The LugRadio licence

Or, what you can do with those downloadable files: a historical essay

When we originally started making LugRadio, we knew that we wanted people to be able to listen to the show for free. After a certain amount of discussion, we felt that a show was sort of like an album from a band -- if you're a band creating an album then the album's ideally designed to be listened to from start to finish. The greatest albums have an underlying thread joining together all the songs on them; the order is important. The album tells a story, more than just a collection of separate singles. LugRadio was like that, we thought, and so we wanted to discourage people from listening to some bits and not others. On top of that there was our instinctive reaction against commercial use -- someone else can make money off our hard work? not likely! -- and so the obvious choice was the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives licence. This meant that you could download the show for free and listen to it as many times as you wanted; you could pass it on to your friends or post it on your website or make a CD out of the show to give to someone to introduce them to LugRadio.

After four years of glorious LugRadio goodness, it become apparent that this occasionally caused complications. People have asked us: can I chop out just the bit where you read my email out and put that on my website? or, can I cut out this interview and show that to people involved with the project I was talking about without them having to listen to the rest of the show? Can I put an episode on the cover CD for my computer magazine? We've always said yes to requests like these -- we've never refused a request to do something different with the show -- but after some chatting away in the orbiting LugRadio Command Satellite, it became apparent that this process would be rather easier if people who wanted to do creative things with the show could do so without asking for permission first.

So in November 2007 we started the laborious process of contacting everyone who has ever been on LugRadio and asking them if they had any objections to us relicencing the show they were on to allow derivative works and to allow commercial use. This is a long, slow process, and it isn't finished yet. Most of the people we've asked have been happy to have the show changed; some people said that they'd rather we didn't do that, and we have of course respected their wishes; we're still trying to contact some others (it's amazing how much things can change in a few short years!).

However, the process has got far enough now that we can unveil it to the world. The page for each show now has details of its licence. Broadly, there are two: shows which are still under the old no-derivatives no-commercial-use licence (because interviewees or guests have asked us not to change), and shows which are under the new licence, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported. The new licence allows all the things that were problematic before. You can still listen to the show for free, and you can still pass it on to as many people as you like, but now you can make mashups of it, or use snippets in your own compositions, or cut out interviews or sections and make them available without the rest of the show; you can use those episodes of LugRadio commercially, by making a compilation CD and selling it or putting it on the cover disc of your magazine; you can re-encode it into a different format and distribute that yourself. The only restrictions are that you need to obey the "attribution" portion of the licence (which in practice means that you should say that you're using content from LugRadio, ideally with a link to the website or the page for the episode in question) and that if you make a mashup or use snippets, your resulting work needs to be also under a similar "share-alike" licence. If you'd like to do something that you don't think is permitted under this new licence, or if you'd like to use one of the older-licenced shows in one of the new ways, contact us and we'll talk about it.

We're hoping that this will help people to make cool new things with the show. If you do something fun and interesting with bits of LugRadio, we'd love to hear about it! Drop us an email or post to the LugRadio forums; we like hearing about how LugRadio shows up in other places, and the LugRadio community like it too.

the LugRadio team, February 2008

© LugRadio 2007 · Site designed by Michael Evans