Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...

Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
From: Jim Harley (
Date: Mon Nov 14 2005 - 00:12:21 EST

My basic comment to students regarding use of illegal software is this:
If you are fine stealing software (or music), then don't expect anyone
to pay you for anything you produce.


On Nov 13, 2005, at 6:36 PM, Kenneth Newby wrote:

> On "obvious competence"... my mentor, Martin Bartlett, liked to
> characterize computer music systems made by composers and musicians as
> a form of folk music... a new oral tradition in which the free
> exchange of techniques and approaches exceeds a culture of authority.
> While I don't think anyone wants to see a culture of mediocrity
> develop from this folk culture... I also don't want to be driven by an
> IT culture of "best practices" that considers only the most efficient
> and easiest-to-use approach as viable.
> We get caught up in the cult of speed and capacity so easily in the
> hysterical race of technological development. Sometimes it's great to
> just hang out with a poky machine and software full of limitations and
> try to be an artist again... confronting constraints and affordances,
> solving creative problems based on the limitations of the medium at
> hand. Developing a personal competence with what's there.
> Again, we're in a "brave new world", where the stability of the
> instrument is gone in the old sense of an object that remains
> relatively consistent over time. At one point I noticed that it
> didn't matter how hard I ran, the target remained just as distant.
> There's always a new version, another upgrade and an exhortation that
> this is the one that will solve all your creative problems.
> Unfortunately our students are of that stage in their lives where they
> are likely most susceptible to that culture of the upgrade and the
> latest and greatest. How to develop that competitive advantage? A
> culture of intense competition and individualism promotes the
> questionable practices we're discussing.
> Kenneth.
> On 13-Nov-05, at 4:17 PM, Michael Gogins wrote:
>> Open source derives from academia, of course. AT&T licensed UNIX to
>> universities, who redistributed sources. This was the origin of the
>> concept or attitude that software should be free. From UNIX came a
>> professor's toy operating system Minix, and from Minix came Linux. So
>> the lineage is very clear.
>> Both universities and open source programmers preserve the midieval
>> attitude that the results of scholarship (and software is a form of
>> scholarship among other things) should be freely shared. This is a
>> fundamentally science-based attitude. It is not a business-based or
>> art-based attitude at all.
>> What is the source of your opinion about Csound? What experience do
>> you have with it, especially with Csound 5?
>> Regards,
>> Mike
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Richard Wentk <>
>> Sent: Nov 13, 2005 5:54 PM
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
>> At 22:22 13/11/2005, you wrote:
>>> As a sometime user of Csound and Reaktor, I would have to say that
>>> one can
>>> definitely do much more with Csound than with Reaktor. Although the
>>> very
>>> cool realtime granulation stuff in Reaktor does not exist in Csound,
>>> there
>>> is much more in Csound that does not exist or is difficult to create
>>> in
>>> Reaktor.
>> Csound is full of OpenSource-think at the modular level. It's packed
>> with
>> third-rate imitations and simulations of modules and processes
>> borrowed
>> from other sources and mostly not implemented with any obvious
>> competence.
>> You can script more fluidly in Max/MSP or SuperCollider, and both
>> offer
>> more features, implemented more thoughtfully. So while there's
>> certainly a
>> niche for a scripted audio language, Csound isn't it. Being free
>> shouldn't
>> be used as an excuse for its many shortcomings.
>> On the other hand, it is quite good at making student pieces that
>> sound
>> like a lorry load of Theremins or DX7s falling off a cliff. :-)
>>> As you surely must know, the path of innovation in music engineering
>>> has
>>> more often been from academia to industry
>> academia != OpenSource
>> Richard

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