Audio

Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band Goes CC!

Fred Benenson, October 14th, 2009

YOPOB

Photo via yopob.com, All Rights Reserved

Yoko Ono wants you to remix her track “The Sun Is Down!” whose stems are released under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial license. You can download the sample pack which includes the track’s vocal effects, loops of bass, drums, sound effects, and Tenorion files.

But Yoko’s also running a contest to find the 10 best remixes. Here are the details:

Create your own remix of “The Sun Is Down!” by Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, using as many or few of the samples from the pack and any original audio you wish to add.

When you have finished your mix, make an MP3 copy that’s as high quality as possible, but still under 10MB in size.

Email the MP3 of your mix, along with its name and your name, address, email and phone number to remix@YOPOB.com before 12 December 2009.

The Top Ten mixes will be decided by Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band.

The winners will receive special signed Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band prizes and will be featured on this site over the Xmas and New Year period.

Head over to Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band for the full contest details and to download the sample pack.

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3rd CC Community Call (8/18/09) recording now online

Allison Domicone, August 25th, 2009

We hosted our third community conference call last Tuesday, August 18. Donors were invited to join members of CC’s staff and board, including CEO Joi Ito and new Board Member Glenn Otis Brown, to hear updates from CC’s most recent board meeting, which included an overview of the steps we are taking to develop CC as a global organization, as well as progress on consolidating around the core Creative Commons brand. We also took questions and comments from participants. The call was a great success and a valuable opportunity to reach out to and connect with our supporters; we will continue to host community conference calls on a quarterly basis, and anyone giving $300 or more will be invited to take part.

An audio recording of the call is now available online. Thanks to everyone who participated, and as always, we would like to extend a big thank you to all members of our community for your continued support!

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CC Hold Music? Yes, Really.

Fred Benenson, August 20th, 2009

digiumDigium, the parent company that hosts and maintains the open source telephony & PBX project called Asterisk, recently replaced the on-hold music featured in their distributions to CC BY-SA licensed works from OpSound. Using freely licensed CC music in open source projects has always made sense to us, but Digium’s John Todd discusses why they finally made the switch on the company’s blog:

In some nations (Australia and France, to pick two that have been brought to our attention) there are some who are claiming that we do not have the rights outlined above, and that our users therefore are in a similar situation where they may be in violation of license terms.

John goes on to explain that since CC licenses are easy to use, well defined, and accepted internationally, the choice was clear to them:

This is very far outside of Digium’s ability or interest to manage, nor do we wish to become involved in the protracted series of legal proceedings required to sort out this licensing issue. So we have chosen another path that is more clear to us: we will eliminate the files of questionable license from Asterisk, and replace them with music that has clearly defined and more acceptable licensing terms which are compatible with both the Asterisk license, and with any reasonable redistribution methods that might be used by others who re-package Asterisk.

(emphasis added)

Just think, the next time you get placed on hold, there’s a good chance you’ll be listening to some copyleft music!

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the dotmatrix project

Cameron Parkins, August 19th, 2009

logoThe dotmatrix project is a “collective of musicians, photographers, videographers & sound engineers” who organize, promote, and document monthly shows in Greensboro, North Carolina. DMP subsequently archive these shows online, distributing hi-quality videos, audio, and photos from the shows under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

A recent post on the DMP blog provides ample reasoning for their community’s commitment – a sincere love for the music being made in Greensboro and a desire to share these local talents with a broader audience. By releasing all of the digital archives under a CC-license, the DMP legally enables this sort of sharing while allowing the media created to be re-used as well:

Essentially, we’ve designed the parameters of our project to allow 16-year old Billy Nelson in Austin, Texas to mashup a track by The Bronzed Chorus with one by Laurelyn Dossett, while using DMP show pictures to use as b-roll for the music video [...] I want to welcome a “Billy” with open arms into the DMP collective without even a hint of stodginess or protectionism. The same goes to a blogger who embeds our media in a post to expose the talent of the artists involved.

