. (While Creative Commons seems to have many friends.) Shall CC the organization see itself as the equivalence of the Free Software Foundation in promoting the universal access to knowledge and culture, or not?

Content trusts

We like Wikipedia and the Internet Archive. Not only their contents and services are free, we can depend on the two non-profits to always provide them for free. These are "content trusts". They are managed content collections entrusted by the contributors and users so that contents in the collections will always be free. A CC-licensed work is a single object, made free by an action from an individual. A content trust, on the other hand, is maintained by a community of people with practices of sharing. CC shall work closer with existing content trusts to further advance these practices, which certainly go behind public licensing.

Here is just a thought. How about CC collaborating with "free photo" (as in "free software") community in forming a photo trust? This will help reduce the risk of CC license abuse I just mentioned which is occurring now. Further, if people establish this photo trust using CC-licensed photos from existing websites, the community also gets a very good exercise in forking (and freeing) content collections.

Live data

We all know data is big today. Big data drives big business, and access to data is essential for our understanding of the world and where we are now. Some of the most interesting data is continuously produced by we the people. But we do not get to use them. Social interaction data is being collected big time and in real time. This "collective social data", in my view, is a commons. But even CC0 or the Public Domain Mark do not adequately address issues relating to access to live data. Currently most usage of live data is dictated unilaterally by terms of service (ToS), and often there is not much of quality of service (QoS) to speak of.

So I think it is very important for CC to work with live or quasi-live data communities like the Open Street Map project to have a role in this new arena. Free access to and re-use of public sector information (PSI) is a similar area to look into, but I feel it is more urgent to learn from grassroots data communities about existing practices and emerging issues.

Let me conclude. I think CC the organization need to play a more active role. Make timely and clear position statements, help build content trusts, and keep up with live data issues, in my view, are three areas CC shall work on in order to have an important role in the global common movement.

If CC the organization only acts on maintaining and promoting the CC licenses but no much more, then one need to worry about people leaving the CC family as the organization may be seen as not working on important and emerging issues for its self-proclaimed vision. On the other hand, CC the organization has its great strength in its international network of jurisdiction project teams. These teams have been centering on the CC licenses. If CC the organization plays a more aggressive role in the commons movement, then one need to worry about what are the objectives and tasks to further align the actions of its global and diverse jurisdiction teams. These are difficult questions to ask oneself, nevertheless these questions shall now be asked.


Note (2011-10-03): The session has been captured in video by the fabulous CC Poland team. This picture may not have a thousand words, but in it surely I was giving a better speech (hint: you don't want to listen to my part in the video). Thanks, Mike!

2011-09-06

International Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives, and Museums Summit (Report)

The International Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives, and Museums Summit (LOD-LAM) was held in San Francisco on June 2-3, 2011. LOD-LAM was sponsored by the Internet Archive with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the US National Endowment of the Humanities (Office of Digital Humanities). Participation was by invitation only; ones would need to apply first in order to attend the meeting. About 100 people participated in the summit, but few of them were from outside of Northern America and Europe. I think there were one Japanese, one Korean, and one Taiwanese. Many organizations are represented at the meeting including the US Library of Congress, British Library, Newberry Library (Library), California Digital Library, Internet Archive (Archives), the Met, Powerhouse, and Smithsonian (Museums), as well as educational institutions (e.g., MIT) and other non-profits (e.g., Creative Commons). A list of the participants is available from the event website.

LOD-LAM utilized an Open Space Technology meeting format. At first the participants collaboratively created the agenda for break-out sessions, then they dispersed into parallel and focused discussions. In the first day, seven rooms were used and each one was used for three 1.5 hours sessions. That was 21 sessions. In the afternoon of the first day, there was a "dort shorts" session where each person could use two minutes to present his/her project. In the second day, the discussions continued in parallel, and the meeting ended in an "closing circle" where each participant said a few words about the meeting and/or the subject matter of LOD-LAM. The following images capture the session schedules and the dort shorts line-up.

Break-out sessions (the first day)
Break-out sessions (the first day).
Dort shorts line-up.
"Dort shorts" line-up.
Break-out sessions (the second day)
Break-out sessions (the second day).

Given the many discussions undergoing at the meeting, I can only report on a few in which I participated. Because of my interest in e-publication format and RDFa, I attended the "RDFa and ePUB 3" session. My feeling is that people are not sure about whether embedding RDFa (meta)data in ePUB (hyper)text will be taken up soon by major publishers. It depends on, I think, whether the authoring tools and rendering devices will both support RDFa. (See also this blog post by Eric Hellman.) In the "Users" session, people focus on how to empower users to use and contribute to linked open data (See also this mind-map referred to in Karen Cough's post.) In the "Rights Issues" session, the participants come up with a 4-star classification-scheme for linked open cultural metadata inspired, I think, by the 5-star rating system on linked data by Tim Berners-Lee.

Incidentally, on the first day of LOD-LAM, the big three search engines Bing, Google and Yahoo! announced schema.org, an ontology and microformat aims to better markup web contents for semantics-rich search. Duly on the second day of the meeting, LOD-LAM participants spent some time discussing this new development. People seem to worry about whether they would need to retrofit their existing web contents just to have them better indexed, and served out to users, by the search giants. Interoperability issues between RDFa standards and schema.org practices are of great concerns to many as well. (See also a discussion in the tech community in the following week, also in San Francisco, at the SemTech 2011 BOF on structured data in HTML and vocabularies.)

Many nice projects were showcased at the dort shorts session in the first day. I can only list a few. The US Library of Congress now offers their name authority files for free download in addition to free online access (check this out: Lee, Teng-hui!). The British Library is providing British National Bibliography as (linked) free data services. sta.mn/n3v is a web page for every building in OpenStreetMap. Smithsonian Information hosts 7.4 million records and 570,000 digital objects. The project Linked Open Vocabularies (LOV) looks interesting and useful to me.

LOD-LAM offered a rare forum for experts from leading libraries, archives, and museums to exchange experience and viewpoint about using linking open data practices for sharing and reusing cultural data online. The meeting has provided an excellent venue for people to learn from one other and, jointly, to push forward the state-of-the-art. I feel that the LOD practices in the LAM arena are progressing very quickly. For some LAM organizations, LOD clearly is here and now. For others, there remain technology and institution barriers to opening up their datasets. It may take a while for openness and linkage to become a common practice, but surely everyone is working towards such a practice now.

For others' reports on LOD-LAM, please see the slides from Adrian Stevenson (UKOLN) and the notes by Laura Smart (Caltech Libraries). For a general overview on this subject, see also "How the W3C Has Come To Love Library Linked Data" which is written by Michael Kelley for the Library Journal.

Note: Obligatory trip report, submitted to Academia Sinica in September 2011.

2011-02-23

Now Is A Good Time to Read!

The Spring time is a not good time to read? Certainly not! Here are four recent publications which are sure to entice your reading interest. They are respectively on Creative Commons Licenses, Public Sector Information, Public Domain, and Open Access. Two are in English and two are in Chinese. Please see below their abstracts and the links to the full papers. Enjoy!

  1. Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Creative Commons Licenses Legal Pitfalls: Incompatibilities and Solutions. Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam & Creative Commons Nederland. September 2010.

    Abstract:

    Creative Commons licenses have been designed to facilitate the use and reuse of creative works by granting some permissions in advance. However, the system is complex with a multiplicity of licenses options, formats and versions available, including translations into different languages and adaptation to specific legislations towards versions which are declared compatible among each other after an international porting process. It should be assessed whether all ported licenses cover exactly the same subject matter, rights and restrictions or whether small language differences may have an impact on the rights actually granted and legal security of current users or the availability of works for future generations to access and build upon. Besides, other possible sources of legal uncertainty and incompatibility, as well as their actual or potential consequences, need to be evaluated, such as the validity and enforceability of the licenses across jurisdictions with different and possibly inconsistent legislations, the variations between the licenses summary and the licenses text written in legal language, the interoperability with other copyleft licenses. This study presents the different licenses (chapter 2), identifies various possible sources of legal incompatibility (chapter 3), evaluates their actual impact (chapter 4) and finally proposes options to mitigate risks and improve compatibility, consistency, clarity and legal security (chapter 5). (Melanie Dulong de Rosnay)

  2. Paul F. Uhlir, rapporteur, et al., The Socioeconomic Effects of Public Sector Information on Digital Networks. National Academies Press, USA. 2009.

    Abstract:

    While governments throughout the world have different approaches to how they make their public sector information (PSI) available and the terms under which the information may be reused, there appears to be a broad recognition of the importance of digital networks and PSI to the economy and to society. However, despite the huge investments in PSI and the even larger estimated effects, surprisingly little is known about the costs and benefits of different information policies on the information society and the knowledge economy.

    By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the current assessment methods and their underlying criteria, it should be possible to improve and apply such tools to help rationalize the policies and to clarify the role of the internet in disseminating PSI. This in turn can help promote the efficiency and effectiveness of PSI investments and management, and to improve their downstream economic and social results.

    The workshop that is summarized in this volume was intended to review the state of the art in assessment methods and to improve the understanding of what is known and what needs to be known about the effects of PSI activities. (Paul F. Uhlir, rapporteur, et al.)

  3. Tai-Jan Huang, The Other of Intellectual Property and Its Resistance: Public Domain and Creative Commons. Master Thesis, Department of Law, College of Law, National Taiwan University. August 2010. (In Chinese)

    Abstract:

    Facing the expansion of intellectual property in the late twentieth century, supporters of public domain often viewed creative commons licenses as a private action to resist the second enclosure and build their own public domain. Lawrence Lessig, founder of creative commons, defined creative commons as an "effective public domain" that aims to realize the vision of free culture. However, some scholars and activists have criticized the fuzziness of creative commons' ideology. From their point of view, creative commons is more like a copyright license than a public domain, a submission to property discourse than a subversive resistance. In this dissertation, I explored this issue through the concepts of "discourse" and "the other" borrowed from critical studies and post-colonial theory. Specifically, I analyzed the texts of "intellectual property discourse" in a critical historical approach. In this way, we might have more insight about the relationship between creative commons and intellectual property discourse.

