Case Studies/Steven Arntson
"Creative Commons defines an area between public domain and complete ownership that is desperately needed by the artistic community." — Steven R. Arntson
Steven R. Arntson is a Seattle-based writer and composer who releases CC-licensed recordings and sheet music on archive.org and who publishes CC-licensed writing on blogger, and who hosts other CC-licensed material, such as podcasts and photography, on his website, stevenarntson.info.
I use CC-BY-NC licenses. I'm not interested in gaining remuneration from this material, and I like the idea that others who use it will keep it in the not-for-profit arena. I allow derivative works because I'm a firm believer in the folk process, from which so much of our traditions spring. AP Carter goes into the woods and hears a song, adds verses, and releases it; Woody Guthrie hears the Carters' song, and writes new words; Dylan hears Guthrie, makes his own changes ... nothing comes from nowhere.
I did feel trepidation at first about releasing work for free, because I put so much time into it. But there's a line in the Communist Manifesto that reminds me of this situation, where Marx asks (I'm paraphrasing here), "All of you who are so upset about not being able to own property--how many of you actually own any?" Similarly, being worried about not making money is a bit ridiculous for someone in my situation, whose work will probably never have commercial appeal. Maybe I should abandon that and move forward, focusing on the sharing that is one of the reasons I became involved in music-making in the first place.
I use the BY-NC license in three ways:
- Sheet Music: I've released a book of sheet music from my album The Devil's Dreamworld in PDF form under a CC license, and hosted it for free download on archive.org
- Audio Recordings: The audio files from The Devil's Dreamworld are also hosted on archive.org in the open source FLAC and OGG formats.
- Essays: I post nonfiction essays on my Blogger account.