Archive for February, 2004

Creative Commons Moving Image Contest Winners

Saturday, February 28th, 2004

Announced today. Copied from the Creative Commons home page:

We’re very happy to announce the winners of the GET CREATIVE! Moving Images Contest: First Place goes to Justin Cone, for the inspired and powerful short film “Building on the Past,” which uses all sorts of Prelinger Archives footage to great effect. Second Place: Sheryl Seibert, for “Mix Tape,” which perfectly captures the found-art ethos of Creative Commons and uses the Creative Commons-licensed song “Mix Tape” by Jim’s Big Ego. Third Place: Kuba and Alek Tarkowski, for “CCC,” a historical look at free culture. Check them out, download them, mirror them, share them with friends. Thanks to all of you who made submissions!

The first place entry is really good, though my favorite scene is midway through the third placer — “a mutation of the system, if you will.”

MAGNET/Bitzi links for easy sharing and info: (7.0MB) (31.8MB)
Kuba_and_Alek_Tarkowski_-_CCC.mpg (14.9MB)

Real world 5emantic 3eb

Saturday, February 28th, 2004

Tantek ´┐Żelik comments on Creative Commons use of rel="license", citing my small-s semantic web and CC post to cc-metadata (reproduced below).

I agree with Tantek’s comments, though I wouldn’t advise removing admittedly ugly and potentially redundant RDF-in-HTML-comments, at least not until mozCC and ccRdf and consequently some dependent code go case insensitive.

There are currently at least two Creative Commons metadata cases where a simple rel="license" attribute won’t do, requiring RDF:

In my view, metadata-enabled web tools will do well to include a RDF model layer, whether the statements be gleaned from semantic [X]HTML, parsed from human language, or mainlined from some RDF encoding, and whatever the tool’s internal knowledge representation. Content creators will do well to produce the simplest, most utilitarian metadata possible.

I’m turning a bit sour on the phrase “lowercase semantic web”. I like semantic [X]HTML. I like RDF. All in the service of our near-term goals. All in the service of the Semantic Web, which will surely be a superset of the RDF web. I dig real world semantics in any case.

As I mentioned
I find "semantic HTML" very interesting — it keeps the metadata close
to the presentation, militating against "metacrap" and can be used to
populate the big-S Semantic Web through RDF generation.

Since then the RDF-in-XHTML proposal that builds on semantic HTML has
moved ahead and generalized, see <>
"Gleaning Resource Descriptions from Dialects of Languages" is a pretty
good description.

Also, Kevin Marks and Tantek Celik headed up a very nice BoF at Etech
<> in
which they discussed current small-semantic web implementations. See
that URL for some good links.

Largely, people are using the "rel" attribute of "a" elements
to describe "the relationship from the current document to the URI
referred to by the element. The value of this attribute is a
space-separated list of link types."

(I can’t find the equivalent documentation for XHTML1, but rel is
supported, per the DTD above).

A neat thing on the presentation side is that CSS selectors can actually
change the document rendering based on rel attributes — making the
metadata not just close to the presentation, but part of it.

Anyway, a rel attribute on anchors removes the big problem with assuming
that a link to a license indicates that a page is available under that
license — the page could be linking to the license for any reason. <a
rel="license" href=""/> on
the other hand, is no more ambiguous than the following RDF snippet

<Work about="">
<license rdf:resource=""/>

and can be used to generate the same.

The upshot is that I’m planning to recommend adding a rel="license"
attribute to links to CC licenses where the license applies to the
current page, have <> spit that out,
and encourage other apps to support the same.

Note that this is all entirely complementary with RDF. All apps should
continue to use/generate/support RDF, and RDF is required for making
license (or any metadata) statements about resources other than the
enclosing one.

Mediachest Theory

Thursday, February 26th, 2004

Pleasant Blogger saysBookcrossing + Orkut + Bitzi + HotOrNot = Mediachest“.

