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Radiohead Open Sources Music Video 120

ruphus13 writes "Following up their 'pay what you like' music album, Radiohead is once again pushing forward with trying to innovate in an industry that has typically innovated with lawsuits alone. Radiohead has now decided to open source a music video. According to the article, 'Its new single "House of Cards" has a video that was created using advanced visualization techniques and various computer-rendered models. The band has teamed up with Google to release the data for the promo as open source using a Creative Commons license.'" The article links a making-of video on YouTube. The music of "House of Cards" was not open sourced, just the visual data. according to a story in the UK Guardian, people are beginning to play around with the data.
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Radiohead Open Sources Music Video

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  • by hyperz69 ( 1226464 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @11:25AM (#24242993)

    Not country and western enough... fork!
    Copyright issues on logos... fork!
    Can't resize video screen... FORK!

    Though I think in the music business they call them re-mixes / mashups.
    • by zotz ( 3951 )

      Not for commercial uses.... this is BY-NC-SA iirc. at least the music part of the music video...

      all the best,


    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by MarkvW ( 1037596 )
      Imagine no possessions. It's easy if you try.
  • 3 Radiohead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sam_paris ( 919837 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @11:25AM (#24243007)
    3 Radiohead, they're like the anti-Metallica :)
  • Radiohead is making some fantastic steps for the open source community, now if they only go back 10 years and start putting out good music again....
    • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @11:36AM (#24243173)
      Exactly. I can't stand country music, but for whatever reason some people continue to listen to it. I don't understand why they don't consult with me first so I can tell them what music is good and what's bad.
      • by kellyb9 ( 954229 )

        Exactly. I can't stand country music, but for whatever reason some people continue to listen to it. I don't understand why they don't consult with me first so I can tell them what music is good and what's bad.

        Well that's a little extreme. I would prefer it if the bands just came to me and I'd give them a few pointers.

        • by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @11:47AM (#24243377)
          Yes. All artists from all genres of music would sound better if they took a few pointers from me.
          • "How about you replace that turntable guy with Eddie Van Halen?"
          • "Those lyrics are really good ... I just think you should space them out more so they have greater effect. Here's a perfect example: Right now, you say 'fuck you' thirty-five times in the chorus with no other words to frame them. Try adding a few, to make it 'Who the fuck are you?' Then get Pete Townshend to add a guitar track and you're set."
          • "I really like what you've done here. Let's do this, though. Set aside a track on your Pro Tools for a saxophone. We'll get a small live room set up with a really warm tube condenser mic, bring in Kenny G, and have him beat you to death with his sax in the live room."

          Constructive criticism FTW.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by moosesocks ( 264553 )

        I think this may refer to Radiohead's extreme aversion to doing anything that could be considered remotely "popular."

        For some reason, they were upset by the success of OK Computer, and dove off the edge, into stranger, more experimental territory, where the music has to be more "appreciated" than "enjoyed."

        This is a shame, because they're amazing in their moments of brilliance, and incredibly talented musicians. However, their latest stuff just seems a bit too pretentious to be palatable.

        • Really? I think In Rainbows is Radiohead's most accessible album (besides The Bends) to date. I wouldn't be afraid of playing "15 Step" or "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" to my parents, whose musical tastes aren't exactly broad.

          Couldn't stand Kid A though... I mean I guess there was something there to be appreciated, but like you said, I really didn't enjoy it. I don't get why there's all this need for "experimental" albums... why do people think they have to create the weirdest possible stuff to be giv
          • by Hatta ( 162192 )

            Maybe they're not trying to get good album reviews, just make an album they like. There's more to music than the 4 minute pop radio format. Kid A is perfect atmospheric mood music. If you're giving it your full attention, you're doing it wrong.

            It's not even correct to call Kid A "experimental", they knew exactly what they were doing, and succeeded.

          • Yeah, In Rainbows is extremely accessible. So was the album before that, Hail to the Thief. It seems the OP hasn't come out from their rock since Kid A/Amnesiac were released almost a decade ago.

