Creative Commons support in Gnome

After reading about the new Nautilus-Python bindings, I decided I had to try my hand. And what better feature to enable than everyone’s favorite, Creative Commons License support. Lately I’ve been working on updates to our embedded license tools which allow users to tag an MP3 with a CC license and then provide a web page which “verifies” the license claim.

The new tool, as of yet unnamed (suggestions?) adds a Creative Commons tab to the file properties of any MP3 file. For example, a track from Copy Me/Remix Me :

As you can see, the property page displays the license claim, and then verifies it against the web page. If the verification page didn’t exist, or didn’t match properly, you’d see an error message instead.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “cool! how do I get in on the action?” It’s simple. Or at least straight-forward. You see, this bit of integration is made possible by some Nautilus code that’s not in the latest release, but never fear; I’ve provided a source tarball and I think it’ll work with Nautilus 2.4 and later (for sure 2.6 and later).

There are two packages you’ll need, and both are available at the CC Tools Sourceforge Project. First, nautilus-python provides the actual Python bindings for Nautilus. Simply untar it, and do the configure/make/make install dance. This will install the Nautilus support and install some example Python extensions. The default installation location is under your Nautilus library path; on my system it’s /usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-1.0/python.

The second package, nautilus-cc , provides the extension and all of it’s dependencies. Simply untar it in the nautilus-python directory (/usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-1.0/python on my system). Restart Nautilus and right click on an MP3 to try it out.

There’s definitely room for improvement in the tool, from simple UI polish to further integration. For example, what about a context-menu option which lets you license your file and publish it to the Internet Archive via ccTag, all integrated with the desktop. I’m sure there are other ideas out there as well. Leave a comment with a cool idea on this post; my favorite will get a CC t-shirt (so yes, you need to leave your email address and you implicitly give permission for CC to implement your idea; oh, and it’s my blog, so it’s my decision; but I really want to give away a t-shirt).

The cool thing about this integration is not necessarily the license display. I mean, that’s cool, but not necessarily the coolest thing. The coolest thing is that it took me longer to figure out the GTK code than it did to write the license parsing code. That’s because I’m reusing lots of code from previous projects. This further emphasizes the importance of packaging our code in ways that encourage reuse; we should be able to say “Hey, you developer there! Wanna integrate CC in your app? Here’s a library that makes it painless!” And yes, that’s a project I’ll be tackling in the coming weeks for CC.

date:2004-10-27 10:59:11

ccV 1.5.0 Available

If anyone wants to hack on the validator source code, I’ve just released a new distribution, reflecting the changes now in place at The primary improvement in this release is support for RDF specified with a <link> tag. The release is available here.

date:2004-07-12 14:36:54

5 Reasons Canada is Paradise

The Queen has Spoken

Garrett and I spent last weekend in Toronto for Toronto Pride. A “quick” 7 hour drive from Fort Wayne, it was actually a nice little get away. During that time, we decided that Canada (well, maybe just Toronto) really is paradise. Why? Five simple reasons:

  • Legalized gay marriage
  • Socialized health care
  • No smoking in bars and restaurants
  • They say “line up” instead of “queue” or “line” (OK, so it may not be paradise, but it is cute)
  • No George W. Bush (and seemingly no one who really likes him, but it may have been the company we were keeping)

Anyway, you can check out the photos I shot of the parade here.

date:2004-07-01 07:04:45

Updated Tagger

Just a quick note that I’ve uploaded new builds of ccTag, a set of graphical and command-line tools for embedding Creative Commons license claims in MP3 files. Builds are available for Win32 and Mac OS X; the source is available as a tarball. This build corrects a problem with the Mac OS X builds which caused ccTag to crash in a rather disappointing way. Go and check it out.

date:2004-06-22 16:15:18

The 30 Second Commons

With my recent work on ccValidator and mozCC, I’ve been faced with the challenge of communicating about my work to lay-people (my parents, siblings, therapist, partner, etc). In each of these cases, the people I’m talking to ask what I’ve been working on. They’re educated people who can synthesize information and form their own opinions, but as soon as I start talking about the Creative Commons, their eyes glaze over.

Now I think this has as much to do with the way I’m communicating as it does with their interest. I intuitively know what the CC is all about, but have trouble articulating it in the 30 second time slot they’ve mentally alotted me. I’m proud of and excited about what I’ve been working on, so I want them to be excited to. So I’ve been contemplating how to sum up the Creative Commons purpose and mission in 30 seconds. Basically two well structured, coherent sentences.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (with thanks to the “Creative Commons: About Us page”:; have something better? Leave a comment, please.

“The Creative Commons works to expand the range of creative works available for others to build upon and share. It does this by building a layer of reasonable, flexible copyright options which steer a middle course between no artist protection and all rights reserved.”

date:2003-11-06 09:10:05