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stuck between a rock and a hard spot

Hi there,

I am in a complicated situation, but maybe any of you has an advice. Here is the situation:

I believe in music which is free to get remixed or reused in any possible way without money getting involved. Or as one of the musicians I introduced in my podcast said " Learning is the capability to create derivative works! ... It’s about evolution, there should be no angry lawyers trying to sue you because of your creativity to create derivative works…
There is no way free content can become mainstream without entering the commercial arena, otherwise it will be forever restricted as the selected semi-untouchable free resources (which is not bad, it simply can be better than that, I think)"
.

I think that such licensed music (that legalizes derivatives and commercial use) can be both a social innovation and a musical revolution and so I am doing a podcast that introduces artists who make songs which are under a "very free" licence like the CC-BY-SA or that are even freeer. (like Licence Art Libre, Public Domain, GPL-SFA, EFF Open Audio License...)

In order to find such songs I search in Dogmazic or Jamendo or on other portals. Usually I write a nice message to a musician whos music I like and ask him /her to use one of their songs in my podcast and ask him/her some questions about their musical background or their lifestyle to give the listeners of the podcast some background information about the artist.

Now lately I recieve more often the reaction that an artist who has previously used a "very free" licence (like one of the above) changes that licence to a more restrictive licence like CC-BY-NC after I asked him to introduce him in my podcast.

As I wrote above my intention is to popularize music that is "very free" (that allows derivatives and commercial use) and I don't want to introduce songs that are "not that much free" in my podcast. Unfortunatelly it seems to me that by asking artists who license their songs under a "very free" licence I influence them so that they change that licence to a more restrictive licence which may be understandable though I think very problematic.

When I started that podcast I usually received very positive answers by musicians I asked and it was huge fun to introduce them and their music in that podcast but lately I get more often frustrated, as picking good "very free" songs and writing their authors costs a lot of my sparetime. When they change the licence to a more restrictive one, after I wrote them, this time seems somehow lost for me.

Besides when I write them "Hey, I like your songs and I like that you licence them under a free licence. Can I podcast that and that song of yours? " this seems the motivation for such an artist to take the free licence back and replace it by a more restrictive licence. And this again would be against my intention to make "very free" licensed songs more popular.

Now I think that I can't tell people to not license their songs under a CC-BY-NC or more restrictive license but I can stop making them change their licence from CC-BY to CC-BY-NC just by stopping to ask artists if I can use their songs and just do it. Alternatively I could totally stop that "very free" music podcast as the work on it seems to make the domain of "very free" music smaller.

This again would mean less value for the artist (people would not read about him) and less fun for me. Does any of you have a better idea?

A bit frustrated, (but just a bit ;)
Torsten

Réponses

  • Hi Torsten,

    thanks for sharing your views and your frustration. I understand you support "very free" music.

    I didn't know that there were such a thing as "very free" music.

    I find a bit contradictory the fact that you support very free (as in freedom)music, and ask on the other hand the artists to change their license in a way they drop the ND and NC clauses.

    From my point of view as an artist, I use open licenses because they allow more flexibility and choice.

    I would understand somehow you would ask artists to allow more derivative works, but I think you will find on this platform loads of artists who are really attached to the NC clause.
    We had the example recently of a forum member who found one of his album for sale without his consent (apparently it was legal because his tracks were published under a LAL allowing any third party to commercialise his works) and he seemed mildly upset, that this e-shop did it without his consent.
    i suppose he didn't realise the extent of too much laxism !

    The purpose of any open licenses is to ease works circulation, and they allow a great freedom to the public, and NC clauses don't stop works from being commercialised they just ensure that the author has given his consent.

    I don't see why from a podcaster point of view it should matter really !
    Unless your podcast lives only on adverts income ?

    cheers
  • torsten écrit:

    Besides when I write them "Hey, I like your songs and I like that you licence them under a free licence. Can I podcast that and that song of yours? " this seems the motivation for such an artist to take the free licence back and replace it by a more restrictive licence. And this again would be against my intention to make "very free" licensed songs more popular.

    I'm not sure i unterstand that.
    Firstly, when you want to podcast a very free song, you don't need to ask the authors opinion. Of course, telling them is nice, but mandatory. All you have to do is respect the licence (link the author and else)

    Secondly, i can't see why an artist would change their licence because you do contact them

    And finally, even if they do change the licence, the copy you downloaded with a very free licence is still i that licence. Another licence on a song can't take back a right another one allready granted. But i can see the point. Why would anyone do that? i really can't see that...

    I totally agree with you on the fact that very free licence should be more popular ( and i like that way of calling them, cause it still respects the restrictive licences)
    I will release my work under such a licence when i have a recording done :D

    My advice is to keep up with podcast. Poeple who change licence didn't really understand it in the first place. I think more and more people will come to very free licence, but we have to be patient and keep working on it
  • I must say, as far as I am concerned, I will not release my songs under "very free licenses".
    I think I give enough already, I write songs (I even thought I should add a ND clause), where lyrics are at the core of every composition, and they're freely available to any podcaster who wish to include them on his program, as well as for the public who can play it, burn it, share it very easily.

