15 years ago, there was this chain called Music Trader. They sold music CD’s. But they revolutionized the business. You could listen to the CD in the store before you bought it. Before that, you either bought music that you heard on the radio, at a friends house, or bought a CD because you liked the cover.
It seems so far away. Buying music. Going to a store to look for new music, and then paying for it. Most local bands that I know aren’t trying to make big bucks on their tunes. Ask any of them, and they would probably rather have you take one of their CD’s without paying, then to walk away empty handed.
There are all kinds of licensing protections available to musicians. The main purpose of organizations like ASCAP is to make sure that artists are compensated for their work. In the past this has meant that the unknown artist just puts their music out there without any protections at all.
But now there is Creative Commons Licensing. It is a way for musicians to determine what level of ownership they want to maintain while giving away songs. You can read about it here: http://creativecommons.org/
The idea is that you choose what level of protection you want, create the legal document licensing your songs, and then you are protected. You can say if people can sample your songs; re-record them; and if they can sell derivatives of your songs. A breakdown of the licensing options available can be found here.
I want to thank local punk rockers The Experiments for bringing Creative Commons to my attention. I will just paste the contents of their email to me. It was perfectly written, and I cannot add anything to it.
Disgusted with the RIAA’s lawsuits against music lovers, San Diego based rock / punk band The Experiments has released their new album, “What Kind Of Animal?” for free under the Creative Commons license. Anyone is free to download, distribute, re-mix or otherwise use the songs for non-commercial purposes.
“It’s ridiculous that a single mom gets fined $1.9 million for downloading 24 songs. It’s criminal, and the RIAA are a criminal organization,” said the band’s bass player, Dave Blood. “So, we say, take our songs for free. You deserve them.”
“What Kind Of Animal?” is the band’s 5th release. It is a complete DIY (Do It Yourself) project, with the band writing, performing, recording, and mixing the songs themselves. It can be downloaded at the band’s website, TheExperiments.com.
“We recorded it in this big wood shop that some friends let us use. We pushed the band saw and drill press aside, and set up the drums in the middle of the room. It sounded great in there,” said singer / guitar player Dan Bonn. “We did the vocals in Dan’s bathroom, and mixed it in his spare bedroom,” added Blood.
The Experiments have played their style of rock and punk in San Diego and clubs across the USA since 1994. Influenced by The Who, The Ramones, Cheap Trick and others, the band has toured the US and played in iconic clubs like NYC’s CBGB and Chicago’s Thurston’s.