2004 June

CC Search Plugins

Mike Linksvayer, June 25th, 2004

Earlier today Steve Griffin announced a CC Search Sidebar for Mozilla-Based Browsers. Previously Steve has worked on a C# API for CC metadata.

A mycroft search plugin for the CC search engine is also available.

The mycroft plugin adds a new search engine to those available from the Mozilla Firefox toolbar.

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CC MP3 GUI Tagger

Mike Linksvayer, June 24th, 2004

Creative Commons has a simple strategy for linking licensing information in mp3s and other media files often found on P2P networks back to the web. Until now implementing that strategy was rather a pain for publishers. The only tools were command line, and those depended upon a gaggle of libraries not already installed on a typical machine.

Thanks to work by Nathan Yergler, we have a new application that attacks both problems. ccTag 0.5.2 offers a cross plaform GUI that works on Linux, OS X, and Windows. The command line version has no dependencies apart from Python 2.x.

ccTag screenshot
Ye obligatory screenshot.

Long term one vision is to have a desktop tool that one could drag any media one wanted to license over. The tool would ask the user about licensing, embed any metadata appropriate, and have the ability to publish metadata and the licensed media to the web. ccTag is one small step along that road.

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Fix Web Multimedia

Mike Linksvayer, June 24th, 2004

Lucas Gonze:

What I am thinking is that we need a tech social movement to fix web multimedia by insisting that web standards be followed. REST was such a movement in the protocol space. The Zeldman-inspired movement to use structural HTML and CSS only did the same thing with design. This would be a direct analog for multimedia. Use real URLs that are not hidden behind javascript. Use correct mime types — no making them up because you don’t have time to look up the answer. Use standard data formats — no proprietary types. Use correctly formatted playlists — if you have a ram playlist, the extension must be .ram rather than .rm.

Well said. Creative Commons likes multimedia and believes in building on standards. The web will benefit from this movement. Those interested in building a commons will benefit in particular. Trivial example: It can be a big pain to share and reuse content mediated by a maze of javascript. If you want your content to be shared and built upon, do license it, then follow Gonze’s advice. One way to do this is to take advantage of the Internet Archive‘s ability to host Creative Commons licensed audio and video content.

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Wilco pays for spycasts

Matt Haughey, June 23rd, 2004

Wired has a bizarre story of music and sampling royalties involving found sound recordings by one person sold as CDs which the band Wilco sampled from. What is unusual about the case is the company claiming copyright on the sounds, Irdial Discs, didn’t perform or write the shortwave broadcasts of what is reportedly hours of spy messages. Irdial simply recorded (and obtained recordings from others) four discs full of it and released it as a compilation. While they embrace free downloading and sharing of the tracks, they do prohibit commercial use, which Wilco looped on a successful 2002 album.
As the article states, many legal experts are unsure if Irdial had the rights to demand royalties and point out that future musicians may be wary of using found sounds such as these.

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SpaceShipOne event recollections

Matt Haughey, June 23rd, 2004

Early this week, SpaceShipOne became the first manned private flight into space. The event was covered by industry news organizations as well as the general media, but personally, I find this first-person account and these sets of photos and movies of the launch more compelling than the general news coverage so far.

space ship

Photo of SpaceShipOne by Bruce Damer.

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A few select photos from Software Livre

Neeru Paharia, June 23rd, 2004

As mentioned earlier on the blog, Creative Commons took part in 5th Annual Software Livre Conference in Porto Alegre earlier this month. Here are some select photos from the event:

The IBM booth. The pillar says “the future is open” in Portuguese:

A conference sign:

The Minster of Culture’s booth, displaying both of our stickers:

A view of the audience:

Professor Lessig, and Professor Fisher waiting for the panel to begin:

Minister Gil, next to Jon Maddog Hall, giving his address:

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Street Memes

Neeru Paharia, June 23rd, 2004

Street Memes is a new Eyebeam R&D project designed to track the spread of street art. All submissions are licensed under the Noncommercial-ShareAlike licence.

Read more about it, or just grab a camera!

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XMP embedding for pdflatex

Mike Linksvayer, June 22nd, 2004

Maarten Sneep has created a pdflatex macro for embedding XMP in PDF files generated from LaTeX source, the de facto standard for scientific documents. As Maarten’s documentation points out, one may obtain XMP suitable for embedding via choose license process.

We have a tech challenge calling for Creative Commons and XMP support in open source applications. Follow Maarten’s lead!

Update: The software above is available via CTAN: the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network. The package is called xmpincl (the second link in this post points to a CTAN mirror). Also of note, xmpincl is licensed under the CC-GNU GPL.


President Bush public domain audio project

Matt Haughey, June 19th, 2004

Though the graphics on this project probably reveal the author’s personal positions on the President, it is pretty cool that someone went to the trouble of creating an audio archive of every speech President George W Bush has made publicly. They’re available for download as mp3, or you can get all 10 Gb of audio on three DVDs from the site.

It’d be cool if the Library of Congress site had this level of detail on all presidents, but this will do for now. They’re even throwing a little music remix contest based on the speeches.

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Center for Cooperative Research

Neeru Paharia, June 19th, 2004

The Center for Cooperative Research is building a database application which will allow the public to conduct grassroots investigations, and participate in the documentation of public historical records by contributing data to their history engine. All the entries will be under an Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license.

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