    I mentioned the lyrics, this is a key point that makes me consider the ND. Not that I am against any kind of derivative work, but if I say something in a song, for what it's worth, somebody might take my voice and my words, shuffle them round and can make me say something else, sometimes the result can be interesting and sometimes not or it could even say the opposite of what you intended at first.
    Imagine having a book out published under a very free license, anybody can change the meaning of the original text, leaving the name of the original author, who can easily be misquoted for things he hasn't said in his book...

    Most of the time I will give my consent, as I am all for derivative work, but I want to keep an eye on how the lyrics might be changed. As for the music, it doesn't matter...
  • He Edised,

    Thanks for your response.
    edised écrit:
    I didn't know that there were such a thing as "very free" music.

    Well, this is not an official term, I just use to call music that can be used commercially and that allow derivatives "very free" music in order to specify it from music that doesn't allow this.

    edised écrit:
    I find a bit contradictory the fact that you support very free (as in freedom)music, and ask on the other hand the artists to change their license in a way they drop the ND and NC clauses.

    Sorry for not telling this clear enough: I do not ask artists to change their licence. In fact I'd like to do the opposite: to ask them to {b]not change [/b] the once chosen licence. In my point of view changing the licence of a one once published song shows a lot of disrespect for the licences. In fact such a behaviour makes using cc-licensed material harder and unsafer, as there is no way to really proof which song was under which licence at what time.
    edised écrit:
    I don't see why from a podcaster point of view it should matter really !
    Unless your podcast lives only on adverts income ?

    How many adverts do you see exactly on my podcast ?
    As I said before: I believe that music is not a commodity and therefore should not be used to make money. So that is why I like to support music that kind of "corrupts" ;) the music business just because it is pretty unattractive to sell.

    Hope to have clearified some of my points.
    Torsten
  • LaSp écrit:
    torsten écrit:
    Besides when I write them "Hey, I like your songs and I like that you licence them under a free licence. Can I podcast that and that song of yours? " this seems the motivation for such an artist to take the free licence back and replace it by a more restrictive licence. And this again would be against my intention to make "very free" licensed songs more popular.

    I'm not sure i unterstand that.
    Firstly, when you want to podcast a very free song, you don't need to ask the authors opinion. Of course, telling them is nice, but mandatory.

    Exactly, I am a nice guy, and I think it gives musicians good feelings if they know that their work is used somewhere. Besides I often ask the musiscians for background information which I add as additional value to the podcasted songs.
    LaSp écrit:
    Secondly, i can't see why an artist would change their licence because you do contact them

    This is a mystery to me as well, but just happened to me this week. One artist wrote me that he changed his mind about the licence CC-By licence he choose and now better uses CC-NY-NC, the other one wrote me that choosing CC-BY for his songs was an error on his side and that he meant to use a more restrictive licence right from the beginning.

    As I understand that there is a lot of experimenting with those licences and their opportunities that are new to many musicians I consider it irresponsible to switch licences for the same song. I mean if one artist decided that this or that licence is crap he should use another one for his next yet unpublished songs.
    LaSp écrit:
    And finally, even if they do change the licence, the copy you downloaded with a very free licence is still i that licence.

    I know of no way (besides the still very small registered commons project) to proove that a now CC-BY-NC song has been under a CC-BY licence two weeks ago. The id3-tag that contains the licence information can be edited and even screenshots can be easily manipulated. So I have nothing in my hands if an author of a former CC-BY song sues me because I made and published a derivative work or play in my pizzeria such a song.
    LaSp écrit:
    I totally agree with you on the fact that very free licence should be more popular ( and i like that way of calling them, cause it still respects the restrictive licences)
    I will release my work under such a licence when i have a recording done :D

    I am absolutelly looking forward to your songs. Good luck with that project.
    LaSp écrit:
    My advice is to keep up with podcast. Poeple who change licence didn't really understand it in the first place. I think more and more people will come to very free licence, but we have to be patient and keep working on it

    Okay, thanks LaSp, I'll try to be patient.
    Cheers,
    Torsten
  • Hi Edised,

    your points are all true and I understand you. Though I am not a big fan of ND-NC I think each licence has their right to exist ;)

    cheers,
    Torsten
  • edised écrit:
    I must say, as far as I am concerned, I will not release my songs under "very free licenses".
    I think I give enough already, I write songs (I even thought I should add a ND clause), where lyrics are at the core of every composition, and they're freely available to any podcaster who wish to include them on his program, as well as for the public who can play it, burn it, share it very easily.

    I mentioned the lyrics, this is a key point that makes me consider the ND. Not that I am against any kind of derivative work, but if I say something in a song, for what it's worth, somebody might take my voice and my words, shuffle them round and can make me say something else, sometimes the result can be interesting and sometimes not or it could even say the opposite of what you intended at first.
    Imagine having a book out published under a very free license, anybody can change the meaning of the original text, leaving the name of the original author, who can easily be misquoted for things he hasn't said in his book...

    Most of the time I will give my consent, as I am all for derivative work, but I want to keep an eye on how the lyrics might be changed. As for the music, it doesn't matter...

    You allready know that i am no "free integrist" so everybody should make a choice, and i don't even want to argue for you to change licence cause i respect this choice.
    But you can't say that : if someone takes a book and changes the order of the words, he makes a derivative work of the book under his name. You can't be blamed by being the original work. It's like being named for being an inspiration of a racism or whatever text. You can't be blamed for inspirating wrong people.
    Besides who would do that ? But that's another subject...

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