I don’t think addition is the correct operation. Perhaps we could say all of

  • Bookcrossing ∩ Mediachest ≠ ∅
  • Orkut ∩ Mediachest ≠ ∅
  • Bitzi ∩ Mediachest ≠ ∅
  • HotOrNot ∩ Mediachest ≠ ∅

or something more interesting if I actually knew set theory and notation.

Seriously though, lots of people realize that social networks can facilitate navigation, discovery, trust, filtering, communication and the like in many domains. Will people move on from sites that encourage building lists of “friends” for the sake of building such lists (and dating, I hear) to sites that use social networks to enhance other functions a la Mediachest or will the likes of Friendster and Orkut add more utility? Probably something else. Consider that

  • Orkut has only scratched the surface of what a pure social networking service could offer. There are no collaborative filtering or recommendation features for starters. I don’t think Orkut is near an 80/20 sweet spot, or wherever diminishing returns set in for a pure social networking site.
  • Sites with huge existing memberships haven’t added social networking to their offerings. does not exist.
  • I’m forgetting stuff, but not the decentralized path. See FOAF and XFN. Atop which every value-add you can imagine (a miniscule subset of the total) will be built in the semi-near future, like by 2009.

Bitzi has had a very simple social network feature since May, 2001, “interesting bitizens”. Mine (and those interested in me) are currently listed on the right side of my bitizen page. We still haven’t built any features using these relationships, apart from an ignored popularity contest. Eventually. Before 2009.

Get creative, remix culture

Thursday, February 26th, 2004

As posted on the Creative Commons weblog:

The source materials for both “Get Creative” and “Remix Culture” are now available. Download the .fla file for either and you can get creative and remix “Get Creative” or “Remix Culture” with ease.

Quicktime versions of both movies are also now available. Now it’s easier than ever to download, display and share “Get Creative” and “Remix Culture” (right-click on links to download and save).

Thanks to Ibiblio for hosting all of these files. The Quicktime movies are also available at the Internet Archive here and here. The Internet Archive will also host your Creative Commons-licensed movies and music free of charge. Get started.

MAGNET and Bitzi links:

Creative_Commons_-_Get_Creative.fla (46.1MB) (6.9MB)
Creative_Commons_-_Get_Creative.swf (5.5MB)
Creative_Commons_-_Remix_Culture.fla (94.9MB) (6.8MB)
Creative_Commons_-_Remix_Culture.swf (6.8MB)


Thursday, February 26th, 2004

Experimenting with vote links:

Goodbye, WP, join the LAT in the infinite unread bin.

Voluntary Collective Licensing

Wednesday, February 25th, 2004

The EFF has released a white paper outlining a proposed solution to the file sharing wars. It may strike one as compulsory licensing lite, but that perhaps is unfair, as everything is voluntary in the proposal. Still, the system would have to deal with versions of the problems with compulsory licensing (not an exhaustive list).

The one thing that really irritates me about this proposal (and it irritates me every time I hear it, which is often: example) is the mantra that “artists and copyright holders deserve to be fairly compensated.” Yeah, whatever. For some highly variable and contentious definition of “fair”.

Derek Slater provides links here.

Discussion at InfoAnarchy.

Not Hosting The Grey Album

Wednesday, February 25th, 2004

Have LimeWire, BearShare, Shareaza, Kazaa or other MAGNET-enabled software? You might click on a MAGNET icon below. Or click on the filename for more information via Bitzi.

Why would you want to use a MAGNET-enabled program rather than using your browser to download from a web site?

