Freesound, a venerable repository of CC-licensed samples, has been up to a bevy of good work since we last checked in with them. This includes developing a beautiful successor to wav2png, changing their name to freesound.org, teaming up with Happy New Ears to develop an interactive sample machine aimed at children, and launching Freesound Radio, an “experimental web-based system around collaboration and social interaction in sample based music creations.”
What many people don’t realize about Freesound.org is that it is an initiative of the Music Technology Group at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. This means that outside of Freesound there are a collection of amazing students and professors working on understanding how music technology is changing at a rapid pace. One of these student, Jordi Janer, recentlly released his PHD singing-driven interfaces for sound synthesizers as a CC BY-NC-SA licensed PDF download.No Comments »
The Free Culture Game, created by Molleindustria, is a flashed based abstract art piece that attempts to articulate the interplay between the commons and culture at large. Released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, we heard about it first on our community lists, but it has since been getting some nice traction elsewhere on the blogosphere. From Rhizome:
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Italian artists Molleindustria promise “radical games against the dictatorship of entertainment,” and their latest effort may be their most direct statement against the pleasure industry to date. Touted as “playable theory,” the Free Culture Game offers a ludic metaphor for the battle between copyright encroachments and the free exchange of knowledge, ideas and art.
A circular field represents The Common, where knowledge can be freely shared and created; your job is to maintain a healthy ecology of yellow idea-bubbles bouncing from person to person before they can be sucked into the dark outer ring representing the forces of The Market. Your cursor, shaped like the Creative Commons logo, pushes the ideas around with a sort of reverse-magnetic repulsion field (a clever alternative to the typical shooting, eating or jumping-on-top-of-and-smooshing actions of many other 2-D games). People who absorb free, round ideas stay green and happy, while those who only consume square market-produced ones become grey and inverted.
The game never really ends: you can only do better or worse, suggesting by analogy that the fight for free culture will be an ongoing struggle without end.
Castle Crashers, an action/RPG video game, was released a few weeks ago on the XBox Live Arcade service and has been receiving rave reviews for its gameplay, graphics, and sound design. Of note to the CC-community is that the soundtrack has been released online for free under a CC BY-NC-SA license, meaning that fans of the game can now freely enjoy the excellent soundtrack outside of their consoles.2 Comments »
The 100 Second Film Festival is “a collection of short videos presented to an audience in person or through the medium of cable television or the Internet” with the only requirements being that the films are 100 seconds long and are released under a CC BY-NC-SA license. This allows the film festivals – the screenings are decentralized – to pool past submissions as well as new ones for their lineup. Whoever is curating a specific festival can put together the lineup in any fashion they see fit, although ideally, each screening will contain at least a few works produced by the local audience where the screening is held.
This year’s call for entries was just announced, with the deadline to submit a short extended to Dec 15th, 2008. From 100SFF:
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The 100 Second Film Festival is an unique yet accessible universal collaboration. Launched in 2005, this evolving anthology of videos embraces the raw creativity from producers of all skill levels and backgrounds, encouraging them to submit their best work. Works from all genres are welcome
adhering to the common constraint of 100 seconds or less in duration.
General Fuzz, an artist who creates self-described “lush melodic instrumental electronica”, released his new album, Soulful Filling, at the beginning of this month, bringing his number of CC BY-NC-SA licensed albums to an amazing 5.
All the tracks, along with General Fuzz’s other music, are free to download at his website. What really sets Soulful Filling apart though, outside of its musical merit, is that General Fuzz has gone to the trouble of crafting a “multitrack flash mp3 player” that allows you to listen to a song’s individual audio stems either on their own or as a user-defined composite.No Comments »
Journalists, bloggers, and CC supporters gathered last week in Bucharest to celebrate the launch of the localized Romanian Creative Commons licenses. CC Romania Project Lead Bogdan Manolea reports on the event’s success and how popular Romanian artists such as HI-Q have embraced Creative Commons’ flexible and free licensing system.
The public was interested in details about the practical implementation of CC licences starting with the way attribution works and ending with the practical advantages of choosing CC licences for an artist.
Florin Grozea from the popular band HI-Q pointed out that the licences are a valid solution for some of the problems that artists face, as the licences provide a set of rules more flexible than the traditional copyright. He also presented a practical case with their older, very well-known song “Gasca mea (My Mob)”, for which they received a lot of requests from teenagers to use the song to make non-commercial videos to share online (example). Since the purpose of the song was to share the fun spirit of the HI-Q band, the artists decided that such a request should be granted directly. With a CC licence, the conditions for using a creative work are very simple and easy to understand.
