Sunday, January 29, 2012

Remixes, Attribution, Creative Alchemies: The Long Tail in Acts of Kindness (part 1)

Here's a few recent videos that used my songs from my uploads.

Remixed with: Beyond Jupiter III

Remixed with: Dreaming of the Ocean

Remixed with: Island Journey Reprise

Typically, my songs are used in "hobbyist videos". Not surprising, as the need and demand for royalty-free works generally come from hobbyists. I think it's also the increasingly popularity of as the source for CC-licensed music.

I love how people are crediting my music, in full, in their video descriptions. By "full", I mean describing the title, indicating my name, and including the relevant URL to link back to the source.

This wasn't necessarily the case a few years back, at least for those remixes that use my music. My impression, at least. I don't have hard evidence to prove that the level of attribution has improved. Unless I trace back all the remixes and compile the way they have been cited (... hmm).

Anyway, about two years ago, most remixes tend to unwittingly omitted the credits entirely. People email me to thank me for sharing the music, and to let me know how they have used my music. For those cases where I find that credits were not made, I ask nicely that they include my name and the relevant URL. If they have already uploaded a video, I ask that the credit is included in the description, which was easily done rather than asking them to include in the video and re-upload again.

I would add that the attribution requirement was the stated condition for using the work:
"For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work"

I didn't want them to think I was asking for something extra. In all cases, they happily made the change. Some went the extra step of amending their video and re-uploading it. Which was very gracious on their part.

How do I properly attribute a work offered under a Creative Commons license?
All CC licenses require users to attribute the original creator(s) of a work, unless the creator has waived that requirement or asked that her name be removed from an adaptation or collection.

CC licenses have a sophisticated and flexible attribution requirement, so there is not necessarily one correct way to provide attribution. The proper method for giving credit will depend on the medium and means you are using, and may be implemented in any reasonable manner, although in the case of an adaptation or collection the credit needs to be as prominent as credits for other contributors.

The CC website offers some best practices to help you attribute works, and the CC Australia team has developed a helpful guide to attributing works in different formats.

Source: Creative Commons FAQ

Rather than say that Creative Commons "does not provide clarity on the proper way to cite", it's more accurate to say that Creative Commons allows flexibility in how attribution can be presented. The manner of attribution depends on the medium. For instance, a "live" hyperlink is only possible for an online media, whereas for a print media the URL is obviously not "live".

It's more important that people -- users and creators -- understand the spirit and philosophy of Creative Commons. But that's not to say there cannot be clarity in how to attribute properly when making use of Creative Commons licensed materials.

I highly recommend this PDF guide to attributing works by CC Australia. It's both comprehensive and concise:
What to include when attributingAll Creative Commons (CC) licences require that users of the work attribute the creator... ...The same principles apply to providing attribution across all CC licences. You should:
  • credit the creator;
  • provide the title of the work;
  • provide the URL where the work is hosted;
  • indicate the type of licence it is available under and provide a link to the licence (so others can find out the licence terms); and
  • keep intact any copyright notice associated with the work

It's not so much about "proper citation" but more of crediting the source adequately and equitably. If I'm using a CC-licensed work, I try to put myself in the other person's shoes and ask how I would want to be credited. Also, I believe that "payment" can be the form of reciprocity. Any one who uses my work, and provides equitable attribution, is my publicist.

In the digital economy, a "live" hyperlink is currency.

Admittedly, I don't always follow the last two points, i.e. indicating the CC license type and copyright notice. But I always state the creator's name and provide a "live" link back to the CC-licensed works. I try to adhere to this when listing the credits in my videos, but if it's not possible to do so fully, the "live" links are definitely in the description section.

That said, if the creator indicates very clearly how they would like to be attributed, I will always adhere to it. It helps if creators state their preferences upfront and/ or in an obvious location next to the work.

My own practice, in licensing my own work, is to state how I would like to be credited. I state this near or just below the download link. Basically in a way that others won't miss it.
2011 Simpler Times : urmymuse & Ivan Chew : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

I didn't always do that in the beginning. I used to assume others knew how to properly cite my work.

As creators, we can help others help us, by providing clear, simple/ hassle-free instructions and requirements. Most people will respect and adhere to that.

To be continued: Part 2.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My 2011 read list

The start of 2012 seems, for me, just as busy as 2011. Might as well just start with the annual read list.

Total items read since 2004:

Will do a more detailed breakdown, if I get the chance (ha!)

What's obvious is that my 2011 reading volume has decreased, reversing the increasing trend for the last two years.

2011 was a particularly busy and hectic year for me. I'm still having flashbacks of bringing work home, after office hours -- on a regular basis from January 2011 all the way to maybe July. *shudder*

But I believe I read far more graphic novels in 2010 compared to 2011. So in terms of reading depth, 2011 might be better. Maybe (I might be wrong).

The purchase of an iPad, and seriously using the NLB's Overdrive collection on a regular basis, has given me more reading options. I think my reading volume might have hit 40 or 50 items only, if not for the iPad. And those 40 to 50 items might comprise of mostly graphic novels.

