After nearly two weeks on the road, I've finally resolved the niggling technical issues I was having with the free, CC-licensed electronic edition of Homeland. Many, many thanks to Nat Torkington and Ralph Amissah for their invaluable assistance. You can download and share the free ebooks from the official Homeland site. Go nuts!
Eirik Solheim is an amazing geek and CC activist at NRK, the Norwegian public broadcaster. He writes, "We filmed a train ride four times. One time for each season; winter, spring, summer and autumn. Then we used an accurate GPS-track to sync the four videos using some clever programming in combination with after effects. Giving us endless possibilities for spectacular video footage.
You can watch it on the web, but we have also made it available for everyone to download in full HD -- and licensed it with Creative Commons so that you can edit, remix and share!"
Last year we released our production "Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol" online under a Creative Commons license and Boing Boing was kind enough to post about it.
It's that time of the year again and I just wanted to remind you the show is still online for folks to enjoy a full half hour of silly fun, puppets, songs and just a little of Charles Dickens too.
Ruffus The Dog started as a TV series in Canada on YTV and was nominated for and won several awards. As the creator of the series when I got the rights back I decided to put them all online under a Creative Commons share-alike license. The Christmas Carol was an experiment of sorts to find out what was possible with little or no budget. We will be creating more original short episodes of Ruffus for release online and I'm currently scripting a longer Steampunk Adventure for our puppet cast. The silliness continues.
It's Creative Commons's 10th birthday, and they've asked people to write short essays on their favorite pieces of CC-licensed media. I chose Rudy Rucker's extraordinary Wetware books:
Rudy Rucker is one of the modern heroes of science fiction, one of the original cyberpunks. The early cyberpunks only had a few writers who could be meaningfully called punks — writers like John Shirley and Richard Kadrey — but there was only one who could truly be called cyber: Rudy Rucker. Rucker is a mad professor, a mathematician and computer scientist with a serious, scholarly interest in the limits of computation and the physics and mathematics of higher-dimension geometry.
But that’s just about the only thing you can describe as “serious” when it comes to Rucker. He’s a gonzo wildman, someone for whom “trippy” barely scratches the surface. His work is shot through with weird sex, weird drugs, weird brain chemistry, and above all, weird science.
The Ware Tetralogy is comprised of four novels written between 1982 and 2000, and I gobbled them up as they came out. They describe a future dominated by intensely weird and eerily scientifically plausible self-modifying cluster organisms that use evolutionary algorithms to bud offspring, rising to contend with humanity for dominance of the Earth and its envrions. They also get very, very high. On math. And they screw. A lot. Not like weasels. Not, in fact, like anything. Because Rudy Rucker is NOT LIKE ANYTHING.
The BBC's picture editor Phil Coomes has a long, excellent feature on the open education photography classes offered by Jonathan Worth and Matt Johnston through Coventry University. The course is open to anyone in the world, via webcast, and runs with up to 35,000 students. The class focuses not just on technique, but on the role of photographers in the 21st century, when everyone has a cameraphone, and when controlling copies of photos on the net is an impossibility.
He uses Creative Commons licenses (CC) for his classes. "I'd always been an avid All Rights Reserved user but it just stopped making sense. The open classes can only work with a CC license, which was a big deal for the university because it turns out education establishment are avid All Rights Reserved users too. Much like me thinking I was just an image maker, the uni thought its product was 'knowledge' and their old business model relied on keeping a tight grip on that.
"Well, I knew it wasn't my product as a teacher. My product is the learning experience and opening the doors online meant that I turned that product into an outward-facing asset.
"In a world where everyone with a smartphone is a potential supplier of image content, I had to work out what I did that was different, and it turns out there's a whole bunch of stuff both as an artisan and as a mediator and publisher.
"On a personal level I also found out that this stuff has applications in other areas too - education being a case in point, where I realised the real thing of value was not the knowledge but the learning experience. The message of that experience is amplified by opening it up - hence the success of the open classes."
2012's Free! Music! Contest has opened it's gates at july first. It is the fourth time, that this event is being organized by Musikpiraten, a german society that promotes free art and espacially free music. Bands from all over the world participate in it to win a publication on CD, the so called "Free! Music! Sampler" and prizes worth more than 1.000 Euros.
This year's motto "Freedom and Free Beer" reflects the very basic choice, every artist has to challenge: Shall my art be "free" as in "freedom" or "free" as in "free beer"? So unlike last year, where only cc-by and cc-by-sa licenses where allowed, this year music licensed under and creative commons license can be submitted.
The contest is officially supported by Creative Commons and the remixing portal ccMixter. The latter even announced a project featuring the contest, titled "Free Music & Free Beer. Background is, that Musikpiraten e.V., the foundation behind the contest, is being sued by the german royalty collection society GEMA for having published a creative commons licensed song last year without unrevealing the civil name of the artists. GEMA claims, they cannot verify that the artists are really allowed to publish their songs for free in the internet.
Rick Dakan sez, "Last fall, Mob Rules Games let voters choose their project, and they picked the turn-based haunted house game, Haunts: The Manse Macabre. The trio of indie developers, Geek Mafia author Rick Dakan, programmer Jonathan Wills, and artist Austin McKinnley have been working on it ever since, with the help of a small outside investment. Haunts is being written in Go and the code is all open source, while the content is licensed under Creative Commons. Mob Rules Games is a Benefit Corporation that is employee-owned and managed. They make all budget, sales, schedule, and investments entirely public. They're running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the final $25,000 they need to finish the game in time for Halloween. You can check out their creepy-fun Kickstarter video to learn more, and learn more about the game and the company.
What's the story? A young dancer finds herself disgruntled with her low-paying, mundane waitressing job. One day, she impulsively quits, then takes a ferry to the city. Feeling incredibly inspired by what she sees, Anne dances her way across New York, using the city as her stage. Throughout her journey, she meets characters of all types, including a series of like-minded dancers, who'll inspire new movements, engage her in small battles, and teach her to fear, love, laugh and live anew. From the ferry to museums, subways, ball games, bridges, bodegas, graveyards, flower shops, and more, Anne's journey will bring her far and wide. See the trailer, in full, at http://girlwalkallday.com
Brandon sez, "Earlier this year a friend and I produced a self-financed music video for a song we loved, with permission from the band. After several months work, we posted the video online, where it drew viewers for a week before we unexpectedly received a takedown notice from the band, who were reconsidering the rights usage for that song. Not wanting all of our work to vanish, we decided to turn this setback into a creative opportunity, and created They Call Us /Animals/. We've made the edited visuals of the film, without music, available for download, under Creative Commons license, for musicians, sound designers, and remixers to re-cut, use and share, in the hopes that these collaborations could produce even better works than our original video. I've also made an explanatory video for the project, with music courtesy of NIN's Creative Commons album Ghosts I-IV."
"Soldering is Easy" is a great comic-book primer on soldering; I field tested it this week at the Vancouver Hackspace's table at SIGGRAPH 2011 and managed to solder up a perfectly passable blinking lights kit with only minor burns for my trouble (a major feat, given a) my general clum, and b) my specific jetlag). It's CC licensed, natch.