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The freedom to listen: Rute Correia on the power of community radio

Open Culture

ruteAcademic, producer, and open culture enthusiast, Rute Correia is a Lisbon-based doctoral candidate who produces the White Market Podcast, which focuses on free culture and CC music. As both a student of radio and producer herself, she is deeply connected to the Netlabel and CC music communities, utilizing her significant talents to showcase free music, culture, and Creative Commons through community radio and open source.

Rute will be joining us at the Creative Commons Global Summit in Lisbon from May 7-9 to talk about her exciting new project, the Open Music Network. Find out more about the Summit, and don’t forget to register soon!

How did you become involved with and interested in open culture and music production? How would you encourage others to get involved?
It all started about 12 years ago. I joined Radio Zero, a student radio station in Lisbon, and they had a very open source-oriented ethos. That’s where I first found out about Creative Commons and, luckily, at that time there were lots of independent music labels in Portugal releasing music under CC. One thing led to another and I ended up doing a show only dedicated to music that was freely (as in beers!) available. It was the precursor of White Market Podcast, my show about CC-licensed music and open culture. What I find really exciting about open music is that there’s so much to discover and everything is accessible. Cultural industries tend to remain heavily closed, reinforcing the idea that culture is a privilege, but CC licenses challenge that and allow you to share your stuff with whoever you want. If you like music, I’d say the best way to start is to dive into larger pools of free music, like Starfrosch, Dogmazic, ccMixter, and Auboutdufil.

What is the role of radio in open source music production? Why is radio art important in the digital age?
Radio is the medium with the widest reach in the world – the International Telecommunication Union estimates that it reaches “95% of virtually every segment of the population” around the the world. As such, it is still a great tool for promoting music regardless of genre, and reaching out to newer audiences. But the connection can grow a lot deeper than that; for non-for-profit stations, open music can also be a valuable resource as it is shared with fewer restrictions than copyrighted music. For instance, stations using CC BY-SA songs can share that share the content they produce under the same license allowing their listeners to engage with their content beyond the broadcast schedule.


How do you “live open” in a closed source world? What open values do you bring to your work in academia and radio?
It can be hard sometimes. Sadly, I don’t think we’re at a stage where you can live fully “open”. We’re all limited by the reality around us: jobs, what friends and family do, etc. I try to keep things as open as possible: creating open processes and using free software is a good start in our daily lives. In academia, I try to follow guidelines regarding open science: using open formats and sharing data whenever possible. Beyond using and sharing only free content, I have tried to set up a collaborative workflow using Github to create content for White Market Podcast. It’s still a work in progress, though.

What are you going to be working on or presenting at the CC Summit?
Darksunn and I will be presenting the recently-formed Open Music Network – a non-profit organization focused on promotion, education and advocacy for the benefits of open music for both professional and personal use. The network links different actors in the open music community – such as platforms, labels, podcasts and radios shows, and even a venue.

What aspect of the CC Summit are you most excited about? What are you most looking forward to?
Just to take part in it is already crazy exciting for me! It’s going to be my first ever CC Summit and it’s a lovely coincidence that it’s taking place right at home. I look forward to welcoming other CC-lovers into Lisbon, as well as learning from their experiences with Creative Commons and in open culture.

Posted 27 March 2019