Posts Tagged ‘coruption’

Response to unculutred blog, use of song in chairty project.

October 3, 2008

visit the uncultured project at this link

Hey Shawn,

A pleasure to be a part of your project. This film use was great news for me as i’m self publishing my art. Part of the problem is that the large charity organizations all want to deal with the big stars like u2, yet there is heaps of art that sounds great that can be used in so many ways and create such a great result for the organization. I started a project a long time ago called hungry artists feed hungry people on myspace i started to gradually understand the reality of many of the charity organizations. They are interested in the rock gods. Yet the reality to my mind is that these media stars are a big part of the problem and part of the reason for poverty. When people are hearing the song “one love” “one world” written via the likes of U2, some might think that problems are being solved. Yet part of the reality is that a publisher is collecting something. Creative commons is part of the solution and its great that i inspired you to use the licenses. I bumped into the CC licenses through the hafhp project. I hope that more artists go with the hafhp idea. I just wanted to be true to my word,

its great work your doing shawn, keep going. thanks a lot.

One thing i should add, is that i only gave up the funds that fox gave me for the use of the song, i did not give up the Author rights that would be paid for the use of the song’s public performance, my view is that self publishing artists giving revenues to charities is a good way to promote the sound recording of the song. Many business models could evolve out of a similar situation, yet the charity organizations have to want to work with these types of business models.

apra rights organization the effect in short

March 6, 2008

The real change i see is that most consumers have technology to create, yet APRA’s policy of one price for use of content makes it impossible for distribution of art not without a publisher, to both commercial and non-commercial streams that are off line. Yet online myspace and youtube don’t pay for the use of content. The effect of this is that the rights organizations are keeping people online and inside their homes; stopping the flow of culture outside the home. One problem is that APRA don’t show how they create the cost for use of content. how can open content be integrated ?

Artists Right to distribute- work in progress

January 22, 2008

When media in Australia uses works licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution licences the media is given no rebate by the rights organisation. My view is that if commercial media did get a reduction when they used open content, that the market would be more efficient. More local self published content would be used and publishers might take their ears out of their pockets.

My understanding is that commercial media in Australia pays for the use of much of their content this way: Media is issued with a blanket licence to use any content they choose and provides details of what they use to the rights organisations. Users pay a fee that is distributed via the rights organisations to the publishers and artists that created that content.

Things are different in the U.S. In the U.S artists are able to deal directly with media and licence content as they choose and remain members of a rights organisation. This means that Creative Commons Attribution licences are able to be incorporated into the media in the U.S with some success. Consider also: In Australia artists are not able to sell a song, in the U.S artists can. Artists members in Australia must maintain 50 percent of what they create. Different moral rights apply to content in different countries. No glove fits all yet the net crosses many boundaries.

These double standards give the U.S media the ability to steam roll its content globally. Big name acts like Madonna take much of the media’s attention? Are feet getting cold as a result of over exposure of these acts? Do they create the best content?

Rights organisations provide content at one price, this creates conditions where both commercial and non-commercial media shall most likely always use content owned by a publisher, rather than that of a self publisher. Even when the self publisher can show that she or he created content to the media. Almost all artists associated with rights organisations are self publishing artists.

Most artists that can create a song and sing that song in a public place join a rights organisation, why? I reckon its because of the live performance royalties received when they perform a song. Some self publishing artists might tell the rights organisations that they are performing content they created, when really they are singing songs owned by a publisher. This can increase the live performance returns of that artist. Rights organisations create conditions where artists are encouraged to create content that is similar to content already published.

Woody Guthrie wrote the following message in the 1930’s:

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin’ it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ours, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

Imagine that copyright is now maintained for over 50 years after death. Much of Bob Dylan’s work would be public now under the conditions of the 1930’s. Copyright keeps on being extended to serve a minority of created works. Is culture better with this extension of author rights and artists not having to register their works?

Artists are often under the illusion that the rights organisations protect their works from theft. If someone steals your art and calls it theirs, its not their job to protect it. Rights organizations collect when your content is performed.

Consider that much of the content used in Australia comes from the U.S. Consider also this: The person with the most steam in the popular music scene might be the programming director of the alternative national youth radio network JJJ, JJJ is a government funded radio network. If most of the exposure that flows into independent music culture comes through government funding, this creates a difficult arts scene.

The way the voting system works for the board of APRA (apra is the Australian rights organization): For every 500 dollars that an artist or publisher collects the artist or publisher get an extra vote. The board is made up by artists that create works for television, popular artist and the publishers that collect the most. Half of the board is made up of publishers and half are creators of content. Albert music who publish ACDC’s music are able to put themselves on the board. Board members are making decisions mainly in the interests of publishers. Board members can’t be expected to make decisions that benefit culture, artists or the arts scene. They are more likely to make decisions that creates better conditions for a karaoke bar than self publishing of art.

