Audio

Kraftwerk Sampling Case Overturned

Cameron Parkins, November 21st, 2008


Kraftwerk by greenplastic875 | CC BY

German electronic-music pioneers Kraftwerk were told yesterday by a judge in Germany that a two-second sample used by a producer in Germany did not infringe on their copyright. From the BBC (emphasis added):

The ruling overturns an earlier decision against Moses Pelham’s use of a short sample from Metal on Metal.

Judges in Berlin said the two second extract did not infringe copyright, as his song was substantially different.

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Improbable Match: CC And Collecting Societies In Europe

Michelle Thorne, November 21st, 2008

When the French music group Petit Homme signed a special contract with Sacem, the French collecting society for music composers, some saw the contract’s exclusion of the group’s internet rights as a step towards compatibility between collecting societies and CC: authors could control of their internet rights while collecting societies would handle the remaining rights related to the work.

Yet despite the speculation, members of Sacem are still not able to license their work under a Creative Commons license. But there’s hope. As CC France‘s Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay explains in an article by IP Watch, some European collecting societies are looking for a solution.

The agreement Petit Homme reached with Sacem last June enables the musicians to post their work online by excluding internet protocol, wireless application protocol, and similar protocols from their contract. However, this model does not allow authors to use a CC license while simultaneously collecting royalties through Sacem.

“There was a lot of noise and incomprehension around Petit Homme’s contract,” says Dulong. “We have been trying to solve the problem for the last five years to no avail.”

Regarding CC, the catch of the specific Sacem deal is that it excludes internet rights, while CC licenses are intended to cover uses both on- and offline. Therefore, a solution might be that “commercial uses under a Creative Commons license could be managed collectively and non-commercial uses could be managed individually,” Dulong said.

Other European countries are also trying to achieve effective compatibility between CC and collective management, particularly through arrangements with collecting societies in the Netherlands (Buma Stemra) and in Denmark (Koda). In August, the Dutch pilot was extended for one year, and the Koda model has been running since January 2008.

More details about European collecting societies and their ongoing developments with free licenses can be found in Catherine Saez’s IP Watch article.

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Democracy Now! – now under a Creative Commons license

Eric Steuer, November 19th, 2008

We just received some tremendously exciting news. Democracy Now! – the daily news program broadcast by hundreds of radio and television stations around the world (it’s also the source of a very popular podcast) – is now being offered under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. This includes not only new episodes, but also those in the show’s archive, dating back to the program’s beginnings in 1996. The show, hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, and originally created by Pacifica Radio (which has continued to provide critical support for the program since it became an independent production), is funded by listeners, viewers, and foundations who believe in independent media – an approach to doing things that we here at CC wholeheartedly respect (visit our fundraising drive for more on this). Democracy Now! was founded to report on issues and stories that the producers believe are underreported by mainstream news outlets. The program’s new usage terms are made clear via a Creative Commons license notice at the bottom of each episode’s page (see today’s conversation with Cornel West for an example).

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Magnatune announces interesting additions to “post-scarcity” business model

Eric Steuer, November 18th, 2008

Magnatune, the terrific sharing-friendly record label that we’ve talked about many times before, has announced a transition from a per-album purchase model to a “DRM-free, all-you-can-eat, pay-what-you-want” model. Label founder John Buckman spelled out the details in a blog post today.

Memberships to Magnatune are now:

1) no commitment: one month at a time, whereas previously the minimum was 3 months

2) pay what you want: you fill in the amount you want to pay (no drop down box), though there is a $5/month stream membership minimum, and $10/month download membership minimum.

3) paypal recurring payments: use paypal recurring payments instead of a credit card, so you are completely in command of your membership, and can cancel it from Paypal if you like.

4) non-recurring and recurring both available: you choose whether you want your membership to auto-renew, or if you want to renew it by hand yourself

5) DRM free, Creative Commons licensed, and perfect audio quality: so you are free to enjoy our music as you wish

6) shareable music with your friends: you can share music you’ve obtained from your membership with your friends, though we ask you to be mindful of our business model and recommend you share no more than one album per friend per month

7) Everything: complete access to all our music. Downloads, 4h podcasts, streaming, iTunes & Amarok & Rhythmbox & Songbird support, and more.

8) Musicians get paid: with everything you do, 50% of your membership fee goes to the musicians you listen to. Magnatune remains fair to the musician.

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Into Infinity’s new “nesting” feature

Eric Steuer, November 12th, 2008

There’s more action at the online home of Into Infinity (see this previous post for a full description of the project). The new automated “nesting” page pulls in visual pieces of the show at random and embeds them within one another to create interesting combinations. Sometimes the results don’t quite make sense together, but I’ve been surprised by how often they turn out incredibly well. I hooked my laptop up to a large television this morning and let the page run for a couple of hours – my flatscreen never looked so arty.

Also, we just came across two videos by musician Keenan Gaynor that show him using Into Infinity’s Audio Mega-Mixer (see previous post) to mix the project’s sound loops and create new music on the fly. We’ll be adding more features to the mixer soon that will allow you to do things like record your jam sessions.

Thanks to Braydon Fuller, the powerhouse programmer behind all of Into Infinity’s online tools.

