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cheyenne_h on 04/25/2017 at 06:58PM

State Of The Commons: 2017 Annual Report

Screenshot from the Report's website; CC BY, Creative Commons 2017.

The commons is the largest collection of free and open knowledge in the world, and the Free Music Archive is proud to be part of it! To get some idea of how vast this amoeba of media, tools, and knowledge is, you should take a look at a report that was just released: the State of the Commons Report!

The numbers are in, and according to Creative Commons, there are more than 1.2 BILLION works shared with CC licenses floating around the web now. 65% of these works are shared under "Free Culture" licenses, which are CC BY, CC BY-SA, and CC0 (as well as other Public Domain tools). All CC licenses grant anyone who encounters a work certain permissions; "Free Culture" licenses are the most permissive and open, allowing for remixing, use in audiovisual projects, and more. The other licenses, which still allow for various types of use and access that standard copyright does not, make up the remaining 35% of the commons.

All of the licenses (aside from public domain tools) are built with cooperation and citation in mind, so if you use CC material, please follow the licenses and be excellent to each other (by giving attribution, for starters - here's an easy example).

Some notable additions this year are the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art, which added 375,000 works to the public domain using CC0; The Global African Storybook Project, which crowdsources translations of children's stories in languages not often considered by publishers to broaden access and encourage literacy; The British Museum, which released 128 models to Sketchfab; and our very own Freeharmonic Orchestra got a shout-out in the highlights section!

Other sources for CC audio listed in the report include Jamendo and Wikimedia Commons, but there is also a wealth of CC-licensed music in the Internet Archive and lots of free, re-usable sounds over at freesound.org.

Do you have other favorite spots to look for audio in the Commons? Comment below! And don't forget to read, excerpt, share, and tweet the report at http://stateof.creativecommons.org with the hashtag #sotc.

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Stevecombsmusic on 05/06/2016 at 02:03PM

Big Juan

A pretty polite comment, I thought.

Hey FMA'ers. I've had an interesting day.

I'm used to people using my music in their projects. In fact at this point, I expect it. It would be weird if they didn't. Out of the roughly 250k downloads my songs have gotten, I'd bet at least half of them were for use in a video, on a podcast, or for a school project. And I love and am so grateful to everyone who does this because without it, I probably wouldn't be doing this anymore. To be honest, I think the FMA made my career what it is, and I owe it and the whole free culture community so much. That said, there is a limit to the freedom of my culture.

I woke up at around 11am this morning, because I'm a college student, and saw a couple of Twitter notifications (@stevecombsmusic, by the way). A German fan, @ruhpkid, tweeted at me to say that some guy named Big Juan put a copyright claim on a YouTube video of his in which he used my song, More Or Less OK, from my new album Riotwhich is available here on the FMA. Ruhpkid gave me credit and was generally wonderful. But Big Juan was claiming that my song was his song, Equalizer. At first I didn't think anything of it, that it was just a misguided attempt at stealing royalties or something. The joke would be on him, of course, since I don't get any kind of royalties. But I did a Google search for "Equalizer by Big Juan" and found the song on YouTube.

That's when I got angry.

I hear the first three seconds, which is the same opening drum fill as my song, and think "Well, maybe he just sampled it and forgot to give credit." But it quickly became clear that that wasn't the case. This wasn't a sample, this was a theft. Big Juan literally downloaded my song, changed the title, and put it on YouTube as his own.



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