2005 March

Our Media launched

Matt Haughey, March 23rd, 2005

Our Media is an ambitious new project to host and curate Creative Commons licensed works that others can view, comment on, rate, and download. In conjunction with the Internet Archive, Our Media is offering free hosting for anyone that would like to upload their works. Our Media also uses a custom version of our CC Publisher desktop application tool, and our new version of the CC Publisher tool will soon make it possible for other similar sites to produce their own custom versions.

One of my favorite new works at Our Media was Sam Bisbee’s You Are Here video, which is great to listen to and fascinating to watch. The video was made using thousands of still photos set to music — quite creative and an inventive way to shoot a music video.

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The Shape of Things to Come: 5 Cents

Neeru Paharia, March 21st, 2005

This last Saturday, I was on a panel at the SXSW Music Festival entitled The Shape of Things to Come. On the panel were some industry legends including Sandy Pearlman and Peter Jenner (former manager of Pink Floyd).

The panel somehow converged around the idea of a 5 cent download, and how it would be a better model both economically, and socially. I wonder if anyone has drawn the demand curves to see where there’s more money. If marginal cost is close to zero, then you could have 1 million people buying songs for 1 dollar, versus 25 million people buying songs for 5 cents – maybe the lower price wins?

It did get me thinking that maybe we (or someone) should build a Creative Commons 5 cent download site. It could be a good test case, and it would also help artists get compensated. Of course, since all the works would be CC licensed, tracks could probably be legally traded noncommercially. However, if there was one central place with a good recommendation engine and user interface (not to mention good musicians), I bet people would go for it. Any takers?

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Rock out on Mixter!

Neeru Paharia, March 21st, 2005

If you haven’t already been there, check out CC Mixter. Mixter is a site for musicians that operates sort of like Friendster, in that it lets you find other musicians based on their musical interests and talents. What’s new, though, is you can see how music is related to each other based on who’s sampling and mashing-up who. For example, if I’ve sampled your song, the system will create a link between our two songs.

Currently, all of the tracks on Mixter are licensed under the Sampling Licenses, giving you the right to noncommercially distribute, and sample or mash up, either commercially or noncommercially, based on the license.

We’re hoping that Mixter becomes a central place for musicians to find tracks they can LEGALLY sample, without any hassle. We’re also hoping Mixter becomes a place where artists can be discovered, using the power of Creative Commons. To get the ball rolling, we’ll soon be running a contest where the winners will get a Magnatune contract. You can help by pointing your friends to Mixter, file-sharing or podcasting tracks you like, or whatever else you can think of to get the music out there.

Fortunately, the Fine Art of Sampling contest drew out some GREAT musicians, who have contributed some GREAT tracks. For example this remix by sHORT fACED bEAR of Girl and Supergirl, by Lisa DeBenedictis. Or, Living Stereo (2005) by Teru which samples

The Critic – Coffee House Rendezvous(II)
sacred sand
, and
Living Stereo (1958)
. Or, check out One Two Three by Sharp, which both samples a bunch of songs, and is sampled by a few (I won’t bother to make any more hyperlinks here – that’s what’s Mixter is for – it does it for you!).

For a quick tour, you can stream the editoral picks, or if you’re looking for something specific, check out some of the tags. There’s also an RSS feed.

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Creative Commons Europe

Glenn Otis Brown, March 19th, 2005

I had the good fortune to attend the Creative Commons Europe summit in Amsterdam this week. The meeting, part of the Creative Capital conference, was organized by the Waag Society’s Paul Keller, the public project lead of CC-Netherlands. It was one of those great happenings, more and more frequent these days, that snap your eyes open to Creative Commons’ long-term potential, and to how far we’ve come already: over 40 European Creative Commons project leads and volunteers from Spain, the Ukraine, and everywhere in between, brainstorming for two days about organizational structures, promotion strategy, and tough legal issues, like a free-culture EU. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone — many for the first time — after so many email exchanges, and having the chance to listen to their stories about all their work. Paul deserves a medal (if we had those to give out) for pulling the event together, and there aren’t words to describe Creative Commons’ indebtedness to Christiane Asschenfeldt and Roland Honekamp for coordinating, over only the last year and a half no less, the development of such a great network of people. It was one of those events that feels both like a milestone and yet a beginning. Indeed, watch this space as we try to develop similar meetings around the world. (Photos will soon follow, too.)

