Comments on: ccMixter – thinking about where to go Blog, news, books Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:01:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: spinmeister Mon, 10 Dec 2007 02:35:55 +0000 I’m supportive of the concept in principle, because I’ve seen the co-operation / sponsorship of free software around a commercial entity work very well in quite a number of cases. If it can be done in the field of software, why not in the field of music?.

In the particular case of ccMixter, my reaction will entirely depend on WHO the commercial entity is. Who backs it, who runs it. If it’s an established business, do they have track record consistent with the ideals of the creative commons and ccMixter? If it’s a new business, is it backed and run by people with track record and a business plan consistent with those aforementioned ideals?

By: Kila Morton Mon, 26 Nov 2007 11:23:10 +0000 Hello. I am putting together a website called Pure Blogic. The site is about resources for bloggers. I came across your post as I was doing research for content on my site. As I read your post, a thought came to mind. Bloggers often try to monetize their blogs to derive income. They do this in a variety of ways. They sell ad space, they use Google Adsense and they sell classified ad space to get money. Before you start thinking about giving away ccMixter, which is a wonderful site, why not start by selling ad space to advertisers since you already have a following. You can also sell space to artists who want to promote themselves. Set up a relationship with a credit card processor and allow artists to sell directly from your site. You charge a monthly fee and the artists gets to sell their music. If you don’t want to do that, you can also sell subscriptions for additional services – free members, premier members, super premier members. That would allow you to generate income. No matter what, anyone you sell the site to is going to try to profit from it in some way. Since this is a site you obviously care about, you may as well be the organization that controls the site and profits from it. You are going to care about the quality far more than someone who just comes in and purchases the site because its your baby. You can also simply ask for donations. You can spin the site off into a certified non-profit, collect donations and do fundraising. There are a lot of options. I hope it works out in a big way. I think the site and the idea behind it is just wonderful.

By: Michael Tiemann Sat, 17 Nov 2007 21:13:50 +0000 I am very keen to see ccMixter succeed, and am also keen to build facilities that can draw from and contribute to the creative commons it represents. I invite ccMixter-ites who would like to contact me to do so and look forward to more actively participating in ccMixter’s present discussions.

By: CoffeeTrim Sat, 17 Nov 2007 15:49:40 +0000 Hi there.

Well, despite opening up a ‘ccmixter plus’ (as the project is introduced onto the mail) could at first sounds juicy, as actually musicians would have more satisfaction out from their productions.

What at the mean time is such a gamble is that CCMixter is not born as a mp3 download store nor the artist involved so far neither.

I am not underestimating artist & platform, I am rather saying that things turn onto another ground when you have to face things like commerciability and appereance.

My experience thought me that is very hard selling music when the artist and the music itself is too tied with free distribution & free download.

In other speech if you have released 25 tracks under the name of ‘Dj Purple’ (it s an example) you will surely have hard times when you put the 26° for sale.


Because people know you as an Indie producer, so next to go against your ‘reputation’, potential ‘customers’ won’t buy your track as there are already from you too many for free.

Well, if you can sort this thing out by chosing an optional nick name, you get the same problem with the portal name…

CCMixter Plus sells music..ok.

But why should I buy a track from CCMixter Plus if I can download loads of free nice tracks from CCMixter?

Well, i think that this kind of point would have been senseless if CCMixter was a dj-music-oriented portal, so despite you can download/share/remix each track, you are not allowed to play tracks during dj sets (as that is using tracks for commercial purposes), so, in theory you would have had to buy the track from CCMPlus in order to play during a party.

CCmixter do not go toward this kind of music though, as the most relevant genre within is the mellow-urban flavoured one.

Guys, it’s very disappointing when you work hard for a track and you do not get feedback, at the same way is a pitty when you put for sale a track that do not get any audience.

Please, think about that if you open up a music store you have to design a marketing plan too, as selling is involved and competition is HUGE.

