New creative commons search launched by Yahoo

by Tom Kerswill on March 24th, 2005
3 CommentsComments

The Guardian’s new blog reveals how Yahoo are testing a new Creative Commons search engine. Creative commons licenses allow listeners to download music for free – and modify it too, as long as they don’t then sell the music or pass it off as their own. It’s a good thing for musicians, and worth considering if you’re unsigned and want to reach a wider audience. A stark contrast to the DRM models of Microsoft and Apple Itunes, which aim to stop people listening to or sharing music unless they’ve paid for the privilege.

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Categories: General, Musicians News


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  • Secret_Microsoft_Fan

    Hey, let’s start a debate:)
    If you’ve worked to create a piece of music, and say it’s your only form of productive labour, and it’s good enough for people to wish to have it, why should you give it away for free? Doesn’t that imply that you attach no value to it? Doesn’t it also imply that as a society we are valuing music less and less. I may be swimming against the tide, but what is wrong with placing a value on your music and getting paid for giving up your labour to create something. Especially for musicians who don’t have the option of gigging and earning money that way.
    Or does the creative commons license provide a form of income after all, please educate me:):)

  • Tom

    In my case I think it would probably be more a question of releasing interesting stuff that people wouldn’t normally hear. Maybe if I did something that was completely at odds with what I’d done before (a 5-minute long rap, say… or maybe not 😉 )… It might be something I’d like to get feedback on, or something to give to people who were really interested.

    Or it might be useful for realeasing something that I hadn’t finished and wasn’t going to – a fragment of an idea that someone else might be able to do something with.

    I have to admit I wouldn’t release all my music under Creative Commons – but I like the idea of giving away some of it for free and seeing what other people might do with it… or getting them hooked on buying the album.

    Also – as you mentioned – there are other ways of gaining an income from music, like gigging. Plus, in the traditional music industry model, the artist gets less than a tenth of the income from their songs. Now that’s justified if a record company can give good publicity and support. But as fans are increasingly seeking out their own taste in music, it might be that you can reach just as wide an audience by, say, releasing some material into the public domain and letting your future fans find it. And if a tenth as many buy the album as hear it, you’re still making money and reaching a wider audience.

    This may sound hopelessly romantic but I still think reaching the widest audience possible is the most important thing about doing music – and if that happens then a reasonable income stream opens up from gigs, merchandising, radio play (of none creative-commons songs anyway 😉 ) and CD sales.

  • Secret_Microsoft_Fan

    Thanks Tom, I can appreciate some of your points of view 😉

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