[Apologies in advance for style. More of a straightforward write-up than my usual prose. Quite possibly, most people prefer this but I feel more comfortable rambling away than “reporting.”]
Went to Austin CC Salon last night. CC Salon is a series of events “focused on building a community of artists and developers around Creative Commons licenses.”
Creative Commons (CC) licenses are tools meant to help creators in maintaining some rights over the “content” they produce (music, text, video…) while avoiding the chilling effects caused by Copyright and the “culture of ownership.” Though the Creative Commons organization was founded by a tech-savvy law professor and CC licenses are a tech-savvy solution to a legal problem, the social and cultural implications behind CC reach far beyond technological and legal contexts.
Last night’s event was held at Café Caffeine, a community-focused café/venue which happens to be in my neighborhood. The same café is host to the Jelly in Austin co-working sessions.
So… What happened last night at Café Caffeine?
A stimulating and thought-provoking event, to be sure. Also an event which provided the kind of casual and open atmosphere that I find most conducive for thoughtful discussion. In other words, I felt that I really was among like-minded people, despite all sorts of differences in our experiences and our approaches to technology and society.
Some of the people involved in last night’s event:
Neff presented The American Cancer Society‘s SharingHope.tv advocacy project and online video service. What made that site impressive, IMHO, was its adequate balance between message and technology. Such an important group as the American Cancer Society getting a high degree of geek cred. In some circles (including CC Salon, one would assume), it’s the best of both worlds.
Neff himself was remarkably enthusiastic, thoughtful, and level-headed in his approach to online video. Uncompromising in his dedication to the ACS mission and as poised as any developer can be in his approach to technological issues. In fact, Neff repeatedly referred to the importance of a respectful attitude toward users. And you could tell, from the way he talked about users, that he truly cares.
For his part, Vázquez served as moderator and presented two online services meant to make it easy to find CC-licensed music online: Jamendo (a CC-friendly online music service with “pay what you want” compensation models) and CCMixter (mostly meant as a repository for remix-worthy samples).
In parallel to Vázquez’s presentation, mentions of several recent situations involving Copyright and Creative Commons licenses helped brush a clear picture of what the current “culture of ownership” implies.
But, again, what worked best for me went beyond what was said or even how it was said. My comfort level had more to do with a sense of belonging. Related to communitas. A community of experience, potentially the basis of a community of practice.
Overall, I hope CC Salon will become the basis for community building in Austin as elsewhere. Predictably, a significant portion of last night’s informal gathering was spent discussing legal, financial, and technical issues. But, clearly, these are people who are adept at crossing bridges in order to link people into actual communities.
Some random notes I took during and after CC Salon.
- Exposure to CC
- Possible outcomes
- Grassroots etiquette
- Crowd’s shared values (not just “wisdom of crowds”)
- Efficient in transition period
- CC in academia/education
- Related to Open Access
- Citation practice
- Citation software and services (Zotero, RefWorks, Google Scholar)
- Following links between references
- Scholarship as “remixing”
- Random idea:
- CC musicians
- Trying each other out
- Playing together
- Playful musicking
- Music community
- Playful mixing
- Audio editing (Pro Tools, Audition, Audacity…)
- iLife GarageBand for CC?
- Songbird for mixing?
- CC loops
- CC tracks
- GB-like FLOSS project