Open Music Comes of Age

Victor Stone, October 5th, 2006

In December of 2003 Magnatune recording artist Lisa Debendictis released an album called Fruitless under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license with an original composition and performance called “Brilliant Day” (stream here).

In March of 2004 John at Magnatune was encouraging me to get in touch with artists on the label to remix and Lisa was gracious enough to let me re-record her solo vocals to “Brilliant Day” so I could use as source material for remixing for what became Chronic Dreams.

In November of 2004 at the launch of Creative Common’s remix community site ccMixter it was a no-brainer to release the a cappella under a Attribution-NonCommercial license. The a cappella track has since become one of the most remixed tracks on the site.

In July of 2005, a remix, also under Attribution-NonCommercial, was posted by ccMixter star Pat Chilla the Beat Gorilla called “Brilliant Daze (days are confused)” that, as of this writing, is one of the few tracks on the site with a perfect 5.0 rating.

One year later, in July of 2006 Pat’s myspace page, Lisa’s website and user registration at ccMixter were starting to flood with questions and praise for Lisa and Pat. It seems the “Brilliant Daze” remix was picked up by a teenage girl making videos in her bedroom, lamenting her restrictive parents and gushing over her boyfriend not as background music, but as the basis for a music video. In accordance with the Attribution clause of the license the video posted to YouTube was accompanied with full credits and links to Pat at ccMixter and Lisa’s web site (click on ‘more’) and a large percent of the 100,000s of viewers were moved to follow up.

It is now over 450,000 views later and though it has since been revealed as a viral marketing campaign, one thing that the lonelygirl15 phenomenon does prove, once and for all, is that by opening up music, allowing everybody to share and musicians to derive and collaborate the result will touch a huge audience.

Is CC licensed music viable? Half a million downloads can’t be wrong.

Recently the inventors of lonelygirl15, in accordance with the NonCommercial clause of the license have been in touch with the musicians to work out payments for use of the work in a commercial setting. Congratulations to Pat and Lisa.

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Red Hat interviews Jamendo’s Laurent Kratz

Eric Steuer, October 4th, 2006

Red Hat Magazine has posted a good interview with Laurent Kratz, CEO and co-founder of Jamendo, a large (and rapidly growing!) site for Creative Commons-licensed music. In the interview, Kratz discusses his company’s business model and how artists can use openness to expand their audience and make money. Read on … and look out for another interview with Kratz coming soon (conducted by yours truly) at as part of our Featured Commoners series of articles.

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Secret Mixter Revealed

Victor Stone, October 4th, 2006

ccMixter member PorchCat took it upon himself to create a series of events at ccMixter called “Secret Mixter” in which participants pull names out of virtual hat and are assigned to create a remix feature that artist. On a prearranged day everybody uploads their “secret remixes.” The upload day for the third installation “SecretMixter III: Splice Madness” was yesterday and entries have already been picked up by davi roque de souza‘s online mix-tape site músicalivre as “ccMixTape 007“. PorchCat has threatened to hold more Secret Mixters in the near future, watch the ccMixter forums for word.

Will SecretMixter ever become an “official” ccMixter event? Considering I am not eligible to participate in any “official” ccMixter remixing contest or event (something I wish I would have thought of before joining the ccMixter project) the short answer is: not if I have anything to say about it.

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10/11: CC Salon SF & Fundraising Campaign Launch Party f/ David Pescovitz, Micki Krimmel, Ryan Junell

Eric Steuer, October 3rd, 2006

Please join us for CC Salon / Creative Commons Fundraising Campaign Launch Party on Wednesday, October 11, from 6-9pm (don’t worry if you’re late; there will be stuff happening all night) at Shine , (1337 Mission Street between 9th and 10th Streets). Shine has free wi-fi and a super cool Flickr photo booth. Note: Since Shine is a bar, CC Salon is only open to people who are 21 and older.

October’s line-up:

  • David Pescovitz of MAKE and Boing Boing.
    David is MAKE‘s editor-at-large and co-editor of the popular blog Boing Boing. He is also a research affiliate with the Institute for the Future and writer-in-residence at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. Pescovitz is co-author of the book Reality Check, based on his long-running technology forecasting column in Wired where he is still a frequent contributor. His writing also has appeared in Scientific American, Salon, the New York Times, Popular Science, and IEEE Spectrum, among other publications.
  • Micki Krimmel of Revver.
    Micki is the Director of Community at Revver, an online video-sharing platform that rewards content-creators by giving them a stake in the profits. It’s her job to keep the Revver community happy and to spread the open media message. Micki used to work at Participant Productions, a film company with a mission to effect social change. She led the company in building an online activist community at, where film-lovers and activists can come together to make a difference. Micki is also nearing her one year anniversary as a contributor to, where she writes about global film, new tools for production and distribution and the democratization of the filmmaking process.
  • Ryan Junell of Webzine, Sagan, SLOMO Video, and more.
    Ryan has created music videos for bands such as Spoon, The Soft Pink Truth, The Natural History, Lesser, and Sagan. He directed a short documentary about John Kerry on the campaign trail in 2003. In 2004, he created an experimental documentary video installation about the Republican National Convention in New York. Ryan is founder and curator of the SLOMO Video Festival, featuring 100 one minute slow motion short films by 85 filmmakers and video artists. Ryan is also an organizer of Webzine, an event celebrating the art of independent online publishing. Ryan is currently at work on his third animation for Creative Commons.
  • CC Fundraising Campaign
    Also, this CC Salon marks the beginning of Creative Commons’ annual fundraising campaign, so don’t hesitate to bring your checkbook (or PayPal login info — we’ll have laptops on hand) to show your support for the work we do. This is your chance to donate a few bucks and be the first person on your block to get the brand new CC t-shirt design (which is super awesome). Donating to CC helps support the development of tools that help enable a participatory culture.