To learn more about the DMP, upcoming events, and learn more about the shows they have put on be sure to check out their website.

UPDATE: Sean from the DMP points out that while music is the focus of their formula, it wouldn’t exist with out the incredible efforts of their local media crew. As such, they hold bi-annual photo exhibits, with the next one happening in just a few weeks on September 4th!

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Clement Mathematics, dotmatrixproject / Ioannis Batsios | CC BY-NC-SA

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CC on the Free Music Archive

Cameron Parkins, August 12th, 2009

fma-logo
It has been just over four months since the Free Music Archive launched as a destination for high-quality, freely licensed music. Since that time, the site has developed an avid community and grown to include a number of fantastic curators all while expanding upon the site’s initial catalog to host over 11,000 tracks. All told, the FMA has, in a very short time frame, become an indispensable destination for music lovers looking for freely-licensed music to download, share, and reuse.

The FMA has always offered and promoted CC licenses as a means to share the majority of music uploaded to the site. Today we are ecstatic to announce that CC has joined the FMA’s curatorial ranks! We’re celebrating with 50 great tracks that will be both familiar to the CC community while hopefully offering some new names as well. The launch is split into two mixes – our FMA Inaugural Mix and The WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share.

We’ll be doing regular updates to our collection over the coming months and our next featured mix will highlight some of the great community-driven artists and collaborations found at sites like ccMixter, Jamendo, Beatpick, Sutros, and more. We are on continuous lookout for great CC-licensed music to add to our page and would love to hear your suggestions on tracks and artists in the comments.

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CC Talks With: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Cameron Parkins, July 29th, 2009

Opened to the public in 1903, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a world-class museum that houses more than 5,000 art objects, including works by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Degas, and Sargent. It is also known for its phenomenal music program, lectures, and symposia, as well as the museum’s nationally recognized Artist-in-Residence and educational programs.

Online, it is well-known as the producer and distributor of The Concert, a classical music podcast that features unreleased live performances by master musicians and talented young artists, recorded at the museum’s Sunday Concert Series. The podcast is free, distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works license (Music Sharing), and widely popular. The Concert was one of the first classical music collections to be shared under a CC license, and the ISGM was one of the first art museums to actively distribute digital content under a CC license.

We’ve talked about The Concert before, but wanted to learn more about the series and the decision to use CC licenses for the project. We recently caught up with Director Anne Hawley and Curator of Music Scott Nickrenz, who were able to provide a lot of great information about the series and how CC licenses have played a role in its success.


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Those in the CC community best know of the ISGM as a result of your highly successful The Concert podcast. What was the inspiration for the podcast series? Why did you choose to release it under a CC license?

Anne Hawley: We launched The Concert – the museum’s first podcast – in September 2006, as a way to continue the museum’s long history of supporting artists and creative artistic thinking. During Isabella Gardner’s lifetime, the museum flowed with artistic activity: John Singer Sargent painted, Nellie Melba sang, and Ruth St. Denis performed the cobra dance within these walls. Isabella Gardner was a committed patron of artists and musicians and the museum has always followed her lead. The podcast is the latest example of this; it’s a modern way to bring the museum’s wealth of programming to a wider audience, promote the exceptional work of the musicians who perform here, and ultimately expand the reach of classical music.

Music has always been an important part of the Gardner. When the museum opened on New Years Night 1903, attendees enjoyed a performance of Bach, Mozart, Chausson, and Schumann by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra—“a concert of rare enjoyment” according to one guest. During Gardner’s lifetime, the museum hosted visits and performances by well-known musicians and rising stars including composers Gustav Mahler and Vincent d’Indy, pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and cellist Pablo Casals, and memorable concerts including the 1903 premiere of Loeffler’s Pagan Poem, composed and performed in honor of Isabella Gardner’s birthday. Four years later, the work had its “official” premiere at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Today, the Gardner’s music series is the oldest of its kind in the country, with weekly concerts and special programs that enrich and draw musical connections to the museum’s special exhibitions and permanent collection, while continuing Isabella Gardner’s legacy as a music lover and patron of the arts.
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CC Talks With: John Wood (Learning Music)

Cameron Parkins, July 15th, 2009

Beginning this past March, John Wood has written, recorded, mixed, and mastered an album a month. Distributed under the moniker Learning Music Monthly, the music arrives on the first of the month as CDs in subscribers’ mailboxes and MP3s in their digital lockers, all released under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license.

