Commons News

CC Remix Music

Neeru Paharia, March 17th, 2004

Check out some tunes from Funktifyno. I really like the live recording of That One — a great jazz jam. Funktifyno is based out of Portland, Oregon. Go remix!

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Music Sharing, SXSW

Neeru Paharia, March 17th, 2004

From the South by Southwest Music Festival, Creative Commons brings you the new Music Sharing License and Get Content search engine. This copyright license lets your fans know they can download, copy, and share your music online, but not sell, remix, or make any other commercial use out of it. (The license is based on the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license but now includes new music-specific language.)

Musicians already distributing their MP3s online should opt for the Music Sharing License to invite listeners to legally download the songs they love — and to get noticed with our new Get Content search engine, which points people to music free to share.

Internet music lovers should look for the Share Music logo, or the standard Some Rights Reserved logo to find music they can legally downloads.

We announced the Music Sharing License at a panel this week entitled Legal Music Promotion: File-Sharing, Sampling or Both?. We also previewed Mixter (more details soon), an application that will expose connections between different remixes of songs. The panelists described how Creative Commons licenses facilitate music distribution, discovery, and community on the Internet, in reference to their own projects. Panelist Sal Randolph from the Net label Opsound, discussed how an open-source philosophy guides Opsound to make sounds available to be remixed and curated by members of the community. Matthew King Kaufman of MP34U discussed the enourmous amount of free music on the Internet, and how groups like his are working to promote music discovery by curating personal playlists. Jake Shapiro of Public Radio Exchange, discussed how opening up content has allowed an important peer review process to enhance the value of the content. Great thanks to Chris Kelty, Professor of Anthropology at Rice University, who facilitated the whole panel. I wanted to throw out a bunch of questions to the panelists and audience, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time. Here are just a few:

*Why use the Music Sharing License rather than put your MP3 on the Internet with no official notice — why formalize it?

*Are people really afraid of downloading — even if it’s legal — in the face of possible lawsuits? Do we really need a license to clarify this?

*Could a CD that includeds noncommercial remix rights be more valuable than a CD without these rights? For example, if you sold a Madonna CD that included the right to make a noncommercial remix, could you charge more? Would this create more buzz about Madonna? If someone does end up making a great remix that could be commercialized, couldn’t this be a great new revenue stream for Madonna?

Music authoring software applications are easier to use than ever before — will this create demand for more Creative Commons licensed sounds to play with?

If you consider new sound software, legal tools like Creative Commons, and open online communities like Opsound, you’ll see a whole infrastrcuture that allows people to create their own sounds and build off others’. What’s the demand for this infrastructure? Do people really want to create and remix?

Bloggers have proven themselves to be an invaluable source of ideas and information — will self-published music authors and remixers be next? Will consuming music become more interactive — more like a video game, where the fan can participate in the process by making remixes?

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Machinista Festival

Neeru Paharia, March 17th, 2004

Machinista, an arts festival focusing on machine-related art, will use Creative Commons licenses for the DVD containing the winning entries. The winners will be chosen out of the 280 submissions, which are themed as “the world as seen by the machines.” Since the content will be CC-licensed, we’re also hoping to have it hosted at the Internet Archive so the world can download it for free — by using your own machine, of course.

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Local Heroes

Glenn Otis Brown, March 14th, 2004

If you’re at South by Southwest in Austin, come by our panels at 10am (music and copyright) and 11:30am (film and copyright) Monday morning. Special guests include two Austinites: tech-media renaissance man Wiley Wiggins and GET CREATIVE! contest winner Justin Cone, whose 2-minute short “Building on the Past” perfectly exemplifies the CC mission. (How many films do you know of that involved zero in royalty costs?)

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Neeru Paharia, March 14th, 2004

A large part of the Creative Commons team is excited to be in Austin at South By Southwest. On Monday, we’ll be speaking on panels discussing Creative Commons for music and film. We’ll also be announcing a few related project at the conference. See you there!

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CC Remix Music

Neeru Paharia, March 12th, 2004

I found PIA’s Symbols through the Creative Commons search engine — a great album of electronic music. You can find lots of music through the search engine, which has currently indexed only 50,000 URLs out of the 1,400,000 URLs we know to contain CC licensed content (there are another 400,000 URLs in the queue).

Symbols is under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, so if you use Apple’s Garageband, or Adobe’s Audition, among other music authoring applications, you can remix it. Imagine how great it would be if there was a “get content” button within these applications, that would find thousands of hours of CC licensed music that you could re-use, or remix. It’s only a matter of time.

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Something’s gotta be done about the Beatles

Matt Haughey, March 11th, 2004

Music journalist Devon Powers has a great piece on copyright terms, sampling, and the Beatles at PopMatters. In it, she looks at the Grey Album and comes to the conclusion that overly long copyright terms harm our culture by limiting the use of music as social force. Akin to “Free the Mouse” she arrives at the conclusion “Something’s gotta be done about the Beatles.”

And for all of us who hold music dear, we owe it to ourselves to not only let our musical past footnote our musical present, but also allow that past to live and breathe, change and reform, disappear and reappear in unexpected ways.

[via The Importance of…]

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Song Science, Part II: Fact and Fiction?

Glenn Otis Brown, March 11th, 2004

Matt’s post earlier today about Hit Song Science, a piece of software that uses algorithms to analyze songs to predict their likelihood of success in the market, reminded me of a favorite imaginative bit in Jonathan Franzen’s novel The Corrections, which was a big hit a couple years ago:

. . . Brian spent his executive afternoons noodling around with computer code . . . and writing a piece of software that in the fullness of time he quietly patented, quietly found a VC backer for, and one day, on the advice of this backer, quietly sold to the W Corporation for $19,500,000.

Brian’s product, called Eigenmelody, processed any piece of recorded music into an eigenvector that distilled the song’s tonal and melodic essence into discrete, manipulable coordinates. An Eigenmelody user could select a favorite Moby song, and Eigenmelody would spectroanalyze her choice, search a recorded-music database for songs with similar eigenvectors, and produce a list of kindred sounds that the user might otherwise have never found . . . . Eigenmelody was a parlor game, musicological tool, and record-sales-enhancer rolled into one.

Franzen’s fictional concept sounds more feasible and useful than Hit Song Science’s, but the parallels are interesting.

Separate point: I remember reading Franzen’s passage and thinking what an interesting dilemma for a novelist to have: If you come up with a great, compelling idea for an invention, do you pursue it in your art, or in real life?

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SF Weekly

Press Robot, March 11th, 2004

Polishing the Brass” by Garrett Kamps

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Lawrence Lessig talk in NYC next week

Matt Haughey, March 11th, 2004

Creative Commons co-founder and chairman Lawrence Lessig will be giving a talk entitled “Creativity and Its Enemies” next week. The event will take place on March 23rd at Buttenwieser Hall, 92nd Street at Lexington, in New York City. It’s a part of an ongoing series sponsored by Wired Magazine.

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