[Hpr] Fwd: Cross-Promotional Opportunties

Ivan Privaci epicanis+hpr at dogphilosophy.net
Thu Feb 12 10:34:21 PST 2015

On Thursday, February 12, 2015 10:54:39 AM Carl D Hamann wrote:
>[...] I would have absolutely no objection to someone producing
> an episode about it. On the other hand, the website content is not
> freely licensed, and I don't see them as generally promoting free
> culture or hacker culture.[...] If the community feels this is the
> type of project we should be supporting, then I'm behind it, but I
> don't personally feel that a non-free-culture IT education site fits
> the bill.

You're not me, are you? That  was almost precisely my initial reaction.

Poking around on the site, though, it's not entirely clear that they DON'T
offer any free-culture stuff. The only plain indication of "not-freeness" 
that I can spot is the requirement to register to get access to most of it,
which seems like it may have a legitimate reason for (i.e. they want to
regulate things like anonymous comments and for participants to have
an account to associate their accomplishments with), and it could be that
the materials behind the registration are partially or wholly CC-licensed
in some manner (I haven't registered to look).

I did find a pointer to a PDF one one of the pages, but it has no reference at
all to the license except for  the bottom of each page having a "provided by
so-and-so (c)", which could be taken for anything from "all rights reserved,
be thankful you're even allowed to look at this" to "this is CC-BY licensed 
and this line is the attribution". Unfortunately nothing I can find is tagged
with licensing and redistribution information, so there's no way to know.

The website does make promising sounding noises about having "free" and
"open" and also a participatory nature, so my initial reaction has softened 
somewhat and it might be worth some investigation before rejection.
(I'd also coincidentally been pondering, in an unrelated context, the "member 
points" model that they seem to be using for participants, so I'm kind
of curious about that, too.)

> Objectivity aside, Katrina's email made me bristle. My recommendation
> is that we take it in the spirit in which it was offered: that of HPR
> selling out to garner more page views and downloads. No thanks.

It made me bristle, too, but it wasn't the sellout element that did it, 
it was this: 

>> "I believe that HackerPublicRadio is a great resource for those in 
particularly in the cyber security industry"

It's true that "cyber security" is a perfectly appropriate HPR topic that
comes up regularly, but I can't help but think that the only thing that 
makes Hacker Public Radio a 'great resource[...]*particularly* in the cyber
security industry"[emphasis added]  is "it has the word 'hacker' in it." In 
other words, they know nothing about HPR and just saw the word "hacker" and 
made assumptions.

In the time it's taken me to type this email, my initial reaction has settled
down, and now I'm cautiously interested and thinking this might at least be
an opportunity to educate someone about what "Hacker Public Radio" really
does, and maybe even draw in a few more contributions.  (I don't know how 
strict they are about the topics that their participants can teach are, but it 
still amuses me to imagine HPR infiltrating their site [through legitimate 
participation,I mean] and eventually overshadowing their "cyber security 
industry" focus with  "courses" on "how to record a hacker public radio 
episode" and "free culture ethics" and so on...not that anybody has time for 
all of that, it's just a funny thought.)

Could we get some clarification on their site's licensing philosophy and 
exactly what form the "series of mentions" would be expected to take
(and exactly what they intend to do with their "various channels to our user 
community" to promote HPR in return)? Does anyone else think it might be worth
following up on?

(If there's interest but nobody else has time to deal with it, I could 
volunteer to at least exchange a few emails with them to try to get 
some more information...)

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