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Playlists, features and other things alike.

When we pay taxes, a lot of things happen to that money. It funds education, health care and, among many other things, software development. As societies cement their structures on digital systems, software becomes a huge part of our lives whether we want to or not. White Market Podcast is supporting Free Software Foundation Europe and 30 other organizations on the “Public Money? Public Code!” campaign. We want legislation requiring that publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a free and open source software licence.

public money public codeFree software gives everybody the right to use, study, share and improve software. This right helps support other fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press and privacy. Keeping software locked prevents citizens from knowing how their sensitive data is used, for instance. It also wastes money and public resources, as software cannot be used across sectors and activities. If it is public money, it should be public code as well.

Join the cause and make sure you sign the open letter.

Sign now

To find out more about FSFE and their work, listen to session 3.07, which features an interview with the executive director at FSFE, Jonas Öberg.

This post is available under a Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 licence. It includes text excerpts from the”Public Money? Public Code!” campaign; also available under a Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 licence.

Back in August, I had the chance of talking to Dimitar Dimitrov, EU Policy Director at Wikimedia. On their website, Wikimedia is described as a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world. By now, it is one of the top 10 websites traffic-wise globally and it is arguably the biggest community-driven project online. It all started with the amazing Wikipedia, but as knowledge kept getting compiled, their projects also kept on multiplying. Today, the Wikimedia Foundation hosts a dozen projects with the joint goal of sharing knowledge – Wiktionary, Wikimedia Commons and their latest baby Wikidata are just a few of them.

Being a content superpower is not easy, though. Surely a hot topic at the minute, the upcoming EU copyright reform is something under their radar but this legislation is far from being the only thing with a deep impact on Wikimedia’s work. For a long time now, they have been facing a variety of challenges that go from censorship in certain countries to court rulings that place double-standards in terms of what people can do with content online and offline. To find out more about these things and, of course, how you can get involved with Wikimedia, just press play.

Aritus – For you [Soundcloud] // CC BY
YeahRight! – San Francisco [Soundcloud] // CC BY-NC-SA
Taseh – Down Roller [Monster Jinx] // CC BY-NC-SA
Luck & Doc – To My Recollection [blocSonic] // CC BY-NC-SA
Oranjada vs. North Beach Crew – Zora (2010 Druzhba session) [mahorka] // CC BY-NC

All the songs from “Plays Guitar” and “Plays Guitar Again” by Gillicuddy have been used as background music for the interview. All tracks available under a CC BY-NC licence; download on Bandcamp or FMA.

.: Photo by Wikimedia Foundation :. CC BY

Things are getting tough online. The current list of threats to the freedom and openness of the internet is long and it doesn’t seem to go shorter any time soon. The alarm bells are ringing pretty much everywhere: we’ve witnessed internet shutdowns, we’ve seen the development of censorship machines around the globe… This is just a small glimpse over the challenges that we as digital citizens are currently fighting against. One of the toughest battles is the right to privacy. Many states have promoted a narrative that surveillance is the key to increase safety over the web, but we have seen over and over again that security and privacy are the actual problem solvers. Between malicious attacks and the threats to our civil liberties, it seems like privacy is constantly at stake online. Luckily for us, there’s quite a lot of software that tries to tackle this issue of privacy – or lack of there of, for what matters.

Please keep in mind that using the software below will not give you full privacy online. Governmental institutions, intelligence organizations, ISPs, most social media platforms, and many others often track users and computers online. Most of the software listed only aims to provide a more private experience in terms of web browsing, but cannot guarantee complete anonymity. Other forms of communication, such as P2P encryption, are not covered. 

Firefox

It was one of the first browsers challenging Internet Explorer’s kingdom back in the early 2000s and it still has one of the biggest shares of the market. Firefox is a free and open source web browser developed by the Mozilla Corporation, a subsidiary of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. It is one of the most popular browsers around the world, making it a beacon for those who want some privacy without giving up most of the common online practices. On top of its native features, like ad-blocking, Firefox also has a variety of plugins dedicated to keep you private. The desktop version is available for most operating systems, including Windows, macOS and Linux, and the mobile version is available for both iOS and Android. The release files from June 2017 tell us that the software is localized to 79 languages, making it one of the most accessible browsers today. Recently, they have released an even more privacy-focused browser for mobile called Firefox Focus.