  • The site might use stupid filenames, e.g., 01PublicServiceAnnouncement.mp3. A MAGNET link can specify a better name.
  • The site may have been compromised. A MAGNET link can specify a secure identifier for a file which can be used by an application to verify that the file you have is the one you expected.
  • The site may be down. Some MAGNET-enabled programs can look for the exact file elsewhere.
  • The site may be slow. By virtue of the previous feature, some MAGNET-enabled programs may be able to download from multiple sources.
  • You might already have the exact file. Many MAGNET-enabled programs can tell you this. Why bother to download again?
  • You might want to share the file with others. Some MAGNET-enabled programs will help you do this.
  • You might want to annotate or otherwise organize the file into your collection. Many MAGNET-enabled programs have such features built-in, and do a reasonable job of automatically categorizing new files.
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 01 – Public Service Announcement.mp3 (4.0MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 02 – What More Can I Say.mp3 (6.3MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 03 – Encore.mp3 (3.9MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 04 – December 4th.mp3 (5.2MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 05 – 99 Problems.mp3 (5.9MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 06 – Dirt Off Your Shoulder.mp3 (5.7MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 07 – Moment of Clarity.mp3 (5.7MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 08 – Change Clothes.mp3 (5.8MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 09 – Allure.mp3 (5.9MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 10 – Justify My Thug.mp3 (6.0MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 11 – Interlude.mp3 (3.0MB)
Jay Z + DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – 12 – My 1st Song.mp3 (7.8MB)

CC Etech BoF points

Tuesday, February 10th, 2004

Points mentioned at the Etech Creative Commons participant session (it’s a BoF!):

One Year Launch Anniversary

Watch Reticulum Rex AKA Remix Culture for an update.

License Versioning

International Commons

iCommons is porting licenses to multiple jurisdictions.


New (and newly packaged) Licenses



Technology Challenges

The list

Hero Nathan Yergler, who created:

POTOTYPE RDF-enhanced Creative Commons search

Bitzi Bitcollider 0.6.0 with kzhash, video metadata, tiger tree fix, minimal OS X support

Monday, February 9th, 2004

As reported by Gordon Mohr at Bitzi and InfoAnarchy. I’ll add another thanks to Delirium for the video metadata extraction code, provided a year and a half ago. We need to work on that release often bit. Thanks also to Robert Kaye for cleaning up and packaging the release. If you want to be thanked in less than two years, check out the bitcollider bug and feature request tracker at sourceforge.

Anyone else, if you have files you’d like to alert (of the “it’s greeeat!” or “beware, malware” varieties) the world to, download bitcollider and use it to add said files to the Bitzi catalog.

Googlebot Prime

Friday, February 6th, 2004

Google co-founder Larry Page gave a talk called “Stanford and Google and the World, Oh My!” today. A few tidbits I didn’t know:

Most of the company goes on a ski trip to Tahoe every year. People ask when that tradition will end, as Google is no longer a small company (Page emphasizes that Google is medium-sized, not large). Page pointed out that the relative cost of sending most employees on the company outing is the same whether you have seven employees and leave one to mind the servers (as was the case on the first trip) or some larger numbers in similar proportions. The company culture doesn’t have to change (the purpose of the talk, followed by an info-session I didn’t stay for, was to recruit Stanford students). Ok, that tidbit was relatively boring, but easy to drop into conversation with most any crowd.

In order to hire more engineers, Google is adding engineering campuses in Manhattan, Switzerland, and India. Why those locations? They’re places where people already working for Google want to move. (Page quipped that India is someplace people want to move back to, unlike most places. I doubt the latter. I recall reportage of the phenomenon of people returning to Hong Kong and Ireland. People will go anywhere opportunity is to be found. If it is “home”, so much the better.) Immigration policies also made a difference: apparently it is easier for a spouse of a sponsored worker to work legally in Switzerland than in most places, and many good people are being kicked out of the U.S., a phenomenon Page decried. I strongly concur. By the way, 1) if there’s a race to the bottom for knowledge workers, Google is crazy for opening new offices in two of the most expensive places in the world, 2) on the way home I heard two Indian women talking about their immigration bureaucracy travails, and 3) Apartheid sucks.

One of Page’s slides was a picture of HAL’s front plate. AI is the goal of every computer scientist he says, excepting the scared ones. If Google can accurately answer any arbitrary query, you have AI. Google has many AI projects, some of them highly speculative (no details given). Eliezer Yudkowsky has often written that Google is the source of all truth and the like, but now he may be frightened, as I doubt Google engineers buy his friendly AI imperative.