Intellectual Property

The Bitchun Business Plan

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Cory Doctorow, co-editor of bOING bOING and author of the entertaining Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, takes to the pages of Forbes to explain why "I've been giving away my books ever since my first novel came out, and boy has it ever made me a bunch of money." The key line: "I'd rather stake my future on a literature that people care about enough to steal than devote my life to a form that has no home in the dominant medium of the century."

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  1. Being something of a Lessig libertarian, I approve. In keeping with the spirit of this thread, I will also point out that my latest record album is a free download:

    http://tinyurl.com/vhy34

    (or http://www.farceswannamo.com for those comfortable with ftp.)

    It is the best album that came out this year. Art doesn’t have to cost a lot to be gr8! It just has to b gr8 (and different). Oh, and you have to have the people who make money from your art out of your hair as an artist. That is where most of them fall down after they hire an agent. By continuing to work for free, those pernicious influences never mar the artistic work and it can remain pure and innovative on the plane of artistic expression.

    The Internet has allowed me not only to distribute world wide for basically free, but most of my music playing and recording and mastering software was free or close to it.

  2. “I’d rather stake my future on a literature that people care about enough to steal than devote my life to a form that has no home in the dominant medium of the century”

    This would be a lot more persuasive if he wasn’t such a whore for Disney merchandise and tchotchkes, with a major hard-on for the freaking Haunted Mansion.

  3. most of my music playing and recording and mastering software was free or close to it.

    Sam…I do a lot of loop-based stuff mixed with midi and live instruments. Mostly just playing around right now. What software do you use?

  4. Oh, lets see:

    “Drum Machine Museum”: a flash website (emulations of 70s and 80s drum machine preset patterns, free)

    Storm Studio: This program supposedly does a lot, but I use it for drum machines and synths primarily, ~$150

    Internet Audio Mix: This is a primary tool, but it is getting worse over time. The full featured one used to be free on the net. I bought one when Acoustica was first selling it for like $25, but it is missing mp3 capability (not a huge concern for recording, which is wav based, but still a nuisance. Long story short, I went back to my free one. Also, since I got my pay copy in 2003, I am not sure what Acoustica has done to the product, but it did not look good price or performance wise. The huge feature of this mixer is that it is simple, so that is part of the reason it seems to be getting worse, instead of better, over time.

    Audiograbber: my audio recorder: free, recommended.

    Internet Audio Tools: my recorder b4 audiograbber. Was also free.

    T-RACKS: Mastering software: most expensive thing other than my mic, was $225 in 2002. Sadly, it cannot be installed on XP systems. Actually, i am kind of glad not to have this anymore because I liked the sound so much that I tended to oversweeten, and then you can’t really recognize that until a long time later. This one is a good compression and a good limiter and a precise volume control. Not much more than that, really.

    ACID WAV: Free. Used as my effects studio. probably my single most important piece of recording software. Would give up my pay stuff before I give this up.

    Bugz: a childrens music writing software out of Japan in the late 90s, that is better than any “toy” has a right to be. I probably paid $40 or so.

    Cool Edit: I think my version was legitimately free. Like Acid wav, sort of.

    WINAMP plus plug-ins: Winamp has a lot of free plug ins that are useful from time to time. For example, when my guitarist can’t be arsed to send me a wav file, I would juice up the track with Isotope Ozone. Lot of good plugins for treating bass frequency sound — I guess the young kids like bass these days.

    ===========================================

    Semi-related:

    I spent all weekend (and even some of this morning) trying to do my first video. The Magix software seems to suck. The Pinnacle trial software would be good if it would work on any of my computers (I tried it out on 4 machines all together). i am about to give up on video until I get better hardware. Still, any recommendations out there on video editing s/w?

  5. Decent Free Drum Sequencer

    I’d recommend spending a few bucks on the recording software, around $100. Once you get too many tracks, the whole thing gets a little dicey. Of course, my computer is a TRS-80. After a few lessons, I now use Adobe Audition, which is just “Cool Edit Pro” rebranded for Adobe.

  6. Thanks, Sam.

    I’ve been using Cakewalk forever. Been playing with Acid Pro and just recently got version 6 (It’s now a Sony program.)

    Very familiar with Cool Edit and WinAmp. Lamar is right about Cool Edit, BTW. Just picked up Audition but haven’t done anything with it.

    Just picked up M-Audio’s Fast Track. Session is a system hog and a full on pain. Chucked it 10 minutes after installing it. Fortunately Cakewalk recognizes the ASIO drivers. Cakewalk is kinda clunky with loops, though – even though it’s supposed to support them.

    Looking forward to playing with ACID 6 as it’s supposed to have more robust MIDI editing over ver 5.

    Checked out the first tune on your list. Interesting. Sounds like you’re playing with alternating rythms. I’ll check out more later.

  7. . . . the first tune . . .

    Now that synth (MidiTools? something generic anyway) couldn’t even make the big jump to Windows 98, so I wrote that song to commemorate getting rid of my last win 95 machine in late 2003. You had to mouse in the music as notes on sheet music, so it was kind of like writing on the C64 back in the day, except I guess I had no mouse back then.

  8. I read bOING bOING, but I’ve never managed to bring myself to read any of Doctorow’s fiction. I think I’ve been put off by his occasional criticisms of older science fiction, because I’ve just gotten the sense he both doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about, and what little he’s familiar with, he terribly dislikes.

    The piece that really got me was a essay by him on Isaac Asimov’s robot stories that went into the perfection of technology and systems in Asimov’s stories and how absurd it looks to this day and age…while somehow managing to overlook that pretty much every one of those stories was about a crisis caused by designs and systems showing their imperfections and breaking down. I couldn’t even tell whether he’d read one of those stories.

    That said, he’s done good work with the EFF.

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