Madonna and Trent Reznor lose their labels. Radiohead lets fans choose their price. Led Zeppelin … finally decides to make its music available on iTunes.
Last month was an exciting one for those watching the future of the music distribution industry (except for the tardy Led Zeppelin announcement, which could lead one to conclude that Rock’n'Roll is dead, dead, dead).
But what does this upheaval among the majors mean for fans, for remixers, for culture, and more narrowly, for free culture and digital media on the web, for Creative Commons?
I’ll be presenting and leading a discussion on just this topic at the first Media Web Meet-up @ Songbird, November 13th 1pm to 3pm in San Francisco. Songbird makes a radical web-aware media player based on the same software platform as the Firefox browser. They also hosted CC’s 4th birthday party last year (but in case you attended that, they’ve moved to a bigger space since then, so don’t go where the party was).
You can RSVP for next Wednesday’s event at Upcoming or Facebook (and if you’re going to be on Facebook, click to spread the word about Creative Commons to your friends).No Comments »
Yesterday, I attended the Creative Commons China Photo Content ceremony at the National Library in Beijing. There were 10,000 submissions of professional and amateur works licensed under various CC licenses. There were three categories: Society, Nature and Portraits. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges including famous photographers, professors and other notable people. The photographs were amazing. There is a web page of the winning photographs. Don’t forget to click the link underneath the winning photos for the second place winner gallery.
While we have silly people in the West saying that for every free photo on Flickr a professional photographer loses their job, we have professional photographers in China licensing their best works under CC licenses. As far as I could tell, the amateur and professional photographers seemed integrated and supportive of each other.
After the awards ceremony, we have a workshop with presentations from an illustrious and interesting group of speakers. Overall a groundbreaking and well executed event. Congratulations Chunyan and the CC China team!
I’m uploading photos from my trip in a Flickr set. I found out yesterday that there is a Firefox Plugin to bypass the Chinese block on Flickr.
Cross-posted from my blog.No Comments »
Congratulations to LibriVox, who’ve just released their 1,000th public domain audio book! Previously featured on this site, LibriVox has been a consistent supporter of access to open content by building a digital library of free public domain audio books.
From their release:
LibriVox, the free audio book project has just cataloged its 1,000th book: Murders in the Rue Morgue, by Edgar Allan Poe (read by Reynard T. Fox).
LibriVox.org started in August 2005 with a simple objective: “to make all public domain books available as free audio books.” Thirteen people collaborated to make the first recording, Joseph Conrad’s Secret Agent.
Two years later, LibriVox has become the most prolific audiobook publisher in the world – we are now putting out 60-70 books a month, we have a catalog of 1,000 works, which represents a little over 6 months of *continuous* audio; we have some 1,500 volunteers who have contributed audio to the project; and a catalog that includes Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, Darwin’s Origin of the Species, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Einstein’s Relativity: The Special and General Theory, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, and other less well-known gems such as Romance of Rubber edited by John Martin. We have recordings in 21 languages, and about half of our recordings are solo efforts by one reader, while the other half are collaborations among many readers.
Full announcement here.
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UPDATE: Jamglue has shut down – former users should see our music communities page for a list of additional communities working in a similar vein.
Jamglue has been consistent blog-fuel for CC over the past couple months, combining some seriously cool remix contests with an exemplary online music collaboration platform. We recently caught up with co-founder Divya Bhat to learn more:
What’s Jamglue all about? What’s its history? How did it come about? Who’s involved?
Jamglue aims to make it simple and fun for fans to get involved with the music they love. Our Flash-based tools let anyone mash up and remix music from within their browser, making their mark on their favorite music.
Our tools and rapidly growing online community provide a platform for artists to engage their listeners. Through remix contests, fans can interact with their music by adding/removing parts, chopping up tracks, contributing their own vocals, and adding sound effects. Our community facilitates collaboration and provides an instant audience for the new music that’s produced.
As a digital creator, you have a vested interest in both the future of your work and the larger participatory culture. As an active participant in this community, you play a major role in helping ensure that our culture remains as free and accessible as possible.
Because of this, we are releasing our own fundraising widget. This is an exciting move for CC, as we’re putting faith in the power of “you” to help us raise awareness and funds for CC’s future.
