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Open Music Comes of Age


In December of 2003 Magnatune recording artist Lisa Debendictis released an album called Fruitless under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license with an original composition and performance called “Brilliant Day” (stream here).

In March of 2004 John at Magnatune was encouraging me to get in touch with artists on the label to remix and Lisa was gracious enough to let me re-record her solo vocals to “Brilliant Day” so I could use as source material for remixing for what became Chronic Dreams.

In November of 2004 at the launch of Creative Common’s remix community site ccMixter it was a no-brainer to release the a cappella under a Attribution-NonCommercial license. The a cappella track has since become one of the most remixed tracks on the site.

In July of 2005, a remix, also under Attribution-NonCommercial, was posted by ccMixter star Pat Chilla the Beat Gorilla called “Brilliant Daze (days are confused)” that, as of this writing, is one of the few tracks on the site with a perfect 5.0 rating.

One year later, in July of 2006 Pat’s myspace page, Lisa’s website and user registration at ccMixter were starting to flood with questions and praise for Lisa and Pat. It seems the “Brilliant Daze” remix was picked up by a teenage girl making videos in her bedroom, lamenting her restrictive parents and gushing over her boyfriend not as background music, but as the basis for a music video. In accordance with the Attribution clause of the license the video posted to YouTube was accompanied with full credits and links to Pat at ccMixter and Lisa’s web site (click on ‘more’) and a large percent of the 100,000s of viewers were moved to follow up.

It is now over 450,000 views later and though it has since been revealed as a viral marketing campaign, one thing that the lonelygirl15 phenomenon does prove, once and for all, is that by opening up music, allowing everybody to share and musicians to derive and collaborate the result will touch a huge audience.

Is CC licensed music viable? Half a million downloads can’t be wrong.

Recently the inventors of lonelygirl15, in accordance with the NonCommercial clause of the license have been in touch with the musicians to work out payments for use of the work in a commercial setting. Congratulations to Pat and Lisa.

Posted 05 October 2006