Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The GPL And Copyright Assignment

The GPL And Copyright Assignment

Creative Commons License
The GPL And Copyright Assignment by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

So I was reading this post over at identica and decided to do this quick write up as I did not feel like fighting with the 140 character limit.

I have been pondering this issue for a long time now but somehow perhaps never got around to writing about it or if I did, I forget where.

My thought is that coders should require a binding covenant from the party being assigned the copyrights such that the rights will return to them should there be a breach of the covenant.

The covenant should stipulate that the part and anyone related can never maintain two code bases, one under the GPL and an "enhanced" one available under non-GPL terms only.

I have a feeling that there may be some dirty tricks that can be played to get around the intent of this so it bears some thinking through and discussion.

Now, one possibility to not making such an assignment is to put up patches hosted elsewhere by all coders who want this equality and see if a critical mass of patches is created as a result.

all the best,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Idea for

Idea for

Creative Commons License
Idea for by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This is an idea for sites hosting music, arr, software or whatever under a combination of Free and non-Free licenses.

Consider Jamendo as an example.

currently at

my suggestion is to have the current URL but as well:

so that if you go to the site will look and act the same except that all non-free content will be filtered out and if you go to then all the free content will be filtered out.

Personally I only care for and can't see why anyone would want to visit instead of but I include it here for completeness.

I would like to see kompoz, ccmixter, flickr, youtube and wherever function in this way as well. Kompoz possibly with some slight tweaks as it is a place for collaboratively making music together and may need a refined approach to this.

all the best,


Monday, December 14, 2009



Creative Commons License
BIFF Idea by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

My wife won a Directors Pass to the Bahamas International Film Festival earlier in the year and I have been going to some of the events.

I attended all of the Discussion Panels at the National Art Gallery Of The Bahamas on saturday and Sunday and enjoyed them all.

Saturday's lineup was:

Art Of Collaboration
Film Financing
Filmmaking In The Caribbean

Sunday's lineup was:

Music And Film

I would say that Sunday's panels were of more value to me personally but Saturdays were perhaps a bit more entertaining.

I had an idea for next year which I shared at the discussion on Music and Film which I want to put down here for further exploration and development. (Future years too if it works out.)

The basic idea is this:

Local Music Showcase for BIFF writers, producers, and directors.

Arrange for one session where local bands can perform their own music for BIFF attendees and a DJ can also play some music for bands who cannot attend but who want their music considered for use in future films by BIFF attendees. This music could be used in films to be shot here in the islands but need not be limited to such use.

all the best,


Monday, December 7, 2009

Open Core Model and Software Quality - the Open Software Take

Open Core Model and Software Quality - the Open Software Take

Creative Commons License
Open Core Model and Software Quality - the Open Software Take by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Off the top let me say that I am more of a Free Software guy than an Open Source Software guy. (I get that the licenses basically make them one and the same code wise, I am talking about outlook wise.)

Given that, I am going to try and argue this from the Open Source Software viewpoint. Given that I don't generally spend a lot of time thinking of things from this point of view, I welcome corrections / refinements from those who do.

Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in.
from Open Source Initiative

Reason No. 5 to Move to Open Source, Better Quality

Now, I may not be paying enough attention when I come across software using the Open Core Model, but from what I see it is often offered in a community version and an enterprise version.

I take it that the community version is under an approved Open Source license which is generally (always?) also an approved Free Software license. I further take it that the enterprise edition is not under such a license.

So, thinking on this a bit, if the Open Source guys are correct, then the business following the open core model is offering to the community higher quality software (often for no cost) and to the enterprise lower quality software for a price. Will they admit that, or will they deny the better quality argument and say that the enterprise version is of equal or better quality?

If you can think of any improvements to this line of thinking, please let me know.

all the best,


Saturday, November 28, 2009


Announcing Distripedia!

Creative Commons License
Announcing Distripedia! by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

A first crack at a distributed, crowd sourced and perhaps crowd funded encyclopedia. (I had to get in a buzz word or two but they are not offtopic.)

So, let's say you want to write a distripedia article on a subject. Cool. Write the thing.

Then tag it and put it one the web somewhere that the search engines can index it.

