[Cc-uk] "El Reg" On CC Panel Discussion

Cory Doctorow doctorow at craphound.com
Thu Apr 28 12:19:41 EDT 2005

I think it's pretty silly to argue that "most songwriters and musicians  
on the other hand need to make a living from their work" -- most  
songwriters, musicians, artists, writers, painters, dancers and members  
of every other creative trade do NOT make a living from their work.  
There has never been a time in history in which most creative laborers  
earned a living from their work. There will likely never be such a  
time. There is more good art than there are customers for good art,  
which means that the value of art remains low. I think it's important  
not to let the debate get framed in terms of the mythical  
"quit-your-day-job" event that will, never, ever arrive for  
99999999999999999999999% of all artists.

As an independent artistic entrepreneur with a commercial relationship  
with a multinational publisher, I use CC to drive up my total revenue  
(by driving more sales) even though doing so decreases my per-customer  
revenue (because many of the people who use or copy my work don't ever  
compensate me for it), because CC can lower my cost of customer  
acquisition. The "business model" for CC is: private copying and use  
and exhibition and performance have never been an area that artists  
were able to control (even if they sometimes got levies on some of the  
tools therefor). Commercial transactions are where the vast bulk of  
artistic revenue has emerged from, and commerical users have a much  
larger chance of happening upon your work and taking a license in it  
when there is a legion of noncommercial users who are busily engaged in  
copying, reframing, promoting and evangelizing it.

On Apr 28, 2005, at 12:09 PM, Paul Harkins wrote:

> I'm not surprised by Emma Pike's remarks. She wrote a pretty  
> disparaging and at times misinformed article about CC for the current  
> issue of the PRS/MCPS members magazine. Its available here:
> http://www.bmr.org/html/news/news53.htm
> The thrust of Nevrkla's point about academia is valid though I think.  
> Academics can happily use CC licenses for their work because they are  
> salaried. Most songwriters and musicians on the other hand need to  
> make a living from their work.
> Like Neil though, I think (and hope) that CC licenses can form the  
> basis of a business model and am trying to do just that with my own  
> music publishing company. I was initially concerned that free culture  
> equated to copyright anarchy but having listened to Lawrence Lessig  
> and spoken to him at the launch of CC Scotland I know that this is not  
> the case.
> On the subject of PRS & MCPS, I worked for the organizations up until  
> last summer so am happy to help with any advice about the mechanics of  
> royalty collection and distribution. I don't have a great grasp of  
> things like the articles of association but neither do many people who  
> work there which is why you will get contradictory answers to  
> questions depending on who you ask.
> The way I see it though is that the two societies should be able to  
> accommodate CC licenses because they license very little  
> non-commercial use of music i.e. churches need a PRS license but most  
> licensees will be businesses. The organization is very bureaucratic  
> though and change may only occur if and when enough members demand or  
> vote for it.
> One problem I envisaged was the question of royalties for performances  
> on the BBC. These are very important to a lot of members but are they  
> commercial or non-commercial? Whilst not a commercial broadcaster as  
> such surely songwriters and publishers should still be entitled to  
> receive royalties for the use of their music on BBC television and  
> radio programmes.
> Best wishes.
> Paul
> t: 01592 560521
> m: 07752 086309
> w: www.extrayardmusic.co.uk
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Rob Myers" <robmyers at mac.com>
> To: "cc-uk" <cc-uk at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2005 3:06 PM
> Subject: [Cc-uk] "El Reg" On CC Panel Discussion
>> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/04/28/creative_commons_talk/
>> "Emma Pike, director general of British Music Rights, took the  
>> unusual step of recomending[sic] musicians use Kazaa rather than a CC  
>> license."
>> Sounds rather desperate. :-)
>> "She also expressed concerns, shared by others in the audience, that  
>> Creative Commons does not do enough to warn artists what rights they  
>> are ceding by signing up to such a license."
>> Sounds rather familiar. :-)
>> - Rob.
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