A Michigan-based software and web developer has published a program that allows music fans to remove dirty words from songs to "protect the mind of a child". From the Safemusic website:

"It allows you with the ease of a point and click interface to remove explicit/unwanted words, lyrics, or sounds from any song or recorded sound."


Safemusic also makes use of an internet database to allow user collaboration. Think of it as user-generated content censorship, if you will. The author of Safemusic lets us know why he felt Safemusic was necessary:

"There are some incredible songs out there that are sure to change the world or already have. Sometimes these songs can unfortunately contain one or two words that stop a child from listening to it or worse corrupting their mind."

I can only guess that he is thinking of Eric Idle's ode to the FCC. All dirty jokes aside, there is something really interesting about Safemusic that goes way beyond narrow-minded Midwesterners.

Safesound allows the collaborative editing of copyrighted works, much the same way that DVD editing software like Clearplay allows editing movies. Copyright expert turned expert chef Ernest Miller worte some very clever essays about the Clearplay and Cleanflicks controversy on LawMeme. Here's an excerpt:

"Imagine if Roger Ebert could provide downloadable commentaries for some of his favorite DVD movies - or if a comedy troupe provided an alternative, parodic soundtrack for a pretentious flop. And imagine if a film student produced annotations for Gone With The Wind that intercut images of what slavery on a plantation was really like as opposed to the romantic vision of the film. None of my imagings exist yet, but the technology for creating them does."

Ernie had a point in saying that censorship software could also be used to enhance creative works - quite possibly without violating any copyrights.

Think of the Grey Album: DJ Dangermouse remixed Beatles songs with Jay Z tracks. The result was pure copyright violation, and in fact some people got in trouble for sharing those MP3s. But one could imagine a mashup software and database solution that would allow creating the remix and then just sharing the metadata.

That way someone could use his own copies of the White and the Black Album plus some metadata files to recreate the Dangermouse remix without ever having to acquire illegal MP3s - just the way Safemusic users recreate censored versions of their favoured songs without ever downloading them.

(via Digg)

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