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REGISTERED:11/30/2009
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ange on 11/06/2013 at 05:30AM

FMA Song of the Day Podcast

Every day is a chance to get a new song stuck in your head. Subscribe to our Song of the Day podcast in Feedburner or iTunes to find out what we're really into every day. Past song selections include Kurt Vile, Deer Tick, Glass Candy, The Relatives, Sharon Van Etten, What Cheer? Brigade, Dan Deacon, and Lonnie Holley.

Suggest your own favorite songs in the comments section below, and see what we feature in the weeks to come!

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song of the day, podcast
ange on 10/31/2013 at 04:30AM

Free Horror Music Versions of Orff, Bach, Stravinsky & Beethoven

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ange on 10/24/2013 at 09:38AM

Interview: Future of Music Summit 2013

My Music Thing/Flickr

The Future of Music Summit is coming up on Oct 28-29 in Washington DC. I’ll be there tweeting updates, but first I wanted to chat with their Interim Executive Director Casey Rae about what topics will be on the mind of musicians, policy makers, and others involved in the music industry at the summit this year.  

Think of this interview as a quick study, so you’ll have smart things to say between summit sessions, or while following along online. In addition to a bit about Casey himself and the history of the FMC, we also discuss low power FM, the economics of cultural production, voluntary agreements in copyright enforcement, preliminary steps towards copyright reform, and the arrival of iTunes Radio in the digital music landscape.


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ange on 09/25/2013 at 01:01PM

Open Source Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier for the Public Domain

How would you put to use a public domain recording of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier?

While Johann Sebastian Bach is already in the public domain, a Kickstarter project called the Open Well-Tempered Clavier is seeking to create hi-quality professional studio recordings of all 48 pieces of the Well-Tempered Clavier. This project comes to us from the same team who released the Open Goldberg Varitions, another public domain collection of Bach works. 

The Well-Tempered Clavier has already had a rich impact on music. A few fun examples include the Swingle Singers a cappella version of Prelude from n.24 in B minor, Peter Coffin's project "Music Interpreted by Brain" featuring a brain listening to the Well-Tempered Clavier pt.1, and Brian Tychinski's marimba arrangement of Prelude No. 22 in B flat major for the O-Zone Percussion Group ensemble. If this project suceeeds, it's exciting to think of all ways the 48 pieces would travel, from remixes to videos to winter nights on the couch.

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ange on 09/06/2013 at 04:24PM

C3S Collecting Society: Crowdfund a GEMA Alternative for Creative Commons Artists

Collecting societies do the work music copyright holders can't do on their own, like tracking and distributing radio royalties. But in Germany there's only one collecting society, called GEMA, and they're known to impose exclusivity over artists who want to share their music publicly. This is why many creators from Germany and other parts of Europe don't have the option to use Creative Commons while also participating in a collecting society.

From this need emerges the Cultural Commons Collecting Society (aka. C3S), an artist-friendly, transparent, flexible collecting society. Wolfgang Senges, one of the project's co-initiators, recently presented about C3S at the Creative Commons Global Summit (slides here), and the project will be legally founded September 25th, during the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg.

So far on their crowndfunding page, C3S has raised over 80,000 € in addition to the 30,000 € already raised for their legal founding. Senges points out that the crowdfunding effort still needs to reach the 200,000 € goal in order to have the resources necessary to meet the requirements for starting a collecting society. Here's where you can pledge your support, and even purchase a "share" to have your music administered by C3S after their launch.

In celebration of C3S, the Free Music Archive is proud to host the C3S Ignition Mix featuring GEMA-free music under Creative Commons licenses.


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ange on 08/09/2013 at 01:30AM

What Content ID Has to Do With Your Content

We've heard that many artists who share their music via the Free Music Archive have received fishy emails from a service called ContentID.com. We apologize, and are working to make sure this type of spam doesn't happen again.

As a resource for helping you share your music (or, as some would call it, “content”), we were concerned to see that these emails contained some misleading information, and figured a nice note was in order to answer some questions you might be having.

