In previous posts here on BB (one, two, three), some readers argued that deep linking is a fundamental right on the 'net, and syndicated public radio shows like "This American Life" should just let fans roll their own podcast code if they like. Others, like reader Brendan Greeley, disagree:
I'm a producer for Open Source, another public radio show distributed by PRI. I'm not in any way speaking for PRI or TAL, though PRI has been great in their support of our use of CC licenses, and TAL is of course the greatest radio progam ever made ever.
I think, though, that by creating your own podcast of TAL content you're assuming that TAL can ONLY ever be a radio show, that is, it can only ever make audio files and distribute them. But a media company is much more than the files of content it makes. The shape of our RSS feed is a part of our content and brand just as much as the mp3 enclosures it delivers. If someone decided to grab our publicly available, CC-licensed mp3 files and re-distribute them in a different way than we'd planned (say, filtering out everything but shows about Iraq) I can imagine we'd have a problem with it.
It would limit, for example, our ability to accompany the mp3 enclosures with our own descriptive text. It would limit our ability to insert other content -- extras from interviews, a separate file of a promo for a new podcast we're launching -- into our RSS feed. Consumer platforms change by the month; there are ways we haven't thought of to use an RSS feed to shape our content, but we sure want to hold on to the ability to make those decisions when they come to us.
The second you take those mp3 files, wrap them in your own packaging and make them available to others in the way most convenient to you, you've reduced a radio program to a provider of one-hour weekly audio files. Maybe that's all TAL wants to be -- certainly every week it provides extraordinary one-hour audio files -- but shouldn't TAL get to make that decision?
Also, guys, public radio operates on painfully thin margins, and TAL is a very expensive show to produce. Ira Glass is not a big-media fat cat. Help us out here.
I have great respect for both "This American Life" and "Open Source", but I have a bit of an issue with one of Brendan Greeley's comments. He says, "If someone decided to grab our publicly available, CC-licensed mp3 files and re-distribute them in a different way than we'd planned (say, filtering out everything but shows about Iraq) I can imagine we'd have a problem with it."
But wait a minute. Right on the "Open Source" home page, it says that the content is licensed by a Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0" license. That license (details here) allows derivative works, such as (I assume) an Iraq-only set of Open Source mp3 files. It seems like there's a disconnect there between the actions they'd "have a problem with" and the actions they've allowed.
Robert "kebernet" Cooper says,
I would like to echo Mr. Spurgeon's appreciation for Open Source -- I think it is one of the best hours on radio -- but Mr. Greeley obviously has no understanding of what a network is.
The first rule of network programming is "never trust the client". You can never assume that any client is going to use your network services properly, the way you expect or even the way you want. This leads us to Jon Postel's famous axiom, "In general, an implementation must be conservative in its sending behavior, and liberal in its receiving behavior." To assume that (a) anyone will consume your website the way you designed it, rather than on, say Lynx, a voice browser, or using a Greasemonkey script, is preposterous. To assume that (b) anyone will even look at your RSS feed or see what is there besides the enclosures, is preposterous. I listen to Open Source on my iPod shuffle, synced with amaroK. I never even KNEW there was anything of interest in the feed besides the audio. To assume that (c) people won't deep link your content, filter your content, rate, organize or categorize your content is preposterous.
Moreover, not only is it preposterous to make these assumptions, to somehow pretend that these inherent network behaviors diminish the value of your content really shows a complete lack of understanding about what makes the web truly great.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
The office I work in is full of things old people buy to make themselves feel young again. I can honestly say that our awesome new toy, The Swagtron T3 Hoverboard, makes me feel very, very old. I’ll explain why later. Swagtron T3 Pros There’s no way to overcharge the battery and that means no […]
Python is immensely popular in the data science world for the same reason it is in most other areas of computing—it has highly readable syntax and is suitable for anything from short scripts to massive web services. One of its most exciting, newest applications, however, is in machine learning. You can dive into this booming […]
Learning new skills is a great way to improve your resume and stand out from other candidates. Especially in a workforce in which many job-seekers have a wide variety of qualifications. With lifetime access to Virtual Training Company, you won’t have to choose a specific focus. You can pick up new expertise whenever you deem it […]
Instead of throwing out all the empties after your next party, why not transform them into some new DIY glassware? Cut back on waste and add some home ambiance with the Kinkajou Bottle Cutter and Candle Making Kit.The Kinkajou is designed as a clamp-on scoring blade to make precise cuts. Just slide a bottle in, tighten […]