[Cc-uk] RE: MUSIC WEEK CRITICISES CC

Ashlyn Eaton ashlyneaton at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Feb 4 20:16:15 EST 2005


Hello, 
 
I run an independent record label based in London (www.fadingways.co.uk) and we are a completely CC label. All of our releases are under one of the CC licenses and our artists prefer this and benifit from it. I work alongside a Canadian record label (www.fadingways.com) and my Canadian business partner and I replied to Music Week with the following email:
 
I am writing in grave concern of the gross misconceptions perpetuated
by many in the current music business with regards to Creative Commons
licenses.

In the latest music week dated  05.02.05, an article on p.7. states:

"MPA chief executive Sarah Faulder voices concern that young acts
could 'give up everything for no money and irrevocably' in their
keenness to be heard."

We at Fading Ways Music have been using Creative Commons licenses
(there is a range of licenses that artists can pick from based on
their needs and wishes) for a year now; we are not "giving" anything
away other than non-commercial rights; through the use of CC licenses
we have garnered more fans and a much higher sales revenue than prior.
It is a gross misconception that CC licenses means "giving everything
for no money". The license we use, the CC
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, allows for fans'
home-taping and P2P NON-commercial distribution of our catalogue of
works while enforcing the copyright over commercial usage. Creative
Commons lincenses are a clarification of copyright, NOT an opposition
to it.

The article further states, 

"Patrick Rackow, barrister at Steeles Law, believes that the CC
license is totally unnecessary . 'This is not an alternative to
copyright,' he says. 'If people want to give their work away they have always been able to do that.' "

Like many others, Mr. Rackow not only misses the point but shames his
legal capacity for understanding contracts - or just hasn't taken the
time to know what he's talking about. While he is correct in pointing
out that CC is not a copyright alternative, CC licenses clearly are
NEEDED in today's marketplace for artists that believe home-taping and
P2P file sharing is beneficial to our work and essential to our
internet and street-team marketing. It is ludicrous to accept the
present music business industry model, which is incredibly stumped and
outdated by the information highway, without looking at other ways to
legally improve our business practices.

I understand that many dinosaurs in the music biz are afraid of
change; but why does MusicWeek have to propagate their campaign of
misinformation and paranoia ("downloads hurt sales, etc.") without
voicing the other side to this important issue?

To add insult to injury, on p.26 of the same MusicWeek you quote David
Ferguson,  who threatens, "A Creative Commons license is not just for
Christmas- it's forever. You and the band will never earn one penny in
publishing royalties from your creation"

This is innacurate - our CC licenses retain all copyright over
commercial airplay, film & TV rights, and other publishing
explorations - our artists still get paid all these royalties.
Furthermore, his comments on Prof. Lessig border on the libellous.
Prof. Lessig issued a commercially published book that sold very well,
but was ALSO available online for free downloads under a CC license.
One does NOT preclude the other, whether it's under US, Canadian, or
UK / European law.

Why don't these "industry" experts talk instead about the EU
parliament's IP Enforcement Directive, that will soon allow the majors
to raid the houses of suspected downloaders and confiscate their
computers? That, in my view, is a MUCH larger threat to both musicians
and their fans - CC licenses may well prove to be the salvation of the
music industry.

Sincerely,
Neil Leyton
Label Director & Artist
Fading Ways Records Ltd. (Canada)
Fading Ways Music UK 
-- 
www.fadingways.co.uk
www.fadingwaysmusic.com

We have yet to receive a response, although I do expect one, as the two pieces published in the latest Music Week could  potentially have a damning effect on the spread of CC throughout the UK Music Industry. 
 
Ashlyn Eaton
 
Label Director
Fading Ways Music UK
www.fadingways.co.uk
07764 575600
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today's Topics:

   1. MUSIC WEEK CRITICISES CC (David M.Berry)
   2. Re: MUSIC WEEK CRITICISES CC (Rob Myers)


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Message: 1
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 18:09:56 +0000
From: David M.Berry <d.berry at sussex.ac.uk>
Subject: [Cc-uk] MUSIC WEEK CRITICISES CC
To: cc-uk at lists.ibiblio.org
Message-ID: <CF528D92-760E-11D9-BBD8-000A95B8FFFA at sussex.ac.uk>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"


This is in Music Week this week...

Thoughts comments?

David

---


Music Week 31st Jan-3rd Feb

There has been a lot of talk about a new idea for copyright from across 
the Atlantic from the US. We are told this is an idea that will 
revolutionise both culture and commerce on the internet and will create 
a new huge ‘public domain’ of ideas from which will spread a new 
renaissance. Sounds good? Not if you are involved in the music 
business.

Originated by Stamford law professor Laurence Lessig, Creative Commons 
is a new series of licences that creators can attach to their work for 
internet distribution. But where is the commerce element? The answer is 
there isn’t any – the creator puts the work up for free and the only 
real right which he or she tries to enforce is the right to have their 
name attached to the work.