What’s YouTube’s Content ID?

This is how YouTube identifies user-uploaded videos that include media from other rights holders. To do this, rights holders deliver YouTube reference files (audio-only or video) of content they own, metadata describing that content, and policies on what they want YouTube to do when they find a match (monetize, track, or block). YouTube compares videos uploaded to YouTube against those reference files.

Content ID Helps Track Music on YouTube

YouTube created Content ID for rightsholders like record labels who own exclusive rights to large catalogues. Though you’re welcome to give it a shot using their signup page, so far, they don't seem to have the capacity to accommodate independent musicians. This is unfortunate because we hear from artists who would like to use Content ID to track how their music is used, and identify when this happens without attribution. We're currently looking into additional services we can recommend to FMA artists who want to give Content ID a spin but aren't able to go through to YouTube directly.

ContentID.com is Not the Same Thing YouTube's Content ID

Because YouTube's Content ID is hard for indie musicians to break into, there are middlemen services like ContentID.com. They are a website owned by the stock music library AudioMicro and that also goes by the name “AdRev.” These middlemen will exploit your copyright by uploading your reference files to their company’s ContentID account, identifying your “content” as their own, placing ads on the YouTube videos, and giving you a percentage. Even though “ContendID.com” is not the same thing as YouTube's Content ID program, their blog is using SEO tricks to be tied to the phrase, and they’re in the process of trying to trademark Content ID.

Is this a good way to monetize my music?

That’s up to you. Some artists have taken AdRev up on their offer, including Open Goldberg Variations, who recently blogged about their decision. We're looking into additional services we can recommend to FMA artists who want to give Content ID a spin but aren’t able to get through to YouTube directly.

For artists who encourage derivative works, it’s important to keep in mind that a service like AdRev may limit the reach of your music. They use ContentID to claim the video's ad revenue, taking it away from the video creator if there's already an ad on it, or adding a commercial if there wasn't one already. Smart video creators steer clear of anything they think might be ContentID-able in the first place, otherwise they get angry.

Another issue is that middlemen services may place ads indiscriminately. If you only wanted ads to appear on commercial uses of your music, or wanted to make exceptions for certain content creators with whom you’ve made an informal arrangement, communicating this to YouTube via a middleman could be tricky.

Watch Out for Trolls

Some FMA artists have run into issues with trolls on YouTube claiming ad revenue from their music. We hear that this is relatively simple to sort out. By making your contact information easily available, it helps filmmakers reach out and get YouTube the info they need to get rid of the claim.

Someone used my music in a video in a way that violates the terms of my Creative Commons license. What can be done?

If you want to stop that video, YouTube provides tools to submit a copyright infringement takedown request, which you totally have the right to do if they didn't follow Creative Commons guidelines you selected. More info here.

Creative Commons is an incredibly powerful way to encourage sharing while also protecting your copyright. Alongside video-makers, there are countless educators, bloggers, podcasters, arts organizations and others who seek to participate in this symbiotic system. Because FMA hosts music under a range of licenses—from download-only to public domain—people will often discover a song that they hope to use outside the bounds of its license. To avoid getting to the point of having to file a copyright complaint, most artist profiles offer ways to get in contact for "more permissions," and we've heard about artists striking lucrative licensing deals as a result. This is why we encourage every artist to make it easy to get in contact by including your e-mail address on your FMA artist page.

Can we please avoid spam like this in the future?

We’re creating a mailform for our website that will help you guys avoid mass-mailings like this in the future.

We hope this information is helpful even though we aren’t lawyers and this isn’t legal advice. Jason and I would love to talk more and hear about your recommendations and experiences with Content ID. You can reach out to us anytime with your thoughts and questions by sending a note to contact at freemusicarchive.org or by posting a comment here below.

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ange on 07/04/2013 at 04:39PM

Free Music for the Fourth of July

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bronwynbishop on 06/20/2013 at 01:49PM

Bryan Lewis Saunders- 87 Dreams of a Sociopath

Psilocybin Mushrooms (2 caps onset). From Bryan's series of self-portraits on different drugs.

