Announcing Jupiter's Ghost
Welcome to the new year! I’m glad you made the transfer without incident. It is my Duty and Privilege to announce the public launch of a project I’ve been working on for the better part of a decade, This is Jupiter’s Ghost! It is a podcast set in the creative commons CC-BY-SA licensed universe of the Solar Federation. It’s a community initiative, written and record by a small but growing group of contributors, which you are formally invited to join!
Episode One – Generation Mice
|Download file||Play in new window||Duration: 20:54||Recorded on December 29, 2022|
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Written by Andrew Roach, Jess Eves, Connor Buchanan, Dan Wilson, and Ethan Davenport.
Music by Monplaisir
Please give it a listen, subscribe, review us on iTunes and Stitcher and Spotify and, eventaully, when Google decides we’re worth indexing, Google Podcasts. Share it with your friends, consider participating in the universe. Help us turn this in to something special.
That’s the meat of the post, but if you want to stick around I’m going to talk about what we’ve done, and why we’ve done it, and what we’re going to do next.
Like I said at the top, I started workin on this thing nearly a decade ago. It before we closed Analog Revolution’s first physical location, before we moved across the country, before we moved back, and moved back, and moved back again. The current iteration of the thing entered the planning phases on the fediverse circa 2016, and then So Much life happened.
Thankfully, I have some great colaborators, and we’ve got it going. So let’s talk about what and why.
What is Jupiter’s Ghost?
Many things! Jupiter’s Ghost is a podcast (and possibly soon to be a cartoon from New Ellijay Television) set in the universe of the Solar Federation It’s a big universe against which lots of science fiction stories can be told, and it is my hope that Jupiter’s Ghost is the first of many.
Why is Jupiter’s Ghost?
The simple answer is that I’ve always wanted to tell hopeful stories about the future, and the crew of the Jupiter’s Ghost gets to exist in a world that, while still imperfect, is much better than our own. It gives me a chance to tell stories about how the world might be, if we work together, and how Freedom is a Constant Struggle, not something we reach, but something that we continue to reach for.
Basically, it gives me a chance to tell stories in a way that aligns with my values.
Jupiter’s Ghost is creative commons licensed, which means that anyone is free to share it, adapt it, remix it, or contribute to it. It’s specifically CC-BY-SA licensed, which means that if anyone does remix it, adapt it, etc. they are required to release their adaptation under the same terms. They don’t need my permission, approval, or support. They can, you can, just do it.
This was an intentional decision, and one carefully made to align with my values, but it has been a point of confusion for some folks so far, so let me unpack it.
I have written in the past about my appreciate of DIY Media and Fan Fiction, and the need for more creative works from normal people. I won’t rehash those things here, but the gist is that most of our modern collective folklore, the stories we tell one another and use to relate to the universe, are owned by Disney and a small handful of other companies and they use this position of power and control to harm us.
On this, Public Domain Day 2023, I invite you to consider the cautionary tale of Star Trek New Voyages. New Voyages should be a shining beacon of DIY Media. For those who are unfamiliar, it’s a fan series that imagines and recreates the rest of the Five Year Mission of the original Enterprise. It was a wildly ambitious project that dramatically improves in overall quality as it progresses, and it was made possible by the labor, skill, and creativity of a huge community of people.
and in 2016, Paramount decided it was illegal.
This is their perogative as the owners of the “Intelectual Property” that is Star Trek under modern copyright law, but it stung. It stung even more when I discovered recently that there were Three finished episodes in post production and Crew on set Filming another episode when they ruling was handed down. Those episodes will never be released, they are lost, they are empty space in history. We are terrible stewards of history and Copyright makes it worse.
Now, I can imagine many of those reading this rolling their eyes at the idea that something of value was lost here. “Don’t want your project to be shut down? Don’t use someone else’s IP!” I can imagine you saying, and if our Copyright system was at all sensible, I could understand that argument, but it isn’t. Our copyright terms are too long, and they’re stifiling and restrictive.
So, here’s Jupiter’s Ghost. Here’s The Solar Federation. Here’s a big open universe with Spaceships and Aliens and history and a future, in to which any number of stories can be positioned. You can use it however you want, as long as you credit us, and give back to the commons.
Now yes, it’s wildly optimistic to think that anything like Star Trek New Voyages would ever exist for our little old podcast, but it’s legal, it’s allowed, it’s possible, and it’s encouraged. That’s a better model for how copyright might exist and it’s a way we can live our values while producing media that reflects what we believe.