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Creative Commons

"Feed the Animals" still feeds the soul.

I’ve been revisiting the seminal Girl Talk album, “Feed the Animals” in preparation for the upcoming copyright discussion thats certainly to be had at BarCampMIlwaukee5. Gregg Gills’ album was heralded by some as one of the best albums of 2008.

It must be said, I really like this album.

It should be also said, I have no idea what the legal status of the music is anymore. I don’t care. The fact is, Feed the Animals is a great, immersive audio experience that gets me into a working mindset faster than most other music.
It’s not because the album is entirely derivative, playing over 300 samples in 53 minutes. The magic of “Feed the Animals” is that Girltalk threads together over 300 emotive states into a seamless floating experience. It never lingers on a hook to long, moving without stop into the next emotive state. You’re listening to a party on fast forward. Your brain can’t help but move along. And somehow, that tricks my brain into getting work done.

My belief is that when you publish your work, you’re releasing your work into the world to become bigger and greater. “Feed the Animals” does that. Good for it. I can’t help but feel like “Feed the Animals” is the ultimate truth twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.

Is it legal? Who cares? Smarter people than I have a lot to say on the matter. What matters is that the music is good. THe rest of the conversation around it is just so much intellectual masturbation and gets in the way of an otherwise really good musical experience.

Life is to short to leave something as great as “Feed the Animals” stillborn. I’m grateful that Gills was able to take the music already all around us in the world and make something from it. This is what creation is all about. We take what we have, (in Gills case, the music that surrounds him) and we interpret it, improve on it, and then pass it on to the next generation; the work is forever changed through our experience and it is better for it.

Being overly concerned with the legality, artistic and moral ramifications of his work just get in the way of the humanity behind it.

Judas Liberal Priest!

It's not the first time I've been called a priest. And not the first time I've been called Liberal. But the first time I've been called them together? Maybe. - Eighty percent of the - old liberal - are against the priest celibacy - Google Chrome

Pleased as punch when Creative Commons just works-- except it never does. Lookie here! This picture of mine was re purposed and reposted as part of a conservative catholic leadership blog. Or something. I have no idea. The Google translation seems to imply that my tie is somehow a liberal catholic? I'm confused.

Anyway, Nice of to properly attribute the work. I hate to be a ball-buster on this, I know how you conservative clergy like to have special rules just for you, but I share my work under a Creative Commons, Attribution, Share Alike licence. Which means that you're welcome to use my photo for whatever you want so long as you offer your product under the same terms as I did. And the standard copyright notice at the bottom of the page implies that you don't.

So, yeah. No tacky tie photo for you.

Earth: This time around

Used Under Creative Commons by permission of Todd Huffman

Earth: This time around


This life. This time around.
This blue-green gate of experience
is the place from where
our ancestors came and went.
It is our cradle and our casket.

This is the earth we stand upon:
We walk as creatures born of mud and dust.
We walk as creatures born as equals.
We walk in a miasma of existance, unaware of the life in which we tread. Look around!

Earth is.
Earth was.
Earth as will ever be.

We will break our mother's heart again and again
but she will take us back when we come to her.
We love her for it.

Wisdom of the earth is knoweldge incarnate, built of beauty, bone, peat and power.
On Earth, my friend, your virtue is reborn.

Jan. 25, 2010 \ Read it on Scribd \ Photo attribution

Published in the Onion

I've always wanted to publish something in the Onion-- the satirical newspaper born in Madison when I was wrapping up middle school. This week I have accomplished that goal. But not in a way I would have ever imagined.


A snapshot I took of a local deli and published on Flickr so that I could remember the name of the place was a featured illustration of the Onion AV-Club's review of the establishment.

I took the picture in May of 2007 when I was training at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on their goofy ass pagination system. Then I published the photo, (along with a handful of others) on Flickr added a modicum of meta data, and pushed it out to the Milwaukee - (High Resolution) Creative Commons group.

There are a lot of people-- pro photographers mostly, who would say that I've gone and killed their industry by letting for-pay publications run my photo for free. And I say, Adapt of be Killed.

I am assuming that given the option of paying me $10 or not running a photo, the onion would have picked not running the photo. I was a journalist for a long time. There's no cash on hand to pay for that kind of thing. That photography -- not even necessarily good photography-- is available on he web for free is just part of the new reality.

