Licensing The Undead

Ronnie and I have been discussing how and what to release as Undead music. What we’re planning on going with is the Attribution-Noncommericial-NoDerivs CC 2.5 license. Here are the specific legal terms.

I think we need to spell-out (to some extent) what can’t be done with the music we put up here because I read the term “CC license” bandied around on the web as meaning “free, do anything with it” when in actuality there is only one CC license that “gives away the candy store”. 😉 The Attribution-Noncommericial-NoDerivs CC 2.5 license we’ll be using reserves all rights to the artists. What this license says is that people can download the music, enjoy it, even pass it around, but they cannot screw with it (remix, sample, record their own versions), they cannot use it or distribute it in any way that might be considered commercial, and they have to keep the artists name(s) and CC license info attached to the file.

Only us Undead Monkeys can mangle or sell our music. 🙂

I do think we need to work out in advance some idea about how we would handle things if one (or all) of us Undead Monkeys want to release any of the music commercially at some point in the unforseeable future (we may be Undead, but we aren’t omniscient 😉 ). I mean, this is the sort of stuff that traditionally causes fights, ruins friendships and breaks up bands. 😯 Undead Monkey is probably going to be a loose collective of people and not everyone is going to be active on every project—and not everyone will be equally active on each project. (I’m probably going to be musically the weakest member of the band and as such contribute less to songs than other people.) So, how do we want to address the “what if”s” of commercial release? Should we even give this any thought now…or just wait and see if the Undead Monkey produces anything worth considering for commercial release?

Gymshoes

Poster: Gymshoes. Category: Chattering Chimps. Tags:
13 August

10 Responses to “Licensing The Undead”

  1. Ronnie says:

    One thing I noticed was the Music sharing license specifically dissalows use with video. (this includes synching the music to a moving image).

    where
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/
    do not dissalow this.

  2. Gymshoes says:

    The Creative Commons website now has licenses specifically for audio. Weirdly, it’s the 2.0 rather than 2.5 by-nc-nd license, but the human-readable version refers specifically to music rather than to general works. I’m going to have to compare 2.0 “Music Sharing” (which is the Attrib-NonComm-NoDerivs) to the 2.5 non-music version to see what the diff is (besides inserting the word “music”) when I get some time. They say, “The Music Sharing License uses the identical terms as the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWorks license.” But the link in that line is to the 2.0 (old) version of the license. 😕 I’m inclined to go ahead with the plan to release any Undead songs under the Attrib-NonComm-NoDerivs 2.5, even though the 2.0 version specifies music in the way it’s displayed. When I find out what the diff is I’ll let you know.

  3. Ronnie says:

    Music-Sharing by-nc-nd 2.0 license
    Sounds good to me and feels specific enough to get a level of protection that I feel comfortable with.

  4. Ronnie says:

    Another thought on licensing.
    What MP3 tags do we want to utillize on released mix files?

    There is a URL section under the artist tag on windows media player. where we could put a link to the license. or past the text part of the deed summary into the comments field … or both. Thoughts?

  5. Gymshoes says:

    Using rapid toggling I read the legal code for both licenses side-by-side simultaneously.

    The difference isn’t in whether someone can put music to video: that’s considered a derivative work (and thus forbidden) in both the 2.0 version and the 2.5 version of the by-nc-nd license in the legal code. (by-nc-nd 2.0 and by-nc-nd 2.5

    The obvious difference between the two is that the CC “deed” in the Music Sharing license is written explicitly with music in mind and so mentions music, video (and other things) specifically.

    The legal document for the Music-Sharing license is by-nc-nd 2.0. The legal code for by-nc-nd 2.0 (which is the link given for the Music-Share license) is almost identical to by-nc-nd 2.5. There are two sentences that are different.

    by-nc-nd 2.0 “If You create a Collective Work, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Collective Work any reference to such Licensor or the Original Author, as requested.”

    by-nc-nd 2.5 “If You create a Collective Work, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Collective Work any credit as required by clause 4(c), as requested.”

    The 4(c) section referred to has changed language in one sentence:

    by-nc-nd 2.0 “If you distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform the Work, You must keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and give the Original Author credit reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing by conveying the name (or pseudonym if applicable) of the Original Author if supplied; the title of the Work if supplied; and to the extent reasonably practicable, the Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not refer to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work.”