    By exploring the formation and development of intellectual property discourse in England and U.S.A., I pointed out its function in soothing the anxieties of intellectual property rights holders, who more likely be capitalists than creators, and its structural embedded contradiction. Specifically, although "original genius" as an idea image of authorship repeatedly emerges when it come to the justification of proprietor exclusive and despotic power over its private property, to be a proprietor of an "original" work only needs to be a copier with bad eyesight who is incapable of making a perfect copy. The dichotomy of "private" expression and "public" ideas also plays a same role in soothing the anxieties of intellectual property rights holders while continually expanding the scope of their rights. In addition, the other of intellectual property — public domain — becomes an synonym of knowledge wasteland and commons of tragedy in which everyone suffers. This provides a further justification for the institution of intellectual property.

    Under the rule of Kuomintang government before it lifted its martial law, Taiwan's Copyright registration system, in which creators need to register its work to acquire copyright, had long be an content-based speech regulation. Although we may doubted its significance in regulating speech compared to publication law, it seems that to some degree government regarded speech with a copyright "license" as a symbol of lawful speech. Instead of arguing from the perspective of free speech, lawyers, scholars and "Copyright Owners Association of Republic of China" tended to invoke intellectual property discourse. They argued that owing to the fact that copyright is a natural right, the copyright registration system unduly limited property rights secured by Constitution. In 1985 Copyright Act, Taiwanese work no longer need to registered to acquired copyright. Although intellectual property discourse played an vital role in this legal reform, it also reinforced the status of public domain of being the other. Because no one has a exclusive right over public domain, the Taiwan High Court think it is unnecessary to confirm its legal status. Furthermore, when U.S.A. demanded Kuomintang government to let their public domain movies regain copyright protection by applying new copyright act's copyright duration, the activists who against this proposal couldn't appeal to rights discourse because they had "no rights" in public domain work.

    In addition, from the two case studies, unauthorized books and computer programs in Taiwan, I argued there are two notable phenomenons when it comes to the resistance to of intellectual property discourse: submission in seemly resistance and resistance by acknowledging some elements of intellectual property discourse. In intellectual property discourse, the dichotomy between public domain and intellectual property also represents an evolution from barbarian to civilized, lawless to order, undeveloped to developed. In this vein, some "resistance" in Taiwan premised on this linear evolution theory, arguing the "modern" intellectual property law is too early for undeveloped and primitive Taiwan to adopt. On the other hand, owing to the fact that there are structural embedded contradiction in intellectual property discourse, we could see some lawyer and scholars who were familiar with intellectual property discourse, adopted a subversive strategy by acknowledging some elements of intellectual property discourse.

    We could also see this complex submission and resistance relationship between creative commons and intellectual property discourse. By acknowledging the primacy of "author," creative commons regarded itself as a tool to replace the intermediaries. However, there are some pitfalls in this strategy. Without re-imagine the idea of authorship, instead of voicing out dissents and alternatives, creative might replicate the intellectual property discourse, especially in Taiwan where creative commons is more like a promotion aided by government than a grassroots movement. Thus, in this dissertation, I propose an concept of "cultural common property" in the lens of "inter-dependent participative authorship in cultural landscape" to rethink the future of creative commons and information environment movement. (Tai-Jan Huang)

  4. Ted Lau et al., Prospect of Open Access. Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center, National Applied Research Laboratories, Taiwan. October 2010. (In Chinese)

    Preface:

    Open Access is a new model in scholarly communication that has increasingly caught the attention of governments in many countries. It is an attempt to provide to the academics and the society with free, direct, and more timely academic papers and information. In the US, since 2008 SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) together with other academic and research libraries have designated one week in October as the Open Access Week. In Taiwan we could not possibly be outside of this international trend. Although there have been several workshops on Open Access in Taiwan, and scholars have been publishing papers in related areas, however, there is yet to have a monograph on this subject. This report is the first among the publications in Chinese in our country that investigates the theme of Open Access. Its coverage is broad and comprehensive. In addition to addressing issues on open access to academic research papers which traditionally have been emphasized by the librarian community, this report also writes about a newer concept — Open Data. It also introduces the technical infrastructure of Open Access which shall be useful for our understanding about the development and opportunity of the Open Access movement. This report is also the first among the publications of the Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI), National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL), to be released under a Creative Commons License. As such, itself is a demonstration of the Open Access innovation. (This is an abridged translation of the Chinese preface by Bou-Wen Lin, the director of STPI, NARL, for the report.)

Note: This entry was first posted at the Creative Commons Taiwan web site.


春天就是讀書天!

誰說春天不是讀書天?在這裡跟大家介紹四本近期的論文和報告,其中兩本以英文撰寫,兩本是中文的,主題分別與創用CC授權的法律分析、公部門資訊的再次使用、文化共有財產的回顧省思、以及開放近用的趨勢發展相關。在此也簡短介紹一下作者。Melanie Dulong de Rosnay 是法國CC計畫的啟始人,目前在荷蘭阿姆斯特丹大學研究,也加入了荷蘭CC計畫的團隊,她的論文《創用CC授權的法律缺失:不相容性以及解決方式》對創用CC授權的法律實務議題,進行了系統性的分析。Paul F. Uhlir 是美國國家科學院的主任,他所編寫的《數位網路中公部門資訊的社會經濟效益》是2008年一場關於公部門資訊的研討會彙編,涵蓋了來自美國、加拿大、德國、英國、荷蘭、義大利、澳洲等各國專家的分析報告。黃泰然的碩士論文《智慧財產的他者及其抵抗:公共園地與創意共用》檢視西方智慧財產論述的發展,討論戰後台灣著作註冊審查制度,並省思創意共用與資訊環保運動的定位與未來。劉聰德等人的《開放近用的機會與展望》,探討開放近用運動的現狀與趨勢,是財團法人國家實驗研究院所屬科技政策研究與資訊中心的研究報告。

以下分別列出全文的連結與摘要,以饗讀者:

  1. Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Creative Commons Licenses Legal Pitfalls: Incompatibilities and Solutions 《創用CC授權的法律缺失:不相容性以及解決方式》. Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam & Creative Commons Nederland. September 2010.

    摘要:

    創用CC授權條款以事先授予許可權利的設計,方便了著作的利用與再次使用。然而這是套繁複的系統:有多樣的授權條件、格式、與版本,其中包括翻譯為多種語言、適用各特定法律體系的版本;在多國移植過程 (international porting process) 之後,各版本被宣告為彼此相容。必須評價的是:這些授權條款的所有移植版本是否涵蓋相同的客體、權利、與限制?還是語言上的小差異會影響所授予的權利,而對授權條款的使用者、或是對所授權作品在以後的使用增修上,會有法律安定性的問題?此外,對於法律不確定性與不相容性的其他可能來源,其實際或可能後果,也需要加以評估。例如,因著不同司法管轄區不同甚至不一致的法律體系,而有授權條款有效性與可執行性的議題;授權標章文字與授權條款文本差異的議題;以及與其它著佐權 (copyleft) 授權條款在相容性的議題等。本研究呈現不同版本的授權條款(第二章),評價它們的實際影響(第四章),最後並提出方案,以減低風險並增進相容性、一致性、清晰性、以及法律的安定性(第五章)。(筆者譯自 Melanie Dulong de Rosnay 原著中的英文摘要)

  2. Paul F. Uhlir, rapporteur, et al., The Socioeconomic Effects of Public Sector Information on Digital Networks 《數位網路中公部門資訊的社會經濟效益》. National Academies Press, USA. 2009.

    摘要:

    世界各國政府雖然在公部門資訊 (Public Sector Information, PSI) 的公開發佈和再次使用上作法各有不同,但似乎都體認到數位網路以及公部門資訊對經濟和社會的重要性。然而,儘管在公部門資訊上的巨大投資,以及可預期的更大效益,我們對於不同資訊政策在資訊社會以及知識經濟上的成本效益議題,知道的其實很少。

    目前已有一些評價方法以及其所依據的標準,經由瞭解它們的強項和弱點,應該可以增強並應用這些工具,將政策合理化,並釐清網際網路在傳佈公部門資訊的角色。因此也更能在投資與管理公部門資訊這方面,增進效率與效用,提昇下游的經濟和社會成果。

    此次研討會的討論集結為本書的用意,就在於回顧目前的評價方法,並增進我們對公部門資訊在效用上的現有以及該有的瞭解。(筆者譯自 Paul F. Uhlir 等人原著中的英文摘要)

  3. 黃泰然。《智慧財產的他者及其抵抗:公共園地與創意共用》。國立臺灣大學法律學院法律學系 碩士論文。2010年8月。

    摘要:

    在智慧財產的圈地浪潮下,創意共用(creative commons)被許多公共園地(public domain)的支持者認為是拯救與擴大公共園地的行動方案。一手促成創意共用的 Lawrence Lessig 更以為創意共用授權在技術上雖然沒有擴大公共園地,但這種展示分享的「實質公共園地」,將有助於自由文化的實現。儘管如此,不少論者指出以智慧財產為基礎,強調作者自由選擇的創意共用授權,反而是深化了財產權的意識,從而鞏固了Lessig所反對的允准文化。究竟,創意共用是對智慧財產的抵抗還是認同?是促長了自由文化,還是允准文化?就此問題的回答,本文嘗試以在文化研究與後殖民研究中,常見的「論述」(discourse)與「他者」(the other)的理論概念,透過批判性的歷史檢視,去看見創意共用它所抵抗與認同的對象 — 智慧財產論述。本文認為透過此種取徑,我們將可以更清楚地了解創意共用與智慧財產論述的關係,乃至其與過去抵抗策略的相同與差異,從而在歷史的縱深下,去思考可能的方向。