Tor network & Tor browser

The Tor network is a free software that enables anonymous communication. Basically, it lets you surf on the web through an overlay network set on thousands of relays, thus hiding a user’s location and internet usage from traffic snooping and networks under surveillance. You can easily access it by using the Tor browser, which is in fact a modified version of Firefox bundled with specific privacy-related plugins. Even though older versions had vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious groups and even intelligence organizations (actually a Firefox vulnerability), Tor is still mostly known as the browser that offers the highest level of privacy, being widely used by journalists, political activists and people in countries with censored internet connections all around the world. Using the Tor network does not give you full anonymity, though. For that, you should follow specific rules listed on their website.

Brave

It’s sort of a recent player, being about two years old, but its privacy focus deserves a mention. Based on the Chromium browser and respective Blink engine, Brave stands out for blocking website trackers and intrusive advertisement. Brave also claims to be faster than some of its biggest competitors, such as Chrome, on both mobile and desktop environments. It’s available for most platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux (both Debian-based systems and Fedora), and it was created and it’s still lead by Mozilla co-founder and JavaScript creator, Brendan Eich. Last but not least, Brave is free and open source.

Privacy Badger

Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Privacy Badger is a plugin for browsers that stops advertisers and third-party trackers. With more than a million users, the plugin is a great option for those concerned with trackers. However, it only prevents third-party (and as such, arguably non-consensual) tracking and you shouldn’t consider it an ad blocker. If you have concerns about the philosophy and the motivation behind this plugin, you can rest assured, as the EFF is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to defending digital privacy and online freedoms. The Privacy Badger plugin is available for Firefox, Chrome and Opera browsers.

Disconnect

Disconnect is yet another tracker-blocker. It is free and open source, but it’s run by a for-profit company on a premium basis. For free, you get full tracking protection on your browser, but the higher you pay for a plan, the more you get. The services they offer range from malware protection to VPN for three devices. They stand for privacy and safety and are partners with key stakeholders, such as EFF, Tor and Firefox, among others.

HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere is a joint venture between EFF and the Tor Project aimed at fixing the current non-encrypted web connections issue. By rewriting the requests made to any website upon connection, it somehow “forces” the secure connection over an unsecured one whenever possible. When it’s not possible, the extension will let you know that your connection might keep you vulnerable to potential attacks and unwanted traffic analysis. The extension is available for  Chrome, Firefox (and Firefox for Android) and Opera.

Qwant

Based in Paris, Qwant presents itself as “the European search engine that respects your privacy”. How? By not collecting any data about its users when they’re searching online. In fact, even while logged in to the search engine, the amount of data collected is as minimal as it gets (for instance, preferred language) and it can be deleted at any point. Qwant lets you search for images, videos, news and more, and they do it so using the same algorithm for everyone everywhere, in an effort to keep searches as unbiased as possible. You can make Qwant your default search engine on most browsers and you can also use it on mobile, if you have an Android phone.

Duck Duck Go

Before Qwant, there was DuckDuckGo. The privacy-focused search engine launched back in 2008 as “the search engine that doesn’t track you” and it has been a popular choice among privacy-concerned users ever since. So much so that it has been included as a default search option on both Safari and Firefox since 2014. Some of its source code is available on Github, but the software is not fully open source. Combined with Tor, it was the first search engine to allow end to end anonymous search.

.: Photo by Blue Coat Photos :. CC BY

WMP is finally back and what a way to start this fourth season! This week, I talked to Diego Naranjo, Senior Policy Advisor at EDRi, to know more about the copyright reform that is still in the making in the EU. EDRi (European Digital Rights) is an association of civil and human rights organizations that advocates for the protection of our rights and freedoms online. On top of working directly with high instances in the EU, they also work in public campaigns, providing ordinary citizens with tools to engage with policy making, such as the Save the Meme website and The School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright workshop (happening in Lisbon, Slovenia and Hungary later this year).

On the music side of things, the celebration was on in big style for this year’s Netlabel Day. With more than 200 free records out on July 14th, I picked some of my favourites of 2017 to showcase how inspiring the initiative has been.