    (Italics below are mine: this is the bit that’s been added)

    by-nc-nd 2.5 “If you distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform the Work, You must keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing: (i) the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied, and/or (ii) if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g. a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution in Licensor’s copyright notice, terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party or parties; the title of the Work if supplied; and to the extent reasonably practicable, the Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not refer to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work.”

    I think the difference between by-nc-nd 2.0 and 2.5 are probably not relevant to Undead Monkey. THAT sentence italicized above is the only diff between the Music-Sharing by-nc-nd CC license and the regular by-nc-nd 2.5 license. Based on that I’m now leaning toward the Music-Sharing by-nc-nd 2.0 license because it has the advantage of explicitly spelling out in the “deed” (which is the only thing most people will read) what is and is not OK in terms of music. No ambiguity about remixes, samples and video. It states explicitly that the copyright remains ours and states specifically that file-sharing and podcasting are OK.

    The diff between Music 2.0 and regular 2.5 is mostly in what users will see when they click the CC license link; the legalese is almost the same.

    So, what do you guys think? Still want to go with the regular deed for by-nc-nd 2.5 or with by-nc-nd 2.0 which has the music deed?

  6. Gymshoes says:

    I use the Advanced Tag attribute in Windows Media like crazy on my Gymshoes stuff. Title, Artist, Website, Lyrics, Comments. I have a separate page for album art, so I don’t add Pictures: I make that optional.

    So, I’d say utilize the hell out of the attributes tags. I like the idea of putting the link to the license. I think that would satisfy the licensing requirements. (I’ll double check this.) In the meantime, check out this page about Embedding metadata in mp3 files. BTW, how do you edit the Copyright field on a file? I can’t add it to Properties. 🙁

    Perhaps have a brief description of the license in the Comments field (in case the mp3 file has a long life than the URL) in addition to the link. Just to give a bit of coverage in case the CC site undergoes a reorg or goes down.

    One caveat about tags: When I was reading all that stuff on the archive.org site they specifically said not to use anything other than the basic tags because it might screw up their conversion program. If we upload mp3s with tags, it should be OK, but if we upload a loss-less format for them to convert into multiple formats, we might encounter a problem. (This raises the question of whether archive.org attaches the license or link to license to files on their site—which they should.)

  7. Gymshoes says:

    I think I just (kinda) answered my own questions. The CC site has a music publishing tool for tagging music files with the CC license, copyright,etc.—and uploading to archive.org. It doesn’t appear to include adding an artist website URL, and I don’t know if website, lyrics, comments tags would be retained after being processed with the CC tool and uploaded. Worth looking into though.

  8. Ronnie says:

    I havn’t had good luck with the CC publishing tool. It ran once on each of the 3 machines I installed it on then stopped working. a reinstall didn’t fix it so let me know if you have any better success

  9. Gymshoes says:

    I haven’t installed it and your report of it bombing out on 3 machines doesn’t make me want to install it on mine. We don’t really need it to tag our files and upload them; I just thought it’d be convenient. If it doesn’t work, then screw it. The only thing I can’t do myself is put a copyright tag in. (Though I can add Year.)

    I can add copyright in Acid, but for some reason, Artist, Title, Copyright—all the info for Acid projects is lost when an mp3 is made. (I did not have this problem with previous versions of Acid, which preserved song info in mp3s.) 🙁

    So, I guess we’re back to whether to put the license in the file as a URL or in comments. Here’s a question: what info do most digital music players display? (I’ve got a music phone.) Title, Artist, Album and…copyright? If so, that may be why the CC site recommends putting some license info in the copyright tag.

  10. Gymshoes says:

    Archive.org doesn’t have an option for the 2.0 Music Sharing license. If you choose Attrib-NonCom-NoDerivs you automatically get the 2.5 license. 🙄 Since they’re fundamentally the same—and what we really like is the music-friendly-language of the “deed” because it makes things clear for users—I suggest we put the language of the Music Sharing Deed in the Comments tag (which Ronnie already did for “Waiting For My Time”), but add the URL of the legal code for 2.5 along with it. eg: “See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/legalcode” in Comments and the additional website URL tags. If we put the URL to the Music Sharing deed anywhere in the file the deed page is linked to the 2.0 license. 🙄

    So, I suggest to avoid any confusing legal snarls we *use the language* of the Music Sharing deed on this website and in Comments, but use only the URL to the 2.5 license since that’s what it will actually be licensed under at archive.org.