    首先,本文會以英美的歷史發展為經,去探討智慧財產論述的形成過程以及其特色與作用。 本文認為自安妮法案,這個一般認為是第一個保障作者的著作權法開始,其所提示的其實是書商或者後來的資本家,如何透過環繞在「作者」形象上的論述,去正當化其就智慧財產的權利/力行使。這些論述往往是矛盾與斷裂的,但就其服務於資本家的利益而言,卻是必要的。 思想與表達的公共與私有的二元區分,也有同樣的功能。而作為智慧財產的他者,公共園地則被描繪為知識的荒原,從而證立了智慧財產的必要性。

    在批判性地檢視西方智慧財產論述的發展與作用後,本文將討論戰後台灣註冊審查制度的發展。此一註冊審查制度在戒嚴時期的台灣,屬於輔助性的言論管制。而訴諸智慧財產論述中私有財產權利的講法,是註冊審查制度在1985年可以改為創作取得主義的主要推力之一。 但是,智慧財產論述的移植與深化,也使得公共園地成為權利的他者,成為一個因為沒有人「所有」,所以不能被確認之訴確認存在的「荒地」;而在美國八零年代堅持將進入公共園地的「十年舊片」,重新予以著作權保護的例子中,我們也可以發現錄影帶業者即使感覺到他們的「權利」被侵害了,但進入法律的語言,他們只能訴諸法安定性與國法尊嚴的民族情感,反而是圈地者可以主張個人權利的保障應從新從寬。

    此外,從西書翻印與電腦軟體著作權保護的兩個案例切入,我會討論「抵抗中的認同」與「認同中的抵抗」兩種現象。在智慧財產與公共園地的文明/原始、進步/落後、開發/未開發、繁榮/荒涼、秩序/海盜二元對應的演化關係中,公共園地被看做落後、野蠻與原始的他者,而智慧財產則是先進、法治與現代的理想的我。戰後台灣的一些「抵抗」論述,其成立前提反而是「認同」此一二元對應關係 — 主張台灣還屬「落後」國家,因此「先進」國家如美國的法律,尚不適合台灣「國情」。另一方面,因為智慧財產論述的內部存在著許多潛藏的矛盾與緊張。因此,在逐漸熟悉西方智慧財產理論的台灣,也開始有論者,在「認同」智慧財產論述內的法理前提下,「抵抗」美國等西方中心國家所排定的議程。

    發源於美國的創意共用授權,與智慧財產論述之間,同樣也有複雜的認同與抵抗關係。本文認為就中介人與作者的利益矛盾而言,創意共用採取的即是在「認同」作者權利下,予以拆解的「抵抗」策略;但是,此種「認同中的抵抗」,因為創意共用未從內部重新想像智慧財產,反而是複製的智慧財產論述的話語,因此很容易變質為「抵抗中的認同」,特別是在缺乏由下而上的運動力量的台灣,更係如此。因此,本文嘗試從「文化景觀裡互相依賴的參與式作者」(inter-dependent participative authorship in cultural landscape)的理念出發,提出「文化共用財產」(cultural common property)的概念,重新省思創意共用與資訊環保運動的定位與未來。(黃泰然)

  4. 劉聰德、張朝欽、梁晉嘉、謝青宏、任孝祥、林聖勇、林康藝、蔡艾玲。《開放近用的機會與展望》。財團法人國家實驗研究院 科技政策研究與資訊中心2010年10月。

    序:

    在知識經濟的時代,知識密集的研究活動扮演著日益重要的角色,各國政府除了重視基礎科學水準的提升,也希望研究成果有效流通,以激發創新與加值,更提昇國際社會整體的科技發展與進步。學術資訊與知識的自由流通,以及學術文獻無障礙地交流,一直是追求卓越學術研究者的理想。從十七世紀紙本學術期刊的初步形成、學術社群的信件來往,到二十一世紀電子化學術期刊成為常態的出版方式以及數位圖書館的進步,學術溝通的媒介和形式不斷地演進,政府學術相關的決策者不能不正視這個種變化,加以瞭解、輔助和引導,特別是在創新密集的時代,學術溝通更須加速,研究成果必需更加直接地和無時差地在整體社會中交流。

    「開放近用 (open access)」是近年來逐漸為各國政府所重視的一種學術溝通的創新模式,試圖在資訊化社會的數位環境中,提供給學術界和整體社會免費的、直接的和更加即時的學術文獻和資訊。美國的「學術出版與研究聯盟(SPARC)」並於2008年結合其它的學術圖書館組織,明訂每年的10月中旬的一個星期為「開放近用週」,台灣亦當無自外於國際學術發展潮流。過去,國內學界雖曾舉辦過開放近用研討會,學者亦曾發表過開放近用的論述於各期刊,但尚無專書出版。本書為國內中文書籍中,首次以探討開放近用為主題的專書,內容廣泛並完整,除了傳統圖書館界所推動著重於學術論文的開放近用,還引進了較新興的開放資料 (open data) 觀念,並介紹了開放近用的技術基礎,有助於國人瞭解開放近用運動的發展和機會,並接軌國際思潮。此外,本書亦為科技政策研究與資訊中心的出版品中,首次採用創用CC授權的出版刊物,為開放近用的創新模式做了一種示範。(財團法人國家實驗研究院 科技政策研究與資訊中心 林博文主任序)

註:本文先前已刊於台灣創用CC計畫網站

2011-02-10

Free Access to and Re-use of Public Sector Information

We regret this entry is not available in English.


公部門資訊的自由取得與再次使用

政府部門和公有企業因為本身在運轉經營上的需要,會持續生產大量的資料與文件。這些資訊一般稱為「公部門資訊」(PSI, Public Sector Information)。根據「經濟合作與發展組織」(OECD)的定義 [1],公部門資訊具有以下的特質:「公部門因為其功能而直接產生(例如氣象資料,經濟統計)、以動態連續方式產生、而且可以直接用於商業應用」。這些資料包括地理空間資料、人口統計、健康醫療資訊、社會經濟指標、科學研究資料庫等。許多這些資訊不僅是公共出資的研究產出,對研究者也有很大助益。公部門資訊目前常以數位的方式呈現,有些還可以在網路上直接取得,也因為這些資訊的普遍價值,許多國家的政府也逐漸評估、推廣其使用。本文以下將介紹公部門資訊在開放使用上的國際趨勢與作法。

我國著作權法第九條,「憲法、法律、命令或公文」不得為著作權保護之標的。其中所稱的公文,「包括公務員於職務上草擬之文告、講稿、新聞稿及其他文書」。另外,我國政府資訊公開法第五條,「政府資訊應依本法主動公開或應人民申請提供之」,其中所稱的政府資訊,「指政府機關於職權範圍內作成或取得而存在於文書、圖畫、照片、磁碟、磁帶、光碟片、微縮片、積體電路晶片等媒介物及其他得以讀、看、聽或以技術、輔助方法理解之任何紀錄內之訊息」。不過,著作權法所稱之公文,在性質上應屬靜態的行政歷往紀錄,不盡是動態連續產生的性質。同時,政府所公開或提供的資訊在人民取得之後,是否可自行使用於任何其他用途,似未有明確的規範。

美國的著作權法規定,聯邦政府雇員在工作上產出的著作皆屬於公有領域(Public Domain),事實上,美國聯邦政府本身即是公有領域最大的生產者之一。美國行政管理和預算局(OMB, Office of Management and Budget)的 A-130 號通告,對於美國政府資訊的流通使用設立了一般性的原則,並鼓勵政府部門以邊際成本(亦即資訊提供這項工作本身的成本),來提供政府資訊;若是於線上提供,就應該免費 [2]。而歐盟、英國、澳洲和部份國家,對政府部門的著作產出以及許多公部門資訊,大多主張著作權利保留,這與美國非常不同。歐盟對於資料庫另有 96/9/EC 號指令給予法律保護,形成公部門資訊在自由使用上的障礙,而資料庫在美國與我國並無類似法律保護。雖然歐盟對於公部門資訊,也提出 2003/98/EC 號指令,鼓勵其再次使用,但一般認為,相較於歐盟等國家,美國在資訊服務的快速發展(如 Google Map 線上地圖等加值服務),和公部門資訊(如聯邦政府所產出的地理空間資料)在美國歸屬於公有領域,可自由取得、再次使用,有相當的關聯。

公部門資訊的開放使用,除了有助於資訊服務產業以及新市場的發展,這些資訊本身也能增進市場的透明和效率,有利個人成為社會經濟活動的積極參與者,並促進相關研究工作的進行。除了在經濟層面上直接與間接的好處之外,公部門資訊的即時與正確發佈,也是公部門行政效率的一種指標;公部門資訊可被自由取得和使用,也是政府體制透明負責的表徵,人民當家作主的例證。也因此在政治與政策層面上,美國、英國、澳洲、紐西蘭等民主國家正大力推展公部門資訊的開放與使用。

美國歐巴馬總統於2009年上任後,在給行政部門首長的「透明與開放政府」備忘錄中,指出政府是透明的、政府是參與的、政府是協力的 [3]。美國行政管理和預算局,也於2009年12月發佈「開放政府指令」 [4],要求各行政部門採行以下的步驟:一、線上發佈政府資訊,二、增進政府資訊的品質,三、建立並制度化開放政府的文化,四、建立政策架構以促成開放政府。這項指令的立即成果是 data.gov , 這個網站上有來自各行政部門的公部門資訊,都用開放格式整理紀錄。隨著「開放政府」(Open Government)的政策倡議 [5][6][7],不僅在美國,在英國(data.gov.uk)、澳洲(data.australia.gov.au)、紐西蘭(data.govt.nz)等國家,公部門資訊在開放使用的實務工作上,都獲得廣泛的重視與進展。值得注意的是,英國、澳洲、紐西蘭等國家,因為公部門資訊大多受著作權或是資料庫權利保護,所以在政策與實務作法上,這些國家的政策都鼓勵政府部門採用創用CC授權條款,尤其是最寬鬆的創用CC「姓名標示」授權條款,來釋出公部門資訊。

公部門資訊的開放使用,不僅只是在中央政府的層級,許多地方政府,也都有公部門資訊入口網站,例如,倫敦(data.london.gov.uk)、舊金山(datasf.org)、以及溫哥華(data.vancouver.ca)等。民間組織則如美國的公有資源組織(Public.Resource.Org),英國的開放知識基金會(Open Knowledge Foundation),以及歐盟的公部門資訊平台(European Public Sector Information Platform),也都持續關注這方面的議題。

以上介紹了國際上公部門資訊在開放使用上的趨勢與作法,在本文的最後,回到台灣的現況,筆者想試著提出幾個問題:請問您瞭解台灣公部門資訊的取得與使用方式嗎?如果您關心規劃中的石化工業區對周圍環境的影響,想自行或是委託顧問公司進行環境影響評估,而必須整批取得內政部掌有的地圖資料 [8]、環保署的空氣品質監測資料 [9]、以及中央氣象局的氣候監測資料 [10],自行整合進行模型建立與模擬,您認為在資訊的取得以及再次使用上,在這個例子上,會是容易還是困難呢?