At this stage, despite i think that it could be a good idea, i do not see the right ground to make things working, as I said, ‘recycling’ portal name & artist would be a painfull falling down.

Thank you for your attention.

Best Regards.


By: Gavin Baker Thu, 15 Nov 2007 08:50:55 +0000 I think the plan is quite reasonable.

I hope there is some flexibility in the desire to hand ccMixter over to a commercial entity; if anyone (say, a group of users) made a proposal to run ccMixter on a non-commercial basis, it should be considered equally with commercial proposals. I’d like to see this clarified.

I’m not sure how necessary the “no ads” inflexibility is. It might make more sense to say “the board will prefer proposals that do not foresee deploying advertising”.

It’d be wise, I think, to keep the door open to business models besides those envisioned in the ccMixter+ model. I could imagine using ccMixter as the foundation for a number of services for the musician community, such as a job/gig board, promotional tools, tie-in with self-publishing or print-on-demand services (e.g. Lulu)… you get the idea.

One weakness in the plan is that CC can impose whatever conditions it wants on the transfer. Once it’s sold, though, couldn’t it be re-sold, with different conditions?

But I’m not terribly concerned. I expect ccMixter will end up in good hands. And if something goes awry, switching is at least feasible, since all the code and the music are free.

This would seem a great match for two entrepreneurs who already serve on CC’s board, John Buckman or Joi Ito :)

By: gurdonark Thu, 15 Nov 2007 01:55:26 +0000 Dear Professor Lessig:

So many times when I filled out the little text boxes on a poll, I think to myself “I wish I had space and time to do a more detailed answer”. I was pleased to see this weblog entry, whose comment space may be used to provide this space and time.

I participate in ccmixter and am extremely pleased with its operation and the service it provides to not only remixers but also to people who wish to use CC licensed music for their projects. In contrast to the stereotypical person who seeks exposure for his/her music with some long-term desire for some form of commercial success, I am not seeking careers or stardom from my quirky music. I am solidly in the “love my non-music day job” camp. I also seek to support the new “sharing culture” through CC licenses, through co-ownership of a netlabel, through strong moral and modest financial support for other netlabels whose work I value, and through dialogue to promote CC music and culture. I am less worried about getting my music onto an episode of the television show “Lost” than amused and pleased when a Danish experimental home-video fellow posts a with my work on the soundtrack.

I read with interest your open letter about the future progress of ccmixter. I think it is very important for you and Creative Commons to seek out ways to help ccmixter continue to grow and bloom. In the long run, ccmixter provides an ideal non-profit “spin off”. Further, the possibility that its user base may provide a synergy for a ccmixter+ arrangement to help generate support for the mixter is interesting.

I am pleased that you set out four inflexible principles, including:

1. CC will not profit off of CC artists: We’re not an agency; we will set up no arrangement where the success of CC artists translates into financial success for CC. We’re happy to receive gifts from our community; we’re not about to receive commissions. We are therefore keen to restructure ccMixter so that any commercial benefit flowing to CC artists won’t seem an indirect benefit to CC.

This is a good point. I think it is important that mixter not be an agency, commission merchant, or subscription service. Other commercial services, many of which now authorize CC licenses, now serve this function. In general, though many of them have their own virtues, they lack the cachet of CCmixter for podcasters, film-makers and website builders who need CC music. You’ve built a strong signal. It’s important to avoid making mixter into part of the noise.

At the same time, the process of setting up a mixter+ should involve a way to monetize the access to the benefit of CC. In an earlier generation, people might argue that fund-raising of this type through an auction or similar process would be undesirable. However, I think it’s important that if a mixter+ relationship is sufficiently valuable that people might bid for it, that CC be open to realize that value for the promotion of Creative Commons uses. I suggest as a matter of symmetry that any proceeds, if any, of such a monetization should in the spirit of the thing be devoted to projects promoting CC music. Commercial funding offers real possibilities to help CC spread.

ccMixter will never lose its current commerce-free face. It will always be “free” in both the costless and free-speech sense. It will never have ads. It will always be a .org. The community that exists there now can continue just as it exists now. No one will have to make any change to how they contribute to the ccMixter community, if no change is what they want.

