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Wired Releases Creative Commons Sampling CD 185

An anonymous reader writes "In this month's issue of Wired Magazine, there is an included CD featuring songs from The Beastie Boys, David Byrne, among others. The unique thing about the CD is that all of the tracks are released under Creative Commons Licences, making them legal to share."
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Wired Releases Creative Commons Sampling CD

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  • Good idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by synthparadox ( 770735 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:10AM (#10618517) Homepage
    Thats actually a good idea, with RIAA complaining that file sharing hurts the music industry by letting people get songs for free, this may promote people buying CDs again. (You hear 30 seconds of a song, you like it, you buy the CD, etc.)
    • I have done that before downloaded a song, then went out and bought the CD. Have not been downloading any music lately or buyind any CDs.
    • Re:Good idea (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Shinglor ( 714132 )

      You can already get 30 second previews from iTunes, Amazon and hundreds of music sites. What does that have to do with Creative Commons?

  • so ? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sbjordal ( 654330 )
    It means Wired is only one lawsuit away from they know what type of license it is, They know one thing: $$$
    • Re:so ? (Score:3, Interesting)

      It means Wired is only one lawsuit away from RIAA

      Hang on a second.

      What they have done is either legal, or it is not.

      If they are subject to a lawsuit as a result of something legal, provided they are willing to fight it out (and trust me, they will be) the RIAA will be the loser.

      Being the defendant in a lawsuit is not necessarily a problem. Being the loser is.
    • Re:so ? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ragingmime ( 636249 )
      No, they're not. Wired has permission from the artists and the record labels to be distributing their songs: even if some people in the RIAA think this might be a bad precedent, they can't do anything about it, because they simply have no legal case. This goes beyond a question of fair use vs. copyright infringement: it's been done with permission and it's legal, end of story.

      like they know what type of license it is, They know one thing: $$$

      The RIAA might be greedy, but they're not morons, and I'm s
    • Re:so ? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ragingmime ( 636249 )
      In all the lawsuits that the RIAA has filed so far, there's been some logical basis for their case - and it's usually something like "People our using our stuff without our permission; make them stop." There's some logic in that: the RIAA makes its profit off of intellectual property that people are getting off KaZaa for free. There would be no such logic in the case that you're describing.

      I don't believe that RIAA is as fanatical as the /. crowd tend to think. The RIAA is constantly looking out for thei
  • by Raindance ( 680694 ) * <johnsonmx&gmail,com> on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:10AM (#10618520) Homepage Journal
    These songs are licensed under the Creative Commons license-- which means not only are you free to share these songs, but you're free to tinker with them. Extract samples, make new mixes, whatever. In stark contrast to the norm.

    This isn't just about "good free music" (though it looks like it is that). It's about artists and labels "getting it" about what creates a culture of creativity and walking the walk.

    Seeing this makes me happy.

    • Wrong. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:15AM (#10618536) Journal
      Not all the songs allow sampling...

      Sampling Plus: Songs under this license allow noncommercial sharing and commercial sampling, but advertising uses are restricted.
      Noncommercial Sampling Plus: Songs under this license allow noncommerical sharing and
      noncommercial sampling.
    • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:15AM (#10618539) Homepage Journal
      As a point of clarification, there are several varieties of CC licenses [] (one of the great things about CC), some of which specifically allow derivative works and some of which do not.

      • More choice = more confusion! Now "Creative Commons Licensed" means nothing, because it can mean lots of different things.
        • Rubbish (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:59AM (#10618653) Homepage Journal
          It's a simple acknowledgement that one size does not fit all.

