Author Topic: The Open Source/Open Access Radio Model  (Read 1377 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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The Open Source/Open Access Radio Model
« on: January 03, 2010, 09:27:44 am »
At the meeting before break, Tim brought up the idea that we could structure the UND radio station around an open-source software ideal, which would involve using only software that was released to the public for free use.  It was mentioned by someone else at the meeting that we'd still need to pay for use of open-source software, but I think they missed the point: true open-source software is available for people to use as they see fit (free as in free speech, free as in beer).  There are some companies who have somewhat restrictive licenses on their software that could probably be avoided, and there are some companies who sell technical support for open-source software (which, given the vast free support available online, shouldn't be needed), but the basic software ought to be free.

Open Access is a different concept, wherein the producer of the content allows the content to be freely used for certain applications.  In academic publishing, this means a journal making an article available free of charge for use in an academic setting, but not available to be downloaded for free and then sold at a later date to someone else (hence making a profit).  In music, I would equate this with an up-and-coming band making some recordings available on their website for free, as long as they get the credit for the music.  They are giving permission for people to have and play the music (and potentially for radio stations to play the music) in return for notoriety.  Someone who knows more about this may want to chime in here.

I don't think Fair Use (which was also brought up) applies in this case, since the station would be playing entire songs (or other content in it's entirety), and the basis of fair use is that you are using only part of the content to add to your own content.  For example, it falls under fair use to steal images from the Internet to build your graphic design project for class (an academic purpose), but not under fair use if you want to sell your completed project to somebody else unless you have permission from the original creator of the content.  I would much rather have a station that would get permission from artists to use their work, either by purchasing a set of rights or by agreements with individual content creators (bands, artists), than one that does whatever it wants and hides under the umbrella of fair use.

I'm definitely in favor of an open-source, open-access model for a radio station at UND.  Campus Dakota is built on open-source software and it can be customized to no end.  What does everyone else think?

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