CC BY-NC-SA

Learning Music Monthly, CC-Licensed Music Series, Launches

Cameron Parkins, March 2nd, 2009

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Learning Music Monthly is a new subscription-based, album-a-month, musical series from L.A.-based musician John Wood. Launched yesterday in partnership with CC-friendly record label vosotros, Learning Music Monthly grows out of a previous and similar project that began as an album-a-month project for John Wood and his musical cohorts, resulting in releases that ranged from a record made entirely on a hand-held cassette recorder to “an autobiographical musical written by a robot.”

Building upon new methods of music distribution, LMM is being offered as a tiered subscription service that ranges from a donation-based digital option to a $60 package that includes, amongst other amenities, a handmade album delivered by mail each month, limited edition stickers, bonus albums from friends of LM, and a song written and recorded for you, delivered on your birthday. The band is also offering a lifetime VIP subscription, which includes a private performance anywhere in the world. From LMM:

Learning Music Monthly is a collaborative, subscription-based album-a-month series. As a subscriber, you receive a brand new full-length album of original music every month. You can choose to receive your monthly issues on CD (delivered to your mailbox in beautiful handmade packaging, with cover art by a different artist each issue), or in downloadable high-quality mp3 format. Subscribers also receive unlimited access to our online archive of music, including a newly re-mastered album from the original twelve Learning Music albums released each month. Additionally, you are invited to collaborate in the creation of Learning Music Monthly, with remixes, covers, and sound donations, regardless of whether you are a subscriber or not.

As one of the primary foci of Learning Music Monthly is collaboration, the website features numerous ways for the LM community to get involved. Found sounds, remixes, cover versions, and videos are all encouraged and LM has gone so far as to begin filling the section on their own, including audio stems for the first installment’s single Short Tempered. All of the material – from the original music to artwork to samples – is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, an essential aspect of the project that makes this kind of digital collaboration legally sound and clear.

The project has just begun, so be sure to head over to the Learning Music Monthly homepage and learn more about what is happening. Similarly, the project has launched with a page at CASH Music, the CC-using music nonprofit “dedicated to improving the music experience for artists and listeners alike.”

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Remix Georgia Wonder via Mixable

Fred Benenson, February 23rd, 2009

georgiawonderGeorgia Wonder, the UK band who made headlines earlier this year for encouraging their fans to share their music, is participating in this year’s annual MIXABLE contest to support UK schools. The band has made the separated audio tracks from their song “Girl You Never Knew” available for download in both WAV and AIFF files and available under our Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license:

Whoever comes up with the best version as chosen by the band will get to work further on the track in a full studio, and this new version will then be featured on an upcoming release with full production and performing credits!

Check out the site for more information and the details for starting your remix!

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Koblo: Online Music Collaboration

Cameron Parkins, February 2nd, 2009

logoKoblo is a new online music collaboration site that utilizes CC licensing on tracks and song stems to promote community remixing and reuse. Uniquely, Koblo exists beyond the web in the form of Koblo Studio, a free and opensource software DAW that has the ability to upload projects to Koblo’s community site with all the tracks prepped and ready for remixing. It is during this upload process that a CC license can be chosen for the project.

By offering a platform that exists not only as open source software but also allows for CC licensing of material, Koblo has set an exemplary model for their community to follow as it grows in regards to the sharing of content. Related is the Koblo Shop, an online store that will allow community members to sell their remix packs, plugins, loops, and beats in the coming months – the store is already live with preliminary content, including a CC BY-NC-SA licensed remix pack from Sweedish pop band Ace of Base.

Koblo joins an ever growing list of great online music platforms that are enabling unintended and unique collaboration through the use of new technologies and the permissive licensing allowed by CC licenses.

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wikiHow Reaches 50,000 Articles

Cameron Parkins, January 30th, 2009

wikihowwikiHow, a community site that aims to be the world’s largest how-to manual, just reached the incredible milestone of 50,000 articles with the publication of How to Obtain a Copy of Your Birth Certificate in New Mexico. All of the content on wikiHow is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, keeping the content therein open for sharing and reuse according as long as the reuse is noncommercial in intent, the author(s) is properly attributed, and any derivative works are shared under the same license. This has broad ramifications, described by Rebbeca Rojer a little over a year ago as wikiHow passed the 25,000 article mark:

wikiHow is a great example of the possibilities for participatory culture opened by Creative Commons licenses. According to wikiHow founder, Jack Herrick, “Creative Commons licensing has been a necessary ingredient of our success thus far. These licenses allow others to easily share, republish and modify our content which furthers our mission. In addition, the licenses provide our editors with the “Right to Fork”, which gives our community comfort that their work will always be freely available to them and others.”

