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5 Reasons to Participate in the Creative Commons

Ever since ASCAP, the performing-rights organization, sent out a fundraising letter to its members in which it singled out Creative Commons as a underminer of copyright, the subject of the business of the creative process has sparked yet another round of online discourse. I was invited by the websbite weallmakemusic.com to summarize the arguments in favor of Creative Commons — a non-profit organization that develops licenses that help artists (musicians, yes, but also painters, photographers, filmmakers, and so on) navigate a world so mightily transformed by the Internet and associated technologies.

I’ll post, for archival purposes, the full piece here in a week or so, once it’s had its run at We All Make Music. The five most pertinent reasons I came up with are (1) Creative Commons is non-exclusive, (2) you choose the license that’s right for your work, (3) Creative Commons is optional, (4) traditional performing rights organizations don’t necessarily have your individual interest at heart, and (5) Creative Commons is wired for networked creation.

The Creative Commons is an important topic for all the art discussed on Disquiet.com — issues of authorship, of sampling, of piracy, and of free distribution (the latter being the reason there’s enough music for me to recommend a legal free download every weekday) are at the core of this site’s mission.

Read the full piece (“Five Reasons For a Musician to Consider the Creative Commons”) at weallmakemusic.com.

For background on that troubling ASCAP mailer, check out the discussion at Molly Sheridan’s artsjournal.com/gap.

More on Creative Commons at creativecommons.org.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

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