Monthly Archives: March 2010

Creative Commons or Copyright for new band? – SparkExchange

A musician in a new band posted some questions to the Spark Exchange that many new bands probably want to ask: How should they copyright their music? How can they use Creative Commons licences and still keep their marketing options open?

Because of the Creative Commons connection, Spark producer Dan Misener sent me a link to the forum and I was happy to provide this (lengthy) response. It may be helpful for more than that one band. Read the entire response here.

So, to sum up, your music is already copyrighted and it sounds like you own the copyright. You can write “(c) copyright 2010” and that sort of thing on it if you want (although doing that doesn’t create the copyright at all — it’s just there to let people know). Then you should decide how freely you want to allow other people to use your work. If you want to hold onto all of the rights, you can say the work is “all rights reserved”; if you want to use a CC licence to give people some freedoms with your music, you can say “Some rights reserved. Licensed under a CC Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives licence” (or whatever you choose). There are no magic words. Be clear and you don’t need to get too hung up about it.

Finally, I would fully support what Bob Jonkman says above about the benefits of giving your music away, the unlikelihood of being paid by SOCAN either way, and the value of reading Techdirt’s “CwF + RtB” material. I also think David Byrne’s 2007 article in Wired should be required reading. You’re a new band in the age of zero cost distribution so it makes little sense for your business plan to be based on charging people to get your music. You may be better off giving away the recordings so more people hear it and turning that potentially larger fan base into money coming directly to you rather than to a record label (from which you may never get a cent if you’re not popular enough — see that brilliant David Byrne article).


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Tony Clement + Twitter = High-larious


  1. Industry Minister??Tony Clement joined Twitter recently and it turns out he’s not only hilarious, but apparently a geek as well.
    In one post, he wrote, “Guilty Pleasure #16: Big Bang Theory!” (referring to the tv show, not the origins of the universe)..
    He also had this exchange, which to me solidifies his status as a twitterrer worth following as well as a fellow proud geek: [apologies in advance for the crappy formatting below — it is ridiculously difficult to post a twitter conversation??to a blog!]

    Sometimes I feel like Lando Calrissian.


You double-cross old friends, flip-flop, then save them? RT @TonyClement_MP


??Sometimes I feel like Lando Calrissian.

You live in cloud city? You can send a text from your wrist-watch? Wear a cape? RT @TonyClement_MPSometimes I feel like Lando Calrissian.


??I find your lack of faith disturbing…

Industry Minister expands on tech agenda

This interview of Industry Minister Tony Clement followed the speech from the throne and goes into more detail about the technology aspects of the speech, including a digital economy strategy, anti-spam legislation and copyright legislation.

But what makes it a must see video two time over is how bad Google’s automatic speech recognition is, evidenced by how bad the resulting automated captions are.

Late in the first minute, as Clement says “Well, the digital economy strategy, Tom, is an effort, sort of a whole of government effort…”, which is trascribed as “well he did you work on this issue homicide is in Africa possible for governor…” That’s not just bad — it’s ridiculous!

When the interviewer says “We wanted to get rid of the Buy American provisions”, it’s hilariously transcribed as “We wanted to get rid of white Americans.”

Around the 3 minute mark, Clement says, “The key is from the American perspective, they want us to be part of something called WIPO…”, which is transcribed as, “I think he is suffering the American perspective they don’t want us to be part of something the white vote.”

Speech recognition is a difficult task to automate. Yes, some of the interview is pretty well transcribed for a completely automated process. But not much of it, and the parts that are bad are very, very bad. Pretty disappointing, actually, given that this interview has just two people with good sound quality.

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