註:本文先前已登在第五十六期《創用CC電子報》(2010年12月3日發刊),並同時刊於台灣創用CC計畫網站


[1] OECD. Digital Broadband Content: Public Sector Information and Content. ^

[2] Nancy Weiss. Overview of U.S. Federal Government Information Policy. Appear as Chapter 2 in, Paul F. Uhlir, Rapporteur, The Socioeconomic Effects of Public Sector Information on Digital Networks. ^

[3] Barrack Obama. Transparency and Open Government. ^

[4] Peter R. Orszag. Open Government Directive. ^

[5] Lindsay Tanner. Declaration of Open Government. ^

[6] New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework. ^

[7] International Open Government Data Conference. November 15-17, 2010, Washington, D.C., USA. ^

[8] 內政部,國土測繪中心^

[9] 行政院環境保護署,空氣品質監測網^

[10] 中央氣象局^

2010-12-06

Content and Community

A few months ago I wrote about the Terms of Service (ToS) offered by content hosting services. I used Flickr, which is part of Yahoo!, as an example for being careful about the details in the ToS. The Yahoo! Terms of Service actually includes clauses that make it difficult to share CC-licensed photos on Flickr. (It goes without saying that Flickr does allow users to mark their photos as CC-licensed at its site; I was talking certain restrictions that come with the site's ToS). Here I wish to use Flickr again in order to illustrate the value of content aggregation, and to show how content hosting services like Flickr can leverage upon such aggregations. It is not my intention to pick on Flickr. Other content hosting services act for their own benefits as well, as will be shown later in this post.

On June 16 this year, Flickr extended a deal with Getty Images, a well known stock photo agency. About two years ago, Flickr and Getty Images announced a program in which, based on individual agreements with Flickr users, Getty Images can select a user's photos into its Flickr Collection and act as the user's agent in licensing the user's photos to others. It is estimated Getty Images has added around 100,000 images to this collection by going over the Flickr site looking for licensable images. Flickr's new deal with Getty Images will allow you, a Flickr user, to add a "Request to License" button by yourself to each of your Flickr photos. Now if someone wants to license one of your photos, he or she can use the button to contact Getty Images. Getty Images will then broker a licensing deal for you.

This means that Getty Images may not need to trawl the Flickr site for licensable images anymore. The "Request to License" buttons connect your photos to people who may want to license them from you. Note that all licensing deals still have to go through Getty Images as the button only informs Getty Images, not you, when it is clicked. Before the "Request to License" button will appear beneath all your photos (you cannot opt out some of them), you must first agree to license your Flickr photos exclusively via Getty Images. Whether this three-way exclusive arrangement (between Flickr and Getty Images, and between Getty Images and Flickr users) is really necessary, of course, is debatable.

What about the photos you already released under CC licenses on Flickr? What happen to them if you join the Getty Images program? Good question! According to Getty Images' FAQ, "... if we do select an image that is available under a Creative Commons license, it will automatically be changed to All Rights Reserved on Flickr and from then on you must observe the exclusivity obligations ...". Flickr's FAQ on Getty Images also emphasizes, "... if you proceed with your submission, switching your license to All Rights Reserved (on Flickr) will happen automatically". I do not think what Flickr and Getty Images are doing is right for CC-licensed photos.

It is not right because Creative Commons licenses are irrevocable (3.). If I release a photo under a specific CC license, say CC BY-NC, it remains so until it goes into the public domain. I can license the same photo to others under other terms (i.e., "dual-licensing" the photo), but everyone can continue to use the photo under the terms of the CC BY-NC license. Surely Flickr and Getty Images can propose to manage the rights I still reserve on my photos (e.g., commercial use of my CC BY-NC licensed photos); what they cannot do is to reverse any CC-licensed photo back to "All Rights Reserved". Flickr should just mark my CC-licensed photos as such, even if I joined Getty Images' program, and the "Request to License" buttons were added all over to my photos. For people who have copied and reused CC-licensed photos from Flickr, the act of systematic re-marking these photos as "All Rights Reserved" is even more unfriendly to these and other potential users. By erasing the photos' CC-license information, it can certainly cause confusion. For the reasons stated above, I will not consider joining Getty Images' program.

Huge and diverse sets of user photos aggregate at Flickr's site. Flickr leverages on this aggregation and makes deals with Getty Images. And it is not just about photos and images. The fact that various photographers and image users gather at its site puts Flickr in an even better position to make deals: Flickr can connect for Getty Images the licensors with the licensees. For this, Flickr adds the "Request to License" functionality to its site. As Flickr is the only one who has full access to this aggregation of contents and users, it gets to decide which deals to make, how to structure the deals, hence what functionalities to add to its site. To be fair, a Flicker user must opt in to join the Getty Images program. Why am I complaining? I can just stay put and stay out of it if I don't like it. The question remains, however, on whether Flickr and its business partners will implement programs that I can like. It will be great if the Getty Images program is implemented by using CC+, a protocol for users to ask for rights beyond those already granted by a CC license. But the decision is not for me to make, and all I can do is to decline what Flickr has to offer.

Flickr is not alone in acting more for its own benefits than for its users. Other content hosting services do the same. I noticed that on July 8 it was announced that the social networks giant Facebook had acquired Nextstop, a start-up operating a popular travel site mixing social networks with recommendation systems. As a result of the acquisition, the Nextstop site is shutting down on September 1; its users are offered an export tool to save their data. Although individual contributions to the social travel site can be exported, the community is gone. Originally it was planned to release the entire content at the site under a Creative Commons license. But the plan has since been abandoned.

Note: This entry was first posted at the Creative Commons Taiwan web site.


內容與社群

幾月前我寫到內容存放服務網站 (content hosting services) 的「服務條款」(Terms of Service; ToS)。我以 Flickr(雅虎的網路相簿服務)為例,認為我們該注意這類服務條款的細節。雅虎的服務條款中的某些條文,讓在 Flickr 上分享以創用CC授權的照片,變得有些困難。(Flickr 允許使用者在它的網站上標示上傳的照片採用創用CC授權;我所要說的是它的服務條款所帶來的限制。)在這裡我想再以 Flickr 為例,說明內容匯集的價值,以及 Flickr 這類內容存放服務網站如何以內容匯集為槓桿,充分發揮它的效用。先說一聲,我並不是跟 Flickr 過不去。其他的內容存放服務網站的作法,也是以自身的利益為重,以下還會舉一些別的例子。

今年6月16日 Flickr 宣佈延續和 Getty Images 這家知名影像代理商的合作方案。兩年前 Flickr 和 Getty Images 宣佈一項合作方案,在使用者個別同意的前提上,讓 Getty Images 可以挑選這些使用者的照片收錄到「Flickr 選集」,也代理這些照片的授權使用。兩年來 Getty Images 從 Flickr 網站上估計已選取了約 100,000 張具授權價值的照片到這個選集。現在,如果你是 Flickr 的使用者,Flickr 與 Getty Images 的新方案讓你也可以自己就放一個「請求授權」的按鈕,在你的每一張照片下面。如果有人想請求授權使用你的照片,他就可以用這個按紐和 Getty Images 聯繫。Getty Images 然後會替你來談這筆授權生意。

這意味著 Getty Images 或許不用在 Flickr 網站裡東找西找可以拿來授權的照片。這些「請求授權」的按鈕直接將你的照片連接到想要授權使用的人的手裡。注意的是,所有這些授權生意還是得由 Getty Images 來談;這些「請求授權」的按鈕會呼叫 Getty Images,而不是呼叫你。此外,在你加上這些「請求授權」的按鈕到你的所有照片之前,你必須先同意由 Getty Images 獨家代理你在 Flickr 上照片的授權使用。至於這種獨家生意的三方安排(Flickr 和 Getty Images 是獨家生意;Getty Images 和你也是獨家生意)是否真有必要倒是可以辯論

至於你已放在 Flickr 上的創用CC授權照片呢?如果你加入 Getty Images 的方案,這些照片怎麼辦?這真是個好問題!根據 Getty Images 的常見問答集,「…如果我們選到的照片,你已用創用CC條款釋出,那麼它在 Flickr 上的標示,將自動轉為所有權利保留,而且從那時候開始,你必須遵守獨家代理上的義務…」。Flickr 的常見問答集也強調,「…只要你投件,照片在 Flickr 上的授權資訊將自動轉為所有權利保留」。我想 Flickr 和 Getty Images 這樣作,對已採用創用CC授權的照片來說,是不對的。

因為創用CC授權是不可撤回的(3.),所以這樣作是不對的。如果某張照片我已採用創用CC授權條款(舉例說,「姓名標示—非商業性」)授權給公眾使用,那在這張照片進入公共領域之前,這項授權都是有效的。我當然可以用其他的條件將這張照片再授權給別人使用(也就是說對這張照片作「雙重授權」),但任何人只要遵守創用CC「姓名標示—非商業性」授權條款的約定,依舊可以繼續使用這張照片。當然 Flickr 和 Getty Images 可以提出方案,來代理我依然保留的權利(例如,我以「姓名標示—非商業性」方式釋出的照片,在商業使用上的權利);不過它們可不能把已採用創用CC授權的照片回復到「所有權利保留」。如果我真的加入 Getty Images 的方案,Flickr 也應該持續保留我採用創用CC授權照片上的CC授權資訊。系統性地把創用CC授權的照片重新標示為「所有權利保留」,對這些照片過去以及未來可能的使用者來說,更是不友善。把這些照片的CC授權資訊抹去,只會製造困擾。基於以上理由,我是不會考慮加入 Getty Images 的方案的。

