John Buckman

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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Nordic Cultural Commons Conference

Michelle Thorne, October 14th, 2008

In the wave of free culture gatherings this October, don’t miss out on the Nordic Cultural Commons Conference 2008, in Stockholm on October 22-23, organized by the Creative Commons Nordic network.

How is business created around open licensing? What benefits does the Creative Commons model provide for public broadcasting and archiving? How open licensing changes the production of cultural works? How does the common Nordic legal environment affect re-use of cultural works?

Nordic Cultural Commons Conference provides insight into these questions. Bringing together all Nordic Creative Commons scholars and practitioners, it is also a great opportunity to meet and discuss the latest open content practices and ideas.

Speakers include Mike Linksvayer (Creative Commons), John Buckman (Magnatune), Nicklas Lundblad (Google) and Paul Gerhardt (BBC Creative Archive), as well as Creative Commons Project Leads Henrik Moltke (CC Denmark), Prodromos Tsiavos (CC England & Wales), and Herkko Hietanen (CC Finland).

For more information, please visit the conference web site: http://www.hiit.fi/nccc/.

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FSCONS: Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit

Michelle Thorne, September 26th, 2008

fscons banner

Free Culture, Free Software, and Free Content will join forces under the banner of “Free Society” at FSCONS on October 24-26 at the IT University of Götheborg, Sweden. The orgnaizing trinity, Creative Commons Sweden, Free Software Foundation Europe, and Wikimedia Sverige, see FSCONS as a chance to reach out with their respective communities and build joint projects with like-minded activists and organizations.

A strong speakers lineup provides the rhetorical food-for-thought in the Free Culture track. Mike Linksvayer (Creative Commons) asks, “How far is free culture behind free software?” as he charts key indicators and historical factors in the progress of each. Eva Hemmungs Wirten argues that the digital commons extends back to nineteenth-century London, while Oscar Swartz keynotes the events with the warning that Sweden’s controversial “Lex Orwell” may usher in “The End of Free Communication”.

Nikolaj Hald Nielsen spotlights Amarok 2, the intuitive music player for Linux and Unix, demonstrating a viable intersection of Free Culture and Free Software. Meanwhile, other landscapes are being analyzed by Inga Walling (Open Street Map), who recounts the project’s efforts to create and provide free geographic data.

John Buckman (Magnatune) riffs on “Squeezing the Evil out of the Music Industry” by using CC licensing to rethink record labels. And since online attribution persists as a thorny issues for many music content sites, Victor Stone (ccMixter) reports on how some platforms are solving the problem with the Sample Pool API.

The blend of timely topics and kindred communities makes FSCONS an exciting event to follow this autumn. Thanks a lot to the organizing teams for their efforts — we’re looking forward to this!

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“Publishing Open Content”, Short Film On CC Business Models

Cameron Parkins, September 22nd, 2008

Publishing Open Content is a short documentary by Frances Pinter and David Percy that looks at how Creative Commons licenses can be utilized in a commercial setting. The film features interviews with Tom Reynolds, blogger behind Random Acts of Reality and author of Blood, Sweat, and Tea, Timo Hannay, Publishing Director at nature.com, and John Buckman, founder of netlabel Magnatune.

The interviews provide some key insights into how these three disparate individuals combined CC licenses with a successful business plan, a common thread being that by giving away something for free another commodity can be sold. Filmmaker Pinter also heads a CC-based publishing project in Africa titled Publishing and Alternative Licensing Model of Africa (PALM), of which the information discussed in the documentary has major interest (via Ad Astra).

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