Grants/Mapping Austin’s Music Ecosystem
Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.
The following proposes the examination of Creative Commons (CC) licensing and its adoption among musicians in the Austin area, often called the live music capital of the world. The study attempts to answer the following question: What considerations determine whether musicians adopt CC licenses for their work? While there are a handful of related works and case studies that bring to light, “how many use CC licenses”, there remains a considerable gap in volume and quality of content. We propose to expand the research and to examine the local music ecosystem in-depth.
Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).
An academic paper and potential policy memo, to be shared with the CC community and potential industry leaders. We will attempt to gather footage and create a short documentary based on the events and interviews.
Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?
While there are a handful of related works and case studies that bring to light, “how many use CC licenses”, there remains a considerable gap in volume and quality of content. We propose to expand the research and to examine local musician communities in-depth. To its credit, the music industry is not limited to just the artist itself. Instead, it is an entire network comprised of musicians, producers, distributors, club owners etc. Therefore, the success of alternative copyright provisions must play to favor several players simultaneously. As part of this research, we will also include interviews with a handful of these ecosystem members in hopes to better capture pain points as a result of copyright restrictions or lack thereof. Given the music industry’s historical struggle in preventing increased piracy, we propose examining the Austin music community to better understand the progress - if any - of the industry. The industry’s economics is arguably in flux and needs to change. Has this particular community learned from its past? And, if so, how is Creative Commons positioned to help or not? To better understand this, there needs to be additional exploration of the music production ecosystem as a whole.br />
Kristine Gloria is a current master’s student at the University of Texas at Austin and has dedicated the majority of her studies to this research issue. As an Austin resident, she will have the opportunity to conduct face to face interviews with participants. Choosing the Austin music industry is purely proximity and access. From T3 productions (who manage, host and promote several national bands) to dozens of music venues, the Austin music industry serves as a concentrated example of the industry as a whole.
EFF-Austin and Remix Austin have been conducting the Creative Commons Salons and Creative Commons oriented events in Austin, including workshops with Lights Camera Help, Channel Austin and local events like Video Camp. There is an existing network of interesting parties to take the lessons learned and implement them in Austin.
How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?
EFF-Austin and Remix Austin have been promoting Creative Commons Salon and education in Austin for several years with little perceived increased adoption. These policies and outcomes will allow them to understand the terrain of the Austin music community more effectively and target key areas of concern while encouraging the strengths musicians see in Creative Commons. Austin should see a more sustainable attendance in regularly occurring Creative Commons Salons and more involvement from the public by implementing these policies. We will hold salons before and after and make note of attendance and attitudes.
How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?
We anticipate the participation of various stakeholders to vary. From the research side, the team will create & administer the interviews and draft the recommendations plus perspectives from as many ecosystem players as possible.
This team will also be in charge of creating the short video documentary as a supplement to the research. It will include clips from interviews, meetings and various events.
Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".
This project would explore a microcosm of a larger ecosystem rife with opportunity for change. The overarching goal of this research is to examine the perceived viability of these licenses, and to consider whether advocacy efforts adequately address concerns of potential adopters.
Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?
This is a research project that requires little in the way of technical tools or expertise to be completed. However, the presentation of the materials/data may require additional skill sets such as design, web page development, videographer etc. Ideally, the data will be presented through several digital mediums that will allow for others to remix and share the findings. EFF-Austin has access to friendly open source developers and videographers who may help with presenting the final results.
What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?
At this point, the largest challenge will be to identify and secure interviews with key industry players. Then, determining the best form of visualization (whether this be in a short video documentary, interactive case study, web site etc) will be the next big step.
How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?
Additional funding will be determinant on the post product. If the data presents compelling information, we will look for local support within the Austin community. EFF-Austin and Remix Austin will help promote this need.
How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?
This project’s quantitative methodology can be applied to various similar communities throughout the world. It can also serve as the next iteration/example of case studies featured on the CC site; which offer a more robust and interactive experience.
What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?
This project would require little support from Creative Commons, aside from some limited consultation regarding current CC adoption rates and/or legal interpretations of the licenses themselves.
Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)
Currently, the organization communicates via blog, in-person events and Facebook. There are also workshops on copyright and Creative Commons held in several venues with partners during local conferences and events.