Theme competition

I am running a surrepticious campaign to introduce the open source ways of the internet to the ABC. Being stacked with salaried people, the ABC is poorly in touch with the resources of the voluntary sector – the sector that produces Club Troppo and comments on it day in day out – and the other 27,999,999 blogs out there.

When Michael Duffy was trying to get podcasting for his program Counterpoint, and facing ABC resistance because of the cost of hosting the download bandwidth, this problem was solved on Troppo where someone pointed out that the bandwidth cost could be distributed via bit-torrent.

I was talking to Peter Mares who’s just taken over Terry Lane’s Sunday arvo program, The National Interest. He commented that though he intended a low key change and so had changed very little about the program, the main reason he’d not changed the theme music was copyright complications. I said there must be millions of public domain tracks on the internet and the problem wasn’t their availability but the time it would take to listen to enough to find something worthwhile.

My solution? A Troppo competition. Can anyone suggest a track available on the internet with a brief riff that might be suitable as the theme music for The National Interest.

I guess the track needs to be creative commons, though it could still have some restrictions on commercial use. I expect that the ABC would be able to negotiate something pretty low cost with such a source.

Prize – well we may even be able to afford something. I’ve been talking to Crikey about giving us some free subsciptions to give away.

Is there no end to the ability to get something out of nothing in this wired world?

Let the competition begin.

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John Ryan
18 years ago

What has happened to Terry Lane ??


[…] By coincidence, I also got an email today from Nicholas Gruen about a Theme Competition for The National Interest. The idea is to get an open-source theme that will allow podcasting of the show, by avoiding copyright problems with the existing theme. […]

david tiley
18 years ago

Here’s a story, which occurred at a public meeting so I can talk about it.
Film Vic and the ABC cooked up a very good scheme to fund some games developers to build a bunch of cheap games (available at I was the FV apparatchik at the time. We held a public meeting to discuss it and got maybe a hundred people. We talked about software. Someone asked the ABC technicians about open source. When he said that the ABC never uses open source because the copyright was not guaranteed, there was an audible gasp around the audience.

When I told one of the SBS on-line management heavies, he laughed and said that the whole system was built on open source. They can’t afford anything else.

That was three years ago. Things might have changed.

18 years ago

Could I bring up a wild, wacky, madcap suggestion here?

Find an actual, live, breathing local musician and commission him/her to write a short piece to use for the program. Pay him/her, even if it’s not a fortune.

Yeah, I know, I’m in f#in fairyland, I need to get a life…