Flickr 網站上匯集了眾多、多樣的使用者照片集。Flickr 以匯集的照片為槓桿,和 Getty Images 談合作方案。匯集在 Flickr 網站上不只是照片和影像,而是各類的攝影創作者與影像使用者。Flickr 以這些匯集為基礎,更有談生意的本錢:它可以幫 Getty Images 串起授權人和被授權人之間的連結。也因為這樣,Flickr 在網站上加了「請求授權」的新功能。也因為 Flickr 是唯一可以全面取用匯集在它網站上的照片與使用者資訊,所以它就可以決定要談哪些合作方案,這些方案要採用何種架構,以及因此要在網站上製作哪些新功能。換個角度看,Flickr 的 Getty Images 方案需要使用者表態同意 (opt-in) 才能加入;我若不喜歡這個方案,不加入不就好了?這有什麼好抱怨的?問題的癥結還是在於:Flickr 以及它的商業合作夥伴,能否以我可以認同的方式來製作它們提出的方案。Getty Images 方案若是用 CC+ 來製作,那是再好不過的(CC+ 是搭配創用CC授權條款的一種協定,透過 CC+ 使用者可以取得進一步授權所需要的資訊)。不過這不是由我來作決定的;而我所能作的決定只是:拒絕 Flickr 所提出的方案。

Flickr 的作法可以說是照顧自己多於照顧使用者。這並不算特殊,其他內容存放服務業者也是這樣。我注意到7月8日有一則消息,社群網路的大咖 Facebook 買下 Nextstop 這家小公司。Nextstop 是一個受歡迎的旅遊網站,結合社群網站與旅遊景點推薦的系統。因為被收購了,這家網站就決定在9月1日關站。不過它提供了一項匯出工具,讓使用者可以匯出自己的資料保存。雖然個別使用者存放在這個社群旅遊網站上的內容可以各自保存,但整個社群是不復存在了。在被收購的當時,原本這個網站的所有者還打算將整個網站的內容以創用CC授權條款釋出,不過後來也放棄了這個規畫

註:本文先前已刊於台灣創用CC計畫網站

2010-05-15

Shall Terms of Service Trump Public Licenses?

The following is just my own experience and opinion.

A funny thing recently happened to me: I cannot get my own photos from my Flickr account. The high-resolution files I uploaded are no longer available to me or anyone; only the smaller (resized) images are accessible. Flickr assures me, however, that "the originals are saved in case you upgrade later". Here is the story. I paid a fee to upgrade to a "Pro account" more than one year ago, but didn't renew it when my subscription expired one year later. Now Flickr keeps the originals away from me, again a "Free account" user who is not supposed to have access to the originals at the first place.

Why am I surprised? Didn't Flickr spell out the difference between "Pro" and "Free" to me? I guessed they did when I upgraded, but obviously I was not paying attention to the details. I thought the difference between "Free" and "Pro" is about the amount of storage I can use, not about whether Flickr can hide my own files from me at its site.

My photos at Flickr are released under the Creative Commons (CC) Licenses, which means anyone can copy and distribute them as long as the licenses are respected. Of course I hope that people use the high-resolution originals. But Flickr keeps the originals away from all people, myself included, if I don't pay Flickr again. To be fair, the resized images are still available, and CC-licensed, to all — "Pro", "Free", or not — at Flickr's site. Nevertheless I am frustrated that my effort in using the CC licenses to help distribute my (high-resolution) photos is offset by Flickr.

Flickr is part of Yahoo. The Yahoo! Terms of Service (ToS) requires me to grant Yahoo, among others, a license to use the photos I upload to Flickr (9.b). Supposedly that is where I give it the right to hide my own photos from me. Moreover, the service from Flickr is provided "as is" and with no warranty of any kind (19.a). Yahoo can change its ToS anytime too (24). In short, Flickr can do many things to my photos but is under little obligation to me, if I use its service.

Other content hosting services are no better, in despite that many of them help you mark your works as CC-licensed at their sites. Google's Picasaweb photo sharing service is known to mix up the CC licenses' marks with "All rights reserved" in some non-sensible manner (take a look at the licensing information about this featured photo note: this mix-up has been corrected by Google). At freesound.org and slideshare.net, you must register before you can download CC-licensed works hosted at their sites. My colleague I-Yuan doesn't like this but, as Bob argues, these service providers cannot be said to violate the terms of the CC licenses. We have agreed to their Terms of Service before files are uploaded to their sites!

CC licenses are tools to help people distribute and share their works. If my photo is CC-licensed, you can copy it and pass it to others without asking me. You do not have to get the photo directly from me, and you need not download it from some designated web sites either. Once you have the photo, you can freely redistribute it, along with its license information, to anyone without the need to again ask me or anyone. This peer-to-peer nature of free distribution and redistribution is at the core of public licenses such as the Creative Commons Licenses and the GNU General Public Licenses. These public licenses enable and encourage large-scale people-to-people sharing of their works.

When I rely on a particular service provider to store and distribute contents, however, its ToS imposes conditions on what can be uploaded and how they are available at its site. These conditions may not be in line with the public licenses' free circulation ideals. Here is another example. Although CC licensed works can be freely copied and distributed, they may not be sublicensed (4.a). Sublicensing complicates things; it is not necessary when public licenses are used. However, Yahoo's ToS asks me to grant it a license to use all the photos I upload. This means that I cannot upload, say, both Bob's CC BY-SA licensed photo and my retouched version to Flickr, so that their differences can be more easily compared. Unless, of course, I get Bob to grant me the right to sublicense his photo to Yahoo. But this defeats the very purpose of the CC BY-SA license, which already allows us to copy, distribute, modify, and redistribute Bob's original and our modifications (as long as the works are properly attributed and CC BY-SA licensed).

Flickr, Freesound, Picasaweb, and Slideshare are some of the earliest content hosting services that adopt the CC licenses. Many of their services are provided for free, and their sites host some of the largest collections of CC-licensed works. I cannot but applaud their efforts in supporting the CC licenses. However, we shall also be aware that these free services do not come for free; their Terms of Service impose conditions on what and how our works are kept and circulated at their sites. As these services increasingly become the hubs of content circulation of our age, we need to keep our eyes on how they are shaping our sharing concepts and practices. Creative Commons Licenses are best used without other conditions, and we shall not allow Terms of Service to trump Public Licenses.

Note: This entry was first posted at the Creative Commons Taiwan web site.


網站服務條款應該蓋過公眾授權條款嗎?

以下只是我個人的經驗與想法。

最近有件趣事發生在我身上:我在 Flickr 的帳號裡,拿不到我自己的照片。先前我上傳的高解析度照片檔案,任何人(包括我)都看不到了;只能看到較小尺寸的縮圖影像檔。不過 Flickr 要我不要擔心,「照片的原件還留著,就等您升級」。故事是這樣的。一年多以前我付費升級成為「專業帳號」的用戶,一年後服務到期但我沒有繼續繳費。現在的我又回復到「免費帳號」,本來就沒有取得高解析度照片原件的權利。所以 Flickr 把我的原件藏起來,不給我用了。

我有需要這樣大驚小怪嗎?難道 Flickr 沒講清楚「專業帳號」和「免費帳號」的區別嗎?在我升級的時候,我想它應該有說吧。不過顯然我沒注意這些細節。我以為「免費」和「專業」的差別只在於網站上我可以使用的空間大小;哪知道 Flickr 會拿我自己的檔案跟我捉迷藏。

我在 Flickr 的照片都使用創用CC授權條款,也就是說任何人只要遵守授權條款的約定,都可以複製和散布我放在 Flickr 的照片。當然我希望大家用的是高解析度的照片原件。不過現在 Flickr 把這些原件藏起來了;如果我不付費,就不給任何人用(包括我在內)。當然,較小尺寸的縮圖影像還在 Flickr 網站上,也還是以創用CC方式授權給所有人使用(不管您是「專業」、「免費」還是根本不是 Flickr 帳號的用戶)。不過,我使用創用CC授權條款來幫助我散布(高解析度)照片的用意,卻受到 Flickr 的干擾,我還是很在意。

Flickr 是雅虎提供的服務。雅虎的「網站服務條款」 (Terms of Service; ToS)要我授權給雅虎,讓它可以使用我上傳到 Flickr 的照片(9.b)。我想就是這一條讓它可以把我的照片藏起來吧。而且,根據這份網站服務條款,Flickr 的服務是以「現狀」為前提,沒有任何服務上的保證(19.a)。雅虎也可以隨時修改它的網站服務條款(24)。也就是說,如果我使用雅虎的服務,Flickr 是可以對我的照片玩把戲,對我也沒太大責任。

其他網站也好不到哪邊去。現在許多內容網站都可以將您所上傳的內容標示為創用CC授權,不過它們的服務卻不盡令人滿意。舉例來說,Google 的 Picasaweb 照片分享服務,會把創用CC的授權要素圖象和 "All rights reserved" (「所有權利保留」)這句話很不搭嘎的放在一起(看一下這張特選照片的授權資訊吧 註:Google 已更正此種錯誤)。在 freesound.orgslideshare.net 網站,您要先註冊才能下載它們網站上CC授權的作品。我的同事易原對此很不以為然,但就如柏強所講的,不能說這些內容服務網站就違反了創用CC授權條款。在上傳檔案到這些網站之前,我們可同意了它們的服務條款啊!