Regardless, I'm greatful to the Onion for plugging in exchange for using that photo. Haven't really seen much benefit from the attribution, don't really expect to. But still nice to see none the less.

And Hey, I've had my work published in The Onion. Have you?

Edit for Clarification:The editor of the Onion AV Club Milwaukee obtained my permission to use the photo prior to publication. Just so we're clear. :)

Wallpapers from September

So, My friend Bob put a bunch of pictures from an event I was involved in up on his Flickr site a long time ago and I really liked a lot of them and wanted to use them as wallpapers. And I saw that Bob releases his photos under a derivative friendly Creative Commons liscence. Sweet.

Magic in the woods 2

I spent almost no time applying basic photoshop filters to try to make the photos less photographic and more suggestive of the magical and special place in which they were taken. Because I can. I like my wallpapers to strike a balance between photograph and graphic design. Also, I'm a sucker for the cutout filter. Hey, Photoshop is easy!

Magic in the Woods

I've enjoyed having these as wallpapers on my computers for the past few months, and I hope you enjoy them, too.

Magic Flame

I've put my wallpapers into a set on Flickr, and you can see Bob's originals in his set, along with many other excellent photographs from Septemeber's event. Bobs photos are so good, it's hard to imagine these as improving on them, but I'm happy to share them back out to the world. I enjoy them, I hope you will too.

Two notes:

I’ve posted a few things at various and sundry locations around the internet that I thought it would be fun to call your attention toward.

1. Don’t write much poetry. Publish even less of it. Here’s a poem I posted at scribd entitled “Upon the Passing of my Paternal Grandfather.”

2. Here’s a set of Super Smash Brothers Brawl generated Desktops mixed up with some very basic Photoshop filters. I have no idea what is my legal obligation regarding the license of a piece of artwork created within a videogame. Actually, I suspect that since I have to decode the screenshots via a “decrypter” there’s probably a violation of the DMCA somewhere.

Good Cop, Bad Cop.

I use Creative Commons because I believe that it's better to share my creative works with people who can appreciate it than it is to die with a huge stack of unpublished works.

Creative Commons is not permission for you to make money off my work without compensating me. Creative Commons is not the same thing as dedicating your works to the Public Domain. Creative Commons is a way to let other artists know that they are welcome to see, enjoy, be a fan of, redistribute, and build on your work.

Raster and I played some good cop/bad cop on the Internet the other day regarding this subject. Here's a shout-out to the Creative Commons discussion going on here.

A side issue not being discussed here is the general emergence of the feeling that "the Long Tail" is bullshit. My opinion is that if you feel that the Long Tail is bullshit, I say you and I are probably talking about a different Long Tail.

Also, if you want to learn more about Creative Commons, I highly recommend this film.

Gaia Spotting

It's strange. I can never predict which photos at Flickr are going to be popular.
Serious Eats (by HeyGabe)

Big shout-out and thank you to the folks at SeriousEats who were kind enough to call Gaia "Adorable."

I'll pass on the discussion over whether this is a correct application of the creative commons license in favor of simply basking in my daughter's new found internet fame.

Dumb BIG Man

Dumb BIG man is more like it.  (by HeyGabe)
It may be one of my proudest moments.

A few months ago, you guys may recall, I posted a photobooth snapshot of myself holding a note I'd written on a postie that I couldn't read. This photo was from the period where I was releasing photos on a creative commons Share Alike license.
So it turns out this photo was featured on an otherwise unremarkable productivity blog called Dumb Little Man , on an otherwise unremarkable productivity article called "12 Ways To Become an Utter Failure at Work."
Words cannot express how much joy this brings me.
Although Dumb Little Man doesn't release their content under a 'share alike' license, share alike only requires you re-license under a "similar" licence.
We'll call CC-BY-ND good enough, I guess. I would prefer that they'd use my work under a little less restrictive licence, but whatever. I'm just flattered that they liked my photo enough to use it.


In honor of International Pixel-stained Techno-peasant Day I'm releasing this new short-story on this here blog.

This is a short story originally written for Matthew Wayne Selznick's sidelined Wordhouse Anthology project. The idea was to pick a song you loved and write a story that captured some of the images and feelings from the song. I wrote "Nightswimming" based on the R.E.M. song.

The story is hosted at Scribd.

Read this doc on Scribd: Nightswimming by Gabe Wollenburg

It's released under the usual terms.