Lazy Afternoon

Indeed it is. The highlight today was a haircut at 10:00 am. But I digress. Ten years ago, when AAA radio began to take off in North America, I lamented in a letter to the Edmonton Journal that no such station was to be found in these here parts. Around that time, Calgary and Vancouver had AAA stations (Mix 1060, Coast 1040), but both were relegated to the AM band, rather than FM, and they could not build an audience big enough or sell enough advertising to stay solvent. Mix 1060’s playlist was so diverse and interesting that one time on a trip from Edmonton to Calgary, I listed every song they played in three hours to get a sense of the range of music, and I was impressed. My letter drew a response from the then-pop music writer, Helen Metella, who agreed. However, she interviewed local rock FM music directors, who insisted such a format would never work in Edmonton.

It’s ten years later, and Edmonton still features five faceless, interchangable pop-rock FM stations, populated by idiot djs, with playlists as bland as you can imagine. K-97 likes to play a lot of Supertramp, and 100.3 enjoys hitting us with Zeppelin. Hey, I like LZ, but time and a place, guys, ok?

Well, I should maybe make that 4.5 stations. A few days ago, Mix 96 because 96X, The Hit Music Alternative. I’ve listened to it for four days, while driving, and can report that the playlist is, well, diverse and interesting. There are problems, of course: the djs still talk to us like we’re 10-year olds, and often they will not tell you the name and/or song title of the tune(s) just played. This infuriates me – the Calgary and Vancouver stations always listed the song info after a set of tunes. Regardless, I hope they survive, and do well, if only because they’ve already been dissed by the sockheads at 100.3 – the radio station that growls at you 300x a day.

While searching for info on AAA stations, I came across a web site called EdmontonStories.com. It is set in MT, and is a site to which readers can contribute Edmonton stories. It looks new, and I don’t think anyone other than designer has posted yet. Among the links there is one to another Edmonton blog, from Ray vanderWoning, rightfully titled Caustic Sense. This is why. So I look at the bottom page, and read “This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.” I am further intrigued to read about what they are:

“Creative Commons has developed a Web application that helps people dedicate their creative works to the public domain — or retain their copyright while licensing them as free for certain uses, on certain conditions. Unlike the GNU GPL, Creative Commons licenses are not be designed for software, but rather for other kinds of creative works: websites, scholarship, music, film, photography, literature, courseware, etc. We hope to build upon and complement the work of others who have created public licenses for a variety of creative works.”

Watch an animated short about their mission (complete with cheesy roller-rink organ). Creative Commons wants to help us “skip the intermediary”, i.e., copyright. CC wants to help you let others make “some use” of your creativity on the internet, without having to jump through legal hoops. If copyright is a red light saying “stop”, CC is the green light, saying “c’mon in.” Their licences are explained here. CC has its own blog as well.

I think this is a great idea, long overdue. Copyright is important and necessary, but can be stifling and suffocating. CC is an US-based initiative, and I am not sure if it can applies outside that jurisidiction, but their licences are being used by non-Americans.

I also note that the Creative Commons movement is old news, from 2002, and I wasn’t surprised to learn that it is chaired by Lawrence Lessig. To those of you already familiar with CC, thanks for your patience.

4 Responses to “Lazy Afternoon”

  1. Geoff Says:

    R: I’ve had this license on my site for the last few months. You will be pleased to know that the latest version of MT (you are running 2.62) has Creative Commons Licensing integrated into the software. This is the documentation that explains how to enable the license in your template. Perhaps it’s time to rework your declaration. 🙂

  2. Michael Hall Says:

    I was in E-town on the weekend and tuned the car radio into 96X because I was curious after the teaser ads in The Journal. (We can’t get Edmonton FM stations up here, but we can receive many of the AM stations.) The couple of hours I heard had the same vapid news and a similar music selection to K-Rock and The Bear — Nickelback and so forth. Up here, we have twin country and “classic hit” (CHR?) stations that are totally unlistenable due to so much repetition. I end up listening to a lot of CDs in the car, some CBC Radio One (we don’t have CBC Radio Two here)or even CKUA — which isn’t too bad about two-thirds of the time. To surmmarize, I wasn’t blown away by 96X — I bet they play LZ, eh?

  3. randy Says:

    Oddly enough, I’ve heard no Led Zeppelin yet. Yes, I’ve heard Nickleback, but also Coldplay, Edwin, and a few other tunesmiths I wouldn’t expect to hear on the other moronic stations. Yes, their news is vapid, as are their djs, but it’s better than nothing.

  4. Limegirl Says:

    Interesting. I thought about buying edmontonstories.com a while back, but I was living in Vancouver at the time. Glad someone finally got around to doing it!

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