Jack continues “I’m optimistic that one day wikiHow will offer accurate, helpful how-to instructions on almost every topic in almost every language. I’m looking forward to sharing a how-to manual in Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi, Japanese, Polish and many other languages we don’t currently serve. Fortunately Creative Commons licensing exists in all these languages and will help us along this path.”

Congratulations to wikiHow, who are ever supportive of Creative Commons both in their mission and their actions.

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CC Talks With: The Global Lives Project

Cameron Parkins, January 23rd, 2009

The Global Lives Project is a project that aims to “record 24 hours in the lives of ten people that roughly represent the diversity our planet’s population.” Accomplishing this via a volunteer-network dispersed through out the globe, GLP aggregates video for these subjects based on a unique spreadsheet approach to understand global demographics. All of the work produced by GLP is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, a decision explained in the following interview with Global Lives founder David Evan Harris. Read on to learn more about the project, how CC licenses are being used, and how to get involved yourself as a volunteer/contributor.

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Give us a bit of background on the Global Lives project. How did you begin? What is your mission?

Global Lives’ mission is to reshape how people around the world perceive cultures, nations and people outside their communities by collaboratively building a video library of human life experience. The content of our video library “lives” online and is regularly presented to the public in unique open-source video installations and screenings. Our shoots so far have taken place in Malawi, Brazil, Japan, China, Indonesia and the US, and we’ve shown our work publicly in most of those countries and a few others.

The Global Lives Project all got started in 2002, during my third year in college, when I was lucky enough to spend eight months living and studying international development in Tanzania, India, the Philippines and the UK as part of the International Honors Program. For the majority of these eight months, I lived with host families. I stayed in a bamboo house in the Philippines, a squatter settlement in Mexico City, and a rural village in northern India, among other places. While I learned a ton during the year about the politics, economics, history and ecology of these countries, the part of the experience that stuck with me the most was sharing the experience of daily life with the families and individuals from these countries.

Today, I can’t read a newspaper article about rice without thinking of my host mother Violeta in Barangay Daja and her rice paddy and water buffalo. The experience forever changed the way I understand people from other cultures and nations and my own role in the world. And I wanted to bring that experience to people who didn’t have the same opportunities to travel abroad as I did. So I came up with the idea of Global Lives. What I didn’t expect was that so many other people would find the idea to be so interesting, and that it would resonate so well with people from all over the planet.
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The Art of Community – Stories and Tips for Community Building

Greg Grossmeier, January 14th, 2009

The ever enthusiastic musician, community leader, and now author Jono Bacon has just announced his next Creative Commons licensed endeavor: a book published by O’Reilly on building, maintaining, and energizing communities called Art of Community.



The announcement posted on artofcommunityonline.org explains the project:

The book covers a wide range of topics designed to build strong community. This includes the structure and social economy behind community, building effective and easy to use infrastructure, setting up community processes, creating buzz and excitement, governance, conflict resolution, scalability and more.

The book won’t just be for people interested in Open Source communities, but instead the principles and concepts can be applied to any community: political campaigns, student groups, or even neighborhood crime watches.

When released the book will be available in print from your favorite supplier of O’Reilly books and will also be available online under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Jono is a believer in Creative Commons licensing as can be seen from his music project Severed Fifth and the use of CC licenses for the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase. Adding this book to his repertoire of CC-licensed content shows just how far one person can go when embracing the ideals of Free Culture.

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Make: television

Cameron Parkins, January 12th, 2009

MAKE_TV_colorMake: television is a new TV program from the wonderful crew behind MAKE Magazine that focuses on DIY culture and “celebrates “Makers” – the inventors, artists, geeks and just plain everyday folks who mix new and old technology to create new-fangled marvels.”