This is very important. The community that we have now has a personal value to its users which is why we come and stay. It is different than a “social network” per se, but instead a “mode of sharing” which is user-friendly. A concomitant of this principle is that any commercial concern offering a mixter+ must be independent of the core I believe that could be a stand-alone non-profit, and achieve your inflexible goal. I am skeptical that ccmixter could be owned by a commercial concern and maintain that goal.

All of us over 25 have experienced at least one key service being acquired and changed. I think of AOL’s takeover of Compuserve. I was a user of both services prior to that takeover, and did not and do not have
negative things to say about AOL. Yet prior to the takeover, Compuserve had vibrant forums which were a uniquely successful (in the sense of providing a good place to be) closed social networking community.
These forums lost their character after the takeover. I am concerned that this may be inevitable with a for-profit takeover. I am all for for-profit companies. I just know their priority need not be our priority–preservation about what is vibrant about the mixter.

I am concerned that any spinoff of the mixter be created such that a core non-profit ensures the continued operation of the base functions, while any for-profit mixter+ contracts with the non-profit to provide the additonal services/options. I know, vagely, that non-profit issues will dictate a set of things that would work and not work in this vein, and I trust that an appropriate mode could be found to ensure the core functions are presided over by a non-profit immune from the temptation to commercialize the users.

Any change in ccMixter will be completely transparent, and only with the support of its community. The transparent part of this is simple. The support of the community part is complicated by fiduciary obligations imposed upon a non-profit like CC. But we will work hard to make sure that we do only what the community believes (properly interpreted of course) makes sense. Our ultimate aim here is to enable more for that community. We achieve that aim by understanding it.

This is much appreciated, as is your poll and open letter. I see your effort as an opening of dialogue rather than a comment period before a fait accompli.

In the mixter community, we tend to be non-monolithic. A few of us are professional or near-professional.
A goodish few want to take the next step to become professionals. Many of us are avowedly non-professional, while some of us (as with myself) are amused by the idea of anyone imagining that we imagine that our music could ever be professional. Why ccmixter works now is that it caters to all of us. The way in which it could work better is by having the clout to continue to spead its “word” about how Creative Commons music can transform the way we share and experience music.

For me (and I believe for many in the netlabel movement), CC music
is about a transformation of music culture. It is not only a logical standardization of licenses, but also
a logical outgrowth of prior movements such as mail art, tape exchange, and even the folk music tradition of a shared common song heritage. These movements posited the simple idea that the sharing of the arts need not be controlled by institutions or population centers of a mainstream culture.

CCmixter brought to the mainstream the simple yet compelling concept that if people make their music and samples more open-source, then a body of shared work can be available throughout the internet and in other uses. Netlabels, in many ways, are taking this idea and CC licenses already into places mixter does not fully go. Yet mixter has an important role as mixter shows the promise of helping educate a broader public of the possibility in this type of sharing.

My dream for ccmixter is that it not take any step to diminish itself, but that it have the clout to promote and grow. If a spin-off option keeps its virtues and mission but gives it more ability to spread its word, that’s a good thing, even if a commercial concern is involved. But it’s important to keep to the base principle of keeping its virtues.

All the software and creative work will always remain “free”: First, the (award winning) code is free (licensed under the GPL); we will contribute the copyrights to that code to the GNU Project as soon as we can convince RMS of the capabilities of the maintainer. Second, the music is free (all licensed under terms that permit at least noncommercial sharing and remix)

This is a good thing. I hope that CC will continue to fund sofware options to facilitate CC music. A “user-simple” web template for a netlabel website might be an easy-to-make but invaluable to share such project.
CChost could be adapted with expertise, but the technological gap should not bar the creation of more CC sharing sites.

Thank you again for soliciting our points of view.

Best, Robert Nunnally
who records as gurdonark