PDA

View Full Version : TorrentBoy open source project



lovinglinux
March 26th, 2009, 08:02 PM
I'm not sure this is the right forum to post, but I think this is an interesting project to divulge.


MCM, a writer and artist from Victoria, Canada, has released the first book of his TorrentBoy series. ‘TorrentBoy: Zombie World!’ deals with a kid named Wesley, who’s on a quest to save the world while battling zombies and giant leeches. The book can be downloaded for free.

source: http://torrentfreak.com/torrentboy-free-kids-book-on-the-torrentsphere-090326/



TorrentBoy is the world’s first open source franchise, and you can be a part of it! Whether you write stories, draw pictures, record music or just love to immerse yourself in a crazy new world, this is the place to be!

http://torrentboy.1889.ca/

Flimm
March 27th, 2009, 02:49 PM
Hmmm, looks very interesting. However, I would hate for it to be called "open source franchise". While the anti-copyright movement has a lot in common with the open source ideal and the ideas of freedom, they are not the same, and it would be a shame for people to associate the words "open source" with things like thepiratebay for example.

lovinglinux
March 27th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Hmmm, looks very interesting. However, I would hate for it to be called "open source franchise". While the anti-copyright movement has a lot in common with the open source ideal and the ideas of freedom, they are not the same, and it would be a shame for people to associate the words "open source" with things like thepiratebay for example.

I totally agree. Maybe they should call it "Creative Commons franchise".

1889ca
March 27th, 2009, 10:19 PM
I saw your comment on the TorrentBoy site and replied in a long-winded way (http://torrentboy.1889.ca/FAQ/Experience#comment-7563039) (I switched software shortly after you commented so the comment thread disconnected). Basically, the gist of the reply was that while the project isn't strictly meeting the definition of "open source software", it is more in line with the open source philosophy than even a lot of the more traditional open source projects. Creative Commons is an entirely different beast (I believe only a single variant of the CC license allows for unauthorized derivatives, which doesn't cover using the _guts_ of a property to make your own stuff).

So basically, I agree with what you're saying, but I think the project's goals are more in line with your definition of open source than anything else out there right now. I'm lacking appropriate terminology, that's all :)

lovinglinux
March 28th, 2009, 12:52 AM
I saw your comment on the TorrentBoy site and replied in a long-winded way (http://torrentboy.1889.ca/FAQ/Experience#comment-7563039) (I switched software shortly after you commented so the comment thread disconnected). Basically, the gist of the reply was that while the project isn't strictly meeting the definition of "open source software", it is more in line with the open source philosophy than even a lot of the more traditional open source projects. Creative Commons is an entirely different beast (I believe only a single variant of the CC license allows for unauthorized derivatives, which doesn't cover using the _guts_ of a property to make your own stuff).

So basically, I agree with what you're saying, but I think the project's goals are more in line with your definition of open source than anything else out there right now. I'm lacking appropriate terminology, that's all :)

Nice to see your feedback here.

I took the liberty of quoting the referred discussion from your site here, but please report this post to a moderator if you feel this is not right. I'm reporting it myself, because I'm sure it's allowed to do this here.

BTW, just to clarify to everyone else, I'm not the author of the referred post. But since I created this thread and commented about the Creative Commons, I'm trying to better understand the concepts involved here and comment appropriately.



Posted by Flimm at TorrentBoy (http://torrentboy.disqus.com/torrentboy_central_experience_04/)

Dear Sirs/Madam,
the term "Open Source" has been misused far too often, despite its very strict definition. One of the conditions of being open source is legal and free access to source code, with the ability to change the code. So as you can see, your project already fails to be "open source", as no code is involved.
Furthermore, a title like "TorrentBoy" immediately brings to mind the ideals of "Free Culture" and the goals of anti-copyright movements including the ones encouraged by thepiratebay. While they are similar in a way, they must not be confused. Please don't hijack the open source movement with other goals, that could ultimately, destroy open source.
Seems to me that you should associate yourselves more with "Free Culture" or the Creative Commons than with open source.
Thank you.
An open source developer.


Reply by 1889ca

The term "open source" was certainly a big question when writing up the literature about the Project. I'm sensitive to the issue, with so many so-called open source software projects around that fail to meet anything but a shallow standard of the term. But in a lot of ways, that made it easier for me to adopt it... let me go off on a tangent for a moment first...

I think you confuse "free culture" with anti-copyright and entities like the Pirate Bay. Free culture is the sharing of ideas without draconian copyright restrictions limiting fair use by the end user, but it still has a strong sense of "the creator has the right to control use in all cases" built into it. Creative Commons is a "free" license, but it in most cases, it doesn't grant the end-user permission to change or branch the product they're using. Meanwhile, anti-copyright (and the Pirate Bay) is about removing the rights of creators from the equation entirely, and declaring that all created content in the world is fully free, and should be shared regardless of license. Free Culture and anti-copyright probably butt heads more often than you'd think, because they seem so similar, but there's a core philosophical difference between the two.

That said, neither of those two do what this project is meant to do. This is about opening the guts of the concept for anyone to adapt, expand or alter as they like. Words on a page aren't the same as code, it's true, but the intent is the same: those paragraphs are the "code" of the program, and our objective is for other developers to come in and do magic with that core. The fact that the source is uncompiled doesn't make it any less "open", or you'd never have GPL'd Javascript projects. The intent is the same: take these routines and do something great.

Far from threatening to destroy open source, I think a project like this could help more people understand its benefits. Even some of the most liberal-minded Free Culture advocates still shudder at the thought of giving up control of their characters. Through this project (and others like it), the philosophy of open source can be made accessible to an entire class of creators that would not otherwise be exposed to it, or why it's important. Once you have your ideas take on a life you know you'd never have imagined in a thousand years, it's hard to go back. And if one writer or artist or singer has that epiphany, they'll have moved into the "open source" camp, code or not.

So yes, technically speaking, this isn't an open source project because "code"!="prose". But I think there are more important issues about the movement than that, such as not-really-free software misusing the term.

Oh, and re: the book being called "TorrentBoy" and all that implies... it's true, it's not the most passive title, but it's certainly less damaging to open source cred than the fact that a good 50% of Bittorrent clients are GPL-licensed :)

I have to agree with 1889ca. While the term "open source software" strictly implies that there is code involved, the term "open source" itself refers to a much broader spectrum of creative content/knowledge.


From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Source)

Open source is an approach to design, development, and distribution offering practical accessibility to a product's source (goods and knowledge). Some consider open source as one of various possible design approaches, while others consider it a critical strategic element of their operations. Before open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept; the term open source gained popularity with the rise of the Internet, which provided access to diverse production models, communication paths, and interactive communities.

The open source model of operation and decision making allows concurrent input of different agendas, approaches and priorities, and differs from the more closed, centralized models of development.[1] The principles and practices are commonly applied to the peer production development of source code for software that is made available for public collaboration. The result of this peer-based collaboration is usually released as open-source software, however open source methods are increasingly being applied in other fields of endeavor, such as Biotechnology.

I think 1889ca explained very well the difference between "Free Culture" and "Anti-Copyright" movements. I guess the problem is how people easily associate the word "torrent" and it's technology with Pirate Bay and copyright infringement. Using the term "open source franchise" doesn't harm the open source software movement credibility or hijack it's concepts, but when associated with torrents by it's title could lead to misinterpretation of the project goals.

Nevertheless, I think the "TorrentBoy" project is a great cultural initiative.