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Thoughts on Expanding CCM

DJ Rkod
permalink   Wed, Nov 14, 2007 @ 2:09 AM
I got an E-Mail today regarding this site. I’m assuming every member here did as well, so if you haven’t, check your inbox.

Essentially, it proposes transferring CCMixter to a commercial entity, which would support the site by licensing music commercially.

I think, since the issue directly involves the community, that there should be some discussion before I put in my final thoughts on the issue.

I like the idea, but found the information presented to be somewhat lacking. What kind of company would be supporting CCM? A record label? What kind of profit split would there be between the company and the artists? What kind of control would an artist have over where his or her music was used?
permalink   Wed, Nov 14, 2007 @ 3:09 AM
I have to clear my head first before the survey - but I’ll have a go at a rant straight from my bouncing hips..:

“But it would now also
serve as a “community A&R” pool for signing artists to
ccMixter-Plus (the music licensing site).”

Can’t anyone, anywhere, do this right now? Couldn’t I just contact someone I wanted to sign, if I were a label.

Basically - I see only one change to ccM if a commercial company takes over … and that would be some ads on the page. Fair enough - that wouldn’t bother me.

I can only guess whether or not, contest samples would get any better or worse.

The only major concern for me right now, is whether the ccHost software would die.

Perhaps our dear admin Mr. Stone would throw in his thoughts and comments.
permalink   DJ Rkod Wed, Nov 14, 2007 @ 3:57 AM
Actually, it’s made very clear in the E-Mail that there will be no ads.

Excerpt: (emphasis mine)

“In reading the description that follows, please keep this promise in clear view: ccMixter’s core character — as a free, non-advertising space where people can share and remix (at least for noncommercial purposes), will not change.”
permalink   Wed, Nov 14, 2007 @ 6:13 AM
My first reaction was an instinctive shudder at the risk of anything changing what makes the site so distinctive, but as I read on and thought a little more about it, the idea grew on me.

In any case, I’d been looking round at sites that offer some kind of commercial partnership with the artists, and this ccMixter-plus could be an artist-friendly, cc-sympathetic version of those sites.

I’d like to know more about the relationship between the proposed site and the old one, because it would be a shame if the old one was seen solely as an audition space for the new one - it could squeeze out the more whacky stuff that makes the site so great. But I can see the need for some income from somewhere to keep it going, and, as they say, nothing stays the same forever.
permalink   Wed, Nov 14, 2007 @ 9:33 AM
Prof. Lessig has blogged some more about this.

You know (I am not speaking for him here) but I think the idea was to solicit information from you folks to help determine what the future looks like, rather than the other way around.

permalink   Wed, Nov 14, 2007 @ 1:40 PM
I think its’s a very good thing that Larry Lessig used the poll and the weblog post. It’s a constructive, open way to begin a dialogue.

I hope that mixters will respond in kind, with constructive and direct
suggestions for how to keep ccmixter grand. In addition to noting that more information would be needed to pass on any given proposal, it is possible to say “here is what we dream ccmixter could be”, and write that out.
I think it’s good to be co-creators and not just waiting for word from the powers that be. It’s also good to see the proper discretion in the comments above, too, as indicative of a serious desire to hear out the possibilities as the facts evolve.

It need not be anything high-falutin’. We all know of other sites. What works? What fails to work? What is needless commercialization? What are cool features? I’ll bet our community can generate ideas that advance the process of looking at ccmixter.
permalink   Fri, Nov 16, 2007 @ 9:01 AM
I’ll admit my initial reaction was “oh, no…” but after taking a deep breath and re-reading it I find myself looking forward to seeing ccmixter have a chance for more exposure, as well as loving the amount of concern for the preservation of the climate/culture found here. I’ve taken quick looks at other remix sites, but I found them a little impersonal, as well as seeming to be more clustered- there seems to be less cross-talk between genres/levels of skill; I love ccmixter’s organic lack of clique-ishness. Whether someone has dreams of getting paid for their music, or loves their day-job and does this for the pure joy of it, we all seem to have an appreciation for pleasant surprises, and I truly am grateful for all the feedback and encouragement I’ve found here, as well as all the great great music.
Though there’s no shortage of mixters using the site, I’ve never felt lost in the shuffle, or felt like I had to shout to be heard- the lack of snobbery, while also not feeling trapped in a day-care center, is soooo nice! Whether I get a chance to get paid or not, I can’t see myself giving up all I get out of participating here, I’m sticking around as long as I’m welcome.
Done rambling now…
permalink   Sat, Nov 17, 2007 @ 2:43 AM
Hi there.