Offering a tiered subscription service (amenities include stickers, bonus albums, a song written for you on your birthday, and much more depending on price), Learning Music Monthly is a great case study in figuring out how independent artists and labels (LMM is released through CC-friendly label vosotros) are approaching distribution in today’s current music climate.

We were able to catch up with John and pick his brain about the project, including his thoughts on writing and producing an album a month, a subscription/donation-based distribution model, and his decision to release all the music, cover art, promotional text, mix-stems, sheet-music, and lyrics under a CC license.


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Learning Music Monthly @ Machine Project – 01, cameronparkins | CC BY

Can you give our readers some background on yourself and the Learning Music Monthly project? What has your career as a musician been like? LMM monthly has existed previously – what is different this time around?

LMM really began in November 2006. I had spent the previous two years doing a fair amount of touring with other bands, and assisting on a film score, all of which was really fabulous and fortunate to experience. That month, I turned down a bunch of work and created the first Learning Music album. For me, it was something very much apart from my professional musical experiences. I get paid mostly to create what other people hear or see, which I’m very lucky to do. When I set out to complete that first album, there was a deep spiritual need inside me, which I had been aware of for a long time, to create something more personal. The payoff, instead of a check, was the pleasure of handing to friends this little secret disc, weirdly wrapped up in reclaimed cardboard. LMM is a little different from that now, in that we actually sell subscriptions. I think I’m still in the process of learning what that means creatively. It’s also much different now because of all the support from John G and Vosotros. The first year, my audience was mostly my friends. Now I’m making music for people I’ve never met. And they’re paying for it! Part of me of course wants to only create what I think these people want to hear. Hopefully I will eventually be able to give them something that they never expected, but that’s really good for them. Sometimes I feel like I lack the confidence to do that, but then ultimately there’s no time for doubt.
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We Have Band: “You Came Out” Video Stills Released Under CC-License

Cameron Parkins, June 15th, 2009

wehaveband
We_Have_Band 1709, we_have_band | CC BY-SA

We Have Band, and electro-pop act from London, recently released a great new video for their single You Came Out in collaboration with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy. The video is stop frame animated and composed of 4,816 still images, all of which are CC BY-SA licensed and available on We Have Band’s flickr page. This allows fans of the band the ability to reanimate the video and reuse the images as long as they attribute We Have Band and share derivative works under the same license.

Find out more about the single at the band’s mysapce blog, including ordering info.

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Cologne Commons: Festival for Free Music

Michelle Thorne, June 10th, 2009

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Cologne Commons - Konferenz und Festival für freie Musikkultur

We’re counting down the days until June 12, when the free music festival Cologne Commons kicks off in Germany’s metropolis on the Rhine. The festival invites netlabels, musicians, and business developers alike to the two-day conference and party in Cologne.

Sessions cover key topics in the free music scene, like mobile music, games, the legal backbone of running a netlabel, and successful case studies and business models for online distribution. And when the sun sets, the festival turns up the lights on new musical talent from across Europe.

Tickets for the June 12-13 event can be booked online, but if you can’t make it in person, follow the action on Twitter or listen to the CC Compilations.

From the Cologne Commons website:

Although netlabels play a central role in this year’s festival, it is by far not limited only to music. More generally the focus is on Creative Commons everything related to art and media – with the rise of a new cultural economy and perspectives for young artists in mind.