          In fact, by assembling a variety of licence options under one roof and explaining the options in a consistant and coherant way (and with comics []), they go a long way to helping people really understand the issues.
        • by jbn-o ( 555068 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2004 @04:03AM (#10618812) Homepage
          The Creative Commons organization always had multiple licenses with different terms; it never meant just one thing (so the complaint was never valid). But more importantly, this matches "free software" licensing and "open source" licensing which are also varied in what is allowed and what copyright powers are retained. You can't know that a program is "free software" or "open source" and know that everything you might want to do with the work is allowed (most licenses don't cover software patents, for instance); you can't be sure what is allowed downstream for derivatives from your derivative (some licenses don't have a copyleft, for instance).

          How is this new set of CC licenses new? I can't answer that for everyone, but only one thing changes for me: I host "Digital Citizen" on alternate Wednesdays from 8-10p on my local community radio station (WEFT 90.1 FM). On my show, I air only things which can be copied and distributed (at least verbatim). CC-licensed music and talks make up a good deal of my show (in the language of CC licenses, I make a "Collective" work).

          The Sampling license doesn't allow the entire work to be copied and distributed. But the other sampling licenses (Sampling Plus, and Non-Commercial Sampling Plus) do allow the entire work to be copied and distributed. So, for the first time, knowing that a work is a CC-licensed work is not enough to merit inclusion in my show. I have to make sure a CC-licensed work is not licensed to me under the Sampling license.

          This isn't a big deal, but it is a change.
        • Of course, it also means less half-naked people too !

        • "Creative Commons Licensed" is an annoying thing to say, because there were always a bunch of Creative Commons licenses. All it actually means is that you're allowed to do something you might not expect, and you can read a one-paragraph description and understand what you're allowed to do. A better analogy might be programs for the Mac: you don't know what the program will do, but you know it will be presented in a way familiar from other programs. Obviously, there are many different programs for the Mac.

    • by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:19AM (#10618550) Homepage Journal
      You mean "a" Creative Commons licence. There are a variety of them, and what you are permitted to do varies between them.

      For example some of the tracks on the disc are only samplable (?) for noncommercial purposes which is probably a restriction that doesn't fit with some peoples ideas of "freedom".
    • Nonsense. It's about a bunch of artists (and their handlers), ever conscious of their image, seeing a cheap and easy way to be seen by hip pseudo-intellectuals as "getting it" and "walking the walk."
  • by plumpy ( 277 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:14AM (#10618533) Homepage
    Most of these songs are licensed for commercial sampling, but a handful aren't.

    Chuck D and the Beastie Boys, two bands who have built their careers on sampling (like most of the artists on the CD) won't let you sample their work commercially. (The other band that doesn't is "My Morning Jacket", but I don't know who they are.)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The nice thing is you can give Chuck D a call and ask him about it yourself. He hosts Unfiltered [], a talk show on Air America Radio [www.airamericaradio]. I believe it airs every weekday and can be heard either on the radio in 30+ markets or via RealAudio or MS streaming.

      Chuck D's been pretty vocal [] on the side of pro-music sharing, so I'd be interested in anyone who might ask him why he doesn't want to be sampled...
      • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @04:42AM (#10618880) Homepage
        It's all to do with permission. If I sample something, and get permission to use that sample, that might well exclude me giving away permission to let other people sample my sample, if you see what I mean. No?

        Ok. I sample a chunk off a record (say, the bassline from Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax). I get permission from ZTT to use that sample, but not to distribute it apart from my record. This effectively means I can't give people permission to sample my record, in case they sample the bit off Relax. It's a viral licensing scheme, effectively, where "closed" samples "infect" otherwise open content.

        • Partially true. It could depend a lot on how the sample itself is embedded in your work. Is it a backbeat that takes up most of the song, or just a guitar riff in a given section? It's easy enough to clip out a small section of guitar riffs or even a 1-min section with a particular drumroll background - so long as you know where it is.

          If you really wanted "your" content to be open to sampling, you could make a statement like: the content between 1:25 and 1:51 is not open to sampling unless you acquire per
    • My Morning Jacket [] ROCK. I've only seen a few bands in my many many years of seeing bands *truly* enjoy and get into what they're doing as much as these guys - and they're all really really good at their instruments. very well rehearsed (or partially psychic) and talented individuals. They rock hard when they play even though their music isn't the most rockingest. great band.