創用CC授權條款是工具,協助眾人散布、分享彼此的作品。我以CC授權的照片,您不用問我就可以直接拷貝、轉手。您不一定要直接從我這裡取得照片,也不需要到特定的網站去下載。拿到照片後,只要同時保留授權資訊,您可以自由地再散布給任何人,不用再問我或是其他任何人的意見。這種同儕傳播、自由散布與再散布的方式,是創用CC授權條款和「GNU 一般公眾授權條款」(GNU General Public License)這類公眾授權條款的核心。公眾授權條款促成並鼓勵大規模、眾人對眾人方式的作品分享。

當我使用某網站所提供的服務來儲存和散布內容,該網站的服務條款就可以設一些條件,限制我可以上傳的內容、以及這些內容在該網站被取用的方式。這些條件未必和公眾授權條款的自由流通理念一致。再舉一個例子。以創用CC方式授權的著作,都可以被自由地複製與散布,但不能被「再授權」(sublicense)給別人(4.a)。再授權會讓事情變得複雜;使用了公眾授權,就不需要再授權了。但是雅虎的網站服務條款要求我授權它使用我上傳的所有照片。這意味著,我不能把柏強以創用CC「姓名標示-相同方式分享」授權的照片,以及我改自他原作的照片,一起上傳到 Flickr 網站上,方便大家比較兩張照片不一樣的地方。當然,除非我又找到柏強請他同意我可以把他的照片再授權給雅虎。這不是很麻煩嗎?柏強使用創用CC「姓名標示-相同方式分享」授權條款的用意,就是要大家自由地重製、散布、修改、再散布他的照片以及改自他原作的作品(只要姓名有標示好,作品也同樣使用創用CC「姓名標示-相同方式分享」授權),不用再去找他啊!

Flickr, Freesound, Picasaweb, Slideshare 這些內容存放服務很早就採用了創用CC授權條款。這些服務大都免費,網站上也匯集了大量的創用CC授權的作品。這些服務能支持創用CC授權,我不能不為它們鼓掌。不過我們也要瞭解,使用這些免費的服務並不是就不必付出代價;這些網站的服務條款,對於我們存放在它們那裡的作品及其流通方式,設下了條件。這些服務已日漸成為我們時代的內容流通中樞,也形塑我們對於分享的概念與作法,而這需要我們的關注。使用創用CC授權條款時,不要有外加條件,我們也不應該讓網站服務條款蓋過公眾授權條。

註:本文先前已刊於台灣創用CC計畫網站

2010-02-17

Route 61

By chance we took on Route 61 on the first day of the lunar year. We were visiting Fort Zeelandia, and thought it would be interesting to drive north to Taichung from there on Route 61. Route 61 is the West Seaside Expressway; some segments are not yet finished. The route goes through some "inland sea" (lagoon) and passes many small land areas developed for fish farming. There was little traffic, and the scene mostly solitary.

On Route 17, looking east on a bridge to Cigu Township.
On Route 17, looking east on a bridge to Cigu Township.
Turn right and you are onto Route 61, northbound. The stalls sell sea food and oyster snack.
Turn right and you are onto Route 61, northbound. The stalls sell sea food and oyster snack.
Looking west on Route 61. Sunset on the Taiwan Strait in a hour.
Looking west on Route 61. Sunset on the Taiwan Strait in a hour.
Very little traffic on Route 61.
Very little traffic on Route 61.
These road signs keep me oriented.
These road signs keep me oriented.
In Budai Township, I think. Inland Sea (Lagoon) oyster farming.
In Budai Township, I think. "Inland Sea" (Lagoon) oyster farming.
Route 61 is considered an express way, so there are over-passes now and then.
Route 61 is considered an expressway, so there are over-passes now and then.
It is getting dark, and no more photo.
It is getting dark, and no more photo.

2010-02-16

Road Trip to Kenting

Early this month we were on a road trip to Kenting. It is a semi-annual family trip we take in the winter break; the other in the summer. We drove south all the way to Kenting from Taipei, and stopped at Taichung, Meinong, and Kaohsiung; and on the return, at Tainan and again at Taichung. The kids had been to Kenting several times. They were less thrilled about the place. Still, Kenting continues to be a favorite of the family. As for myself, often I am in a better mood whenever going more southern than Taichung. This time it is of no exception.

These photos, I hope, capture the mood of the trip. It is not the full picture, of course. (We went to two hospitals, but I am not going to write about it.) It has been a fun trip.

These pictures were taken when I was not behind the wheel, mostly.
These pictures were taken when I was not behind the wheel, mostly.
The road not yet traveled: Highway 6 to Puli, then to Sun Moon Lake.
The road not yet traveled: Highway 6 to Puli, then to Sun Moon Lake.
Central Taiwan is a mix of agricultural and industrial scenes.
Central Taiwan is a mix of agricultural and industrial scenes.
Power networks crisscross road networks.
Power networks crisscross road networks.
Highway 3 goes through numerous tunnels.
Highway 3 goes through numerous tunnels.
A radio tower? I cannot be sure.
A radio tower? I cannot be sure.
Almost always stop at this rest area every time I am on Highway 3.
Almost always stop at this rest area every time I am on Highway 3.
The giant banyan tree in the rest area.
The giant banyan tree in the rest area.

We stayed at Kaohsiung for two days. We went to Rueifong Night Market in the first evening. We had been to Liouhe Night Market in Kaohsiung, so I expected Rueifong to be about the same. I was wrong. The feels are quite different. I cannot say that I like one over the other. Rueifong is very compact and too crowded; Liouhe has too many Japanese tourists. It is hard to have a personal favorite about night market.

My first time at Rueifong Night Market, Kaohsiung City.
My first time at Rueifong Night Market, Kaohsiung City.
A very popular place, it seems.
A very popular place, it seems.
Over exposed, but I like it.
Over exposed, but I like it.
The crowd, and the densely arranged stalls in the market.
The crowd, and the densely arranged stalls in the market.

The next day we went to Cijin Island, once a peninsula, just outside the Port of Kaohsiung. We went through the Cross Harbor Tunnel by car; last time we took the ferry. By car, we were able to explore more about Cijin.

Cargo ships lining up to enter Kaohsiung Port, as seen from Cijin Island.
Cargo ships lining up to enter Kaohsiung Port, as seen from Cijin Island.
The bikers at Cijin.
The bikers at Cijin
Laid back at Cijin.
Laid back at Cijin.
Every moment seems ever more relaxed at Cijin.
Every moment seems ever more relaxed at Cijin.

Kenting needs no word. Here are some photos.

Good morning, Kenting.
Good morning, Kenting.
Facing south from Nanwan Bay, Kenting.
Facing south from Nanwan Bay, Kenting.
Facing east from Longpan Park, Kenting.
Facing east from Longpan Park, Kenting.
A quite corner of Kenting; the bikers were there too.
A quite corner of Kenting; the bikers were there too.

A road trip, by its nature, asks to explore roads that, until now, have not been taken. I have circled Taiwan several times by car — it is a small island after all — but are often wondering about the roads not yet taken. The southern tip of Route 1, or at least some segments of it, was new to me and proves to be very memorable for this trip.

Heading north on Route 1. A Grandma Black Pearl Wax Apple and Mango shop.
Heading north on Route 1. A "Grandma Black Pearl Wax Apple and Mango" shop.
I like this view on Route 1 so much I stop my car. About to connect to Highway 3.
I like this view on Route 1 so much I stop my car. About to connect to Highway 3.

Note: There are 30 photos about the trip in this album.

2009-12-04

Free Culture Research Workshop 2009 (Report)

Free Culture Research Workshop 2009 took place at Harvard Law School on October 23, 2009. This one-day workshop was attended by about 50 scholars and practitioners interested in emerging issues and challenges connected to "Free Culture" (as exemplified by collaborative production of culture artifacts such as Wikipedia, and the enabling technologies, legal agreements, and social norms behind them). The participants necessarily come from different disciplines — anthropology, economics, law, and information technology, among others — but have been previously engaged in research and investigation in various aspects of Free Culture. As such, this workshop provides a rare opportunity for this diverse group of people to interact and jointly reflect on their findings, to develop possible research agendas, and to facilitate collaborations. The workshop agenda, as well as the essays submitted by the participants, are available at the workshop website.

The workshop was opened by welcome remarks from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, and the NEXA center, Politecnico di Torino (the main sponsors of the workshop). After a brief opening by Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain facilitated a warm-up session where the participants introduced themselves. The main part of workshop consisted of three sessions, each lasted 1½ hours. As there were a large number of participants, no podium presentation was used, instead each session proceeded by a themed discussion led by a moderator (who had read all essays related to the theme of the session). The themes for the three sessions were "Lessons from Practice" (moderated by Aaron Shaw), "Free Culture and the Marketplace" (moderated by James Grimmelmann), and "Free Culture in Society" (moderated by Nagla Rizk). A one-hour wrap-up session was moderated by Giorgos Cheliotis and Elizabeth Stark held at the end, and was followed by some summary comments from William Fisher.

Given the conversational nature of the sessions, I can only recall, overly simplifying and subjective, what I still remember now of my understanding then of the discussions. The participants' essays at the workshop website are the definite sources of their viewpoints. (Note that not everyone who had submitted an essay did come to the workshop.) In the first session, the discussions are around what are Free Culture practices, and what are (shaping) the current landscapes of these practices. There is some argument for more quantitative measurements (e.g., statistics on CC license adaptations), but also about what are to be measured and how. (Do we recognize every form of Free Culture?) Issues of governance, in organizations like Creative Commons and in collaborations for culture productions, are also raised.

For the "Free Culture and the Marketplace" session, I am attracted to the essays by Bodó Balázs, Judith Donath, James Grimmelmann, and Yuri Takhteyev. They explore the various "free" factors (as in cost and in expression) in people's interactions to one another, in group dynamics, and in their interfaces to relationships established by monetary transactions. My reading is that the convenient analogy between free software and free culture is not really satisfactory. In the discussion, I used a Karaoke get-together to illustrate that free culture is not about free cultural artifacts (i.e., duplicating the sound tracks), but more about uncensored cultural practices (i.e., singing with friends). I wish I had deliberated my thoughts better.

