Various Artists - netBloc Volume 12 (Anaxagoras) (BSCOMP0012, 2008)

Introduction: Anaxagoras, the Moon, Copyright and You

Humanity’s fascination with that celestial body that sits closest to our planet Earth has long taken the form of the arts. Examples of music, literature and the visual arts devoted to our Moon can be found throughout the history of man. Whether she/he/it was considered the embodiment of a god or simply a hunk of green cheese, the fascination toward it is understandable. Even today where science wipes away much of the mystery, there is still a lingering fascination. Science as well has had a long relationship with the Moon. We can go as far back as Anaxagoras in 500 BC to find an attempt at a scientific explanation for its light. However, he was jailed for such beliefs.

With such a healthy quantity of art, study and thought devoted to one subject, the Moon provided fertile ground on which to build a conceptual netBloc release. One which explores the importance of open content of various types. Whether it be Creative Commons licensed music downloads, illustrations or Public Domain texts and movies. Regardless of what major content-owning corporations would have you believe, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with recycling the creations of the past to further develop the culture of today. We have to remember that there are rather high profile precedents of major corporations who got their start thanks in part to the public domain. Disney used many folk tales which were part of the public domain as the basis for much of their early animated films. MTV’s early ID spots used public domain NASA footage… without it, they wouldn’t have had a cheap way to get their promo spots prepared.

Of course now Disney is one of the most outspoken proponents for extending the time before which content becomes part of the public domain. Thanks to them, in the US it is now 95 years after the death of author/creator before a creation becomes part of the public domain and they aren’t satisfied with that. All this to protect a mouse with big black ears from being released to the public domain. Copyright law in much of the world has gone from being a legal protection for the creators of content to a protection for corporations to retain control over content they own. Since a corporation is considered a person and doesn’t die, it can go on fighting and extending copyright for as long as it wants. At some point government entities need to step in to prevent this from happening or there will be no public domain except for what already is part of the public domain. Of course that won’t happen until a major portion of the public demands that government do something. Until that point, there are quasi-legal licenses such as the Creative Commons licenses which allow the creator to define what another person can or can’t do with his/her content.

This compilation is something that began as an idea in July 2007 and started to be realized in September 2007. It’s a celebration of the content that is currently available to us. It’s also a loosely tied concept album. One which takes you from the human fascination of the moon to being on the moon, then on to the madness which is supposedly caused by the full moon and finally a return to sanity and more lunar contemplation. Each track has it’s own associated public domain texts which expound on the particular segment of the “tale”. This release is very much meant to be more of an artistic endeavor than previous netBlocs, but care was taken in shining light on netaudio gems as always. Consider this a late present for the holidays as it was meant for a late-December release.

A special thanks goes out to my good friend Rob Pitt (with whom I attended Maine College of Art), who provided the illustrations used in this release and who also allowed me to distribute them under a rather loose Creative Commons license which allows for non-commercial derivative creations. On the release’s page at blocSonic, you’ll find a zip file which contains the original source illustrations for your use.

Thanks again to all labels/artists who participated. These releases couldn’t happen without you.

Peace
Mike Gregoire
Owner/Creator blocSonic.com

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