Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Will It Come To This

Will It Come To This?

Creative Commons License
Will It Come To This? by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Is it going to come down to something like this?

"I hereby grant a license to all of my copyrighted works to everyone who does the same. The license allows them to do anything with my copyrighted works that copyright law would prevent them from doing without a license from me to do so."

I figure there will need to be some caveats to deal with DRM and such things but perhaps this is where we will have to go to try and defeat things like #SOPA and the like.

NOTE: I am not doing the above now, I am asking the question. Right now I am still using BY-SA for works that I indicate as such.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Clue For Cable Bahamas

A Clue For Cable Bahamas

OK, so I went to lunch with a friend today and he mentions that cable cut off his internet over the weekend for a $17 unpaid balance. Seems his bill is around a hundred a month and he overpays by a small amount online and never really looks at the bill itself.

Actually, a couple of clues.

1. Disconnect accounts on Monday morning, not on the weekend.

2. Be smart. Why disconnect a regularly paying customer over such a small amount. How about an email to let them know of the problem? Perhaps to an email account other than the Cable Bahamas / Coralwave one which I am sure many never use.

3. Here is the main clue... Set up a captive portal instead of disconnecting an account. When the person tries to go on the web, take them to a page explaining the issue and giving them a chance to review their bill and pay online. Problem solved. Everyone is happy.

Other internet companies should feel free to use this clue to your benefit as well.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Attribution But Not Attribution-ShareAlike?

Attribution But Not Attribution-ShareAlike?

Decide to write this up after reading this news:

Blackboard Launches New Open Education Initiatives

My simple thought is that if you find a company or person willing to let you share your work under a BY license but not under a BY-SA license you might want to pause and think twice. Their unstated message to you may just be that they are willing to let you work for them for free but are not willing to let you protect that work for your community.

There is too much fear of copyleft going around these days.

#FearCopyLeft #FearBYSA


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Company Lottery Idea

Company Lottery Idea

I will explain this idea with an example based on BEC. (The Bahamas Electricity Corporation for our non-Bahamas based readers.)

OK, so BEC could fund this by adding a dollar to every customer's/meter's bill each month but that might cause trouble so instead they might fund it by allocating a dollar for every customer/meter each month.

Let's say the have 50,000 meters/customers. That's $50,000.00 dollars per month as a "lottery" prize.

Each month they would draw numbers one digit at a time until they reacher their account number length. If the numbers drawn match a customer number, that customer gets the prize so long as their account is in good standing. (Paid up to date as of the last billing period?) If there is no match or the account is not up to date, a percentage of the prize rolls over to the next month.

This should prove a powerful incentive to get customers to stay current. (With their current bill... rimshot.)

Say every quarter or two quarters, numbers would keep being drawn until the prize is won.

If this would be considered gambling, a simple "skill" question could be added to the mix after the numerical choosing. (If that would be enough.)

I should have some refinements and additions soon. If you implement this idea in your company, I would appreciate hearing from you.

I am available for consulting for tweaking this idea to better fit your situation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dial Your Smart Phone

Dial Your Smart Phone

graphic from: http://www.openclipart.org/image/800px/svg_to_png/phone.png
Drawn by: Benjamin Woodruff / pipeep

So here is a little idea, put an old style dial on a smart phone's touch enabled lcd. Allow the phone to be dialed complete with sound effects.

Hmm. Seems like someone already has one for the iPhone.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Begin And Persist

Begin And Persist

I get tired of hearing about people sending out Cease And Desist notices to others. Especially as it relates to music, the arts, culture, and software.

So I had this wacky idea. It might be fun to send out Begin And Persist notices. If you are doing the Free (Free Culture - Free Software) thing in some area why not send out a Begin And Persist notice to friends asking them to begin sharing your work with others and to persist in doing so.

Let me know if you like the idea and if you decide to send out some notices of your own?

Let me know if you have any ideas for making this even better.

all the best,


Update May 22/2012

 Want to work with a graphic artist to design a logo etc, for this idea. Contact me to discuss / brainstorm  if you are interested.

I would also be interested in hearing from a lawyer interested in drawing up some letters for tongue in cheek use modeled off the real (anti)things. Pro bono of course.

Friday, September 9, 2011

ISP Suggestion

ISP Suggestion

OK, so I was just on hold for forever as a business cable modem was down this morning.

I was informed that it was a general problem with cable modem service for all areas and they did not have any idea yet as to when it might be fixed.

Fair enough.

The problem is that I might wait forever and not call back because I still have a problem when they think all is cured. Or, I may waste more hours calling back to check the situation when they are still working on it.

I suggested that they might want to give me a web page to check for status information. This seemed too much. I don't think it should be too much. Alternately, I could give an email address and they could email status updates.

They did let me leave a phone number and promised to call back when the fix was done but this seems to be sub-optimal for my case.

Perhaps they should consider offering all options to customers.

How does your ISP handle such issues? Telco? Other utility?

all the best,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Online National Insurance Payments

Online National Insurance Payments

So here is the deal Bahamas Government. Allow people to make their National Insurance payments online.

Let them fill out the forms online. Remember what they last filled in an pre-fill the form for them. Let them pay directly from their bank account to you.

I have a feeling that if you do this, you will have a lot of the small guys at least being more up to date with their payments.

Here is another little thought. Let people pay up to a year in advance and fill in the forms for up to a year in advance. Then make change forms available to them if needed.

all the best,


Friday, July 15, 2011



So I was reading this forum thread on Kompoz this morning and I had an idea.

