2003 June

The Phoenix Trap

Matt Haughey, June 26th, 2003

This week’s featured content is Philadelphia-area rock band The Phoenix Trap. All their songs at MP3.com are available under a Creative Commons license (which also has streaming versions). Fans can purchase a CD of their full set of songs as well. “Not Me” and “You’re on Fire” were definitely my favorites.

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Metadata embedding and verfication plan for MP3 & other formats

Glenn Otis Brown, June 25th, 2003

A big part of the OYEZ Supreme Court audio announcement today is our new strategy for helping people associate license information with MP3s. (We’ll soon move on to other file formats.)

Right now we’re just showing people how to associate verifiable license links with files. But we want to encourage the developer community and various file-sharing and media player companies to build tools that take advantage of the embedded links to make our licenses useful in the P2P and other non-web contexts.

More info:

(1) Metadata embedding in MP3s and other files

(2) The advantage of the verification link

(3) Verification link: also a traffic engine

(4) Geek-readable version of embedding strategy

Please give us your feedback below, or on the metadata discussion list.


Supreme Court Audio Classics Enter P2P Zone Thanks to Creative Commons Licenses

Glenn Otis Brown, June 25th, 2003

Today, the OYEZ Project announced the first-stage, 100-hour release of MP3s from their 2000+ hours of Supreme Court recordings using Creative Commons’ licenses.

The release also marks the debut of our new metadata tagging and verification strategy, which explains how to attach and verify license information to MP3s (and soon, other files) for distribution on the Net.

Read the Featured Commoner interview of OYEZ director and founder Jerry Goldman, by Creative Commons’ Laura Lynch.

Check out some Supreme Court audio, such as the recent Affirmative Action case.

Read the press release.

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Adelante con Swartz

Glenn Otis Brown, June 24th, 2003

Creative Commons has signed on in support of Aaron Swartz‘s call for “forward motion” on blog protocols. We will be participating in helping define licensing extensions to the new specification.

(I’ve worked with Aaron, our metadata advisor, for over a year now, and this isn’t the first time I’ve followed his lead. You should try it if you haven’t.)

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Help! I’m in a nutshell!

Matt Haughey, June 23rd, 2003

In a newly posted interview on the Apple site, “O’Reilly in a Nutshell,” Tim O’Reilly discusses how his publishing company came to be, how it follows open source trends, and how it publishes many titles under a Creative Commons Founders’ Copyright license.

We should note that the Founders’ Copyright isn’t just for big publishing houses. Anyone can apply for a license to release their works after 14 (or 28) years.

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OpenContent’s David Wiley, Educational License Project Lead

Glenn Otis Brown, June 23rd, 2003

David Wiley, Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at Utah State University and founder of the trailblazing OpenContent, is Project Lead for development of an educational use Creative Commons license, which begins today.

Welcome, Professor Wiley.

Read the first draft.

Review our earlier discussion on the subject.

Join the current discussion.

Read the press release.

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The Pentagon Papers were less secure

Glenn Otis Brown, June 19th, 2003

“Advanced Marketing Services, a San Diego-based distributor that expects to handle about 2 million [fortcoming Harry] Potter books between Saturday and January 2004, has hired security guards in the United States and added guard dogs for a Canadian distributor it partially owns. . . .

‘I can’t let you touch the book,’ warned Bill Carr, Amazon.com’s director of books, music, videos and DVDs. He gestured toward some of the more than 200,000 books — about 150 tons worth — that will be shipped to West Coast destinations.

Similar operations are under way at Amazon.com’s four other major regional distribution centers in Newcastle, Del.; Coffeyville, Kan.; Campbellsville, Ky.; and Lexington, Ky.

The 896-page books were locked in special rooms when they arrived at the warehouse. They were cordoned off from the rest of building by a pair of security guards, who were not allowed to talk to reporters. Reporters were searched on their way out of the building.”

–From MSNBC (thanks to Creative Commons intern Ben O’Neil).


Creative Commons on the Hustings

Glenn Otis Brown, June 19th, 2003

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is using a Creative Commons license on his campaign blog.

Some Rights Reserved is a big-tent party. When it comes to IP, we’re the only true party of Jefferson. So who’s next to walk in TJ’s footsteps?

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The Flipside of iTunes?

Glenn Otis Brown, June 19th, 2003

“[B]ecause of the discrete selling and buying of music, digital single by digital single, that iTunes and its kin will foster, we can expect a decline in music bundling, and thus in risk-taking and its shy companion, innovation.”

A thought-provoking piece by Sahar Akhtar in Salon today. Akhtar predicts that iTunes-like services will lead to a shallow, ear-candy music economy.

Questions for the author, and Creative Commons blog readers:

(1) Isn’t Akhtar really advocating music-snob paternalism? Listen to the songs as I package them for you, because I know better than you how your tastes should run. This attitude might be fine for a DJ spinning a set, but not for an entire market. To a savvy consumer, or an antitrust lawyer, “music bundling” sounds like a euphemism for tying listeners’ hands.

(2) To avert the death of the art-rock album format, couldn’t artists simply begin producing CDs without indexed tracks? If you really want someone to listen to a whole album, let the technology push them that way.

(3) How often do musicians (real ones, not A&R puppets) really consider the format of distribution when writing a hook? When you’ve stumbled upon an edgy arrangement or harmony, are you really going to scrap it because of that pesky new iTunes?

(4) I like b-sides, too. But before Net-based music, the only way to find obscure b-sides and outtakes was to buy a boxed set, or an EP single — which without exception included the hit songs that die-hard fans had already paid for on albums. (I must have bought four copies of the Pixies‘ “This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven” just to hear a few rare b-sides it was bundled with.) Why force cult fans to doubly subsidize hit singles?

(5) “‘B sides’ and the noncommercially oriented tracks that fill out a given album have always been the artistic payoff.” Sure, sometimes, but always? Ever listen to a Police album all the way through? I’m pretty sure the U.S. military used those b-sides for psychological warfare in Iraq.

Your thoughts?


New Featured Commoner: Mark Watson

Glenn Otis Brown, June 19th, 2003

Check out an interview with our latest Featured Commoner, writer and coder Mark Watson, by new Creative Commons intern Derek Slater.

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