On the front page of performance artist Bryan Lewis Saunders' website, the main image, right under his name, features Saunders with a plastic bag over his head. This sets the tone for the majority of his career.

Saunders describes his work as stand-up tragedy. He is the opposite of a stand-up comic- he stands in front of an audience and attempts to make them cry. Starting in 1995, Saunders has drawn at least one self-portrait every single day; the ones which have received the most attention are the portraits he produced while under the influence of a different drug every day. He is generally considered an outsider artist, and lives in an institution-like home for unemployed and disabled people.

In 2003, Saunders began sleeping with a tape recorder and, upon waking, recording descriptions of his dreams. 87 Dreams of a Sociopath, a book of these descriptions transcribed as poems, is the result of this experiment. Along with the book, Saunders released the audio recordings themselves. In a groggy monotone punctuated by yawns, Saunders presents us with his dreams, many of which are gruesome. "The Amputator," in which Saunders is hired by God to amputate people's limbs, is a highlight. Possibly the most disturbing track is "I Killed My Cousin," in which said act is described in meticulous detail: "I stuck a razorblade four inches deep into the side of her neck, and then just pulled down, straight down on it, and cut her throat."

Despite their sometimes shocking content, Saunders' depictions of the peculiar logic of dreams are instantly familiar. Saunders is an avant-garde, troubled oddball, but his dreams could be anyone's. This collection, while difficult to listen to for an extended period of time, is a great find for anyone fascinated by dreams.

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ange on 06/14/2013 at 01:00AM

Birthday Suit: Will These Documentary Filmmakers Set "Happy Birthday" Free from Copyright?

Artwork by Greg Harrison

A new lawsuit being filed today aims to have "Happy Birthday From You" given its rightful place in the public domain. As Eriq Gardner writes for the Hollywood Reporter, the film company Good Morning to You Productions Corp. is working on a documentary about the birthday song, and has filed a suit on behalf of all those who have paid for the rights to use it.

As we follow the case closely, you can always check out our Free Birthday Song Repository of over 140 free birthday songs that are licensed Creative Commons Attribution, and watch a video we produced of birthday song alternatives used in Film and Television. 

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jason on 06/03/2013 at 02:55PM

Tashi Dorji: Bhutanese Guitar via Asheville NC

Tashi Dorji conjures incredible sounds from a prepared acoustic guitar. His spirited improvisations—recorded live without any loops or effects—evoke a composite of influences from Derek Bailey to Mauritanian pulaar to the traditional music of his native Bhutan.

"Growing up in Bhutan with little access to music except random bootlegged cassettes and shortwave radio, I listened to anything i could find," Tashi Dorji writes in an email interview. He learned guitar by ear because "we didn't have music school, TV or internet back then in Bhutan, so we had to use a lot of imagination and improvise what we thought we heard off of a tape player."

Tashi Dorji arrived in Asheville, North Carolina as an international student in 2000. He quickly fell in with the vibrant punk rock community, which flowed into free jazz, noise, experimental and other avant garde music. The Appalachian mountain town has become a real hub for experimental music thanks to longstanding acts like Ahleuchatistas, resources like Asheville FM, the shop Harvest Records, tape distributor Tomentosa, and labels like Bathetic and Headway Recordings.

Guitar Improvisations, released on cassette by Headway last year, sold out quickly but is available to download from the FMA along with his release sêp. This week, the label unveiled Tashi Dorji's self-titled follow-up, and it's streaming after the jump. Tashi Dorji also has a forthcoming release on Turned Word Records out of Belfast ME, and much more on his bandcamp.

Bhutanese traditional music is an oral tradition consisting of many marginal, isolated communities across the country, and much has yet to be documented. But for those interested in hearing some examples, Tashi Dorji points us towards a nascent archive hosted by the Bhutan Broadcasting Service.


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