About CC Salon:
CC Salon is a free, casual monthly get-together focused on conversation, presentations, and performances from people or groups who are developing projects that relate to open content and/or software. Please invite your friends, colleagues, and anyone you know who might be interested in drinks and discussion. There are now CC Salons happening in San Francisco, Toronto, Berlin, Beijing, Warsaw, Seoul, Johannesburg, and coming soon in New York.

Track this event on

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GiftTrap / board game remix contest with CC elements

Eric Steuer, October 2nd, 2006

GiftTrap is a fun new board game based on predicting what gifts other players might like. It uses more than 600 cards that feature user-submitted photos of gifts – many of these images are Creative Commons-licensed and shot by Flickr photographers. The company behind GiftTrap has recently announced the GiftTRAP Experience, a contest where people can participate by suggesting gifts for future editions of the game, sumitting their own photos of gifts, and offering suggestions for new games that use GiftTrap’s cards. You can print out a CC-licensed sample version of the game and learn more about the contest at GiftTrap’s Web site.

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Tonight in NYC: Creative Commons concert w/ Diplo, Girl Talk, Peeping Tom!

Eric Steuer, September 29th, 2006

There are still a few tickets left!

Please join us tonight at Irving Plaza for a Creative Commons concert presented by WIRED and Flavorpill. The show will feature Mike Patton‘s experimental pop supergroup Peeping Tom, DJ/producer Diplo, and mash-up/remix artist Girl Talk. Creative Commons’ CEO Lawrence Lessig will be on hand to introduce the artists.

This concert is a great way to show your support for our work, as proceeds from all ticket sales will go directly to Creative Commons (please note that ticket price is *not* tax-deductible).

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Bay Area: Brian Walsh benefit party at Shine (9/29)

Eric Steuer, September 27th, 2006

The good folks at Shine, where Creative Commons holds its San Francisco CC Salon events, are holding a benefit party this Friday (9/29) for Brian Walsh, who is the man behind Shine’s super cool Flickr photo booth (now with CC licensing!) Brian’s house was broken into recently and some of his equipment was stolen — his friends are trying to raise enough money to get him back in business. More info on the Shine blog.

So come by this Friday anytime after 6 pm, we’ve got more and more people coming to spin and help out, and all the proceeds are going straight to Brian so he can get a new laptop and get back to work!

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Revver: the relaunch

Eric Steuer, September 26th, 2006

If you’re not already familiar with Revver, it’s a really slick video publishing platform that uses Creative Commons licenses to support its business model of “free and unlimited sharing.” Revver attaches a short ad to the end of your video and tracks how many times your clip has been viewed. The company then splits ad revenue with content creators as videos spread virally. It makes a lot of sense for Revver to use CC licenses and to promote sharing, since the whole point is to get as many people as possible to see the videos. (The more people that watch them, the more ads are viewed, and so forth.)

Last week, Revver launched a new version of its site, and it looks great. Updates include a new dashboard page, a secure Flash player, a Web-based uploader, and a feature where you can build collections of other people’s videos that you’re interested (somewhat like Flickr’s “Favorites” feature). Check out these blog posts by Micki Krimmel, Revver’s Director of Community, for more information about the new Revver.

Speaking of Micki, she’ll be giving a presentation about Revver at the next CC Salon San Francisco, happening on Wednesday, October 11. David Pescowitz (Make, Boing Boing) and Ryan Junell (Webzine, Sagan, SLOMO Video, and more will also be presenting. More information coming soon!

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Bay Area: Revision3 launch event tonight (9/26)

Eric Steuer, September 26th, 2006

Revision3 is a cool new Internet TV company from the founders of digg. They’re using Creative Commons licenses for their content and generally promoting the idea of sharing. Tonight, Revision3 is hosting a free launch event in San Francisco at Mighty. More info about the event is available on And here’s some helpful info about Revision3, sent to us by the company:

Instead of locking down repurposed shows online like most mainstream media, Revision3 develops its own highly original, and entertaining programming directly for the Web, and has adopted a completely neutral stance on distribution. Revision3 shows are currently available with every TiVo box with a podcast feature, will be available on Palm, Inc. devices via the Blazer browser, and on partner web sites such as Apple iTunes, Google Video, YouTube, BitTorrent and DivX.

The revenue comes from Ed Sullivan style product placement where the talent can get jokey with it, and still deliver what advertisers want as far as reaching that coveted niche audience.

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First CC-licensed PhD in Sweden

Mike Linksvayer, September 25th, 2006

The first Creative Commons licensed PhD to be defended on 2nd October in
Göteborg, Sweden.

The PhD thesis entitled Disruptive Technology: Effects of Technology
Regulation on Democracy
deals with the negative democratic effects
which often arise when attempts are made to regulate the Internet

By studying the attempts to regulate the disruptive effects of Internet
technology and the consequences of these regulatory attempts on the
IT-based participatory democracy this work shows that the regulation of
technology is the regulation of democracy.

The work has been written by Mathias Klang who is Project Lead for
Creative Commons Sweden.

The PhD thesis is the first of its kind to be released under a Creative
Commons license (Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5) in Sweden.

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