Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Kaskade's Free Music: Beer, or Speech? A Look at Sampling, Creative Commons and Copyright (Op-Ed); Billboard, 7/1/14

Steve Martocci, Billboard; Kaskade's Free Music: Beer, or Speech? A Look at Sampling, Creative Commons and Copyright (Op-Ed) :
"While Kaskade's "Ain't Gotta Lie" stems are free, Kaskade still owns the stems under the Copyright Law and can choose to enforce his rights at any time, potentially rendering all of the stem users liable for infringement.
"Free as in free speech" implies liberty and freedom from restrictions. With free software, you're encouraged to contribute to the source code, to modify, improve and redistribute it. These actions are usually prohibited by copyright law, but the rights-holder is able to remove these restrictions by accompanying the software with a license (like GNU, MIT or Apache). Open source software is possible because of licenses like this.
Similar to software developers, music creators continually borrow, mix, and enhance each other's sounds. Evolution in music comes from continual experimentation and inspiration from the past and present.
Producer Mark Ronson recently said in a TED Talk, "The dam has burst. We live in the post-sampling era. We take the things that we love and we build on them."
Ronson is right. We live in a thriving remix culture where the creation of derivative work is inevitable. Consumers obtain and re-distribute copyrighted material illegitimately all the time. It's become ubiquitous. Activist Lawrence Lessig, pioneer of Creative Commons and author of "Remix," asserts "outdated copyright laws have turned our children into criminals."...
Kaskade closes his manifesto with an aspirational declaration: "Free the music, and your cash will follow." Artists that want to advance an open source future for music need to reconsider their definition of free. Releasing stems free of charge isn't enough. To protect creators, the stems need to be freed from restrictions by choosing a Creative Commons license.
So can we use these stems? Are they free as in beer or free as in free speech?"

No comments: