Open source content moves forward

Open source content moves forward

Summary: What makes Flint stand out is how he has accepted extensions to his original work, and even, as in this case, co-sponsored them for the book market. By accepting the open source process he has extended his franchise in many directions, both financial and artistic.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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1634:The Ram Rebellion from Amazon.comRight now I'm enjoying a sort of open source novel.

1634: The Ram Rebellion has a standard, proprietary license on it. But it was produced through an open source process, a Web site where fans of Eric Flint's novel 1632 expand on the alternate history universe he created.

Many popular books have fan sites. My daughter is a big fan of fanfiction,  where ordinary people create their own stories based on popular characters.

What makes Flint stand out is how he has accepted extensions to his original work, and even, as in this case, co-sponsored them for the book market. By accepting the open source process he has extended his franchise in many directions, both financial and artistic.

I mention this because Solomon Rothman now plans to adopt the same process to a film called Jathia's Wager. Rothman wants users to pick apart his short script, and will also film alternate versions chosen by readers. Once the work is done its files will be uploaded for re-editing and re-use.

Critics may say this is not open source, because we're not talking about BSD or GPL licensing of the results. But in both these cases we're talking about using an open source process to involve people before work is created, and adapting their best ideas in the finished product.

Amazon reviews on Ram Rebellion are, at best, uneven. But the book would not exist without the online process which created it. Rothmann can only hope to do as well.

Topic: Open Source

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4 comments
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  • Barflies

    If you want to really see the process in action, start hanging out in Baen's Bar.

    [i]The Ram Rebellion[/i] isn't the first book, by any means, where authors relied heavily on reader participation before the fact. Before Baen and even before the Internet, quite a few authors had their own fora in online communities where they got useful suggestions and "tech review" from fans. Rick Cook [1] probably should write a history of those days, since he was pretty deeply involved.

    That said, the [i]1632[/i] series makes far greater use of fan participation than most. I believe that Flint has openly credited the research assistance of the Barflies for making the series possible; without them, the amount of historical, geographical, and technical detail in the books would have been far worse.

    [1] If you haven't read [i]Wizard's Bane[/i], you should. It's in the Free Library.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Is this..

    Isn't this not open source, but Crowd source? Kind of like that apparel brand Threadless, because in the end, the decision about what gets kept is still up to some higher up?

    Open source for life.
    aquamammal@...
    • Straining the definition

      [i]Isn't this not open source, but Crowd source? Kind of like that apparel brand Threadless, because in the end, the decision about what gets kept is still up to some higher up?[/i]

      Most [i]software libre[/i] projects restrict "commit" privileges, too. The big difference is that there aren't any redistribution or derivative works licenses, so the "open source" description is really strained.

      On the other hand, it is another example of Benkler's "peer production" model at work.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
  • There are musicians making thier music open source. No big names yet, but,

    we will eventually see a major hit that is open source, with the possibility of many interesting renditions / additions.
    DonnieBoy