Tag Archives: Creative Commons

‘Teachers Guide To Music, Media, And Copyright’ Review

James Frankel recently wrote a book released on Hal Leonard titled “Teachers Guide to Music, Media, and Copyright”. It sparked my interest, as I am a big fan of Larry Lessig and Creative Commons, and have self published my own CD of music, as well as written many works for media projects, so I decided to check it out.

The book covers exactly what it says – but in a very bare bones fashion. There’s no lawyer speak involved, and the entire book cover copyright, where its headed, and what it means to you as a teacher or educator. He tackles many frequently asked questions about Fair Use, Creative Commons, licenses, and more.

If you’re an educator and are looking for a quick and easy explanation on how to guide your lessons and make sure you don’t infringe on others’ rights, then this book is or you.

What else I enjoyed about this book is how it is Published in Association with TI:ME, which is the Technology Institute for Music Educators. Tom Rudolph is the President of TI:ME, who I first met in 2005 when he did a clinic on Sibelius, Finale, and Notion at the University of the Arts.

The only issue I have with this is how Wolfram Alpha and Wikipedia can be used for references because the scene changes so fast. Everything from the mechanical license fees, to the actual law is changing to the point that some things go out of date as soon as they publish. Besides, if worse came to worse I can always ask my Twitter followers or Youtube subscribers :)

Overall, its a great book, and one that you should check out in order to get you up to par with how things work. As an educator, your job is to inform your students with valuable knowledge. They learn simply by you leading by example, and therefore, you owe it to yourself to protect them, and you.

Twitter Brings Back @Replies After Uproar

Today, Twitter did the dumbest thing ever, and took away @Replies from people. Then finally, after the community uproar decided to retract their steps and bring it back.


As a marketing and social media guy specializing in music, I always keep a close eye to how these companies do things. I always think that these sites do this in order to test the community and create free PR. I even let my community know about it, and some agreed it was a possible occurrence.

So Twitter has fixed it by doing two things:

1.) Replies used from the arrow reply within the website will continue to be seen by everyone.

2.) Allowing a per-user choice of how replies and conversations are displayed to you. I wonder if this will battle Twirl, Tweetie, Tweetdeck, Ping.fm, Twitterific, TwitterFon and many other sites in hope to drive more traffic to Twitter’s website as opposed to third party clients.


I rememeber when Facebook redid their Terms of Service a few months ago basically claiming to own all of your content – Forever! As a result, the media picked up on it and the whole world went crazy – rightfully so. But look at what happens when people uproar: The community gets closer!

The reason why Creative Commons is such a viral tactic for companies, bands, and content producers is because it allows their content to be shared and as a result be seen by people that they would never have had access to through other means. The same goes with this Twitter mistake : when a company makes its’ community unhappy – people tell their Facebook friends, email people, retweet, youtube, etc. their thoughts. The fact that people on Twitter get upset gives us all something to talk about and connect with each other.

This is just my theory, but its a good one – because if Techcrunch no longer allowed comments on their blog, then their subscribers would let them know – but ultimately, it would create a stronger community, because after Techcrunch allowed comments again, then the community would feel a sense of satisfaction and closeness.

Anyway, I’m glad Twitter learned from their mistakes, and I’m glad social media brought us all together – because ultimately, that’s what it was for in the first place.

Napster Killed The Pirate-Star

…Or maybe Napster created the Pirate Star. Either way, people have always stole music and art, but this became a common problem when Napster allowed ‘mass file sharing’. As a result – literally overnight – founder/creator Shawn Fanning changed the music world forever. People no longer were handing off burned CD’s to one or two friends – they were sending out mp3’s to millions of people.

It creates a few problems. So with the news that Sweden is cracking down on Piracy, what does this mean for all the Pirates and File Sharers throughout the world?

1.) Copyright.

2.) The world needs P2P sites. Many GNU, Creative Commons, and more depend on these services to increase their outreach. Websites like download.com thrive on these open-source projects, too.

3.) There will always be another way. Come out with a solution, and in 2 weeks people will find a way around it. Look at security risks in Microsoft, iTunes, Limewire, Kazaa, and more. Heck, even people are smart enough to escape prison and out-think the thinkers. Its a cat and mouse game that’ll never end.
4.) Privacy issues. People have a right to anonymity… but what if they steal something? Technically, when ISP’s (like Time Warner, Verizon, Comcast, etc.) give you the service, you sign their Terms of Use that states they can give out your info for certain situations.

