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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Matt Haughey, January 29th, 2004

This week’s featured content is Electrobel, a massive music community site for Belgian electronic music of all genres. There are over 2000 Creative Commons licensed tracks available for streaming and downloading. The site has an impressive array of features as well. Check out music by genre, by artist, or by song (the little diskette icon will let you download a song) and you can even leave comments for the artist on the songs you like. It’s a great way for DJs to share songs with each other and get comments and also a great way to hear new music for users. I keep coming back to the hip-hop section, fascinated by rhymes fast and hard in a language I can’t speak.

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The creativity explosion on Mars

Matt Haughey, January 27th, 2004

There’s a nice piece in the NYTimes about the increased levels of public participation in recent Mars landings. A big part of the reason is that given a large, interested population with broadband connections, NASA officials have done their best to share every bit of data, image, and video they can online, and as a result thousands of websites have cropped up including those by laymen colorizing images and even weblogs written from the rover’s point of view.

Thanks to NASA sharing every bit of information they can online, the experience of watching the Mars landing and exploration for students and observers today is a far cry from the days of the moon landing. Instead of a one-way communication delivered by grainy video on television, we have an interactive, two-way process where the viewer can help scientists on the other side of the globe and take in information along with millions of others, sharing their own interpretations online.

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Fusedspace contest

Matt Haughey, January 27th, 2004

An interesting contest has just opened for entries, called Fusedspace. “An international design competition on innovative applications for new technology in the public domain” is how they describe themselves but keep in mind the term “public domain” in this case is more specific to public spaces. The contest is set to give away over 17 thousand Euros in prize money for the best proposals that meld public spaces, technology, art, and community. Entry deadline is April 30th.

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City art and CC licenses

Matt Haughey, January 27th, 2004

Over at the blog “A Month Full Of Wednesdays” I noticed a post describing a recent Minneapolis call for music and video to play in stations and a recent call for artwork for Cleveland’s public transit. The post mentions an idea to extend Cleveland art requests to include audio for use in stations and the transit authority’s hold system.

The author mentions that Creative Commons licenses would be a good idea to level the playing field and allow the municipal companies to share the music with others on their site freely. We can’t help but agree; these projects calling for artwork, music, and video for public transportation ask creators to contribute their work for the good of the community, much like our licenses do for the good of a greater culture.

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Versioning — Public Review Begins

Glenn Otis Brown, January 26th, 2004

As we announced last week, we’re getting ready to roll out Version 2.0 of the eleven original Creative Commons licenses. Review a draft of v2.0 of the by-nc-sa license (from which all other licenses are composed) and let us know what you think. It’ll be up until Feb. 15, and we may make updates in the meantime — we’ll let you know.

A review of the changes, with directions to the relevant section:

  • Warranties will now be a matter of choice for the licensor. See Section 5a.
  • The attribution clause will include a link-back requirement simliar to the one previously discussed here. Licensees will only be required to link back to licensors if (1) it’s reasonably practical to do so; (2) the licensor actually specifies a URI; (3) that URI actually points to license information about the work. See Section 4d.
  • The Share Alike provision will be more flexible. The provision will allow licensees to license resulting derivative works under Creative Commons licenses that feature the same license restrictions/permissions, including future and iCommons versions of the same license. The Share Alike provision will also be clearer about what happens when different kinds of Share Alike content is mixed together (e.g., How to license a collage made from an SA photograph combined with an NC-SA photograph). See Section 4b.
  • Ideas for creating compatibility between our SA license and the GNU FDL are coming soon. We’ll post here and to the cc-licenses list when it’s ready.


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The first new social movement of the century?

Matt Haughey, January 24th, 2004

The New York Times Magazine mentions Creative Commons in a long piece about copyright reform this week. The article seems to be aimed at a general overview of the movement and forgets a few key details, like Richard Stallman being the man behind Copyleft.

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