Well, despite opening up a ‘ccmixter plus’ (as the project is introduced onto the mail) could at first sounds juicy, as actually musicians would have more satisfaction out from their productions.

What at the mean time is such a gamble is that CCMixter is not born as a mp3 download store nor the artist involved so far neither.

I am not underestimating artist & platform, I am rather saying that things turn onto another ground when you have to face things like commerciability and appereance.

My experience thought me that is very hard selling music when the artist and the music itself is too tied with free distribution & free download.

In other speech if you have released 25 tracks under the name of ‘Dj Purple’ (it s an example) you will surely have hard times when you put the 26° for sale.


Because people know you as an Indie producer, so next to go against your ‘reputation’, potential ‘customers’ won’t buy your track as there are already from you too many for free.

Well, if you can sort this thing out by chosing an optional nick name, you get the same problem with the portal name…

CCMixter Plus sells music..ok.

But why should I buy a track from CCMixter Plus if I can download loads of free nice tracks from CCMixter?

Well, i think that this kind of point would have been senseless if CCMixter was a dj-music-oriented portal, so despite you can download/share/remix each track, you are not allowed to play tracks during dj sets (as that is using tracks for commercial purposes), so, in theory you would have had to buy the track from CCMPlus in order to play during a party.

CCmixter do not go toward this kind of music though, as the most relevant genre within is the mellow-urban flavoured one.

Guys, it’s very disappointing when you work hard for a track and you do not get feedback, at the same way is a pitty when you put for sale a track that do not get any audience.

Please, think about that if you open up a music store you have to design a marketing plan too, as selling is involved and competition is HUGE.

At this stage, despite i think that it could be a good idea, i do not see the right ground to make things working, as I said, ‘recycling’ portal name & artist would be a painfull falling down.

Thank you for your attention.

Best Regards.

permalink   cdk Sat, Nov 17, 2007 @ 11:47 AM
i play the occasional mixter track during my sets, should i not be?
i try to sneak one or two into every saturday night…
permalink   victor Sat, Nov 17, 2007 @ 1:01 PM
I can’t get into specifics about Prof. Lessig’s proposal because it is his and I do not speak for him but I just have to clear up some things wrt to CT’s post:

CT seems to be saying that CC is not viable in a commercial setting. This has nothing to do with ccMixter or Prof. Lessig’s proposal, this is just general commentary on CC and the WWW and the commercial market place.

There have now been 1,000s of examples, including the music world ( Jamendo and Magnatune) where CC licensing has enhanced the business model and is the reason these companies are successful and therefore pay their artists real money. This is also true for several artists whose music was discovered here at ccMixter and subsequently paid real money for commercial usage of the works. (If there were no other case besides Brad Sucks I would feel justified in stating things as firmly as I do, but again, there are too many cases now to count.)

I don’t want to be disparaging but the idea of “why would someone pay for something they can get (i.e. steal) for free?” is at this point: old school.

Next: No one has said anything about what allowances would be made by a commercial entity wrt to DJs, Podcasters, student projects etc. that walk along the edges of commercial usage. I don’t know about Jamendo but I know that Magnatune relaxes the NC part of the license for several of these cases because their philosophy is “why charge someone who can’t pay that wants to use and promote our artists”?

So CT’s scenario of DJ in a nightclub is not so much wrong, just assuming things that no one has talked about so a red herring. If the community demanded that the new commercial entity allow for DJ usage that’s good feedback for Prof. Lessig.

I think the point of the message from Prof. Lessig and the request for input was to get feedback about what the community sees in the future for ccMixter. What CT is addressing is a more fundamental question about whether CC is a viable licensing scheme in any commercial setting. This is important feedback to be sure for CC as a whole but in my mind has been settled by plenty of real world evidence. The question at hand (I think) is much more narrow: Given that CC was designed to work in both commercial and non-commercial settings, representing a continuum between PD and ARR, how would the community feel if this particular project moved from just proving that licensing enables free-wheeling artistry to also proving that the results of the artistry can also be commercially viable.

