Learning with the Fang

a place where I 'think out loud' and share stuff online

Entries Tagged as 'ReadWriteCulture'

Why I license cc:by

May 7, 2008 by mseyfang · 2 Comments · ccdrm, ReadWriteCulture, remix, web2

Over the weekend several people alerted me to the fact that someone had ‘stolen’ my logo.
Turns out that Richard McManus had (rather skillfully in my opinion) used one of my flickr images in a post on the ReadWriteWeb blog.

And that’s fine because I decide to ‘give away’ most of my rights to my digital content in the hope that someone will find it useful and re-use it to tell their story. No need to ask, just be polite and give me attribution (which Richard did by linking to my ‘mikeblogs‘ flickr account). That’s what:

cc:by or ‘Creative Commons – Attribution’ means.

  • Sure, Richard could have made me look stupid – but I do a pretty good job of that myself.
  • Sure, he could make money off that post – good luck to him, he did the hard work.
  • Either way I gain more than I lose by having my work re-mixed into a new context. Had I licensed my work in a more restrictive way (say cc:by-nc-sa which means reuse must be non commercial and licensed in exactly the same way) it is unlikely that anyone would have found it, let alone re-used it.


I’m guessing here, but I suspect that Richard used the advanced search in flickr and decided only to look for images about ‘readwriteweb’ that he is free to use for commercial work, with modifications. Images licensed with more restrictions would simply not be displayed in the search results.

This is why only work that is freely licensed with continue to be relevant in future culture (but that is a rant too long for the short amount of time I have before sleep time).

Some other places you will find derivatives of my image:

– a presentation that helped my create an excellent job
http://fang.blip.tv/file/105776/ – a mashup of Lessig and Downes that they have both seen
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeblogs/323586161/ – my entry in a creative commons competition
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/306021623/in/pool-ccswagcontest06 – an entry by the winner of that creative commons competition
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/300492293/in/pool-ccswagcontest06 – the original image from which I borrowed the cc:frisbee
http://flickr.com/photos/31477768@N00/227948364 – my original hand drawn diagram

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grassroots video challenge – my REMIX

April 16, 2008 by mseyfang · No Comments · edna, education, ReadWriteCulture, remix

I am working on an interesting video project with the edna team. Our esteemed leader, Mr John Travers has issued a ‘grassroots video challenge’:

If you have a go, you will in return get my undying respect, affection and gratitude not to mention professional regard at being a venturesome person. I have made a little invitation example here, http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=3698243344429972742&hl=en-AU that on reflection, is too long and tedious, but you will see, sets the bar for technical standards nice and low. You will see a couple of other efforts I have put on Google Video.

Here is my response.


Fang – Mike Seyfang

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Collaborate or Cooperate [Hierarchy or Mesh]

April 12, 2008 by mseyfang · 1 Comment · education, ReadWriteCulture, stigmergy

Not sure if I’ve got this right or simply leaped to a hasty conclusion:

  • Collaborate, Hierarchy, Top Down
  • Cooperate, Mesh, Bottom Up

Slide 43 from this excellent talk made me think it so:


Hoping someone will jump in and correct me if I am being too concrete.

Listen to the whole talk and note the subtle difference between cooperation and collaboration (my notes are ambiguous – but I was sitting on public transport at the time). Think about the top-down nature of hierarchical organisations/institutions and the bottom-up nature of mesh networks. (dare I say ‘stigmergy’ ?). See if you can find clues about the explosion of the read/write web and the angst this seems to be causing institutions/corporations.

Fang – Mike Seyfang

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John Cleese to join my podcast …

September 28, 2007 by mseyfang · No Comments · ReadWriteCulture


YEP – THAT John Cleese is to extend his ‘chance to sound off in my old age’ online video distribution through thepodcastnetwork.com, of which he says:

‘is “rather good, run by Australians, and none the worse for that.” ‘

Congratulations to Cam our fearless leader, and the other team members who worked to make this happen. Even more kudos for doing so in a tough week for TPN while still seeing value in less mainstream more ‘longtail’ podcasts like extraordinary.thepodcastnetwork.com.

Good times.

FangMike Seyfang


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DustEchos – Remixing old stories into new culture

September 13, 2007 by mseyfang · 1 Comment · ReadWriteCulture

  • I think re-mixing digital text, images audio and video is an important part of the future of language
  • I am anxious to see legal reforms that will allow safe and legal re-mix of digital versions of the sound and scenes that I grew up with
  • I get grumpy when I see important artefacts from my own upbringing locked away under restrictive copyright

But today, I am heartened to see that my tax dollars have been well spent by the ABC on a project called DustEchos that attempts to preserve ancient stories from a very fragile culture by speaking them in a fresh, digital voice and encouraging remix.

I am even more encouraged that one of the animators on two of the stories (mermaid, whirlpool) is young Josh Bowman – a determined young man from the bush who is making his living through digital animation. I have watch Josh develop his interests, talents and now career in animation over the years. From the very start, Josh has been hindered by outdated laws that were designed to protect a creative industry that grew in a very much analog and read only world.

Projects like DustEchos are a very cautious ‘toe in the water’ toward read/write culture. The rather controlled ‘Mash it up’ feature of each story is even more restrictive than YouTube’s server side ‘REMIX’ feature but is a start. Just imagine a world in which all the digital versions of films, songs and images we grew up with were licensed in such a way that anyone could mash them up in any way they like. Think of the powerful new stories that would be told. Imagine how much longer some of the great creative work would survive in future culture.

Go aunty (ABC) and go Josh!

So, do yourself a favour, read the ‘original story’ (top right tab of viewing page) first then watch mermaid. Then tell me you don’t learn something about your own life. Being an old bloke who is somewhat disenfranchised with some of the most important relationships in my life, I was quite moved by the premise of the story. I suspect next time I hear a magpie warble I will think of returning to the things that will sustain me. I would very much like to mash up scenes from mermaid with scenes and songs from my life – re-telling the story as it applies to me. But, alas, the ABC copyright won’t allow it.

FangMike Seyfang


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p.s. If you think mermaid or whirlpool are good you can vote for them HERE.

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