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Eben Moglen Talk

On the 26th June 2007, Eben Moglen gave a talk on "The Global Software Industry in Transformation: After GPLv3" hosted by the Scottish Society of Computers and Law, at the Edinburgh University School of Law. This was a highly interesting talk, and particularly topical, since the official release date for GPLv3 was just 3 days later, on Friday the 29th of June 2007.

I made a transcription of the recording of this talk using an open source piece of software called trans(criber) (see further down for more info). Here are both a plaintext version of the text of the talk, and a copy in the trs, XML-based format that trans outputs. I spent a limited amount of time to proofread these files, so if you find any mistakes, let me know.

The files

(X)HTML/Readable Transcription - moglentext.shtml (minor corrections made to the .trs since this version)

XML/trs transcription - scl2007_eben_moglen.trs (Version 9: Last updated 01/07/2007)

The audio file itself

The audio of the event itself can be found on archive.org. The Transcription was made using the 39.3mb VBR MP3 file.


Transcriber is a piece of (Free) software designed for "assisting the manual annotation of speech signals". The Transcriber user interface presents you with a large area for text separated by bullet (each bullet corresponds to a 'section' in Transcriber), and a waveform and progress indicator. You can use keystrokes to stop and restart sections of audio in Transcriber (Tab and Ctrl-Tab respectively), and create a new section (Enter). With these simple tools, it becomes surprisingly simple to annotate a talk far more efficiently than would otherwise be possible using a simple text editor.

Transcriber saves output as a .trs file, which is an XML-based format. In conjunction with transcriber, the .trs file lets you see the text, section-by-section, linked to timestamps in the audio file, and move between sections / etc. You can edit this file, make corrections, merge and create sections, etc. It's worth checking out if you're interested in doing anything more complex than simply listening to this talk as a podcast, or especially if you intend to annotate any talks yourself! Five hours of transcribing this talk left me with very sore fingers; undoubtedly they would've been sorer if not for Transcriber.

There are versions of Transcriber for several different platforms, including windows, linux, and mac OSX. I've found transcriber to work quite well in Ubuntu Linux (screenshot of transcriber), in which I initially annotated the talk, and Windows Vista, in which I've subsequently manipulated the .trs file I created.