*** Topic deleted by author ***
permalink   victor Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 10:01 AM
no, sorry, that was my lame way of restating the “ obscurity, not piracy” meme

we’re saying the same thing. you respect your consumer by allowing (and encouraging) sharing, not by criminalizing them.
permalink   CoffeeTrim Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 1:23 PM
Fourstones, it seems that everytime I post something your reply always follows kind of way like:
‘coffeetrim says that, let me explain properly’ rather than ‘coffeetrim says that, but that doesn’t have anything in common with me, the community, and the world around’. Excuse me but I do not like looking as a person came down from the space nor like someone who doesn’t know what the topic is about neither.
I ain t going quoting your topic, as your point is quite clear indeed: it seems you are convinced that Creative Commons is both a good way to both promote indipendent artist and follow a commercial campain too.
I think this is far to be true, for several reasons:

1) If I sell something under a cc licence I allow people who buy to re-destribute my product, despite they paid for it. It means that my ‘market’ is automaticaly ‘ruined’ as customers are free to re distribute for free the product I sell.

2) CC it is a GREAT way to make artists promoting theirselvs, at the mean time (as it is right to be so) it goes against every commercial marketing foundamentals.

3) You put on the spot portals like jamendo, I know a couple of very good artists from there, and despite their products are quite known and downloaded, I do know that they never got any money out from it, despite the portal gives the opportunity to make donations.

In other speech, I’d love simply saying that:
‘please let’ look at things are thay are, not like we would like them to be’.

You can not have chicken & eggs at the same time, if CC is good for Indie artist, I do not think it is good to make any money too.

Well you can add a ‘donation’ button somewhere, but please, do not try to open up an mp3 store called CCMixter Plus, it would look like an awfull mix of things that do not match each other at all.
permalink   victor Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 2:43 PM
sorry, I guess I’m not understanding your point.
Abhi S.V.
permalink   Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 1:25 AM
i dont have time to go big on this, and also because im a bit young to suggest towards this but, i think its a really good oppurtunity for artists to stand out and sell their music, for those who want to get a label, ya noe? I think its a great idea as long as its not retarded expensive like on acidplanet where u pay 50 bucks a month just so you can enhance the colors on your site, but i think since this is not a site run by sony and more considerate people like the members of ccmixter, it would be a good option.

MAKKROSS (soulSIDIOUS & Clarance Boddyker)
permalink   Sat, Nov 17, 2007 @ 7:40 PM
Clarance Boddyker from MAKKROSS says:

Wassup! I speak for myself, soulSIDIOUS may post his thoughts on this subject.

I got some thoughts here and some ideas for the future of this proposed CC Mixter Plus.

When I got the Lessig email I figured this was the beginning of imminent, inevitable change for CC Mixter. Good or bad, that remains to be seen, and obviously depends on how the site’s users react and work with proposed change. After all, they sent out this email and asked for feedback, so we can act like we are a part of it or just gripe “there goes the neighborhood.”

They could have just said “We sold the site, SEE YAH!” We need to recognize that we are a part of this, and embrace our role in shaping the future of this site collectively, even if at this point it is just offering feedback or ideas about how the future will look.

As long as the pledge made in the email about CC Mixter, being the free user entity that it is now, staying the same, I think this is a good idea, as long as we get more info about this auction process, new management candidates and how it would go about, when it starts. (I would like to know, when available, the appropriate bidders, and their intent)

The internet and digital age is transforming the music industry. It is now not easy for these faceless Record Company Entities to regulate how they get paid. Not 2 decades ago, you had to go to a studio you couldn’t afford, go through through company channels and you were guranteed maybe that your demo would end up in a large pile of the same in some corner.

Now quality albums can be made & mixed in bedrooms and basements, (Moby? Whatever you think of him, he got paid and did it his way) posted online and marketed through internet labels and internet assisted grassroot campaigning and fan basebuilding. Public Enemy’s excellent There’s A Poison Goin On was their 1st post-Def Jam album on a start up internet label, Atomic Pop. (Atomic Pop doesn’t exist anymore, but it is a beginning)

The current Hollywood writer’s strike is because of issues dealing with revenue of show broadcasts on internet mediums like podcasts and shows on your cellphone. The opportunities for self promotion and exposure are unlimited in this age now, but the question is of perfecting a business plan beneficial to artist and company that doesn’t leave fans buying $20 CDs. (Goodbye to those days!)

I am working on many projects, and I mention CC Mixter artists like other people know them (“Check this rap beat out, this guy is from Indonesia!) and people look at me like I got three heads. The users of this site, the producers, sound artists, musicians and singers, need to be heard, there is too much incredible talent contained on this site for only the users of this site to remark on each other’s work.

The word about the talent on this site needs to get out, and it isn’t from lack of trying, with the incredible remix contests (I soooo wanted to get with the DJ Vadim contest, but I got a hella time getting quality pells on a Sanford & Son budget)

Coffee Trim made an interesting point about the commercial viability of artists who give away their work, but I offer the flipside.

A new business model on how to profit in this new music age must be perfected, because almost everyone gives away their music in some form today. Estalbished artists stream new albums for free a week or two before release on their website or “leak” some tracks and then release an album with new songs and revised tracklisting.

Radiohead recently released their new album In Rainbows online, with no middleman or record company. They gave fans the option of downloading it for free or pay a few bucks to get it. To date, of the people who downloaded the album, a bigger percentage downloaded it for free, and we can assume these were fans who bought their earlier releases.

“DJ Purple” and established artists have this same dilemma. Again, we are in a new age.

I strongly believe the users of CC Mixter, the talent on display in this online medium, are extremely viable in commercial markets. We just have to figure out how, to the benefit of all.

How do we do this? What do all these changes mean? I don’t know, I guess they are asking our opinions so we can figure it out.

Everyone should be posting their thoughts, maybe it is fear of the unknown. But again, change is good or bad depending on how we perceive it, embrace it and work with it.

Let’s all be part of this evolution.

Keep Rocking It,

Clarance from MAKKROSS

Some ideas:
(4stones mentioned that our opinions were solicited for a view of the future, not the reverse, so just some ideas that have been knocking in my head, in terms of new management’s business plans for licensing and commercial use and sale of music)

1) Entire demo albums or several songs from a demo proposed by a CC Mixter user remixed by fellow CC Mixter users, given away on the site for exposure and marketing in anticipation of those same pells released in the original vision of the original artist .

OK, as Clarance Boddyker, I have 10 pells, recorded and mixed with chosen beats, my original vision.

I post those pells on CC Mixter and DJ Purple posts “The DJ Purple Remix Album” of my pells and so on, and others can can do the same.

Weeks or months later I release my album under this new CC Mixter-Plus entity in my original vision with my original beats, with the added benefit of promotional help of my fellow CC Mixters, a ring of self promotion and marketing.

CC Mixter does this with their remix contests, trying to match CC Mixter remixes with established artists but what if we did this concentrating on existing CC Mixter community users?

I think this is kind of like the model Calendar Girl is using, why not try to expand on that, especially for CC Mixter artists who have the material to do so?

Just a brainstorm, somebody ally oop this?

2) An option to post videos of CC Mixter users creating music, recording or performing with CC licensed music.

We utilize that “what I pound on” function, why not post a video of a CC Mixter user, in their lab, creating music and maybe giving tips on how they create music. Show fellow users what type of equipment they use and how they do it. Not 3 hour tutorials, a clip of a few minutes, giving hints, tips, showing the final product.

Video of CC Mixter users recording or performing, house party or clubs, but post only video of themselves performing CC Mixter licensed music, getting a vibe of crowd reaction to songs and energy of the performer and getting an idea of marketing possibilities.

Or show a rapper of singer recording their work, before posting their pells on the site.

I think this would be most effective with CC mixter users who are actively performing and promoting themselves and the site in public, whether in a house party or small club venues. Seeing this stuff online might help get the word out about the artist and CC Mixter and generate buzz. People in that audience can then go home and get online feel a part of that and spread the word.

(CDK said he plays a CC Mixter track, 1 or 2 a week while DJing, I want to see a crowd reacting to the music I download and write reviews about. Who knows where it might go.)

Regulations of posting, limits of posting and making sure no vulgar or inappropriate material is posted need to be addressed.

3) As MAKKROSS we created a video using CC licensed movies and videos to pair with our music, from an archived site of CC materials that can be used as long as credited.

Maybe there can be a pairing of this site or encouragement through contests for users to peruse these CC licensed movies and materials, create artistic videos, mash ups and splicing to create some video narrative or montage depending on the footage, and to pair these video creations with CC Mixter music to make custom videos for marketing and promotion.

This could also be an extension or evolution of the “collaboration” option available at CC Mixter, someone can create CC licensed videos and pair them with a CC Mixter user’s music.

Or there can be a contest to mash videos with the songs.
*** Topic deleted by author ***
permalink   victor Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 2:24 PM
fwiw I share each and every one of your concerns. This is the stuff that kept me up at nights as soon as I heard that “change is coming.” I worked on the corporate plantation longer that you’ve been alive (probably) including CBS Records (when there was such a thing) and Microsoft and a billion others. I think I know what big biz is and how it operates. The thought of one of those companies taking over this site depressed to me to no end. As you say I can think of several (most?) scenarios would doom the thing. DOA.