            And regarding Kid A/Amnesiac, they are certainly less accessible, but still quite enjoyable if you give them a chance. Kid A in particular took a few spins for me to get into. I don't think Radiohead were ever trying to be weird to impress the critics. In fact if you listen to any electronic music I don't think you'

        • Kid A and Amnesiac may well be slightly "pretentious", but they're good experimental music albums. If you're willing to listen to what's basically Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, David Bowie's Low and Aphex Twin mashed up together, then they're a rewarding listen.

          In Rainbows and Hail To The Thief however could hardly be considered pretentious, though. Hail To The Thief is, for the most part, straightforward alt rock (even if with some eclectic electronica in places) and In Rainbows is, as a sibling comment said,

        • I disagree. Radiohead has never done anything that would prevent them from selling an outlandish number of records. First it would be completely futile to try and follow up OK Computer, and second having released an album often reviewed as "the album of the decade" gives tons of creative freedom in the studio. But, if you know Radiohead you know they test market their albums by playing the unfinished songs live before committing them to tape. When they start releasing albums with 25 minute improvisation
      • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:34PM (#24244929) Journal

        Try starting with bluegrass. Any real music lover can appreciate the virtuosity and songcraft of Bill Monroe. Then broaden your horizons a bit, try some Jimmie Rodgers or Doc Watson. There's definitely good country, they just don't play it on the radio.

        I think Waylon Jennings said "Garth Brooks did for country music what panty hose did for finger fucking."

        • Yeah, there's some real good bluegrass. Also don't forget the outlaw country guys. Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings.

          Sadly Nashville and Pop country sucks so much it deters people from finding the real country.

          BTW, I'd never heard that Jennings quote before. Fuckin' awesome.

    • by rallymatte ( 707679 ) * on Friday July 18, 2008 @11:52AM (#24243443)
      True right! It was only their first album that was any good. That one with Wonderwall on it!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      In Rainbows is a great album.

      • by Comen ( 321331 )

        Agreed, I love all thier albums, including In Rainbows.
        I saw them live just a month or so ago, and they were great, the light show was pretty new and really awsome.

    • ...between now and ten years ago.

      Check out:

      Kid A
      Hail to the Thief
      In Rainbows

      they're all excellent.

    • by imipak ( 254310 )
      I rather like In Rainbows, it's quite a lot more accessible than Kid A / Amnesiac / Hail to the Thief. (The songs from the first two make more sense on the live mini-album "I Could Be Wrong". They'll never make another OK Computer, though, just as the Manics will never make another Holy Bible.
      • I rather like In Rainbows, it's quite a lot more accessible than Kid A / Amnesiac / Hail to the Thief.

        Too bad their audience hates accessible music.

  • Stunt (Score:1, Insightful)

    by scubamage ( 727538 )
    Considering they've already issued a press release that they won't be doing the pay your own thing again, (it was just a publicity stunt), I'm thinking this is exactly the same. Just a way for a bunch of old rockers to get some notice. I'll ignore it - if their efforts were genuine support for open source, that'd be one thing. But they're not.
    • Who cares if it's a stunt? I think both stunts (pay-what-you-like and now the Creative Commons video) are pretty cool. Sure, it's just enlightened self-interest on their part. They're not open source acolytes, they're just after the publicity. Does that mean that this isn't a good thing? Or does it only count if you are also proclaiming to be one of the faithful?
      • "Does that mean that this isn't a good thing?"

        They must first perform the sacred ritual and give thanks to Linus Torvalds.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by twistah ( 194990 )

      While I do agree that some bands, such as Nine Inch Nails, are more genuine in their efforts, that doesn't mean you should discount Radiohead. They are not "aging rockers", in the sense that they're not relevant anymore; they have a huge in-built fan base that would buy their records even if they come out on 8-track. It's a bit of a publicity stunt, but it's more progressive than what most major-label bands are doing.