      All of you should check them out, and support them if you like them by going to see them if/when they play in your town, because thats
    • by spiralscratch ( 634649 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @03:14AM (#10618689)
      Do these songs have samples? If that's the case, I would think it safe to assume that the owners of the original works being sampled have extended usage rights only to these artists. Beastie Boys, et al would most likely not have a legal right to extend sampling rights. And since it would be difficult to impossible to say, 'you can sample this and this part of the song, but not this part," they have to deny sampling of the entire work
    • by Dot.Com.CEO ( 624226 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @03:16AM (#10618698)
      I mean, I'm not trolling here, but for fuck's sake, are some people never content? If they give you a free car, will you complain that gas is not free and they have not given you the schematics for the injection system so you can improve it?


    • by Fallen Andy ( 795676 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @03:32AM (#10618736)
      i.e just like John Carmack and the Doom source (the music in that game's case), they

      can't give you sampling rights because they licensed them themselves...

      Sorry, but the commercial world, she's a bitch.
    • I doubt that the pioneers of the sampling technique, both in Hip Hop and Dub Reggae, ever gave a second thought to any license whatsoever.

      Classsical musicians once used to perform variations and improvements on each other's work. Nowadays, if someone tried that, they'd be in court quicker than you can say "Mozart".

      Jazz does variations and improvisations - of course nowadays you'd need a team of lawyers first.
    • Would it not just be possible to sample the original works? Thereby cutting out the middleman?
    • Are you aware how bad the Beastie Boys got burned over sampling?

      Every time a new Beasties album comes out, there's another lawsuit and they refine what's cutting edge for legal sampling. They've had their chops busted over what you or I would think is sane use soooo many times. Flute players who had three notes of audio sampled *after* it had been licensed. AC/DC suing over a riff used in "Rock Hard". License to Ill and Paul's Boutique were an endless headache for them..

      So why the hell would you share you
  • contract (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slavik1337 ( 705019 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:14AM (#10618534)
    I thought all "artists" gave copyrights to the company for their works ... can the artists do such a thing because I doubt that RIAA would :-\
    • Re:contract (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They sign contracts to product albums and such. Their contracts don't stipulate that ALL their work is owned by the record company. They are fully able to create works on their own that aren't under the terms of the contract.
      • Re:contract (Score:4, Informative)

        by zerblat ( 785 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:45AM (#10618616) Homepage
        It depends on what the contract says, but AFAIK, standard recording contracts are generally exlusive and cover all recordings that the artist apears on while the contract is valid. Most of the artists on this CD (but not all) seem to be signed to small/independant companies, which should make it easier to get permission for things like this.

        Of course, that only covers the rights to the recording. You'll also need permission from whoever is the copyright holder, which usually means the songwriter's publisher, rather than the songwriter.

  • Where? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Baricom ( 763970 )
    I don't see any CD. Are we talking about the October or November issue?
  • o_o
    You missed april fools by 6 months.
  • by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:15AM (#10618538) Homepage
    So it sounds like a job for Bittorrent!
  • by footage ( 317314 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:20AM (#10618551)
    Music, photos and film/video footage gain value the more they're heard or seen; they can't be diluted or depleted like physical property. Ultimately artists who approve sharing and sampling of their work will sell more music. Free downloading has worked well for us, a historical film archive, and led to more business. See
    • " Music, photos and film/video footage gain value the more they're heard or seen;"

      Then how come the first time you hear a Will Smith song its okay, but then after the third week of it being played 5 times an hour or so, you never want to hear it again? (Luckily this isn't much of an issue post-y2k, he seems to not be flooding us with songs now that hes focusing on movies)
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <teamhasnoi AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:24AM (#10618564) Journal
    release songs under the CC, when they couldn't even release their last album without a bunch of DRM?