On this occasion, the HI-Q band announced that the vocal tracks from the band’s next single will be released under the Romanian CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license. Fans will be invited to create remixes of the tracks and upload them to music-sharing websites. The best covers may also be included in the band’s next album.
Regarding other speakers at the launch:
The band Travka was the first group in Romania to release an entire album under a CC licence. Band member Razvan Rusu explained that they looked for “a kind of an open source licence” that could be used for their music, which is how they found and agreed to use the CC licences.
Ioana Avadani, from the Center for Independent Journalism, emphasized the fact that today, attribution might be more important than all the other author’s rights. She also pointed out that small TV and radio stations are forced to close down because of the demand to pay several copyright royalties. Creative Commons could offer a viable alternative.
The national television station TVR featured the launch of CC Romania, as did a number of blogs (Drept & Internet, Transindex, and Nicu). The event was organized by EDRi-member Association for Technology and Internet (APTI Romania) with help from the Center for Independent Journalism.
Update: The national television station TVR Cultural featured the launch of CC Romania, as did a number of online news portals Hotnews (Romanian) and Transindex (Hungarian), and several blogs (e.g. Drept & Internet, Nicu, Hoinar pe web and Webservator).
“George Gadei @ Travka” by LevyNagy, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommerical-Share Alike license. Photo from a prior concert.No Comments »
Marco Hinic, ‘visualist engineer’ and founder of VJ application ArKaos, recentlly decided to experiment with the Nine Inch Nails Ghosts Film Festival, eventually creating Ghostss, a C++ powered online generative art project that creates infinite visual remixes by pooling over 1GB worth of video and select tracks from Ghosts: I-IV. The result might be one of the coolest video remixes to date and in lieu of the contest rules, Hinic’s videos are released under a CC BY-NC-SA license meaning you can share and remix them as well. From Create Digital Music:
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A few days ago I released the web site ghostss.com; it’s my entry to the NIN Ghosts Film Festival.
It’s an online video remixing application. It builds playlists describing a mix of videos with effects and renders them as an .flv Flash Video file. All the content is on the web site — around 1 gig of video loops and a few mp3’s from NIN music.
In accordance to NIN music, all Videos are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license.
Cory Doctorow Releases “Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future”
CC evangelist and acclaimed author Cory Doctorow announced today the release of his new book, Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future. Content is exactly what it claims to be – 28 essays on “everything from copyright and DRM to the layout of phone-keypads, the fallacy of the semantic web, the nature of futurism, the necessity of privacy in a digital world, the reason to love Wikipedia, the miracle of fanfic, and many other subjects”. If that wasn’t inciting enough, Content also boasts an introduction from EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow and book design by acclaimed typographer John D Berry.
Like his other novels, Doctorow has chosen to release Content both as a print book for sale and as a free-to-download CC BY-NC-SA licensed PDF. In his essay, “Giving it Away” (originally published in Forbes, December 2006 – republished in Content), Doctorow describes his decision to use CC licences and the benefit he has seen as a result:
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When my first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, was published by Tor Books in January 2003, I also put the entire electronic text of the novel on the Internet under a Creative Commons license that encouraged my readers to copy it far and wide. Within a day, there were 30,000 downloads from my site (and those downloaders were in turn free to make more copies). Three years and six printings later, more than 700,000 copies of the book have been downloaded from my site. The book’s been translated into more languages than I can keep track of, key concepts from it have been adopted for software projects, and there are two competing fan audio adaptations online.
Most people who download the book don’t end up buying it, but they wouldn’t have bought it in any event, so I haven’t lost any sales, I’ve just won an audience. A tiny minority of downloaders treat the free ebook as a substitute for the printed book — those are the lost sales. But a much larger minority treat the ebook as an enticement to buy the printed book. They’re gained sales. As long as gained sales outnumber lost sales, I’m ahead of the game. After all, distributing nearly a million copies of my book has cost me nothing.
Ben Rosenbaum, an American science fiction writer and computer programmer, recently released his latest collection of sci-fi shorts, The Ant King: and Other Stories, as both a print collection through Small Beer Press and a free download under a CC BY-NC-SA license.
The Ant King gets a seal of approval from CC evangelist/writer Cory Doctorow and the excerpts from the collection I have been able to read are magnificent. Rosenbaum is encouraging his readers to send in any derivative works they make so that he can post them online. He is simultaneously holding a contest for his three favorite derivative works, whose authors will receive a signed and “extensively doodled-upon” hardcover copy of The Ant King.No Comments »