Is content you can edit open source?

None of this is true "open source." It's more a search for viable business models in the Internet age, a way to draw the attention needed to generate excitement and sales, in some form.

Radiohead
Radiohead has joined the rush of edit-able content with its latest release, House of Cards.

The twist this time is that data used to create the laser-based video is available under a Creative Commons license. Thus, Google is the "network" making the release. Thus some call this open source content.

Of course it's nothing of the sort. I'm sure the group is thrilled that Europe is moving toward 95-year copyrights.

The House of Cards play means amateur videonerds have already created their own versions of the video -- the music remains the property of the group.

It's one more way to push the envelope opened by Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert in such things as the Make John McCain Exciting contest. The prize is your work gets noticed, and you get your 15 minutes of mini-fame. But it's the folks running the show (Viacom, in Colbert's case) who clean up.

Even JibJab has gotten into the act. Their latest effort, Time for Some Campaignin, features a page where you can insert your face into the video and send it to friends.

Radiohead, a sort of laptop Pink Floyd (the 1970s group was the mainframe, Talking Heads was the mini-computer, Moby is the desktop version) has sought to gain the most "street cred" in this by first releasing their In Rainbows as a digital download, before offering it as a CD. (It's no longer available for download.)

None of this is true "open source." It's more a search for viable business models in the Internet age, a way to draw the attention needed to generate excitement and sales, in some form. It's an experiment.

And when someone finds something that works, everyone will do it. Someday we will have a new normal but until then...it really is a house of cards.

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