Rock n' Roll, instant messaging, and Creative Commons

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Two hands holding musical notes

What do instant messaging notifications, quintessential 80s rock and a hatred of Autotune have to do with one another? Thanks to the wonders of open source, the Open Your World forum brought together three individuals from decidedly different musical backgrounds with the likes of Brad Sucks, Curt Smith and Daniel James sharing the "stage" of our Creative Commons and the Music Industry panel.

Daniel James has quite a history in open source audio production starting with his position as the former director of the consortium and current director of 64 Studio. He was able to kick things off discussing how modern music production has always been about tinkering and pushing the envelope--at least until recent years. Calling on such greats as the late Les Paul, Daniel gave a great view on hacking and tinkering to break boundaries of what used to be possible in music. Fast forward to today, and we see a completely different soundscape: one where "industry standard," closed source tools such as Protools and Autotune are pushing out cookie-cutter sounds so much that even artists like Jay-Z are calling for the DoA (Death of Autotune). This is a pretty amazing statement considering, as Daniel points out, Jay-Z was one of the artists that profitted from the use of Autotune.

Following Daniel, we were able to get some insight on the use of Creative Commons (CC) as a licensing model for music from Curt Smith and Brad Sucks. Curt, of Tears For Fears fame, spoke about his history as a musician and how he has discovered a new audience through CC that he never saw in his years as a chart-topping, multi-platinum selling artist under the traditional copyright model. From the complete opposite end of the view, Brad Sucks (Brad Turcotte by birth) has been an open source musician from the start and sees benefits from that end of the spectrum--including having his sound theme integrated into Pidgin for the world to hear.

To wrap things up, we opened the panel up to the public and had a great discussion concerning who owns music, correct retaliation methods for pesky bar owners who might try to profit on your creation, and the state of current open source sound creation tools.

Check out the full replay of the session, and feel free to comment or check out the works of any of these great artists and talents in the music industry by clicking their names above. Thanks again to our panelists, and a very special thanks to those who attended our first virtual event!

Travis Kepley is a Senior Instructor at Red Hat where he helps employees, partners and customers understand how Open Source Software can create a better IT and business infrastructure. Travis started at Red Hat in January of 2008 as a Technical Support Engineer before becoming a Solutions Architect prior to moving to his current role.

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