The show began airing on public television (broadcast/cable tv) a little over a week ago and is also available on Legal Torrents, blip.tv, Vimeo, YouTube, and iTunes. The show is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license and available for download in HD, allowing all those inventive DIY-ers watching the show the ability to remix and reuse the content under the terms specified.

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CC Talks With: Deproduction

Cameron Parkins, January 12th, 2009

Deproduction is a Denver-based video production company that has a variety of media incarnations, from Public Access TV aggregate Denver Open Media to civic pixel, an open-source web development group. All the material produced for DOM is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, making it freely sharable and remixable as long as the creators are properly attributed, reproductions are noncommercial in intent, and any derivative works are shared under the same license. The project has been so successful that the team behind it recently received a Knight NewsChallenge Grant to reproduce their system at Public Access TV stations around the U.S. We caught up with Tony Shawcross, Executive Director at Deproduction, to learn more about their operation, how they are using CC licenses at DOM, and why Public Access TV is important.

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Can you give our readers some background on Deproduction? How did you get started, who is involved, and what do you do?

The early history is summarized in a great Apogee Magazine Article from 2004, back when we were still a 2-person organization. In the 5 years since, the organization grew from collaborations with a handful of local nonprofits, including Free Speech TV, Little Voice Productions, Just Media, and the Pan African Arts Society. We had been producing videos for nonprofit partners, and began expanding our media education programs through work with local schools and an office in the PS1 Charter School. In 2005, Denver’s City Council shut down the City’s Public Access TV Station and issued an RFP from organizations who had a plan for making Public Access TV work with no operating support from the city or Comcast.

We responded, borrowing from the models of Wikipedia, Current TV, and others to develop online systems that could enable our community members to manage the station. Where most Public Access TV stations have staff devoted to content ingest, metadata entry, quality-control, equipment reservations, class registrations, broadcast scheduling and so-on, our tools enable the community to complete all those tasks with minimal staff involvement. Furthermore, our approach to studio productions, editing and even training work to reduce the workload on our staff and maximize the cooperation and support of our members.
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Hype Machine Music Blog Zeitgeist

Cameron Parkins, January 9th, 2009

zeitgeist-2008

Hype Machine, Blog Fresh Radio, Musebin, and imeem have teamed up to deliver the Music Blog Zeitgeist 2008, an assessment of the years best albums, artists, and songs as decided by music bloggers. The Zeitgeist didn’t poll bloggers directly but rather looked at the huge amount of data Hype Machine gathered over 2008 in regards to posting trends in the music blogosphere.

The Top 50 Artists of the year were decided “according to how frequently the blogs listed on The Hype Machine posted their songs”. The Top 50 Songs were decided “according to each month’s most loved songs by registered users”. The Top 50 Albums were decided by a combination therein.

The data used to make the lists is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, allowing anyone to take the data and re-use it in any way they see fit as long as it is noncommercial in intent, shared under the same license, and properly attributed. The data set is huge and can be downloaded here. The Zeitgeist also features CC-licensed flickr photos through out the Top 50 Album list.

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NIN’s CC-Licensed Best-Selling MP3 Album

Fred Benenson, January 5th, 2009

NIN Best Selling MP3 AlbumNIN’s Creative Commons licensed Ghosts I-IV has been making lots of headlines these days.

First, there’s the critical acclaim and two Grammy nominations, which testify to the work’s strength as a musical piece. But what has got us really excited is how well the album has done with music fans. Aside from generating over $1.6 million in revenue for NIN in its first week, and hitting #1 on Billboard’s Electronic charts, Last.fm has the album ranked as the 4th-most-listened to album of the year, with over 5,222,525 scrobbles.

Even more exciting, however, is that Ghosts I-IV is ranked the best selling MP3 album of 2008 on Amazon’s MP3 store.

Take a moment and think about that.

NIN fans could have gone to any file sharing network to download the entire CC-BY-NC-SA album legally. Many did, and thousands will continue to do so. So why would fans bother buying files that were identical to the ones on the file sharing networks? One explanation is the convenience and ease of use of NIN and Amazon’s MP3 stores. But another is that fans understood that purchasing MP3s would directly support the music and career of a musician they liked.

The next time someone tries to convince you that releasing music under CC will cannibalize digital sales, remember that Ghosts I-IV broke that rule, and point them here.

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