Grants/RE-THINK: Label dude shares experiences from using CC licenses and other DIY principles to create international music platform

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ReTHINK: Label dude shares experiences from using CC licences and other do-it-yourself principles to create an international music platform

Applicants: Urlyd Audiovisual Recordings
Affiliation: Labelkollektiv
CC affiliated? Yes
Contact: Christian Villum
Coordinator: Christian Villum
Project Start: 2010/09/01
Project End: 2010/12/31
Download budget Discussion

Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.

This is a book writing project. Urlyd Records, my small Danish label, was the first label in the world to release an album ('Small Arm of Sea' by female artist Tone - printed on lp, cd and dvd) under CC-license while backed by a national collecting society (the Danish KODA) - see Tone and my label has since obtained European licensing and distribution, done tours in Europe and the US, and most recently played SXSW and gained a US record deal. All under a BY-NC-ND licence and by constantly seeking to re-think how a music platform can be built. Now we want to share our experiences from this long run, so that everyone else can benefit from it. We will be writing a book to be released under free BY-NC-ND download as well as for purchase in print-on-demand paper version.

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).

The tangible output will be a book that describes all our collected experiences of this pioneering CC-project running from 2008 and up until now. The book will be available for free download under BY-NC-ND licence as well as for purchase in print-on-demand paper version.

Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?

The community is the worldwide music business - especially grassroot musicians and artists in general. I believe they will become inspired by - and thereby benefit from - hearing our story and getting insight into how we did, what errors we made, what worked well, what didn't work well and so />

What is your relationship with the community you are targeting? Why are you the best individual/organization to lead this project? Do you have prior experience in related projects?

I have been working in the music business for over 10 years, both for mainstream old fashion DRM-ridden companies and as self-employed label manager for pioneering CC-label Urlyd. I will draw upon both worlds to write this book to create a nuanced narrative, and thereby I feel that am in the best possible position to engage in such a task. I have not written any books before, but function as a freelance journalist for several small media, and also copy write a bit professionally (mostly press releases etc.).

How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?

I plan to create a website and a wiki-version of the book in which readers can edit, comment and discuss the content. Also, through my personal social media efforts, I will connect with readers that seek direct contact for elaboration, good advice, etc.

How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?

In the making will be only me and a couple of proof readers. They want this book to take shape as much as me, so their involvement is stone solid.

Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".

As a label that endorse sharing and open licensing, I believe that a book like this will inspire other creators to adopt the CC licencing suite and thereby add to the worldwide CC pool of works.

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?

I will just use basic software (open office, gimp) for the writing of the book - as well as some good music while doing so. The book will be made available through the website and whoever wants to host it (some Danish music organizations have expressed willingness to offer the download too). The download will be free under BY-NC-ND license - as well as through print-on-demand for purchase. For this, I will probably use Lulu or some other easy-to-use service.

What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?

Procrastination will come eventually, but I have strong self-discipline and the entire book already somewhat written inside my head, so I am sure I will overcome and get everything on paper.

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?

The website and the wiki will remain and continue to evolve with its users (I will administer it alongside my other projects). Also, as mentioned, I will be actively taking part and engaging with readers through social media. Revenue will be raised through the sales of the book in the print-on-demand version.

How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?

I might write more books later, as Urlyd is still very much active. It's moving into the American market next year (2011) with Tone, and in Denmark/Europe several more artists are in the pipeline. These will be launched through new out-of-the-box ideas (and, of course, under CC licence) in the next couple of years.

What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?

Not much - other than perhaps a mention on the blog?

Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)

Being an active label, we communicate with fans through social media. Moreover, I am now also Public Project Lead for CC Denmark, so I am engaging heavily in various projects to create outreach and draw attention to what CC can offer. Currently I do lectures, presentations, participate in discussions, host CC Salon in Copenhagen etc.