OK, I’ve pressed up 200 copies of my band’s demo and we’re looking for 
a deal, so I’m giving them away to everyone and I’ll stick a Creative 
Commons licence on them for our webpage and then when we get a deal 
we’ll cancel the licence, get an advance from ‘Super Publishing inc’ 
and put out the album.

Sorry, no. A Creative Commons licence is not just for Christmas, it’s 
forever. You and the band will never earn one penny in publishing 
royalties from your creation.

Worse still, in 2012 when President Jeb Bush is running for 
re-election, he is going to use your anthem for world peace in his 
adverts to demonstrate how the world needs saving from snivelling 
pinkos like you and there is nothing you can do about it. Period.

Prof. Lessig has not done enough research. His licences have some sort 
of value in the world of Academia, where a creator’s sole aim is to 
distribute his ideas as widely as possible without any money changing 
hands. For the world of music they are a pointless and damaging 
distraction which undermine the concept of copyright and create huge 
difficulties for music writers now and in the future. Worst of all, 
they play into the hands of the big Telcos and ISPs who are all too 
happy to give away our music when they can.

David Ferguson is chairman of the British Academy of Songwriters and 
Composers



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Message: 2
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 18:39:08 +0000
From: Rob Myers <robmyers at mac.com>
Subject: Re: [Cc-uk] MUSIC WEEK CRITICISES CC
To: cc-uk <cc-uk at lists.ibiblio.org>
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On 3 Feb 2005, at 18:09, David M.Berry wrote:

> This is in Music Week this week...
>
> Thoughts comments?

Must be a slow news week. :-)

I look forward to Ferguson's thoughts on how demos destroy bands  
chances of getting a recording contract, how bootlegs destroy fanbases,  
and how live shows reduce album sales.

Let's step through the mistakes.

> We are told this is an idea that will revolutionise both culture and  
> commerce on the internet and will create a new huge ‘public domain’ 
of  
> ideas from which will spread a new renaissance.

It's a commons. Copyright is retained and, with CC's licenses,  
regulated. Public domain is a specific legal term, one that the music  
industry has recently demonstrated it has no respect for.

> Sounds good? Not if you are involved in the music business.

But what if you're a musician?

> But where is the commerce element?

Enabling noncommercial previewing and sharing of work, enabling bands  
to build publicity. Allowing sampling without huge lawsuits. Reassuring  
consumers that they can use content they pay for. Protecting bands from  
studio-system licenses!

> The answer is there isn’t any – the creator puts the work up for free  
> and the only real right which he or she tries to enforce is the right  
> to have their name attached to the work.

Which license does Ferguson have in mind? Or has he not read enough to  
know that there is more than one license?

> OK, I’ve pressed up 200 copies of my band’s demo and we’re looking 
for  
> a deal,

I thought one put music on the internet? Anyway...

> so I’m giving them away to everyone and I’ll stick a Creative Commons  
> licence on them for our webpage and then when we get a deal we’ll  
> cancel the licence, get an advance from ‘Super Publishing inc’ and 
put  
> out the album.

The music industry loves relationships you can cancel. Just ask George  
Michael...

> Sorry, no. A Creative Commons licence is not just for Christmas, it’s  
> forever. You and the band will never earn one penny in publishing  
> royalties from your creation.

Unless, unlike Ferguson, you understand that there's more than one CC  
license and license it CC-BY-NC-ND or NC-Sampling-Plus on the promo,  
and proprietary to the record company. And remember that there's more  
than one copyright on a musical performance...

> Worse still, in 2012 when President Jeb Bush is running for  
> re-election, he is going to use your anthem for world peace in his  
> adverts to demonstrate how the world needs saving from snivelling  
> pinkos like you and there is nothing you can do about it. Period.

The sampling licenses disallow use for advertising. Notice also how  
Ferguson is echoing the "commons equals communism" nonsense that earnt  
Bill Gates such widespread ridicule a few weeks back.

There's nothing communistic about being able to choose how to exercise  
your rights to build the business model you want.

> Prof. Lessig has not done enough research.

ROFL. Pot, kettle. Only it's a shiny, stainless steel kettle....

> His licences have some sort of value in the world of Academia, where 
a  
> creator’s sole aim is to distribute his ideas as widely as possible  
> without any money changing hands.

Show me a band that succeeds commercially without reputation or  
popularity.

> For the world of music they are a pointless and damaging distraction  
> which undermine the concept of copyright

How? They are built on copyright.

> and create huge difficulties for music writers now and in the future.

If by difficulties he means careers...

> Worst of all, they play into the hands of the big Telcos and ISPs who  
> are all too happy to give away our music when they can.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/02/01/free_legal_downloads/

"Telcos" and ISPs, who have nothing to do with the content they  
transmit (much like record companies aren't responsible for their stars  
bad behaviour), are not worse bad guys than the contract lawyers and  
creative accountants deployed by record companies.

> David Ferguson is chairman of the British Academy of Songwriters and  
> Composers

Ah, someone who makes their living by writing and performing music.  
Unlike the parasites in this report:  
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/12/07/ 
artists_not_concerned_about_file_sharing/

- Rob.



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