First thought is to tag it something like this:


You can decide if you will be the sole author of the article or if you will write it with the help of a team.


[edit: I set up a blog for discussing and refining the idea - Distripedia]

all the best,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sourceforge Survey Request

So I got an email from sourceforge today about participating in a survey.

"I would like to request your participation in a survey that SourceForge is doing in cooperation with Professor Charles Schweik and his team at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

We are asking you to answer some questions about zbcw, a SourceForge project you are, or were, associated with.


The survey will take approximately 25 minutes to complete. As a thank-you for your participation, you will receive a small token of our appreciation upon completing the survey.


OK, so I appreciate the hosting I get at sourceforge and so I clicked the link to take the survey. On the second page in before I hit the first question, I ran into this:

"3. Benefits: We do not anticipate a direct benefit to you for completing the survey, however, you will be providing valuable information that will be published in a forthcoming book (hopefully published in an open access e-book format) on open source collaboration. In addition, we will make our results and reports available as soon as possible at"


If they will commit to publishing under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license or a reasonable equivalent, I would love to take the survey.

Also, I went to reply to the sourceforge email to tell them this but it was from a noreply address... So I am posting to my little blog instead. Perhaps someone concerned will come upon it.

And sourceforge, the offer of an unnamed small token of your appreciation is more of an insult than an inducement to someone like me. Just a data point that you might want to take into consideration for future mailings.

Just in case it is unclear to anyone, all of this is posted with well wishes and good intentions in the hopes that it can help improve things for the future.

all the best,


ps. zbcw is zotzBrothers Chess War

Monday, October 26, 2009

New 3 Strikes Law Proposals

Ok, so here is my first 3 Strikes Law proposal.

Any corporation accused three times of incorrectly issuing DMCA take down notices loses the right to issue such notices in the future. To make this easy to check on, the copyright office will keep a list of corporations that are ineligible to issue such notices.

Can you think of any good 3 strikes proposals? ~;-)


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Idea for

Idea for

"Who listens to" feature for

Add this thought to the wiki.

Have each page for a song show a tag cloud depicting who listens to the song. Larger tags means more listens. (Or a larger percentage of personal listens.) Click on the user/name tag and go to a page showing what all that person listens to. (Make this filterable wrt Free.)

I have been thinking about this since I first emailed it to myself this morning. I think if there is to be only one of the two possibilities above, it should be the percentage one, but perhaps this could be a toggle instead.

all the best,


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kompoz @ School

Kompoz @ School

Copyright 2009, drew Roberts
Released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

On making use of Kompoz for music classes in school and for classes in music school.

I think kompoz and music classes or kompoz and music school is a great fit. I will likely ramble a bit in the first draft of this document as I try to get ideas down and brainstorm in public. If there is any interest, I will then try and do a better draft in a more ordered fashion.

* copyright permission paper for underage students?

* teacher can download seps and make mixes missing the part that their student plays and let them play with the band so to speak.

* students can be given the assignment to make tabs for their part of any project track.

* students can be given the assignment to make sheet music for their part of any project track.

(more to come)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Citizen Exchange Program

Citizen Exchange Program

I have long floated the idea of a "Citizen Exchange Program" for the Bahamas.

In this, we would agree with various countries that, on passing tourist visit requirements, citizens from differing, participating countries can trade places.

Want to move to Canada to live and work? Simple, just find a Canadian who wants to live and work here. Go down and make your exchange intentions known and away you go. The only time this could be blocked is if one of the people could not visit the other country as a tourist for criminal or similar reasons.

This should eliminate the "letting people in to take our jobs" objection to a large extent. This should also make it easier for people to try living in various countries without the current levels of red tape.


Edit: I have always before thought of this in light of people wanting to exchange on a long term or permanent basis. Just after initially posting this here this morning though, I wondered if it might also work on a much shorter term basis. Say you were a US band and wanted to play a gig in the Bahamas. Just hook up with a Bahamian band wanting to play a gig in the US and away you go with nothing more than tourist visiting ability and notification of intent needed because of the reciprocal nature of the situation.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Money and Demotivation

Money and Demotivation

Money is often seen as a motivator, but how often do you consider its ability to demotivate.

has just made some changes (Kompoz 2.0) that will allow for possibly making it easier to make some money with the music we make there.

