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WIRED CD — going forward

Neeru Paharia, October 1st, 2004

Needless to say, the concert last week was unbelievable, especially after two years in the basement of the Stanford Law School (thank you Stanford), trying to convince people that new copyright licenses are the key to the evolution of culture and intellect in the new millennium — often responded to with a deafening silence, and then: “click.” When we’re not preaching to the choir, we’re often faced with this challenging task: communicating a complicated concept to people who aren’t really sure why they’re talking to you.

Hopefully, not for much longer. What excites me most about this project is that people will get it instantly. Download Gilberto Gil’s song, cut it up in the latest music-editing software, add your own unique flavor, and put it back on the Net (or webcast it, or play it on a loudspeaker from the back of a truck). No problems — it’s all legal.

What I look forward to most is to see what people are going to do with the CD. How many people will sample songs and make something new? Will they be hobbyists, or music professionals? Will we hear these new samples on the radio? Or, will communities on the Net interact with each other, interacting with the CD? Is this my beautiful house? What else is possible? Wait and see, I guess. In the meantime, I’ll keep talking to people about copyright licenses, and how they are the key to cultural evolution.

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