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Proposal for Open Source vs. Shareware Customs



In line with the recent "Rescuing Customs" chat, I propose the following:


Whenever someone uploads a custom, have them check a box that specifies whether they are willing to have others modify and re-upload their CDLC with either a link to the original post, or a blurb thanking the original author(s).


You could set this to default on in an Account Setting, if people wish to do so for all of their custom work.


I see this as an important piece to allow the distinction between people who are happy to open-source their work, and those that want their upload to be the final, definitive point. This way, we can have multiple people working on the same custom without worrying if the author would become upset.


For example, it could encourage people who are working on something like a discography to separate tasks, and have one person transcribe the notes then pass on tones to a tone expert, and then on to a bass slapper, etc.

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I like the spirit of the idea, but I'm not sure it needs to be so formalized.  I'd be happy with a sub-forum in the Workshop for collaborations.


If we're just taking people's customs, changing them and re-uploading them, I can see it quickly spiralling out of control, like the tabs on ultimate-guitar.  10 different tabs for each song, but which one is correct?

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What happens when a CDLC has problems and the charter hasn't made any updates for months?

What is the polite way to submit a fix?

I'd like to see CDLCs viewed more like open-source projects that anybody can improve upon, rather than "exclusively owned" by the original charter.

I admit I've not made any CDLCs yet so my opinion shouldn't count as much as a charter's.

OTOH if there was a nice way to submit fixes to neglected CDLCs, I might actually spend the time to do it for a couple that have been bothering me, and everybody wins.


Perhaps related -- if I do submit any CDLC it will likely be for songs I've composed myself (though I'm not sure if there's any interest in this sort of thing), so I can see the value in the "uploader wants exclusive ownership" model vs the "open-source-anybody-can-improve" model.

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@@cstewart, you make a great point, the ultimate-guitar solution would be far from ideal, but it might be partially solved if we go back to the "approved" vs. just a community ratings system. In that case, people searching for the "best" version of a song can filter versions / variations of a song by those "blessed" by a community song approver. (more on this later)


Similar to @@RobotMonster's first points, let's say we have a user like @altamont who have uploaded a lot of Bass tracks, and I wanted to add a Rhythm guitar part to some, I shouldn't have to ask him permission for each track and wait for response if, in this example, he may not care if someone added the guitar parts, or fixed a tone. Having the checkbox per song or account that says "go nuts" would save a lot of time for both parties, and help promote community involvement in the process. And we'd leave the default value to be off, so that people don't accidentally open-source their work.


@@RobotMonster, that's a great example for exclusive ownership. My only counter to that, and it would not win an argument, would be that writing a piece of music may not mean you'd be the best user of the EOF tool etc. I do think that putting up your songs here, especially if we created a separate forum in the workshop for user-created songs, would be awesome, and a great self-promotional tool. Plus, wouldn't it be great to be able to ask the actual author - hey, is this a bend or a slide, or what delay pedal did you use, etc.



Here's the situation, as I understand it: This community is completely dependent on having authors of CDLCs that keep updating and uploading their work, so in the end, we have to keep them happy. The community is also a relatively new one at that and, as we saw with Smithy's, is definitely fallible, therefore striking a balance between those that publish their work vs. those that consume / rate them is a tough task.


The problem: 

1) the work that authors do varies in quality / accuracy. No transcription is perfect, and neither should it be held to that standard.


2) whereas author's efforts in transcription is worthy of recognition, unless they wrote the songs, they cannot have a monopoly on the actual songs themselves.


Right now, if I wanted to do another version of Back in Black with an improved solo, and the original author is unresponsive or didn't agree with my suggestion, I'd have to do Back in Black v2, and then we'd have the same problem as ultimate-guitar. Chances are that I'd have used most of the same notes and tones as the original author anyway to save effort, then there might be an argument of me passing off his or her work as my own, but my counter argument would be that I was emulating the song, which they don't own, not their work.


A possible solution:

A great goal for a community like this would be to make the barrier of entry to contribution so low that everyone would be able to add work without fear. If their work was good, it would be incorporated to the "approver-blessed" version. This is why I like the open-source model so much. Authors could start a piece and upload it, others could clone it and submit pull requests which could be approved by either the original author, a moderator, or the community at large. Otherwise, someone can fork a project, and turn the tones all into Reggae for a lark. Having this ability to Remix music would make it a very enlightening community.


This solution would require a lot of re-work for the forum, but just having an "open-source" checkbox per song or author would make for a great step towards it. We could test this out in a sub-forum, and work out the kinks before rolling them out to the rest at large.

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Nothing stops anyone from taking a CDLC and improving it. That's not the issue. You're free to do with the CDLC what you want with it -- that's what the toolkit and EOF are there for.


The only thing is, you can't upload it to the database, because you didn't do the original work.


Now, nothing stops you from contacting the original charter, informing them you've made an upgrade, asking them to check it out and post it. If he or she chooses not to, well, hey, you tried, didn't you?


To me, this is probably the simplest and most efficient.


I started that other thread before I started working on my first custom. Since then I've learned:


1) It's a lot of work/time making a custom

2) But it's not that difficult, and it's a lot of fun, so I encourage everyone to give a try

3) After all the time I've spent working on a song, I'm not so sure I want other fingers in my pie

4) But there will definitely be songs I'll work on that I won't bother to perfect, because the songs themselves lose interest for me, and for those songs I'd have no problem turning over to someone. so

5) There's not harm in asking the original charter if they'd mind you working on one of their CDLCs. The worst that can happen is they say no.

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@ The problem with simply asking the original charter is that there's always that one charter that creates a decent chart that has a whole lot of potential and then all of a sudden... they become incredibly inactive. I've noticed that this happened quite frequently in the previous forum and am pretty sure this will definitely happen in this forum as well. But then again, I do agree that I wouldn't enjoy having people's finger in my pie as well. After all, I worked super hard to make it as best as I could.


So perhaps there can be a system where if a user becomes inactive in the forum for a long time (not inactive in the sense that they haven't touched their song in a while), clearly inactivity means that they've lost interest in this forum, ergo they've lost interest in charting completely. So after their inactivity period reaches a certain point, their work becomes open source


HOWEVER, if they know they will be going inactive for a long period of time, they could ask that their account be frozen (maybe they're moving to a different country, emergencies, etc.) so that their accounts have a much more prolonged inactivity period, or never reaches that inactivity period at all.

Check out my Projects List. Yay!


If you need assistance creating lyrics to a song or want to make a collab with me on any Rock, Metal, JRock or JPop song, feel free to ask me!

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