The last session includes several interesting essays, e.g. by Julie Cohen, Gabriella Coleman, and Zac Zimmer, which offer legal, political, social, and even literarily critical views of freedom in the current copyright regime. The discussions, however, more or less center on whether Free Culture is a social movement, and if it is, what constitutes this movement, what it aims to change, and how. My feeling is that there is little agreement on what the Free Culture movement is (if there is one), as we have yet to fully comprehend what Free Culture is. I think it is also premature to equal what Creative Commons licenses can do with what Free Culture is about. But this is just my opinion. The participants agree, however, that more research shall be done, and ones shall ask critical research questions.

One of the pleasures in participating in a research workshop like this is to meet colleagues and friends whom one does not often get to meet face-to-face. I was very happy to see Shunling Chen (SJD candidate, Harvard Law School), Mike Linksvayer (VP, Creative Commons), John Wilbanks (VP, Science Commons), and quite a few Creative Commons jurisdiction project leads at the workshop. At the morning of October 24, the day after the workshop, CC jurisdiction project leads and representatives from China Mainland, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Singapore, and Taiwan also got together with Diane Cabell (Corporate Counsel, iCommons), Mike Linksvayer, and Lawrence Lessig. We updated one another about the status of our jurisdiction projects, and even planned out some joint projects.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Note: Obligatory trip report, submitted to Academia Sinica in December 2009.

Related note: Jude Yew took some nice photos about the workshop.

2009-12-03

International Semantic Web Conference 2009 (Report)

International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) is the premier conference on semantic web research. The 8th conference in this series was held in 27th – 29th, October, 2009, at the Westfields Conference Center near Washington, DC. The main conference consists of about 80 oral presentations scheduled in 3 days, categorized into Research Track, Semantic Web In-Use Track, Doctoral Consortium Track, and Industry Track. There is also a poster session, a lightning talk session, and a Semantic Web Challenge session where new applications of semantic web datasets and technologies are showcased and entered into competition. Pat Hayes (Institute for Human and Machine Cognition), Tom Mitchell (Carnegie-Mellon University), and Nova Spivack (Radar Networks) gave three keynotes. The detailed program can be found at the ISWC 2009 conference website.

In addition to the main conference, ISWC 2009 also included tutorials and workshops, held on the 25th and 26th. As this is the first time I ever attended ISWC (or any semantic web conference), I took this opportunity to learn more from the following: How to Consume Linked Data on the Web (tutorial), Legal and Social Frameworks for Sharing Data on the Web (tutorial), Building Ontology-based Applications using Pellet (tutorial), and Terra Cognita (workshop). ISWC 2009 also co-located with other meetings. Among them, I was interested in the 6th OWL Experiences and Directions Workshop (23rd – 24th), the 3rd International Conference on Web Reasoning and Rule Systems (25th – 26th), and the Semantic Web and Museum Data Workshop (25th), but did not attend any of them because of time constraint. The ISWC 2009 website has links to all tutorials, workshops, and co-located meetings.

Given the many attractions in ISWC 2009, I can only say about a few that interested me. Tom Mitchell's keynote shows how ontologies (even the simple ones) help structuring information machine-mined from large collections of web pages, and how the extracted data helps refining the human-given ontologies. This model of mutual enrichment, though only on special knowledge domains and not entirely automatic, seems to work well and warrants further investigation. Erétéo, Buffa, Gandon, and Corby give a nice presentation on using semantic web technologies for the analyses of online social networks. Auer, Lehmann, and Hellmann show how to add a spatial dimension to the web of linked data by elevating information from the community built OpenStreetMap datasets. I also find Bernhard Schandl's presentation on Functions over RDF Language Elements interesting (perhaps because of my background in functional programming).

One of the objectives for me to attend ISWC 2009 is to learn "in the field" about ontologies especially about how they are used, in practice, in semantic web applications. To this end, I get some understanding of this area from the following presentations: OntoCase — Automatic Ontology Enrichment Based on Ontology Design Patterns (Eva Blomqvist), What Four Million Mappings Can Tell You About Two Hundred Ontologies (Ghazvinian, Noy, Jonquet, Shah, and Musen), and Exploiting Partial Information in Taxonomy Construction (Shearer and Horrocks).

My personal favorites, however, are the following three presentations: Produce and Consume Linked Data with Drupal! by Stéphane Corlosquet et. al., which also receives the best paper in the Semantic Web In-Use Track, What's New for SPARQL? which is a panel organized by the W3C SPARQL Working Group, and Linked Data and The New York Times by Evan Sandhaus. In my view, these are nice examples of the maturity of (and the need for continuous improvement to) the tools, languages, and applications of the semantic web research.

Over all, ISWC 2009 is a great event to sample the state of the art in semantic web research and development. My impression is that people from different backgrounds are congregating to the semantic web area. For example, you see people working on description logic, on rule and reasoning, on ontology, on information retrieval and web mining, on linking open data on the web, and on web standardization and engineering. There is a significant presence of European research networks (e.g., DBpedia, LarKC, and NeON); one can also easily sense the intense interest from the industries (especially from the US defense industry). It has been a large crowd of interesting people.

Chantilly, Virginia, USA.
Chantilly, Virginia, USA.

Note: Obligatory trip report, submitted to Academia Sinica in December 2009.

2009-08-13

A Name to Remember

Morakot, 2009/08/07 at 05:25 UTC, when it started to bring record rainfall and heavy damage to Taiwan.

Morakot
Image: NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response.

要牢記的名字

莫拉克在 2009/08/07 05:25 UTC 的位置。它已開始在台灣帶來破紀錄的雨量與災害。

2009-08-05

Dialogue with Self

Dialogue with Self

與自己的對話

«Whale Island Uprising» CC-licensed

By chance I encountered this CD album titled «Whale Island Uprising: Declaration of Human Rights». What caught my eyes actually is not the reflective words on the cover of album package (my apology for the following inadequate translation):

In the Winter of 2008, the youth of the Whale Island gang first put together their voices. With their plain and pure passion, and their believe in equity and justice, they brought out these works to show they care!

Think — of all the lies in the media and politics, how would you look through the superficies and get to the truth?

Feel — in your wandering and loss, and the rigidity and constraints of the system, do you see yourself?

Watch — human rights ignored and by-passed, can you endure the inequities and the consequences?

Rather, it is the small CC BY-NC mark at the back of the album cover that I recognize by instinct. On the cover, there are also links to Amnesty International Taiwan and the Small Place Tour events. How would human rights and copyright rights connect in this CC-licensed CD produced by Gamaa Music?

The connection is that music societies in ten colleges in central and southern Taiwan, as well as many indie bands, collaborated in organizing more than 10 Small Place Tour concerts last year. Year 2008 is the 60th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights. Amnesty International had been working with artists and musicians everywhere in giving small concerts, so as to reach out to people to care for worldwide human rights issues. This global campaign was called the Small Place Tour.

These concerts and the albums were not funded by Amnesty International; they were voluntary efforts by the participating artists and musicians. By using music to promote human rights, it was hoped that the message would touch upon more people. It is by this connection that I feel especially thankful that the «Whale Island Uprising» album is released under a CC license.

Note: This entry was first posted at the Creative Commons Taiwan web site.

CD album cover
Image: www.gamaamusic.com

《鯤島起義》以創用CC授權釋出

偶然的機會接觸到這張音樂專輯,叫做《鯤島起義之人權宣言》。牽引我眼睛的不是CD包裝盒側邊的冷冽文案:

2008的冬天,鯤島幫的青年首次集結發聲。以素樸的熱情,與對平等正義的信仰創作,搖滾對社會的關懷!

思索 — 在媒體政治操作的紛擾矯情謊言喧鬧洪流中,要怎麼看穿表面,回溯本質?

心疼 — 人們盲目追尋徬徨迷惘,被扭曲的體制規訓束縛,孤寂空洞中看不到自己。

看見 — 人權價值被忽略與輕蔑,導致社會問題叢生及資源分配的不公不義。

而是近乎「職業性」本能所瞄到、不起眼的創用CC授權標示。這張由迦鎷文化音樂國際有限公司發行的專輯,以「姓名標示 — 非商業性」方式釋出。

CD包裝盒上卻也同時標示了國際特赦組織台灣總會以及「小地方音樂季」 (Small Place Tour) 的網址。著作權與人權有關嗎?

原來這是去年底由中南部十所大專院校社團、以及台灣十多組獨立樂團發起,共同為人權發聲,巡迴演出十數場的紀念專輯。去年為了紀念世界人權宣言60週年,國際特赦組織以多場次、持續舉行、小型演唱會的方式,來呼喚普世大眾關注人權議題。這項全球的在地活動就稱為「小地方音樂季」。

這些演唱會、唱片不是由國際特赦組織出資舉辦或發行,而是由音樂人主動將他們的演出、作品與人權議題結合,以求能將觸角伸得更遠更深。而台灣的這張紀念專輯能以創用CC方式釋出,也就分外令人感念了。

註:本文先前已刊於台灣創用CC計畫網站

Taipei Held Meeting on Public Licensing of Scientific Data and Publications

Creative Commons Taiwan organized the Symposium on Common Use Licensing of Publicly Funded Scientific Data and Publications at Taipei, Taiwan, on March 27, 2009. The symposium was jointly organized by CODATA Taiwan, NARL Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI), Taiwan, and NRC Board on Research Data and Information, USA. The meeting was held in Academia Sinica, the host of Creative Commons Taiwan.

The symposium program, as well as the abstracts and slides of the presentations, is available at the symposium website http://scientificdata2009.creativecommons.org.tw/programme. The one day symposium consists of three sessions and one panel. The symposium touches upon the history of and the rationale for commons use of scientific data and publications (session 1), emphasizes the current practice and trend of common use licensing (session 2), and discusses the various issues and challenges faced by the scientific communities (session 3).