People may be surprised how far out of the loop I am in this thing (I’ve been consulted for stats and ideas but firewalled from any decision making process) but as far as I can tell something is going to happen.

Now, typically you and I (consumer and employee) would not hear about this until the golden parachutes had opened and you’d be screwed out the products and services you’ve come to depend on and I’d be on the streets (I was laid off from more than 10 jobs, I lost count).

But it’s pretty rare that you and I get to participate in the transition, leave alone have a say, so right away this isn’t ‘typical’ any more.

If you think any change dooms the community and the site then that’s a conversation stopper and there’s nowhere to go, because like I said, afaict change is coming.

But I happen to think there is hope about some of the possibilities. In the message below, Spin points to several Open Source projects where pro, semi-pro and amateur all live together and avoid the bifurcated nightmare you and I both have.

It’s possible (probable?) the “absolutely nothing at all ever never ever is going change” thing is setting the bar high and I’m not looking forward to all the hard work it will take to keep things together but I like this site, I like the community, I’m nuts about the music, awed by the talent and generosity that happens here — and the friendships I’ve established is just icing.

but just to be clear: it’s not like I haven’t had conflicts with CC lol, it’s not like it’s been 100% okeydokey since the start. There’s been some rocky patches in there, including over resources (i.e. money). This site is free to you not them. Don’t be confused about non-profits, they have a bottom line too.

If I have to work harder in a new environment to keep the thing going then ok, I’ll do that, it’s worth it to me.

If I fail then at least I tried to keep a good thing going.

You know, there’s a chance, small as it may seem, that change will be good for the site. I’m now counting on it. I hope this community and whoever takes over gets that.

*** Topic deleted by author ***
permalink   Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 12:51 PM
I’m quite a bit less pessimistic than jaspertine on the potential of mixing art, non commercial experimentation and commerce in a non evil way.

While I agree, that it doesn’t happen often, there are quite a few working examples in the open source software world, which have seen commercial entities fund free and open source software and associated playgrounds. The world of music and software have an astounding number of common traits - if needed/desired, I can expand and rationalize that in a separate post).

If would be sponsored / supported / run by the right company, I could see it prospering in a big way. Developing free playgrounds costs money, and how to find that money is one of the good questions, but for me it’s not the only one.

I share the fear of a two tier system where a dividing line separates artists. While I’m not funding my living via the arts, I sure like playing in the arts. And I like playing alongside and interacting with artists who need to / want to have their art as a revenue source.

So to me, the fear of a ccMixterPlus is the fear of losing the mix of so called professionals alongside the so-called amateurs. However what I’ve seen in the open source software arena is a rather free interaction and mingling between the two “camps”. They are invigorating each other and they know it. Sure, there are times when the conflicting motivations cause confusion and short term mistakes are being made. But over the longer haul (in many cases over a decade) better sense seems to have prevailed in that field.

There are a couple of more reasons for me to support the fundamental idea being proposed. Some of the remixers I have met here, should have a shot at revenue generation. And I would prefer if they could get that within an environment where there’s at least a chance they will still interact with me musically.

On a grander scale, I would like to propose the thought, that the intermingling of free, benevolent, experimental, non-commercial interests with commercial interests is largely a function of affordable technology, and thus may be an un-stoppable historical trend. There is a serious fuzzying of the lines between professional and amateur communities in several areas. In addition to the aforementioned area of software development, there are the areas of astronomy (inexpensive high quality telescopes plus inexpensive computer hardware and software), photography (inexpensive high quality cameras plus inexpensive computer hardware and software), video (inexpensive …) and music (…)production. In all of these areas there are fundamental shifts going on.

And to me the proposed evolution of ccMixter is rather consistent with that general evolution triggered by technology.

If the experiment should fail badly, we would have the option of forking the site (even the code), because of it’s free and open nature. What VS has created in code can be grabbed and further developed in a new context. So even if VS would pull a darth vader (though I seriously doubt, that he has that in him - I think it’s more likely he’d lead the rebels if the commercial organization should turn evil), the software can be (totally legally) used and further evolved in a good way. So that’s a safety valve for things going sour.

So I am more interested in who takes over than being afraid of a commercial involvement as a matter of principle. But that shall be a topic for another post.
permalink   victor Sat, Nov 24, 2007 @ 2:27 AM
thanks spin, it’s true that I got involved here for what I hope are principled (if romantic) reasons, that is to say, I could make a lot more money doing other work. I would not be interested in a future version of the site that doesn’t continue to promote those principles.

permalink   Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 1:20 PM
I have already posted some thoughts on the survey, but thought I’d add some more here.

Personally i think the opportunity to commercialize ccmixter is a great thing.

Before CC licenses sampling music in the post-lawsuit world has been a big hassle - you had to get permission on a case by case basis to use any samples or risk legal action. The unique thing so far about ccmixter is that it’s enabled users to “pre-approve” the use of their samples and create a breadcrumb trail for attribution of those samples.

But for this to really go anywhere we need to find a way to apply this same level of attribution to the commercial aspects of music - i.e. follow the breadcrumb trail of $ when i sell or license a ccmixter remix. We need a way to automatically calculate the % a sample should get from sale based on how long it used in a remix and whether it is foreground (i.e. vocals or solo instruments) or background. And this all needs to “just work”, so that I can sample stuff, list my samples used, sell the mix on the ccmixter store, and then have the money automatically split to the people who’s samples i’ve used, while still giving a significant portion to the remixer who put the thing together.

Right now because of the split of commercial/non-commercial samples here and the way the cc licenses work, it’s real confusing what I can do with samples on ccmixter beyond just posting a remix to give away for free. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just it limits the remixing to the more “hobbyist/when I have spare time” people, and limits the sample providing to the same plus artists who want the good will associated with releasing material under the commons (i.e. it’s a good promotional opp to stick their samples on here).

I’d just really like ccmixter to become the bastion for how to make remix culture a viable business model, not just a fun diversion and some free tunes (which we’d definitely want to keep around). It seems that doing some sort of commercialization is the only way to really expand on what we’ve got here and reach that goal…

permalink   Mon, Nov 19, 2007 @ 1:21 PM
Quite the discussion here, it’s nice to see a lot of thought being put into the implications of this.
Some points I’d like to add:
We’re at the beginning of any real shift in business models, licensing issues, etc. Big business has two key strategies in defeating perceived threats-
1) Co-opt, buy out, offer something similar but shinier, engage in massive PR blitzes to drown out the the other guy, and
2) Sit back and wait. Even larger-scale efforts to offer an idealogically superior alternative to established “product” often will run out of steam, as even the more dedicated individuals have to house, feed and clothe themselves, and let’s face it- branding is still #1.
Americans especially are more likely to buy, say, the sugar or salt they grew up with and recognize, even if intellectually they know that sugar is sugar and salt is salt, and generic or store brand is exactly the same stuff but less expensive. The “truth” doesn’t always carry the day- look at VHS vs. Betamax, or the fact that high CD prices in comparison to tapes or vinyl was explained at the time by claiming the need to recoup the cost of clean-room conditions and high-tech manufacturing processes in the plants- certainly that justification became superfluous long ago, yet the price never came down, and people… just forgot all about it, for the most part.
Advertising was justifiable on TV and radio to an extent, because after buying a TV or radio, that was the last time you paid money to watch or listen- cable/satellite has replaced open-air broadcasting, yet there are more commercials than ever- radio’s going the same route; maybe ad-free, but I don’t see many people stumbling across a college station and being exposed to something they may have never heard before; everything’s target-marketed and encourages genre identification, w/o people stopping to wonder who decides what gets played.
I’m not trying to sound defeatist or negative, but people have to KNOW about something before they think or start to care about it, and I sincerely hope ccmixter has enough momentum to allow both expansion and integrity- but let’s not pretend that the majority of people in the world at large even consider the issues involved. Do you realize how many people I’ve had to explain to what “creative commons” is, let alone the different license meanings? ccmixter may seem big and famous, but any community runs a certain risk of myopia. I live in a fairly conservative, mostly blue-collar, dinky little town, where “mixter” is someone’s last name; if all of creative commons and its offshoots crumbled into dust, I can pretty much guarantee my hometown, or any number like it, would not have the streets filled with angry mobs. This is what I see as a drawback of Internet-based communities, it’s easier to think of the hundreds of people across the globe who kinda think like you, than to remember there’s still thousands who don’t. I don’t have any real answers, I’m just airing some thoughts that this thread has raised. I plug ccmixter as much as possible, I tell friends, I mention it in emails or comments I leave in other sites, I spread the word as much as possible, because I love it and think others should too. But people’s basic instinct is to distrust “free”, most people will assume if it’s not at least from some better-known indie label, “oh, that stuff must suck, how come they aren’t signed?” EVERYone that’s actually checked out the site after I turned them on to it has come back with a reaction of being impressed and surprised. “Wow, the stuff on there’s really good!” The word’s slowly spreading, but as much as I believe in the ideas behind the site, I’d hate to think the pervasiveness of impulsive gimme-now consumer culture will win the day. Sophisticated strategic marketing concepts have intentionally confronted us with an overwhelming glut of choice, thereby short-circuiting rational decision-making, and letting anxiety make the call for us- “just pick what’s familiar and comforting”. I know there are genuine people and organizations out there, this is a great example of it. But let’s never let ourselves get too cozy and think the world will get it soon enough, I think we all need to find ways of being heard. Even if this post just irritates you into mentally arguing with me, at least you’ve given enough thought to it to react…
Wow, idk if I’ve even put together any relevant concepts here, but at least people know where my crazy head is at.
permalink   Tue, Nov 20, 2007 @ 4:17 AM
Some very interesting comments here - reinforces what a valuable community we have going.