I think some of us who love what we have found at kompoz instinctively know that this can be a dangerous time. Brannon started this discussion in the recording and engineering group: Can you mix and master? and in a blog post: Money is here.

I have started thinking of money as a motivator and as a demotivator and as a uniter and as a divider or sower of discord.

Some links found while searching the web:

Q: What sort of bonuses should we pay?

Motivation Myths

Motivators & Demotivators of Life

An old post of mine elsewhere with some more links

Don't Let These 3 Deadly Demotivators Defeat You

I hope to write more on this soon. Time is passing way too fast this morning.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Publicly Funded Copyleft

Publicly Funded Copyleft

OK, I posted this initially in response to this at BoingBoing:

All publicly funded content should be in the public domain.

Not sure if they will accept my anonymous post so I am posting here and hopefully expanding this soon.

"Given it receives public funding, I say it should rather be Free and Copyleft. Keep it away from monopoly plays in the future until the copyright runs out.

Also: More Bang For Your Donation Buck!

For a real contrarian possibility, how about we start treating the public domain as a copyleft commons owned jointly(?) by the public where anyone can build on what is in it for further copyleft works but if you want a traditional copyright on a work you have to start from scratch or from other copyright works that start from scratch.


Fixed a few typos too.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More Bang For Your Donation Buck!

More Bang For Your Donation Buck!

Do you support the arts? Here is an idea that you may want to consider. You can perhaps make your support go further and do more good this way.

Make it a condition of your support for artists (I am really thinking here of struggling, up and coming artists looking to catch their first break and make a name for themselves, but perhaps it makes sense for all of them) that they license the copyrights to their *supported* works to the world under a Free and Copyleft license such as the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

This way, your donation will not only go to support the artist in question right now, it will also provide something to the people of the world until...

If you wonder if you should jump into this at the deep end with all of your donations to the arts and wonder if it makes sense, perhaps start by allocating a certain percentage of your arts funding, say 10% or more for such a project until you get a feel for how it works and if it makes sense for your support goals.

all the best,


Monday, August 24, 2009

Watch and Learn

OK, this is a bit of an odd idea perhaps.

Develop "modules" to allow an internet broadcast of a developer at work. Say they program in vi or emacs (no wars please) then the module / feature would allow for them to stream their work to a server that people could log in to and watch them at work.

I will flesh this out some more later I hope. I just wanted to jot it down before I forgot it.


Ideas for

OK, so just one idea for now but I hope to add more as time goes by.

1. Have the song page where you can stream the jamendo (or other) tunes from pull in and show the lyrics (if any) from the corresponding jamendo page. See:

Lorenzo's Music - it could be you - page


Lorenzo's Music - it could be you - jamendo lyrics page

It would be nice to be able to see the lyrics while the song is playing.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Standard Terms Of Service Documents?

in the long run, it might make sense for the community to develop standard TOS documents for sites to adopt unchanged and in a certifiable manner.

If you think about it a bit, the current situation is absurd on the face of it.

All your life you are told that you should get a lawyer's advice before signing contracts and the like.

So now we have the internet. And we agree to TOS documents and the like online like it is going out of style. Many are long and complex and include other long and complex agreements by reference.

OK, so who calls their lawyer in or sends the TOS along to their lawyer for an opinion before clicking "I agree" on every site they want to join? Who even reads and makes a concerted effort to study and understand the things themselves before they click on agree? Who even reads all of the documents themselves in their entirety before clicking I agree. Many claim to be modifiable by the other party whenever they wish and that we are responsible for keeping up to date on the changes in various ways. And really, who monitors the things for changes and goes through the whole process again on any change?

We need a few, clearly written TOS documents designed to protect the users but also allow the businesses / web sites to profitably function. Then business that want to can adopt these TOS unchanged and display a logo to that effect.

Then the users can get their legal advice if they wish on the few largely unchanging TOS they use and use sites accordingly.

This may be too much to hope for, but the current situation is likely going to end in much heartache on the part of many in the long run.

all the best,


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Idea for a Feature for Ardour and Traverso

Idea for a feature for Ardour and Traverso.