Entertainment for the Braindead” by Christopher Pattberg / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany license

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ccMixter: Using our Imaginashun with CC0, an Upgrade and Podcast

Victor Stone, June 8th, 2009

The Creative Commons’ sponsored music community, ccMixter, has had a busy week.

Imaginashun Remixes

DJ Vadim, featured and interviewed last week, put out a Call for Remixes for his new album U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun and the remixes are the community has responded in kind and some amazing remixes are starting to come in.

CC0 Enabled

ccMixter is now offering the CC0 (CC Zero) waiver for sample uploads. (CC0 FAQ) With this waiver, musicians who upload samples of their work in the form of solo instruments (often looped for easy re-use) are indicating their willingness to participate in the vast public domain (like the World Wide Web itself). The CC0 license carries with it the most freedoms possible, or put another way, the least “friction around your work,” meaning, it’s the most accessible form of sharing available. James Boyle’s The Public Domain (mentioned here many times before) remains the best resource around for getting to understand the importance of a public commons, especially in terms of our culture and creativity itself.

It only took a few minutes for the waiver to be enabled on ccMixter for veteran member spinmeister to upload all the samples to an original composition under the CC0 waiver. “I personally like the idea of a world,” he explained, “where a portion (not all) of good stuff is gifted. I also think it’s pretty cool when people who have received gifts are making gifts to someone else as their ‘response’.” Read the rest of spin’s explanation in the forum thread announcing the arrival of CC0 at ccMixter.

ccHost 5.1 Release Candidate

ccHost is the open source project that powers ccMixter and is currently going through a release candidate phase for the it’s 5.1 version. The previous major version, 4.0, was the winner of the Linux Journal’s LinuxWorld Expo Product Excellence Award for Best Open Source Solution and has been very popular as a remix-aware, web management system for liberally licensed content. Last year saw the release of a major upgrade (5.0) while this 5.1 update marks a full year of real-world usage, making it one of the most stable releases of ccHost ever, with 100s of bug fixes on top of the 60+ feature enhancements leading up to this RC release. Those enhancements include many that ccHost sites have long been asking for, including support for OpenID log in and registration. This release boasts extensive admin control of licensing options, built-in special handling for CC0 waivers and support for Creative Commons’ latest license tools like RDFa scraping. For the more visually oriented, 5.1 comes with a new skin that mirrors the 2009 clean, simplified look and feel of the mother ship CC site. (See the release notes and changelog for the gory details.)

To all the ccHost-enabled site administrators and developers holding off upgrading from 4.x to 5.x, this is the stability release you’ve been waiting for. Please download the RC and send us feedback on what you find.

ccMixter Music Podcasts

In a forum posting from June 17, 2008, MC Jack in the Box, our resident double-agent from the very cool RemixFight (a forerunner and model for ccMixter) mentioned nonchalantly that he might have come up with “a cool way to build buzz for the playlists if people can record their own radio shows featuring ccMixter uploads. … I’d create a themed show, with me adding a few ‘hidden’ voiceovers to the show. Hell, I might even do a weekly ‘best of ccMixter’ kind of show if that could happen.”

Thus began the “Cool Music Show“, a weekly feature that quickly became the most popular way to discover new music on ccMixter. Every Friday, like clockwork, he curates upwards of 45 minutes of the best uploads from the previous seven days on the site. Last week, MC Jack posted episode #50 (!) to raves, kudos and much hazaa from a grateful ccMixter nation.

We decided to use the occasion of the 50th show to launch the new ccMixter Music Podcast. Using the ccMixter playlist as a basis, we developed the tools to create a single, seamless MP3 and post it to the archive.org.

To subscribe to the show, just drag this link to your podcast-aware music player (e.g. iTunes, Amarok, etc.).

We seeded the podcast with the last 7 Cool Music shows, but as explained in the announcement thread, we want other community members to contribute their own shows. So, if you have curating and MC skills you’d like to share, we invite you to submit a ccMixter music show of your very own! Instructions for how to do make and submit a show is here.

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