    Plus, they're listing theirs under the 'Noncommercial Sampling Plus: Songs under this license allow noncommerical sharing and noncommercial sampling' which is fine and good for them; I'd be curious to know how many songs they've 'bitten' over the years that never got attributed.

    Paul's Boutique was an excellent example of how sampling should work, and how completely new works can be made from old - that was a fantastic record.

    Then we've got P. Duddy to show how old works can be ruined by 'sampling' *entire songs*. Ugh.

    It IS great to see that there is some attempt at a revamp of copyright, and this CD will only increase the exposure of CC. At least until the songs get on P2P and are all mixed up with ones that are not legal to share...

    • by pedestrian crossing ( 802349 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @03:17AM (#10618699) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, I've got mixed feelings on the B-Boys. I have been a longtime fan, spent a -shitload- of money on their CD's, and the DRM on their last one was a huge slap in the face. So my B-Boy CD collection is complete, except for their latest. Unless something changes drastically, I won't be buying any more of their stuff.

      For a band with "'tude", who are built their little empire on "rhymin' and stealin'", releasing a DRM'd CD, then telling their fans, "it's not us, dude, get over it" was the height of hypocrisy.

      Yeah, I'm a little bitter.

      It's going to take more than a little publicity stunt like this to make up for what they did, releasing one track under a non-commercial-only sampling license is a pretty weak apology.

    • by Stephen Samuel ( 106962 ) <samuel@bc g r e> on Monday October 25, 2004 @03:31AM (#10618734) Homepage Journal
      ... when they couldn't even release their last album without a bunch of DRM?

      It could be legal problems -- If they live by sampling, they'll have to get the rights to release the samples that they're using.. They may not have been able to get a release for anything more than non-commercial sampling.

      As for the flip-flop, they may be experimenting to see which approach sells more records, or they may be trying to get back into the good books of all the fans they would have pissed off with a DRM'ed CD.

    • by jschottm ( 317343 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @04:50AM (#10618896)
      release songs under the CC, when they couldn't even release their last album without a bunch of DRM?

      According to their statement, all of the albums released by their label outside of .us and .uk (IIRC) have the copy protection on it. I'm not saying that the copy protection was a good thing, but it's not as if the group sat down and decided to use it, it was forced on them.

      Plus, they're listing theirs under the 'Noncommercial Sampling Plus: Songs under this license allow noncommerical sharing and noncommercial sampling' which is fine and good for them; I'd be curious to know how many songs they've 'bitten' over the years that never got attributed.

      I don't know for sure, but it may be that songs on the album use samples whose license forbids resampling.

      Just a guess.
      • "According to their statement, all of the albums released by their label outside of .us and .uk (IIRC) have the copy protection on it. I'm not saying that the copy protection was a good thing, but it's not as if the group sat down and decided to use it, it was forced on them."

        That last little bit "it was forced on them." They had to willingly sign the contract which allowed it to be "forced" on them. If the actual contract was "forced" on them by threat of violence it's considered void anyway. I think
    • Simple (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cdmz1 ( 97535 )
      The RECORD COMPANY is the one who created the DRM for the Beastie Boys album. If memory serves correct, the B-boys release of "to the 5 boroughs" in the UK and in Canada have DRM on them, not the release in the US. I beleive that is because their record label DRMs ALL albums in those markets.