Joining from US at the symposium are Paul F. Uhlir from the National Academy of Sciences, Harlan J. Onsrud from University of Maine, and Kaitlin Thaney from Science Commons. Gene Hettel from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Philippines, and whom the Creative Commons Taiwan team met at the Commons Crossroads meeting at Manila in February, also joins the symposium and gives a presentation on IRRI's new Creative Commons licensing policy for its scientific publications.

The Taiwanese speakers include Ted Lau (STPI), Ly-yun Chang, Kwang-Tsao Shao, and Eric Yen (all from Academia Sinica), Chau Chin Lin (Taiwan Forestry Research Institute), and Ming-Che Wu (Taiwan Livestock Research Institute). Ly-yun Chang gives an overview of the Survey Research Data Archive that has been collected and maintained at the Center for Survey Research, Academia Sinica. Shao and Lin discuss issues and challenges in sharing biodiversity data and publications, and present the Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility.

The symposium was closed by a panel, chaired by D. T. Lee (Chairman of CODATA Taiwan), on policy issues in implementing common use licensing of scientific data and publications. The panelists consist of Paul F. Uhlir, Ted Lau, Harlan J. Onsrud, and Tyng-Ruey Chuang (Creative Commons Taiwan). They exchange thoughts on policy issues and examine potential policy instruments to actively enable the sharing of scientific data and publications.

Note: This entry was first posted at the Creative Commons Taiwan web site. The Chinese language text below of this entry is quite different from the English language text.

Image: scientificdata2009.creativecommons.org.tw (designed by Wen-Yi Chou)

科學資料的開放近用與自由流通

今年3月27日中央研究院舉行了一場「公共出資的科學資料與出版品的一般使用與授權」學術研討會。該會議邀集了不同領域的學者專家、公眾授權的倡議者與採用者、以及研究機構的策略規劃者,就科學資料與出版品的開放近用與自由流通,進行了廣泛的討論(詳見研討會網址,以及講者投影片)。

科學出版品(指可被視為著作的部份),在一般使用與公眾授權方面,已受到相當的重視。在觀念推展與實務作法上,無論是法律工具如創用CC授權條款,或是散布管道如採用開放近用 (Open Access) 的學術期刊及機構典藏庫 (Institutional Repository) 的建立,甚或是政策規範如美國〈國家衛生研究院公共近用政策〉 (‹NIH Public Access Policy›) 等各方面,目前已有許多可以借鏡、相互學習的地方。

科學資料(因進行科學研究而所蒐集產生的資料)的開放近用與自由流通,情況就比較複雜。資料 (Data) 以及資料庫 (Database) ,是否為受法律保護的客體,在不同國家有不同的法律規範。歐洲議會於1996年3月所通過的《資料庫之法律保護指令》 («Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases») ,對於資料庫給予法律保護,並認為對資料庫的權利是特有的 (sui generis) ,與對著作的權利不同,兩者分別受到保護。但在美國、台灣、以及其他許多國家,資料庫不被視為著作,不受到著作權法的保護,也未必以法律給予特有的保護。

使用創用CC授權條款來作資料的釋出,嚴謹來說並不合適,因為資料並不是受著作權法保護的客體。荷蘭 CC 計畫 (Creative Commons Netherlands) 在 進行 CC 授權條款本地化的過程裡,考量了歐盟資料庫保護指令的情形,對荷蘭版的 CC 授權條款,就做了一些調整。為了避免使用CC授權條款所釋出的著作,是否也可被視為是資料庫,而有適用上的疑慮,荷蘭版的 CC 授權條款裡,將著作本身的定義放寬到包括資料庫,以擴大該授權條款的適用的範圍。但在台灣以及其它(無資料庫保護法律的)國家,該國本地化的 CC 授權條款,目前並沒有(也不合適)作這些調整。

為因應科學資料在自由流通上的需要,最近 Creative Commons 正式發佈了一項稱為 CC0 (CC Zero) 的宣告。聲明人可使用 CC0 宣告,表示對所宣告的作品,不保留著作權及相關權利。這些著作權及相關權利,包括著作權利、資料庫權利、以及萃取使用該作品所內含資料等權利;聲明人也不對使用人作「姓名標示」或「相同方式分享」上的要求 [1]。 Creative Commons 希望透過 CC0 宣告,可以讓所宣告的著作和資料的流通使用更加自由,近一步擴展創意、文化、科學的共有領域。目前已有兩項計畫採用了 CC0 宣告,分別是 The ProteomeCommons.org Tranche network 以及 Personal Genome Project 。兩項都有關於生命科學的資料分享與使用。

科學資料的公眾釋出與一般使用,在散布管道與施行方法上,也較少有示範性或共通性的作為。為呈現學術研究的成果,研究者主要著重於論文的發表。用以佐證研究結果的原始資料的整理發佈,並不受到格外的重視。將原始資料清理成公眾可以獨立使用的格式,對研究者反而是額外的工作。(這讓人想到一則關於自由軟體的聽聞:有些程式開發者心理很願意釋出程式的原始碼,但最後沒能釋出,原因是覺得自己寫的程式有些醜,或是程式碼沒加註釋,覺得不好意思,但也沒時間修改了,所以就不釋出。)

一般的研究機構對其所蒐集產生的科學資料,通常在釋出政策上也不多作要求,在行政程序或是資訊技術上,也未必對研究者提供必要的協助。研究機構或是研究者本身,也常以智慧財產的角度,對科學資料的釋出,持保留的態度;當資料還沒被分析發表為論文之前,這些資料的開放近用與自由流通,尤其困難。但在現今的研究環境,能夠取得其他研究團隊的第一手原始資料,自由進行各種資料的整合、萃取、與分析,以互惠的精神協力合作,卻是非常的重要。分享觀測資料的虛擬天文台,已是常見的典範模式。

公共所出資的科學研究的產出(即使是原始資料),應該給所有公民(包括其他研究者)所使用,這在法律、政治、與倫理上,都有不可逃避的理由 [2]。民主國家中政府資訊公開,以及公共出資的科學產出的開放近用議題,也逐漸受到重視。有足夠的例證顯示,政府資訊(包括公共出資的科學資料)的公開對於社會經濟活動,相當有助益。一些研究報告就指出,相對於歐盟,美國聯邦政府採取較開放的方式,釋出所掌有的資料(如地理量測、即時氣象等原始資料),因此在相關產業的規模與發展(如地理資訊、氣象預報等服務),領先歐盟甚多。

對於科學資料與出版品的開放近用與自由流通,台灣在政策上並沒有特別的規範。雖然《科學技術基本法》的第二十條提到:「為推動科學技術研究發展,政府應擬訂科學技術資訊流通政策,採取整體性計畫措施,建立國內外科學技術研究發展之相關資訊網路及資訊體系」,但這似乎是高層次的宣示;個別研究機構對於其所產出的科學資料與出版品,是否釋出供一般使用,在作法上可能差異很大。以下簡要介紹兩項示範性的作為,供大家參考。

國科會的‹專題研究計畫執行同意書›,要求以調查法(如面訪、電話訪問、郵寄問卷等)進行計畫之主持人,應將「研究成果報告、資料讀我檔、空白問卷、過錄號碼簿、電腦資料數據檔、資料欄位定義程式等及調查資料檔案利用授權書」,送中央研究院人文社會科學研究中心調查研究專題中心。而該中心對所保管的調查資料,於一定時間後,釋出給國內外研究機構、大專院校的研究人員、教授或研究生使用。

2001年由行政院核定通過的「生物多樣性行動方案」中,明示應建置國家生物多樣性資訊中心,整合全國生物多樣性相關資料,促進研究、教育、及保育之功能。為此中央研究院已接受國科會與農委會部份經費補助,負責整合台灣生物多樣性的各式資料,並維運「台灣生物多樣性資訊入口網」 (Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility, TaiBIF) 。該網站是台灣在「全球生物多樣性資訊機構」 (Global Biodiversity Information Facility, GBIF) 的入口網站,與其它參與 GBIF 的國家入口網站,進行生物多樣性資料的全球交換與分享。

以上兩項工作的內容與挑戰,請參見張苙雲、邵廣昭兩位研究員在3月研討會的介紹。科學資料的開放近用與自由流通,還有許多努力的空間,也需要大家的關注。

註:本文先前已刊於台灣創用CC計畫網站。此篇的中文內容和英文內容相當不同。


[1] Creative Commons, ‹CC0 FAQ›. ^

[2] Paul F. Ulhir, ‹The emerging role of open repositories for scientific literature as a fundamental component of the public research infrastructure›. In «Open Access: Open Problems», pp. 59-103, G. Sica (editor), Polimetrica, Torino, Italy (2007). ^

2009-07-01

‹Bentwave› @ WNYU

Never have I considered myself to be into minimal techno, nevertheless I now make a habit of tuning in every Tuesday morning at 10:30 for ‹Bentwave›, hosted by Miss Eleanor at WNYU. By the way, that is Monday 10:30 pm in New York.

Each set is full of serious fun, good for 2 ½ hours! Better yet, the programs are archived with playlists. So you know where to find and what to lean on when fighting the daily inbox!

It happens that Miss Eleanor is paying a tribute to the King of Pop today.

Bentwave @ WNYU, June 29, 2009
Image: www.wnyu.org

〈折波〉 @ 紐約大學電台

從沒認為我是極簡電子音樂的愛好者,不過現在卻有個習慣每週二早上十點半準時收聽紐約大學電台,由伊蓮娜小姐主持的〈折波〉。對了,在紐約的話時間是週一晚上十點半。

每集滿滿兩個半小時,精彩緊湊!更棒的是,舊節目的錄音和曲目都有留存。所以,每日與電子郵件信箱奮戰所需要的支撐,你知道要去哪裡找了!

恰好今天伊蓮娜小姐為了「流行音樂之王」,於節目中致意。

2009-03-31

Spring Arriving at Caoshan

We were at Caoshan ten days ago. What a refreshing trek!

Spring Arriving at Caoshan

Spring Arriving at Caoshan

Spring Arriving at Caoshan

Spring Arriving at Caoshan

草山之春

十天之前我們去了草山。沿途小徑多怡人!

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