Lasers – Amsterdam [Bad Panda Records] // CC BY-NC-SA
Fog Lake – Push [FMA] // CC BY
Go Ask Alice – The Shout [La bèl netlabel] // CC BY-SA
Michael Keefe – Reality (Feat. Travis Paul) [Amblis Records] // CC BY-NC
Nüman – Sin título [Sólo le Pido a Dior] // CC BY-NC-SA
Bottlesmoker – East Indies (feat. Kronutz) [Yes No Wave Music] // CC BY-NC
Knit – A Good Chance [Z Tapes] // CC BY
Moki McFly – Zeta [mahorka] // CC BY-NC

All the songs from “Where The Sidewalk Ends” by Roger Plexico have been used as background music for the interview. Tracks available under a  CC BY-NC-SA licence; download on Bandcamp or FMA.

 

White Market Podcast strives to be an accessible project, so I have been making the show available in a variety of platforms. You can download and listen each episode straight from this website and from Archive.org, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and via RSS feed and you can now listen to all of season 3 episodes on Mixcloud. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Mixcloud is a streaming platform focused on radio content and dj mixes. You can think of it a Soundcloud dedicated longer audio formats. While season 4 is cooking up, why not listen to some of our old shows there?

Did I just read “season 4”?

Yes, season 4 of White Market Podcast is cooking up! Episode 1 is surely one not to be missed, especially if you’re into copyright. As the copyright reform in the EU takes dangerous turns, I talked to Diego Naranjo from EDRi to find out what the implications of these new paths are, how EDRi works and and how there’s still time to help change things and save the internet as we know it. EDRi is short for European Digital Rights and it is an association of civil and human rights organisations from across Europe defending rights and freedoms in the digital environment. As usual, the episode will be sprinkled with some awesome Creative Commons-licensed music. To make sure you don’t miss out on the upcoming show, just use one of the links above to follow WMP. Alternatively, you can like it on Facebook and/or follow it on Twitter.

 

.: Photo by Free Blog Photos :. CC BY

Six months after the latest session of my beloved White Market Podcast, here I am again. First of all, for those of you who kept asking about new episodes, I can only say thank you and that I am sorry I vanished (along with show) without any notice. As you know, WMP is a non-profit endeavor, one that I maintain solely by myself. Despite all my love and will to do the show, this means that sometimes the rest of my life gets ahead on my priorities list and WMP has to be put on hold. In the last 8 months, I have finished my Masters degree /with a distinction thanks to this), I have relocated back to my home country (Portugal), and I have started a full-time job. As such, the amount of time I have available for personal projects reduced dramatically. I tried to keep the show by making it a fortnight event instead of a weekly one, but I still struggled and eventually I had to accept the fact that it was time for a break.

I have already written here about the effort that goes into creating each episode. Using WMP as my final masters project wasn’t accidental. After nearly ten years of on and off production. I was quite aware of the time and work it requires. Making it my final project was my way of giving it dedication it deserves and requires. For nearly three months, I was able to work almost exclusively on the show and it definitely paid off. Without a doubt, WMP’s latest season was the best to date. Without detriment of music-related content, I managed to transform WMP into what I had long hoped for it to be: a show that actually advocates for change. There were more interviews than ever from different fields of the open/free culture universe, various special features and overall better content.

So, what’s next?

This is not the first time White Market Podcast has had a long hiatus, but every pause demands careful considerations about why I had the need to stop and whether I’ll be able to keep up to the challenge. I am pretty certain I won’t be able to keep the show on a weekly basis; to be totally honest, I am at a stage where I feel like I probably shouldn’t come forward with any specific deadlines since I am not sure I am ready for commitments of this nature at the minute. Despite that, here I am trying to justify myself and trying to bring WMP back to life. For now, that’s my promise: White Market Podcast will come back sometime during this summer.

Stay tuned.

 

Photo by WillSpirit SBLN

I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but somehow the opportunity only arrived now. This week’s show is a Monster Jinx special! Monster Jinx is a Portugal/Internet-based label specialised in hip-hop and electronic music. They are also an artist collective, and identify themselves as an indie label, having dropped their first record back in 2009. In the last few years, they managed to grab the attention of the Portuguese media, get some airplay on national radio stations and play at big festivals. Despite these big achievements, they remain humble and focused on putting out great music. With an enviable roster of MCs and producers, Monster Jinx are a great example of how Creative Commons licenses can boost the reach of a work, and how releasing music for free doesn’t mean a product is any less appealing.