    • by GroeFaZ ( 850443 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @12:18PM (#24243829)
      It's not like they have some purely altruistic, over-arching mission statement that forbids them to have any kind of publicity, do they? First and foremost, they want to make and sell music. Unlike many other artists, they also happen to express strong views on politics and economics, but those expressions wouldn't matter much without any amount of publicity. The way they distributed and marketed "In Rainbows" was INTENDED as a strong statement (a publicity stunt, if you will) on the business model of the big labels, a proof that success in this business is possible without them. Even if they don't repeat this exact method of distribution with their next album(s), I'd be truly shocked to learn that they want to rebuild the bridge they have nuked in word and deed.
      • It's not as though this would have been possible without the recording industry propelling them to stardom. Nobody would even know who Radiohead is, much less care about their dot matrix music video (which they probably couldn't have afforded.)

        It's easy for them to go against the music industry now that they got what they needed out of it: brand recognition.

      • The way they distributed and marketed "In Rainbows" was INTENDED as a strong statement (a publicity stunt, if you will) on the business model of the big labels, a proof that success in this business is possible without them.

        Well, I took it as a strong statement on the Radiohead's willingness to bait and switch their paying fans with lame 160 kbps files to pocket some extra cash and promote a traditional CD release.

        Radiohead took my money and implied I'd get something at least CD quality. 160 kpbs was a cop out and a really dick move to their fans. At the very least they should be ashamed.

        • I don't understand why this was modded "flamebait."

          I attacked a premise upon which the parent's argument relied, namely by saying that Radiohead's interest in a new business model was far outweighed by an interest in enriching themselves at their fans' expenses.

          Do the nameless mods care to explain why I am flamebaiting rather than making a reasonable argument, or am I just damned to mod hell?

        • You should be ashamed. Why didn't you download the album for free first, then give them what you though it was worth later?

          A fool and his money...

    • Who really gives a shit as to HOW they're putting their stuff out there? Despite what one thinks of Radiohead as musicians, artists, innovators, pretentious hacks, or shameless promoters of their own, collective bloated ego, I think the world is a much more interesting place with WHOMEVER is putting creativity-inducing stuff like this out there, than without. But I could be wrong. Maybe most people would rather be passively entertained by Kid Rock videos, such as the one of him wiping his ass with toilet pa
  • http://www.somethingawful.com/d/your-band-sucks/radiohead-sucks.php [somethingawful.com] I always enjoy it when other people wittily smash other people! Thats entertainment.
  • If it is not BY (think BSD) or BY-SA (think GPL) then the analogy is wrong...

    BY-ND? No derivatives?

    BY-NC, BY-NC-SA, BY-NC-ND? Cant use for commercial purposes... not close to what Free Software or Open Source Software is all about. I looked for an indication of the license but could not find one.

    Odd that. I will look some more. Has anyone found what I have not?

    all the best,


    • by zotz ( 3951 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @11:51AM (#24243435) Homepage Journal

      Found this:

      "The CSV data files are released as follows:

        * Copyright 2008 Radiohead.

        * Some Rights Reserved: Data used to produce the House of Cards music video

        * is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License"

      Not open Source folks... at least not like the open source according to the OSD.

      all the best,


      • Not open Source folks... at least not like the open source according to the OSD.

        And Creative Commons agrees, as indicated by how the open-source-style licenses [creativecommons.org] have a green bar at the top of their pages, while the less permissive ones [creativecommons.org]have a yellow bar. Nonetheless, it's quite a progressive thing to do, so good for Radiohead.

        • by zotz ( 3951 )

          "Nonetheless, it's quite a progressive thing to do, so good for Radiohead."

          That may be, but people want the caché and benefits one being Open Source or associated with Open Source but don't want to play the game all the way. That is not a good thing and we should certainly not contribute to the confusion. Call it what it is. People can decide for themselves if they like the reality or not.