I reckon the organisations that keep a check on these monopolies (the ACCC in Australia) must spend a lot of time figuring out how they are able to justify the existence of structures like APRA. When these organisations fail, what shall take their place?

Myspace have their own blanket license system. Myspace are able to collect music content and sell advertising space without paying the artists for use of their content. Almost every popular band in the world must be on Myspace. Even APRA have endorsed myspace by creating their own profile. All live venues and media in Australia have to comply with APRA policy, yet Myspace does not. These double standards create conditions only big venues and big media can stay in step with. Small clubs shut down. Internet radio is also not possible in Australia, only streaming of content from above ground networks.

When I joined APRA (Australian Performing Rights Association) I thought that the organisation was similar to a post office. I cancelled my membership when I realized that APRA was far from anything like a regular post office. Rights organisations create conditions so that publishers can communicate the message of published artists best. With the internet and new technologies here, more is being created. Why can’t what we create be used by media in conjunction with popular media to the advantage of that media. Its seems that works created by few are creating unfair conditions for all.

The community benefits when artists are able to self publish. If Creative Commons licences can be used by media in Australia (and other countries) with an incentive for media to use that content, culture would improve (I reckon). Some might drop their graffiti cans and be more interactive. Many artists give up on art because of the brick wall the rights organisations create. Other artists start out creating art for the community, end up scoring films and making content for commercials. Free Culture and Creative Commons is part of the solution.

Last FM Creative Commons

November 29, 2007

A couple of months back this thread started on a last FM’s forum. Today I noticed that in conjunction with Mozilla is sponsoring an event that celebrates five years of Creative Commons.

Now if an artist, label or publisher tags their song with the words Creative Commons, the song goes into the Creative Commons charts. Read this thread for more information. For now artists or net labels are not able to upload using any type of Creative Commons licenses; a Creative Commons chart within last.FM’s system is a good step forward.

How last FM works ?

Type in the name of your favorite artist… into the last FM search engine. You are then taken to a page that says “Now playing:… Similar Artists”. The first track you listen to is the artist you choose, then to similar artists, example. The user has the option of clicking on a heart button to say weather they like the track playing or not, by doing this you create your own play list. The next artists playing is a different artist and so on. Each band or artist playing has a buy link that the listener can visit. Last FM has no advertising brakes, this sets apart from all other forms of music radio media.’s revenue.

Last Fm’s revenue comes from banners and preferences given to content played.

Information from’s website.

* 100 impressions for $20.00
* 500 impressions for $100.00
* 1,000 impressions for $200.00
* 2,000 impressions for $400.00

Book a Powerplay campaign to target a set amount of radio plays for a track to a specific group of users. After you’ve run your Powerplay campaign, you will be able to access statistics of how your track has been received.

Pay and be heard.

Artist’s label’s and publisher’s are able to “pay and be heard” on last FM. In Australia it is illegal to “pay and be heard” on radio. Its the responsibility of a programmer to decide what is played and what is not. A publisher, artist or label is able to bring content to the station. Its upto the radio network to pay the programmer to do her or his job. Last FM may be just a little closer to the reality of the music business.

Rights for use of content? have to pay the rights organizations for use of content, does not ask the artist when they become a member of their service, if they are a member of a rights organization or not. This means most likely pay a blanket license fee for the use of content. When an artist not with a rights organization is being played on, still pay for use of that content. Its possible that a fair chunk of’s revenue goes towards paying rights organizations. How are the rights organizations going to react when Creative Commons content is played via in non-profit spaces. If these organization only play content from the CC last.FM charts they be in a situation where they would not have to pay for use of this content.

A self publishing artist using last FM, why?

The system looks to support the established publishing/label industry. The system gives the opportunity for un-known artists to tap into the fan bass of a well-known established artists with a similar style and possibly sell music through i-tunes, paypal, cdbaby, amazon…. For an artist to be heard beyond the community of people that she or he comes in direct contact with, seems to be an expensive process. Creative Commons charts could change this.

Free culture & rights organizations?

People like music without hearing advertisements. With wifi moving everywhere is going to last? As the system gets more and more popular, the cost for the use of content might go up. Listening to radio without having commercial brakes gives a competitive edge in the market place, this might be seen as un-fair. Are publishers, artists & labels (companies that use banners) going to bring in enough revenue to pay for the use of this content? Could be shut down by the right organizations?

