Rock Proper Release Jitney’s 86-300, CC BY-NC Licensed Album

Cameron Parkins, January 26th, 2009


Chicago-based record label Rock Proper just added another impressive notch to their discography with today’s release of Jitney’s 86-300. The work of musician Casey Meehan, 86-300 is released under a CC BY-NC license, making the experimental rock songs therein freely sharable/remixable as long as Jitney is properly attributed and reuses are noncommercial in intent.

This is the second featured release from Rock Proper, who previously put out Jay Bennett’s CC-licensed Whatever Happened I Apologize. Of interest to those in the CC community is a remix from artist Fabakis who took Bennett’s stripped down I’ll Decorate My Love and transformed it into a song complete with drums, organ, electric guitar/bass, piano, and a slew of instrumental treats. All of this was legal and encouraged through the album’s CC BY-NC license, and if comment sections are to be trusted, might even result in an unexpected collaboration between the two artists in teh future.

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Adam Singer on CC licenses and Music Promotion

Cameron Parkins, January 23rd, 2009

Adam Singer is a musician and “social media guru” who used his expertise in both fields to find a more harmonious means of online promotion. As a relatively “unknown artist”, Singer saw little return on efforts to profit from his works as CDs and digital downloads, selling only a few copies with “mixed results”. It was at this point that Singer chose to release his music under a CC BY-NC license.

The choice was not motivated from a promotional standpoint – Singer turned to CC licensing after the “realization [he] would rather have [his] music reach more ears as the money [he] was making was worth far less than the joy of being able to share it with others” – but it spurred unintended promotional results. A recent post on TheFutureBuzz outlines the results of Singer’s choice – soon, he found his music appearing on music blogs, had people on Twitter soliciting him for original music for video, had his music featured on online web radio shows, saw a fan remix video pop-up on YouTube, and saw traffic to his MySpace page increase dramatically.

It is obvious to those who listen that Singer’s music is of high-quality, but by encouraging the free sharing and reuse of this music he was able to reach a far greater audience than he had previously. The story, heard many times before in a variety of incarnations, brings about echoes of Tim O’Reilly:

Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy.

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Colbert Invites Discourages More Remixing

Fred Benenson, January 23rd, 2009

Colbert Smaller
After discovering the dozens of unauthorized and possibly infringing remix videos that resulted from his adamant calls not to remix his interview with CC founder, Lawrence Lessig, Stephen Colbert is mad. He’s so mad he featured a new segment and music video challenging fans not to remix his show any more. He reiterated this demand in a staccato a capella, so that fans could clearly understand what he was saying and not sample his words. If someone were to remix his show or audio book, they certainly shouldn’t upload it to the special section of Colbert Nation soliciting uploads, either.


CASH Music: Exploring Creative Commons Licensing in the Music Industry

Cameron Parkins, January 21st, 2009

cashlogo_homeCASH Music, the CC license using music label/creative community we have discussed numerous times before, just launched a wonderful new Creative Commons Portal for understanding how CC licenses can be utilized by record labels and artists.

The portal is beautifully designed with an emphasis on simplicity – an introduction to CC, hypothetical uses, and real world examples are the only foci. Meant to grow an expand overtime, the portal is a great resource for record labels looking into how they can adopt CC. As CASH expands upon its mission to “develop open source tools for artists and promote best practices in the music industry”, resources like the CC Portal will become increasingly more valuable.

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Bandcamp Integrates CC-Licenses

Cameron Parkins, January 21st, 2009

logo_on_whiteBandcamp, a feature-heavy music site that focuses on providing musicians with robust, easy-to-use, and visually pleasing artist pages, just integrated CC licensing options in to their UI:

Hugs and kisses backatchu JD, and everyone else who requested Creative Commons support, then patiently worked around its absence by putting CC links in their tracks’ credits or about fields, slapping CC marks in their header graphics, and other reasonable zaniness. Situation rectified: starting today, you can select a CC license right from the Edit Track page.

