Music journalist Devon Powers has a great piece on copyright terms, sampling, and the Beatles at PopMatters. In it, she looks at the Grey Album and comes to the conclusion that overly long copyright terms harm our culture by limiting the use of music as social force. Akin to “Free the Mouse” she arrives at the conclusion “Something’s gotta be done about the Beatles.”
And for all of us who hold music dear, we owe it to ourselves to not only let our musical past footnote our musical present, but also allow that past to live and breathe, change and reform, disappear and reappear in unexpected ways.
[via The Importance of…]Comments Off on Something’s gotta be done about the Beatles
Matt’s post earlier today about Hit Song Science, a piece of software that uses algorithms to analyze songs to predict their likelihood of success in the market, reminded me of a favorite imaginative bit in Jonathan Franzen’s novel The Corrections, which was a big hit a couple years ago:
. . . Brian spent his executive afternoons noodling around with computer code . . . and writing a piece of software that in the fullness of time he quietly patented, quietly found a VC backer for, and one day, on the advice of this backer, quietly sold to the W Corporation for $19,500,000.
Brian’s product, called Eigenmelody, processed any piece of recorded music into an eigenvector that distilled the song’s tonal and melodic essence into discrete, manipulable coordinates. An Eigenmelody user could select a favorite Moby song, and Eigenmelody would spectroanalyze her choice, search a recorded-music database for songs with similar eigenvectors, and produce a list of kindred sounds that the user might otherwise have never found . . . . Eigenmelody was a parlor game, musicological tool, and record-sales-enhancer rolled into one.
Franzen’s fictional concept sounds more feasible and useful than Hit Song Science’s, but the parallels are interesting.
Separate point: I remember reading Franzen’s passage and thinking what an interesting dilemma for a novelist to have: If you come up with a great, compelling idea for an invention, do you pursue it in your art, or in real life?Comments Off on Song Science, Part II: Fact and Fiction?
Creative Commons co-founder and chairman Lawrence Lessig will be giving a talk entitled “Creativity and Its Enemies” next week. The event will take place on March 23rd at Buttenwieser Hall, 92nd Street at Lexington, in New York City. It’s a part of an ongoing series sponsored by Wired Magazine.Comments Off on Lawrence Lessig talk in NYC next week
This is interesting news for musicians — you know how some songs are really catchy and you wonder if the hooks could be engineered to make people like the song? A company called Polyphonic HMI has created software they call “Hit Song Science” which is supposed to contain algorithms that determine if a song is likely to be a hit. The company is touting their first attempt at using HSS in the marketplace as a success. [via furdlog]Comments Off on Building the perfect hit song
I’m at the Institute for the Future today for the Future of Cooperation Expert Colloqium. (I’m in favor of the future, and cooperation, as it happens, so it’s a good fit.)
One of the many interesting things I’ve learned about today is “visual journalism,” which you could also call “whiteboarding for posterity.” Eileen Clegg, who is memorializing this meeting with visual journalism, told me about a series of brainstorm-murals she created to sum up a big-thinkers symposium at IBM this fall. The images are all CC-licensed, right there on the IBM website. Check out the mural that resulted from a session led by Berkeley’s Hal Varian.Comments Off on Whiteboarding as Art?
John Buckman, creator and head of the non-evil, Creative Commons friendly music label Magnatune has started his own blog. A recent gem is the exchange his wife had with a music executive at an industry conference. Great stuff.Comments Off on Magnatune gets to blogging
At the tail end of last night’s broadcast of ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, they did a short piece on music mash-ups (video only available to ABCnews premium subscribers).
There’s an interview with Mitch Butler and he does a live mash-up demo of Eminem’s Without Me laid over Scott Joplin’s ragtime piano classics. ABCnews also covers the DJ Dangermouse’s Grey Album controversy. Unfortunately, the piece characterizes all mash-ups as completely illegal and alludes to people using PCs and audio software as potentially doing great harm to the music industry.Comments Off on Mainstreaming of mash-ups
Ben Adida, one of our technical advisors, will be talking about Creative Commons at the DSpace User Meeting on Thursday morning at MIT. He will demonstrate the integration of the CC license selection process into the DSpace application. Thanks to the CC License Engine, this development work can be done in a few hours, providing any web-based application with the full, always-up-to-date, selection of Creative Commons Licenses.1 Comment »
Buzznet is a photoblog community offering free hosting space for your digital photos and mobile phone shots. They offer image uploads via your web browser and cameraphones using email, making it easy to setup your own gallery of photos. Recently we noticed they became the first photoblogging service to offer the ability to license your gallery under a Creative Commons license.
If you’ve got a cameraphone or bunch of digital photos you’d like to share, sign up for a new account then simply select a license in the preferences to apply it to all your photos.Comments Off on Buzznet adds licenses