[Cc-uk] CC going mad?

David M. Berry d.berry at sussex.ac.uk
Wed Jun 22 05:21:08 EDT 2005

Ok. It gets worse.

If you download and listen to the track (and I thoroughly recommend  
that you do not) it is quite simply the most appallingly sung,  
arranged and produced waste of time and effort I can possibly  
imagine. It is really really bad. Unlistenably bad. Surely their are  
enough free culture people into writing good music not to produce a,  
and I quote, 'techno' version. Techno, to my understanding, does not  
usually signal crap (although I am not particularly a techno fan  
myself). It is certainly not an excuse to put rubbish like this out -  
that they then ask people to pay for!

This feels like a really bad office joke. It feels cliquey, sounds  
like it was recorded on someones office desktop computer in Microsoft  
Office OneNote 2003 and mixed in the lunch-break.  Somewhere, someone  
in CC should have looked at it and said no way.

On 22 Jun 2005, at 10:02, Tom Chance wrote:

> Ahoy,
> I have to chip in here... that is *disgusting*. What about all the  
> labels
> using CC? What about CCMixter and Remix Reading? There are  
> thousands of
> independent musicians out there that could have been contacted and  
> paid a
> small but fair sum to write some new music, and fully CC it!
> I can see how it might help make people aware of how crazy  
> copyright can be,
> but they could easily have commissioned a new piece and then said "We
> couldn't use happy birthday because of... it would have cost us x...".
> It also makes me think about using the label "free culture" for our  
> UK-based
> arm, given that they are correct in saying the "Free Culture movement"
> movement started in 2004, but it is obviously ridiculous to say a  
> movement
> concerned with free culture started then, or even in 1984 with the  
> GPL.
> What is the most constructive way for us to raise this with the CC  
> management?
> Tom
> On Wednesday 22 Jun 2005 09:54, David M. Berry wrote:
>> I am sure that many of us will have seen the recent celebration of a
>> one year old birthday for the 'free culture movement' by Creative
>> Commons. Putting aside the presumption that Free Culture 'started' in
>> 2004, no doubt following the publication of one of Lessig's books, I
>> have to admit that I find their way of celebrating grotesque and
>> backwards.
>> Rather than get a songwriter to create a new song, which could then
>> be CC licensed and contribute to free culture. They have... no, you
>> won't believe it... licensed 'Happy Birthday' from the Harry Fox
>> agency which they have obtained a compulsory license for. Naturally
>> this means that they cannot give any rights to the downloaders as the
>> copyright is still owned and controlled by the copyright owners. And
>> who, you might ask, are the copyright owners? Luckily its those
>> extremely hard-up songwriters who struggle to make ends meet --- AOL
>> Time Warner (revenue in 2004 $42.8 billion, market cap £84 billion).
>> Good to see Creative Commons fighting the good fight.
>> They are having to pay 8.5 cents a song download in order to pay for
>> the license which they then ask us to pay for. So let me just run
>> that past you again - to celebrate free culture, and the freedoms it
>> transfers to you - creative commons have licensed a closed
>> proprietary track which cannot be given any of the freedoms that they
>> purport to celebrate. But more than that they transfer all this
>> money, that people might assume to be going to a good cause (you can
>> even claim a tax rebate on the donation) is instead helping fill the
>> coffers of an already hugely wealthy, powerful and pro-copyright
>> multinational.
>> Who on earth is making these really really stupid decisions? First
>> the extremely ethically suspect Bzzz agency ( http://
>> creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/5424 ) and now this. You really have
>> to question the motivations of CC, does the management really
>> understand what free culture is all about.
>> Nice call Creative Commons.
>> – David
>> ---
>> Happy Birthday, Free Culture Movement
>> http://mirrors.creativecommons.org/happybirthday/
>> Just over a year ago, April 23, 2004, at Swarthmore College,
>> Swarthmore, PA, more than 100 students met to launch the Free Culture
>> Movement. These students had been organized by the Swarthmore
>> students who sued Diebold and won after Diebold sent a cease and
>> desist letter alleging violations of the Digital Millenium Copyright
>> Act to the Swathmore university administrator which then shut down
>> their website. A year later, there are nine chapters across the
>> country, and more brewing around the world.
>> Creative Commons wanted to find an appropriate way to celebrate. So
>> we put together this version of "Happy Birthday," sung by, we might
>> say, some of the leaders of the free world (The EFF Staff, Mitch
>> Kapor, Dan Gillmor, Brian Behlendorf, Ian Clarke, Jimmy Wales,
>> Brewster Kahle, and Gigi Sohn). Of course, to do this, we had to
>> license the rights from Harry Fox (who represent Warner Chappell
>> Music, the copyright owner of the composition) — yes, "Happy
>> Birthday" is still under copyright — but the folks at Harry Fox were
>> willing to give us a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, that deal does
>> not transfer, so while you're free to download this version and play
>> it "for personal use", and free to engage in any "fair use" of the
>> song, the rights we have to give don't include much more than that.
>> This is because clearing rights to use music, under our current
>> system of copyright is very complex. You need to clear every element
>> you use. So in this recording, Warner's owns the lyrics and the
>> composition and we have a limited license to use those & make them
>> available to you for your personal use. The loops and sounds are
>> owned by a loop distributor and licensed to us under a limited
>> license that means we can't make it available to you to remix. But we
>> own the rights in the recording in its entirety. We can — and we do —
>> license the rights to the recording under a Creative Commons
>> Attribution license. But because the nature of music is that the
>> recording, the lyrics and the music are inextricably linked, to be
>> able to exercise any of your rights in the recording under the
>> Creative Commons Attribution license other than for personal or fair
>> use, you will need to contact Harry Fox or Warner Chappell Music for
>> permission to use the lyrics and composition and PowerFX to use the
>> loops and sounds.
>> Alas, them's the breaks for free culture for now. Maybe if the Free
>> Culture Movement is successful, things might become a bit less
>> complicated. But for the moment, all we can do is wish the students
>> of FCM good luck, and ask you to help us help them. We've set up a
>> donation box to raise money for the Free Culture Movement. So if you
>> download the song, and would like to help, here's where to donate.
>> All money collected will be used to support the Free Culture  
>> Movement.
>> Our license from Harry Fox requires that we make the following
>> statement: song written by Mildred J. Hill & Patty S. Hill, publisher
>> is Warner Chappell Music.
>> Donate and Download
>> Our aim is to raise funds to help support the Free Culture Movement.
>> But the reality is that we've got to pay 8.5 cents for each download.
>> We've therefore set up a governor that restricts the downloads to
>> just a portion of the funds raised. Thus, if there are not enough
>> donations, you won't be able to download a song (unless you donate).
>> More donation and tax information is available.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Cc-uk mailing list
>> Cc-uk at lists.ibiblio.org
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-uk
> -- 
> Please send personal emails to tom at ... not lists at ...
> _______________________________________________
> Cc-uk mailing list
> Cc-uk at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-uk

More information about the Cc-uk mailing list