I’d like to pick up on a couple of points just to underline them: Clarence Boddyker makes a good point about the potential for integrating cc music with other cc media - in the commercial world it’s universally recognized that you more or less NEED a video to sell a track, and I’ve always thought the potential for interesting and more inventive uses of other media with music has not been fully explored, so a forum for that kind of interaction would be great.

hisboyelroy’s point about providing a system for tracking attribution is also very important IMO. In other sites I’ve looked at (Jamendo, ReverbNation, TuneCore) they seem set up for artists who own the material 100%, and it’s hard to work out a) if you’re allowed to put sampled music onto the site and b) how the distribution of any income would work. They seem to be saying “we just want to know YOU (the person who signs up) own the material - if you want to split the proceeds with band members, thats up to you”. It would be great if this ccM+ were able to develop a commercial model around the whole concept of cc licenses and collaborative work, actively encouraging that way of working rather than seeing it as a problem or something that it was better to ignore.
In other words, maybe we should be seeing this as a chance to develop new models in the changing world of new technologies - and new economic circumstances, as Spinmeister says.

That’s not to say that I don’t share a lot of jaspertine’s anxiety and suspicion of the big bad world of commerce - but I think that battle has to be fought over and over again in each new situation that arises. My guess would be that the more the new site explores this new territory, rather than competing with pre-existing sites, the more successful it will be in every sense.
permalink   victor Sat, Nov 24, 2007 @ 2:37 AM
there are some really neat ideas floating around this thread. at first I was apprehensive about a public thread mainly because, well, as musicians we’re not always the most articulate bunch ;), but this has been really great.
permalink   Sun, Nov 25, 2007 @ 4:56 AM
There is a lot of good thinking here and reading. So i want to breif.

This site taps what making music has always been about. It’s getting out the guitar and singing a few songs around a digital campfire on a global scale. Even though i am involved with music in my work the sheer pleasure of taking someones vocals or performance for free and us co creating something is what drives me to do it.

If there was an opportunity for anyone to be rewarded in any other way out of that creation then that is a real bonus.

This site has got it right.

For a new owner to come in and screw with the formula as to impact on its culture and success is a common fault of a commercial engine. If they are smart they wont, they will be savvy enough to add to the strength of this place and provide benefit to all, not just those who want to sell their music.

But it will in the end, as always and after all the talk and even our input, it will be someone elses call.

But if they get it wrong we pack the kit up and move on . They will make a few bucks but someone else will see where they went wrong and do it again, better maybe.

That’s why if it happens it will be crucial to keep everyone as happy as they can. Otherwise, there is always another stage you can find to go play on and without us the people who upload regardless of genre, quality or ability they will have nothing.

Now chuck another log on the fire pass me a beer and lets try to sing some Spice Girls hits over three major chords.:-)
Citizen Nyx
permalink   Sat, Dec 8, 2007 @ 8:32 AM
Not sure to understand all…But, may be this could be a solution for CCmixter ++.”you are the record compagny”!!!…
permalink   spinmeister Sat, Dec 8, 2007 @ 12:06 PM
I would be very careful with sellaband
permalink   Citizen Nyx Sat, Dec 8, 2007 @ 1:51 PM
mAY Be…But it doesn t mean that the concept is not
interesting .( mymajorcompany / nomajor / spidart / most seems to be french :)
May be Magnatune could do the job… no ?!?
permalink   spinmeister Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 1:09 PM
yes, the sellaband concept is interesting, but it comes with a pretty classic music industry trap - therefore personally I wouldn’t touch it. I can’t comment on the French sites, since I can’t read their terms and conditions (the fine print).