So generally, there was ALWAYS pirating since the dawn of the 8track. The problem is, that Napster created such an exponential outreach around trading files, that it killed the artform. Other projects such as Muxtape were ‘OK’ until they became too big. The result is that things are ignored until they cross a threshold of viewers/participants.

The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Steve Vai, Poison, Guns and Roses and yes, even Metallica created their empires by not trying to do everything themselves.

Let’s look at Facebook Platform, Youtube, and Apple’s App Store: These three services allow for user-generated content. Why? Because the users generate the content and market themselves within their own community. As a result, the real winners are actually Facebook, Apple, and Youtube. Not only that – they also scale!

So let’s take this concept and apply it to music. If I’m playing shows every night in front of 10 people, I may never create an audience of 100,000 screaming fans… but now if my fans help me out – then it creates an army. It creates a village. Ultimately, it creates a community. Because those fans tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, etc. As a result, you reach people though the nook and crannies that you would’ve never dreamed possible. This is why Youtube, Facebook, Meetup.com, Wikipedia, Apple App, Linkedin, Twitter, and Musicians have learned to ‘win’ in this space.

So pirating was ALWAYS around – the problem is that Napster made it so easily excessible and exponential, that it essentially killed the Pirate Star.

Music Distribution Sites And More

CD Baby: The #1 online music distributor. Costs $35 to set up, and they keep only $4 per CD you sell. So you set the price of your work, set it up, and market it. CD Baby does the rest. I can personally say that CD Baby is a fantastic service – one that I use. There are also other fantastic services form this company – like their server space, CD vendor scanner, mailing list, and website service.

Nimbit Is a site that allows our Nimbit account is a comprehensive sales, distribution, and promotion solution. You can sell your music and merch directly from your site using our direct sales tools and/or through our network of third party online retailers. You can track all of your sales to identify key distribution, marketing, and promotional opportunities. We provide web hosting and design, and sophisticated Web solutions including e-mail, calendar and fan management tools. In addition, we offer other key services such as CD replication, and radio promotion and mastering, both directly or through trusted partners. A complete description of our products is here.

Tunecore Tunecore is all digital. This is a good move being that music is becoming more and more digital these days, which a drying up in physical products. Even the movie industry is seeing things like Apple TV and Boxee

Amazon Advantage: Amazon keeps a heft fee – 45%  – but the theory is that its better to make 55% of something than 100% nothing.

Internet Underground Music Archive:

CCnow: This service is great if you plan on selling merchandise at shows. The thing is that not everyone has cash at shows – so be prepared to accept credit cards! In addition, CD Baby has a credit card swiper program, too – so choose the option that works best for you.

Free Music You Never Heard

Last Fm. Based on what you listen to, Last.fm recommends you new music. Think of it as a brain that listens to what you listen to and tells you what you’re missing out on! Its obvious your friends are a lot like you. You all dress the same, talk the same, and listen to the same music. This site capitalizes on that – to learn more go here

Pandora. Also known as “The Musical Gene Pool. Recently has been integrated with Boxee and has a large PR event. This site claims to be “the most comprehensive analysis of music ever compiled.” Not bad for a site that started in 2000.

The Hype Machine. Music bloggers like to blog. Hype Machine tracks those blogs and handpicks a set of music blogs and creates diagrams and stats based off them. As a result, you can find the music YOU best fit, and relate to which blogs Hype Machine thinks you should be reading and ‘listening’ to. They have an interesting way of how they select blogs, and wide selection of both pop and underground artists/blogs.

PodBop. Finding mp3’s and blogs is one thing, but Podbop goes a step further… on tour. With a wide selection of artists. Enter in your Zip Code and simply find out bands on tour and get results (including RSS for future events). They easily integrate their services with Eventful. Its a pretty meet mashup and idea. I was checking out the NYC area RSS feed, and like what I’m seeing – I wonder where they take this website!

Blip.fm. OK, so everyone knows how much I love Twitter. Well, now think of Twitter that is ONLY music, and you have Blip.fm – It’s simple, you tell people wht your listening to, and they can stream it, follow you, and create a social network around those they find interesting. I, personally, love this service, but its ashame I don’t use it more.

