The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'creative commons'
Web toy of the day: FontStruct. A Flash-based web app which allows you to create your own geometric fonts from a selection of tiles.
The site lets you make your characters as large or small as you want, and gives you access to all of Unicode (so if you want to do the entire set of Chinese pictographs, knock yourself out). You can download your creations in TrueType or Flash bitmap format, or share them in the site's galery under a variety of Creative Commons licences. Or just browse the gallery for other users' creations, which vary from the sorts of geometric and bitmap fonts you'd expect to find to retro-styled ones, blackletter fonts, and the odd twee-looking picture font.
Which is way cool, though I can't help but think that FontShop has just wiped out its market for geometric fonts. (Not that that was unexpected; with the rise of user-generated content and better authoring tools, content is no longer a seller's market, and the standard of user-generated content is rising to the point where, even if it's on average not as good as the professional stuff, it's often good enough.)
They were a 1990s alternative act who hit the chart with an anthem of alienation and disaffection, before going weird and experimental, telling their record label to get lost and releasing a new record online, free for the taking. No, not Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails. Their new album Ghosts I-IV is out online, with the first 9 tracks available for free in MP3 form and the entire thing, in MP3 or lossless FLAC, costing a mere US$5. Trent Reznor even uploaded it to The Pirate Bay for you, which is probably just as well as NIN's official server's not holding up very well. There will also be a series of deluxe versions, including heavyweight vinyl, signed prints of artwork and Blu-Ray discs full of high-resolution separate tracks for making your own remix (which you're free to do as you please with, given that it's under the Creative Commons).
Musically, don't expect the same old Hot Topic teen-angst-noise; if anything, freed from his contract to "alternative" sausage factory Interscope, Trent Reznor has gone towards a more introspective ambient minimalism, with the odd touch of electric guitar or choppy breakbeat here and there, like a sort of black-clad Scott Walker. It's a bit repetitive in places, and parts (such as the opening track) carry their 1990s alternative legacy in the form of a sort of jarring dissonance in the harmonies that is of that generation. (Or at least this is the case with Ghosts I; I haven't heard the rest yet.) Also, the booklet is lovely; a collection of artful Lomo photographs of empty landscapes and fields of light and shade.
This site will be linking to a different Creative Commons-licensed song for every day of the next year:
Many of the artists available under the Creative Commons are just as good as anything you might hear on plain 'ol everyday terrestrial radio. So "what's the difference" you say? What is the difference between the artists you hear every day and the artists you'll find under the Creative Commons?
Plain and simple, the artists you hear every day, many of them very talented, have the backing of the Major Record Labels. Sony, EMI, Warner and Universal, spend millions of dollars every year, and work really, really, really hard to make sure you hear the music they are selling. They have the collective power of giants.
No, they can’t manufacture hit records. The public is a fickle beast, a ‘hit’ is a combination of marketing and the public’s will to succomb to that marketing. What they can do, is pick a big handfull of bands, throw them all at the virtual public wall, and hope something ’sticks’. And for the 100 - 200 acts a year that are lucky enough to get this big shotgun launch, out of the thousands per year that are signed by record labels, out of those thousands emerge tens. Tens of acts that will make top 40 radio what it is this year.
But what of those thousands of other acts? Well, the record label still owns the rights to their music. They can’t promote it themselves, without the lion’s share of the profits from that promotion going directly into the hands of those same record companies that failed to promote them. They signed a contract, they got a ‘deal’, the dream of all musicians who just want to pursue their art and make a living, they got the golden record deal.
CC:365 exists to showcase those that went the other way. We are here, quite simply, to turn you , the music listener on to some of the greatest music floating around the internet today.
The BBC Creative Archive site is now up. There's no content yet (they're still working on negotiating the licenses), but the details have been officially announced. It's going to be distributed under something very similar to a Creative Commons by-nc-sa-style licence, only with a "no endorsement" clause prohibiting use of material for campaigning or defamation (which presumably stems from English copyright law's concept of moral rights). This licence will be used not only by the BBC, but also by other organisations such as Channel 4 and the British Film Institute for their own online archive efforts. In other details: there will be no DRM whatsoever, though the archive will only be accessible from British IP addresses (though I'm told that the people behind it are pushing to lift this restriction), and peer-to-peer technologies will be used to help distribute it (which, presumably, means that the BBC's download site will act as a BitTorrent tracker/seeder).
While we're on the topic, an article on the push to bring Creative Commons licensing to Britain.
Ultra-groovy MP3 record label Comfort Stand, who brought us the Two Zombies Later lounge/exotica compilation and the Ghouls With Attitude vintage monster/spooky/horror-themed music compilation, are back with a new compilation, titled Wakka Chikka Wakka Chikka. Subtitled "Porn Music For The Masses Volume 1", it's inspired by porno soundtrack music, and features sleazy lounge grooves, wah-wah guitar, bootywhangular guitar/sax/Moog solos and the odd dose of sexed-up 90s dance music, industriogothic cyber-metal, alpine oom-pah-pah and obscene MacInTalk dialogue. (via bOING bOING)
More excellent news: BBC to open up archive; all content from the BBC's archive will be released online under a Creative Commons non-commercial license; no digital restrictions management technologies are expected to be involved. This could prove to be a glancing glow for the neo-Galambosians who are pushing for end-to-end copy-control on everything. Though I half expect the politicians to scupper or cripple it (after all, everyone wants Murdoch's support in the next election, don't they). Though if it goes through, it will be a terrific boon for the cultural heritage of the 20th century. (via Rocknerd)