[cc-sampling] sampling/recombo

Matthew Haughey matt at haughey.com
Fri Aug 6 00:20:49 EDT 2004

On Aug 5, 2004, at 11:44 AM, David wrote:
> So really no justification at all really? Just that you felt like it. 
> Hmmm.

While I work for Creative Commons and Glenn did post a lengthy 
explanation, I wanted to explain the name change to Recombo from my 
perspective as someone working on the website behind the scenes. 
Perhaps it will clear some things up.

If you've been following this list from the beginning, the name of the 
license was a point of contention for several months. Mash-up, Mash-me, 
Remix, Sampling/Sampling+, and Collage all came up at one point or 
another as possibilities. The problem with each of these names was 
hashed out on the list, but many of the name candidates favored one 
format over others. Most names were very music-centric, while a few 
were image-centric. None of the names seemed to appeal to anyone 
remixing text works.

When the list settled on  "sampling" it was clearly a compromise that 
wasn't perfect, but in the months of brainstorming, a better candidate 
never came up.

Fast forward a few months, and the Creative Commons website has 
internationalized. We have the license engine and deeds translated into 
six languages and laws of each country. As a designer, I'm learning 
everyday how difficult it is to build sites, designs. and content that 
works anywhere in the world. Most of the language on the site is 
general enough that it doesn't cause problems with translations (we're 
working on translating the entire site later this year), but newer, 
regional, and specialized terms are difficult to translate.

In June, Glenn and Neeru headed down to Brazil for a special event at 
an open source conference which he described in detail last night in a 
message to the group. The name "Recombo" came out of that event as an 
idea and they ran with it.

Personally, after seeing problems with translating every nuanced term 
from our site, I have come around to embrace the name Recombo. The idea 
is that the word is unique enough that it doesn't require translation. 
Google is Google in any language, as is Yahoo -- so too could 
"recombo". It's also unique and doesn't have any history in music, 
film, photographs, or text, so it doesn't favor one art form over 
others. It's a new term, but some of our other choices were fairly new 
as well ("mash up" was unheard of just a few years ago, etc).

While the name was created on the fly and wasn't floated to the list 
before being decided on, I do believe it solves a lot of problems we 
had with other names, and will be easier to translate to other 
cultures, as a new term. It's a neutral term that doesn't have a lot of 
history in one artform over any other, and this license is different 
from anything that's ever come before.

I think we have an opportunity here to help define the word "Recombo" 
to embody the spirit of this list and the license, and be instantly 
recognizable as a specific thing that has never existed before, and it 
wil be applicable to all sorts of works.



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