          And, for instance, I may have been more positively inclined to their actual play, but with the mistake / deception,

  • by pzs ( 857406 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @11:40AM (#24243241)

    They're just jealous because their videos aren't as good as those done by amateurs [youtube.com].

  • Creative Commons. You can find a list of works published under the license here [wikipedia.org]
    • by zotz ( 3951 )

      Creative Commons is not a license. They put out a range of licenses, not all of which would be considered Open Source licenses. So, do you know which Creative Commons license(s) is/are being used?

      all the best,


      • it's shared under nc-sa
        • by zotz ( 3951 )

          "it's shared under nc-sa"

          and that makes it not open source... the nc bit, not the sa bit. by-sa or by would do the trick for them in most people's minds from what i see.

          was this then a mistake or a planned ploy to benefit from the good will of open source without actually making the work open source? Or just bad reporting?

          all the best,


          • most likely the former. radiohead is known for their publicity stunts such as this.
            • by zotz ( 3951 )

              Just to be clear, I listed three things:

              was this

              1. a mistake or
              2. a planned ploy to benefit from the good will of open source without actually making the work open source?
              3. Or just bad reporting?

              Your answer says 1 but seems to indicate 2. Clarification of your thoughts if you would be so kind.

              all the best,


              • my bad, I meant that it was just a ploy. remember when radiohead released 'in rainbows' and everyone had an orgasm over how much money they were making by not charging a fixed amount for the album? and then afterwards they revealed that that was just a publicity stunt and most likely wouldn't happen again?
                • by zotz ( 3951 )

                  I do remember that. I just hope someone someday gets it and goes for it and succeeds. That, or new artists who get it rise to the top.

                  all the best,


  • Sure, it's a publicity stunt, but I think it's pretty cool. Fits their electronic theme well, and just looks neat.

    Nothing wrong with trying something new. Have you seen most of the other videos out there?
    • by Bazman ( 4849 )

      Four ideas. Count 'em.

      1. Laser-range scan the band.

      2. Laser-range scan a street scene (slight variation of #1)

      3. Colourise and dissolve the street scene (maybe two ideas here)

      4. Add lots of jittery noise.

      That's it. Nothing else. Yes there are videos with fewer ideas (eg "stick band against white backdrop and film them") but Radiohead are supposed to be cerebral and have lots of ideas.

  • All-in-one page (Score:5, Informative)

    by canagape ( 1108777 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @11:52AM (#24243447)
    http://code.google.com/creative/radiohead/ [google.com]

    The video + making of + data explorer. Note, it can take a while for the data explorer to finish loading the video, but it's pretty fun to play with.
  • editing? (Score:5, Funny)

    by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @12:03PM (#24243621)

    THe music of "House of Cards" was not open sourced, just the visual data. according to a story in the UK Guardian, people are beginning to play around with the data.

    I suppose the double capitalisation in the first sentence balances the lack of initial caps in the second.

  • I was 15. And back then they called it the Spice Channel [wikipedia.org]...
  • Really. Did I miss something? Other than the actual methods of gathering the data, which we don't get, they're just animating and plotting 3D points like the old java examples that plot an arbitrary data file of 3D points.

  • CASHMusic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rjpierson ( 786297 )
    Check out http://cashmusic.org/ [cashmusic.org] It was founded by Kristin Hersh from the Throwing Muses. It's a pretty good concept for a site where artists can share their work in an open source way.
  • by politicsapocalypse ( 1296149 ) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:53PM (#24245199)
    Unlike the Radiohead music our music is released via creative commons. Free even for commercial uses. http://www.politicsapocalypse.com/ [politicsapocalypse.com] I agree this is a cool thing to do but Radiohead charge people to download the sources to remix their album, they have said that the preferred way of listening is to buy the CD - not the mp3s, etc etc... Check out bands such as Nine Inch Nails to see a way of making $ while being nice to the fans.
  • by jacquesm ( 154384 ) <j&ww,com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:04PM (#24245339) Homepage

    It's a clear case of using open source as a buzz word to get publicity, and /. has fallen nicely for it.

