Magnatune gets to blogging

Matt Haughey, March 10th, 2004

John Buckman, creator and head of the non-evil, Creative Commons friendly music label Magnatune has started his own blog. A recent gem is the exchange his wife had with a music executive at an industry conference. Great stuff.

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Mainstreaming of mash-ups

Matt Haughey, March 10th, 2004

At the tail end of last night’s broadcast of ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, they did a short piece on music mash-ups (video only available to ABCnews premium subscribers).

There’s an interview with Mitch Butler and he does a live mash-up demo of Eminem’s Without Me laid over Scott Joplin’s ragtime piano classics. ABCnews also covers the DJ Dangermouse’s Grey Album controversy. Unfortunately, the piece characterizes all mash-ups as completely illegal and alludes to people using PCs and audio software as potentially doing great harm to the music industry.

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Creative Commons at DSpace

Mike Linksvayer, March 10th, 2004

Ben Adida, one of our technical advisors, will be talking about Creative Commons at the DSpace User Meeting on Thursday morning at MIT. He will demonstrate the integration of the CC license selection process into the DSpace application. Thanks to the CC License Engine, this development work can be done in a few hours, providing any web-based application with the full, always-up-to-date, selection of Creative Commons Licenses.

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Buzznet adds licenses

Matt Haughey, March 9th, 2004

Buzznet is a photoblog community offering free hosting space for your digital photos and mobile phone shots. They offer image uploads via your web browser and cameraphones using email, making it easy to setup your own gallery of photos. Recently we noticed they became the first photoblogging service to offer the ability to license your gallery under a Creative Commons license.

If you’ve got a cameraphone or bunch of digital photos you’d like to share, sign up for a new account then simply select a license in the preferences to apply it to all your photos.

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Recycling Perfected — but Formalized?

Glenn Otis Brown, March 8th, 2004

Questions of the day: Hip-hop artists and DJs have long made a practice of inviting remixes by releasing acapella or instrumental tracks. What stops them from formalizing that invitation with, say, a CC license? Is it that the music-biz lawyers want to reserve the right to hold remixers hostage, in the event they start to become too successful, or stray too far aesthetically? If that’s not the explanation, what is? There’s something about the practice that’s reminiscent of the Speakeasy or back-room gambling joint: when a vibrant sampling underground is uncovered, copyright holders are shocked, shocked to learn the law has been broken.

Related news: The New York Times today inventoried the growing catalog of Jay-Z mash-ups, from the oh-so-scandalous Grey Album *(Jay-Z + Beatles) to Double Black Album (Jay-Z + Metallica), plus about ten more. I’m glad the whole controversy has everyone talking about copyright and art, but it’s a shame that the Grey Album has gotten all the attention. Some of these other mashes are better-executed as records, in my view, if less grand in high concept. I think Illmind’s Black and Tan Album works pretty well, for example, even though its samples are less familiar than the Grey Album’s.

All this makes it more striking to hear people say that remixing is not music, that the manipulation of sound recordings is less worthy an art form than the manipulation of abstract notes and rhythms. Of course rock-and-roll once faced the same criticism — it wasn’t real music. And then came the Beatles, who by no means invented rock but certainly perfected it, so that even the old foagies fogies eventually came to take its merit for granted. Will it require a masterpiece of mash for remix culture finally to win legitimacy? Who will be the Beatles of bricolage?

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CC Stories

Glenn Otis Brown, March 6th, 2004

Just a quick note to say I just downloaded your MP3 from the
site. It’s good to know that my music was good enough to be included in
your report. I enjoy fact that other people can appreciate it and use it
freely in their own work.


Laurie Laptop

My friend Benjamen Walker received this email the other day.

(Ben is the guy behind the award-winning and cult-fave Boston radio show Your Radio Nighlight and our own cartoons‘ sound design.)

Ben recently produced a short piece for Harvard’s Berkman Center‘s great AudioBerkman project called “The Gadget Factor.” The segment takes “a closer look a cool new class of high-tech toys — the portable MP3 player — to find out what effect these devices are having on the world of online music.”

The piece features interviews with media analysts and lawyers — including both EFF’s Fred Von Lohmann and the RIAA’s Cary Sherman. And like all Ben Walker radio pieces of late, it is built around loops of Creative Commons-licensed music.

For “Gadget,” Ben used CC’d tunes by Wayne Marshall, Norel Pref. and Laurie Laptop — who authored of the email above.

Another satisfying CC story.

Do you have a good one? Send it to us with “CC Story” in the subject box and we’ll let everyone know.

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Just In Tokyo ebook

Matt Haughey, March 3rd, 2004

This week’s featured content is the ebook Just In Tokyo. It’s a offbeat guidebook to Tokyo written by web veteran Justin Hall and is now available for download under a Creative Commons license. First printed a few years go, it’s now out of print and Justin is asking for voluntary donations if you like the downloadable book.

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Creative Commons at UC Davis School of Law

Neeru Paharia, March 3rd, 2004

Creative Commons’ Assistant Director, Neeru Paharia will be on a panel titled Music in the Digital Era this Thursday at the UC Davis School of Law. The panel, cosponsored by the Entertainment and Sports Law Society and California Lawyers for the Arts, will focus on the effects of digital mediums and internet downloading on the music industry.

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Japanese iCommons licenses available now!

Glenn Otis Brown, March 3rd, 2004

I am very happy to announce that our Japanese-law and -language licenses are now available for use from our site. Just select “Jurisdiction: Japan” when choosing a license, and the site will point you to the right document. For those with browsers set to English, the Commons Deed will appear in English. For those with broswers set to Japanese, in Japanese. And the underlying legal code is in Japanese.

This is a major milestone for Creative Commons, and I’d like to extend a special thank you to GLOCOM for driving iCommons Japan, to Yuko Noguchi and Emi Wakatsuki for their extraordinary efforts, and to Machina for her keen insights at various points in the drafting process.

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Creative Commons at the W3C

Glenn Otis Brown, March 2nd, 2004

Ben Adida, one of our tech advisors, will attend the Semantic Web portion of the World Wide Web Consortium Plenary Session this Thursday and Friday in Cannes, France. RDF, the technology we chose 18 months ago to build our machine-readable licenses, recently became a finalized W3C recommendation.

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