A snapshot of my reading genre tag-cloud so far (wished I'd done a snapshot each year... ah well)

Annual Read List « Rough Notes :: By the Rambling Librarian (Singapore)

My overall perception was that I was reading more non-fiction (not graphic novels) compared with previous years. In anycase, I'm rather intrigued to discover any particular shifts in reading patterns, beyond volume read. We shall see.

Will leave you with a re-post of my 2011 list (first posted at RoughNotes)
  1. Aftermath: Prepare for and survive apocalypse 2012/ Lawrence E. Joseph
  2. Aliens: Female war/ Mark Verheiden
  3. Asimov’s Science Fiction/ March 2011 
  4. Battlestar Galactica: Complete Omnibus V1 
  5. Battlestar Galactica: Ghosts 
  6. Between water and song: New poets for the twenty-first century/ edited by Norman Minnick
  7. Bicycles: Love poems 
  8. Bloomberg Businessweek/ June 27 – July 3, 2011
  9. Blue Beetle: Black and blue/ Matthew Sturges & Mike Norton
  10. Brevity 2: Another collection of comics by Guy & Rodd/ Guy Endore-Kaiser & Rodd Perry
  11. Buy me: new ways to get customers to choose your products and ignore the rest/ Marshall Cohen
  12. Buying time: trading your retirement income for income and lifestyle in your retirement years/ Daryl Diamond
  13. Coach Wooden: The seven principles that changed his life and will change yours/ Pat Williams
  14. Core strength for dummies, pocketbook edition/ LaReine Chabut
  15. Digital animation 
  16. Dog fancy/ natural dog (2 issues in 1)/ Aug 2011
  17. Freakonomics 
  18. Fundsupermart/ 4Q 2009
  19. Futurama: The time bender trilogy/ created by Matt Groening; story by Ian Boothby
  20. Gone case/ Dave Chua
  21. Happiness at the end of the world/ Happy smiley and friends
  22. Heroes vol 1 
  23. How an economy works and why it crashes/ Peter D. Schiff
  24. Jack Doe: Anonymous/ Shawn Yap, Gabriel Chua, Xander Lee
  25. James Robinson’s complete WildCATS 
  26. Jia: a story of North Korea/ Hyejin Kim
  27. Kato vol 1: Not my father’s daughter/ Ande Parks
  28. Liquid thinking: Inspirational thinking from the world’s greatest achievers/ Damian Hughes
  29. Lost Squad/ written by Chris Kirby; art by Alan Robinson; lettered by Kel Nuttall
  30. Love is the best medicine: what two dogs taught a veterinarian about hope, humility, and everyday miracles/ Dr. Nick Trout
  31. Mac Life/ May 2010
  32. Macworld/ April 2011
  33. Macworld/ May 2011
  34. Mental floss: genius instruction manual 
  35. Myspace Darkhorse Presents (MDHP) vol 4.
  36. Northlanders. Book one: Sven the returned/ Brian Wood
  37. Northlanders. Book two: The cross and the hammer/ Brain Wood
  38. Relational intelligence: how leaders can expand their influence through a new way of being smart/ Steve Saccone
  39. Return on engagement: content, strategy, and design techniques for digital marketing/ Tim Frick – Standard
  40. Six degrees of expatriation/ Maida Pineda
  41. Small message, big impact: how to put the power of the elevator speech effect to work for you/ Terri L. Sjodin
  42. Social media metrics/ Jim Sterne
  43. StarCraft: Frontline. Volume 1.
  44. Story structure architect: A writer’s guide to building dramatic situations & compelling characters/ Victoria Lynn Schmidt
  45. Stranded vol 1/ Mike Carey & Siddharth Kotian
  46. Strategic thinking: a nine step approach to tragedy for marketeers and managers/ Simon Wootten & Terry Horne
  47. Strength for life: the fitness plan for the rest of your life/ Shawn Philips
  48. Teenage as a second language 
  49. Terminator: revolution 
  50. The agile enterprise 
  51. The appeal/ John Grisham
  52. The brain fitness workout: brain training puzzles to improve your memory, concentration, decision-making skills, and mental flexibility/ Philip Carter
  53. The collected stories of Arthur C. Clarke. Short stories/ Arthur C. Clarke
  54. The crown and other stories/ Rabindranath Tagore; translated by Ranjita Basu
  55. The digital handshake: seven proven strategies to grow your business using social media/ Paul Chaney
  56. The genius machine: the eleven steps that turns raw ideas into brilliance/ Gary Sindell
  57. The home and the world 
  58. The immortal iron fist 
  59. The past and the punishments 
  60. The Question: The five books of blood/ Greg Rucka et al.
  61. The right decision 
  62. The tarnished angel 
  63. The unwritten: Inside man/ Mike Carey & Peter Gross
  64. The war that time forgot: Vol 1 
  65. Twitterville: how businesses can thrive in the new global neighborhoods/ shel israel
  66. What should I do with the rest of my life? True stories of finding success, passion and new meaning in the second half of life/ Bruce Frankel – Standard
  67. What the dog saw, and other adventures/ Malcolm Gladwell
  68. Why we run: a natural history/ Bernd Heinrich
  69. Work’s intimacy/ Melissa Greg
  70. Yes! 50 secrets from the science of persuasion/ Noah Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, Robert B. Caildini