      Do you *REALLY* think that the Beastie Boys have the power to tell their record label what to do? Those tricky T&C of contracts tend make the band release the album in accordance with what the label wants. Hen

    • From

      Here's the deal with copy protection on To the 5 Boroughs. Read it.
      • There is no copy controlled software on US or UK releases of
        Beastie Boys' To the 5 Boroughs.
      • The disk is copy controlled in outside of the USA and UK - which is
        standard policy for all Capitol/EMI titles (and a policy used by all major labels in Europe).
      • The copy protection system used for all EMI/Capitol releases including

        To the 5 Boroughs
        is Macrovision's CDS-200, which sets up an audio player
        into the
    • IIRC, the US copyright law explicitly allow some kind of sampling as fair use. I don't remember the criteria, and there is a thin borderline between fair use and infringement. But impression has it that copyright law is more permissive than the proposed Noncommercial Sampling Plus license.
  • Metallica? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nos. ( 179609 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:25AM (#10618565) Homepage
    Funny, I don't see anything from Metallica on this CD.
    • by edalytical ( 671270 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:34AM (#10618585)
      I hear they're releasing some lipstick under creative commons.
    • by metlin ( 258108 ) * on Monday October 25, 2004 @03:15AM (#10618692) Journal
      They said "music" !

      PS - I listen to them too :-)
    • DRM free Metallica (Score:5, Interesting)

      by anti-NAT ( 709310 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @04:45AM (#10618886) Homepage

      Metallica are selling FLACs of their live concerts here []. In their FAQ they acknowledge that they know they aren't DRM protected and can be shared.

      The main problem with this is Slashdot itself. When I discovered this at least six months ago I thought this was pretty major news as Metallica were one of the main, vocal opponents of DRM free music, which of course means it easily can be distributed via P2P file sharing. Do you think my Slashdot submission was noticed ? I don't ever remember seeing it.

      Maybe Slashdot has secretly been taken over by RIAA, and don't want Metallica's change of heart to be known about by anti-DRM proponents.

      • In their FAQ they acknowledge that they know they aren't DRM protected and can be shared.

        Not to nitpick, but your post almost makes it sound like Metallica went the next step and authorized sharing of these concerts. They haven't. They do have a site called Metallica Vault [] which I was about to say had three shows when the St. Anger album was released and probably will never be updated again, but I look now and see that they have, apparently, put new shows up. They do allow and supposedly encourage people

  • Amazing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pan T. Hose ( 707794 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:25AM (#10618566) Homepage Journal
    The evolution of The Beastie Boys' consciousness is truly amazing, almost unbelievable. Their last album silently installed DRM code [] and now it is released under a Creative Commons Licence for everyone to share! Isn't it wonderful that there are people who really can listen to our community and adapt to the information era instead of trying to halt the progress like the RIAA? This CD will be a perfect Christmas gift for anyone who doesn't realize that not every rights are "reserved" and that copying and sharing is not inherently illegal. Anyone got a torrent link?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2004 @02:35AM (#10618588)
    Is it possible to order only that one issue of Wired internationally instead of subscribing for 12 months? I would like to get few copies of that CD for Xmas gifts for my DJ friends for sampling but I don't want to buy like ten subscriptions for $700! :( Any way to get only this one issue to central Europe before Xmas? Thanks!
    • Is it possible to order only that one issue of Wired internationally instead of subscribing for 12 months?

      I don't know of any way to order single issues online. Perhaps you could find someone to buy issues off a newstand and ship them.

      Or maybe you can find someone to burn a CD for you. I know it's not the same as having a nicely labeled official copy (although the real label is pretty bland), but hey, this is one of the few times that we can suggest that a CD be opening copied and shared (viva Creativ

  • by fcrick ( 465682 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @04:01AM (#10618806) Journal
    The file sharing client Morpheus supports Creative Commons, and properly tagged mp3s are recognized in search results in the client. Creative Commons will soon begin tagging all their mp3 files in the Copyright id3 tag. On Morpheus, you can even search 'cc:sampling' and 'cc:sharing', and you'll find and be able to download all properly tagged Creative Commons content.

    • Move along, nothing to see here.

    • That's a Good Thing. Sadly, I'm afraid certain people will be tagging actually illegal-to-share content as legal-to-share. When caught, they will claim "it said it was legal to share".
      • I'm afraid certain people will be tagging actually illegal-to-share content as legal-to-share.

