Last month, Apple released Garageband at MacWorld, letting any budding musician create music from its suite of sophisticated but simple audio tools. Given the potential for thousands of musicians recording new songs at home, we knew it was a great fit for Creative Commons and we’re very happy to see a new community has sprung up around the software, at MacBand. They’ve just launched but have a system setup to categorize dozens of song styles and loops, with every song available under a Creative Commons license, letting you make remixes and new songs from others work. Garageband has the great potential to become a collaborative music tool and MacBand looks like a great way to facilitate that.Comments Off
Government documents supplied by Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind for his book, The Price of Loyalty, are now available online. The site makes use of the Creative Commons public domain mark.
These documents, drawn from a collection of 19,000 files, are called “The Bush Files” and Suskind is encouraging other administration officials to contribute to the database, “to encourage more productive, fact-based public dialogues,” as stated on the website.Comments Off
Once upon a time, Apple’s slogan “Rip. Mix. Burn.” meant “make as many copies as you want of your legally purchased music.” Now it means “make the limited number of copies we deem appropriate.” All that’s being ripped, mixed, and burned are fair-use laws
Annalee Newitz writes about the current state of P2P and DRM (digital rights management) in the latest issue of the SF Bay Guardian. She finds the landscape in downloadable music has changed significantly and lays down what it means for customers and the recording industry alike.Comments Off
Fading Ways Music, an indie record label based out of Toronto, announced their 2004 releases will be sold under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike licenses. Fading Ways Music is the first internationally-distributed label to adopt Creative Commons licensing for its new physical CD releases. Fading Ways articulates its philosophy for open-licenses nicely on its mission page. Neil Leyton, the label’s manager, makes a great quote here: “Music Publishing as a concept is wrong. No one creates songs out of thin air.”Comments Off
Cory Doctorow, author of the acclaimed sci-fi book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, has a new novel out in stores called Eastern Standard Tribe. Like Down and Out, it is both available for purchase as well as for free download, under a Creative Commons license.Comments Off
Etech is regarded by many as the best tech conference of the year, always in step with the latest creations and aspirations of the alpha geeks, having evolved from the Peer-to-Peer Conference in early 2001 and P2P & Web Services in late 2001 to the current multi-tracked annual conference starting two years ago. (Incidentally, the Creative Commons concept was introduced at ETCon 2002. How time flies.)
Matt Haughey and Mike Linksvayer will be attending. Stop by the Creative Commons booth, or better yet our participant session (time and location yet to be announced). We’ll be introducing a new CC metadata-enhanced application. Hint: it’s described in one of our tech challenges, heretofore unmet.
If you’re in the area but not an attendee, you can still register for a free exhibits pass, or an exhibits plus keynotes and birds-of-a-feather (participant sessions) pass for only $50. Hope to see you there!Comments Off
Victor Stone writes a remixer-readable description on how the new Creative Commons Sampling license compares to our standard licenses. He also mentions that it’s important to have format specific metdata, so that search engines can find Creative Commons licensed audio, as opposed to text, images, or video. This way remixers can easily find sounds they can remix legally, rather than having to wade through a mass of content.
You get format specific metadata when you choose a license and designate what format your content is in. We’ll soon launch a seach engine that reads this metadata so that you can find works to use as part of your own creations. Unfortunately, currently no major search engine offers this service.Comments Off
iRATE Radio, an open-source application that sends users free-legal MP3s through its radio client, is now able to read the ID3 tags of MP3 files to identify Creative Commons license information. Enabling this kind of feature is exactly why Creative Commons put forth its MP3 embedding strategy many months ago, which defines a standard way to embed Creative Commons metadata in the ID3 tag of an MP3. Our hope was that file-sharing networks, and applications like iRATE, would read the ID3 tags, and tell users if there was a Creative Commons license attached. This way, users could feel assured to trade these MP3s online, or even make remixes of them. Check out some screenshots of the CC enabled iRATE Radio application.
iRATE has yet to enable the second part of our MP3 strategy, where MP3s are validated through an automatic web page verification process. (Validation can be done manually, though). This step is important because it prevents people from making fraudulent license claims about the MP3s.
Beyond being able to read ID3 tags, iRATE Radio has a catalogue of over 46,000 MP3s it can send you. It’s also really smart in that it enables users to rate songs and then sends you more songs based on your ratings and preferences. We hope that more applications follow the lead of iRATE!Comments Off
Linux Journal has a great interview with John Buckman from Magnatune, the non-evil record label that sells Creative Commons licensed music on a sliding scale. It’s turning out to be lucrative for the artists involved, with the average musician taking in $1,500 in royaltes last year and the top artists making over $6,000 in royalties (which are 50% of sales).
While six thousand dollars won’t buy you a Bentley or a mansion for MTV Cribs, most artists listed at Magnatune are independent musicians that record at home. Considering that for most Magnatune artists, it means sending a few high quality recordings to a server and later getting thousands of dollars in royalties, it’s a pretty good system for the struggling musician. Combined with the services of something like Pump Audio, today’s independent artist has a lot of avenues to make money off their music while still letting others share it freely online.Comments Off