Journal Entry

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Start remixing Start the Clock

Well, putting "The Orange" and "Embracing-the-New" under a Creative Commons license (as originally noted here) elicited such lovely things that I have decided to go further this time!

"Start the Clock" was written as part of Jay Lake and Frank Wu's Exquisite Corpuscle project, a chaintale anthology in which a painting inspired a story, which inspired a poem, which inspired a play, and so on, with the creator of each work seeing only the work preceding it in the chain -- like a game of Telephone. The anthology should be coming out from Wheatland Press this spring, but Jay and Frank were kind enough to not ask for First Serial Rights, so I published the story in F&SF last August.

I am now releasing it under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike license. This means that not only can you redistribute the story noncommercially without asking me (put it on balloons, read it as part of your wedding, etc.), as long as you credit me -- as you can with "The Orange" and "Embracing-the-New" -- now you can create noncommercial derivative works as well, as long as you credit me and distribute your works under the same license (that is, you allow people to remix the remixes). So you can make movies, comic books, sequels, etc. to "Start the Clock". You only have to ask me if you find yourself getting money for your derivative works (although I'd love to see any derivative works, regardless).

Remixing seems particularly appropriate for this story, since as part of the Exquisite Corpuscle, it was written as a response to Diana Sherman's play "Summer Children", and Mary Anne Mohanraj wrote a poem in response to it.

It may be hubristic to assume that anyone will want to remix "Start the Clock". (Also, I should point out, you don't really need any kind of license to simply allude to, parody, be inspired by, or imitate a work -- fair use is very broad). But the idea is kind of fun. And I feel strongly about growing the Commons from which all art feeds -- especially now, in the midst of a vast corporate intellectual-property land grab to rival the agricultural enclosures of the eighteenth century, which similarly disenfranchised legions of essential customary rights. (I'm talking about things like patents on genes, perennial revisions of the copyright law to extend licenses, the insane growth of patent law to cover trivial business processes and obvious software algorithms -- One-Click buying, "multimedia" and the like, and successful lobbying by copyright holders to try and cripple technology by law to make it easier for them to enforce [and invent!] their "rights".)

Posted by benrosen at January 19, 2005 06:34 AM | Up to blog

Cool! Hey Ben, I'm not sure if anyone's done this before, but what do you think about creating audio readings of these? Especially for us slow readers ;-) Of course ideally you could do it, but if not, I wonder what the CC license would have to say about someone else creating an audio version of a story? It seems based on the license you have for Start the Clock that it would be fine as long as the person licensed the file with CC and of course gave you attribution. But I also wonder how you would feel about it.

Posted by: Levi at January 19, 2005 09:27 AM

Oops, I guess I should read your WHOLE post before commenting, eh? Well, I guess the main question though still holds - do you have any thoughts about creating your own audio versions or will you just rely on others to potentially do that?

Posted by: Levi at January 19, 2005 09:31 AM

Yeah, Levi, that's precisely the kind of thing I hope to encourage -- bootleg (noncommercial) audio versions and the like.

I would be interested in recording them myself if I new anything about making decent quality recordings and access to the necessary equipment. I know that, for instance, my buddy and mentor Jim Kelly is posting free audio recordings of his stories -- I listened to "Bernardo's House" and it's great. Somebody donates him recording studio time, I think?

There is actually an audio recording of one story of mine, "Red Leather Tassels", on -- in "The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, July-August 2003".

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at January 21, 2005 05:22 AM

Yes, I listened to that on Audible. I need to do some research in this area myself as I'm supposed to help a friend start a podcast. I'll let you know if I find some good PC solutions, which I'm sure are out there. Garageband is the big Mac sound editing tool, but I'm not sure what some equivelent piece is for the PC, although I'm sure there are a bunch of more professional (and pricey!) stuff...

Posted by: Levi at January 21, 2005 09:42 AM

The poem by Mary Anne Mohanraj is super, as is your story.

Posted by: David Rosenbaum at August 4, 2006 04:46 PM

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