The widget is an easy-to-use tool that embeds in your blog, website, or Myspace page. The text is customizable so you can encourage people to support CC in your own words.
Remember – by supporting Creative Commons, you are enabling us to continue doing innovative work that builds and supports an accessible, shareable, and reusable culture.
Also check out our other viral fundraising tools — buttons, videos, Facebook, and more.No Comments »
Detail from Paul Downey’s wonderful web architecture comic poster, licensed under CC Attribution:
There are a bunch of gems in the poster. Explore and remix.1 Comment »
Red Hat is now offering an opportunity to learn more about Linux and support CC at the same time! If you sign up for a Red Hat Linux course eligible for a promotional giveaway, you can waive that giveaway in exchange for a donation to CC. Thank you Red Hat for promoting sharing in so many ways.No Comments »
Bucky Jonson is the name of the band that drives the funky soul behind the multi-platinum Grammy winning band the Black Eyed Peas. The band is actually made up of Printz Board, George Pajon Jr., Tim Izo and Keith Harris. A few months ago they stepped out from the shadows with their oh-so-appropriately named solo album “The Band Behind the Front….”
Now for the real news: The album’s individual solo tracks along with many outtakes have been made available with a BY-NC license at ccMixter.org/buckyjonson.
Bucky represents some of the best soul/funk virtuoso musicians on the scene today so it’s no surprise that these recording are the cleanest, best originally performed samples ever put into the Creative Commons Sample Pool (which is approaching the 50,000 sample count). There was so much material delivered from the band it took a small army of volunteers from the ccMixter community to chop the tracks into bite-size remix-able loops. Over 205 MB of un-cut tracks and the loops are available for free download here.
The release of these tracks is part of an ongoing relationship between CC and BBE Music that includes the DJ Vadim remix contest and subsequent release of Vadmin’s album into the Commons. The winners of that contest were put onto the “Soundcatchers Extras” album along side Vadim and other members of the worldwide consortium of musicians and DJ operating under the banner of the One-self Collective.
The best remixes posted to ccMixter of Bucky and Vadim continue to be culled for other One-self projects including live dates around the world, soundtracks for videos and playing them on the BBE radio shows in London and Spain.No Comments »
The Tracey Fragments, the latest film from Canadian director Bruce McDonald, follows the story of a 15-year-old girl (Ellen Page) who has “lost her little brother and sets out on a desperate journey to find him”. While the film itself looks absolutely phenomenal, Tracey: Re-Fragmented, the film’s online counterpart, is where the project really begins to take shape for those in the CC-community. From The Tracey Fragments:
Tracey: Re-Fragmented makes available at www.traceyfragments.com all the footage from the shoot of the film for users to download and re-edit their own related projects including music videos, new trailers or to re-edit the entire movie themselves. The Creative Commons licensed initiative also makes available the score of the movie by Indie Collective Broken Social Scene.
Director Bruce McDonald explains the inspiration behind the project: “The Tracey Fragments is a film that fully embraces experimentation and teamwork. I wanted to find out if that experience exists on the Internet and give others the chance to experiment and play with some beautifully shot footage of a world class actress in a free form environment. I hope people make their own feature films, short films, rock videos, trailers, experimental films and personal manifestos out of The Tracey Fragments.”
McDonald’s decision to embrace CC-licensing for The Tracey Fragments is remarkable in both practice and scope. Fans can choose to do what they will with the massive amount of assets provided ( under the terms of the BY-NC-SA licence), interpreting and re-envisioning the the film and its subject material in what is bound to be a variety of ways. By putting the film’s assets in the hands of would-be-editors and film-makers under CC-licences, Tracey: Re-Fragmented recognizes and embraces the concept of a hybrid economy, allowing people to experiment freely with the content around them while retaining the film’s commercial interests.
The Tracey Fragments already represents a fascinating foray into unique narrative and filmic techniques (specifically multi-frame editing) and Tracey: Re-Fragmented continues that experimental nature into the realm of content licensing. It should be noted that Re-Fragmented also functions as a contest in which the winner will receive a Tracey/Final Cut prize package, the details of which can be found at the “Re-Fragmented” section at the “Tracey website. The Tracey Fragments has its US premier at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles on Nov. 6th at 6:45. You can find other select screening times at the Tracey Fragments blog.3 Comments »