CASH Music, an acronym for Coalition of Artists & Stake Holders, recently launched with great promise. Focusing on the ability for “read-write” culture to foster a better artistic community, their mission statement lays out some big ideas with equally large potential:
The community we hope to foster at CASH Music is participatory, supportive, and beneficial to listeners and artists alike. It may help to think of CASH Music as a battery, two poles sending energy back and forth. The artistic creator stands at one pole with the community at the other — creative energy flowing between these two points creates value. The artist makes that initial investment; their money, their resources, their time and their ideas. But that’s only the beginning. Via CASH Music you’re asked to interact with this output, assess it, be inspired by it, enhancing it’s value. Once that value is perceived you are asked to contribute accordingly — your money, your ideas, your effort, or all of the above.
Equally as promising is CASH’s commitment to Creative Commons licensing:
Creative Commons plays a large part in what we’re building at CASH, because the licenses they’ve developed will allow for the read-write community we hope to nurture.
Creative Commons licenses are often misunderstood as being anti-copyright. In fact, they are proper copyright licenses developed by top lawyers who aim to find a reasonable balance between ensuring that creators retain rights to their work, and that consumers can enjoy it as intended. That may sound a little commercial, but copyright — even Creative Commons and the copyleft movement — is rooted in the commercial use of creative content. These new ideas are simply legal avenues through which such content can find sustainable life without shunning new social technologies.
In other words, by embracing Creative Commons we can help artists release music in the way that’s best for them and help listeners connect to and support those artists in new ways.
CASH seems to truly understand how the flow of content works in the digital age (they have a cool business plan, which Wired covered last week). Take a look at CASH co-founder (and genune rock star) Kristin Hersh’s artist page, where she discusses her vision for the company and also features a new song, “Slippershell” (CC BY-NC-SA), which you can download in a variety of formats (including Pro Tools Stems), with an option for monetary donation.
CASH looks to be a vibrant and formidable player in the changing landscape of artistic creation and collaboration. This is the sort of project that CC-licenses were conceived for – one that gives content creators and consumers a chance to blur the lines between themselves in a fruitful, mutually beneficial, and legally sound environment.