    • In what possible way could they have given away this data that would make you think it was not solely a publicity stunt?

      What is wrong with them wanting attention or wanting to sell music anyway? Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails are actually *doing* something, in different capacities to change the music industry.

      Would you have a problem if Lame Garage Band from down the street did this for attention, or does the fact that Radiohead is famous affect your decision?

      Also, making some data file CC has a
    • It's a clear case of using open source as a buzz word to get publicity, and /. has fallen nicely for it.

      well, they're encouraging the download of the open source "Processing" development environment, under the GPL, in order for others to play with Radiohead's free data. Sounds pretty open source to me.

      • Radiohead is not distributing a single byte of code, open source or otherwise. They are giving out a dataset that you can use to play with using other software, which in fact is open source.

        In other words, the summary title 'radiohead open sources music video' is absolutely misleading, there is no such thing as an 'open source music video', and radiohead didn't make one.

        They made a music video using some artsy 3d scanner and then converted that to a format that allows you to view it in some open source view

        • I see your point. But upon further inspection, it would appear that Radiohead are not touting this project as open source. The Ostatic article that the OP linked to IS. At least I don't see any mention of open source on their Google code page. Maybe they're publicizing it as such somewhere else?
          • it's pretty much all over the web:

            http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/radiohead-embrace-open-source-426545 [techradar.com]

            They're all quoting some radiohead press release that I've yet to find, until then apologies are in order.

            So, sorry for jumping the gun and not checking the press release first, but I just can't find the thing. I expect when - if - I do find it that we'll find that all those news articles that are out there will quote the press release word for word.

  • I prefer the fan-made ones [aniboom.com] (or rather, the "talented animator fan"-made ones).

    Look at the stage 2 submissions as well - there are some cool videos that didn't make it to the finals.

  • $1 per CD? (Score:2, Insightful)

    So let me get this straight: Radiohead sells 1 million albums and each member gets what? 200k? (How many members are there again?) 200k for a platinum-selling album? And assuming people were only paying $16 a CD the label grosses $15 million from that same album? Great Jebus that is lopsided. And here I thought indentured servitude had gone out of style.
  • Have you got sheet music for this stuff?
  • Ozzy Osbourne did something like this last year. The video for Never Going To Stop was shot on green screen and the data was uploaded for the fans for play with. Than there was a contest to see who could make the best video, and that became the official video.

  • Whether it's a ploy to suck in ./-ers or not, I think the video simply looks fucking awesome. I suppose that's not surprising, though, seeing as I'm a longtime Radiohead fan. I'm quite impressed in any case.
  • I played around with the data and came up with a couple of visualizations:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKlIZiy80K0&fmt=18 [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ0CAW53hqA [youtube.com]

  • Pink Floyd wanted to innovate with their music. Radiohead wants to do the same thing, but they have the technology age to innovate an entire industry beyond the music. I just started listening to them, and they are great! As a Pink Floyd fan, it is easy to see the appeal. All of Radioheads albums are VERY different, but they share that common sound...Just like Pink Floyd. Put The Wall against Dark Side of the Moon, Wish you were here, Animals, Final Cut...etc. Each album was very different and innovat

  • Radiohead is once again pushing forward

    Even as a devout fan of Radiohead's music, I'm sick of the press pushing this line. Radiohead let people download their album for free. Could someone point out where the innovation is? Thousands of bands did this before them.

    What's more, people like me quite happily paid for the album because they thought this business model deserved to be supported. If the band can take all of my £10 instead of it going into the pockets of record execs, that's fine by me.

    So I ended up with a crappy (128Kbit, ba

  • I don't get Radiohead. His voice grates the mind. When he gets high pitched, it ruins the song for me. I prefer Death Cab For Cutie, Lemon Demon or Kristin Hersh.

    Anyone know where I might find some instrumental Radiohead songs? I've instrumentals of MUSE for the same reason.

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