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Creative Commons and MuseumPods launch Podcast Publishing, Access, and Rights Survey

Eric Steuer, November 12th, 2008

We’re collaborating with MuseumPods, a company focused on helping museums and other institutions publish podcasts, on a project to learn more about the how members of the museum and education communities want to share the media they create. If you are affiliated with a museum – and particularly if your museum produces podcasts or is interested in doing so – we encourage you to spend a few minutes taking our Podcast Publishing, Access, and Rights Survey. Your responses will be used to help us make decisions about ways we can make it easier for musuems to mark their media with clear permissions. The data will also be aggregated later and shared online, but your answers will remain anonymous.

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The Fader: The State of the Remix

Eric Steuer, November 11th, 2008

Music and culture magazine The Fader launched a new online column today called “A Rational Conversation Between Two Adults,” in which editor Eric Ducker IM-terviews a staffmember or guest about a subject of interest to the magazine’s readers. The debut entry is a chat with DJ, producer, and label head Nick Catchdubs about “The State of the Remix.” Although Creative Commons doesn’t come up specifically, the discussion highlights several ideas that are revelant to musicians and remixers working to advance CC’s concepts and tools.

It’s always been a symbiotic relationship, and I think the degree of who benefits more depends on the individual track. What’s interesting now is that there’s a definite “remix economy,” both on the official side with a constant stream of commissioned remixes from labels looking to get in on sounds/scenes that are bubbling and managers hustling to get work for their producers, as well as the unofficial tracks from producers looking to make a name for themselves by bombarding the internet. What I always think about in regards to remixes is, “Does this need to exist?” To me the best remixes become new songs that are greater than the sum of its individual parts.

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CC Talks With: Lucky Dragons

Cameron Parkins, November 10th, 2008

Lucky Dragons, an experimental music/art group based in Los Angeles, is the moniker given to “any recorded or performed or installed or packaged or shared pieces made by Luke Fischbeck, Sarah Rara, and any sometimes collaborator.” Blending an organic approach to electronic music with a background in the arts, everything Lucky Dragons produces is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, allowing others to share what they have made as well as rework it (much of their music is available for free download on their website). We recently caught up with the duo to learn more about their music and motivation to use CC. We also touched upon their experience participating in the Into Infinity project, their associated projects Sumi Ink Club/Glaciers of Nice, and what their plans are for the future.

Can you give our readers a bit of background on yourselves? How did you get involved with music and art? What is Lucky Dragon’s background as an artistic outfit?

Fischbeck: lucky dragons started as a “band” in the loosest form possible around eight years ago, as a way to structure our activities as a group in an easily understandable and distributable way, making recordings or books or videos or performances and putting them out into the world. for the most part, we have definitely used the existing structure of independently produced music to do this, but as this structure has been changing so much in our lifetime, we have been keen to look for new and positive paths and models, trying to contribute to a new definition of “band” that includes contexts such as public art, the gallery system, museum programming, blogs, and small-press publishing.

Rara: My entry into making music was initially through making videos and composing sound to go with a moving image until I became more and more engrossed in the production of sounds and the potential of music to bring people together in a very concrete way, forming transient communities and generating equal power-sharing situations. It’s interesting now to alternate between music and art contexts, to slip in and out of each world and to borrow from each various modes and identities. I enjoy slipping into a “band” identity that confuses authorship and opens up the project to various collaborators, even going so far as to dissolve the separation between myself and the audience during the performance. I’ve always thought of the role of the artist as more diffused and inclusive, it can include sitting on a stage and playing a modified kalimba for half an hour or it can include an everyday situation like having a conversation with a stranger. But somehow the means of distributing art in the world are not as inclusive and wide-ranging as music distribution. Music has a tradition of self-publishing and cheap distribution that I find very inspiring; it’s easy to produce something that is accessible to everyone and easily shared when operating within the form of a musical group.

Read More…

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Into Infinity Audio Mega-Mixer launches

Eric Steuer, November 6th, 2008

Into Infinity (see previous post) – the CC-licensed art and music exhibition produced by dublab in collaboration with Creative Commons – is going strong. Visit the project’s online home for regular additions by artists and musicians from all over the world. Everything on the site is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license that allows legal sharing and reuse – we’ve already seen some great remixes of the works, which we’re looking forward to presenting publicly soon.

For now, we’re pleased to announce the debut of the Into Infinity Audio Mega-Mixer, a soundboard that lets you create in-the-moment sound collages from all of Into Infinity’s 8-second audio loops. We’ll be adding more functionality and updates to the mixer soon – so stay tuned. In the meantime, have fun creating sound combinations!

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Etsy Podcast: Henry Jenkins

Cameron Parkins, November 5th, 2008

Henry Jenkins
Photo by Joi Ito

Etsy, the ever-wonderful “online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade”, just posted a great podcast featuring new media theorist Henry Jenkins on their blip.tv channel and their wonderful blog The Storque. Jenkins discusses fan art, a topic that is not only dear to his heart but also essential to a organization like Etsy which thrives off the ingenuity of their community. All of Etsy’s podcasts are released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, making them easily shareable and reusable.

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