Music business.

The music business looks to have turned from the exploitation of the public for revenue to that of the “self publishing” artist. The explosion in artistic content created, fueled by the net and an explosion in technology, makes the exploitation of unrealistic dreams a good business. Its good business for the music business to maintain low standards of content within the market. “Pay and be heard”, pay this and our festival might consider you for a performance. Pay 20 dollars for your song to be reviewed. Put three songs on an album written by famous artists so public might find your content on i-tunes. Where does free-culture fit into all this?

Buma Stemra Art Pirates

November 14, 2007

Recently I called up Buma/Stemra (Dutch collection society) to find out more information about the Creative Commons pilot project. Read the press release here. The project was initiated by the Creative Commons team in the Netherlands, this mail thread explains more.

What I understood after the conversation was this: its as difficult to change what a commercial use is for art licensed with Creative Commons licenses (for members of rights organizations) as it is to create a ‘license back situation’ for all artist members. From what I understand a license back situation would allow the artists to deal with their rights as they choose, yet still participate in the collecting system where the artist wanted to. The reason why Buma/Stemra would not create a license back situation (according to Buma/Stemra) is that it would cost its members to much and there would be nothing to collect if they did this anyway.

From what I understand Buma/Stemra see little difference between what a commercial use is for art licensed with a Creative Commons non-commercial license and art not licensed with one (for members that participate in the pilot). Buma/Stemra see almost everything as a commercial use. What is going to happen if in the future rights organizations adopt the NonCommercials Creative Commons license under the Buma/Stemra conditions? Would this give the rights organizations the ability to charge non-profit organizations for the use Creative Commons Non Commercial licensed works in that territory ? Consider also: even a small flow from one rights organization might effect the art developing via Creative Commons licensing.

A way around this problem might be to add a feature to the license that would let the user of the license know that the art was administered by a rights organization (Buma/Stemra, yes no). By doing so creating a new aspect to the licenses. In time the rights organizations might work towards a Non Commercial use that resembles the Creative Commons Non Commercial use. For the rights organizations to build a new system they would have to dismantle/rebuild the old one. What incentive is there for a board of directors that are involved mostly with large publishers to do this?

Buma/Stemra must have been extremely aware of their system when this pilot started and knew from the very moment that it started that the conditions of a commercial use could not be changed. Were the Creative Commons team in the Netherlands aware of this?

Why would Buma/Stemra treat online users of content any differently to off line users ? Consider also: If Buma/stemra do treat a Non Commercial use differently online, then what is the effect of creative commons licenses on spaces outside the net now and in the future (where the pilot might be introduced)? Is two separate conditions for the use of content a good future to grow up in?

If this pilot continues, users of Creative Commons licensed works and artists that license using Creative Commons licenses are going to be confused.

Who am I to make any assumptions about Buma/Stemra? Although I am from Australia and was previously a member of APRA. Over the last months I have had the opportunity to tour music through the Netherlands. In this time I was able to get feedback from venue owners on how Buma/Stemra deal with people.

Here’s an article with more thoughts on the Creative Commons Non-commercial use.

article in progress “Some reasons why artists don’t use CC license”.

October 3, 2007

Most artists when they get started on their path mostly seem interested in distribution of ideas, rather than revenue. I spoke to a blues guitar player recently, when talking about money and music. “The music is free, what your paying for is the strings, the amp, the petrol and all the rest of it; but the music its free”. Its not easy for some artists to license their art with a CC license, Creative Commons is difficult to explain to an artists having a hard time. The void within the publishing system creates a magnet to almost every idea, creative commons is the only . I’m convinced that CC creates a better flow of culture within culture, yet getting that message through is not easy.

The most effective distribution tool (i reckon) is an open license, yet for a commercial organization to use an open license can create problems. Recently virgin mobile in Australia used images, licensed with an open license without a model release. This resulted in legal action against virgin mobile and creative commons by the person that licensed their image using a creative commons open license. If the person using a license can sue the organization that creates the license, what is the future of that license ?

The publishers have created difficult circumstances for “self publishing” artist with new ideas. As publishing industries grow smaller, exploitation of the “self published artist” grows. Organization have sprung up all over the net that offer artists the opportunity to get through the wall at a cost. Its easy for an artist with little understanding of the publishing industry to be sucked into this system. Even when artists create ideas compatible with contemporary ideas, unless publishing industries have nurtured these ideas the ability to distribute the idea is not easy. One of my favourite artists “beck”, was related to the business when he started out. Publishing good ideas has less to do with the idea and more to do with who you know, even with


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