I think there may be a non-SoundCloud way to get this done. On top of that, I think that besides being different, it may be better for what we would want it for on Kompoz.

So let's say we are listening to a particular track of Turn Off This Light and we can see that at the bottom we have a Add a Comment section with a Submit Comment button. All we would need is to add a radio button choice section:

[X] Entire Track [ ] Current location in track

We could default to Entire Track.

If we post a comment with the default, everything works as it currently does for Kompoz track comments. If we choose [X] Current location in track then a play button link gets added to the post which when clicked will begin playing at the spot where the posted had paused the track when making the post.

Is this explanation clear? Would this work for us?

all the best,


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stronger Attribution-Share Alike For Photos & Illustrations

Stronger Attribution-Share Alike For Photos & Illustrations

I have tried having this discussion on the Creative Commons mailing lists before but feel I have never even gotten to the point of being properly understood.

At the urging of Mike Linksvayer in a discussion on Identica, I am trying again.

@zotz … http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC_Attribution-ShareAlike_Intent (3) says scope of copyleft will only increase…

@zotz … so make sure you campaign incessantly for increase in copyleft scope in 4.0 discussion. :-)

The Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license works well to preserve the Freedoms of people with respect to many types of copyrighted works.

It does not work nearly as well for photos and illustrations however. To show the problem we will take two similar situations and see how they differ.

1. A BY-SA licensed recorded song that someone wants to use in a film or video.

2. A BY-SA licensed photo that someone wants to use as an illustration in a book or article.

There seems to be wide agreement that in order to use the song in a video, the video will have to be put under the BY-SA license as well. There is even special language in the license to make this clear.

There also seems to be wide agreement that the same would not hold in the case of the photo in the book.

I would like it to hold in the second case as well as the first.

Up until now, every time I bring up this desire, people indicate that it is impossible as the licenses reciprocal provision kick in on the making of a derivative and in the first case, the law stipulates that a derivative is made while in the second case, no derivative is make according to the law.

That reasoning is fine and makes sense if one thinks that the making of a derivative is the only tools we can use to activate the reciprocal provisions of the license. I think there may be another possibility.

I propose an additional trigger in the license. It would work like this.

You have a right to copy and / or distribute the work alone. If you want to copy and distribute the work along with other copyrighted works, we contemplate two possibilities.

1. The group of works will be distributed together in such a way that no extra copyright comes into existence. In this case you have permission to copy and / or distribute the work.

2. The group of works will be distributed together in such a way that the group or collection or "container" gets a copyright of its own. In this case you do not have permission to copy and / or distribute the work unless the "container" is also put under a BY-SA license and all of the other works in the "container" are also under "Free" licenses.

So, we are not constrained to requiring a BY-SA license in the case of a derivative. By using the restrictions in copyright law on copying and distribution, we can require it in non-derivative situations.

That is the bones of the thoughts at least. I am looking for input along several lines.

1. Is this possible from a legal point of view?

2. Is there a better way to do this?

3. Should this be done?

4. Benefits of doing this?

5. Problems with / dangers of doing this?

6. Am I missing anything?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One Reason To Choose A Strong Copyleft License Over A Public Domain Dedication / Release


One Reason To Choose A Strong Copyleft License Over A Public Domain Dedication / Release

*Note: in my view, a license is not copyleft if it is not Free.

In today's copyright environment, a strong Copyright license is a beautiful thing. (I encourage you to consider putting one on your works.)

It is not a perfect thing however and there are some problems and issues that go along with it.

Doing your best to put your work in the "Public Domain" (See: The Corruption of Our 'Public Domain' · Thursday August 05, 2010 by Crosbie Fitch http://www.digitalproductions.co.uk/index.php?id=252 for thoughts on this) will overcome some of these problems but I think choosing a strong copyleft license instead is a better option. Why?

If a work is in the "Public Domain" (Not copyrighted, copyright has expired, or copyrights purposely given up / donated to 'the public' in some way) anyone can use if for any purpose. This includes making a derivative of it and obtaining a copyright on the derivative and making money on that derivative while declaring "All Rights Reserved". This includes those whom some refer to as "copyright maximalists" just to be clear.

If everyone who was opposed to copyright maximalism were to release their works under a strong copyleft license, we would build up a pool of works that would advantage those willing to play a #Free game over those who refused to do so.

Now, nothing would prevent a copyright maximalist from enjoying the benefits of a work under a strong copyleft or even profiting from it. However, if they choose to do so it might make it harder for them to claim that it is impossible to make a profit from a work with a Free license. It might make it harder for them to claim that we need even stronger protections and harsher punishments for people to be willing to create and to profit from their creations.

My gut tells me that we are unlikely to see copyright maximalists making derivatives of works with strong copyleft licenses in the near term. This is why I think such a pool would give advantages to those willing to play a #Free game in a way that a similar pool of public domain works will not give.

Such a pool could be a game changer. If you would like the game changed, consider adding your works to such a pool.

"Free Cultural Works" defined: http://freedomdefined.org/Definition

"Free Software" defined: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

Friday, March 18, 2011



Anti Spam(er) Idea for Kompoz and other similar sites.

Give posts weights, somewhat like slashdot does but not with voting on posts like they do.

Known good users post at level 2.

New users and suspect users post at level 1.

Non-logged in users only see level 2 posts. Level 1 posts are invisible to the world.

Level 1 users see level 1 and level 2 posts.

Level 2 users default to seeing level 2 posts only but can change this behavior via a profile toggle.

Perhaps even have level 1 accounts invisible to the world?

all the best,