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The Hidden Value of Creative Commons April 16, 2009

Posted by lborodkin in : Uncategorized , trackback
Happy 6th Birthday Creative Commons

Happy 6th Birthday Creative Commons

On Avvo.com, I recently answered this question on music sampling:

“What are the laws on sampling music for a beat?”

Here is my answer:

“Sampling” music sound recordings is taking a portion of a sound recording and reusing it as a portion of a distinctly altered musical work. Under the copyright law, this reuse and transformation creates what is called a “derivative” work.

In the absence of any other agreement or license, the creator of the original musical sound recording has a copyright in the musical sound recording when it is released commercially. This is regardless of whether the work is registered with the Copyright Office.

It is actionable copyright infringement to incorporate portions of a musical sound recording that has been commercially released into a new work unless (a) the copyright holder grants a license allowing both copying and the creation of derivative works or (b) the owner of the sound recording has made the music available for public use under a gratis Creative Commons license that permits derivative works.

You can search for musical sound recordings that have been made available to the public for beat sampling under a Creative Commons license at creativecommons.org. You must heed the Creative Commons-published guidelines for any particular work. Only works licensed for “remix,” that is, derivative uses, may be used for beat sampling. Some owners also restrict Creative Commons license to non-commercial uses, and/or a reciprocal “share alike” license. Most Creative Commons licenses require attribution, or credit, in lieu of a license fee. Any use that falls outside the Creative Commons guidelines for a particular work would be actionable copyright infringement.

That is the lawyer’s answer. But there is another side to using Creative Commons work that reveals the flip side of my previous post on why attribution matters in copyright law. Attribution is a way of finding and linking to people that you want to work with and who want to work with you. I discovered this for myself about a year ago by putting the photos in my free Flickr account into Creative Commons under a non-commercial, attribution, no derivatives license.

I had surprising and wonderful results. Every so often, I get a little Google news vanity alert about a photo that’s been credited on the Internet. One of my faves is the remix of Lawrence Lessig at the top of this post. It is actually a collage that was created by Andy on the fly for a G33k dinner. More profoundly, it has brought some wonderful people into my life.

Tag up your photos and try it yourself. If they’re on a free hosting service, what do you have to lose?

“Happy 6th Birthday Creative Commons” collage by netZoo/revolute. Shared under Creative Commons license -obviously – via flickr.

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1. Soup Greens » Creative Commons: what’s in it for me? - April 20, 2009

[…] Commons: what’s in it for me? The hidden value of Creative Commons: Every so often, I get a little Google news vanity alert about a photo that’s been credited on […]

2. Outsourcing Manila - May 13, 2009

will refer everyone I know. Flickr was the best

3. ChaiG - May 19, 2009

Have you heard of the “Amen Break” it's a very interesting story of music sampling.


4. Hampers - June 8, 2009

Your pic makes me laugh really. Going back to copyright issue. Once a product like music, paintings, stories, etc…has been created, there is an automatic copyright on it. The legality is pursued depending on the country it was created. For this music sampling, it is common sense that will dictate. By the way, happy birthday.

5. bookabuffet - September 14, 2009

Happy birthday

6. bookabuffet - September 14, 2009

Happy birthday