Creative Commons Aloft

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I recently received a fundraising appeal email from the Creative Commons. I'm a big fan of the Creative Commons and have been blessed with great richness in my life. The richness in my life is not material, though. It's centered more on creativity and community. So I got to thinking about ways that creative types can support the Creative Commons by donating some of their creative works -- for sale by the Creative Commons.

So maybe we need a new category of creative works called, "Creative Commons Aloft." This category of creative works is donated to the Creative Commons organization to keep the organization aloft.

And in the spirit of the Creative Commons, different people can build on each other's creative works to create something bigger and better than any single mind could create. In this spirit, I've composed the chorus of a new song and offer this song as a Creative Commons Aloft. Others Creative Commons supporters around the world can pitch in to contribute verses of this song. Musicians more talented than myself can record the song and offer their own talent to support the Creative Commons. The Creative Commons can then sell this song via the iTunes Music Store and other music distribution channels.

Here is a Flash file of the song I've started composing, titled Unduly Free. Can you think of a verse to add to this song? If so, send it over. If not, can you show this song to a friend to see if they have a verse to contribute? What do you think is the theme of this song? What are the dimensions of that theme?

Not every submitted verse will be added to the song, but the chances are good that if your verse resonates with the theme of the song, it will be added to the song.

The song will be maintained on Blogger. I would also love to hear from musicians interested in performing this song. There may well be more than one recorded version of the song.

As new collaborative web tools are invented, these tools can be used by people working on Creative Commons Aloft projects. When the Creative Commons was started a few years ago, it might have been too self-oriented to create a category of creative works to support the Creative Commons. But it's perfectly fine for supporters of the Creative Commons to invent such a category of creative works.

We just did.

Phil Shapiro

The author is an Adjuct Professor of education and a technology access activist in the Washington DC-area. He can be reached at

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