2004 February

Yaaar!: The Music Pirates’ Manifesto

Matt Haughey, February 5th, 2004

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.

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Fading Ways Music, indie label, announces 2004 releases will be CC!

Neeru Paharia, February 4th, 2004

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.”

Fading Ways joins other labels, such as Opsound, Magnatune, and Loca Records that embrace Creative Commons licenses, enabling fans to rip, mix, and burn their favorite tunes without legal doubt.

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New Doctorow novel out under license

Matt Haughey, February 4th, 2004

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.

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CC at O’Reilly Etech

Mike Linksvayer, February 4th, 2004

Creative Commons will be an exhibitor at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego next week.

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!

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Some words from a remixer

Neeru Paharia, February 4th, 2004

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.

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iRATE Radio Application reads MP3 files to identify CC licensed songs

Neeru Paharia, February 4th, 2004

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!

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Magnatune making money for Creative Commons musicians

Matt Haughey, February 4th, 2004

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.

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Glenn Otis Brown, February 1st, 2004

So nice to see our tagline continue to catch on. There’s a nice profile of Creative Commons in the InfoTech section of the Singaporean news outlet Today. It’s entitled “Some Rights Reserved.”

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