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Creative Commons and Magnatune Announce Lisa DeBenedictis Remix Contest -– Winners to Receive Magnatune Recording Contract

Mia Garlick, May 24th, 2005

Be creative, be open, and give it your best shot. “Let your imagination run wild and get creative,” is the slogan from Magnatune and Creative Commons on their latest venture. Online record label Magnatune and non-profit creative licensing organization Creative Commons announce that they will co-host a digital music remix contest beginning in May of 2005 and will begin accepting entries on June 15, 2005. The contest will be hosted at ccMixter and features the music of Magnatune rock artist Lisa DeBenedictis, who will voluntarily have her work sliced, diced and mixed by contestants. Music samples and contest rules are currently posted at ccMixter, which will begin accepting remix submissions as of May 13, 2005. Among the prizes for the remix contest is the opportunity for the winner to appear on the Lisa DeBenedictis Remix Compilation album and be eligible for an assortment of cash prizes.

“Remixed music is an exciting new kind of musical art form emerging in the open environment of internet file sharing,” said Magnatune founder and CEO, John Buckman. “Anyone with a creative urge can take existing music tracks and change them into something completely new and different. “This kind of event helps artists to stretch their limits and gain access to a wider variety of great music” explained Magnatune founder and CEO, John Buckman “ and we expect some really fantastic remix arrangements to come out of the contest.”

Contest entrants will have the opportunity to use Magnatune music to create their own remix compositions and submit their best works. Music samples will be posted on the CCMixter Web site beginning in mid-May. The contest will officially open on May 16 and will begin accepting entries, through July 31, 2005. More details regarding contest rules are available at ccMixter.

Lisa DeBenedictis is one of Magnatune’s more than 175 artists who enjoys 50-50 profit splitting and full rights to her music. A “one-woman operation,” she plays a variety of instruments including piano, guitar, keyboard, violin, oboe and mandolin. DeBenedictis is the sole writer, performer and producer of all her music. Her songs have been described as ethereal, fresh and original, earning her the comparisons other well-known female soloists including Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan. Prior to going solo, DeBenedictis performed in a rock duo called “Ring of Nine” and California Avant Rock duo “DirtyDirtyRockStar.” In addition to writing songs, Lisa composes instrumental music for film.

The concept of “open source” file-sharing originated in the computer software world, and has moved into music. Individual tracks, a drum or bass line within a recording, can be taken and remixed with other tracks to create a completely new composition. Other musicians can then modify, improve or add to the “source” without worrying about obtaining permission from the original artists. Unlike other illegal music remix contests where an artist’s work has been taken and sold without the artist’s permission, Magnatune and Creative Commons have partnered with Lisa DeBenedictis for this effort. Contest participants will be allowed to freely copy selected Magnatune music to produce their works.

Fellow Magnatune recording artist and CC Mixter contest manager Victor Stone, of the group “Four Stones,” has been remixing music for several years. “It is incredibly fun and inspiring to be able to use the best music and make it your own,” said Stone. “It makes remixing a natural extension of what composers have been doing for thousands of years.”

Producers often work for months to build their multi-layered remix compositions. Remix tracks can be highly sophisticated with limitless musical sound samples and layers.

Magnatune music is available for sharing through use of Creative Commons licensing. The Creative Commons license allows for free sharing and building upon existing works, be it musical, written, or images. “We have been using the Creative Commons copyright licensing very successfully,” reports Magnatune’s founder and CEO,said John Buckman. “Through open-source licensing we are able to offer a fair deal to our customers and musicians.” Unusual in the music industry, Magnatune splits profits from album sales with the artists and allows them to keep the rights to their music.

About Creative Commons
A nonprofit founded in early 2002, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works—whether owned or in the public domain—by empowering authors and audiences. It is sustained by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Hewlett Foundation. For more information, visit Creative Commons’ website or contact Neeru Paharia at neeru@creativecommons.org.

About Magnatune
Founded in 2003, Magnatune is an independent, online record label that hand selects its own artists, sells its catalog of music through online downloads and print-on-demand CDs and licenses music for commercial and non-commercial use. Based on the principle that “we are not evil,” the company offers fair-trade music to consumers by equally sharing all revenue from the sale of albums with artists and allowing artists to retain full rights to their music. All music can be previewed free of charge with a “try before you buy” philosophy. Customers can also choose how much they want to pay for the music with pricing ranging from $5-18 for a downloadable album or print-on-demand CD. Magnatune is a music business where everybody wins. For further information, please visit the Magnatune website or contact Teresa Malango at tmalango@magnatune.com or 510.289.3781.

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