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Free Culture On Tour

Neeru Paharia, March 18th, 2005

Free Culture may be visiting a college, youth media group, or festival near you. Brooklyn-based artist Colin Mutchler, in partnership with FreeCulture.org, has launched a five-week tour which kicked off last week at South by Southwest.

The Free Culture show mixes music, images, and spoken word to demonstrate the complex and entertaining cross section between cultural property and freedom. Check it out!

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Remix Reading Competition

Neeru Paharia, March 18th, 2005

Remix Reading is holding a remix competition. Here’s an excerpt from their site:

After an extremely successful launch event, Remix Reading is pushing the boundaries of the local cultural community with a remix competition. Over the next month, we want to see who can create the best remix of a piece of work already on the website.

There will be four winners, one in each category (audio, image, text, video). They will each receive the following great prizes:

* Your work on a LOCA Records compilation CD (if LOCA like it enough)
* A Creative Commons t-shirt
* A DVD full of great Creative Commons videos
* A copy me / remix me compilation CD
* A copy of the Wired CD and that issue of the Wired magazine
* A CD from LOCA Records
* Stickers, badges and fake tattoos

The closing date is Monday 11th April and the winners will be announced on Friday 15th April. The competition is being judged by a panel from Remix Reading, Creative Commons and LOCA Records.

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Code v.2: Participation Requested

Neeru Paharia, March 18th, 2005

A new web-based experiment is being undertaken by Creative Commons’ Chairman, Lawrence Lessig. In 1999, Professor Lessig wrote Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. After five years in print and five years of changes in law, technology, and the context in which they reside, he realized that Code needed an update, so he opened it up to the world to help. Using wiki technologies provided by JotSpot, you, or anyone else can contribute updates to Code.

Once the the project nears completion, Professor Lessig will take the contents of the wiki and ready it for publication. The resulting book, Code v.2, will be published in late 2005 by Basic Books. All royalties, including the book advance, will be donated to Creative Commons.

An excerpts from the site:

In the six years since its first publication, cyberspace has evolved to the point where Code now needs an update. In the five years since Code v.1, cyberspace has also evolved to enable new forms of digital creativity. In applying these new tools to the now-old text, we’re harnessing the knowledge, creativity, and experience of the community, hopefully to build a better update than could have been done alone. This type of project was not possible until very recently: it is an experiment in technology and collaborative creativity. We’re excited to see what happens.

This project also debuts the beta release of a newly branded Wiki license. The license works like Attribution-ShareAlike, however, attribution can be set to the wiki, in this case Code v.2 Wiki, rather than each individual author.

We’ve made this slight modification to the attribution clause in this beta version, and used it for this wiki, but we won’t release the license generally till we’ve had the ordinary time for discussion.

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American Bar Association Licenses Essays

Neeru Paharia, March 18th, 2005

It recently has come to our attention and that the American Bar Association has Creative Commons licensed essays on the USA PATRIOT provisions.

What better a compliment than to have this prestigious association of lawyers use Creative Commons licenses for their content. We’re truly honored.

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Washington Post on Creative Commons

Glenn Otis Brown, March 15th, 2005

Great and particularly well researched article on Creative Commons in the Washington Post today.

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Notes from the Underground

Glenn Otis Brown, March 15th, 2005

Today at SXSW in Austin, WIRED music editor Eric Steurer, red-hot remix artist DJ Reset, and I talked on a panel about “Notes from the Underground: The Rise of Remix Culture.” As fits the subject, there was some very good audience participation and back-and-forth, and Reset told some good anecdotes about living on the bleeding edge of digital creativity.

Check out this recent story on DJ Reset from the New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones.

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