ccHost 2.0

Mike Linksvayer, March 29th, 2006

We’ve just released ccHost 2.0, the GPL-licensed software platform that powers ccMixter. Thanks to Victor Stone for months of mad coding (when he’s not remixing) and Jon Phillips for packaging the release.

I’ve already blogged about two new features included in this release, remix statistics and the sample pool API, but there’s much more. Check out the press release for details.

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Remix Reading art show

Eric Steuer, March 28th, 2006

Remix Reading is running an exhibition of Creative Commons-licensed art at the Riverside Museum at Blake’s Lock in the UK from April 28th through 30th. There’s an open call for submissions until April 6, so get to it! Remix Reading’s Tom Chance tells us:

Anyone can submit, and we’d especially like to receive “real media” submissions (i.e. not digital art or photographs). We can help arrange international shipping of works if anyone submits them.

“A comet hits Reading” by Tom Chance, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

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Submit your artwork to the Sharing Is Daring art show

Eric Steuer, March 27th, 2006

Hot on the heels of Free Culture @ NYU‘s Creative Commons Art Show, the good people of Harvard Free Culture are organizing Sharing Is Daring, an exhibition of Creative Commons-licensed artwork to be held in Cambridge the week of April 10. Wanna be a part? Lucky you — there’s an open call for submissions until this Saturday, April 1. (Thanks to Elizabeth Stark for the info.)

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SectionZ: Great CC-licensed electronic music

Eric Steuer, March 27th, 2006

SectionZ is an electronic music community that is home to more than 650 Creative Commons-licensed tracks. There are lots of truly excellent CC sounds on the site — some of my favorites are Vaetxh‘s spacy drum ‘n’ bass anthem “The Moon Is to the Stars as a Dust Mote Is to Mars” and Smiff’s driving trance track “Tilt.”

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Bob Ostertag

Mike Linksvayer, March 26th, 2006

Influential avant garde musician and activist Bob Ostertag has made all of his recordings that he has the rights to available as digital downloads under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license:

These works are now covered by a Creative Commons “Attribution Non-commercial” license that permits you to freely download, copy, remix, sample, manipulate, fold, spindle, tamper with, defuse, detox, or deconstruct – as long as you credit my work as a source, and the work you make is not marketed commercially.

That’s a pretty standard explanation of BY-NC, but do read the rest of Ostertag’s mini-essay on his decision.

About 8 hours from 11 CDs are now available for download, including the notorious PantyChrist album with Otomo Yoshihide (dj) and Justin Bond (vocals) and other work with Mike Patton, Fred Frith, and others.

Ostertag’s music requires “sustained, concentrated listening” that is well rewarded. Check out the excerpt High Performance‘s review of Sooner or Later for a textual preview. Don’t worry about downloading the large music files — they are generously hosted by the Internet Archive for free. Enjoy listening and remixing!

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Spanish Court Recognizes CC-Music

Mia Garlick, March 23rd, 2006

Following on from the recent decision in a Dutch Court, Creative Commons licenses have also been implicated in a decision in Spain. The issue in this case was not whether the CC license was enforceable, but instead whether the major collecting society in Spain could collect royalties from a bar that played CC-licensed music.

Unfortunately, as we explain on our site, because most collecting societies, especially in Europe (but not in the US), take an assignment of rights from the artist, artists who are members of these collecting societies are not free to CC-license their works. And so far, collecting societies have been reluctant to explore how they could enable those of their members, who are interested in CC-licensing, to do so.

Consequently, it seemed a little odd when in the Fall of 2005, the main Spanish collecting society — Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (“SGAE”) — sued Ricardo Andrés Utrera Fernández, the owner of Metropol, a disco bar located in in Badajoz alleging that he had failed to pay SGAE’s license fee of 4.816,74 € for the period from November 2002 to August 2005 for the public performance of music managed by the collecting society.

On February 17th, 2006, the Lower Court number six of Badajoz, a city in Extremadura, Spain, rejected the collecting society’s claims because the owner of the bar proved that the music he was using was not managed by the society. The music performed in the bar was licensed under CC licenses that allows that public display since the authors have already granted those rights. Specifically, the judge said:

“The author possesses some moral and economic rights on his creation. And the owner of these rights, he can manage them as he considers appropriate, being able to yield the free use, or hand it over partially. “Creative Commons” licenses are different classes of authorizations that the holder of his work gives for a more or less free or no cost use of it. They exist as … different classes of licenses of this type … they allow third parties to be able to use music freely and without cost with greater or minor extension; and in some of these licenses, specific uses require the payment of royalties. The defendant proves that he makes use of music that is handled by their authors through these Creative Commons licenses.“

The full text of the decision (in Spanish) is available here.

This case sets a new precedent because previously, every time that the SGAE claimed a license fee from a bar, a restaurant or a shop for public performance of music, the courts have ruled in their favor on the basis that the collecting society represents practically all the authors. This case shows that there is more music that can be enjoyed and played publicly than that which is managed by the collecting societies.

As CC Spain project lead Ignasi Labastida said: “This decision demonstrates that authors can choose how to manage their rights for their own benefit and anyone can benefit from that choice, too. I expect that collecting societies will understand that something has to change to face this new reality,”

Let’s hope that Creative Commons-licensing and collecting societies will be able to work together in future. If you are an artist who is a member of a collecting society and interested in CC-licensing some of your work, let your society know how you feel so we can get to the future faster!

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Upload your Fort Minor remix today!

Eric Steuer, March 22nd, 2006

Attention all remixers: the Fort Minor Remix Contest over at ccMixter starts accepting entries today. We’re really excited to hear what you all have been cooking up since we posted the Creative Commons-licensed source material online two weeks ago. You have from now until May 6 to post your hottest track and compete to win a Technics SL-1200MK5 turntable, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records and Machine Shop Recordings.

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Why not evil?

Mike Linksvayer, March 21st, 2006

CC-using label Magnatune has always had “We Are Not Evil” as a tagline. Now they have a page listing the many reasons they are not evil, prominently featuring Creative Commons licenses and remixing on ccMixter.

If you’re interested in the business, technical, or music side of open music, check out Magnatune founder John Buckman’s blog, which in just the last few days has several very interesting and relevant posts: a report on SXSW for Magnatune musicians, how Magnatune creates podcasts, how Magnatune records musicians, and the BMAT recommendation engine.

Thanks to Glenn for the BMAT link, which I forwarded on to John.

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Full (cc)ircle

Mike Linksvayer, March 19th, 2006

Former CC Executive Director Neeru Paharia (now working on a PhD at Harvard Business School) writes in:

I’m entering this business plan contest that is focused on poverty alleviation: They are dragging me through a CC license choice for my business plan! I admit, I never would have thought of it unless they made me go through this. I guess things have come full circle now…

Bid Network business plan licensing screenshot.

Check out Neeru’s business plan for Save Artists’ Global Environment!

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Indieish Interviews

Mike Linksvayer, March 16th, 2006

Grant Robertson of cc:365 (now up to 75 tracks) and The Revolution has been doing some in depth interviews with CC users. Check out John Buckman, Lisa DeBenedictis, and Scott Andrew so far. Buckman’s “most shocking revelation” isn’t all that shocking (read and you’ll see).

Also check out Ben Shewmaker interviewing Grant Robertson on the Spectrum Analysis podcast. Grant does a superb job of explaining and demonstrating the great things about Creative Commons as an interviewer, interviewee and most importantly as a tastemaker. Thanks Grant!

Addendum: Grant was also recently interviewed on the Chris Pirillo Show about CC:365 and Creative Commons music. Via Biotic.

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