Podsafe Music Network. With its launch in 2005 and the ever growing popularity of Creative Commons and Podcasting, the PMN created an entire culture of independent online radio content providers. Indpendant Musicians from all around the world simply upload their music, and give a license to the PMN Network to use it in their broadcasts. Started by Adam Curry of MTV VJ fame, this site has since been re-branded as Mevio and includes such music talent as Jonathan Coulton, Jana Fisher, Uncle Seth, and more!

Webjay. Unfortunately has been closed by Yahoo. Webjay was very similar to Fuzz.com. Until then there is always LaunchCAST to create your own online radio station, meet other broadcasters, and discover new music in the process!

RIAA Abandons Lawsuits While 95% Of Music Is Illegally Downloaded

Hmmm…. coincidence?

Gizmodo published an article claiming that 95% of downloaded music is pirated which comes at an interesting time considering that the RIAA just announced last week that they are uplifting lawsuits.

Well, now as we enter the New Media age, things are changing… quickly.

Today’s music is from independent artists. The internet is also a HUGE venue for these artists. The indiependent movement understands the internet, and the people that make it up. They understand how the new business model works, how Twitter works, Creative Commons, Jamendo, Ustream, magnatune, and more. I’m all for people protecting their artwork, but the RIAA is going about it wrong.

The RIAA has to face this movement head on. The hill is too steep, and their time and money can be better spent on other things rather than squash a handful of people. Truth is, even if they did carry out the lawsuits people wouldn’t stop anyway, and the likely-hood that they win the cases is looking slimmer, as users are usually anonymous, and claim to have privacy rights.

Independent musicians use the internet and Creative Commons to grow their brand and fanbase

It’s no surprise then that 95% of music is stolen – because its a different mindset than it was years ago. Its seen as free publicity in hopes to build an audience to tour. Also, not only is music being given away, but its also Podsafe a majority of the times, too, allowing broadcasters, podcasters, and more to play your music without having to pay royalties. It was a movement partially started by former MTV VJ Adam Curry who has since renamed his Podsafe Music Network to Mevio.

Of course, there will always be Major Label music, but there’s a new era that is quickly growing. Today’s music is also usually licensed Creative Commons, which essentially allows you to remix, and broadcast music, video, and more for your own pleasure. The internet is changing things, and this is a great thing for YOU – the independent musician.

Radio’s Worst Year In Over A Half Century

Last month Andrew Winistorfer of Prefix Mag reported that Sirius XM had serious troubles to take care of in this new media world. Its stock prices were at $0.16 a share.

In addition, it was recently reported that terrestrial radio is having its worst year… in decades.

Yes – we’re in a recession of sorts, but terrestrial radio is definitely feeling the pinch, too – not just Satellite.

Meanwhile, internet entertainment and business models are booming. Indie Rockers “The Sick Puppies” recently made an appearance in Youtube Live, which was seen by millions, and their successful Free Hugs Campaign has become an internet meme. In addition, Metallica and many indie musicians have recently been using New Media in order to grow their brand and tap into the movement.

In addition, we recently we learned how Satellite Radio and XM have a serious customer complaint about their merger. And all of this is happening at a time of financial crisis. So now as more independent music and release their own content, use Creative Commons, and go to the internet for information and services, things like terrestrial radio and Satellite are being taken over by RSS Feeds and Internet Podcasts/Streams. Things like Pandora are using widgets and new media in order to grow, as their seeing. Whereas others who are not in the internet scene are seeing decline. The demographic and formats are changing, which explains radio’s decline – even with the radio merger of other businesses.

Why Creative Commons Rocks!

Creative Commons is the new Copyright. I refer to it as Copyright 2.0

Why is this important, well, because my music is licensed Creative Commons which allows people to use my music, mash it up, and do what they want with it. Here’s the license which allows you to remix, mash-up, do whatever you like. Drop me a line if you do anything with it, I’d love to check it out!

This piece titled “Webcomic Commandos… again” by Orenotter uses my music, and I think this is awesome. Granted, this isn’tthe first remix using my music. The world in changing, technology is bringing us together in ways we would have never dreamed of years ago. Here’s an example of what someone did to my piece ‘Airies’. Pretty cool.

Thanks to the podcasters, tubers, remixers and bloggers who spread the word about my music. And of course thanks to you for checking out my work and everyone who paid for the music even though you didn’t have to!

‘Circles’ Creative Commons Student Video!

This video takes advantage of my Creative Commons License! Awesome! Plus the video is pretty cool too. Big Ups to Cash4freeonline for posting this! I’m sure there’s other Youtube mashups, but this one is cool!

‘Circles’ is available Here.