Short link to image

Full link to image

Free Image Hosting at

QuickPost Quickpost this image to Myspace, Digg, Facebook, and others!

OK, so I use ardour and traverso depending on who knows what.

I record a band at gigs.

When I get back with the recording, I often have multiple CDs worth of material recorded. What I do for them is go through and mark up the recording to just get the songs and leave out all the between song chatter, noise during breaks etc.

I like ardour's way of doing this way more than traverso's.

So I would like to see traverso changed to do this more like ardour.

However, if you look at the quick and dirty little gimp work I did for the image here in this post you will get an idea of what I think would be an improvement to even the way ardour does this.

Ardour runs into a problem for me when I get more than one CD's worth of songs. I suggest adding a field at the start of each range line (Title is Disc and I have 1 and 2 in the graphic) by which we can indicate which CD the song belongs to.

The if we have more than one CD indicated, when we export the TOC, multipls TOC files will be exported from which we can burn multiple CDs.

If this is not clear, let me know and I will try and improve the explanation.

(May 17 edit)

Just having a chat with remon in IRC this morning about this and came up with the idea to have traverso let you mark "sheet ranges" and then auto create sheets and populate them with the marked ranges as a part of this workflow and especially one where further recording worm might be done to the songs.

Then remon had the idea to remerge the sheets back to a new master sheet for the mastering stage.

all the best,


Monday, May 11, 2009

Open Core Model Is Bogus

To my way of thinking, the "Open Core Model" Is Bogus.

To me, on of the key benefits of Free Software is the lack of vendor lock in.

The "Open Core Model" wants me to forgo that benefit if I need the advanced features. Well, if I am going to give up that benefit, then what benefit is the open core to me anyway? I might as well look at the fully proprietary software in that space. (I don't think so, not if there is a Free alternative.) So, in asking me to give up one of my key benefits, they lose one of their key selling points.

Plus, The mixing of Free and non-Free this way leads me not to trust them or the software they are peddling.


Midnight Freedom Show 1

Midnight Freedom Show 1

OK, so since the beginning of the year, I have had a small radio show that airs at around midnight every night on Y98.7 in Nassau Bahamas.

Now, I am no big time DJ by any means but I may have learned a thing or two in the time I have been doing the show and I would like to pass on some ideas for people doing the Free Music thing and who would like to get their song played on the radio at least once.

The way the show works so far is that I play a different song that has been released under a Free License every night at around midnight. Hence the Midnight Freedom Show. Because of this I find myself spending a large proportion of the time I devote to the show looking for and listening to Free Music to see if it fits the format of the station and is OK for the radio.

Some days I have less time than other days and this brings me to a small bit of advice.

If you have your music someplace like Jamendo, Kompoz, ccMixter, MacJams, or the like, you will have a greater chance of getting played by people doing what I do if you have accurate lyrics posted for your songs.

If I am rushed for time and I am considering two songs, one with lyrics and one without, I may end up picking the one with lyrics even if I don't like it quite as much musically. I will not put on something that is "bad" musically or doesn't fit, even if it has lyrics, but for two comparable songs and in a rush, the one with accurate lyrics wins.

I will try to update the show tips as I can.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Music Player Idea

Not sure how to best title this.

The basic idea is this:

On the "song" side - supply "DJ" metadata in the audio file, either audio metadata with a human DJ or text metadata for the DJ purpose.

One the "player" side - have a "DJ button that can be toggled.

If the button is engaged before a song starts playing, the DJ will announce the song before playing the song.

If the button is engaged while a song is playing, the DJ will announce the song that just played after it ends and then switch to the previous mode of announcing before the songs.

If the button is engaged and released while a song is playing, the DJ will announce the song that just played after it ends but will not announce further songs as the button is not engaged.

If the button is not engaged, only the songs will play.

The "DJ" metadata could not only give song title, artist, album but give artist influences and the other info a good radio DJ gives.

If the DJ metadata is audio, the player can play it like it plays the song itself. If it is text, the player will need to be able to do text to speech.

Actually, it might make sense to have text metadata along with any audio metadata and have the player scroll that during song playback no matter the state of the DJ button.

