TCLP 2010-12-22 Interview: Jon Spriggs,

This is a feature cast, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

Thanks to Simon, John, and Duane for their support through BitCoin and to Wild Biker for his generous year end donation.

There is no new hacker word of the week this week due to the length of the feature.

The feature this week is my interview with Jon Spriggs about his new project,  In the course of the interview we mention Hacman, Glyn Moody, PRS going after a barber, the singing shop worker who also got snared by a performance rights complaint, The Bug Cast, Music Manumit, James Corachea, SoX, Festival,, my interview with Evan Prodromou, Open Database License, and Open Street Maps.


View the detailed show notes online. You can grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

3 Replies to “TCLP 2010-12-22 Interview: Jon Spriggs,”

  1. Great interview. cchits is a really exciting project. Podcasting that promotes free music are really important for the success of free culture, and services that further leverage and promote those podcasts, doubly so. Go cchits! 🙂

    Two comments on issues brought up in the interview:

    1) Collecting societies and businesses. CC licenses with the NC term do not waive such collections. Furthermore, it isn’t clear that use of music in a business setting (one of the cases discussed) would fall in scope of the permissions that the NC license grants anyway. For both of these reasons, if one of the goals is to provide music that businesses can play in the background without paying collecting societies, music released under the CC NC licenses would have to be avoided. That removes a lot of music, but much remains — about 1/4 of what is on Jamendo. Breakdown of album counts on that site by license as of a couple weeks ago:

    BY-NC-SA 21710
    BY-NC-ND 8565
    BY-SA 8003
    BY 1738
    BY-ND 1060
    BY-NC 417

    FWIW note that only plays tracks under BY and BY-SA, though with the rationale of only promoting completely free works per rather than providing music businesses can use — though the effect is the same.

    2) Database licenses. Actually CC does not say that CC licenses ought not be used for databases (it very clearly does say that for software). Science Commons, a sub-brand of CC that is going away, said that only public domain is acceptable for scientific databases (the rejection was not just of CC licenses, but any license that isn’t effectively a public domain dedication like CC0). In the meantime, lots of projects are using CC licenses (mostly the more free ones, fortunately) for data successfully, most prominently probably various government projects (especially in Australia), Freebase, DBPedia, and of course (so far) OSM. I’m sure CC will be saying more about this in 2011, but for now I’d leave a question about whether “data” and “content” are as distinct and ought have non-compatible copyleft licenses (ie ODBL and CC BY-SA) as do “code” and “content” (GPL and BY-SA). I think the answer is probably no (but then in the long term I’m concerned about interoperability of code and content…).

    Finally, a bit of trivia (as if above two points aren’t) — 3-4 years ago there was a “CC Hits” site that more or less attempted to apply the digg concept to music under CC licenses — … the pioneering CC music podcasts from a couple years before that also died out. Again, super happy to see the current generation is vibrant, and really an ecosystem.

  2. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the great comments, and thanks for the support!

    With regards to the first comment, I fully agree on this. The project is still really quite young, so once I start getting to the point where I’m generating content specifically for playing at a Business, there will be a check box which says “This will be played at a place of business or somewhere that intends to make money at the location where this is being played” at which point it’ll restrict the music selection to exclude the NC works. As an out-of-interest, of the 80 tracks currently in the database, 49 of them exclude *-NC licenses.

    On comment 2, to be fair, I did say that it was set on a whim, and should have followed up by saying that I did very little research into the issue. It seemed like a good idea and I placed a rather large degree of trust in OSM’s decision to follow that route. I’ll try and follow the discussion properly once CC say something solid about this, and if it doesn’t go the way I’m hoping it to, I’ll probably re-license the data under (probably, now you’ve mentioned it) a CC0 license.

    On the trivia item, after I registered the domain name, a good friend of mine pointed out the exact same site to me. I checked it out, to see whether there was some common ground I could work on with someone from that project, and discovered it had been abandoned. I didn’t bother to follow it up until today, when I’ve reached out to the originator over – hopefully we can do something together. Of course, as soon as I wrote to him, I realised his last update on was 10 months ago, not 10 minutes ago as my initial parse suggested. If he doesn’t reply within the next few days I’ll contact him on Twitter instead.

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