Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'free culture'


For many years I have been a long supporter of the Creative Commons. I believe Free Culture is good for people; it brings enjoyment, encourages sharing, helps creates an archive of material others can use in their own creative endeavours and more.

Over the years pretty much every piece of creative output I have created has been licensed under a Creative Commons license. This includes 72+ songs that I have written and produced (including Severed Fifth, Seraphidian and solo work), 200+ podcast episodes (across Bad Voltage, Lugradio, and Shot Of Jaq, one book (The Art of Community).

A lot of that content has been pretty scattered so I have used my day off today to put it all together into a set of pages where you can find it all. I would encourage you to share, remix, and otherwise enjoy the content throughout these pages. Thanks!

Check out my Creative Commons archive.

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I am running a fund-raising campaign for WaterAid to provide clean and sanitary water for poorer parts of the world. Dirty water is the source of so many health problems in the world, and I hope I can help a little in the wider cause.

To this end I have written and recorded three acoustic rock songs (and a bonus fourth) that I am making available under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike Licence. I have made the songs available as MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC, and I would like to encourage you to download them and if you like them to please donate to the fund-raiser.

For those of you familiar with my metal music, these are really very different songs; they are acoustic, up-beat songs with clean vocals. I actually wrote these songs five years ago for my wife, so I re-recorded them ready for our five year anniversary and creating a fund-raiser seemed a great way to share the music with others and do some good.

You can download .zip packages of all the music:

* Download ‘Trilogy’ in MP3 format (25MB)
* Download ‘Trilogy’ in Ogg Vorbis format (29MB)
* Download ‘Trilogy’ in FLAC format (275MB)

You can also listen to four songs as MP3s in your browser here:

* Smile
* Wait For Me
* One More Day
* Endless Days

If you like the music please go and donate whatever you can afford!

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Recently I blogged about some concerns that I have had about increasing disrespect in the Open Source, Free Software, and Free Culture communities. My blog entry shared some of the work I started on an OpenRespect Declaration, but I wasn’t sure if I should publish it.

I did some thinking on this, and reviewed some of the fantastic comments on my blog, and I decided to go ahead and launch There I have listed the declaration with a few extra points about:

  • the importance of honesty (thanks Jef Spaleta for the suggestion)
  • the importance of remembering that people pour their heart and soul into their work

The site is pretty simple, and pretty minimal, so don’t expect a rip-roaring experience there, but it gets over the most important point – the OpenRespect Declaration.

In my spare time I plan on adding some additional materials there — tips and suggestions about keeping conversation respectful, and how to deal with disrespectful folks — so if anyone would like to propose some content, just drop me an email.

Before I wrap, I just want to offer a few notes to bear in mind regarding

  • this is not specific to the communities I am part of, but designed to apply to any community.
  • this is not a United Nations declaration, it is not necessarily representative of what the entire Open Source and Free Software community, it is representative of what I feel is a fair set of guidelines around respect. Don’t like it? No worries, ignore it!
  • I don’t plan on turning into a mission; I am too busy and pre-occupied with other things, but I felt I needed to do something – this is a start, and I hope can grow the site to be more useful as time goes on.
  • this won’t solve all the problems, but it is a start, and if helps just one conversation be more respectful, it was was worth the minimal amount of effort that I put into kicking this off. :-)

If you think is a good idea and would like to help, I would just encourage you to encourage people to read it, encourage your projects to be inspired by it, and otherwise spread the word. I would also like to encourage all of you who think the OpenRespect Declaration makes sense to blog it, dent it, tweet it etc to spread awareness.

Thanks, everyone for providing constructive feedback on the idea. :-)

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Melissa from the Creative Commons pointed me to the rather good news that Canonical’s offer to match Creative Commons donations up to $3000 has already been matched:

Just five days ago we announced that Canonical would be generously matching every donation dollar for dollar for the next week – up to $3,000. Well, we met that goal in record time! Thanks to everyone who donated in the past five days and had your donation doubled – for a total of $6,000 going toward our annual campaign to sustain CC!

Many thanks to Canonical for their ongoing support of free culture and Creative Commons.

We still have a long way to go to reach our $500,000 goal for this year’s campaign, so please donate today and show your support for a culture of sharing!

Thanks to everyone who donated, and if you haven’t donated yet, go and contribute!

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Here at Canonical we are all big fans of the Creative Commons. For those of you unfamiliar with them, they have created a set of Free Culture licenses that make it simple for people to release open content. They also run a variety of resources to make finding and remixing content simple and empowering.

In the Ubuntu community we have celebrated these freedoms with the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase: a competition in which we select free culture content that is included with each Ubuntu release. In addition to this, I am personally a huge fan of the Creative Commons: I have released two albums (The Big Red Recording and the debut Severed Fifth album) and my recent book The Art of Comunity under Creative Commons licenses. All of my blog entries are similarly licensed.

A little while back Melissa Reader from the Creative Commons emailed me asking if Canonical would be interested in matching donations made to the Creative Commons up to a maximum of $3000 over the period of a week. This means that if you donate $1 to the Creative Commons, Canonical will also provide $1 until the $3000 total has been reached. I am proud that Canonical are able to support this worthy campaign.

Remember, this is going to happen only for the next week, so go and DONATE!

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Tomorrow I fly to England back to Wolverhampton for LugRadio Live 2009. I have been over in California now for over a year and it will be the first time I have got to see many of my friends since I moved. It will also be the final re-union of the LugRadio team for the last ever live show and last ever LugRadio Live. It is going to be a blast!

Although LugRadio Live is entirely sold out of tickets, there is going to be one hell of a party on the Friday night at The Hogshead, 186 Stafford Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1NA from 7.30pm and also on the Saturday night at the The Connaught Hotel, 40-50 Tettenhall Rd, Wolverhampton, WV1 4SW from 8pm. On the Saturday there will be Karaoke. Oh yes. Everyone is welcome to both parties, and I would love to see you all there! :-)

The fun doesn’t end there though, oh no! On the Sunday, the first ever OggCamp is going to take place at The Connaught Hotel in Wolverhampton, and it is shaping up to be an incredible event. The organizers behind it, the venerable Ubuntu UK and Linux Outlaws podcasts, have worked hard to make it a rocking event and I can’t wait for it! I really hope it becomes a staple in the UK Open Source event calendar. So, good people, get your delicate arses over to OggCamp too. :-)

What a rollicking weekend of Open Source goodness, firmly seated in the great British heartlands:

  • Friday 23rd October – Party at The Hogs Head in Wolverhampton.
  • Saturday 24th October – LugRadio Live 2009 and party at The Connaught Hotel in Wolverhampton.
  • Sunday 25th October – OggCamp at The Connaught Hotel in Wolverhampton.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

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