I started developing with the intention of exposing people to music; the idea that everyone should have free unfettered access to all kinds of music. — Yoav Givati, Founder, CCMCP, http://www.chalk-it-out.com/causes
The Creative Commons Music Collaboration Project (CCMCP) was developed by Yoav Givati to create a community among musicians who share their songs, beats, and ideas with other artists who will tweak, mix, edit and expand upon their works in infinitely creative ways. Offering a collaborative platform of applications, tools, and discussion fora, the project emphasises a holistic music education through interaction between professional musicians and beginners, assisting users in the interpretation of music notation, playing technique, theory, and skill development such as writing lyrics, tablature, and understanding technical equipment and recording software such as Logic, SONAR, and Audacity.
The CCMCP Library application underpinning the site is a collaborative music engine which allows subscribed users to contribute to listed musical projects. Within CCMCP’s Project area, artists are encouraged to outline how they wish others to interpret their works, which are streamed and available for download. Each project consists of a number of files, which comprise an individual track, such as for lead guitar or drum, or a multi-track composition. If a musician is inspired by a particular project, they are encouraged to download it according to its specified copyright terms, and embellish it in their own way. Once the new track has been uploaded, the musician will be able to receive feedback via comments and ratings from other members. CCMCP’s Forums facilitate discussions on the collaborations, enabling education through interaction.
The CCMCP project is currently in beta form. Since its commencement on 20 May 2007, CCMCP has reportedly taken on several different shapes. Wanting to remove the distance between musicians via the Internet – to recreate the experience of jamming live – the project has employed technologies such as skypecasts to content management systems, and custom-built applications for research and development. Currently, CCMCP developers are in the process of building a platform to replace the present implementation that will further embody the ideas of openness, community, and education. Founder Yoav Givati envisages creating a system for live gigs, podcasts, classifieds and show listings, and aspires towards releasing compilation albums of work created on the site. The project plans to go live in the next few months under the domain Ear-Drum.org.
In an email interview conducted with Rachel Cobcroft from Creative Commons Australia, CCMCP creator Yoav Givati explains that to date, the CCMCP has attracted attention which can be focused into two main demographics: web developers interested in progressive web technology, and musicians who are tired of the severe disconnect of online music ‘communities’ like MySpace and Bandspace, before it became a ‘waiting page’), where users are walled off from one another and where musicians are forced to market themselves, thereby creating a somewhat insincere, competitive environment.
Since CCMCP’s launch, the site has attracted more than 2000 unique visitors, of whom approximately 150 have registered to test and use the application. Ranging from Mumbai, India to Johannesburg, South Africa, visitors to the site are diverse. Most come from the United States of America, then Canada, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy, and Brazil. A few enthusiastic testers have gone beyond the simple feature requests, and through discussions over Instant Messaging have provided the main development team with in-depth examinations of desired features and functionality of the site.
With the new implementation of the CCMCP site, Yoav Givati and his development team intend to allow users to select among the six main Creative Commons licences in addition to a Public Domain option and the standard © All Rights Reserved. The goal for this implementation is to give users the freedom to do whatever they want with their content and whatever is welcomed with each other’s.
As explained on the CCMCP Project site, the CCMCP Library is technically a Rich Internet Application (RIA) which allows the subscribed user to access the site’s music library, as well as contribute to that library through the addition of their own original or transformative tracks. The library is catalogued and viewable by projects, which carry descriptions specified at point of creation. Each project can have unlimited files added by an unlimited number of people.
Each project file (in .mp3 format) is assigned a copyright or Creative Commons licence, which gives the musician control over how others use and manipulate their works. Artists can also specify uses through adding detail to the description box about how they wish their work to be used. The description as to how others can sample or create derivative works can be changed during the file’s initial upload or at any time thereafter.
The RIA is able to be accessed via the main website or downloaded onto PC or Mac. The RIA is part of a new breed of Internet application that exists independently of web browsers. It requires the running of Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) environment.
CCMCP creator Yoav Givati first heard about Creative Commons after entering the world of web development in mid-2006, when he was introduced to the idea of flexible rights for creative content. Yoav immediately began reading up on open source, GPL, copyleft, and Creative Commons. Creative Commons appealed to him not only because the licences seemed to reach the widest spectrum of users, but he also found that in reading through the documentation and browsing through different implementations there was a distinct sense of openness that other alternatives lacked. In addition, Yoav found a sense of community where it seemed possible for the licences to be applicable across the depths of the Internet regardless of region, nationality, or legal system.
- 'The idea that I – not some governing body – could decide how others can interact with my work and that declaring those rights didn’t involving sending off for some customized patent or making some vague declaration of insertion into the public domain. …Creative Commons was applicable to so much more than just computer code, and as a musician, artist, and naïve programmer, the wheels in my head just began spinning and aren’t likely to stop soon.'- Yoav Givati, in email conversation with Rachel Cobcroft from CCau, 12 April 2008
CCMCP’s stated purpose is to create a music-rich community focused on education and musical experimentation, and to deliver this environment to anyone with Internet access. The concept underlying CCMCP is thus a simple one: to take the feeling of an intimate yet open community and provide access to knowledge, granting users the freedom to get knee-deep in each other’s creative works for the sake of learning, sharing, and connecting. Yoav adds:
- 'A big part of that freedom is allowing users to define their own boundaries for a given work, rather than forcing them to adopt someone else’s view of the optimum rights for sharing. We believe the creator should define the purpose for their work and based on our feedback we can say that people believe the purpose of creating is to share, at the very root, for the sake and in the hopes of enriching someone else’s experience.'