Creative Commons’ mission is “to increase the amount of creativity… in ‘the commons’ — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.” A worthy goal, we think, so if © strikes you as too restrictive, we hope you’ll take a gander at the various licenses and find something that better captures the freedoms you want your work to carry.

At a basic level, we aim to have licensing be as simple and easy as possible, a goal that is more fully accomplished when content-sharing sites like Bandcamp integrate CC license options directly into their UI. Kudos to Bandcamp for the integration and much thanks to all the Bandcamp users who requested it in the first place. You can learn more about Bandcamp at their FAQ page – to see the licenses in action, check out this artist page from Paul and Storm.


CC Technology Summit Video Available

Nathan Yergler, January 16th, 2009

As noted on the CC Labs blog, video and audio from the December CC Technology Summit is now available:

In December we held our second CC Technology Summit at MIT in Cambridge, MA. I think the day provided a great perspective on what we’re doing at CC and how others are building a real community around it. If you weren’t able to attend, we now have audio and video available. And if you missed the first one, the video for that is available as well.

We’re currently thinking about plans for the next event; if you have feedback or suggestions, email them to

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¡ YES WE PUEDE !: CC-Licensed Compilation for Inauguration

Cameron Parkins, January 15th, 2009

L.A.-based record label and former Featured Commoner Vosotros just went live with their latest release ¡ YES WE PUEDE !, a compilation of artists covering American public domain classics in honor of next week’s Presidential inauguration. The album features some amazing L.A. artists and is released under a CC BY-NC license, allowing others to share and remix the tracks for noncommercial purposes as long as Vosotros and the artists are properly attributed.

Choosing CC for the project is in spirit with the incoming administration’s license use. ¡ YES WE PUEDE ! joins DJ Z-Trip’s Victory Lap in the “awesome CC-licensed music inspired by the Barack Obama” category.


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Muted on YouTube? Think CC!

Fred Benenson, January 14th, 2009

As you might have heard by now, YouTube has begun to mute videos containing ‘unauthorized’ music or audio. What does ‘unauthorized’ mean? We’ll leave that for the lawyers to decide, but it probably has something to do with negotiating permissions for the right to use music in advance from rights holders.

Instead of dealing with the suits, why not consider using Creative Commons music in your next YouTube video? Here’s a ccMixter playlist of 100 Attribution licensed music tracks that you can download and use freely so long as you give attribution to the original creator. YouTube has even been so kind as to include these tracks inside their AudioSwap feature, thereby enabling you to automatically add a soundtrack to your video even after it has been uploaded to YouTube.


DJ Z-Trip’s Victory Lap: The Second Obama Mix

Fred Benenson, January 13th, 2009

Shepard Fairey's ObamaAfter hearing his massively successful Obama Mix, contacted DJ Z-trip to create a new “Victory Lap” mix celebrating Barack Obama’s election for the inauguration. Just as he did with his original mix, Z-trip has licensed his new mix one under our Attribution license, allowing anyone to reuse, remix and share it, even commercially.

Download the mix at Z-Trip’s site.

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Lessig/Colbert remixes on ccMixter

Mike Linksvayer, January 12th, 2009

CC founder Lawrence Lessig appeared on the Colbert Report last Thursday talking about his latest book, REMIX. The segment was great, and hilarious, as is typical for Colbert — and double plus fun for copyright geeks and activists, as Colbert challenged the audience to not remix the interview “with some great dance beat, and then it starts showing up in clubs across America.”

Lessig pointed out on air that because he didn’t waive his joint copyrights to the segment, he and Colbert are joint owners, and either can exploit the work freely. In this case Lessig has published the interview under CC BY, allowing anyone to remix or even commercially exploit the work for free.

The interview “accapella” is up on ccMixter, where it is rapidly being remixed with great dance beats (see “samples used in:” on the right).

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