        In the United States, it's a tort and a crime to falsify a license notice (17 USC 1202 []). A label would have even bigger grounds to sue people who fraudulently mark a work as CC licensed than it would against the average file-sharing app user, and investigation into such offenses would have the backing of both the FBI (for copyright fraud) and a State's investigatory agency (for fraud in general).

  • by ( 816752 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @05:06AM (#10618927) Homepage
    Who sanctioned this CD? Most artists when they're signed to a label aren't allowed to perform for anyone else without the label's permission. That's why on every Garbage CD it says "Shirley Manson appears courtesy of..." - She's licensed to Garbage by her record label (or something like that).

    So this means that all of these artists are appearing here with the permission of the record labels, though there may be a few exceptions.

    An artist like the Beastie Boys can negotiate a favorable record contract with a smaller label. David Bowie does this. He sold the future royalties to all of his songs (it's amazing that he had them in the first place), and now only works with smaller record labels that are happy to have him because he's gauranteed sales, and in exchange they give him complete creative control. It's just a small step to negotiating ownership of your music as well.

    An artist like Zap Mama (an excellent group, by the way) may, by virtue of being small, be able to negotiate a favorable contract because they may be able to generate income from things like touring, giving lessons and workshops and so forth, so having a record contract is just a matter of distribution more than promotion... I'm not saying this is the case for Zap Mama, they're actually fairly big, especially outside of the United States, but *perhaps* they could do this kind of thing.

    But.... odds are it didn't happen this way. Odds are the record company *owns* the rights to all of these songs, and *the record company* decided to release these songs under creative commons. As ar as they're concerned, the artists may not even have needed to be asked do this.

    The question then becomes - why would they do something like this? Are they being foward thinking? Didn't Apple just come out with an ipod pre-loaded with U2 songs? Could it be that the record labels are finally attempting new channels of distribution and figuring out new ways of making money in the digital age?

    Another poster praised the Beasty Boys for their ability to change, and surely the Beasty Boys had *some* input into what went on their CD, and some input over the release of their songs under Creative Commons. What I want to know is - how much? And how much was the label.
  • by Serious Simon ( 701084 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @05:51AM (#10619079)
    Interestingly, one of the songs is from Gilberto Gil, not only a well known artist but also the Minister of Culture [] in a government which has a positive attitude to Open Source software.
  • No Jim's Big Ego []?

    For shame!
  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @09:13AM (#10619878) Homepage
    For those of you that don't know CreativeCommons also has a content search function for material released under one of the CC licenses. Submitted links are reviewed by CC before they'll add the material to their listings. Just follow the link labled Content.

    When I listed my material there CC vaulted to the top of my referrer list in just a couple weeks.

  • ..or something. After extracting my CD from its clear plastic packaging (just a single piece of plastic glued around the CD--holding it against a page), it turns out that it's unreadable.

    I guess I *will* have to download it.

    mount: /dev/scd0: can't read superblock

    Did anyone else's CD survive packaging and transport?

    Additionally, it's great to see a CD with the copyright notice, "Some Rights Reserved."

  • Irony (Score:2, Insightful)

    by choochus ( 55810 )
    I find it rather ironic that with the "legal to share!" hyperbole you have to buy a friggin magazine to get it!?

    Where are the download links on the site, Wired!? sheesh

    I know, I know "It's a business, they need to make money", yadda yadda - but one of the biggest points of opening intellectual property in music is that the Internet makes so much more sense as a distribution medium, rather than shipping CDs.

    OK.. I'm done bitching :o)
  • The inclusion of a David Byrne track in this "freely distributable" compilation might seem more interesting when you bear in mind that a song of his ("Like Humans Do") was one of the sample tracks included with..... Windows XP.

    So are the forces are good and evil in a battle for his immortal soul... or is he just someone who likes to promote his music as much as possible?

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"