If you’re a regular listener of the show, you probably know at least part of their work by now, as I have been a long time supporter of their work. In the last few years, I have been uploading a great part of their music to WMP’s curator collection at Free Music Archive.

Putting Lisbon’s great weather to good use, I sat down with Darksunn (co-founder, manager and do-it-all) to find out more about how the label started, why they picked Creative Commons as their licencing system, the challenges ahead and their strategy for the future. For the first time in White Market Podcast’s history, this interview was actually recorded on location, which may explain some of the sound issues on this episode. Nonetheless, please sit back and enjoy the vibes of the purple monster.

Darksunn – Sidestep
NO FUTURE – NOMONO MONEY
Monstro Robot – Gata Borralheira (feat. Pulso)
Monster Jinx – Venera o Diabo (Faz Festas a Gatinhos)
J-K – Despedida
Pulso – Estalo os Dedos

All the tracks are available under a CC BY-NC-SA licence. I will be posting the list of background music tracks soon.

On this week’s show, WMP celebrated Public Domain Day. Public Domain Day has been happening as an initiative for some years now, being held on January 1st every year, as this is the date when each year new works go under the public domain. Except, of course, if you’re in the US – sadly, there won’t be any works going into the public domain there before 2019 at least.  In the European Union, though, the rights of authors are protected within their lifetime and for seventy years after their death. This means that after that period the works become available for anybody to use them for any purpose. This year, for instance, this included the works of HG Wells and of the economist John Keynes.

As a celebration, the music played on the show was mostly published under Creative Commons Zero, the public domain licence.

Alpha Hydrae – Won’t see it comin’ (Feat Aequality & N’sorte d’autruche) [FMA] // CC0
Cuicuitte – Viville à l’horizon [FMA] // CC0
Hussalonia – Like Tetanus In A Wound [Auboutdufil] // CC0
Wowa & eckskwisit – Just Cool [Wowa.me]  // CC0
ZAIRE – Twitter de Amor entre Androides [FMA] // CC0
MANWOMANCHILD – Bach Prelude in C BWV 846 [FMA] // CC0
Accou – Gymnopedie No.1 (Erik Satie) [Musopen] // CC0
Kimiko Ishizaka – Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846 [Bandcamp] // CC BY
Future Sauce – Gymnopedie No. 1 (Erik Satie) [FMA] // CC0
Katapulto – Zero Rythm Dollar Boy [FMA] // CC0
Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet – Mount Fuji [FMA] // CC0

Psalms – Hideaway (feat. Tinariwen) [FMA] // CC0

 

 

There are various podcasts about Creative Commons music. For those of you interested to know a bit more about specific projects, Music Manumit podcast is certainly one not to miss. Every week, they interview different players of the CC music scene. From Jamendo to musicians like Electric Mirrors, Doug and Tom have it all covered. So, I am quite honoured to say that White Market Podcast is featured on this week’s episode of Music Manumit podcast.

Tom and I talked about Creative Commons music, my professional background, how WMP is a radio show that is also a podcast, why this season of WMP became the best so far, professional conflicts of interest and many other details. You can listen to the show below, but make sure you don’t miss another episode and subscribe to their feed. You can also show some love by liking the project on Facebook and following it on Twitter.

Subscribe to Music Manumit: via iTunes | Other via RSS

 

As this is our very last show of 2016, I thought it’d be cool to do a recap of White Market Podcast’s best moments of 2016. In case you haven’t listened to all the episodes, this can be sort of your guide to go back and catch up with something you might have missed and be of your interest. With 8 interviews, a couple of special features and even a mini-documentary, I’m sure there will be something up your street.

This has probably been probably the best season of White Market Podcast so far. Since July, I have celebrated the 25th anniversary of Linux and the 2nd edition of Netlabel Day, I have talked to netlabel managers and representatives of different institutions linked to free music and free culture, and, of course, I talked a lot about copyright. However, the big learning curve happened mainly due to our guests, so I decided to highlight them all, as sort of an appreciation gesture. You can find them all on our website, along with detailed credits on background music. Here’s a a list of all the guests on the show this season in order of appearance on this week’s show.

Oh, and since it’s Christmas time, I also played the holiday tune of the season. Merry Xmas, everyone!

Donnie Ozone – Christmas Shopping at the Dollar Store [blocSonic] // CC BY-NC-SA