The Real Paul Jones

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WXYC – 10 years on the Net approaching

I’ve been having a great time going back to the email from 10 years back when we plotted to put WXYC on the net 7/24. Mike Shoffner and David McConville did all the work with help from Jonathan Magid and Chris Columb, but I got to be involved too. The biggest problem wasn’t the technologies available — we knew what we had sucked but were willing to try anyway (CUSeeMe the new product is probably better but we’re talking low low bandwidth in those days) — but that we were stiffled for a few months by legal concerns. No one had ever done a constant simultaneous net.cast of a radio station so no one knew what libilities we might enounter. In fact, the guy who was most experienced, Internet Talk Radio’s Carl Malamud, told us that it wasn’t possible to do what we wanted to do legally. Luckily David was not convinced and found that college stations could put a signal on a wire — this was the famous carrier current radio that college stations without antennae used in the 60s.
Then we hit the IETF streaming folks, like Brad Templeton who didn’t find it rec.funny at all, (more on this later and I hope to get some snips from old emails up too.)

My favorite artifact is this recording of a Swiss radio station trying to listen to WXYC in early 1995.


  1. Richard Schafer

    3/26/2006 at 1:53 pm

    Paul, it’s been a long time since the old Bitnet days! I’m a lawyer now doing intellectual property work for the Gump and happened to run across this page and the Swiss artifact because of a case I’m working on now. I have to tell you, the transcript is incorrect: the music they barely can hear in that clip is not hip-hop rythym, that’s Johnny Cash’s “Get Rythym.” Whether it’s Cash singing or a cover is harder to say, but I think it’s Johnny.

    In the interests of keeping the history straight.


  2. Paul

    3/26/2006 at 2:41 pm

    You are absolutely correct! Up to a point.
    It is Cash as I recall and as I hear it. However Cash is followed by another song and that one is def hip hop.
    The miracle of Internet delay gives both songs an unexpected hip hop sound, a kind of lovely accidental remix ;-> Little did the poor Swiss realize that they were listening to the future of music in more than one sense — the sound and the transmition.
    I was not involved in acquiring the clip nor with the creation of the Anniversary. I did hear that there was some discussion about how the rights would work on rereleasing the broadcast.
    There at the website, it’s a clear case of fair use.
    I’ll write you off blog about other stuff.

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