Regarding Magnatune, it’s even mentioned in Prof. Lessig’s blog entry on this issue
permalink   Citizen Nyx Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 2:35 PM
Quote: spinmeisteryes, the sellaband concept is interesting…
So,Magnatune* could adapt it to CCmixter ++… (*or another compagny X,Y,Z ,but i prefer Magnatune ;)
Ran Dumb Dots...... .. .
permalink   Thu, Dec 13, 2007 @ 10:03 PM
I was thinking about what ccM+ could sell beyond just tracks. The most valuable thing on the site is not the tracks, it is the talent of the people….the collective production skills and creative firepower. I think an interesting direction to discuss might be how to focus the incredible collective production skills into a services business. This would be more like collaborative production by the most skilled people to produce A+++ tracks for people willing to pay money. People on ccM good at beats would contribute beats, and people good at mastering would do the mastering. People with the best creative ears in varous situations would be assigned to listen critically and direct the contributing producers of each track to make the improvements they hear need to be made. Potential customers:
- Singer/songwriters (like me)
who have dreams of making their own albums. When we put our pells out here, it is one producer per track generally. What I’m talking about is hiring a team of producers (mixters) to each engage their top talents and collectively make world class tracks. I’d probably pay a few hundred bucks, maybe more, to get that kind of talent pool working with me in a focused way, and others would too.
- bands who have the ability to record themselves but no production chops
- small recording studios who have people who are good recording engineers but who are not great producers

And then out of this, some of the service fees would go toward keeping the lights on and some of the fees would go to the people contributing to the “for pay” projects. It might even be possible to network with some of the small studios if people want recording and production services. Maybe the idea isn’t completely formed yet, but I think is potential in looking at the services business model - my $.02.
permalink   Surveillance_Party Mon, May 12, 2008 @ 8:41 AM
1. I understand that change is a coming and I am grateful that we have some form of input to its form.

2. I aknowledge the historical trend which spinmeister refers to. I have a feeling that in terms of royalty distribution in an emerging meta data world, CC may soon start triggering legal precedents.

3. I (and probably 95% of us) would like to get paid for my best work if the opportunity arose!!

4. I worry about the 2 tiered system. Not over the fact of its existence, but of how it would be implemented. Let me elaborate with a brutally simple example:

-If CC mixter plus came into being, I signed up, and started getting tracks purchased for some kind of commercial use, I would be very happy. I would try to make many more tracks that could be purchased. I would like to continue my remixing on normal CC mixter, but would 100% prioritise my remixing work for CC mixter plus. If I was regularly successful in this, I can guarantee you wouldn’t see many more posts from Surveillance Party on regular CC mixter, cause I’d be busy trying to make uber stuff to get licsensed on CC mixter+.

Or for example, Love Shadow grabs a sweet Pell out of normal CC mixter, and makes a rocking track with it that CC+ wants to liscence. You sure wouldn’t be seeing that track floating around on CC normal for free download and the community’s benefit.

Or would it be like this? A dumb company that took over would skim off all the elite commercially viable artists: they could raid the free quality pells, and have no further reason to engage with the ‘normal’ CC community.

A smart company that took over would surely foster the normal CC community as a breeding ground for more commercially viable artists and tracks (under the premise that the more vibrant the breeding ground, the more the company could make.)

Lets assume that professor whats his name and the company who take over are smart thinking people, and understand that to keep CC+ commercially viable, they will have the keep CC normal healthy and vibrant.

I optimistically hope that this is what will happen. I suppose the trick is to find a convincing way of keeping those who are being paid for their music fully engaged with those who aren’t.

I’d like to elaborate on these thoughts in a furthr post, but I think this is enough for now.


(p.s. Victor if it all goes wrong and, you have the heart and energy to “lead the rebel camp” somewhere else, I’m following kit and kaboodle!)
permalink   victor Mon, May 12, 2008 @ 11:13 AM
I think you answered your own concerns here. Magnatune has and continues to sell 1,000s of licenses not despite the fact that 100% of their music is free for download, but because of it. Personally, I would never work for a company that doesn’t have that in their DNA.
permalink   Surveillance_Party Tue, May 13, 2008 @ 12:00 AM
yeah I waffles when I post.

You can have some too, here:

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