[cc-community] Selling Music w/Samples

Fred Benenson fred.benenson at gmail.com
Wed Jul 25 09:02:46 EDT 2007

IANAL, but have some familiarity with these issues.

On 7/25/07, Robert <theangryartist at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi, I'm looking for some clarification of license requirements.
> I intend to sell a CD of music through CD Baby, a non-exclusive
> distributor. I own the rights to my music, and there are no third-party
> record labels involved. Some of the songs I intend to put on the record
> have incorporated samples from ccMixter, licensed under the CC-BY 3.0 or
> CC-Sampling+ 1.0 licenses respectively, depending on the sample. On the
> back of the album cover will be liner notes. I have not yet published
> the album, as it is still in production. I have a few questions about
> these circumstances:
> 1. Currently the liner notes cite the samples and their respective
> authors. Is there any other information I am required to put in the
> liner notes, if I don't plan to license to songs themselves featuring
> samples under the Creative Commons?

My understanding is that your attribution to other artists needs to be
"reasonable" and this sounds like it. I'm not sure any other way a sound
recording artist would properly attribute sampled musicians.  Ultimately, it
is up to them as to whether or not you've properly attributed them.

2. None of the song titles themselves cite sampled artists. If any of
> the sample-featured songs are played on broadcast FM radio, would the DJ
> be required to broadcast on the air all the samples used in each song?

This is alright AFAIK though you might consider making the song / your album
googleable w/ proper attribtuion.

3. CD Baby allows artists to sell music in online stores like iTunes and
> Rhapsody. However, the only information given to the music stores by CD
> Baby is the artist, album title, song list, and album cover - No
> metadata included. Is there any way possible, including changing song
> titles, to sell digital music while still meeting the terms of the
> Creative Commons lisences? This is a problem because I can't change song
> titles to say, "Song (feat. Artist 2)," etc. My remixes each use two or
> more samples apiece (one uses eight CC samples), so citing every artist
> in the song titles would be impossible if I wanted to keep song names a
> reasonable length.

This is one of the many reasons why CC music isn't really compatible with
the iTunes store. The more substantial one being that iTunes won't sell it
without DRM (I believe iTunes Plus is only for EMI right now). You're still
welcome to sell it on iTunes, but they have no policy of respecting your
metadata (CC license or otherwise.) Read more about this here:

I have an idea of how to solve the problem, but I am not sure if it
> would work. I can host my remixes on ccMixter, where every remix gets a
> unique ID number. If I distributed (as an example)
> http://ccmixter.org/media/files/Co3/11100 under the title "Look and Feel
> years Younger (Co3 Rmx) (ccMixter 11100)," would that meet the terms of
> the BY 3.0 license?

Interesting approach, but again, up to the original licensor as to whether
or not it is reasonable enough attribution.

Hope that helps,

Fred B

If I think of any other questions, I'll post those, too. Thanks for your
> time.
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