Thoughts and improvement ideas please.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Commitment To Freedom

Commitment To Freedom

I think these ideas may have broader application but that remains to be seen.

I think too often we are faced with "one way" contracts and ones that we have no hope in understanding in aggregate in our day to day lives. I have been pondering this problem and approaches to solutions for some time now. My thinking is still fuzzy and unfinished but I want to put some ideas down to see if I can get more help from others.

What I am thinking of involves Individual Commitments To Freedom that people and companies can make (and we need to figure a way to make these binding) so that people dealing with them can have a level of comfort in their dealings with those who have made such commitments.

I am also thinking of having contracts and terms of service etc developed by citizens and then adopted by companies willing to Commit to Freedom.

More later.


Thoughts on FreeCC

Creative Commons develops and maintains a range of "licenses" some that people consider Free and some that they consider non-Free.

I am interested in the Free ones and in promoting the same. Especially their Attribution-Share Alike license(s).

I think that they could do more to promote Freedom or to let those of us that want to have an "official spot" in the cc space to do so. I intend to put down some ideas here on how I think things can be improved.

1. establish a FreeCC logo and branding for a start.

2. Within the FreeCC area, #cc could try some things like this: to help guide people to Free where appropriate.

3. Run a ccFreeMixter site separate from the ccMixter site. The ccFreeMixter site would offer BY and BY-SA licenses only.

4. Work with content hosting and similar entities such that a person using BY or BY-SA on their works need give no other rights to the companies to participate. Help these entities to figure out how to go about their business and earn their revenue streams without needing more rights to the works than BY or BY-SA provide.

5. Work diligently to develop and promote the use of various "best practice". For instance, official Creative Commons "communications" should stop the practice of saying "xyz had been released under a Creative Commons License" and should instead say "xyz has been released under a Free (or non-Free) Creative Commons License" or just spell out the license. Then, after setting a good example, push for this to be adopted as standard operating procedure by all cc license using entities.

... more to come.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Crazy Idea for Musicians, Artists, Etc.

OK, so I know it is a bit off the wall but hey, I figure at least it is firmly outside of the box.

I will use a singer/songwriter by way of example.

The next time you record and release a song, buy a lottery ticket for the song. Frame the lyric and put the ticket inside. Give yourself two chances to make it big with the song. Actually, there may be some synergy in this that might multiply your chances. (I will leave that up comments to begin to flesh out.)


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Project Forking Idea for Kompoz

posted in thread here

I would like to see kompoz also develop the ability to fork projects, both into new projects and into sub projects.

I would also like to see the ability to import tracks with "compatible" licenses into any project or sub project, keeping the original license for the track but using the new license (if different) for the new project and any new submission.

This would add some sweet new abilities here at kompoz.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Laconica - ideas

I had an idea for improving Laconica.

Have a button for copy with attribution and license.

Clicking this would pop up a window to copy and paste from with info in the window on license and all data necessary for license compliance.

This would make it easy to re-use the content while complying with the license.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Linux Music / Audio Program Idea


I have had this idea kicking around in my head for a good number of years now and have spoken about it with various people from time to time.

I decided to document it here to see if it might help get things moving.

I am speaking from ignorance so let me know if I cam out in left field with this.

The idea is to play a note on the PC or on an external source. If from the external source, determine the frequency of the note.

Display the note as a coloured line in the centre of the display window. (Time on the horizontal axis, Frequency on the vertical axis.

Let a person try to sing the note.

If the note is played above then feed the played version in on the left channel and the sung version in on the right if needed.

determine the frequency of the note sung and display the note as a different coloured line in the display window. Above the centre line if the sung note is higher in frequency, below if lower.

I think the thing to do would be to have the colour change to a lighter version of the centre colour the higher the sung note gets and to a darker version of the centre colour the lower the sung note gets. when the notes match, the lines and colours will meet and match.

Is that clear?

Does something exist in the Free Software world that can do this now?

Do the parts already exist from which such an app can be cobbled together easily and quickly?


Edit: I think it might be a worthwhile idea to have each target note be represented by a different base colour.

all the best,


Friday, January 2, 2009